BOSTON — In a way, Boston is home to Orlando Magic guard E'Twaun Moore, even though he grew up in East Chicago, Ind.
The Boston Celtics used the 55th overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft to select Moore out of Purdue, and Monday night's game between the Magic and Celtics at TD Garden brought back fond memories.
"Every time I come back here, personally, it's always fun," Moore said before tipoff. "It's almost like a home game because I see a lot of familiar faces."
Moore played in 38 regular-season games and nine postseason games as a Celtics rookie, where he learned from veteran teammates Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and reached the 2012 Eastern Conference finals. When Moore was watching games from the bench, he sometimes found himself reacting as a fan would react, amazed by some of the plays Allen, Garnett, Pierce and Rajon Rondo would conjure.
Only three players from that 2011-12 Celtics team remain on the Celtics' roster: Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass and Rondo.
After Moore's rookie season, the Celtics sent him to the Houston Rockets in a multi-team trade, and the Rockets released him.
Moore is now in the second season of a two-year deal with the Magic. With free agency looming, this is an important season for him.
He's been effective off the bench so far this season. He entered Monday night's game shooting a team-best 58.3 percent from 3-point range.
"I feel a lot more comfortable, especially after playing a lot last year," Moore said. "Knowing the personnel and knowing to be in the right places, just getting real comfortable with the game, is helping me play better."
Defending the 3
Monday night's game featured two teams that have excelled in defending 3-pointers this season.
The Celtics entered the night ranked first in the NBA in 3-point percentage defense, limiting opponents to 28.0 percent shooting from behind the arc.
The Magic know about the Celtics' ability to defend the 3 firsthand. On Friday, Orlando made just four of its 20 3-point tries against Boston.
Magic coach Jacque Vaughn credits the Celtics' wing defenders, a group that includes 6-foot-9 Jeff Green, 6-foot-5 Courtney Lee and 6-foot-7 Gerald Wallace.
"From the wing position, they have great length," Vaughn said. "So their ability to get out and contest shots [is impressive]."
But the Magic haven't been slouches in defending the 3, either. They began Monday ranked third in the league in that category, holding teams to 29.3 percent shooting from 3-point range.
Magic rookie Victor Oladipo and Celtics veteran Keith Bogans bumped into each other outside of the Magic's locker room Monday and exchanged a fond hello. Both of them graduated from DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md.
Bogans graduated high school in 1999, while Oladipo graduated in 2010.
They met for the first time before Friday night's Magic-Celtics game in Orlando.
"I've always known who he was and I always knew he was a DeMatha guy," Oladipo said. "It's pretty cool meeting him, because I know a lot of stories about him. He's a legend at DeMatha, so it was a great opportunity meeting him."
The toughest job in Boston on Monday belonged to TD Garden workers. They converted the arena from hockey mode for a noon Boston Bruins-Tampa Bay Lightning game to basketball mode for the 7:30 p.m. Magic-Celtics game.