Celtics Wrap: Kemba Walker Ties Season-High Vs. Shorthanded Magic

Boston improves to 35-31 on the season


May 5, 2021

Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum took total advantage of a decimated Orlando Magic lineup for the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.

In a 132-96 win against a fringe-NBA rotation of just nine players, Walker looked well rested after some time off, tying a season-high 32 points with four assists and three rebounds.

Tatum dropped 27 points with seven rebounds and two steals, while Fournier (18 points, four assists) and Marcus Smart (nine assists) provided great ball movement in a 28-assist output for Boston.

Payton Pritchard led the bench that got a lot of time in the fourth with 14 points as the Celtics improve to 35-31.

Here’s how it all went down:

SF: Jayson Tatum
PG: Kemba Walker
C: Robert Williams
SG: Marcus Smart
PF: Evan Fournier

Coming back from a side strain, a rested Walker definitely didn’t look hurt in the first quarter. He led the game with 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting by the end of the first quarter.

But the story of the Celtics offense was its defense, getting 14 points off seven first-quarter Magic turnovers. Fournier had two steals to go with his 10 points.

Pretty comically, this turned into the Mortiz Wagner revenge game, and he dropped 11 points against his old team for the Magic in the first.

Boston moved the ball well early with nine first-quarter assists, displayed in this play to Pritchard, who closed out the quarter with a triple.

The Celtics led 39-27 after one, shooting 57.1% from the field.

Orlando quickly cut away at the once 18-point lead with Dwayne Bacon sizzling for 12 points by the end of the frame.

Things got pretty sloppy for a stretch, but then Tatum got going and scored 12 of his 14 first-half points to go with six rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Boston went off on a 17-4 run to end the half, because ultimately, they were playing a severely underhanded Orlando team. Walker finished the second with 18 points, and the Celtics had a 63-45 advantage at the break.

Walker continued his momentum in the third quarter, getting out to 29 points shooting 5-of-8 from deep by the time Celtics coach Brad Stevens let him rest on the bench.

Smart orchestrated the offense all game with nine of their 20 assists by the end of the third.

And with Walker sidelined, Tatum ran up the score further, finishing with 27 points after another 13 in the third.

Boston held a 100-75 lead over Orlando entering the fourth.

Walker came back out for the fourth and quickly tied a season-high 32 points.

Then the bench took the game over, as the Celtics had jumped out to a 31-point lead in the fourth. Pritchard was 4-for-6 from deep.

The central Florida crowd wanted Tacko, so they got him in garbage time, and it was great to see he and Mo Bamba going at it.

Tatum was on one.

Boston heads to Chicago to face the Bulls on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET to see if it can keep this rolling.

Thumbnail photo via Mike Watters/USA TODAY Sports Images
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