Celtics lock up East’s 7th seed, rout Magic 120-88
Posted at: 04/13/2013 10:35 PM
By KYLE HIGHTOWER
(AP) ORLANDO, Fla. - Courtney Lee scored 20 points and Jeff Green added 17 as the Boston Celtics cruised to a 120-88 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.
The win locked up the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference for Boston, which never trailed in beating Orlando for the eighth straight time.
All five Celtics starters reached double figures, with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce scoring 14 and 12 points, respectively, after sitting out Friday against Miami.
Tobias Harris led the Magic with 22 points, and Nik Vucevic added 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Orlando hasn’t won back-to-back games since December. The Magic play their final home game of season on Monday against Chicago, and head to Miami for the season finale on Wednesday.
The Celtics conclude their regular-season schedule against Indiana on Tuesday and visit Toronto on Wednesday.
After resting their sore ankles the previous night, Celtics coach Doc Rivers re-inserted Pierce and Garnett into the starting lineup against the Magic.
They made an immediate impact, combining for 20 first-half points as the Celtics built a 20-point halftime advantage.
Garnett missed only one of his eight shots on the night.
The Celtics were able to add to their cushion in the second half against the young Magic who are showing more signs of a team ambling toward the conclusion of an injury-plagued transition season.
With the exception of Harris and Vucevic, the Magic were mostly passive offensively and were a step behind on defense most of the night as Boston was able to work the ball around for easy looks.
The only brief moment of peril for Boston came late in the third quarter when Green remained on the floor after planting awkwardly on his left leg.
He stayed down a few minutes during a timeout, but was able to remain in the game.
NOTES: Boston G Jason Terry was given the night off by Rivers, marking his first missed game of the season. ... Rivers said that though he’ll be cautious with their minutes over their final regular-season games that he wants to get his starters in playoff shape. "I’m not looking for anything for them to be honest," Rivers said. "I just want them to play a game here or there to get ready for the playoffs. I’m not looking for any signs or anything like that. That’s gonna be our lineup." ... The Magic used their 29th different starting lineup of the season on Saturday.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)