Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/8

Game 1: Wednesday, December 8th
Game 2: Thursday, February 24th

Celtics 75

(41-15, 16-10 away)

Nuggets 89

(34-25, 24-7 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    10:30 PM ET, February 24, 2011

    Pepsi Center, Denver, CO

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 23 13 24 1575
    DEN 18 19 24 2889

    Top Performers

    Bos: K. Garnett 14 Pts, 13 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Den: K. Martin 18 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Celtics-Nuggets Preview


    The Denver Nuggets started a new era in impressive fashion after shipping Carmelo Anthony to New York.

    A repeat performance could be hard to come by against the Boston Celtics.

    With all of their new acquisitions expected to be available, the Nuggets will look to avoid a fourth loss in five meetings with the Celtics when the teams meet Thursday night at the Pepsi Center.

    The three-team deal that sent Anthony, Chauncey Billups and three other Nuggets to New York for Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov left the Nuggets (33-25) short-handed Tuesday. Denver, though, defeated Memphis 120-107 as six of its eight active players scored in double figures.

    "Our guys, when their backs are confronted with a difficult situation, they usually play at a high level," coach George Karl said. "We always react to tough situations in a very positive way."

    Denver, which also acquired Kosta Koufos from Minnesota in the three-team trade, led by 19 after two quarters and scored a season-best 41 points in the third to put the game out of reach.

    J.R. Smith went 6 of 11 from 3-point range and had 26 points while Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson each scored 21.

    "They played great (Tuesday), played hard," said the newly acquired Chandler, who averaged 20.5 points in his last two games with the Knicks. "They have a lot of good players here. I'm happy to be here ..."

    Denver was without Anthony in a 105-89 loss at Boston on Dec. 8, and could again have difficulty scoring against a Celtics team that has allowed 88.1 points in its last 15 games -- 3.1 below its league-best average.

    The Nuggets, whose 107.8 points per game rank first in the league, are 3-13 when they score less than 100.

    Lawson had a season-high 24 points Dec. 8. Chandler, Gallinari and Felton combined for 64 points in a 118-116 loss to Boston on Dec. 15.

    While the Nuggets have lost three of four to the Celtics by an average of 22.7 points, they've won five of the last six matchups at home.

    Boston (41-14) began a four-game trip with a 115-93 win over Golden State on Tuesday thanks to solid second-half effort. After going into halftime tied at 60, the Celtics outscored the Warriors by 22 over the final two quarters for their third consecutive win.

    "You lose the first game (after the All Star break), you kind of lose your momentum and then you're battling uphill," forward Paul Pierce said. "So it's kind of good to get that first one and keep that momentum."

    Pierce scored 23 points Tuesday while Garnett had 24 -- his highest output since scoring 26 on Nov. 26. Garnett added 12 rebounds and six assists, while Rajon Rondo had 19 points and 15 assists.

    Ray Allen scored 28 points against the Nuggets in December and has averaged 24.9 -- his most against any team -- in 31 career games versus Denver.

    The Celtics have been playing without centers Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal, and they may be without Kendrick Perkins on Thursday after he left Tuesday's game with a bruised knee. His status is uncertain.