This season the Boston Celtics have shown flashes for a few minutes here and there that they were an elite team defensively.
But what they did in the second half to the Orlando?
- Highlights: Boston Celtics 117, Orlando Magic 87
- Heinsohn: Jaylen Brown has potential to be next Celtics superstar
- Brown and Rozier seize opportunity, provide spark off Celtics bench
- Brown fires up Celtics teammates with tomahawk dunk over Vucevic
- Bradley steps up to lead Celtics to 117-87 blowout win over Magic
Boston (13-9) put on a defensive clinic that overwhelmed the Magic on every level imaginable as the Celtics cruised to a 117-87 thumping of Orlando.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has been even-keeled when it comes to discussing his team’s play, win or lose.
But even he couldn’t contain how pleased he was to see the way his players defended in the third and fourth quarters.
“On defense, the second half was as good as we’ve guarded all year,” Stevens told reporters afterwards. “Really focused, really urgent. I felt good about that.”
Setting the tone for the Celtics was Avery Bradley who certainly was impressive with his scoring.
But as much as he knew the team would need a boost offensively with Isaiah Thomas (right groin) out, that wasn’t his approach to the game.
“I had a defensive mindset coming into tonight’s game,” Bradley told CSN’s Abby Chin following the win. “Just trying to get my teammates to playing the right way so we could come out and get the ‘W’ tonight. I’m happy with how all the guys played. We all played hard, and we played as a team.”
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Wednesday night’s game.
Bradley picked up the scoring with Isaiah Thomas (right groin) out for Wednesday, leading the team with a game-high 23 points to go with four rebounds and three assists.
Arguably the biggest spark off the bench for Boston, Brown had one of his best games as a Celtic. He finished with 13 points which included a dunk over Nikola Vucevic that quieted the Amway Center crowd and just as important, provided a nice energy boost for Boston.
He had the hot hand at the end of the second quarter, but was a non-factor in the second half as Augustin finished with 15 points – all of which came in the first half.
This was a great confidence-booster for Rozier as well as his teammates to see him have a big game and make the most of his increased opportunity to play. He finished with a career-high 16 points off the Celtics bench on 6-for-13 shooting with five rebounds.
It doesn’t matter if he starts or comes off the bench. Vucevic is always a double-double threat on the floor. He finished with 12 points off the bench along with 10 rebounds for his 13th double-double this season.
Orlando second half defense
The Celtics got pretty much whatever they wanted, when they wanted it in the second half against the Magic defense which pulled a major disappearing act. Boston shot 61 percent from the field in the second half, and 45.4 percent from 3-point range.