Orlando Punches Playoff Ticket

After 7 years away from playoff basketball, the Orlando Magic weren’t going to let this chance slip away. Terrence Ross scored 26 points as the Magic overcame a 13 point early deficit as they defeated the Boston Celtics by the score of 116-108.

Even with the Miami Heat losing earlier in the day, Orlando didn’t want to have to scoreboard watch any longer. After the Magic took a 5 point lead at the end of the third quarter, Ross went work. He scored the Magic’s first 11 points in the final quarter to extend the lead to 94-80.

Boston tied the game on a Kyrie Irving (23 points) three pointer at 106 with 2:50 left in the game. The Celtics would miss 7 of their final 8 shots as the Magic pulled away.

Orlando is now at 41-40 and their final game with the Charlotte Hornets will be for potential playoff positioning. They are now seventh in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. Even though they have the same record as the Brooklyn Nets, the Nets own the tiebreaker.

If the Nets lose to Miami and the Magic defeats the Hornets on Wednesday, Orlando play the Philadelphia 76ers in the playoffs. If both Brooklyn and Orlando win, Orlando will play the Toronto Raptors. Now if Orlando loses and Detroit wins their last 2 games, the Magic will play the Milwaukee Bucks.

Both teams played to a 27-27 tie after the opening quarter, Boston went on a 23-10 run capped off by a Irving jumper. But after that shot made it 50-37, the Magic finished the opening half on a 11-2 run to close the Boston lead to 52-48 at halftime.

Orlando’s end of first half momentum continued in the early third quarter when both D.J. Augustin and Evan Fournier both hit early three-pointers and Nikola Vucevic put back helped Orlando to finally take the lead at 56-54.

Points of Note:

  • Boston’s Jayson Tatum (shin contusion) and Marcus Smart (oblique bruise) both left the game and did not return
  • This is Ross’s 14th game where he has hit 5 or more 3-pointers in a game this season.

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