Moritz Wagner drives Magic past NBA-leading Celtics 117-109 – Boston News, Weather, Sports

BOSTON (AP) — Moritz Wagner scored 25 points and Paolo Banchero added 20 as the Orlando Magic defeated the NBA-leading Boston Celtics 117-109 on Friday night.

Franz Wagner scored 19 points as Orlando won their fifth straight game. The Magic overtook the Celtics 53-38 and held the lead for the final 37 minutes of the game.

Jayson Tatum had 31 points and Jaylen Brown 26 as Boston (22-8) lost for the third time in four games.

Boston’s Robert Williams was playing in his first game since the NBA Finals after undergoing left knee surgery the preseason and finished the game with nine points and five rebounds in 18 minutes.

Aided by two 3-point goals from Al Horford in the opening minutes, the Celtics took a 14-5 lead against a team with the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference. The Magic came back and ended the opening quarter with a 15-4 run that was capped off by a bombastic 3-pointer from Banchero.

Orlando kept the pressure on Boston, leading 62-54 at halftime and extending the lead to 19 points early in the third quarter. The Celtics reduced their deficit to single digits a few times, but the Magic stayed comfortably ahead.

Markelle Fultz hit five straight hits, including a 15-foot pullup jumper that gave the Magic a 108-96 lead with 3:55 minutes remaining. He scored 12 points before fouling.

WILLIAMS RETURN

Williams’ off-season surgery was his second surgery on the same knee in six months. The 25-year-old was upgraded to “questionable” on Thursday, with interim head coach Joe Mazzulla confirming ahead of Friday’s game that “there is no minute limit” regarding Williams, who came on as a substitute against the Magic.

Williams received a standing ovation at 7:03 in the first quarter. He connected with an alley-oop slam dunk after a pass from Marcus Smart but picked up three fouls in the space of four minutes. His best stretch of the game came in the third quarter, when he slammed home a miss from Brown and connected with Tatum for a dunk seconds later.

SILAS REMEMBERS

Boston honored former player Paul Silas, who died last Saturday, with a minute’s silence before the game. Silas put a lot into his four seasons with the Celtics (1972-76). He was part of two NBA championships (1974, 1976) and appeared in the 1975 All-Star Game.

TIP INS:

Magic: Orlando started Friday with a road win in 12 attempts. … With 32 points in the first quarter and 30 points in the second, the Magic have surpassed 30 points in a single quarter 35 times this season.

Celtics: Horford returned to the lineup on Friday after missing the previous five games. He did not finish after being assessed a flagrant two-foul at 10:39 of the third quarter. At the time of the ejection, Horford had six points and six rebounds in 16 minutes. … Friday marked the beginning of a seven-game homestand for Boston after a six-game trip.

NEXT

The teams will meet again in Boston on Sunday.

(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.)

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https://whdh.com/sports/moritz-wagner-powers-magic-past-nba-leading-celtics-117-109/ Moritz Wagner drives Magic past NBA-leading Celtics 117-109 – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Sarah Y. Kim

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