Having already clinched their playoff spot, the Magic look to tune up for the postseason when they play host to the Boston Celtics.
McGrady helped the Magic lock up their third straight playoff berth by scoring 35 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in a 98-86 win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday.
“I’m ready for any challenge thrown my way,” McGrady said. “We’re a young team and I hope these guys really understand the playoffs are another season. It’s not going to be as easy as it was during the regular season.”
McGrady has helped make things easy for the Magic this season. Although he was just 11-of-32 from the floor Friday, he eclipsed 30 points for the 16th time in 18 games.
The Magic have won two straight following a four-game losing streak.
“We want to go into the playoffs with a lot of confidence and playing well,” McGrady said. “I feel we can win any series and we just have to believe that.”
While the Celtics have also clinched a playoff spot, they did not play with much confidence in their last game.
One night after securing their postseason berth with a win over the Washington Wizards, the Celtics shot just 35.1 percent in a 99-78 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday. They were also outrebounded 49-39.
“We are a team that thrives on energy, and we didn’t have any energy to battle back,” Boston forward Antoine Walker said.
Boston is currently sixth in the Eastern Conference, a game ahead of seventh-place Orlando. Both teams have three games remaining.
STANDINGS: Celtics - 3rd place, 6 GB, Atlantic Division. Magic - 4th place, 7 GB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Celtics - Pierce, 26.0 ppg and 7.3 rpg; Walker, 4.8 apg. Magic - McGrady, 32.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 5.5 apg.
SEASON SERIES: Celtics, 3-1.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 26; Celtics, 91-83. At Boston, Pierce paced the Celtics with his first career triple-double, finishing with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists to lead Boston to its seventh win in eight games. McGrady missed the game to be with his fiancee, who gave birth to a daughter in an Orlando-area hospital the previous night. Jeryl Sasser started in his place and had a career-high 26 points with 10 rebounds and four steals.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Celtics - 18-21 on the road; Magic - 25-15 at home.
INJURIES: Celtics - C Bruno Sundov. Magic - F Drew Gooden (toe and knee); F Grant Hill (ankle); F Olumide Oyedeji (back).