Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 12, 2019
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
ORLANDO – The Boston Celtics will try to bounce back from their most lopsided loss of the season when they continue a three-game road trip at the Orlando Magic on Saturday. Following a 4-0 homestand in which they outscored opponents by an average of 20.5 points, the Celtics opened the trip with a 115-99 loss at Miami on Thursday.
Boston recorded at least 30 assists in five consecutive games before producing 20 against the Heat, who also enjoyed an easy night on the other end of the floor by making 18-of-39 3-pointers. “They really, really shot it and made big ones when we came back in the second half to stymie that,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters. “But that’s a result of being comfortable all night.” The Magic will be eager to play on their home floor after capping a 1-5 homestand with a 106-93 loss at Utah on Wednesday. Saturday’s tilt begins a stretch in which Orlando – which has lost 12 of 17 overall – plays eight of 12 at home.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCS Boston, FS Florida (Orlando)
ABOUT THE CELTICS (25-16): Boston was able to trim a 25-point deficit down to eight at one point in the third quarter and much of the spark came from rookie center Robert Williams, who saw the team outscore the Heat by 15 points in his 14 minutes of action. “I feel like our energy was down tonight,” Williams told reporters. “It wasn’t what it needed to be coming from this team. So I just tried to bring energy and get open shots for our scorers.” Williams made his only shot and chipped in four rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot, while starting center Al Horford was 1-for-8 from the floor and finished with a minus-26 rating, the worst plus/minus mark of his Celtics career.
ABOUT THE MAGIC (17-24): Orlando blew three double-digit leads in losses on the road trip, including a 21-point advantage in Wednesday’s loss to the Jazz, and it hopes to rediscover some toughness at home. “[We’ve] got to be more gritty,” forward Aaron Gordon told reporters Wednesday. “We weren’t gritty enough. When they’re scoring, we can’t let that affect our offense. We got to cut the water off and continue to play our game regardless of the score.” D.J. Augustin led the way offensively with 23 points while fellow guard Evan Fournier, who averages 14.7 points, had a season-low one point and failed to make a shot (0-for-8) for the first time since Jan. 4, 2016.
1. Orlando won the first meeting this season at Boston by a 93-90 margin behind 24 points and 12 rebounds by C Nikola Vucevic.
2. Magic C Mo Bamba (foot) missed Wednesday’s loss and is day-to-day.
3. Celtics PG Kyrie Irving scored 22 points Thursday and is shooting 52.3 percent in three games since returning from an eye issue.