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Wednesday, 26 February 2014 20:52

Game Preview: Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics

Written by 

Atlanta Hawks (26-30, 9-19 road) at Boston Celtics (19-39, 11-17 home)

TD Garden at 7:30 pm on CSNNE

Officials: Bill Spooner, Eric Lewis, JT Orr 

Line: Boston -3 (203)

Get tickets to tonight's game at the TD Garden 

The Celtics have dropped five straight games, most recently a 110-98 defeat in Utah on Monday.  The Hawks are coming off a 107-103 home loss to Chicago last night.  The two teams have split a pair of decisions so far this season, with each club winning on the other's home floor; 94-87 Celtics in Atlanta on November 23, and 92-91 Hawks in Boston on New Year's Eve.   

 

PROBABLE STARTERS 

Atlanta Hawks:

PG: Jeff Teague

SG: Shelvin Mack

SF: Kyle Korver

PF: DeMarre Carroll

C: Elton Brand

 

Boston Celtics:

PG: Rajon Rondo

SG: Gerald Wallace

SF: Jeff Green

PF: Brandon Bass

C: Kris Humphries

INJURIES

Paul Milsap, QUES (Knee)

Al Horford, OUT (Pectoral)

John Jenkins, OUT (Back)

Gustavo Ayon, OUT (Shoulder)

Pero Antic, OUT (Ankle)

 

Avery Bradley, QUES (Ankle)

Jared Sullinger, QUES (Concussion)

Vitor Faverani, QUES (Knee)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

A Win-Win for draft purposes: The Celtics own the rights to Brooklyn's first round pick this year, but the Hawks (26-30) have the option to swap with the Nets (26-28) first.  Both a win or a loss tonight could help Boston's potential draft position.  "Return of the Mack": 1990's pop music references aside, Shelvin Mack played for Celtics coach Brad Stevens at Butler, and then for Boston's D-League affiliate Maine Red Claws.  With Atlanta battling numerous injuries, Mack has worked his way into the Hawks' starting lineup the past three games. Rajon Rondo's home three-point shooting: Rondo set new career highs for three-pointers made in each of his last two outings at the TD Garden; three vs Dallas on Feb. 9, and four against San Antonio on Feb. 12. 

NOTES

Avery Bradley will miss his seventh straight game tonight with a sprained ankle, and Jared Sullinger will be held out for a third consecutive contest recovering from a mild concussion. The Celtics have allowed opponents to average 104 PPG during their five-game losing streak.

PREDICTION

Atlanta is playing on the road in the second night of back-to-backs, and fell just short after a solid effort vs the Bulls yesterday.  The Celtics are home again for the first time since the All-Star break, and will be hungry to bust out of their losing streak.  Signs point towards a Boston victory.   

Boston Celtics 101, Atlanta Hawks 92

 

Follow Mark Vandeusen on twitter @LucidSportsFan

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