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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Monday, March 14th (All times eastern)

Boston Celtics (34-29) at Charlotte Bobcats (12-48), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The surging Boston Celtics will try to extend their Atlantic Division lead this evening, when they take on the Charlotte Bobcats at Charlotte Coliseum.

Boston has won three straight and seven of its last eight contests, including a 105-101 win over the Washington Wizards at Banknorth Garden on Sunday. Paul Pierce scored 20 points and Raef LaFrentz added 19 in the winning effort for the Celtics.

Ricky Davis, Al Jefferson and Tony Allen all netted 12 points for the Celtics. Boston's recent surge has it a season-best four games ahead of Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division. Antoine Walker ended with 11 points and 12 boards.

Boston's bench outscored the Wizards' reserves 50-18. The Celtics were 12- of-17 from the foul line while Washington went to the charity stripe 41 times and made 27.

Boston went 5-1 on its season-long six-game homestand and has won 10 of its last 12 home games. Meanwhile, the Celtics are 10-19 on the road. Boston has won two straight after losing its last three road games.

Charlotte has not been good as of late, dropping nine of 10, 16 of 18 and 17 of its last 20 games. The Bobcats' woes continued on Saturday as they fell 117-116 to the Los Angeles Lakers at home. Charlotte did register a franchise record in points.

Emeka Okafor became the first player in Bobcats franchise history to hit the 30-point plateau, finishing with 30 points and 11 boards. Brevin Knight returned from a three-game absence due to an ankle injury to record 21 points, 17 assists and no turnovers.

Keith Bogans registered 13 points, while Melvin Ely and Matt Carroll chipped in 12 points apiece. The Bobcats hit 54.2 percent from the field, including 3- of-9 (.333) from three-point range. Charlotte drained 23-of-28 (.821) from the charity stripe. The Bobcats committed just five turnovers in the contest.

The Bobcats own the second-worst record (12-48) in the league, one game ahead of Atlanta (11-51). Charlotte has lost 12 of its last 15 home games to fall to 10-20.

Boston has swept three meetings between these teams this season, including a 97-92 victory at the Charlotte Coliseum on Jan. 25.

03/14 10:15:50 ET

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