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Celtics Go for First Sweep of Sixers since '95-'96

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Philadelphia 76ers (35-35) at Boston Celtics (55-14)
Monday, March 24
7:30 PM ET
Game #70, Home Game #34
TV:  NBA-TV, CSNHD, CSN
Sirius 123
TD Banknorth Garden 
Chat   l   Game Thread   

Sixers Coverage:     Passion and Pride   

The Celtics are coming home to face a hot Sixer team that has won 8 of it's last 10 games and is coming off a big win over the Nets.  The Celtics are looking to bounce back after a tough loss to the Hornets that ended their tough road trip.   The Celtics have won the first 3 games against Philly this season and are looking for a sweep of the Sixers for the first time since the 1995-96 season and only the second Sixers sweep in Celtics history. 
The Celtics are 29-5 at home and the Sixers are 15-20 on the road.  Both teams  are 8-2 in their last 10 games. The Celtics are coming off a tough loss to the Hornets while the Sixers are coming off a big win against the Nets.  The Celtics are 12-1 against Atlantic division opponents while the Sixers are 5-9 in the division.  
The first game after a tough road trip can be a trap game as teams experience a let down but the Celtics have avoided this trap after their first two trips and hopefully will be able to do the same after this one.  The Celtics are motivated to continue their momentum toward the playoffs and to bounce back after the loss to the Hornets. They are also still fighting to secure home court for the playoffs.  The Sixers are motivated to avoid  the sweep and to avenge the first three losses. They are also fighting for playoff position and are currently in the seventh spot. 
Probable Starting Matchups
PG:   Rajon Rondo vs Andre Miller
SG:   Ray Allen vs Willie Green
SF:    Paul Pierce vs Andre Iguodala
PF:    Kevin Garnett vs Reggie Evans 
C:      Kendrick Perkins vs Samuel Iguodala
Key Matchups
  Vs 
Paul Pierce vs Andre Iguodala
Iguodala is their best player and it will be up to Pierce to contain him.  Making him work on the defensive end could help to get him into foul trouble. 
  Vs 
Kendrick Perkins vs Samuel Dalembert
Perk needs to keep Dalembert off the boards as well as limiting his effectiveness in the paint.
Honorable Mention
KG vs Reggie Evans
KG has a height advantage and should look to exploit that. 
Keys to the Game
Take Care of the Ball   The Celtics literally gave the game away against the Hornets by turning the ball over 20 times.  The Celtics have to take care of the ball, avoid careless passes and focus on taking better care of the basketball. 
Defense    The Celtics have built their record on their tough defense.  The let down against the Hornets in the second half, allowing them to shoot 51% from the field and letting them get back in the game and win it.  When they Celtics commit to defense they are very hard to beat. 
Play 48 Minutes      The Celtics dominated the Hornets in the first half of their game, but let up in the second half.  The Celtics need to get off to a quick start and play aggressively for 48 minutes.
Rebound   The Sixers have out rebounded their opponents in 8 of their last 10 games.  The Celtics have to crash the boards and limit the Sixers second chance points.  
X-Factor
Home court advantage vs trap game
The Celtics will be coming home after a tough but successful road trip.   Often the first game home after a trip will be a trap game in which the home team has a let down.  The Celtics need to make home court advantage work for them to avoid the trap.