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Boston Celtics

Celtics survive poor shooting night for second straight win

  • Boston Celtics' Vitor Faverani (38), of Brazil, and Orlando Magic's Jameer Nelson, right, lose control of a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

    Boston Celtics' Vitor Faverani (38), of Brazil, and Orlando Magic's Jameer Nelson, right, lose control of a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Boston Celtics' Jordan Crawford (27) makes a shot as he gets past Orlando Magic's Maurice Harkless (21) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

    Boston Celtics' Jordan Crawford (27) makes a shot as he gets past Orlando Magic's Maurice Harkless (21) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Boston Celtics' Gerald Wallace (45) knocks down Orlando Magic's Victor Oladipo (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

    Boston Celtics' Gerald Wallace (45) knocks down Orlando Magic's Victor Oladipo (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Boston Celtics' Courtney Lee, left, gets a shot off in front of Orlando Magic's Victor Oladipo (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

    Boston Celtics' Courtney Lee, left, gets a shot off in front of Orlando Magic's Victor Oladipo (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Boston Celtics' Brandon Bass (30) takes a shot over Orlando Magic's Jason Maxiell during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

    Boston Celtics' Brandon Bass (30) takes a shot over Orlando Magic's Jason Maxiell during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Orlando Magic's E'Twaun Moore, left, makes a shot as he gets around Boston Celtics' Gerald Wallace (45) and Brandon Bass (30) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

    Orlando Magic's E'Twaun Moore, left, makes a shot as he gets around Boston Celtics' Gerald Wallace (45) and Brandon Bass (30) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Orlando Magic's Arron Afflalo (4) makes a basket as he gets in front of the Boston Celtics defense during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

    Orlando Magic's Arron Afflalo (4) makes a basket as he gets in front of the Boston Celtics defense during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Boston Celtics' Vitor Faverani (38), of Brazil, and Orlando Magic's Jameer Nelson, right, lose control of a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

    Boston Celtics' Vitor Faverani (38), of Brazil, and Orlando Magic's Jameer Nelson, right, lose control of a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Boston Celtics' Courtney Lee, left, gets a shot off in front of Orlando Magic's Victor Oladipo (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

    Boston Celtics' Courtney Lee, left, gets a shot off in front of Orlando Magic's Victor Oladipo (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Boston Celtics' Vitor Faverani (38), of Brazil, and Orlando Magic's Jameer Nelson, right, lose control of a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
  • Boston Celtics' Jordan Crawford (27) makes a shot as he gets past Orlando Magic's Maurice Harkless (21) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
  • Boston Celtics' Gerald Wallace (45) knocks down Orlando Magic's Victor Oladipo (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
  • Boston Celtics' Courtney Lee, left, gets a shot off in front of Orlando Magic's Victor Oladipo (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.(AP Photo/John Raoux)
  • Boston Celtics' Brandon Bass (30) takes a shot over Orlando Magic's Jason Maxiell during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
  • Orlando Magic's E'Twaun Moore, left, makes a shot as he gets around Boston Celtics' Gerald Wallace (45) and Brandon Bass (30) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.(AP Photo/John Raoux)
  • Orlando Magic's Arron Afflalo (4) makes a basket as he gets in front of the Boston Celtics defense during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.(AP Photo/John Raoux)
  • Boston Celtics' Vitor Faverani (38), of Brazil, and Orlando Magic's Jameer Nelson, right, lose control of a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
  • Boston Celtics' Courtney Lee, left, gets a shot off in front of Orlando Magic's Victor Oladipo (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Boston Celtics are prepared to go through growing pains this season as they learn to adapt to life without franchise stalwarts Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Coach Brad Stevens is ready for a long process, but will take a few wins like last night’s along the way.

Brandon Bass had 16 points, including a pair of free-throws in the closing seconds, to help the Celtics fight back from an early hole and hang on for a 91-89 victory over the Orlando Magic.

“We talked before about making winning plays in winning time, and we did. That was neat,” said Stevens, whose team improved to 2-4 with its second straight victory. “Overall, I’m very pleased with the result but we still have a lot to work on. We’re not that much different than if we wouldn’t have won the game.”

Trailing by three, the Magic (3-3) had a chance to tie the game in the final minute, but Arron Afflalo’s jumper came from just a half-step inside the 3-point line.

The victory extends the Celtics’ winning streak over Orlando to nine games.

Avery Bradley added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics, who will try to make it three straight wins tonight at defending champion Miami.

Boston survived a 36 percent shooting night from the field, including a 2-for-14 performance from beyond the arc.

It was the fourth straight opponent that the Magic held under 40 percent. But after taking an early lead they let the Celtics back in the game by committing a season-high 20 turnovers that led to 25 points on the other end.

Afflalo led the Magic, who had their three-game winning streak ended, with 23 points. Nik Vucevic finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds but was mostly bottled up by Boston’s defense.

Magic Coach Jacque Vaughn said the turnovers also contributed to Vucevic’s off night.

“That didn’t help us initiate our offense and then secondly, they did a good job of trying to deny him the basketball,” he said. “You’ve got to give them credit for their defense.”

Boston slipped out at a seven-point lead to begin the fourth quarter, but the Magic fought back to tie it at 75.

The cushion grew again when Bradley stripped Victor Oladipo at midcourt and sprinted ahead for a dunk and eventual three-point play to put the Celtics back up 81-77 with under six minutes to play.

Afflalo knocked down a 3-pointer and was fouled by Bradley with 1:38 left. He promptly completed the four-point play to pull the Magic within 86-84.

Kelly Olynyk responded with a jumper on Boston’s next possession, but after rebounding a Magic miss on the other end, a floater by Jeff Green caromed off the rim and landed out of bounds.

The Magic weren’t done. Afflalo saved a shaky possession with a driving layup and three-point play to cut the Celtics’ lead back to 88-87 with 26.5 remaining.

Boston tried to run down the clock and Bass was eventually fouled and was able to connect on both free throws.

Following a timeout, Afflalo got loose and banked in a jumper from the wing, but a review confirmed he was inside the 3-point line.

Bradley was fouled and connected on 1 of his 2 attempts. Oladipo then missed a desperation 3-pointer off the backboard at the buzzer.

“We stuck together when we were missing shots, a lot of easy shots,” Celtics guard Jordan Crawford said. “But everybody stuck together as a team.”

Afflalo said the loss stings because they felt it was a throwback to lessons they thought they learned a year ago.

“This team has been through a lot last year in understanding how valuable wins are,” he said. “Outside of that opener (a 10-point loss to Indiana), we’ve lost two games now that we felt we should have won. So we are learning in a process, but I think we came to play.”

NOTES

∎ With the college basketball season opening last night, Stevens said that he has stayed in tune with his former Butler team. “Yeah, I pay attention to it,” he said. “You’re always invested more in the people you know and the people that you’re really tight with and friends with. I’ll be interested to see if my family watches our game (tonight) or the Butler game.”

∎ Magic F Tobias Harris missed his sixth straight game with a sprained left ankle.

∎ Pro golfer Bubba Watson sat courtside at last night’s game.

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