The Celtics absolutely dominated the Magic on Monday night, beating them 87-56. Thursday night, however, it seemed to be quite the opposite story as the Celtics trailed 58-37 at the end of the half, and that was not the worst of it, either. Earlier, the Celtics had trailed by 27 points.
Throughout the second half the Celtics slowly crawled back. They slowly built upon their run as they flipped the script of the game. Unlike in the first half when the Celtics offense was stagnant and the Magic seemed to score at will, the second half brought a regenerated Celtics offense that was able to score much easier and a more Celtic-like defensive effort, holding the Magic to just 25 points in the second half. This great play in the second half allowed the Celtics to finish the game on a 45-19 run and win the game 91-83.
It was a team effort in this win, with five players scoring in double digits, but the Celtics were really led by two players in this win. The captain, Paul Pierce, led the Celtics with 24 points, 10 assists, and six rebounds. His contributions should surprise no one, however, the great play of rookie E'Twaun Moore came as more of a surprise. He connected on all four of his three-point attempts and only missed one shot in the whole game, scoring 16 points and providing a huge scoring spark off the bench. Moore's play was no doubt one of the leading factors in the Celtics win and if he can continue to play well, he will certainly see more minutes.
Overall, this win was not only a great win because of the huge comeback and players like E'Twaun Moore, but also because it extends the Celtics winning streak to three games. Furthermore, they were able to win yet another game against an elite opponent, something they had yet to do before playing Orlando twice. Not to mention the Celtics have won the past two games against the Magic without Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen.
If the Celtics can dominate an elite opponent without two of their stars, just imagine what they can do now when Allen and Rondo return. Things are finally starting to look up for the Celtics and it looks like they have finally pulled it together. Hopefully yet another great win will silence the talks of trading the Big Three or the chances of the Celtics missing the playoffs.