A pair of teams in the Eastern Conference playoff picture take the floor down in the Sunshine State. The Boston Celtics are on the road as they make the trip to face the Orlando Magic Friday night. Boston cruised to a 119-95 win over Memphis at home Wednesday night in their previous contest. Orlando was knocked off 120-114 at home by Oklahoma City Wednesday night in their previous game. The Celtics own a 63-51 edge in the all-time regular season series between the teams but the Magic took all three matchups last season, including a 116-108 road win in the most recent matchup on April 7, 2019.
Boston Celtics Seek Third Straight WinBoston earned their second straight win as they put the boots to the Grizzlies to earn the victory. The Celtics entered Thursday second in the Atlantic Division, half a game behind the Raptors for the top spot. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the team stood fourth in the Eastern Conference, nine games behind the Bucks for the top spot. Boston trailed by two after the opening quarter before drubbing Memphis 33-17 in the second quarter and 41-19 in the third quarter to blow the game open. The Celtics shot 50.6 percent from the field, including 14 of 32 from three-point range, and forced 19 turnovers in the win. Jayson Tatum led Boston with 23 points and seven rebounds in the win.
To the RACK 💥 pic.twitter.com/nEvByIekAX— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 23, 2020
The Celtics enter this contest ranked 11th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 112.5 points per game this season. Boston is 14th in rebounding by pulling down 45.7 rebounds per contest and stand 18th in assists with 23.5 dimes per game. On the season, Boston is third in the league in scoring defense by allowing 105.4 points per contest. The Celtics are led offensively by Kemba Walker, who puts up 21.7 points, four rebounds and five assists per game on the year. Jayson Tatum puts up 21.5 points plus 6.9 boards a night while Jaylen Brown (20 points, 6.8 rebounds), Gordon Hayward (16.1 points, 5.9 boards) and Marcus Smart (12.4 points, 4.7 assists) are solid contributors offensively. Boston is tied for 15th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 46.1 percent from the floor as a team on the year. The Celtics are 12th in three-pointers per game as they drain 12.1 triples per night while they rank tied for 12th by hitting 35.7 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Tatum strained his groin against Memphis while Kanter suffered a foot injury. Both are day to day as of now.
Orlando Magic Looking to Get Back on TrackOrlando lost for the third time in four games as they were dropped by Oklahoma City at home in their last contest. The Magic entered Thursday second in the Southeast Division, 10.5 games behind the Heat for the division lead. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, Orlando stood seventh, four games clear of ninth-place Detroit to remain in the playoff picture. The Magic trailed by three after the opening quarter, by nine at the half and by 11 with 8:40 to play before regrouping. Orlando closed to within one with under five minutes to play but ran out of steam. The Magic shot 47.8 percent from the field, including 14 of 35 from three-point range, but allowed Oklahoma City to shoot 60.5 percent from the floor. Terrence Ross led Orlando with 26 points off the bench in the loss.
🎥 Postgame highlights vs. OKC 🎥 pic.twitter.com/cEZxW7A24f— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) January 23, 2020
The Magic is 29th in the league in scoring offense with 104 points per game so far this season. Orlando is 18th in the league in rebounding with 45 boards per contest and 24th with 22.6 assists per game this season. The Magic is first in the league in scoring defense as they allow only 104.3 points per contest. Nikola Vucevic contributes a team-leading 19.2 points plus 11.1 rebounds per contest this season. Evan Fournier is second on the team with 18.9 points per game this season. Terrence Ross (13.7 points), Markelle Fultz (11.9 points) and D.J. Augustin (10.7 points, 4.7 assists) have contributed on the offensive end. The Magic needs more consistency from Aaron Gordon (13.4 points, 7.2 rebounds), Al-Farouq Aminu and Jonathan Isaac (12 points, 6.9 rebounds) in order to have success. Orlando is tied for 28th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 43.4 percent from the floor as a team. The Magic are tied for 27th in the league in threes per game as they knock down 10.4 triples per contest while the team is 27th in three-point shooting by converting 33.8 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.
Aminu is out indefinitely with a torn meniscus. Isaac suffered a severe knee sprain and bone contusion against the Wizards January 1 and is expected to miss a couple of months. It was reported that the team received a disabled player exception for Aminu, though they are still awaiting clarification on Isaac. Augustin suffered a knee injury against the Kings on January 13. He is expected to be re-evaluated in early to mid-February after being diagnosed with left knee bone irritation.
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