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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 7th (All times eastern)

Chicago Bulls (24-36) at Boston Celtics (47-12), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics will attempt to run their winning streak to seven straight games when the playoff-bound club welcomes the Chicago Bulls to TD Banknorth Garden this evening.

Boston became the first team to clinch a postseason berth this season following Wednesday's 90-78 triumph over visiting Detroit. Kevin Garnett led the way with a 31-point, six-rebound performance, while Kendrick Perkins compiled 20 points and 10 boards for the Celtics.

The 47-12 Celtics own a commanding 14 1/2-game lead over second-place Toronto in the Atlantic Division standings and are now four games in front of the Pistons, who presently hold the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Boston also won two of its three 2007-08 meetings with Detroit, which would give the Celtics the tiebreaker if the teams wind up tied at season's end.

Boston will be wrapping up a five-game homestand tonight and has won its last nine contests at TD Banknorth Garden. The Celtics are a stellar 27-4 as the host this season.

Chicago also enters tonight's matchup on a bit of a roll, as the team comes in off back-to-back home victories over Memphis and Cleveland. The Bulls have not won three consecutive games at any point this season.

In their most recent outing, the Bulls came through with a 107-96 decision over the Cavaliers behind a 13-point, 20-rebound effort from rookie Joakim Noah.

Luol Deng and Ben Gordon each netted 23 points for Chicago, which outscored Cleveland by a 34-16 margin in the third quarter to erase a four-point halftime deficit.

The Bulls played last night's tilt without Tyrus Thomas, as the second-year forward served the first of a team-imposed two-game suspension for missing a practice earlier in the week. Thomas will sit out tonight's game as well.

Sam Cassell, signed by the Celtics on Monday, could make his debut with his new club tonight. The veteran guard was not present for Wednesday's win due to a death in the family.

Chicago has dropped five of its last six on the road and is just 11-21 as the visitor for the year. The Bulls have also lost both of their 2007-08 encounters with Boston, including a 107-82 defeat in Beantown on December 21.

The Bulls had won eight straight meetings with the Celtics prior to those two setbacks.

03/07 10:36:59 ET

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