NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 4th (All times Eastern)
Indiana Pacers (19-13) at Boston Celtics (14-17), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics will try to snap a four-game losing streak on Friday night when they welcome the hot Indiana Pacers to the TD Garden.
This losing streak is not a blip on the radar for Boston. The Celtics are 2-8 in their last 10, have fallen three games under .500 and are fourth in the Atlantic Division, 7 1/2 games behind the New York Knicks.
Head coach Doc Rivers is just trying to figure out how is squad is handling this tough stretch.
"I just think everyone has a different emotion and way of handling things," Rivers said. "Some guys take losses off by laughing and trying to get to another universe. Other guys want to stay in the loss. So you just stay away from it."
The first three setbacks in this slide were all lopsided losses on the west coast. The Celtics fell to the Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers by an average of 23 points.
They returned to the east coast on Wednesday and things got no better.
The Memphis Grizzlies came to Beantown and handed the Celtics a 93-83 loss. The Grizz took the second and third quarters, 50-33, and shot 44.4 percent from the 3-point line.
Avery Bradley is back and scored four points in 19:31. Paul Pierce led the way with 17 and Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green each scored in double figures.
Things don't get any easier for the Celtics, the league's worst rebounding team. The Grizzlies lead the NBA in opponents' scoring, but the Pacers are second.
The Pacers head to Boston winners in six of their last seven. They won two in a row at home, knocking off the lowly Washington Wizards, 89-81, on Wednesday night.
Paul George continued his brilliant run with 29 points and 14 rebounds.
"Paul George is becoming a beast of a player on both ends of the court," said head coach Frank Vogel. "He's probably the best wing defender in the NBA ... it was a dominant performance by him at both ends."
D.J. Augustin, who started in place of the injured George Hill, chipped in 18 points and six assists. Roy Hibbert scored 13.
The Pacers shot 37.7 percent from the field Wednesday, but still got the win to stay one game above the Chicago Bulls in the Central Division standings.
These two teams split four meetings last season, but the Celtics have won 10 of their last 14 against the Pacers. Indiana has lost 12 of 14 at TD Garden.
01/04 10:36:01 ET