Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, January 24, 2020
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
ORLANDO – The Boston Celtics have barely been tested in back-to-back wins, but they have some injury concerns heading into tonight’s visit to the Orlando Magic. Forward Jayson Tatum suffered a groin injury and did not return during Wednesday’s 119-95 win over Memphis.
The Celtics led the game by as many as 38 points and Tatum needed only 26 minutes to score 23 points prior to the injury. “I thought our guys really dug in on the defensive end of the floor,” coach Brad Stevens told reporters. “Then (Tatum) scored a bunch of buckets there in a row and pushed it out. Our other guys were struggling to get any real rhythm offensively. He kind of got us going. Then in the third quarter every one of those guys picked up where he left off.” The Magic returned home from a 3-3 road trip to drop a 120-114 decision to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. Nikola Vucevic notched his third straight double-double in the loss with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
TIME: 7 p.m. ET. TV: FS Florida, NBCS Boston
ABOUT THE CELTICS (29-14): Boston had 31 assists in Monday’s 139-107 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers and it tied a season high with 32 versus Memphis, with 11 players recording at least one. “You can feel the last two games the way the ball’s whipping around. That’s who we have to be,” Stevens told the media. “I’ve been really encouraged by that the last two games.” All this came with Jaylen Brown, who averages 20 points per contest, sitting out Wednesday’s tilt due to a sprained ankle and center Enes Kanter joining Tatum in the locker room with a foot issue.
ABOUT THE MAGIC (21-24): Orlando prides itself on its defense while holding opponents to an NBA-low 104.3 points, but Oklahoma City had few issues scoring Wednesday night while shooting 60.5 percent – a high for a Magic opponent this season. “If we defend like that, it’s going to be a long season,” coach Steve Clifford told reporters. “We got crushed on the ball, we got crushed on pick and rolls and our interior players at the rim were late all night. With the game on the line, we fouled and fouled and fouled. You have to play with both intensity and purpose and we had neither.” Terrence Ross tried to keep Orlando in it with 26 points off the bench and he is averaging 23.5 over his last two games while making 10-of-19 3-pointers.
- Magic PG D.J. Augustin (knee) has missed five straight games.
- Celtics PG Kemba Walker was held to eight points on 2-of-9 shooting against the Grizzlies after producing 60 points on 22-of-36 from the floor over his previous two games.
- Vucevic averaged 21.7 points and 12.3 rebounds to lead Orlando a three-game sweep in last season’s series.