Boston at Brooklyn
When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, March 17, 2017
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn
BROOKLYN – (Special Preview to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – The Boston Celtics will try to survive a two-game road trip without star guard Isaiah Thomas, beginning with a visit to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. Thomas will not travel with the team on the trip as he rests a right knee bone bruise, the team announced Thursday.
The All-Star played 32 minutes in Wednesday’s 117-104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at home, scoring 27 points to help the Celtics move 1 1/2 games ahead of Washington for second place in the Eastern Conference. The last-place Nets continue to show relative improvement as they play out the string, winning four of their last nine and topping the in-city rival New York Knicks twice in a span of five days. Brook Lopez led a balanced attack with 24 points in Brooklyn’s 121-110 victory at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. Boston has taken the first two meetings this season, including a 111-92 triumph at the Barclays Center on Nov. 23.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, CSN New England (Boston), YES (NY-Brooklyn)
ABOUT THE CELTICS (43-25): Center Al Horford was slumping offensively before sitting out a pair of games earlier this month and he has bounced back nicely, averaging 14.3 points while shooting 65.8 percent from the floor and making 5-of-7 3-pointers in a four-game hot stretch. “I think we need to understand the sense of urgency,” Horford told reporters after collecting 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists Wednesday. “It doesn’t matter who we play, what their record is. We’re playing for bigger things. So we have to make sure that we start to build these habits.” The Celtics went 1-3 when Thomas was sidelined with a groin injury earlier in the season.
ABOUT THE NETS (13-54): Brooklyn is 7-13 with guard Jeremy Lin in the lineup and 6-41 without him, and the Harvard product had 15 points and eight assists in Thursday’s win. Swingman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double in a span of three games and he is shooting 54.3 percent since the All-Star break. Guard Sean Kilpatrick, who had a team-high 23 points in the previous meeting with the Celtics, missed the win over New York due to a hamstring injury.
1. Celtics SG Avery Bradley is 11-for-17 from beyond the arc in a three-game span.
2. Lopez has scored at least 24 points in three straight contests.
3. Boston visits Philadelphia on Sunday before finishing with nine of its final 12 games at home.