BOSTON, MA – The Orlando Magic continued their winning ways with an impressive 95-92 win over the NBA East leading Boston Celtics. The win ended a 10 game losing streak against Boston. The win was also the sixth straight for Orlando, six straight since Markelle Fultz returned to the floor from injury.
Paolo Banchero lead all scorers with an impressive 31 points, and continued his streak of scoring 20+ points to 19 games, more than any other NBA rookie. He has also scored 30 or more points three times this year.
Franz Wagner scored 12 points, and Bol Bol, and Moritz Wagner added 11 points each.
The key to the Orlando win was defense.
Boston came into today’s game as the highest scoring offense in the league, yet Orlando held them, to a season low 92 points.
Boston edged out Orlando in rebounds (54-46), point in the paint (34-32) and in 2nd chance points (12-9). yet Boston could only muster up 34.8% shooting in the game.
Boston, however, gave up 17 turnovers resulting in 13 Orlando points. Orlando didn’t fare much better with shooting percentage with 39%, but got key play from not only Banchero, but from Admiral Schofield, who contributed 13 points from the bench and had a stretch of three consecutive made 3-points shots down the stretch.
This was a day where the Celtics needed superstar Jayson Tatum, who did not play because of personal reasons.
Jaylen Brown tried to fill in the slack for the C’s with 24 points, followed by Marcus Smart with 15 points and Grant Williams with 14.
Orlando got a big push early when Banchero scored 22 points in the first half. Orlando pulled out of the half with a 50-41 lead, and still had the confidence from the 117-109 win on Friday night over the Celtics.
Former Celtic Eddie House put out a video talking trash about the Magic, saying that even though they had won a few games that they were still basically a classes, garbage team.
Paolo Banchero took the video on put it on the teams group chat, and it seemed to generate some motivation coming into today’s game, an extra chip on their shoulders, if you will.
Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley is thrilled with the latest play of his squad.
“You know, you talk about their level of resiliency.” Said Mosley “I’m just so proud these guys are in they’re fighting and they’re not letting themselves get down. They’re believing and they’re understanding and doing it by committee”
And it was their fighting for the game in the fourth quarter that really kept them ahead.
“Those loose balls those 50-50 balls, Markelle jumping on the ground getting a timeout then dive on the floor after you know they got the turnover down the stretch. That’s who this team has to be gritty, tough fighting for one another. And again, just staying the course no matter what’s happening in the game and believing in it. These young men are always ready for the moment.”
Curiously, several players on the Magic squad have posted a clip on Twitter of Eddie House running down a court and former Magic great Penny Hardaway slapping him in the head. Clap back.
Orlando continues their road trip to Atlanta tomorrow to face the Hawks, previous losers during this winning streak in Orlando.