Celtics lose to lowly Magic, 93-91

Celtics lose to lowly Magic, 93-91
January 19, 2014, 9:00 pm
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ORLANDO, Fla. — Sunday's game between Boston and Orlando was probably not what James Naismith had in mind when he invented the game of basketball 123 years ago.

But when you've been on the snide as long as Orlando has, any win is a good one as the Magic (11-30) escaped with a 93-91 win which snapped their 10-game losing streak.

The Celtics (14-28) had a chance to tie the game or take the lead, but failed to get off a shot despite having it with more than 10 seconds to play following Tobias Harris' go-ahead free throws.

Boston once again had their moments in the fourth quarter where guys stepped up to keep them in the game.

Rajon Rondo, in his second game since returning to the Celtics lineup, hit a go-ahead jumper with 1:16 to play. He finished with six points, six rebounds and four assists.

But Orlando's Arron Afllalo countered with a game-tying lay-up, and a pair of free throws by Jameer Nelson gave Orlando a 91-89 lead with 35.3 seconds to play.

The Celtics tied the game at 91 on an in-bounds lob pass by Gerald Wallace to Jeff Green.

Green, who finished with 22 points, was fouled on the play but failed to convert the free throw.

After an Orlando miss, there was a mad scramble for the ball. It eventually went out of bounds off of Harris, but official Tony Brothers ruled that Kris Humphries fouled Harris prior to the ball going off his legs.

Harris made both free throws which ultimately proved to be the game-winners.

The outcome was yet another disappointing finish for a Celtics team that gave themselves opportunities to win only to fail to close out the game.

Kris Humphries continues to play like a man on a mission - or looking for a new contract, perhaps? - and finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Boston got off to a strong start as they built up a double-digit lead that peaked at 11 points, before settling on a 26-18 edge after the first.

The second quarter was a different story as the Magic closed out the second quarter with a 13-5 run to catapult them to a 53-46 lead at the half.

Boston seemed to have found their stride in the third quarter, sparked by a 13-0 run capped off by a back-to-back jumpers by Humphries.

However, Orlando sensed their 10-game losing streak was near an end and started to play with the kind of desperation a team that has been starving for success should have.

Orlando closed out the third by scoring nine of the quarter's last 12 points and led 66-64 going into the fourth.