Brooklyn Nets (30-29, 12-18 road) at Boston Celtics (20-41, 12-19 home)
TD Garden at 7:30 p.m. on CSNNE Officials: Derrick Stafford, Scott Twardoski, Gary Zielinski Line: Brooklyn -3.5 Get tickets to tonight's game at The Garden
Winners of four straight and over .500 for the first time all year long, the Brooklyn Nets come to Boston tonight in good spirits. The Celtics, however, losers of seven of their last eight games, are in desperate need of a break. They may have gotten one, as KG won't be in uniform.
Nets PG - Shaun Livingston SG - Deron Williams SF - Joe Johnson PF - Paul Pierce C - Mason Plumlee
Celtics PG - Rajon Rondo SG - Jerryd Bayless SF - Jeff Green PF - Brandon Bass C - Kris Humphries
Nets Joe Johnson - QUE (Illness) Kevin Garnett - OUT (Back) Brooke Lopez - OUT (Foot)
Celtics Vitor Faveranni - QUES (Knee) Avery Bradley - OUT (Knee) Gerald Wallace - OUT (Knee)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Pierce's Return - Pierce will return to Boston tonight for the second time since being traded to Brooklyn in the offseason. Garnett won't make the trip due to back issues, but just having Pierce back adds a bit more to the game than usual.
Jason Collins - Collins has signed a permanent contract with the Nets, who have gone 5-1 since his signing. It will be his return to Boston tonight for the first, as well.
Paint in Focus - If the Celtics are going to beat the Nets tonight, they'll need to control the battle on the boards. Brooklyn is 29th in the league in rebounding, while Boston checks in at 16th. The Nets are likely to go with a small starting lineup that has worked as of late, giving the C's a chance to set the pace down low early.
NOTESThe Celtics have falled to fourth-worst in the east, while the Nets have elevated themselves to soxth in the East. The Nets shot 51.4 percent from the floor in Wednesday's win against Memphis, while Boston shot only 39.5 percent in their loss to Memphis. Pierce checks in averaging 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.25 assists per game in his last four.
Boston will use its size, and be able to grind out a victory at The Garden. I say Jeff Green turns in a big night, Rondo sets the pace on offense, and Brooklyn is handed its first loss in six games.
Boston Celtics 104, Brooklyn Nets 91.