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Magic stun East-leading Celtics in Boston

Agence France-Presse

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Magic stun East-leading Celtics in Boston
Orlando spoils the return of Kyrie Irving from injury

WASHINGTON DC, USA – The Orlando Magic parlayed a big 3rd quarter into a 103-95 upset of the Boston Celtics on Sunday, their 3rd win in 20 games coming against the NBA’s Eastern Conference leaders.

Elfrid Payton scored 22 points for the Magic, who had lost their last 14 games in Boston in a skid stretching back to February 2010.

“It feels good to get a win, especially after playing well,” Payton said. “We felt we played well against the Cavs and didn’t come out with the victory. So to get the win today feels good.”

Orlando spoiled the return from injury of Boston point guard Kyrie Irving, whose 40 points couldn’t prevent the Celtics from dropping a 3rd straight game for the first time this season.

Irving had missed Thursday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers with a nagging shoulder injury.

Jaylen Brown scored 17 points and Marcus Morris finished with 12 to score in double figures for the 4th consecutive game for the Celtics.

“We haven’t played well consistently on both ends for a while now,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “I felt like they were shooting layups for the most part tonight.”

Evan Fournier scored 19 points and Aaron Gordon produced a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Magic, who started the day in a 3-way tie for the worst record in the league.

Orlando trailed 59-58 at halftime, but out-scored the Celtics 32-12 in the 3rd quarter to take a 90-71 lead into the final frame.

The Magic’s upset bid appeared to be coming unstuck as they made just one of their first 16 shot attempts of the 4th quarter.

The Celtics trimmed the deficit to 7 points on Al Horford’s hook shot with 1:13 remaining.

A free-throw from Payton and Fournier’s floater in the final minute stretched Orlando’s lead back to 10. –

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