NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, April 9th (All times eastern)
Washington Wizards (24-54) at Boston Celtics (49-29), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics are fighting for the third spot in the Eastern Conference and will try to continue their recent dominance of the Washington Wizards tonight from TD Garden.
Boston, which is tied with Atlanta for the third seed in the conference, has won the first three meetings with the Wizards this season after sweeping the 2008-09 season series in three games. The Celtics have won six in a row against Washington, which has lost three straight in Beantown.
The Celtics are coming off Wednesday's 115-104 road victory over the Toronto Raptors, as Rajon Rondo provided 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds to lead the way. Paul Pierce added 20 points, Kevin Garnett netted 19 and Ray Allen chipped in 18 points for Boston, which won for just the second time in six tries. Michael Finley had 14 points off the bench.
"Watching the game in the fourth I was sitting on the bench and he came in the game and gave us a real spark," Pierce said of Finley. "The bench was huge for us tonight when the game was in a battle with a six-point lead. They stretched the lead out, Michael Finley hit some big threes and that was big for us, especially on a back-to-back."
The Celtics are 24-15 at home this season.
Washington will try to bounce back from a 121-94 blowout loss to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday from Amway Arena. Nick Young had 21 points and Mike Miller tallied 16 points and nine rebounds for the Wizards, who entered the game with three wins in four tries.
Andray Blatche contributed 13 points and is averaging 21.7 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 28 games since the All-Star break. Miller is posting 16.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.8 assists in his last six contests.
"They have a great bench. They have been doing it all year," Miller said of the Magic. "They bring a lot of energy. Mickael Pietrus is great, J-Will runs the show unbelievably, J.J. Redick makes shots. Brandon Bass, Ryan Anderson and (Marcin) Gortat make up a great bench. That is one thing you try and slow down when you play these guys."
The Wizards will try to work on their 10-29 mark as the guest.
Blatche is averaging 16.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in three games versus Boston this season.
04/09 11:03:15 ET