Brown, stellar defense leads Celtics past Magic 116-83
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 26 points and the Boston Celtics played solid defense in a 116-83 win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday night for their best fifth straight win of the season.
Boston limited Orlando to 35.8 percent shooting from the floor and 5 of 25 from 3-pointers. It was similar to their November game when the Celtics beat the Magic holding them to 79 points and 32.1% shooting — both season lows.
Dennis Schröder scored 23 points and hit four 3-pointers from the Boston bench, while Al Horford added 13 points and 11 rebounds for its 10th double-double. Jayson Tatum had 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, but he shot just 6 of 18. Brown, who scored a career-high 50 points against Orlando last month, had 10 of 22 shots.
Rookie Jalen Suggs had 17 points, six rebounds and five assists for Orlando, which fell to an NBA-worst 0-21 when failing to score 100 points.
Boston never trailed on Sunday and beat the Magic for the third time this season. The Celtics swept the season streak for a third straight year to extend their winning streak to nine against Orlando.
Wendall Carter Jr. scored 14 points for Orlando, which was playing less than 24 hours after being beaten 135-115 at home by Memphis. The Magic followed their only two-game home winning streak of the season with two straight losses.
Boston extended its 10-point halftime lead to 19 in the third quarter by choking Orlando defensively. The Magic missed 18 of 20 3-point attempts in the first three quarters of the game against the Celtics’ active defense.
Boston mostly struggled offensively early on, but blocked the Magic at the other end and led 49-39 at halftime. Orlando only managed 15 points in the first quarter and shot a dismal 31.7% from the floor in the first half.
Celtics: Marcus Smart came in third in the NBA on Sunday in steals at 1.87 per game, but his effectiveness as a defenseman extends beyond that. He also deflected 140 passes, 64 more than his next closest teammate. He also leads the team in charges taken with seven. … Boston missed its first six 3-pointers and 14 of 15 tries from beyond the arc. … Tatum was held scoreless in the first quarter and his first points didn’t come until 15 minutes into the game.
Magic: Mo Bamba played despite spraining his right ankle again in Saturday’s home loss to Memphis. The injury has bothered Bamba for the past three weeks. … Rookie Franz Wagner is one of 10 NBA players to appear in every game for his team this season. Moreover, he is the only rookie not to miss any match. … Orlando made just five of his first 21 shots and missed all four of his 3-point tries in the first quarter. … The Magic’s only 3-pointer in the first 24 minutes was a low for a first half this season.
Celtics: Play in Brooklyn on Tuesday night.
Magic: Play Portland on Tuesday night.
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