Celtics Get Banged Up in 116-108 Loss to Magic
Boston, MA– The three game win streak of the Boston Celtics came to an end last night when the team lost to the Orlando Magic in their last home game of the regular season, by a score of 116-108. It was a win the Celtics would have obviously liked to have, but there is no denying that the Magic needed the win much more. This win secured Orlando their first trip to the playoffs since 2012, so it's definitely safe to say that the Steve Clifford-coached Magic were playing with a much greater intensity than Boston.
The game was Boston's for a majority of the first half, before Orlando went on a run that continued into the second half and eventually brought the Magic's lead to 14 points. Thanks to key three pointers from Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown and 57 points off the bench, the Celtics slowly chipped at Orlando's lead and eventually tied the game, but a 26 point heat check from Terrence Ross and big games from Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier eventually led the Magic to victory and a playoff spot.
Irving led the way for Boston with 23 points, but it was not enough and the loss officially left the Celtics in the four seed position for the Eastern Conference bracket. A win could have given them a shot at the three seed, but the loss clinched the four seed spot and sewed up a first round series with the Indiana Pacers for Boston.
The loss also resulted in injuries for some key players; it was a costly effort for the Celtics. Jayson Tatum left the game against the Magic early and did not return after suffering a left shin contusion. He is currently labeled as day to day. Also day to day is Marcus Smart, who left the game after a collision with Vucevic. Diagnosed with a strained oblique, Smart was unable to play through the ailment.
Likely to be lacking their full strength, the Celtics will play their final game of the regular season tomorrow night on the road against the Washington Wizards.