Boston Celtics lose magic touch: 3 takeaways from loss to Orlando

Boston Celtics Gordon Hayward (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics Gordon Hayward (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Boston Celtics Kyrie Irving (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics Kyrie Irving (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Big 3 is playoff ready

Beyond Kyrie Irving and his 23 points, big man Al Horford had himself a game against the Orlando Magic.

Despite sitting the entire fourth quarter, Horford was 7-for12 from the field, scoring 18 points with seven assists and four rebounds.  He was simply too much for the Magic to handle and one could argue that the Celtics would’ve completed the comeback if he had played in the final quarter.

But, as Brad Stevens admitted following the game, rest is important now as the team enters the playoffs.  Although Kyrie Irving played the fourth quarter, the Celtics coach second-guessed that decision.

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"“I would’ve taken Kyrie out a little bit earlier,” Stevens said, as transcribed by  “But sometimes you can build a little big of something there when you come back from down 14 and it’s ten minutes left and you come back and tie it and have a chance to take the lead on a couple of occasions.”"

While the game didn’t mean much to the Celtics, it was an opportunity for the team to gain a little momentum and get themselves ready for the first-round battle with the Indiana Pacers.  Gordon Hayward, who played the entire fourth quarter, said the team was definitely trying to win the game so that they can enter the playoffs playing their best basketball.

Horford also acknowledged that not resting players can only mean good things for the Boston Celtics as they head into the postseason grind.

"“I think it’s important,” Horford said.  “Tonight, and this whole week has been good for us.  W’eve been challenged, and I feel like our team has answered and played at a high level like we needed to.  Tonight was just another night I felt like we played really well, but we just came up short.”"

In winning five of their last seven games, including home-and-home sweeps of the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics have certainly shown they can flip a switch.