Magic Stuns Celtics with a Sixth Straight Win in NBA Tournament Thriller!


Magic Stuns Celtics with a Sixth Straight Win in NBA Tournament Thriller!
© Getty Images Sport/Hector Vivas

The Orlando Magic clinched their sixth consecutive win by defeating the Boston Celtics 113-96 on Friday. This victory in the NBA's In-Season Tournament brings a significant shake-up to the Eastern Conference's Group C. Moritz Wagner led the charge with an impressive 27 points, while Paolo Banchero added 23 points and seven rebounds, contributing to Orlando's strong finish in group play at 3-1.

Reflecting on the team's turnaround since their initial 20-point loss at Brooklyn, Banchero remarked, “I think the Brooklyn game, it was kind of frustrating because it was like we didn't realize it was a tournament game and we felt like we just handed them the game”.

He highlighted the team's increased focus and determination in subsequent games, which has been evident in their performance. With Boston and Brooklyn yet to complete their pool play, the Magic's fate in the tournament hinges on upcoming game results and point differentials.

Orlando's current plus-22 differential puts them in a strong position to qualify for the knockout rounds, either as the Group C winner or as a wild card.

Celtics Struggle as Magic Dominates

The Celtics, led by Jayson Tatum with 26 points, faced challenges throughout the game.

Jaylen Brown, despite an initial surge, struggled with his shooting, and the team as a whole faltered in their 3-point attempts, making only 7 of 29. This shooting inefficiency, coupled with being outrebounded 48-31, underscored a night of difficulties for Boston.

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla expressed his frustration, particularly with the team's transition defense and offensive rebounds. The Celtics' struggles were compounded by the loss of Kristaps Porzingis in the third quarter to calf tightness and Jrue Holiday's absence due to a sprained ankle.

Despite these setbacks, Tatum emphasized the need for resilience: “Obviously we’re a much better team when everybody’s healthy. But...we can’t use that as an excuse for why we didn’t win the game.

We’ve still got to figure out a way to get the job done”. Moritz Wagner's season-high point total and Cole Anthony's contribution of 16 points and six assists were pivotal in the Magic's bench amassing 57 points. This bench strength has been a key factor in the Magic's recent success, including their win over Denver.