Celtics Host Wizards in Search of Fourth Straight Win

Celtics Host Wizards in Search of Fourth Straight Win It's been a good week for the Celtics, who have rattled off a three-game winning streak after dropping three of four.

The C's are now in tip-top form with their roster healthy and their rotation running smoothly. They're looking like a prime playoff contender in the Eastern Conference, and they'll get another chance to prove it Sunday night, albeit against another flailing East opponent.

The Washington Wizards, losers of four of their last five, ride into the TD Garden for their third meeting with the Celtics this season.

When & Where

Sunday, March 7, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.

Records

Celtics (39-21, 1st place in Atlantic Division)
Wizards (21-38, 5th place in Southeast Division)

Head to Head

This is the third meeting this season between the Celtics and Wizards. The Celtics won each of the first two, and they also won all three matchups last year between these two squads. But here's a little-known fact: Back in the 2007-08 season, when the Celtics went 66-16 and cruised to their 17th world championship banner, the Wizards were the only team to beat them three times in the regular season. Since then, though? All Boston.

Skinny

Seriously, who are these guys? When we saw the Wizards earlier this season, they were led by an established Big Three, much like the Celtics. Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas ran this team. They were the past, present and future. But now Jamison's in Cleveland, Butler's in Dallas, and Agent Zero is… who knows where. The Wizards are in disarray and have no choice but to rebuild. This is a battle of one team with an aging Big Three and one that's blown it up altogether.

Starting Lineups

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


Wizards

Point guard: Randy Foye
Shooting guard: Mike Miller
Small forward: Al Thornton
Power forward: Andray Blatche
Center: JaVale McGee

Stat Sheet

Celtics

The Celtics are 7-4 this season in games decided by three points or less.They rank dead last in the NBA in assists with 2,329.

Kendrick Perkins is shooting 61.5 percent, best in the NBA.

Paul Pierce now ranks fifth in the NBA in three-point shooting at 44.4 percent.

Rajon Rondo had 11 assists in the Celtics' win over the Sixers on Friday night. He now has 586 for the season, second in the NBA behind Steve Nash.

Kevin Garnett has topped 20 points in a game twice in 2010. He scored 26 points against the Nets on Feb. 27, and he dropped 22 on the Sixers on Friday night.

Ray Allen has made 11 consecutive free throws, a streak dating back to Feb. 25.

Wizards
The Wizards are a surprisingly strong 8-6 this season against the Atlantic Division.

They rank dead last in the NBA in assists with 1,098.

None of the Wizards' three leading scorers this season (Jamison, Butler, Arenas) are still with the team. Andray Blatche is a distant fourth with 11.3 points per game.

Mike Miller is the best three-point shooter in the NBA this season, shooting 53.9 percent from long range.

JaVale McGee had 13 points and 11 rebounds in the Wizards' loss to the Bucks on Friday night. It was his third double-double of the season.

Al Thornton has averaged 12.9 points and 5.0 rebounds in eight games since being traded to the Wizards.

Randy Foye
is averaging career lows in rebounds per game (1.9), steals per game (0.5) and three-point percentage (35.9 percent).

Black and Blue

Celtics
Tony Allen took a hard fall Wednesday night in the Celtics' win over Charlotte and bruised his hip. He missed Friday's game in Philadelphia and his status for Sunday is uncertain.

Wizards
Josh Howard
is out for the season with a torn ACL.

This Date in Celtics History

On March 7, 1995, the Celtics' Dominique Wilkins scored 19 points in a 115-110 loss to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden and became the ninth player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points. In Wilkins' only season in Boston, he played 77 games and averaged 17.8 points per contest.

Overheard

"He is just a terrific player. He gets to where he wants to go and finishes the play or dimes it or lays it off for someone else to finish."
–Sixers coach Eddie Jordan on Rajon Rondo in Saturday's Boston Herald. Rondo had a double-double (16 points and 11 assists) in Philadelphia on Friday night.

The Press Box

Celtics
A breakdown of Celtics-Sixers on Friday.

The Celtics take small steps forward.

Michael Finley will have to earn his minutes here in Boston.

Wizards
The Wiz got clobbered by Milwaukee — again.

Andray Blatche is the go-to guy.

Flip Saunders keeps it together.

NBA
Tony Parker has a broken hand.

Rodney Stuckey is on the road to recovery.

Who's taking home the hardware?

Outlook

Momentum is starting to flow the Celtics' way as the C's are winners of three straight and they're starting to look like they'll be a formidable playoff opponent in the Eastern Conference after all. On the other hand, the Wizards are in disarray and struggling to find a team identity in the absence of their old top three. Washington is still working on establishing a new team identity, but don't expect it to happen overnight. As things stand right now, the C's have the clear upper hand in this matchup and should prove it Sunday night.

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