NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 22nd (All times Eastern)
Boston Celtics (28-26) at Phoenix Suns (18-37), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics are winless (0-2) so far on a five-game western road trip and will try to rebound Friday night against the Phoenix Suns at U.S. Airways Center.
The Celtics opened the cross-country junket with a loss at Denver, then suffered a 113-99 setback against an emotional Los Angeles Lakers team that was playing its first game since the death of owner Dr. Jerry Buss.
"I'm glad we were able to beat Dr. Buss' arch-rival tonight," Lakers guard Steve Nash said.
Paul Pierce spearheaded the Celtics with 26 points and Courtney Lee delivered 20 in a losing effort. Boston made 47.6 percent for the game and buried just nine of its 20 3-point attempts.
"We just didn't have it tonight," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "Our offense was awful and we're not used to giving up that many points. It was just a bad night."
The Celtics have lost three of four games since winning seven in a row.
Boston is 8-17 as the visitor and still has Portland and Utah to visit. The Celtics made a move prior to the trade deadline and acquired guard Jordan Crawford from Washington for guard Leandro Barbosa and center Jason Collins. Barbosa is out for the season with a left knee injury.
Phoenix has had a rough February, going 2-7 so far, and will open a three-game homestand Friday versus Boston, San Antonio and Minnesota.
Goran Dragic paced the Suns with 20 points and 10 assists in Wednesday's 108-98 loss at Golden State in the finale of a three-game trek (1-2), while Jermaine O'Neal chipped in 17 points and 12 boards.
"We're trying to create a mentality here. We're trying to learn how to be a good team," O'Neal said. "To fight and keep coming back, that's what you want."
The Suns hit 9-of-17 3-pointers and got 15 points from Jared Dudley, who was the subject of trade rumors before Thursday's deadline. The Suns, though, did make some moves and acquired forward Marcus Morris from Houston in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2013 draft.
Phoenix then waived forward Luke Zeller to make room for Morris, who will join his twin brother, Markieff. The Suns also dealt point guard Sebastian Telfair to Toronto for reserve center Hamed Haddadi.
The Suns dropped an 87-79 decision at Boston on Jan. 9 this season, but are 4-2 in the past six matchups between the teams.
02/22 10:26:11 ET