Celtics stumble on the road against Orlando
ORLANDO, FLA. — Victor Oladipo's pride makes it difficult for him to come off the bench. If he keeps playing like this, though, he might have to get used to the role.
Oladipo scored 19 points and had eight rebounds and six assists in his third game as a reserve to help the Orlando Magic beat the Boston Celtics 110-91 on Sunday night.
Oladipo was the second pick in the 2013 draft and a starter for most of his three years in Orlando, but is averaging 20 points, six rebounds and 5.7 assists coming off the Magic bench. Orlando has won all three games, by an average of 17.3 points.
"I didn't know what to expect and honestly, I didn't care," Oladipo said. "I had to be more aggressive. That's when I'm at my best so this is something to build on."
Tobias Harris had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Magic. Andrew Nicholson added 14 points and eight rebounds and Aaron Gordon had 12 points.
"We're playing with a lot more energy, focusing on a lot of the little details, especially defensively," Harris said. "We're just letting our defense dictate our offense. I think that's been the biggest difference."
Boston coach Brad Stevens was impressed. His team shot 40.9 percent from the field, but only 18.5 percent on 3-pointers. Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 20 points and seven assists. Avery Bradley had 17 points and Jae Crowder had 12.
"They were as impressive in person as I thought they were on film," Stevens said. "They challenged everything and knocked us off our cuts. When you play defense that way, shots are harder to make."
The Celtics were outrebounded 54-34, and the Magic used 17 offensive rebounds to get 26 second-chance points to just 11 for Boston.
"When we rebound, we've been pretty good, but tonight we made it hard on ourselves," Stevens said. "Probably more apt, they made it hard on us. We gave up too many plays at the rim. These guys (Magic) are just good."
The Magic reserves took control in the second and third quarters, helping Orlando outscore Boston 63-47 during that time to take an 84-67 lead into the fourth. Oladipo and Nicholson combined for 25 points, 10 rebounds and four assists during that run.
The Celtics got within 12 points twice in the last 5 minutes behind seven straight points from Thomas but never got closer.
Boston played the first of a five-game road trip and was lethargic in getting to Magic shooters and even slower going after misses.
"They came and hit us in the mouth first," Crowder said. "They got into us at the defensive end, turned us over and we didn't respond."
Both teams stumbled out of the gate, combining for 14 turnovers and 0-for-10 shooting on 3-pointers in the first quarter.
Orlando righted the ship faster in the second quarter, shooting 58.3 percent (14 of 24) and hitting four 3-pointers to take a 53-45 halftime advantage. Nicholson had a pair of 3s and 10 points at halftime.
Celtics: Boston leads the NBA in opponent turnovers, forcing 19.5 per game. ... Boston is 0-7 when opponents score 100 or more points. ... PG Marcus Smart missed his fifth straight game with a calf injury.
Magic: The Magic are 9-6 in November, the first winning month for the team since March of 2012. ... The bench combined to hit 21 of 36 shots (58.3 percent). ... Orlando has not won four in a row this season. ... Magic PG Elfrid Payton is shooting 74.4 percent (29 for 39) from the free-throw line this season after shooting 55.1 percent last season (118 for 214).
HIGH ON FRYE
Magic PF Channing Frye has scored in double figures only twice this season, but his 45.4 percent shooting from 3-point territory (20 of 44) catches the eye of NBA coaches. "Channing is a little bit like Kyle Korver," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "You fear them like they average 30 a game because of the way they can change a game, making shots and go on 9-0 runs by themselves." Frye was 2 of 4 from 3-point territory against the Celtics, both coming during a third-quarter surge when Orlando took control. "Channing's presence on the floor causes teams to stay attached to him, which gives us a lot of opportunities," Skiles said.
Boston players noticed their huge deficiency in rebounds and second-chance points. "It's not just one guy, all five guys on the court were lacking," Crowder said. "They came up with every loose ball and every offensive rebound they got, they scored on or so it seemed. We have to get better on that."
Up Next: Boston is at Miami on Monday night. The Magic begin a 10-day trip in Minnesota on Tuesday night.
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