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Tatum, Hayward and Brown pace Celtics over Magic, 116-100

Boston respond to Orlando’s third quarter charge led by our wing trio.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics hosted the Orlando Magic Wednesday night ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. With both Marcus Smart Kemba Walker ruled out prior to the game, Gordon Hayward played the point forward once more for Boston. This allowed rookie Romeo Langford to start his first game outside of the Maine Red Claws. Langford showed his defensive nous early with a nice block on a shifty Evan Fournier drive attempt, which led to a Jaylen Brown pull up on the other end.

Gordon Hayward started aggressive driving and scoring over Orlando Big man Nikola Vucevic, he also recognised the mismatch with this spin and floater over Michael Carter-Williams.

Hayward led Boston to a 32-24 first quarter lead as Brad Stevens gave significant early minutes to the deep bench throughout. Javonte Green was used mainly as a Terrence Ross stopper and with Daniel Theis also sidelined tonight, rookie Grant Williams played significant minutes after his impactful performance in Atlanta two nights earlier.

Enes Kanter gave the Celtics some great minutes in the second quarter, stripping Vucevic inside the key on what would be a certain two points. A few plays later down the other end, Enes showed some exceptional passing and court vision as he laid down a masterful bounce pass to Jayson Tatum who was all alone on a cut into the key for the highlight reel, one-handed flush.

For the Magic Aaron Gordon was a real handful, he kept the Magic close at halftime 57-56 with 16 points as Orlando shot 54% from the field. As the third quarter got underway Orlando stuck close on the scoreboard as both teams struggled out of the gates. It would take a 3-pointer from Evan Fournier to break the deadlock as the Magic took a lead as the French guard was a perfect 4-4 from downtown.

Enter Gordon Hayward (23 pts, 7 rebs, 7 asts), who had a tremendous stretch in the third quarter involving himself in everything good for Boston spearheading a charge with a mix of heady passing and scoring. Hayward had a stellar third quarter with 12pts, 4 rebounds and 3 assists as the Celtics flipped the switch to regain the lead with one quarter to play.

Not to be outdone, Jayson Tatum (33 pts, 5 rebs) had really nice scoring night with excellent soft touch around the basket and the sweet stroke from range on 4-9 from three. All that was left was for Jaylen Brown (18 pts, 5 rebs) to punctuate the win with a nasty tomahawk to cap off a good win against a scrappy and hard working Orlando outfit.

Tatum, Hayward and Brown would contribute a total of 74 points. Brown twisted his ankle late and left the court as Boston extend the win streak to 5 and next host the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

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