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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Monday, December 13th (All times eastern)

Boston Celtics (8-11) at Los Angeles Clippers (11-8), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics try to make it two straight wins this evening when they wrap up their five-game road trip against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center.

On Saturday, Paul Pierce netted 22 points and Gary Payton had 21 as the Celtics handed the Seattle SuperSonics their first home loss of the season, 98-84, at KeyArena.

Payton, making his first Seattle appearance in a Celtics uniform, shot 10- of-16 from the field and dished out five assists. Tony Allen added 12 points in 23 minutes off the bench to help Boston snap a three-game slide.

The Celtics saw an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter shrink to four, 81-77, when Seattle ran off seven straight points. The difference was down to three at 87-84 after a Danny Fortson layup with three minutes left, but things quickly fell apart for the Sonics.

Allen's dunk putback, though, ignited Boston's rally of 11 unanswered points on its way to the win.

The Celtics, who will start a two-game homestand on Wednesday against Denver, are just 3-7 away from home this season.

In the battle of Los Angeles on Saturday, the Clippers came out on the losing end, as they dropped an 89-87 decision to the Lakers at the Staples Center.

Corey Maggette's 27 points paced the Clippers, while Mikki Moore added 18 points and 14 rebounds in the loss.

Elton Brand missed the game while serving a one-game suspension for pushing Charlotte's Emeka Okafor during a game on Monday. He should be back in the lineup tonight, while center Zeljko Rebraca, who also missed Saturday's game, is questionable with back spasms.

The Clippers, who will close a seven-game homestand tonight, are 7-5 in their arena this season.

Los Angeles took both matchups from the Celtics last season, but has dropped 10 of the last 13 meetings. Boston has also had success as the visitor in this series, winning 14 of its last 19 on the Clippers' court.

12/13 10:08:22 ET

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