Celtics Should Have No Trouble Picking up Third Straight Win

Celtics Should Have No Trouble Picking up Third Straight Win If it seems like the Celtics were on an ugly losing streak just a few days ago, that's because they were. But the past is the past, and these C's have figured out how to win again. They've won back-to-back games against Washington and Miami, and they'll now look to keep the ball rolling against an New Jersey team that's 4-44 and threatening for the worst record in NBA history.

The C's are well on their way to their third consecutive win, a welcome sight after the frustrating events of last week.

When and Where

Friday, Feb. 5, 7:30 p.m. ET (CSNE)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.

Records

Celtics (31-16, first place in Atlantic Division, third place in Eastern Conference)
Nets (4-44, fifth place in Atlantic Division, 15th place in Eastern Conference)

Head to Head

The Celtics have made a cakewalk out of every matchup they've had with the Nets over the past three years. They've now won 11 straight, including two this season, winning once on the road 86-76 on Nov. 7, and again in New Jersey 111-87 on Jan. 13. The Nets have nothing on Doc Rivers' Celtics. Nothing at all.

Skinny

One team really needs a win to get back in the hunt for the Eastern Conference's No. 2 seed; the other wouldn't really mind a loss, what with the draft lottery coming up and John Wall up for grabs next summer. If the Celtics win this one, it'll be win-win. The Celtics have a playoff race to fight, and the Nets are already looking toward the future. As well they should.

Starting Lineups

Celtics
Point guard: Rajon Rondo
Shooting guard: Ray Allen
Small forward: Tony Allen
Power forward: Kevin Garnett
Center: Kendrick Perkins

Nets
Point guard: Devin Harris
Shooting guard: Courtney Lee
Small forward: Jarvis Hayes
Power forward: Yi Jianlian
Center: Brook Lopez

Stat Sheet

Celtics
The Celtics are 8-1 this season against the Atlantic Division.

They have 1,827 total rebounds, second-fewest of any NBA team.

Rajon Rondo is averaging 2.4 steals per game, a career-high.

Paul Pierce has fallen back to third in the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage, behind youngsters Daniel Gibson and Jared Dudley.

Kendrick Perkins had two blocks against Miami on Friday night, giving him a team-high 94 for the season.

Kevin Garnett has averaged 19.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game in 29 career meetings with the Nets.

Ray Allen has 18.7 points per game against them.

Nets
The Nets are 1-24 on the road this season.

They have an opponents' field goal percentage of 48.0 percent, second-worst in the NBA. Only the Warriors (48.5 percent) are allowing a higher percentage.

Brook Lopez has 97 blocks this season, tied for fourth in the NBA with the Wizards' Brendan Haywood.

Courtney Lee
leads the Nets with 64 steals on the season.

Yi Jianlian is averaging 15.4 points per game, a career-high.

Jarvis Hayes is averaging just 5.4 points per game on the road this season.

Devin Harris has 206 assists and 91 turnovers this season.

Black and Blue

Paul Pierce has a mid-foot strain. He hopes to return to the Celtics this weekend.

Marquis Daniels hopes to return Sunday from his left thumb injury.

Nets
Keyon Dooling
missed Wednesday's game against Toronto with sore hip flexors.

This Date in Celtics History

In 1960, Bill Russell ignores a charley horse in his leg and grabs a career-high 51 rebounds in a game against visiting Syracuse. The Celtics beat the Nationals 124-100 at the Boston Garden.

Overheard

"It was contagious. It started when we first came out, first play of the game, you know, we moved the ball. When guys are moving the ball, we’re a great team, and we’re fun to watch. Can’t give our guys enough credit. We shared the ball tonight and played very unselfish."
–Rajon Rondo, on the Celtics unselfishness offensively in their win over Miami on Wednesday night

Press Box

Celtics
The Celtics turned up the pressure against the Heat.

Paul Pierce is feeling good.

Marquis Daniels eyes a return.

Nets
The Nets blew a 12-point lead against Toronto.

The Nets just might be the worst ever.

Del Harris couldn't take it anymore.

NBA
LeBron James
again outdueled Dwyane Wade.

Mike Dunleavy is out in L.A. Sort of.

The 2010 free-agent class has solid representation.

Outlook

With back-to-back wins now under their belts, the Celtics can focus on moving forward and keeping their momentum going in the right direction. They're winning, they're starting to get healthy, and they're taking on a Nets team that's extremely overmatched. Earlier this week, you saw the C's lose their third straight game, but this weekend, you'll see them make a move in the opposite direction.

Yardbarker

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