The Boston Celtics just keep winning.
After losing their first two games of the season, the Celtics now have ripped off eight wins in a row, the latest of which was a 104-88 win over the Orlando Magic at Amway Center.
Boston led for most of the game despite looking disjointed on offense for long stretches of the contest.
The Celtics’ defense stifled the Magic, as they held Orlando to 36.3 percent from the field and 20.7 percent from the 3-point line.
Orlando made a run in the third, as they cut the C’s halftime lead to four, but Boston was able to pull away in the fourth thanks to stellar bench play and six players scoring in double figures.
Jaylen Brown (18 points, seven rebounds) paced the Celtics despite a slow start, while Al Horford (14 points), Jayson Tatum (13 points), Marcus Morris (12 points), Kyrie Irving (11 points) and Marcus Smart (11 points, eight assists, eight rebounds) also scored in double digits for Boston.
Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
The Celtics improved to 8-2 with the win, while the Magic fell to 6-4.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Al Horford
C: Marcus Morris
HORFORD STAYS HOT
The Celtics big man was a huge part of Boston’s Friday night comeback against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he continued to torch the nets during the first quarter in Orlando.
Horford went 3-for-4 from the field for nine points in the first 12 minutes to lead Boston to a 22-20 lead.
CELTICS EXTEND THE LEAD
Boston’s bench, led by Smart, started what would turn into an 18-4 Celtics run midway through the second period. The C’s defense clamped down on the Magic in the second stanza, as Orlando only scored 18 points in the quarter and trailed Boston by 11 at halftime.
Irving led the Celtics with 10 points, while Horford added nine and Brown chipped in with seven. Gordon paced the Magic with 10 points at the break.
BOSTON PULLS AWAY
Orlando cut the C’s lead to four midway through the third quarter, but Boston’s bench continued to play well against Orlando’s reserves.
The C’s bench extended the lead to eight heading into the fourth, and then went on a 12-2 run to run to push the lead to 18 with seven minutes to play. Morris, Smart, Terry Rozier and Aron Baynes all scored during the run.
The Magic cut the lead to 12 with five minutes to play, but Shane Larkin hit a floater in the lane to push it to 14. Then Smart found Tatum for a 25-foot 3-pointer to grow the lead to 17 and cause Orlando empty the bench.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
The C’s might be the best passing team in the NBA.
The Celtics will hit the floor again Monday against the Atlanta Hawks. Tip-off from Phillips Arena is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images