The Celtics started the game strong by jumping out to an early 16-5 lead at the halfway point in the first quarter. The game became sloppy at that point and the Celtics lead fell to just three as they went into the halftime break with a 45-42 lead.
The second-half woes that have plagued the Celtics all season were on full display yet again. They were outscored 35-20 in the third quarter and had a tough time cutting into the lead for the majority of the fourth.
This was due in large part to a high number of turnovers. The Celtics had an astonishing 20 giveaways as a team heading into the final period. They managed to clean up the turnover problem but still struggled to knock down shots and allowed the Magic to take a 96-82 lead with 4:20 left on the game clock.
It seemed like the C’s were going to let another poor fourth quarter keep them from securing a win against a bad team but they were able to turn on the jets out of nowhere.
The Celtics stormed back with an 18-4 run over the final four minutes and had a chance to take the last shot of the game. The ball was in the hands of Jaylen Brown — who had scored 21 of his 50 points in the fourth quarter — but his pull-up mid-range jumper fell short and both teams headed to overtime knotted at 100.
The Celtics continued to take care of the ball and were able to put the Magic out of reach with an Al Horford corner three with 27 seconds remaining that put Boston up by four.
Boston was able to complete the comeback thanks to Jaylen Brown’s 50-point masterclass and because they only managed to turn the ball over twice in the fourth quarter and OT.
Marcus Smart played a complete game by posting a stat line of 17 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists while also shooting a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. He played great defense and came up with a crucial steal and assist that set up Jaylen Brown to tie the game in the fourth quarter.
The Celtics will be near full strength for their next game where Jayson Tatum will likely be available to play. Boston will return to action on Wednesday at home against the San Antonio Spurs.
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