NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 8th (All times Eastern)
Boston Celtics (1-4) at Orlando Magic (3-2), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Celtics were able to capture that elusive first win of the season last time out, so now they'll try to solve their road woes when they open a tour through Florida Friday against the Orlando Magic.
The Celtics will also visit the Miami Heat Saturday night.
Boston lost its first four games of the season and avoided its first 0-5 start since 1946-47 with Wednesday's 97-87 triumph versus the winless Utah Jazz. Brandon Bass and Jeff Green scored 20 and 18 points, respectively, while rookie Kelly Olynyk added 14 points off the bench.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens earned his first win at the NBA level and his squad was able to fend off a furious Utah rally. The Jazz outscored Boston 25-13 in the fourth quarter before the hosts ended the rally. The Celtics also recorded a season-high 22 assists.
"Winning's more fun than losing. But at the same time, I think we played two pretty-good games back-to-back, so that's the most positive thing moving forward," Stevens said. "And hopefully we feel better about ourselves as we move forward."
Boston scored 20 points off 22 Utah turnovers and got a big night from veteran Gerald Wallace, who had nine points, nine boards and three assists off the bench.
"I think each player in the NBA has got to sacrifice a little bit of their game, and he sacrifices a lot," Green said of Wallace. "Coming off the bench, the minutes he's playing, his style of play ... he sacrifices a lot. It shows true ownership of his character and you can never question who he is."
After losing back-to-back road games to start the season, the Magic have won three in a row to start a four-game homestand.
In Wednesday's improbable 98-90 victory over the mighty Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando had a 26-16 advantage in the fourth quarter and was led by Nikola Vucevic's career-high tying 30 points and 21 rebounds. E'Twaun Moore scored 12 points off the bench, while Arron Afflalo, Jameer Nelson and Victor Oladipo all netted 11 points.
"They made their run and we took the blow," Nelson said. "We executed well, we stuck to our game plan and even when they executed against our game plan and were successful, we stuck with it."
Los Angeles outscored Orlando 32-15 in the third quarter and took a 74-72 edge into the fourth. But the Magic took care of business at the end.
Orlando, which led by as many as 19 points in the first half, has now won 11 of the last 13 meetings with the Clippers, one of the favorites to win the Western Conference. Former Magic sharpshooter J.J. Redick had 17 points in the loss.
The Magic lost all three meetings with the Celtics last season and is winless in the past eight games in this series. Boston has won three in a row at Orlando.
11/08 10:09:50 ET