Archives for December 13, 2017
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
BOSTON – Kyrie Irving is expected to return to the lineup, but Al Horford will be sitting out when the Boston Celtics host the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. Boston suffered its worst loss of the season when Irving was sidelined with a quadriceps injury on Monday, while Horford is being rested against the Nuggets.
Horford’s knee has been ailing since he banged it during Sunday’s victory over Detroit, but the Celtics’ real pain occurred the next night as they were routed 108-85 by lowly Chicago without the services of Irving. “Sometimes you get your butts kicked. It’s as simple as that,” Boston coach Brad Stevens told reporters. “Chicago dictated the whole game. They played harder than we did, they played with more presence than we did, they played more competitive than we did, they played with more authority than we did. We’re not going to win many games if we play like that.” Denver is looking for a split of its six-game road trip after posting an impressive 103-84 win over Detroit on Tuesday. The Nuggets also expect center Nikola Jokic (ankle) to return after a six-game absence.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Altitude (Denver), NBCSN Boston
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (15-12): Denver has been surprisingly good over the first third of the season, particularly with the expected three-month loss of four-time All-Star power forward Paul Millsap (wrist). Getting Jokic back is key for a team that doesn’t have a go-to scorer but has evolved into a well-balanced squad as any of six or seven different players might emerge on a given night. In fact, backup forward Trey Lyles is averaging 22.5 points on 16-of-22 shooting over his last two games, tallying 20 on 7-of-7 shooting against the Pistons after scoring a career-high 25 versus Indiana on Sunday.
ABOUT THE CELTICS (23-6): Boston has lost two of three games following a 22-4 start, and the beating suffered at the hands of the Bulls was baffling – even with Irving sidelined. “We usually find the time to find some energy, but (on Monday), we didn’t,” second-year forward Jaylen Brown told reporters. “It didn’t feel any different. We’re not making any excuses. We’ve just got to come out and play better, and play harder, regardless of the circumstance. And, I think we will.” Rookie small forward Jayson Tatum recorded just four points against Chicago on 1-of-7 shooting after scoring in double digits in each of his previous 16 games.
1. The Nuggets are just 8-33 all-time in Boston but did post a 123-107 victory in last season’s visit.
2. Denver SG Jamal Murray scored 28 points against Detroit for his eighth 20-point performance of the campaign.
3. Boston F Marcus Morris (knee) will miss his third straight game.
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Tom Brady (12)