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The Celtics’ summer league team stormed back, blew a lead, and couldn’t complete a second comeback on their way to a 85-82 loss to the Orlando Magic Monday afternoon. The Celtics were down by as many as 13 in the first quarter before they sped up to a nine-point lead in the 3rd.
However, with a minute and a half to go in the 4th quarter, the Green were facing a six-point deficit. The Celtics tied it on a Lester Hudson breakaway with 40 seconds remaining. The Magic then made 3 straight free throws and Hudson missed a three at the buzzer to complete the contest.
The game gave the Celts a good look at Coby Karl, who led the team in scoring with 18 points. The 6’5” guard also added 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Karl proved to have a wide-range of offensive moves, shooting 2 for 3 from outside and getting to the line to attempt 11 free throws.
As impressive as Karl was, second-year guard J.R. Giddens was just as effective. Giddens filled up the box score by contributing 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Giddens also provided the most highlight reel worthy play of the afternoon. With 5 minutes to go in the 1st quarter, Giddens dribble-drove past three defenders and finished with a thunderous one-handed slam. The play garnered a rare outburst of applause from the 30 or so GMs and media personnel in attendance.
Gabe Pruitt had 14 for the Celts, while big man Nick Fazekas added 12 points and 5 rebounds. Hudson’s stellar performance Monday was all but a memory on Tuesday, as the rookie guard shot 0 for 4 from outside and finished with just 4 points on 2 of 7 shooting.
On the big man front, Robert Swift was once again out-played by rookie free agent Kevin Rogers. To Swift’s credit, he played much better Tuesday, as he finished with four blocked shots. Still, his conditioning prevented him from staying in front of Orlando’s Ryan Anderson. The Magic’s newly acquired forward continually blew by Swift on his way to 33 points; one shy of Travis Diener’s summer league record. If the Celtics are in need of another big man…let’s just say they might have to look elsewhere.
The Summer Celts will face off against the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday at 5 p.m.