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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 26th (All times eastern)
Boston Celtics (41-15) at Los Angeles Clippers (21-38), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Hearts were heavy in Boston's locker room when news broke that popular center Kendrick Perkins was traded to Oklahoma City in a four- player deal that landed promising young forward Jeff Green in Beantown.
"There was a lot of crying, lot of hugging going on," Perkins said, according to CSN New England. "And a lot of it was me. I ain't gonna lie. I'm gonna miss the hell out of them. It's going to be hard leaving them behind, leaving this team behind and the fans and this city. But this is a business, and being traded is part of that business."
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge pulled the trigger on a deal to send Perkins and reserve guard Nate Robinson to the Thunder for Green, center Nenad Krstic and a future first-round pick. The Celtics are expected to unveil their new acquisitions tonight in the continuation of a three-game road trip against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center.
Boston suffered an 89-75 loss to Denver on Thursday, as it was held scoreless over the final 6:05 of the contest and watched the Nuggets roll to the win on a game-ending 16-0 run. It was Denver's second straight win without Carmelo Anthony, who was traded to the Knicks. Paul Pierce scored 17 points and Kevin Garnett compiled 14 for the Celtics, whose three-game win streak ended and fell to 16-10 away from TD Garden this season.
The Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference-leading Celtics will close out their west coast trip in Utah on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Clippers completed an 11-game road swing with Friday's 108-95 loss to the rival Lakers. Randy Foye scored 24 points and Blake Griffin added 22 points and 10 rebounds for his 49th double-double of the season.
The Clippers went 2-9 on the trek and have now dropped three straight and 10 of their last 12 contests. They were outscored by a 33-17 margin in the third quarter, when Kobe Bryant netted 18 of his 24 points.
"Any time we play those guys, even if it's our home game, it feels like an away game," Clippers center DeAndre Jordan said on NBA.com. "You're in L.A. This is the Lakers. Everybody is a Laker fan here."
Los Angeles newcomers Mo Williams and Jamario Moon did not play Friday and were acquired from Cleveland this week in exchange for veteran point guard Baron Davis, who has yet to take a physical. Williams and Moon are expected to play either Saturday or Monday.
The Clippers will be playing as the host for the first time since Feb. 2 versus Chicago and are 16-14 at home this season.
Boston and LA are meeting for the first time since splitting a home-and-home set a season ago, with each team prevailing as the host. These two teams have split the past 14 matchups.
02/26 10:40:35 ET
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