8 a.m. ET: The last time the Celtics and Cavaliers met up, Jeff Green provided a thrilling ending. The Celtics would probably prefer if things were not so exciting this time.
Having snapped their two-game losing streak with a victory over the Pistons on Wednesday, the Celtics (39-36) are back in action. Their opponent is the Cavs (22-52), who are having a forgettable season despite giving the Celtics three tough efforts this season. Stuck at the bottom of the Central Division, the Cavs have a shortage of talent, and that has been compounded by severe injuries to Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejao.
The Celtics cannot afford to take the Cavs — or any team — lightly, however. The Celtics hold just a 2 1/2-game edge on the Bucks for the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference, and nobody wants to fall to eighth, which would mean taking on the powerhouse Heat in the first round. Kevin Garnett will not be back, but Celtics coach Doc Rivers seemed optimistic at practice on Thursday that Garnett would be back for Sunday’s game against Washington.
Join us for updates and analysis from TD Garden during the game, which tips off at 7:30 p.m. ET.