ORLANDO — The Orlando Magic’s three-game winning streak came to an inglorious end as the Boston Celtics hung on for a 91-89 victory.
Former Magic forward Brandon Bass made two free throws with 10.5 seconds to go, giving the Celtics a three-point lead. Arron Afflalo hit a jump shot from the corner on the Magic’s next possession, but it was worth only two points instead of three.
Avery Bradley split two free throws for the Celtics. But the Magic were out of timeouts and had to try going the length of the floor in the final 3.5 seconds. Rookie Victor Oladipo flung up a desperation 3-point shot that came nowhere close to going in as the horn sounded.
The Magic held an opposing team to less 40 percent shooting from the floor for the fourth game in a row. But they were even more ineffective on offense than the Celtics, who were the NBA’s lowest-scoring team through their first five games.
The game was far from one of the Magic’s better efforts from 3-point range. But they went to the free-throw line 19 times in the first half, which was more than they were averaging a game.
The Celtics had a combined 32 points in the paint in the second and third quarters and overcame a 49-46 halftime deficit for their second win in a row after an 0-4 start.
The turning point
Trailing 78-77 with 5:53 remaining, the Magic had a disastrous possession coming out of a timeout. Bradley stole the ball from Oladipo in the backcourt, drove for a dunk and was fouled by Oladipo. After that three-point play, the Magic never got to within a point of the lead until the final minute.
The difference maker
If it wasn’t for Afflalo, the Magic wouldn’t have stood a chance of rallying down the stretch. He had a four-point play and a three-point play in the final 1:38 and finished with a game-high 23 points.
Stat of the game
Nikola Vucevic, who was coming off a 30-point game Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, had 12 points in the first quarter but only two the rest of the way.
Must see video
Saturday night at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).