Boston – Not many teams can say they have had success against the Boston Celtics over the past two seasons.
However, the Orlando Magic are one of them.
Orlando has won four straight games against Boston, including a 17-point win just a few weeks ago.
The Magic (16-7) will try to become the first team this season to defeat the league-leading Celtics (18-5) at TD Garden on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Head-to-head confrontation.
“It’s a great opportunity for our guys, who are undefeated at home,” Magic coach Jamal Mosley said of facing the 12-0 C’s in Boston. “The Garden was packed, it was loud, and our guys are ready for what we’re going to face. It’s a great opportunity for this team.”
Orlando knows the value of home cooking. The Magic have won nine straight games in Orlando, most recently playing a dominant defensive role in a victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Now, they hope to take the show on the road.
“It requires a high level of communication,” said Mosley, whose team will play again in Boston on Sunday. “What this team has been doing is we play hard. We play hard and we play for each other. But on the road, you have to make more connections because of the atmosphere and the environment. When the building is loud and people are screaming You have to communicate at a high level. You have to make sure you’re connected on the court.”
The Magic will need to play together as a seamless defensive unit to slow down the loaded Celtics. Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis were valuable offseason additions, and Derrick White continues to shine in Boston.
However, any defensive game plan starts with limiting perennial All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Tatum (27.3) and Brown (22.1) are both averaging over 20 points per game this season.
“Boston has done a great job, not only is their team a good team, but their fans are great fans,” Magic forward Jonathan Isaac said. “Just like we think home court is an advantage for us, it’s an advantage for them. That’s what we want and need right now, to come here and get two wins.”
In and out: Markelle Fultz (left knee tendonitis) is listed as doubtful and will be determined at game time. Wendell Carter Jr. (left hand; third metacarpal fracture), Kevin Harris (coaching decision) and Treveline Quinn (G-League – two-way) will miss Orlando.
Boston’s injury report has not yet been filed.
Key statistics: On Monday, the Magic held the Cavaliers to 35.3 percent shooting, the lowest allowed in the NBA this season. Orlando also held Cleveland to 94 points. This is the eighth time this season that the Magic have held opponents under 100 points, tied for first in the league.
Quote notes: “This is who we are as an organization, as a team, all of our players, our staff, our coaches; this is what we stand for. You talked about being involved in the community and being a champion on and off the field. You do The way you get to that point is taking care of the people around you and taking care of the community that supports you.” – Mosley on Magic’s community efforts ahead of the holidays