The Magic’s only victory in their last eight games came at home against the Celtics last Saturday, 100-91. Orlando stopped a four-game slide with that win, and now head into Boston looking to end a three-game skid.
Playing their 11th straight game without point guard Jameer Nelson (right foot sprain) and 13th without forward Grant Hill (hernia), the Magic watched an eight-point deficit after three quarters swell to 18 as they went scoreless for the first five minutes of the fourth.
Dwight Howard led Orlando with 19 points and 17 rebounds, but had six of his team’s 17 turnovers.
The Magic outshot the Pistons from the field, 45.6 to 40.5 percent, but matched their lowest point total of the season. Orlando has scored an average of 81.3 points during the current three-game losing streak despite the loss to Milwaukee going to double overtime.
“Offensively, we’ve got to get better,” Magic guard Keyon Dooling said. “Just got to execute, run our cuts harder, move the ball more. We’ve just got to do more offensively to give ourselves a chance to win the basketball game. It seems like sometimes we get a little stagnant.”
The Celtics stopped a six-game losing streak on Friday with their most lopsided win of the season, 115-83 over the Portland Trail Blazers.
“The ball was moving all over the place,” said Szczerbiak, who celebrated just his second win with Boston since being acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves two weeks ago. “We did a good job of playing with each other.”
Celtics rookie forward Ryan Gomes made his first career start against Portland, finishing with four points and nine rebounds in 35 minutes.
Starting center Kendrick Perkins, who dislocated his left shoulder in Wednesday’s practice, didn’t play against Portland and is listed as day-to-day.
The Celtics had won four straight over the Magic before losing both meetings this season.