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Orlando at Boston

Rondo goes for 19 and 10 as Celtics take down Magic

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Rajon Rondo waited more than a year to celebrate playing in a victory.

Rondo made 9 of 11 shots and finished with season highs of 19 points and 10 assists while helping Boston end a four-game losing streak with a 96-89 victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday.

"We didn't stop pushing the pace even though we had the lead," Rondo said. "We finally finished a game strong. They made a run at it, but at the end of the day we still got some stops when we needed and made the plays."

Boston entered Sunday winless in six games since Rondo's return last month after missing nearly a year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He sat out the second of back-to-back games earlier in the week and was fresh enough at the end Sunday to help the Celtics hold off a late push by the Magic.

"You just feel like you're really under control the way he was playing late," Boston coach Brad Stevens said.

Jared Sullinger scored seven of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for the Celtics, who let a 12-point lead slip to one in the final period before pulling away at the end.

"I think we execute a little crisper," Stevens said. "The ball seems to have found the right guys a lot, especially today. I think that's more of guys getting used to playing with one another."

Brandon Bass had 19 points and nine rebounds and Avery Bradley scored 17 in his return after missing five games with a sprained ankle.

Jeff Green was the only Boston starter not to score in double figures as the Celtics won for the third time in four games against the Magic, who have lost four of five overall and 11 straight on the road.

Arron Afflalo had 18 points and Nikola Vucevic finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Magic. Glen Davis had 15 points, Tobias Harris scored 13 and Victor Oladipo had 12 points as all five Orlando starters scored in double figures.

But the Magic couldn't stop Rondo, who had six assists in the fourth quarter.

"We stuck to our principles and what we wanted to do. He just came through for his team," Davis said.

The only game on the NBA schedule Sunday featured two of the league's bottom teams.

Orlando, which has just three road wins this season, rallied after making a push in the fourth quarter. The Magic went without a field goal in the fourth quarter until Maurice Harkless' layup cut Boston's lead to 75-68 with 9:01 left to play. E'Twaun Moore and Davis added layups during an 10-2 run that pulled the Magic within 77-76 on a pair of free throws by Kyle O'Quinn with 6:11 left to play.

It was as close as Orlando would get. Rondo answered with hook shot for the Celtics and Bradley followed with a field goal and two foul shots as Boston started to pull away. The Celtics sealed it with an 8-2 run in the final two minutes.

"We just wanted to come in and try to change the tempo of the game and just play fast," Harkless said. "Unfortunately, we didn't close the game out."

Notes

Rondo was 5 for 6 in the first half while scoring 13. ... The Celtics scored 27 in each of the first two periods and led 54-45 at halftime. ... Boston G Avery Bradley returned after missing five games with a sprained right ankle. ... Orlando G Jameer Nelson did not travel with the Magic because of a sore left knee. ... Boston was 0-6 in games with Rondo in the lineup since returning from a torn ACL. ... Orlando last won on the road Dec. 16, beating Chicago 83-82. ... The Magic's 3-22 road record is the worst in the NBA.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Jared Sullinger pushes his way past Glen Davis on en route to 21 points and 12 rebounds.  (USATSI)
Jared Sullinger pushes his way past Glen Davis on en route to 21 points and 12 rebounds. (USATSI)

Scoreboard
Orlando (12-36)1926192589
Boston (16-33) «2727172596
ORL:A. Afflalo 18 Pts
ORL:N. Vucevic 11 Reb
ORL:V. Oladipo 5 Ast
BOS:J. Sullinger 21 Pts
BOS:J. Sullinger 12 Reb
BOS:R. Rondo 10 Ast
Players of the Game
OrlandoBoston

Nikola Vucevic

Rajon Rondo
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
1411119610
Orlando
V. Oladipo, SG383-165-635012
A. Afflalo, SG356-125-834218
G. Davis, PF336-122-232215
N. Vucevic, C307-140-0111114
T. Harris, SF286-120-051313
K. O'Quinn, PF221-32-22324
M. Harkless, SF212-54-47209
D. Lamb, SG141-20-02012
E. Moore, PG101-30-00002
A. Nicholson, PF90-10-03020
J. Nelson, PGDid Not Play
J. Maxiell, PFDid Not Play
R. Price, PGDid Not Play
Totals 33-8018-2239181389
 41.3%81.8% 
Boston
J. Sullinger, C3910-150-0121321
B. Bass, PF369-151-191319
J. Green, PF362-133-32528
A. Bradley, PG336-125-622217
R. Rondo, PG279-110-0610419
J. Bayless, PG213-70-03306
C. Johnson, SF191-30-03013
K. Humphries, PF131-40-03012
K. Olynyk, C80-01-22021
P. Pressey, PG80-20-02200
G. Wallace, SFDid Not Play
K. Bogans, SGDid Not Play
J. Anthony, CDid Not Play
V. Faverani, CDid Not Play
V. Blue, SGDid Not Play
Totals 41-8210-1244241896
 50.0%83.3%