National Basketball Association
Preview
Orlando at Boston
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Two teams trying to make a leap forward in their rebuilding process this season meet when the Orlando Magic visit the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. The Celtics have won four of their last seven, including Monday’s 105-87 home victory over Philadelphia, after a discouraging 4-11 start. The road-weary Magic have recorded only two more wins than they had at this time last season, but are showing signs of progress with improved defense and four players averaging at least 14 points.

Orlando has played more games on the road (18) than any team the league and registered seven victories away from home after going 4-37 last season. Jeff Green is averaging 23.4 points over the last eight games to lead a productive Boston offense, but the Celtics are going backwards on defense while giving up 105.6 per game – ranked 28th in the league. Boston looks to extend its win streak against the Magic at home to eight games.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Sun Sports (Orlando), CSN New England (Boston)

ABOUT THE MAGIC (10-17): Orlando still has a ways to go on the defensive end, but it has allowed three points fewer per contest than last season. The Magic have several talented options on the other end of the floor with forward Tobias Harris (18.5 points) and center Nikola Vucevic (18.3 points, 11.6 rebounds) leading the way. Last season’s Rookie of the Year runner-up, Victor Oladipo, is averaging 17.4 points and four assists in eight December games and shooting 55.1 percent over his last 10 outings.

ABOUT THE CELTICS (8-14): Kelly Olynyk made 12-of-17 from the field to score a career-high 30 points against Philadelphia and is averaging 17 over four games since being shut out Dec. 7 against Washington. Green scored in double figures every game this season and paces the Celtics with 19.7 per game while Jared Sullinger (13.7) is second on the team, but is 6-of-31 from the floor the last four contests. Rajon Rondo runs the show while averaging 10.6 assists – tops in the league through Monday.

BUZZER-BEATERS

1. Celtics C Tyler Zeller is averaging 11.3 points in the last nine games since being inserted into the starting lineup after averaging 6.3 as a reserve.

2. Orlando G Evan Fournier has made at least one 3-pointer in 32 consecutive games and is shooting 39.3 percent from behind the arc this season.

3. Boston PG Marcus Smart (Achilles) and SG Marcus Thornton (calf) are not expected to play.

PREDICTION: Magic 96, Celtics 88
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Orlando 10-17 L1 3-6 7-11 0-1 10-16 2-5 6-12
Boston 8-14 W1 5-8 3-6 1-2 7-12 3-2 7-7
Last Meeting
Orlando Boston
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
2/2/14 ORL 89 BOS 96 89 39 41.2 96 44 50.0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Orlando A. Afflalo 18 50.0 5
Boston J. Sullinger 21 66.7 0
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Orlando N. Vucevic 11 5 6
Boston J. Sullinger 12 3 9
Assists Player  
Orlando V. Oladipo 5
Boston R. Rondo 10
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Orlando T. Harris 547 47.9 106
Boston J. Green 481 44.8 105
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Orlando N. Vucevic 288 82 206
Boston J. Sullinger 272 75 197
Assists Player  
Orlando E. Payton 169
Boston R. Rondo 222
Quickchart Matchup
Orlando Off vs  Boston Defense
93.9 Points For
105.6 Points Against
45.6 FG%
45.5 FG%
41.5 Reb
43.3 Reb
Boston Off vs  Orlando Defense
104.3 Points For
99.0 Points Against
45.7 FG%
45.7 FG%
43.3 Reb
42.6 Reb