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Friday, February 9th (All times eastern)

New Jersey Nets (23-27) at Boston Celtics (12-36), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics try to avoid their 17th straight loss tonight when they host the New Jersey Nets at TD Banknorth Garden.

Boston's franchise-worst losing skid hit 16 games on Wednesday when it lost at home to the Miami Heat, 91-79.

Ryan Gomes led the Celtics with 15 points while Al Jefferson recorded a double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds for the Celtics, who haven't won since January 5 at Memphis.

Still without guard Paul Pierce, Boston saw forward Wally Szczerbiak leave Wednesday's game with a sprained left ankle late in the third quarter. He is day-to-day, but is doubtful for tonight's game.

Pierce has been out since the middle of December and most likely will not return before the All-Star break.

Boston will wrap up a quick two-game homestand tonight and has lost 12 in a row at home. The club is 4-20 overall this season at TD Banknorth Garden. The Celtics will play in Minnesota on Sunday.

New Jersey, meanwhile, moved to 1-1 on its current three-game road trip Wednesday when it knocked off Atlanta, 87-85 at Philips Arena. Vince Carter's driving layup with 7.6 seconds left in regulation proved to be the difference in the win.

Carter, who finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, added the final point after grabbing the rebound from Jeremy Richardson's last-chance jumper for Atlanta.

Mikki Moore posted 19 points and pulled down six boards while Eddie House scored 16 points off the bench for the Nets, who snapped a four-game losing skid. Jason Kidd donated nine points, dished out nine assists and pulled down seven rebounds in the win.

The Nets win over Atlanta marked the eighth time in the Nets' last 12 games that the contest was decided by one or two points. They are just the second team in league history to endure such a stretch. The other was the 1957-58 Pistons.

New Jersey is 10-15 on the road this season and will return home for a pair of games, starting Saturday against the Magic. The Nets are currently second in the Atlantic Division, 3 1/2 games behind the Raptors.

The teams will meet for the third time this season having split the previous two games. Boston snapped a four-game losing streak in the series on December 9 when Pierce hit a game-winning shot as time expired to give the Celtics a 92-90 win.

The Nets, though, have still won six of the last eight meetings and two in a row in Boston.

02/09 10:53:33 ET

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