BOSTON — The Boston Celtics picked up another impressive win on Wednesday night, battling the injury bug to top the Orlando Magic, 116-100.
With the victory, Boston improved to 35-15 on the season as they continue to keep pressure on the No. 2 seed Toronto Raptors (37-14) in the Eastern Conference.
Here's five immediate takeaways from the convincing triumph.
1. Tatum looks every bit of the All-Star he is
Just last week, Jayson Tatum was selected to his first All-Star game. Wednesday night against the Magic, he showed why.
The 21-year-old dropped a game-high 33 points with five 3-balls, snagged eight rebounds and dished out five assists. He was the best player on the court all night and his aggressiveness offensively helped the C's close things out down the stretch.
2. Hayward continues to shine
Has Gordon Hayward ever looked better in a Celtic uniform than he has these past few weeks? The short answer is no -- and he was at it again on Wednesday. Hayward scored 23 points on 10-for-16 shooting with seven rebounds and seven assists. Like Tatum, he was aggressive, got himself in an offensive rhythm early and often, and consistently made the smart decision on both ends of the floor. The confidence is through the roof right now for Hayward, who has now reached double figures in the scoring column in nine of the last 10 games. The only exception was a four-point outing in Saturday's 116-95 blowout of the Philadelphia 76ers, a game in which he finished as a plus-22 on the court.
3. Langford steady in first career start
With Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart both nursing injuries, head coach Brad Stevens turned to rookie Romeo Langford in the starting lineup. The Indiana University product didn't score much but was efficient in his 28 minutes, recording six points on 3-for-4 shooting and playing steady defense throughout. Langford is averaging just 8.4 minutes in 14 games played this season for Boston, but it's nice to know he can contribute when called upon in situations like last night.
4. Bench delivers
The Celtics' bench looked a bit different against the Magic with all the injuries they had. But Grant Williams (13 points on 5-for-6 shooting with 6 rebounds and 2 blocks), Brad Wanamaker (8 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists) and Vincent Poirer (5 points, 2 assists in 7 minutes) did their part in limited minutes. In fact, they kept pace with Orlando's capable scoring bench, finishing with 29 total bench points to Orlando's 32.
5. Balanced offense
The Celtics scored 50 points in the paint (compared to Orlando's 34) and were extremely efficient from distance to boot (13-for-23 from beyond the arc). They shot 53.5 percent overall and seemed to pick their spots beautifully en route to the 116 point evening. No matter who was running the point on offense, whether it was Tatum, Jaylen Brown or Wanamaker, it never felt like they were out of sync.
Nick Giannino can be reached at NGiannino@salemnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @NickGiannino_SN.