Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett each posted
double-doubles and the now-weakened Celtics bench did the rest, as Boston
handed the Orlando Magic an eighth straight loss, 97-84, on Friday.
Just hours after learning key reserve Jared Sullinger will miss the rest of
the season following back surgery, the Celtics shot 50 percent from the floor
and held the Magic to 38 percent shooting to win going away.
Pierce logged 14 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, while Garnett chipped
in 14 points and 10 boards as Boston climbed back to .500 with their third
straight win -- all without All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo.
Jeff Green netted 17 points, and fellow reserves Leandro Barbosa and Jason
Terry each chipped in 12 in the rout. Courtney Lee, Rondo's replacement in the
starting lineup, rounded out the double-digit scorers with 14.
The Magic, playing their first game since Glen Davis broke his left foot, were
also missing Arron Afflalo and had another starter go down late in the first
half when Jameer Nelson suffered a left forearm contusion.
J.J. Redick had a team-high 15 points, while Andrew Nicholson, Nikola Vucevic
and E'Twaun Moore all had 14 in defeat.
Boston's bench scored 13 points in the first quarter, including the last seven
as the hosts jumped out to a 25-18 lead.
A 20-footer from Garnett stretched Boston's lead to 35-24 midway through the
second, and it was still an 11-point game, 46-35, at the break.
A Moore 3-point play pulled the Magic within 57-54 with five minutes to go in
the third, but the Celtics scored nine of the next 11 points to rebuild their
double-digit lead. Pierce's layup and two free throws in the final minute
yielded a 72-59 advantage heading into the fourth.
Green, Garnett and Barbosa each scored on Boston's first three possessions of
the fourth quarter, and it was a double-digit game the rest of the way.
Boston has won seven straight meetings against the Magic ... Pierce was three
assists shy of his eighth career triple-double ... Nelson is day-to-day with
his injury, as is Afflalo, who has missed the last three games with a strained
calf ... Vucevic pulled down a game-high 14 boards ... The Magic shot 3-of-19
from behind the arc.
The Sports Network