Two nights after dropping to the lowly Orlando Magic at TD Backyard, the Celtics suffered the identical destiny Sunday, falling 95-92 at TD Backyard in one in all their worst offensive showings of the season.
This one got here with out Jayson Tatum – sidelined for private causes – but it surely was nonetheless fairly stunning. The Celtics have now misplaced 4 of 5, and for the primary time this season, it’s truthful to be barely involved in regards to the C’s.
Jaylen Brown paced the Celtics (22-9) with 24 factors and 14 rebounds, Marcus Sensible added 15 factors and 7 assists and Grant Williams added 14 factors and 6 boards.
The primary half wasn’t variety to the Celtics, as they fell behind, 26-23, although one quarter and 50-41 at halftime.
Magic star Paolo Banchero erupted for 22 of his 31 factors within the first half alone. He hit all 4 of his 3-point makes an attempt and was clearly the perfect participant on the ground because the Magic (11-20) pulled forward.
Sensible, Brown and Derrick White paced the Celtics with eight apiece within the half, however the Celtics shot simply 27.9 p.c from the ground and 20.8 p.c from distance. Their shot choice was questionable at finest, and so they had been in a daze the majority of the way in which.
The Celtics briefly took a 31-30 lead with 5:16 left within the half, however Banchero buried a 3 moments later that ignited a 20-10 prolonged run earlier than the break. The Magic turned it over simply 3 times within the half and seemed simply as comfy as they did Friday, once they shot 46.2 p.c and received, 117-109.
With Tatum out, it was cheap to anticipate the offense to take a little bit of a dip – simply how a lot of a dip, nevertheless, was stunning. It felt just like the Celtics ought to have been down 10 to fifteen on the half, however they managed to maintain it to 9.
Within the second half, the Celtics settled into extra of a rhythm and moved the ball nearer to the way in which they’ve many of the season. Sensible fueled a 16-6 run to begin the third, as Boston took a 57-56 edge.
Brown then fired up the gang with back-to-back dunks, because the Celtics took a 71-68 lead into the fourth quarter.
The groups traded buckets nicely into the fourth, because the Magic made it clear they weren’t going to go down quietly. Panchero buried a 3 to present Orlando an 88-87 edge with 3:28 remaining,
Franz Wagner canned a clutch 3 to present the Magic a four-point lead, then Malcolm Brogdon responded with an enormous 3 of his personal to slice it to 93-92 with 56 seconds remaining.
Sensible dove on the ground in basic Sensible style to safe a free ball with 9.8 seconds left. Grant Williams inbounded the ball in Brown’s route, however the move by no means acquired to him.
Wagner calmly hit each free throws, then Williams missed a contested 3 as time expired. The Celtics had their probabilities however could not rally in opposition to one of many worst groups within the NBA.