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Celtics Look to Avenge Their Lone Road Loss

Indiana Pacers (9-17) at Boston Celtics (21-5)
Tuesday, December 22
7:30 PM ET
Game #27, Home Game #14
TV: CSN-NE, FSI, NBA LP 753, 754
TD Garden

Game Thread l Chat

Referees: Mike “Duke” Callahan l James Capers l Olandis Poole

The Celtics are 9-1 on the road this season and their lone road loss was to the Indiana Pacers. Tonight the Celtics get a chance to avenge that earlier loss as the Pacers visit TD Garden. The Pacers will have a different look in this one than they had in their first meeting. The Pacers' star, Danny Granger, is out with plantar fasciitis. Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy were out with injuries in the first game and are expected to start in this one. Roy Hibbert is the only constant for the Pacers in their starting lineup.

Since losing Danny Granger, the Pacers have been struggling. They are 3-7 in their last 10 games while the Celtics are 9-1. The Pacers have lost 3 in a row while the Celtics are looking for their second win in a row. The Celtics are 9-4 at home While Indy is 3-10 on the road. The Celtics have struggled with their focus at times at home, most recently in the loss to the Sixers. If the Celtics come out focused and play the way they are capable of playing, this should be an easy win. But, then again, the Sixers game should have been an easy win as well. It all comes down to focus.

The Pacers are playing the the second of back to back games and are coming off an 84-81 home loss to the Bucks. The Celtics have had a day off and should be ready to play. They are also coming off of a very strong performance against the Wolves and need to build on that to gain momentum going into their Christmas day matchup with the Orlando Magic.

Probable Starting Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Earl Watson

Shooting Guard
Ray Allen vs Dahntay Jones

Small Forward
Paul Pierce vs Mike Dunleavy

Power Forward
Kevin Garnett vs Troy Murphy

Kendrick Perkins vs Roy Hibbert

Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Earl Watson
Another matchup of 2 quick points guards. If Rondo comes out focused, this matchup should go the Celtics way.

Kevin Garnett vs Troy Murphy
With Granger out, Murphy has become a key player for the Pacers. He is their high rebounder and it will be up to KG to keep him off the boards.

Keys to the Game
Defense - first, foremost and always
Rebound - This is one area the Celtics still need to improve in
Focus - The Celtics found their focus at home in the Wolves game. They need to have the same focus in this one.
Play 48 Minutes The Celtics need to come out strong and not let up. Too many times they come out strong and then let up, or start off slow and then have to play catchup. They need a consistent effort for 48 minutes.

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