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Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Game 34: Celtics vs. Spurs

By Chris Forsberg

(26-7, 14-2 home)     -- vs. --     (29-5, 10-3 away)
at TD Garden, 7:30 p.m. | CSN, WEEI (850 AM)

GAME PREVIEW (via Stats Inc.)
Doc Rivers insisted Paul Pierce shoot more in Boston's most recent victory. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich didn't seem to have the same confidence in his stars down the stretch of a tough loss.

The NBA's two top teams, the Celtics and Spurs meet Wednesday night in a matchup that should present a contrast in styles.

Popovich has guided San Antonio to four NBA championships focusing mainly on defense. However, the Spurs (29-5) are scoring 105.6 points per game this season, good for fourth in the league. Their high-scoring offense sometimes causes opponents to play a more fast-paced game, which New York took advantage of Tuesday in a 129-115 home victory over San Antonio.

The 129 points allowed were a season high for the Spurs, who allowed New York to shoot 55 percent.

"If we score 115 points, I expect to win," Popovich sad. "Our defense was pathetic. It was our worst defense of the year. Nothing else tricky about it."

The coach yanked Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker from the game with the Knicks leading by 10 and three minutes remaining -- possibly still enough time for a comeback. Parker scored 26 points, Ginobili finished with 15 and Duncan had 14 while shooting 5 of 14 from the field.

"I asked them if they wouldn't mind maybe playing a little bit better (Wednesday). They said they'd think about it," Popovich said. "We'll see what happens."

Read the full preview HERE.