Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics Preview
While we are now in the final week of the NBA season, both the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics have plenty to play for in tonight’s matchup as the Celtics would love to lock up home-court advantage in their first-round playoff series and the Magic are still trying to make sure they’re playing in the postseason after a late-season run took them from outside the playoff picture to possibly extend their season.
The Celtics are 48-32 and are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, with a razor-thin one-game lead over the Indiana Pacers, who they’ll likely be playing in the first round. Boston has won their last three games and are 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Magic are 40-40 and are tied with the Brooklyn Nets for sixth in the East. They have a half-game lead on the Detroit Pistons. Orlando has won their last two games and are 8-2 in their last 10 games.
In their last matchup, back on January 12, the Magic won 105-103. Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 28 points, while Kyrie Irving paced Boston with 25 points and six assists.
Time: 7:30pm ET
Arena: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Channel: FSFL, NBCSB
Orlando Magic Starting Lineup
As if things weren’t already close in the race for the final playoff seeds in the Eastern Conference, Orlando decided to throw a wrench in everyone’s plans and make it a five-team race for the final three spots. Just as their Florida neighbors in Miami seemed primed to extend Dwyane Wade’s last NBA season, the Magic have won eight of their last 10 as Miami and the Detroit Pistons have been on losing streaks.
“We have to understand that while we’re obviously close, nothing is finished yet. We have to take care of these next two games,” Magic center Nikola Vucevic said. “We’re going to have to bring a good energy to get the job done.”
A Magic win tonight could help to cement the Magic’s place in the postseason. In their most recent game on Friday night. the Magic turned on the pressure in a 149-113 drubbing of the Atlanta Hawks. The Magic had three players score 25 points, led by Vucevic, who also had 11 rebounds. Evan Fournier and Terrance Ross also scored 25 points.
Jonathan Isaac scored 18 points and DJ Augustin added 13 points and seven assists.
After tonight’s matchup against the Celtics, the Magic finish the season against the Charlotte Hornets, who also have an outside shot at making the playoffs.
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
In a first-round playoff matchup on Friday night, the Celtics blasted the Indiana Pacers 117-97, utilizing a big second quarter rally to create some space that the Pacers just could not come back from.
The Celtics had six players score in double figures, including Gordon Hayward, who scored 21 points in 26 minutes off the bench.
“That’s a lot of what I did in Utah,” Hayward said. “Finishing in the lane there with different types of finishes: off one foot, two feet, fading back, leaning in, different things like that. So some of it’s just kind of slowly coming back.”
Hayward is starting to round back into form at the perfect time. Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 22 points and Kyrie Irving had 17 points and six assists.
Al Horford, Aron Baynes, and Marcus Morris Sr.all had 11 points.
Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics Betting Odds
The Celtics are five-point favorites to win tonight’s game at home. Boston is 28-12 at TD Garden and 42-22 as the favorite. Orlando is 15-24 on the road and 21-30 as the underdog.
The over/under is 217 points and the Celtics are -200 on the moneyline.
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