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NBA Summer League 2013: Magic eke past Celtics, 95-88

Orlando's two rookies came up big in its Sunday victory.

Victor Oladipo and Romero Osby
Victor Oladipo and Romero Osby

Led by 2013 NBA Draft picks Victor Oladipo and Romero Osby, the Orlando Magic knocked off the Boston Celtics, 95-88, in their Orlando Pro Summer League opener on Sunday. Oladipo posted 18 points, six boards, seven assists, five steals, and six turnovers, while Osby came off Orlando's bench to contribute 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting to go with five boards.

Boston big man Kelly Olynyk had 25 points in 27 minutes, shooting 9-of-11 from the floor and 2-of-3 from deep, but he also committed six fouls and five turnovers.

Oladipo scored the Magic's first eight points of the game, with two three-pointers and a high-low reverse layup off a feed from second-year center Kyle O`Quinn.

Oladipo made a better impact defensively; he certainly lived up to his billing as a game-changing presence on that end of the floor. He had three steals in his first seven minutes of play, and none of them were particularly easy. After one Magic miss, Oladipo pressured Boston in the backcourt and deflected an outlet pass to himself. Then he tipped the ball to Doron Lamb for two points.

On another, he dug down on Darius Johnson-Odom and jarred the ball loose with Johnson-Odom unaware. The fast break led to Osby hitting DeQuan Jones for a spectacular, one-handed lob dunk.

Oladipo still needs work running the offense, but Orlando entrusted it to him on Sunday. On one first-half trip, he picked up his dribble well above the three-point arc before the play developed, an error he compounded by telegraphing his pass to O'Quinn; Boston picked it off. He's also susceptible to getting his dribble poked away; even if he eventually recovers the ball, losing it in the first place disrupts the Magic's offense and robs them of time.

Osby made an impression with his hustle and tenacity. Orlando's second-round Draft choice is slightly undersized to play power forward, which fact was highlighted when he had to defend Olynyk, a seven-footer, but he's quick and active at both ends.

Orlando trailed by four points after the first period after Jayson Granger drilled a three-pointer from the right corner just before the buzzer, but worked its way into the lead in the second period by feeding Nicholson on the left block. Working against Olynyk, a fellow Canadian, Nicholson showed a sweeping, right-handed hook which was not in his repertoire as a rookie. The next time Orlando fed him there, the Celtics doubled, and Nicholson dished the ball to Doron Lamb for three.

Olynyk punished the Magic with his outside shooting touch in conjunction with his dribble-drive game. The Gonzaga product shot 7-of-8 from the floor for 17 first-half points in just 12 minutes, and, predictably, Boston fell apart with him out of the game. In the final 4:25 of the half, Orlando outscored the Celtics, 10-6, with Boston shooting 1-of-7 from the floor with two turnovers in that span. The Magic were thus able to take a 47-42 lead into halftime.

Oladipo's work at point guard regressed in the second half as the Celtics applied more pressure to him. He's prone to picking his dribble up too quickly, but he also hasn't shown that he can make the right reads. He took a poor angle on an attempted post-entry pass to a well-covered Nicholson, and on another drive he threw a cross-court pass off the side of the rim. In part because of shaky play at the point, Orlando had more turnovers (six) than baskets (five) in the third quarter, allowing the Celtics to take a 71-70 lead into the fourth.

Undrafted free-agent pickup Rodney McGruder drilled back-to-back threes in the fourth quarter for Orlando to stake it to a 78-73 lead. His next attempt, which he took from the wing off the bounce as opposed to the corner off the catch, was short and to the right.

A spectacular two-handed slam by Tony Mitchell, the NBA D-League's reigning MVP, off a feed from Olynyk brought Boston to within a point with 5:31 to go. Osby tipped in a missed jumper by Nicholson on Orlando's next trip to put the lead back to three, and the Magic picked up another point on a free throw when referee Kane Fitzgerald rang Celtics assistant coach Jamie Young up for a technical foul after Young profanely disputed a travel call against Olynyk.

A blocked shot by Harkless started a Magic fast break which resulted in Lamb sinking his third three-pointer in as many attempts, giving Orlando a seven-point advantage with 3:04 to go.

Oladipo made a game-clinching steal and assist with just over a minute to play, breaking up a Boston outlet pass and then leading Harkless to the hoop for a two-handed jam in traffic. The basket put Orlando up 10 points.

  • The Magic started Oladipo at point guard in a backcourt with Doron Lamb. Moe Harkless, Andre Nicholson, and O'Quinn were on the front line.

  • As a team, the Magic communicate well on defense. That's a good habit to develop.

  • Orlando forward Tobias Harris was held out due to a sore right knee. The Magic say it was a "precautionary measure."

  • Celtics point guard Nolan Smith injured his right leg in the first half and did not return to the game. His absence led to an increase in minutes for the undrafted Missouri product Phil Pressey, who nailed a reporter's laptop with one errant pass shortly afterward.

  • Both teams wore sleeved practice uniforms. Boston wore black with Orlando in white.

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