NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, April 11th
(All times Eastern)
Charlotte Bobcats (40-38) at Boston Celtics (23-55), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The red-hot Charlotte Bobcats will try to hold on to the
sixth seed Friday night when they visit TD Bank Garden to take on the Boston
The Bobcats have won five in a row and tied the Washington Wizards for sixth
place in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte has secured its second playoff
berth in franchise history and by virtue of a 3-1 head-to-head record this
season, owns the tiebreaker over Washington.
The Bobcats coughed up a 20-point first half lead but turned up the defensive
intensity in overtime and took down the Wizards, 94-88, in Washington on
Al Jefferson finished with 20 points and 18 rebounds and Kemba Walker tallied
17 points and 12 assists for Charlotte, which has won five straight games for
the first time since 2010.
"If you watch the games (against Washington), these games, all of them, could
have gone either way," Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford said of the battles
against the Wizards this year. "To me the teams are very evenly matched."
Gary Neal netted 16 points off the bench while Gerald Henderson and Josh
McRoberts scored 13 and 12 points, respectively. McRoberts had missed the
previous three games with a sprained ankle.
The Celtics will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07
campaign. Boston has dropped nine straight, including three in a row in
The most recent Celtics setback came Wednesday night with a road loss to the
Atlanta Hawks. Boston squandered a nine-point lead with under six minutes to
play, losing 105-97.
"It's pretty much the same old story the last couple games," Rajon Rondo said
of his team's struggles. "When teams make a comeback on us, they turn up the
pressure and we seem to fold."
Avery Bradley returned from a three-game absence and paced Boston with 24
points, while Rondo registered 19 points and 12 assists for the Celtics, who
have lost a team-record 13 straight road games, matching the mark set in the
Jared Sullinger registered a 15-ppint, 11-rebound double-double. Jeff Green
chipped in 13 points and Chris Johnson added 10 for the second unit.
Boston allowed the Hawks to shoot over 52 percent and was obviously done in by
a late-game meltdown. Atlanta went on a 10-0 run, then a 9-0 run to close the
game. The Hawks outscored the Celtics, 35-20, over the final 12 minutes.
The teams have split two meetings this season with the road team prevailing
each time. Charlotte has still lost eight of its last 10 as the visitor in
04/11 10:53:39 ET