NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, December 7th
(All times Eastern)
Boston Celtics (10-8) at Philadelphia 76ers (10-8), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Good things have happened for the Philadelphia 76ers this
season each time they have lost consecutive games.
The Sixers try to avoid losing three in a row for the first time and kick
start another winning streak when they host the Boston Celtics on Friday night
in the opener of a home-and-home set.
The 76ers closed out November with three straight victories, but have lost
their first two games of this month. It marks the fourth time this season that
Philadelphia has lost two in a row, but the club has followed up each losing
streak with victories in three straight.
The Sixers dropped a 105-88 decision to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday,
never getting to within 15 points in the fourth quarter as the Wolves hit 13
3-pointers in the game.
Evan Turner had a game-high 19 points, his 10th game in a row scoring in
double figures, and Jrue Holiday added 13 points and nine assists. He ranks
third in the NBA with 9.3 assists per game.
"It was a rough game for us," said guard Jason Richardson, who had 14 points,
seven boards and four assists. "We did a good job taking away their main two
guys out, but other guys on their team stepped up and that is how they won the
Guard Nick Young did not play on Tuesday because of a hyperextended big left
toe and is doubtful for tonight as well.
The Sixers, who visit Boston on Saturday, have won four of their past six
versus the Celtics after losing 12 of the previous 14 encounters. That
includes a 106-100 win at Boston on Nov. 9, which Turner paced with 25 points
and 11 rebounds.
Holiday was also solid, netting 21 points with 14 assists for Philadelphia,
which has won three straight at home versus Boston.
Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 24 points in that loss, Kevin Garnett had a
double-double with 19 points and 10 boards, while Rajon Rondo dished out a
season-high 20 assists to go along with 14 points.
Rondo leads the NBA with 12.8 assists per game and returned from a two-game
suspension on Wednesday to score 17 points with 11 helpers in a 104-94 victory
Rondo was handed his ban by the league for his involvement in a brawl with the
Brooklyn Nets on Nov. 28. He shoved Nets forward Kris Humphries after what he
believed was a hard foul on Garnett.
Pierce had 18 points on Wednesday as all five Boston starters reached double
figures. That included Garnett, who tagged his former Timberwolves club for 18
points with 10 rebounds.
"I thought Kevin was terrific. I loved how aggressive he was offensively,"
said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "You could see he was looking to score,
which is always nice for us, because his instinct is going to make him pass
anyway. So that was good. He gave us such a great low-post presence to start
the game. And I thought that kind of set the tone for us."
Boston has won four of its past six overall.
12/07 10:36:13 ET