Celtics welcome Magic for Beantown matinee
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Celtics will try to halt a four-game losing streak Sunday afternoon when they welcome the Orlando Magic to TD Bank Garden.
This is Sunday's only game as the NBA is getting out of the way for the spotlight to shine on the Super Bowl
The C's have also dropped four straight in Beantown as things have been bleak for Boston. The Celtics have dropped seven of eight and 16 of their last 18 to fall to the fourth-worst record in the NBA.
Yet, the Celtics brim with optimism as the calendar turns.
"We only play 11 games, I think, this month of February. A lot of winnable games," said guard Rajon Rondo after Friday's practice. "I don't think we can use the excuse of beating ourselves anymore. We have to come out and execute and try to get some wins. We're not too far out of the playoffs, and we'll keep hope alive."
Orlando hasn't been much better. The Magic just ended a three-game losing streak on Friday night, but they are just 3-15 in their last 18 and have dropped 10 straight on the road.
The Magic got back into the winner's circle on Friday night at home with a 113-102 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Arron Afflalo scored 21 points to lead the Magic, while Nikola Vucevic added 12 points. Tobias Harris contributed 18 in a reserve role and Victor Oladipo scored 15 points with seven assists in the win. E'Twaun Moore and Maurice Harkless added 13 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench in Orlando's 16th consecutive home victory over the Bucks.
"It's good for us," Oladipo said. "We played well as a team, we did a lot of good things. We kind of took our foot off the gas in the fourth quarter, but other than that we played a pretty good game."
The Magic complete a short road trip Monday in Indianapolis.
The Celtics' most recent loss was maybe their most heart-breaking.
Evan Turner got a tough, off-balanced jumper to fall at the buzzer as the Philadelphia 76ers edged the Boston Celtics, 95-94, in a battle of the bottom two teams in the Atlantic Division Wednesday.
"I thought we got back and set our defense pretty well in that situation. A great player made a great play," Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said of the final play.
Rondo sat out the second game of a back-to-back after scoring seven points on 3-of-13 shooting in Boston's loss to the Knicks on Tuesday.
Jared Sullinger led the way for the Celtics with 24 points and 17 rebounds. Jeff Green added 18 points, followed by 13 from Kris Humphries, 11 from Brandon Bass and 10 out of Jerryd Bayless.
Avery Bradley will return to the lineup after missing time with a sprained right ankle.
The Celtics have taken two of three from the Magic this season, including the only game contested in Boston. Orlando's win on Jan. 19 snapped a 10-game losing streak in this series. The C's have won six in a row at home in the regular season.
02/02 10:43:35 ET