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Magic 117, Celtics 109: Magic upset league’s top team for fifth straight win

The Magic have their first five-game winning streak since 2020 (and their second road victory of the season!)

Orlando Magic v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

The Orlando Magic were going for their first five-game winning streak in 866 days.

Only problem was it would have to come against the Boston Celtics, who entered with the league’s best record at 22-7.

And it would have to come on the road for the Magic, who entered with the league’s worst road record at 1-11.

It was the ultimate challenge for the Magic...and their winning streak lives on.

The Magic upset the top team in the NBA on their home court with a 117-109 win over the Celtics on Friday.

It didn’t look like that was going to be the case early on, as it became clear the Magic would not be dropping 50 points in the first quarter as they did in a record-breaking performance on Wednesday. Orlando struggled offensively to open the game, allowing Boston to jump out to a 19-11 lead.

Paolo Banchero then scored 10 points over the final 4:11 of the first, including a three at the buzzer as the Magic closed the quarter on a 15-4 run for a 32-28 lead.

The Magic shot 43.5 percent in the quarter but grabbed six offensive rebounds for eight second-chance points and went 9-for-11 from the free throw (zero free throw attempts in the first for the Celtics).

The Magic lead reached nine in the second quarter on a circus-shot three-point play by Franz Wagner...

With Boston chipping away, it was Kevon Harris who stepped up with a dunk and a make from deep for a 57-52 lead. The three sparked an 8-2 Magic run to close the half and give Orlando a 62-54 lead.

The Wagner brothers scored the first 11 points of the third for the Magic, increasing the lead to 73-56. A pull-up by Markelle Fultz then gave Orlando its largest lead at 75-56 with 9:08 left in the third.

The Celtics responded with an 11-2 run, capped with ferocious dunks by Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams to cut the Magic lead to 77-67. The lead was down to eight when Banchero drove the lane, spun and kicked it out to Terrence Ross, who hit the three to make it 84-73. Orlando held an 88-81 lead going into the fourth.

Cole Anthony helped the Magic maintain a double-digit lead early in the fourth, hitting a high-arching jumper and then driving the lane to help keep the Magic up 96-86. He then delivered a pretty pass to a cutting Franz Wagner, who drew the contact and hit two free throws for a 14-point advantage with eight minutes left.

Mo Bamba came down with some big rebounds and hit a big three to make it 104-93. After the Celtics answered with a three, Markelle Fultz grabbed a crucial offensive rebound and hit a contested turnaround.

He scored six straight for the Magic, following with a pull-up jumper and a layup in traffic for a 110-96 lead with 3:22 to go.

After Brown responded from deep, Banchero answered with a corner three that all but sealed the win.

Moe Wagner led Orlando with a season-high 25 points on 9-for-12 shooting to go along with eight rebounds. Banchero finished with 20 points, going 3 of 6 from deep, and five rebounds and five assists. Franz Wagner had 19 points, Fultz had 12 points and four assists, and Anthony added 14 points on 7-for-13 shooting off the bench.

The Magic last won five games in a row in August of 2020 when play resumed in the NBA bubble after a near five-month hiatus.

To match their longest winning streak in the post-Dwight Howard era, set in March 2019, the Magic will have to defeat the Celtics once again. The two teams complete their two-game set in Boston with a Sunday matinee.