NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, April 13th (All times Eastern)
Boston Celtics (40-39) at Orlando Magic (20-59), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics will try to end a two-game losing streak and get some momentum before the playoffs on Saturday when they visit the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center.
The Celtics fell at home Wednesday night to the Brooklyn Nets, then lost in Miami, 109-101, on Friday night to the defending champion Heat.
Boston went into battle Friday without future Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The Heat reunited the Big Three -- LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh -- for the first time since March 29 against New Orleans.
The Heat used a huge second quarter to erase a Celtics' 10-point lead after quarter No. 1, outscoring Boston 41-23 during the second 12 minutes.
"I thought their subs beat our subs, if you want to just simplify it," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
Jeff Green scored a game-high 25 points on 10-for-17 shooting. Jordan Crawford (20), Courtney Lee (18) and Brandon Bass (17) also scored in double figures for Boston.
The Celtics are just about locked into the seventh seed. They trail the Chicago Bulls by three games for the sixth spot and are three ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks, who occupy the eighth seed.
Boston finishes the season with a home game against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, then a trip to Toronto on Wednesday.
The Orlando Magic trail the Celtics by 20 games for seventh. It's been a tough season in the Magic Kingdom. Orlando has the second-worst record in the league, but the Magic snapped a five-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 113-103 overtime win over the Bucks.
With J.J. Redick returning for the first time since a deadline trade, it was the players the Magic got back for the sharp-shooter who made a huge difference.
Tobias Harris scored 30 points and grabbed 19 rebounds. Doron Lamb netted 16 points thanks to 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point range and Beno Udrih tallied 13 points and 11 assists.
"It was a great win for us as a team to keep fighting until the end of the game. We stayed together as a team and a lot of guys stepped up," said Harris. "It's about time that we closed out a game. We've been so close and when we got down I was thinking, 'Man, it's deja vu again.' But we fought hard as a team and we really brought the defensive focus."
Nikola Vucevic contributed another huge performance with 30 points and 20 rebounds. It was his second consecutive game with at least 20-plus points and 20-plus rebounds.
Orlando hosts the Chicago Bulls on Monday, then closes out the campaign Wednesday in Miami.
The Celtics have won both meetings this season and have taken seven in a row against the Magic. Only two of those seven straight wins came in Orlando.
04/13 10:43:25 ET