Celtics make Magic disappear, 120-88

Celtics make Magic disappear, 120-88
April 13, 2013, 9:00 pm
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ORLANDO, Fla. — Nobody said Jason Terry wasn't telling the truth when he said the Orlando Magic were a "terrible" team.

But in case anyone wasn't sure, the Celtics went about proving it with a 120-88 win.

With the victory, the Celtics clinch the seventh seed in the playoffs and will face either New York or Indiana. The Knicks and Pacers play on Sunday.

If the Knicks win, they will clinch the No. 2 seed and host the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. A victory by the Pacers would keep their slim hopes of moving up to the No. 2 spot alive for another day.

As for the C's, the goal in the final remaining regular season games is to stay healthy and maybe just maybe, develop some kind of flow to their play that they can build on when the postseason arrives.

On Saturday, Boston got back to doing what the C's have done best for years - play great defense.

They opened the game with a 9-0 run, and didn't allow the Magic to score until Nikola Vucevic had a tip-in with 8:21 to play in the first quarter.

Boston's fast start eventually cooled off, but not before they took a 23-17 lead after one quarter of play.

The second quarter saw the C's began to pull away with Jeff Green and Paul Pierce doing much of the damage.

Boston took its biggest lead of the game - 20 points - as Brandon Bass had a put-back dunk with no time remaining that lifted the C's to a 57-37 halftime lead.

Orlando (20-60) is easily one of the NBA's worst teams, and the Celtics - defensively at least - made the most of Orlando's inability to execute offensively by limiting them to just 32.7 percent shooting in the first half with defensive breakdowns fewer and farther between than most games.

And the offense had a one of its better flows in recent games, evident by the Celtics shooting better than 53 percent in the first half with seven different players tallying at least five points in the first half and all five starters scoring at least a dozen points.

One of the few bright spots for the Magic was the play of Nikola Vucevic, acquired by Orlando in the Andrew Bynum trade with Philadelphia.

The 22-year-old big man continues to be a double-double machine for the Magic, well on his way to that at the half with six points and five rebounds in just over 15 minutes. He finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds.