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Welcome to Smoothie King Center for Celtics-Pelicans

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff  March 16, 2014 03:19 PM

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NEW ORLEANS -- The Celtics haven't beaten a Western Conference team on the road since Feb. 23, 2013, when they defeated the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City. Since then, the Celtics have lost 18 consecutive road games against the West, including all 13 this season.

And so, the Celtics, who have lost three straight and 10 of their last 13 overall, will try to snap that streak here Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans, who feature one of the most dominant players in the game, Anthony Davis.

The No. 1 overall draft pick in 2012 has been on a tear lately, averaging 30.8 points and 13.0 rebounds over his last five games. Davis, who has set a franchise record with scoring at least 28 points in five consecutive games, is coming off a career-high 36-point performance Friday against Portland. Davis also made a game-winning tip-in to beat the Celtics when the teams met here last season.

In their only other meeting this season, the Pelicans beat the Celtics, 95-92, in Boston in early January. The Pelicans have won four consecutive games against the Celtics.

Lastly, the Celtics will wear their St. Patrick's Day sleeved jerseys, and they can only hope they perform better than they did Friday, when they missed 65 shots and shot a season-low 30.9 percent from the floor.

STARTING LINEUPS
BOSTON CELTICS (22-44)

PG Rajon Rondo
SG Jerryd Bayless
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Kris Humphries

Inactives: Keith Bogans, Vitor Faverani, Gerald Wallace

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS (26-38)
PG Brian Roberts
SG Eric Gordon
SF Tyreke Evans
PF Anthony Davis
C Alexis Ajinca

Inactives: Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday, Jason Smith

Officials: John Goble, Mark Ayotte, Haywoode Workman

TV, radio: 6 p.m., CSNNE, WBZ-FM (98.5)

Pregame notes:

Guard Avery Bradley, who returned Friday after missing 19 of the past 22 games with a sprained right ankle, will come off the bench again as he shakes off the rust. Bradley scored 22 against the Pelicans when the teams played in January.

The Celtics entered the day with one of the league's worst offenses, scoring 95.2 points per game, but the Pelicans have a subpar defense that's giving up an average of 102 points per game.

Former Celtic Greg Stiemsma is averaging 2.7 points and 4.3 rebounds for the Pelicans this season. Also, Doc Rivers' son, Austin, is averaging 6.7 points for the Pelicans.

The Celtics head to Dallas to face the Mavericks Monday. Because it will be the second game of a back-to-back set, Rondo will sit out to rest his surgically repaired right knee.

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