NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, April 13th
(All times Eastern)
Boston Celtics (40-39) at Orlando Magic (20-59), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics will try to end a two-game losing streak
and get some momentum before the playoffs on Saturday when they visit the
Orlando Magic at the Amway Center.
The Celtics fell at home Wednesday night to the Brooklyn Nets, then lost in
Miami, 109-101, on Friday night to the defending champion Heat.
Boston went into battle Friday without future Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and
Kevin Garnett. The Heat reunited the Big Three -- LeBron James, Dwyane Wade
and Chris Bosh -- for the first time since March 29 against New Orleans.
The Heat used a huge second quarter to erase a Celtics' 10-point lead after
quarter No. 1, outscoring Boston 41-23 during the second 12 minutes.
"I thought their subs beat our subs, if you want to just simplify it," said
Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
Jeff Green scored a game-high 25 points on 10-for-17 shooting. Jordan Crawford
(20), Courtney Lee (18) and Brandon Bass (17) also scored in double figures
The Celtics are just about locked into the seventh seed. They trail the
Chicago Bulls by three games for the sixth spot and are three ahead of the
Milwaukee Bucks, who occupy the eighth seed.
Boston finishes the season with a home game against the Indiana Pacers on
Tuesday, then a trip to Toronto on Wednesday.
The Orlando Magic trail the Celtics by 20 games for seventh. It's been a tough
season in the Magic Kingdom. Orlando has the second-worst record in the
league, but the Magic snapped a five-game losing streak on Wednesday with a
113-103 overtime win over the Bucks.
With J.J. Redick returning for the first time since a deadline trade, it was
the players the Magic got back for the sharp-shooter who made a huge
Tobias Harris scored 30 points and grabbed 19 rebounds. Doron Lamb netted 16
points thanks to 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point range and Beno Udrih tallied 13
points and 11 assists.
"It was a great win for us as a team to keep fighting until the end of the
game. We stayed together as a team and a lot of guys stepped up," said Harris.
"It's about time that we closed out a game. We've been so close and when we
got down I was thinking, 'Man, it's deja vu again.' But we fought hard as a
team and we really brought the defensive focus."
Nikola Vucevic contributed another huge performance with 30 points and 20
rebounds. It was his second consecutive game with at least 20-plus points and
Orlando hosts the Chicago Bulls on Monday, then closes out the campaign
Wednesday in Miami.
The Celtics have won both meetings this season and have taken seven in a row
against the Magic. Only two of those seven straight wins came in Orlando.
04/13 10:43:25 ET