AP

Brown, stellar defense lead Celtics past Magic 116-83

Feb 6, 2022, 3:34 AM | Updated: 6:45 pm

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, left, dunks the ball over Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba (5) duri...

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, left, dunks the ball over Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba (5) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 26 points and the Boston Celtics played solid defense in a 116-83 victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday night for their season-best fifth straight win.

Boston limited Orlando to 35.8% shooting from the floor and 5 of 25 from 3-point range. It was similar to their matchup in November when the Celtics beat the Magic by holding them to 79 points and 32.1% shooting — both season lows.

“It’s suffocating, at times, with our size and versatility,” Boston coach Ime Udoka said of his team’s defense. “We’ve got big wings, versatile bigs and a pit bull for a point guard (Marcus Smart). There’s no real weakness out there or anybody to pick on. …

“This is what we envisioned and it’s coming to fruition now that we have some consistency with our lineups.”

Dennis Schröder scored 23 points and hit four 3-pointers off Boston’s bench, while Al Horford added 13 points and 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double.

Jayson Tatum had 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, but he shot just 6 of 18. Brown, who scored a career-best 50 points in an overtime victory over Orlando last month, made 10 of 22 shots. It is Boston’s first five-game win streak since April 7-17, 2021, when it won six straight.

“We’re finding some continuity and chemistry. We’ve had some adversity, but now we’re finding ways to win some games,” Brown said. “I’d say before the season, with the way our team was structured, we had a defensive group. This is what we imagined when we started.”

Rookie Jalen Suggs had 17 points, six rebounds and five assists for Orlando, which dropped to an NBA-worst 0-21 when it fails to score 100 points.

Boston never trailed Sunday and beat the Magic for a third time this season. The Celtics swept the season series for a third straight year.

“We’re playing with pace, everybody is touching (the ball) and everybody is sharing the ball,” Schroder said. “We’re playing a lot faster and that’s been great.”

Wendell Carter Jr. added 14 points for Orlando, which was playing less than 24 hours after getting routed 135-115 at home by Memphis. Down as much as 31 and 33 points the past two nights, the Magic have followed up their only two-game home winning streak of the season with two straight lopsided losses.

“You’re never as good as you are when you win or as bad as you think you are when you lose, so our guys understand that and we’ll bounce back,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said. “It’s just about guys staying the course and staying positive. It’s a tied-together group so they are going to continue to push and fight for one another.”

Boston pushed its 10-point halftime lead to as much as 19 in the third quarter by smothering Orlando defensively. The Magic missed 18 of their 20 3-point attempts in the game’s first three quarters against the Celtics’ active defense.

Boston mostly struggled offensively early on, but it locked down the Magic on the other end and led 49-39 at the half. Orlando managed just 15 first-quarter points and shot a dismal 31.7% in the opening half.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Smart came into Sunday third in the NBA in steals at 1.87 a game, but his effectiveness as a defender extends beyond that area. He’s also had 140 pass deflections — 64 more than his next closest teammate. He also leads the team in charges taken with seven. … Boston missed its first six 3-point shots and 14 of the first 15 tries from beyond the arc. … Boston pulled even in the standings with the struggling Nets, the team it faces Tuesday in Brooklyn.

Magic: Mo Bamba played despite spraining his right ankle again Saturday. He had eight points, 10 rebounds and two blocks on Sunday. … Rookie Franz Wagner is one of just 10 players in the NBA to appear in all of his team’s games this season. Also, he is the only rookie to not miss a game. … Orlando made just five of its first 21 shots and missed all four of its 3-point tries in the first quarter.

UP NEXT

Celtics: Play at Brooklyn on Tuesday night.

Magic: Play at Portland on Tuesday night.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Brown, stellar defense lead Celtics past Magic 116-83