Celtics Wrap: Orlando Pulls Stunning Magic Trick To Defeat Boston

The Magic put a damper on Robert Williams' return


Dec 16, 2022

The Orlando Magic came into TD Garden as one of the worst teams in the NBA, but shocked the Celtics by taking down Boston, 117-109, on Friday night.

The Celtics now see their best record in the NBA slip to 22-8 while the Magic improved to 10-20.

Check out the full box score here.

The big storyline heading into the matchup was the season debut of Robert Williams and the Celtics seemed to get caught up in the return of their teammate. And Boston’s performance certainly put a damper on Williams coming back to the lineup.

Boston raced out to a quick 10-point lead, but then somewhat stopped playing to trail after one quarter of play and yet again at halftime. It was almost mind-numbing that the Celtics got down by as many as 19 points in the third quarter to the Magic, who entered the contest with a 1-11 record on the road — the worst mark in the entire NBA.

Orlando outworked the Celtics, especially in the rebounding department while Boston’s offense fell into the bad habit of hoisting up shots from beyond the arc. The Celtics finished shooting 23.9% (11-for-46) from 3-point range as they missed 14 of their final 15 attempts from deep in the first half.

The Celtics tried to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, but never really got close. It really was an inexcusable position to be in against a lowly Magic squad.

It felt Boston focused too much on Williams coming back and thought they would coast past the Magic. That surely didn’t happen and the Celtics paid a price.

— Moritz Wagner played well against his former team as he had a brief stint with the Celtics during the 2020-21 season. Wagner paced the Magic with 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting and eight rebounds. He also was involved in Al Horford getting ejected.

— Jayson Tatum didn’t have his best outing, but still led the Celtics in scoring with 31 points. Aiding Tatum’s offense was his ability to get to the free-throw line where he made 11-of-12 attempts. He also added seven rebounds and three assists.

— Paolo Banchero, the No. 1 overall pick in this past draft, contributed to Orlando’s win by tallying 20 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Marcus Smart had a dismal shooting night, but he contributed to Boston’s offense by dishing passes to his teammates. DraftKings Sportsbook set Smart’s assist over/under at 7.5 and he eclipsed that mark with eight helpers. With odds sets +115, a $100 wager would have netted out a total of $215.

The Celtics will see the Magic for a second consecutive game when the two sides collide on Sunday. Tipoff from TD Garden is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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