Celtics Wrap: Boston Crumbles In Fourth Without Jayson Tatum

Tatum missed the game due to 'personal reasons'


Dec 18, 2022

The Boston Celtics dropped their second-consecutive game Sunday afternoon, falling to the Orlando Magic, 95-92, at TD Garden.

The Celtics fell to 22-9 on the year, while the Magic improved to 11-20.

Check out the full box score here.

In a game where they were missing Jayson Tatum due to “personal reasons,” the Celtics transitioned their entire offensive identity into playing with energy. At least for stretches.

Boston continued its regression to the mean against Orlando, shooting 11-for-43 from beyond the arc. After starting at a historic offensive pace, the last few games have provided a harsh return to reality for the Celtics’ 3-point shooters. It took a while for that to become apparent, but when it did the Celtics started playing with more pace and turning to transition in an effort to rebound from their Friday night loss to the Magic.

Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart seemed to be the two players who understood the need to shift the team’s offensive identity. After combining to start 2-for-14 from beyond the arc, the duo started driving to the bucket and combining to supply most of Boston’s offense in the minutes leading into the fourth quarter.

When it came down to the end of the game, the Celtics had an opportunity to take the last shot only down one point. Grant Williams had different plans, however. The 24-year-old threw the ball away on an inbound, allowing Orlando to push the game to three with five seconds left. He had a chance to redeem himself, but airmailed an attempt to tie the ball game.

Without the benefit of having Tatum on the court, Boston crumbled down the stretch.

— Brown took over as the main offensive option for the Celtics in Tatum’s absence. He scored 24 points, adding 14 rebounds and three steals in the effort.

— Paulo Banchero has already established himself as an elite offensive player. The Magic rookie finished with 31 points on 9-for-21 shooting, pitching in six rebounds and a pair of steals on the defensive end.

— Smart, as per usual, brought the hustle for Boston. He finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, a bloody face and a headband.

DraftKings Sportsbook set the total for Grant Williams’ point total at 10.5, giving him -120 odds of surpassing the number. He finished with 11, meaning a $100 bet would have netted a total payout of $183.33.

The Celtics will continue their homestand Wednesday, taking on the Indiana Pacers at TD Garden. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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