Avery Bradley led the Boston Celtics to a 120-105 win against the Orlando Magic on Monday, sending Orlando to its third straight defeat. Bradley erupted in the third quarter, scoring 10 of his 24 points on 4-of-4 shooting as Boston extended its lead to as much as 15 points.
Arron Afflalo scored 18 points to lead six Magic players in double figures, while Victor Oladipo scored 10 of his 17 in the fourth quarter, shooting 4-of-10 from the field, with the outcome no longer in question. Nik Vučević had a quietly effective performance, with 15 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and three steals. His defensive activity was a plus in a game filled with minuses from his team at that end. Perhaps no indictment of Orlando's defense is stronger than the fact that Boston shot 25-of-33 (75.6 percent) in the painted area on Monday, with second-year big man Jared Sullinger going 7-of-8 for most of the damage.
The Celtics' win against Orlando on Friday was a hard-fought, low-scoring game they had to grind out with defense and transition buckets; in contrast, they lit up the Magic's poor defense Monday with 60 percent shooting overall, using decisive passing and just plain good shot-making to cruise to victory.
The Magic's 19 turnovers--four from Afflalo, who is usually surer-handed--led to 22 Celtics points.
Between their own sloppy offense and porous defense, the Magic can't take many positives from this game. The bottom-line lesson here--that the team can ill-afford to commit live-ball turnovers--isn't a new one. A particular bugaboo is Magic players simply throwing passes wide of their targets; it's not an issue of making poor reads, but just not hitting the intended recipient squarely in the hands.
There's no shame losing to a team that plays as cohesively as Boston does, especially not on the road. But Orlando should have been more up to the challenge tonight than it was.