Preview: Pelicans at Celtics
The Boston Celtics return home looking to rebound from a dismal offensive showing when they host the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. Losers of five of their last six, the Celtics made only two 3-pointers and turned the ball over 20 times in a 94-82 loss at Chicago on Thursday. Jordan Crawford scored 22 points, but his teammates combined to go 25-for-70 from the floor as Boston was held under 100 points for the seventh time in its last 10 games.The Pelicans are searching for some sort of consistency as they continue a challenging four-game road trip. After an impressive win over Portland at home on Monday, New Orleans was trounced 124-112 at Minnesota in the opener of the excursion that also takes it to Indiana and Miami. Guard Eric Gordon returned from a three-game layoff in the loss, chipping in 12 points for the Pelicans, who have given up an average of 113 points in the last three games.TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN New Orleans (New Orleans), CSN New England (Boston)ABOUT THE PELICANS (14-16): The 12-point loss at Minnesota was not nearly that close, as New Orleans trailed by as many as 30 points in the third quarter, and the setback represented another rough defensive effort. Despite leading the league in blocked shots, the Pelicans give up 103.2 points, fewer than only three other teams, while allowing opponents to shoot 46.5 percent, higher than all but four others. The Timberwolves shot 55.7 percent from the floor and got to the line early and often against a New Orleans team that sends opponents to charity stripe more than every team with the exception of New York.ABOUT THE CELTICS (13-19): Boston has been offensively challenged all season, but it has become a more dire situation of late and leading scorer Jeff Green has been one of the primary culprits. Green was 5-for-18 from the floor in the loss to the Bulls and is averaging 11.4 points on 36.6 percent shooting since a 29-point showing nine games ago. Green is not often relied upon for playmaking or distribution, but the fact that he has just nine assists against 17 turnovers in that span does not help the cause for a team struggling to find consistent scoring.BUZZER BEATERS 1. The Pelicans are 7-2 against Eastern Conference teams.2. Celtics F Kris Humphries is averaging 10.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in just more than 20 minutes over his last seven games.3. Boston is 2-6 on the second half of back-to-back sets.PREDICTION: Celtics 94, Pelicans 92
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