ORLANDO, Fla. — Brandon Bass had 16 points, including a pair of free-throws in the closing seconds to help the Boston Celtics hang on for a 91-89 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.
Trailing by three, the Magic had a chance to tie the game in the final minute, but Arron Afflalo’s jumper came from just a step inside the 3-point line.
Avery Bradley added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics.
The win is the Celtics’ second straight and extends their win streak over Orlando to nine games. They will try to make it three straight Saturday at Miami.
Afflalo led the Magic with 23 points. Nik Vucevic added 14 points and 13 rebounds.
The loss ends the Magic’s three-game win streak.
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 6 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, though, as 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 of free-throws.
Following a timeout, Afflalo got loose and banked in a jumper from the wing, but a review confirmed it 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.
Orlando held Boston to 35 percent shooting in the first half, but led only 49-46 at the break after being slowed by 10 turnovers.
Both teams started sluggish on offense before the Magic picked up the pace with 12-0 run on their way to building as much as a 12-point advantage in the opening 24 minutes.
The Celtics closed the gap thanks to Courtney Lee’s one-man, 9-0 run late in the half.
NOTES: With the college basketball season opening on Friday night, Celtics coach Brad 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 (Saturday) night 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 Friday’s game.