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Short-handed Magic fall to Tatum-less Celtics, 124-97

Roy Parry, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

The short-handed Orlando Magic struggled to find their offense. The short-handed Boston Celtics had no such trouble.

The Magic watched the Celtics break open a six-point game in the third quarter and coast to a 124-97 win Friday night at TD Garden.

Aaron Gordon finished with 17 points, while Nikola Vucevic, Dwayne Bacon and Cole Anthony each scored 15 to lead Orlando, which dropped its fourth straight and fell to 6-6.

Anthony made his first four shots but was 3 for 14 after that.

Khem Birch had 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds — seven on the offensive end — for the Magic.

Starting shooting guard Evan Fournier (back spasms) missed his seventh straight game, while Michael Carter-Williams (foot) missed his fifth straight.

 

The Magic also played without reserve center Mo Bamba. He does not have COVID-19, but he is in the league’s health and safety protocols because of non-team contact tracing and remained in Orlando.

Jaylen Brown finished with 21 points to lead Boston (8-3), which hadn’t played since Jan. 8 because of issued related to COVID-19. Wednesday’s game against the Magic was postponed because the Celtics didn’t have enough players to meet the league requirement.

Jeff Teague had 17 points and Payton Pritchard finished with 16 for the Celtics, who played without leading scorer Jayson Tatum and Carsen Edwards. Both are in the league’s health and safety protocols.

Orlando shot 54.5% in the first quarter — one that was disrupted by four turnovers — but otherwise struggled to consistently generate offense. Orlando wound up 38 of 94 from the field (40.4%).

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