ORLANDO (AP) – The Magic have their first victory of the new year.
Entering the day as one of only two teams left in the NBA not to register a win in 2014, Orlando ended its recent frustrations against a Boston Celtics team that is struggling just as much.
Arron Afflalo had 20 points and 13 rebounds, Tobias Harris added 18 points and the Magic snapped a season-high 10-game losing streak with a 93-91 win Sunday night.
After a close fourth quarter with several ties, Harris sank a pair of free throws with 10.1 seconds remaining to give Orlando its first victory since Dec. 29.
“The emphasis was to win,” Afflalo said. “I thought we did that because I could feel no personal agendas, could feel nothing but five guys on the court and the two guys who came off the bench really looking for a way to get a victory.”
The win also ended a 10-game regular-season losing streak to the Celtics.
Glen Davis added 17 points and Jameer Nelson 16 for Orlando.
For Davis, a former Celtic, the win was especially sweet. It was his first victory over his former team since being traded to the Magic before the 2011-12 season in a deal that sent Davis to Orlando and Brandon Bass to Boston.
Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said with Nik Vucevic still out recovering from a concussion they are asking Davis to do a lot more on the defensive end.
Jeff Green led the Celtics with 22 points, and Avery Bradley and Kris Humphries added 18 apiece. Rajon Rondo finished with six points and four assists playing in his second game back from a torn ACL.
Boston has lost nine straight on the road and 11 of 12 overall.
Bradley said it’s going to take time to integrate Rondo back into things.
“We all have to get used to each other,” Bradley said. “The good thing is we are all open to it and we all have the same goals.”
Orlando scored the first basket of the third quarter to build a nine-point lead, but went cold and allowed Boston to reel off a 13-2 run and retake the lead, 61-57.
The Magic were able to steady themselves, and after three ties in the first six minutes of the fourth, nudged back in front 82-79 on a pair of free throws by Afflalo.
Green tied it again, at 87, with two free throws with 1:48 remaining. Then following a Magic miss, Rondo got free off a screen and connected on 16-foot jumper to give the Celtics the lead again.
Afflalo tied it again at 89 with a layup. Then a Celtics’ miss eventually led to Nelson being fouled on the other end and hitting two free throws that put the Magic up 91-89.
Coming out of a timeout, Green was fouled by Afflalo on a layup, but failed to hit the free throw to complete the three-point play. Orlando snared the rebound and called a timeout with 30.7 seconds to play.
Humphries fouled Harris during a scramble for a rebound and Harris calmly sank his two free throws with 10.1 seconds showing on the clock.
The Celtics had a final possession, but failed to get up a shot before time expired.
Boston had a scary moment late in the first quarter when Green slipped while attempting to contest a jumper by Afflalo. Green landed hard and awkwardly on his right knee, but was able to walk off on his own power after lying on the court for a few minutes.
He returned in the second quarter didn’t show any effects while exploding for a dunk late in the half.
“This is no fun for me at all, that’s the bottom line,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. “I’d like to see us get better and win some of these, but we haven’t, so we need to move on and try to do it the next time.”
Magic rookie Victor Oladipo said the biggest takeaway for him was seeing everyone on the same page throughout an entire game.
“Everybody was eager to win so we’ve got to be like that every game,” he said. “When you have a mindset of just continue to play hard, and when your teammates have your back, it’s hard not to be involved and focused and locked in.”
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