Celtics visit Atlanta
(Sports Network) – Two teams that won’t be participating in the playoffs
battle tonight, as the Atlanta Hawks welcome the Boston Celtics to Philips
This is the fourth and final meeting of the campaign between the squads.
Atlanta won two of the three contests, and has won four of the last six
meetings in the series.
Boston has lost five of seven and six of its last 10 at Atlanta.
The Hawks try to get back on the winning track, as they open a short two-game
homestand. On Sunday, Andre Iguodala scored 25 points and dished out eight
assists as the Philadelphia 76ers rallied from a big deficit to beat Atlanta,
109-104, in overtime at the Wachovia Center.
Tyronn Lue had 24 points, eight rebounds and nine assists in the loss to
Philadelphia for the Hawks, who led by as many as 17 but faltered in the final
two minutes of regulation. Marvin Williams ended with 21 points and nine
boards for as Atlanta, which has dropped eight of its last nine games overall.
On Monday, Atlantageneral manager Billy Knight suspended forward Josh Smith
for the team’s next two games, citing conduct detrimental to the team. Smith
got into a heated argument with Atlanta head coach Mike Woodson near the end
of regulation during the loss to Philadelphia. Smith is averaging 16.1 points
and 8.6 rebounds in 69 games this season.
Atlanta is 16-22 at home this season. The Hawks are scheduled to host the
injury-plagued Washington Wizards on Friday at Philips Arena.
Boston enters tonight’s contest on a three-game losing streak. Mike Dunleavy
finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the Indiana
Pacers downed the Celtics, 105-98, on Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Allan Ray scored 22 points and Sebastian Telfair netted 21 in the loss to the
Pacers for Boston, which has lost four of its last five games overall. Rajon
Rondo had 14 points and eight assists, while Leon Powe registered a career-
high 15 points for the Celtics, who were without Paul Pierce who missed the
game with a sore left elbow.
Pierce, who leads the Celtics in scoring (25.0 ppg), is questionable for
tonight’s contest. Forwards Ryan Gomes (sore back) and Al Jefferson (bruised
left knee/sore right foot) are also questionable, while guard Delonte West
(sprained left ankle) is doubtful.
The Celtics, who have lost four in a row as the visitor, are 11-27 on the road
this season. They return home to host Philadelphia on Wednesday and the
Milwaukee Bucks on Friday at TD Banknorth Garden.