In a matchup of two teams that were something less than super in January, the Boston Celtics prolonged the road woes of the Orlando Magic by leading almost from start to finish and coming away with a 96-89 victory.
Despite being without point guard Jameer Nelson, who did not travel with the team because of a sore left knee sustained Friday night in a win over Milwaukee, the Magic closed to within a point of the lead halfway through the fourth quarter. But the Celtics, coming off a 2-15 month, were able to withstand that challenge.
All five starters scored in double figures for the Magic, headed by Arron Afflalo with 18 points. Afflalo was moved from small forward to shooting guard in Nelson’s absence, with Victor Oladipo opening at the point and Tobias Harris returning to the starting lineup at small forward after coming off the bench the previous two games.
Oladipo went 3 of 16 from the floor as the Magic, who shot better than 50 percent in defeating the Bucks, hit only 41.2 percent of their field-goal attempts against a team that gave up an average of 102.6 points a game in January.