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Friday, April 8, 2011
Game 79: Celtics vs. Wizards

By Greg Payne

(54-24, 31-8 home)     -- vs. --     (21-57, 3-36 away)
at TD Garden, 7:30 p.m. | CSN, WEEI (850 AM)

PAYNE'S THREE THINGS TO WATCH
GAME PREVIEW (via Stats Inc.)
The Wizards (21-57), who defeated Boston 85-83 at home Jan. 22, close out their home schedule Monday against the Celtics.

In the teams' last matchup in Boston, the Celtics won 114-83 on Nov. 17 with Paul Pierce leading six players in double figures with 23 points. It is tied for the Celtics' most lopsided home win this season.

Washington, loser of five of seven in Boston, is a league-worst 3-36 on the road. Coach Flip Saunders' team, however, has gotten two of those wins in its last three contests outside the nation's capital.

The Wizards, though, enter this contest following one of their worst defensive efforts of the season, a 136-112 loss at Indiana on Wednesday. It was the most points allowed by Washington since a 144-139 overtime win at Phoenix on Dec. 22, 2006.

"Energy caught up to us," Saunders said after his team's season-best three-game winning streak was snapped. "I was worried before the game. Guys just didn't seem to have that pep in their step. We almost really lost the game in the first seven minutes."

The Wizards are allowing a league-worst 109.4 points per game on the road. Boston is shooting 57.9 percent from the field, including 11 of 21 from 3-point range, in winning its last two home games.

Wizards rookie point guard John Wall will play his first game in Boston after missing the Nov. 17 matchup with a sprained left foot. The No. 1 overall pick had 16 points, six rebounds and four assists Jan. 22.

Read the full preview HERE.