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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

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  • Hoops Headquarters: Final Four Special

    Friday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-TV

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    Sunday at 5:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NCAA Basketball Tournament Championship

    Monday at 9:00 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 104
BOS 116
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
CAR
 
Final
DET 2
ATL 4
Final
TAM 6
BAL 6
Final
PIT 18
PHI 4
Final
STL 6
WAS 2
Final
NYM 7
MIA 1
Final
CWS 1
CLE 4
Final
OAK 11
COL 2
Final
TEX 7
KAN 11
Final
SEA 5
ANA 3
Final
CIN 3
SDP 6
Final
CHC 8
SFG 5
Final
ARI 2
LOS 4
Final
HOU 4
TOR 7
Final
BOS 14
MIN 2
1:05pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
STL
MIA
 
1:05pm Today
WAS
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
DET
PIT
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
PHI
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
LOS
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
MIL
CIN
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
COL
 
4:05pm Today
CLE
SEA
 
4:10pm Today
ANA
OAK
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
TEX
 
6:05pm Tonight
ATL
HOU
 
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
KAN
 
Final
CHA 104
BOS 116
Final
PHI 111
LAL 113
Final
TOR 99
HOU 96
Final
ATL 101
MIL 88
Final
MEM 97
SAC 83
Final
MIN 84
UTA 104
Final
POR 109
PHO 86
7:30pm Tonight
DET
ATL
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
SAN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
GSW
 
Final
LOYC 65
LAMON 58
7:00pm Tonight
TEMPL
MIAMI
 
7:00pm Tonight
EVAN
TENNM
 
9:00pm Tonight
NARZ
YALE
 
9:00pm Tonight
ODU
STAN
 
Final
MON 3
TAM 5
Final
STL 1
VAN 4
Final
DAL 3
CAL 5
Final
CHI 4
LOS 1
Final
COL 1
EDM 4
Final
ARI 1
BUF 4
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
NJD
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
OTT
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
TAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
NYR
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
VAN