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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 13th (All times eastern)

Memphis Grizzlies (16-47) at Boston Celtics (49-16), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics haven't been up to their usual high standards as of late, but the Memphis Grizzlies figure to provide a good opportunity for the reigning world champions to get back on track.

The Celtics and Grizzlies square off tonight at TD Banknorth Garden in the first 2008-09 meeting between the teams.

Boston has lost two straight and four of its last seven contests and played Wednesday's game at Miami without several key players, including star center Kevin Garnett and starting point guard Rajon Rondo. The short-handed Celtics couldn't slow down Dwyane Wade in that one, as the NBA's leading scorer dropped in 32 points to lead the Heat to a 107-99 victory.

Ray Allen had 27 points for Boston, although only three came in the second half. Leon Powe, starting in place of an injured Garnett, put up 23 points and 13 rebounds in a losing cause.

Neither Garnett, who's still dealing with a right knee strain, or Rondo (sprained ankle) is expected to be available for tonight's test. In addition, reserve forwards Glen Davis (ankle) and Brian Scalabrine (concussion) and guard Tony Allen (thumb) -- all of whom sat out the Miami game -- will likely be sidelined again as well.

The Celtics may not need any of those players this evening, considering the Grizzlies own one of the league's worst road records at 4-26 and come in having dropped 11 of its last 12 overall games.

Memphis began a current four-game road trip with a 10-point loss at Houston on Sunday, then were blown out by a 19-win Minnesota team Wednesday at the Target Center. The Timberwolves snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 104-79 rout of the Grizzlies, led by Ryan Gomes' 25 points.

O.J. Mayo paced Memphis with 18 points and Mike Conley had 17 for the Grizzlies, who will wrap up this trek with a visit to Detroit on Sunday.

Boston has won three consecutive matchups with the Grizzlies, whose last victory in the series came at the Garden on December 6, 2006.

03/13 10:36:12 ET


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