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Game 5: Celtics vs. Wizards

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff  January 1, 2012 01:37 PM

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Tip-off: 6 p.m., The Verizon Center, Washington D.C.
Records: Celtics (1-3), Wizards (0-3)
Broadcast info: CSNNE (Mike Gorman and Tom Heinsohn), WEEI 93.7 FM/850 AM (Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell)

Probable starters:

Celtics:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Ray Allen
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Kevin Garnett
C: Jermaine O'Neal

Wizards:
PG: John Wall
SG: Nick Young
SF: Rashard Lewis
PF: Andray Blatche
C: JaVale McGee

Storylines:

Back-to-back: The Celtics and Wizards will play back-to-back games, with the teams meeting tomorrow night in Boston. Tonight is a chance for the Celtics to get their first back-to-back wins of the season. The Celtics have a soft stretch of games coming up, two with the Wizards and one with the New Jersey Nets.

Beating bad teams:The Verizon Center is not the friendliest of places for the Celtics, who have struggled there in the past and lost to some bad Wizards teams. Washington is hungry for a win and would like to jump-start its season by beating the Celtics. John Wall and JaVale McGee give Boston's aging lineup problems, so tonight will be a challenge.

Pierce back: The Celtics were happy to bring back Paul Pierce from a bruised right heel injury and he returned to score 12 points with 5 assists and 4 rebounds in 23 minutes. Celtics coach Doc Rivers gave the club New Year's Eve off and also did not conduct a shootaround, so they should be fresh for the back-to-back.

No Wilcox:Forward Chris Wilcox will miss his third consecutive game with a bruised left shoulder sustained against Miami. Wilcox said he does not know how he suffered the injury.

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