BOSTON – With two quarters in the book, the Boston Celtics seem well on their way to another blowout against the Orlando Magic.
Boston jumped on them early and never let up which set into motion a first half that ended with the Celtics on top 68-48.
Many of the keys to Wednesday’s 120-109 win over Houston were once again on display by Boston.
They continued to play a more physical brand of basketball which once again led to the opponent getting into the bonus early.
But it also led to more transition scoring opportunities via turnovers or rebounds, the kind of things that Boston has to do to continue their ascension up the Eastern Conference standings with the only teams ahead of them being defending champ Cleveland and the Toronto Raptors who have been on a wicked slide of late.
Orlando, losers in 11 of their last 14 games, held their own for the first couple of minutes.
With the score tied at 15, Boston went on to close out the first quarter with a 24-9 run to lead 39-24 after the first.
The second quarter was more of the same, with the Celtics getting major contributions from just about every player who stepped on the floor.
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the First half.
After not playing in Boston’s last 11 games, Zeller quickly made up for lost time with a strong showing in the first half. He had 10 points while making all five of his shots from the field.
The 7-footer left little doubt as to why the Boston Celtics have given some thought to trading for him. At the half, he had 12 points and five rebounds and for the most part was the only consistent threat to the Celtics defense.
Olynyk was giving the Magic the business at both ends of the floor. In addition to scoring 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting, Olynyk also grabbed five rebounds.
His game has steadily improved from one year to the next, which allows him to do more than just dunk the ball. At the half, he had 11 points which included a 3-pointer.
You would not have known he ever played for the Celtics by the way the crowd showed little emotion, good or bad, towards him when he was introduced. And then Green went out there and did literally nothing while missing all four of his shot attempts from the field but did make a pair of free throws – not exactly a boo-worthy performance.
A non-factor all game, Ibaka missed six of his seven shot attempts in the first half and didn’t grab a single rebound in 14-plus minutes on the floor.