Game 38: Celtics vs. Kings


at TD Garden, 7:30 p.m. | CSN, WEEI (850 AM)

GAME PREVIEW (via Stats Inc.)

Despite their defensive struggles recently, the Boston Celtics aren't going to rush Kevin Garnett back from a calf injury even as they try to avoid losing a season-high third straight game.

They may not need him right away.

Garnett is expected to sit out again Wednesday night when the Celtics go for their seventh straight victory over the Sacramento Kings, losers of 11 straight on the road.

Boston (28-9) is coming off a pair of lackluster efforts at Chicago and against Houston. After shooting 37.8 percent in a 90-79 loss to the Bulls on Saturday, the Celtics returned home and fell 108-102 to the Rockets on Monday, allowing them to shoot 52.7 percent.

It was the highest shooting percentage by a team visiting TD Garden since Memphis shot 55.0 percent in a 111-91 victory on March 10.

Before the losses, Boston had won four straight.

"These games mean a lot," said Paul Pierce, who scored 16 against the Rockets. "We have to put our hard hats on and take advantage of it. It has to come from everybody. They have to look at themselves and ask themselves, 'Are we giving enough as a team?'"

Garnett has missed the last seven games with a calf injury, but the Celtics are 4-3 without him.

Coach Doc Rivers told the team's official website that Garnett, who is averaging 15.0 points and 9.5 rebounds, is unlikely to return Wednesday.

"He's close, very close, but you know how I am with that," Rivers said. "I think he wants to play, I'll put it that way. I just don't think he should play yet."

Read the full preview HERE.


  • Avoid the trap (again): The Kings have lost 11 in a row on the road and may be without Tyreke Evans, which is a recipe for success when visiting Boston (just ask the Houston Rockets, which arrived Monday with a five-game losing streak and played without Kevin Martin and still won, or the Oklahoma City Thunder, which won despite not having Kevin Durant or Jeff Green earlier this season.) The Celtics already started this six-game homestand off on the wrong foot and need to protect their home turf.

  • Avoid weaknesses: Two of the (few) things the Kings rank high on in the league is rebounding and forcing turnovers, which just happens to be two of Boston's most glaring weaknesses. A Celtics team likely without Kevin Garnett for an eighth straight game, needs to put a renewed focus on the glass and value the ball throughout the night.

  • Fireworks in the snow: The Kings have allowed opponents to average 116 points on 52.5 percent shooting over the last four games. That could be mean a big night for a Boston offense that has lived above the 50-percent mark this season and is the best shooting team in the league.