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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 21st (All times Eastern)

Boston Celtics (23-46) at Brooklyn Nets (35-31), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Brooklyn Nets have narrowed the gap to 2 1/2 games in the Atlantic Division and they face another critical test Friday night when they host the rival Boston Celtics at Barclays Center.

The Nets have won two straight, five of their last six and nine of the last 11. Brooklyn is fifth in the Eastern Conference, just a half-game ahead of the Washington Wizards and two behind the Chicago Bulls.

The Nets started their homestand 2-0 thanks to wins over the Phoenix Suns and Charlotte Bobcats.

The most recent victory came Wednesday night over the Bobcats as the Nets prevailed, 104-99.

Deron Williams' 25 points and eight assists led the way in the Nets' 10th consecutive win at Barclays Center.

"That's the Deron I'm used to seeing," said Nets center Andray Blatche.

Joe Johnson added 20 points and Shaun Livingston finished with 17. Brooklyn hasn't lost at home since a 120-95 shellacking by Oklahoma City on Jan. 31. Blatche (13), Mason Plumlee (11) and Marcus Thornton (11) rounded out the double-figure scorers.

It will always be meaningful for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to face their former team, a team they guided to an NBA title in 2008. Garnett has missed 10 straight with a back issue and won't play on Friday.

The Celtics snapped a five-game losing streak in style Wednesday night with a 101-96 home victory over the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat. Sure, LeBron James missed the game with back spasms, but a win is a win.

Rajon Rondo nearly recorded a triple-double with nine points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists to lead the Celtics.

"It was a good win," said Rondo. "We needed a win, we needed to play better at home and we did."

Avery Bradley paced Boston with 23 points behind a career-high six 3- pointers, while Brandon Bass tallied 18 and Jared Sullinger added 14 off the bench to help the C's.

With the game tied at 92-92 and under two minutes remaining, Jeff Green buried a 3-pointer and Rondo hit a runner to give the Celtics a five-point lead. Dwyane Wade made a jumper, but Rondo answered with another bucket to seal the victory.

Green finished with 13 points and Kelly Olynyk chipped in 10 points in a reserve role.

The Nets have won two of three meetings with the Celtics this season, but they are only 3-9 in their last 12 as the host against their rivals from Boston.

03/21 10:22:56 ET

Other Stories

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Wednesday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Virginia at Syracuse

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 620am

  • NHL Hurricanes at Chicago

    Tomorrow at 8:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Clemson

    Tuesday at 9:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
CHA
Final
PHI 2
UTA 6
 
Final
CHI 86
LAC 96
2nd
HOU 29
CLE 26
 
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
CHA
6:00pm Tonight
BOS
GSW
6:00pm Tonight
IND
PHI
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
POR
6:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
8:00pm Tonight
DEN
NOP
Final
NIAG 57
FAIR 56
 
Final
PETE 68
IONA 60
 
Final
RIDE 59
MAR 49
 
2nd
MAN 68
QUIN 65
 
2nd
UCONN 68
SMU 59
 
2nd
CAL 32
ORST 31
 
2nd
HOU 35
SFLA 31
 
1st
PROV 33
MARQ 27
 
4:00pm Today
WISC
MSU
4:30pm Today
MON
SIENA
 
6:30pm Tonight
WAKE
PITT
7:00pm Tonight
STAN
OREG
7:30pm Tonight
OSU
PURD
8:30pm Tonight
COL
ARST
9:30pm Tonight
UCLA
WASU
4:00pm Today
WIN
LOS
5:00pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
5:00pm Tonight
FLA
TAM
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
STL