BOSTON -- Shortly before tip-off, the Boston Celtics had a pretty good idea that they would have home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs regardless of what happened against the Orlando Magic.
And as the Magic surged ahead in the third and early part of the fourth, it seemed as though Boston was going to take the loss to the Magic and call it a day.
The Celtics fought back, giving themselves multiple shots at taking the lead in the fourth.
But the Magic, fighting to just secure a spot in the playoffs, made all the big plays down the stretch in handing Boston a 116-108 loss.
A loss by Indiana earlier meant that Boston would have home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. But with Boston’s loss, it also meant that they were locked into the No. 4 seed where they will open up hosting the Pacers.
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Sunday night’s loss to Orlando.
Nikola Vucevic: One of the game’s more dominant big men this season, Nikola Vucevic was too much for the Celtics to deal with all game long. He would finish with 25 points along with 12 rebounds and four assists.
Kyrie Irving: As the Celtics heated up in the fourth quarter, Kyrie Irving was once again a major part of their success. He would lead the Celtics with 23 points to go with five rebounds and six assists.
Al Horford: From the game’s earliest moments, Al Horford was setting the tone with his strong play which included him scoring 10 points in his first 11 minutes of court time. Horford would finish the game with 18 points, four rebounds and seven assists.
Terrence Ross: One of the more under-rated Sixth Men in the NBA this season, Ross’ red-hot shooting in the third quarter played a pivotal role in the Magic pulling away for the win. He would finish the night with a game-high 26 points off the bench.
Daniel Theis: A slew of big plays defensively in the fourth quarter gave Boston a shot at the victory. He would finish with six points, four rebounds and two blocked shots.
Gordon Hayward: The strong play of Gordon Hayward continues for the Boston Celtics, as he came off the bench and scored 10 of his 16 points in the first half. He would also add five rebounds and four assists.
D.J. Augustin: The veteran point guard had one of those sneaky-good nights as he finished with a double-double of 11 points and 13 assists while grabbing seven rebounds.
Jaylen Brown: Boston’s fourth-quarter surge from being down double-digits in the quarter was fueled by Jaylen Brown who returned from a three-game absence (lower back injury) to score 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting.
Celtics’ points allowed off turnovers: Boston allowed Orlando to make the most of the Celtics miscues, converting Boston’s 14 turnovers into 22 points.
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