Celtics Looking for 3rd Straight Win as They Take on Slumping Sixers

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Boston Celtics (38-21) at Philadelphia 76ers (22-38)
Friday, March 5
7:00 PM ET
Game #60 Road Game #32
Wachovia Center

Referees:   Joe Crawford,  Derrick Collins,  Leroy Richardson  

This is the 3rd meeting between these two division foes with the Celtics leading the series 2-1. In December, the C’s had their 11 game winning streak snapped by the Sixers 98-97 in the Garden when Elton Brand tipped in the game-winning shot with 7.7 remaining in the game.

The Celtics will try to win their sixth straight in Philadelphia and hand the 76ers a fifth consecutive loss Friday night. The Celtics are 6-4 in their last 10 games while the Sixers are just 3-7 in their last 10. The Sixers are 10-18 at home while the Celtics are 21-10 on the road.

In their last meeting in Philly, the Celtics came away with a 105-74 victory. Pierce led the team with 21 points and Rasheed Wallace, who is a Philly native, hit a season-high six 3s and scored 20 in the Celtics' the most lopsided road win over the 76ers since a 32-point victory March 24, 1995.

Coach: Doc Rivers
Average Age: 28.4
Average Height: 6-6
Average Weight: 228

Probable Starters
Rajon Rondo PPG 14.0 9.9 APG 2.5 SPG

Ray Allen 16.3 PPG 2.7 APG .346 3P%

Paul Pierce 17.9 PPG 4.4 RPG 3.2 APG

Kevin Garnett 14.4 PPG 7.4 RPG 0.9 BPG

Kendrick Perkins 10.9 PPG 7.8 RPG 1.8 BPG


Coach: Eddie Jordan
Average Age:26.0
Average Height: 6-6
Average Weight: 214

Probable Starters
Lou Williams 15.0 PPG 4.1 APG 1.4 SPG

Jrue Holiday 6.2 PPG 2.8 APG .385 3P%

Andre Iguodala 17.2 PPG 6.7 RPG 5.8 APG

Thaddeus Young 13.9 PPG 5.3 RPG .2 BPG

Samuel Dalembert 7.6 PPG 9.6 RPG 2.1 BPG

Key Matchups
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Rajon Rondo vs Lou Williams
Lou Williams has been making the most of his time as a starter this season and has been playing very well. If Rondo takes him for granted, Williams will make him pay.

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Paul Pierce vs Andre Iguodala
Pierce looked very good against the Bobcats and hopefully he will be even better for this one. Pierce's defense will be needed in this game as much as his offense to try to control Iguodala who can be dangerous.

Honorable Mention
Kendrick Perkins vs Samuel Dalembert
Perk has been struggling somewhat lately. This should be a good matchup for him to get his game back on track.

Keys to the Game
As I have said before, defense is going to be the key to every game this season and to winning the championship. We are seeing the team slowly getting back to their defensive roots and hopefully that will continue in this game.

The Sixers have a good rebounding team and the Celtics have to crash the boards to prevent the Sixers from getting second chance baskets and they also need to crash the offensive boards to keep the Sixers from running the break, which they do well. Boston is last in the NBA with 38.8 rebounds per game and they need to commit more effort to getting the rebounds.

Limit Turnovers
When the Celtics have lost games they should have won and when they have lost big leads, it has mostly been a lot of careless turnovers that turns the tide against them. When they take care of the ball and limit turnovers, they are very hard to beat.

Play 48 Minutes
The Celtics must come out strong and play for 48 minutes. No more blown leads or sluggish starts.

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