Celtics Storm Back For Road Win Over Thunder

Paul George has been tremendously supportive of injured Gordon Hayward

But the star guard took over in the fourth quarter. Then there's been this: The Magic followed each of their first two losses - October 20 in Brooklyn and last Sunday in Charlotte - with convincing defeats of Cleveland and New Orleans.

Regardless of who is playing point guard for the Magic, they know they must be mentally and physically tougher than they were on Friday and play with more goal against the Celtics.

The Celtics are cementing themselves as the best defensive team in the National Basketball Association, while making strides on offense every single game. The Celtics held their own, and got back into the game with defense.

With Irving leading the team, they now have the best record in the Eastern Conference and are looking like a real threat to end the Cleveland Cavaliers' reign this year. But Irving, who scored a team-high 25 points with six assists, led a second-half charge that captured the Celtics their seventh-straight win.

Steven Adams grab 10 rebounds and seven points in the defeat for the home side which had its two-game winning streak snapped.

"We had our starting point guard out the whole season and we played really well and with a good rhythm offensively", Vogel said. These two guys knew that once Hayward went out, they would have to step up big and they have provided the leadership for this young team. "I have the upmost respect for what they are doing".

It was a tale of two halves for the Boston Celtics on Friday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. He would likely start again if Payton does not play.

Sure, it wasn't always pretty, but it's the best-looking win among the bunch. "And then things started going our way, and then we just kept battling to the end". The Celtics are one of the best rebounding teams in the league, and are crushing teams in the paint.

He came into Friday's game shooting 47.5 percent from 3-point range in his career against the Thunder, which is the best he has shot from 3-point range against any team.

The key to their success has been their work on the defensive end as they now boast the league's best defence having allowed just 91.8 points per 100 possessions in the six wins prior to Friday's matchup against Oklahoma City. In his 11th season, the only thing that Horford wants this season is a championship, and he has shown that he and Kyrie can deliver when their team is put in a bad position.

He was just 1-for-9 shooting in the first half, with his lone basket being a 3-pointer with 2:02 to play in the second quarter.

Said Gordon: "We're not dwelling on a loss and we're going to bounce back".

"I think that was a great statement around the league for us". At least for Irving and Boston. However, the Celtics' resiliency was greatly tested just five minutes into the season when Hayward landed awkwardly and grotesquely broke his tibia and dislocated his ankle - injuries that will knock him out for the rest of the season.

"It's always a hard challenge, but I embrace challenges, " Payton said of the Magic's mission to slow down Irving.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Orlando Magic. "Now, it's all about how I feel (on Sunday) after a practice like this". All opinions expressed by John Denton are exclusively his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Orlando Magic or their Basketball Operations staff, partners or sponsors.

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