Enjoying a comfortable 21-point lead at the half, the Orlando Magic coughed it up with a woeful offensive fourth quarter to lose to the Boston Celtics for the second time this week. The Celtics defensive pressure completely took Orlando out of their game yet again, as the Magic scored just eight points in the final twelve minutes - reminiscent of the franchise-record low 56-point performance on Monday. Boston finished the game on a 44-15 run to escape with a 91-83 win.
The Magic had five players in double figures, but shot just 38 percent from the floor after making half their attempts over the first two quarters. Orlando simply unraveled in the fourth quarter, as Ryan Anderson and Dwight Howard got technical fouls on back-to-back possessions as the Celtics began to take the lead. Anderson came out hot, scoring 12 points in the first quarter but that would be it for his night. Howard finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds but was helpless to stop Boston's inexorable run.
Playing without Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, it was an impressive road comeback for Boston and a discouraging sign for Orlando. The Magic have no time to gather themselves after the second-half debacle, as they now travel to New Orleans to face the Hornets on Friday night.
The Orlando Magic can avenge Monday's embarrassing loss to the Boston Celtics when they host Boston on Thursday night in prime time. The Celtics held Orlando to a franchise-low 56 points--and just 20 in the second half--in a 31-point rout on Monday, despite being without All-Star guards Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo. Orlando was coming off two days of rest and did not have any major injuries to report, but still suffered embarrassment at the Celtics' hands.
Here's everything you need to know about Thursday's's matchup between the Magic and Celtics:
Game Date/Time: Thursday, January 26; 8:00pm ET
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
TV Schedule National: Marv Albert and Mike Fratello have the call for TNT
Radio Schedule Orlando: WDBO 580 AM Boston: WEEI 93.7 FM, 850 AM