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Game 67: Celtics at Rockets

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  March 18, 2011 04:25 PM

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davisscola.JPG

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The Celtics dance with the Rockets tonight at the Toyota Center, although it's uncertain whether Luis Scola will be on the floor.

Tip-off: 8:30 p.m.
Records: Celtics (48-18), Rockets (35-34)
Broadcast info: CSN, WEEI
Officials: Jason Phillips, John Goble, Josh Tiven

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Getty Images

Ray Allen is averaging 18.2 points in his last 10 games.


Probable starters:
Celtics:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Ray Allen
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Kevin Garnett
C: Nenad Krstic

Rockets:
PG Kyle Lowry
SG: Kevin Martin
SF: Chase Budinger
PF: Patrick Patterson
C: Chuck Hayes

Storylines:

Hitting the road: The Celtics start a three-game road swing with a trip to Houston, where they've won four straight. With a 19-12 mark away from the Garden, they're the second best road team in the East (behind Miami) and the fifth best road team in the league. They've been prone to early-game letdowns, but there's an obvious urgency now that they're a half game back of the Bulls for first place in the East.

West returns, second unit shapes up: The Celtics have depth and more importantly healthy bodies now that Glen Davis and Delonte West have returned. The bench scored 39 points in the Celtics win over the Pacers, and West's presence as another floor general player a large part in steadying a still-jelling second unit.

Scola hopes to play: After missing four games with a sore left knee, Luis Scola, the Rockets' leading rebounder and second-leading scorer, said at shootaround that he could return tonight. "I did some more stuff, just a regular walkthrough," he said. "I didn't want to do too much, because you don't want to do two hours of practice on a regular game day." This is a crucial stretch for Houston, which sits two games out of the last spot in the West.

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