NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, April 9th (All times eastern)
Boston Celtics (41-34) at New Jersey Nets (37-39), 1 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics try to continue to move towards their first Atlantic Division crown since the 1991-92 season, as they visit the New Jersey Nets this afternoon at Continental Airlines Arena.
The Celtics, who are the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race, own a three-game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers in the Atlantic Division.
New Jersey is 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia and Cleveland for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Nets are in third place in the Atlantic and are 4 1/2 games behind the Celtics.
This is the third meeting of the season between the clubs. The Nets defeated Boston, 104-98, on January 21st at the Meadowlands, while the Celtics beat New Jersey, 110-89, on February 2nd at the FleetCenter.
The teams will play one final time in the 2004-05 campaign, as Boston is scheduled to host the Nets on April 20th.
Boston begins a three-game road trip today. On Wednesday, Ricky Davis scored a game-high 27 points and All-Star Paul Pierce netted 26 to lead the Celtics to a 103-97 victory over the struggling Milwaukee Bucks at the FleetCenter.
Raef LaFrentz scored 13 in Wednesday's win for the Celtics while Delonte West and Mark Blount each contributed 10 points for Boston, which has won two in a row and three of their last four overall.
On the injury front, Boston forward Antoine Walker is questionable for today's contest with a knee injury. The 28-year-old Walker has missed three straight games.
The Celtics, who will also visit Philadelphia and Milwaukee on the current swing, are 15-21 as the visitor this season. They will play five of their final seven games in the regular season on the road.
New Jersey comes into today's game on a two-game homestand. On Thursday, Jason Kidd recorded his league-leading seventh triple-double of the season as the Nets continued their late surge toward the playoffs with a 110-98 victory over the New York Knicks at Continental Airlines Arena.
Kidd scored 28 points, dished out 12 assists and grabbed 10 rebounds for New Jersey, while All-Star Vince Carter contributed a game-high 32 points in the victory. Nenad Krstic netted 11 points to go along with 10 boards for the Nets, who have won 10 of their last 13 games overall.
Carter has scored 20 or more points in six straight and 14 of his last 15 games. He is averaging 29.1 points, five rebounds and 5.2 assists in his last 10 contests.
The Nets are 21-17 at home this season. They have won five of their last eight as the host. New Jersey will split its final six games of the regular season evenly between the Meadowlands and the road.
04/09 10:59:29 ET