Another important game for the Celtics, one they should win against a team that’s lost 10 consecutive contests, including 113-85 on Wednesday to Brooklyn. The Celtics are 2 1/2 games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks for the seventh spot and the Bucks play at New York tonight, so it’s a golden opportunity to pick up a game. Paul Pierce is out tonight with a sprained right ankle but the Celtics still should prevail against a struggling club.
BOSTON CELTICS (39-36)
PG Avery Bradley
SG Courtney Lee
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Chris Wilcox
PG Kyrie Irving
SG Alonzo Gee
SF Wayne Ellington
PF Tristan Thompson
C Tyler Zeller
Officials: Michael Smith, Karl Lane Mark Lindsay
TV, radio: 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, WEEI (93.7 FM).
• The Celtics were expected to present to the Red Auerbach Award to the team MVP but that was postponed, meaning the likely winner is Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce, who are out of the lineup tonight.
• Pierce may return on Sunday against the Washington Wizards. He told reporters Thursday that his ankle was tweaked against Detroit and he did not practice.
• Kyrie Irving has torn up the Celtics in his career, averaging 26 points, 58.8 percent shooting and 53.3 from the 3-point line. He dropped 40 on the Celtics on Jan. 22 in a 95-90 win.
• With Pierce out, Courtney Lee gets back in the starting lineup. But it’s likely temporary as coach Doc Rivers said Jeff Green is permanently in the starting lineup.
• Rookie Dion Waiters is out with a left knee injury. He is second to Portland’s Damian Lillard in rookie scoring with 14.7 points per game.