ORLANDO, FL – the Orlando Magic (18-29) defeated the Boston Celtics (35-13) 113-98 on a celebratory day at Amway Arena.
This game was the return of Forward Jonathan Isaac to the Magic floor after two and a half years of rehabbing from injuries.
Isaac’s long road to recovery from severe knee injury was extended due to a hamstring injury last season. The defensive phenom played 3- games with Orlando’s G-league team in Lakeland, Fl to tune up before rejoining the Magic here in Orlando.
“I am beyond happy for him to have just stayed the course this entire time, and to have been able to push through” said Orlando Head Coach Jamahl Mosley.
“It’s been such a long road” Said Isaac “and I was thinking about all that it’s taken to get here, the good days, the bad days and the ups and downs. A lot of people helped me to get here, the training staff and the coaches worked tirelessly.”
The Magic took the floor with a magnetic energy as they sprinted to a hot start, outscoring the Celtics 30-23 in the first quarter.
The Celtics Jayson Tatum and Jayleen Brown both scored 26 points in the game, but they had little help from the rest of their squad. Orlando held Boston to 43% shooting and dominated in the paint, scoring 54 points to Boston’s 32.
The Celtics were playing without Malcolm Brogan, Danilo Gallinari, or Robert Williams III on the night, which left ten somewhat short handed inside.
Orlando was electric. Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr. scored 23 and 21 points respectively, and Jonathan Isaac managed 10 points in his for minutes back in his debut.
Orlando managed to keep their turnovers relatively under control with 11, but wreaked havoc on the Celtics, forcing 18 turnovers for 29 Magic points.
The Magic managed to use their defensive intensity to stop Celtics runs and return to take the lead. The game had 10 lead changes and while the Celtics lead by as much as 5 points, Orlando held a 15 point lead in the fourth quarter.
Cole Anthony again provide storm plan with the second unit with 18 points and caused havoc on the Celtics interior.
It’s hard to figure out why Boston has so much trouble with Orlando. It could be them just taking the Magic for granted because of their record, or they might just be a bad match up against them.
Orlando certainly turned up their energy on Monday night with Isaac returning to the floor, with a sharp concentration on the defensive end.
“Our energy and effort and level of defense, as well as strong fourth quarter has helped us win against them.” said Mosley.
Mosely expects to limit Isaac to about 8-10 minutes and the team will monitor closely how he feels and how his bode reacts to full on professional play, but it was good night ass Jonathan was doused with water in the locker room by his joyous teammates after the victory.
Miami is headed down to Miami to face the Heat tomorrow night after this tough loss.
Orland hosts the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday at the Amway Center.