Rapid Reaction: Magic 93, Celtics 91
THE NITTY GRITTY
Jeff Green lived at the free throw line in the second half and scored a team-high 22 points (13 of 15 at the stripe), but a late miss helped Orlando generate the winning points as Boston fell for the 14th time in its last 16 games. Kris Humphries added 18 points and 12 rebounds, but got whistled for a loose-ball foul late that helped Orlando emerge. Avery Bradley added 18 points on 7-of-21 shooting, but got caught with the ball in the final seconds and couldn't get off a shot that could have forced overtime. Arron Afflalo scored a team-high 20 points for Orlando, while adding 13 rebounds and six assists, and Tobias Harris added 18 points, including the winning freebies with 10.1 seconds to play. Old friend Glen Davis registered 17 points and seven rebounds for the Magic.
In his second game back off ACL surgery, Rondo played 21 minutes, 20 seconds. He was 3-of-10 shooting for six points with six rebounds, four assists, a steal and three turnovers. He hit a big jumper that had the Celtics out front with 1:16 to go, but it wasn't enough.
The last 18 minutes were a nauseating seesaw ride with neither team leading by more than four. The entire fourth quarter, in fact, was a one-possession game. The Celtics were down two with 35 seconds to go when Brad Stevens drew up a pretty little lob play in which Green took an arcing inbound feed from Gerald Wallace and muscled in a hoop while being fouled. He missed the free throw, however, and Orlando scrambled to call a (questionable) timeout after referees deemed them to have corralled a loose ball on the floor. Humphries got whistled for a loose-ball foul with 10.1 seconds to go on the other end and Harris made a pair of freebies. Boston never got off a final shot.
Rookie Vitor Faverani and newcomers Joel Anthony and Chris Johnson were healthy DNPs for Boston. ... The Celtics again did a nice job of limiting the damage off their turnovers, giving up just seven points off 10 giveaways. Orlando turned the ball over 17 times for 20 points. ... The Celtics shot a gruesome 36.7 percent from the floor (33 of 90) and just 23.1 percent beyond the 3-point arc (3 of 13). ... Jerryd Bayless departed in the third quarter with a sprained toe on his left foot.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics (14-28) are tied with Utah for the fourth-worst record in the league (only Milwaukee, Orlando and Philadelphia are worse). Boston takes Monday off before launching into a back-to-back against the Heat (Tuesday) and Wizards (Wednesday) to wrap up their three-game road trip. The Celtics return home with games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Brooklyn Nets on a brief stop back at TD Garden.
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