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Celtics top Magic 96-89, 'under' cashes

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BOSTON (AP) - Rajon Rondo had season highs with 19 points and 10 assists and the Boston Celtics snapped a four-game losing streak with a 96-89 win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday.

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Jared Sullinger scored seven of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for the Celtics, who let a 12-point lead slip to one in the final period before pulling away at the end.

Brandon Bass had 19 points and nine rebounds and Avery Bradley scored 17 in his return after missing five games with a sprained ankle.

Jeff Green was the only Boston starter not to score in double figures as the Celtics won for the third time in four games against the Magic, who have lost four of five.

Arron Afflalo had 18 points and Nikola Vucevic finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Magic, who lost their 11th straight road game. Glen Davis had 15 points, Tobias Harris scored 13 and Victor Oladipo had 12 points as all five Orlando starters scored in double figures.

The only game on the NBA schedule Sunday featured two of the league's bottom teams.

Boston entered Sunday winless in six games since Rondo's return last month after missing nearly a year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. His season highs were 13 points and eight assists before going 9 of 10 from the floor Sunday and adding six rebounds.

Orlando, which has just three road wins this season, rallied after making a push in the fourth quarter. The Magic went without a field goal in the fourth quarter until Maurice Harkless' layup cut Boston's lead to 75-68 with 9:01 left to play. E'Twaun Moore and Davis added layups during an 10-2 run that pulled the Magic within 77-76 on a pair of free throws by Kyle O'Quinn with 6:11 left to play.

It was as close as Orlando would get. Rondo answered with hook shot for the Celtics and Bradley followed with a field goal and two foul shots as Boston started to pull away. The Celtics sealed it with an 8-2 run in the final two minutes.

Notes: Rondo was 5 for 6 in the first half while scoring 13. ... The Celtics scored 27 in each of the first two periods and led 54-45 at halftime. ... Boston G Avery Bradley returned after missing five games with a sprained right ankle. ... Orlando G Jameer Nelson did not travel with the Magic because of a sore left knee. ... Boston was 0-6 in games with Rondo in the lineup since returning from a torn ACL. ... Orlando last won on the road Dec. 16, beating Chicago 83-82. ... The Magic's 3-22 road record is the worst in the NBA.

AP NEWS
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The Associated Press
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