Surging Celtics prove too tricky for Magic

Jan 29, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder (99) and forward Jonas Jerebko (8) celebrate against the Orlando Magic during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports (Reuters)

(The Sports Xchange) - The surging Boston Celtics used balanced scoring to cruise to their fifth straight win with a 113-94 victory over the sagging Orlando Magic on Friday. The Celtics (27-21) had seven players score in double figures while sending the Magic to their eighth straight loss and 12th in their last 13 games in the opener of a home-and-home series that shifts to Orlando on Sunday. Boston blew open a fairly close game by going on a 22-4 tear that ended with a 15-0 run in the first five-and-a-half minutes of the fourth quarter. Guard Marcus Smart and forward Kelly Olynyk, both coming off the bench, led the scoring with 16 points apiece. Forward Jae Crowder scored 15 points, newly named All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas had 14 points and 11 assists, and guard Evan Turner added 15 points and eight assists. Reserve forward Jonas Jerebko had a season-high 13 points and 10 rebounds and forward Jared Sullinger contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds as the Celtics reached the 100-point mark for an 11th straight game. Big man Nikola Vucevich led six Magic players in double figures with 14 points. He also grabbed eight rebounds as his streak of double-doubles ended at six games. Forward Aaron Gordon had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Magic (20-25). The Celtics showed a video tribute during a first-quarter timeout saluting Thomas making the All-Star team. Thomas, who had just scored his first basket of the game, then had a hand in 10 straight points, scoring four and contributing three assists. Boston used the Thomas-led 8-0 run to take a five-point lead that grew to eight in the quarter and the advantage reached double figures in the first three minutes of the second. The Celtics took a 13-point lead with 3:56 left in the half but led by eight at the break. Thomas ended the half with an end-to-end dash and layup with 1.1 seconds left. Jerebko, averaging 3.6 points per game coming in, scored eight straight Boston points in the second quarter. Turner ended the third quarter with a buzzer-beating floater that made it 86-77. Olynyk then scored nine points in the first 3:19 of the fourth quarter and the lead was 16. It quickly grew to 27. (Editing by John O'Brien)