Game 66: Pacers at Celtics

PierceGranger.JPG

Matthew Lee/Globe Staff

Paul Pierce had a triple-double when the Pacers visited Boston in December.


Tip-off: 7:30 p.m.
Records: Celtics (47-18), Pacers (29-38)
Broadcast info: CSN, WEEI
Officials: Scott Foster, Tony Brothers, Violet Palmer
delonte wesdt.JPG

Matthew Lee/Globe Staff

After missing 57 games, Delonte West is slated to return tonight.


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

Pacers:
PG Darren Collison
SG: Paul George
SF: Danny Granger
PF: Tyler Hansbrough
C: Roy Hibbert

Storylines:

West returns to the lineup: It’s been a stop-and-go season for Delonte West and the red lights have been a lot longer than the green ones. After his latest injury (a sprained right ankle during a walkthrough on the Celtics’ West Coast trip last month), he’s set to return yet again. He’s played just eight games, between a suspension to start the season, a broken wrist in November, then the ankle. But Celtics coach Doc Rivers still believes West can contribute by helping break in a second unit that’s fresh out of the shrink wrap.

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Pierce kills the Pacers: When the the Pacers came to Boston on Dec. 19, Paul Pierce put up an 18-point, 12-assist, 10-rebound triple-double. A little over a week later in Indianapolis, Pierce put up a game-high 21 points and seven assists, beaming after the game because he didn’t turn the ball over at all (He did, however, pick up a $15,000 fine for throwing his gum into the stands). He’s coming off a seven-point night against the Nets, where he missed 8 of his 10 shots and the only bright spot was his behind-the-back move on Sasha Vujacic that led to this dunk.

Everyone goes through it: The Lakers bottomed out when they lost to the Cavaliers right before the All-Star Break, bringing out all Chicken Littles in Tinsel Town. The Heat went through a five-game losing streak when it seemed like LeBron James couldn’t finish off a game and they couldn’t beat an elite team. Now the Celtics have lost three of four, falling asleep on teams like the Clippers (non-playoff team), Sixers (playoff team) and Nets (non-playoff team) only to get water splashed in their faces.

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