NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, April 1st (All times Eastern)
Boston Celtics (38-35) at Minnesota Timberwolves (26-46), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics are still in the hunt for a postseason spot, but their recent play hasn't resembled a playoff-caliber team.
The Celtics will try to tighten up their game Monday in a road bout with the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Boston had won two in a row until dropping a 108-89 setback to the New York Knicks Sunday night at Madison Square Garden. Paul Pierce had 24 points to go along with 15 rebounds and Jeff Green led all players with 27 points for the Celtics, who have dropped six of eight games.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers was still pleased with the effort.
"I thought they had the spirit of the pass the entire night," Rivers said. "I thought they did a great job, and it was anybody who (touched the ball)."
Boston is seventh in the East standings -- 2 1/2 games behind Chicago and Atlanta and 2 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee.
The Celtics are 13-24 on the road and will start a four-game homestand Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons. In injury news for the Celtics, big man Kevin Garnett has missed five straight games with a balky left ankle and is out indefinitely.
Pierce is doubtful against the Wolves with a right ankle injury.
Minnesota will wrap up a four-game homestand Monday and has alternated wins and losses over the last seven games.
The Timberwolves fell to 1-2 on the homestand with their latest defeat, a 99-86 loss at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. Ricky Rubio finished one assist shy of a triple-double with 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, while Derrick Williams added 19 points for the Timberwolves, who were without center Nikola Pekovic because of a sprained left ankle.
"They are a very solid defensive team and they know exactly what they have to do to win. They took the game away from us in the second half," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said.
Adelman's club is 17-19 at home and may not have Pekovic again Monday. He is listed as questionable versus the Celtics.
Minnesota has been relegated to playing spoiler and suffered a 104-94 loss to Boston on the road back on Dec. 5 this season. Garnett finished with 18 points and 10 boards against his former team. Boston has won 11 straight and 14 of the past 17 matchups in this series.
Boston has won five straight and 10 of its last 12 trips to Minneapolis.
04/01 10:24:34 ET