Celtics-76ers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 06, 2012
Rajon Rondo and Jrue Holiday lead the Eastern Conference in assists and had no trouble racking them up the last time they met. The point guards will match up twice this weekend when Rondo's Boston Celtics and Holiday's 76ers begin a home-and-home set at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday night. Boston's Rondo leads the NBA with 12.8 assists per game while Holiday is averaging 9.3. Philadelphia won 106-100 in the first meeting between these teams Nov. 9 at Boston that ended a six-game win streak by the home team in this series. Holiday had 21 points and 14 assists while Rondo finished with 14 points and matched a season high with 20 assists. If there was an edge for the 76ers, it was the play of Holiday's backcourt mate Evan Turner, who had team highs of 25 points and 11 boards. Rondo's backcourt mate at the time was Courtney Lee, who scored six points. The 76ers have also won five of their last six at home against the Celtics, including playoffs. "They must have great confidence against us," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "So those are going to be hard games. I do like it, especially in this stretch, because I think we've started to play a little bit better. We've struggled playing in Philly so I love all the bad stuff because that's good the way I look at it in my demented way." These Atlantic Division rivals have identical 10-8 records as they sit in third place behind New York and Brooklyn. They also meet Saturday at the TD Garden. Rondo returned Wednesday from a two-game suspension for a fight last week against the Nets and had 17 points and 11 assists in a 104-94 victory over Minnesota. Boston split the games without him. "Having Rondo back was big for us," Kevin Garnett said. "I thought he brought a lot of good energy. We were excited that he was back, probably fed off of that." Garnett had 18 points and 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double and Paul Pierce added 18 points as all five starters scored in double figures. Garnett was also called upon to battle Kevin Love, who had 19 points and 13 rebounds but made just 6 of 15 shots. The Boston center will be up against Philadelphia's Lavoy Allen and Spencer Hawes, who share the bulk of their team's minutes in the pivot. Sixers coach Doug Collins said after Thursday's practice that he wants to see more from Hawes, calling him "a big part of our team." Hawes had eight points and six rebounds in the first meeting. "I just showed our guys the Boston tape of the last game we played and it was the Spencer Hawes highlight show," Collins said. "I mean running the floor, sprinting the floor, around the basket, tipping balls in, catch and shooting, rolling out." Philadelphia is trying to avoid its first three-game slide after falling 105-88 to the Timberwolves on Tuesday. Turner scored 19 while Holiday was held to 13 - 5.2 below his team-high average. Reserve guard Nick Young has missed the last two games with a left big toe hyperextension, and said he may be able to return Saturday in Boston.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sam Mitchell reportedly candidate to join Pelicans’ coaching staff

Warriors GM indicates Steve Kerr still isn’t ready to return

Taylor Hall says it was “nice to finally see” the Edmonton Oilers eliminated

Report: Jets to hire female defensive backs coach

Vince Young officially inks contract with CFL team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jason Witten: Bill Parcells is getting soft in his old age

Braves make up with fan ejected by security for interference

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

Magic Johnson indicates Brandon Ingram is Lakers’ only untradeable player

Congress drafted a bill that could legalize online sports betting; how soon might it happen?

Oscar De La Hoya writes scathing letter opposing Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

It’s our civic duty to stop attending Super Bowls in new stadiums

Box Score 5/25: The Cavaliers look to close out the Celtics

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker