It wasn’t the hottest night of the season in a scoring sense, but the Boston Celtics nonetheless handled their business on Sunday night against the Orlando Magic. The Celtics connected on just 28% of their three-point attempts, while Jayson Tatum struggled through a 6-of-18 shooting night. Picking up the slack were Jaylen Brown and Dennis Schröder, who combined for 48 points.
But it was Boston’s defense that once again guided them to victory. The Magic shot just 36% from the field, including 5-of-25 from three-point range, and the Celtics walked away with the 33-point victory, pushing their win streak to five games and completing their second consecutive sweep of Florida basketball teams.
The sparse scoring was evident from the outset, as both teams laid enough bricks to build the foundation of a house in the first quarter. The Celtics’ lack of shooting reared its head from the get-go, as they missed their first six threes and finished 1-of-13 from deep through one quarter. Thankfully, the stout defense that has powered the 11-4 record across their last 15 games held firm, holding the Magic to just five made baskets, and the Celtics led 21-15 entering the second quarter.
Ladies and gentleman, Robert Williams pic.twitter.com/9qZluy7P5O— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 6, 2022
The Celtics finally started to grease the wheels of their offense as the second quarter progressed, with Tatum and Schröder combining for a trio of three-pointers to break free of what had become a 1-of-15 start from range. Orlando fought back in the paint, pushing Boston around with tough efforts from youngsters Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. The Celtics struggled somewhat with Orlando’s physicality, but as the Magic struggled to connect from range themselves (1-of-12 from three in the first half), Boston edged ahead. They entered the halftime break enjoying a 49-39 lead.
The second half began with four quick Boston points, prompting a timeout from Magic coach Jamahl Mosley less than two minutes into the half. The pace of the game ticked up noticeably as the teams returned to the court, flying up and down the court and trading buckets much more quickly than in the offensively stilted first half. The increased momentum didn’t work in Orlando’s favor, however. Schröder connected on a couple jumpers late in the quarter, and the Celtics took a 17-point advantage into the fourth quarter, 78-61.
Perhaps most importantly, though, Jaylen Brown dunked Mo Bamba into the core of the Earth.
MY GOODNESS JAYLEN BROWN pic.twitter.com/4UY5xRXmMW— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 7, 2022
The Celtics stretched their lead into the 20s early in the fourth quarter, and apart from a successful Ime Udoka challenge, the rest of the game was a mostly perfunctory affair. The starters sat down with five minutes remaining, and that was all she wrote.
Next up, the Celtics travel to Brooklyn for a battle against the Nets with Eastern Conference standings on the line, this Tuesday at 7:30 PM EST on TNT.
For more postgame coverage of Boston’s blowout win over Orlando, tune into the the Garden Report Postgame Show LIVE on CLNS Media right after the game. Join A Sherrod Blakely, Bobby Manning, Josue Pavon, Jimmy Toscano and host John Zannis for a full breakdown.