Celtics Notes: Despite Injuries, Boston Still Is Finding Ways To Win

BOSTON — Injuries continue to plague the Boston Celtics, but that hasn’t stopped them from winning.

The C’s now have won five straight games following Wednesday’s 116-100 victory over the Orlando Magic at TD Garden. And though Kemba Walker (knee), Marcus Smart (quad) and Daniel Theis (ankle) were on the bench in street clothes, the Celtics didn’t miss a beat.

“Unfortunately we’ve been in that position quite a bit this season,” Jayson Tatum said of the team missing three of their top-six players. “And naturally, when guys are out, everybody tries to step up and do more than before.”

The trio of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward were among those who did. They combine for 74 of the Celtics’ 116 points while shooting 50 percent from the field. Grant Williams also impressed with 13 points and six rebounds.

It wasn’t the first time the Celtics had to rely on an unconventional lineup against the Magic either as Tatum and Brown missed out when the two squads battled in January. Celtics coach Brad Stevens is certainly happy with what he’s seen so far.

“You’ve got to be able to do what Gordon, Jaylen and Jayson did tonight,” Stevens said. “That’s what the really good players do, and they do it every night. They guard, just as hard as you guard in the end. They’re able to play off pick-and-rolls and make the right play and get all the attention and have the best defenders guarding and all the stuff over and over… That’s what all the young guys will ultimately aspire to, to be one of those guys. But it’s hard.”

It’s unclear when the Celtics will be back at full strength. But clearly, they’re staying afloat without their biggest stars — at least at the moment.

Here are some more notes from Wednesday’s Celtics-Magic game:

—┬áTatum has been taking control lately.

On top of his 33-point night, the 21-year-old has scored a career-best 20-plus points in the last seven games, per Celtics Stats. Tatum is the first Celtics player to do so within his first three NBA seasons since Paul Pierce’s 13-game streak in the 2000-01 season.

This is the seventh time Tatum has reached the 30-point mark in his NBA career while six of those games have come this season. His double-figure scoring streak now sits at 37 games.

So, what’s different this year compared to last?

“Just offense has a lot to do with it, opportunity and just trying to get better,” Tatum said. “Just trying to get better in all aspects of my game. Each year, each summer, just trying to be the best version of myself than I was last year.”

— Romeo Langford made his first NBA start in his 15th game with the Celtics, posting six points in 28 minutes.

The 20-year-old was “kind of shocked” by the news of his first-ever start, and couldn’t wait to share the news with his parents. And their response to the news was a bit unexpected, but hilarious.

“They were shocked too,” Langford said. “They thought I was in Maine (with the Red Claws).”

— The Celtics square off against the Atlanta Hawks for the second time this week Friday night at TD Garden. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.