Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 3/19/13
After the short-handed Boston Celtics nearly knocked off the hottest team in the NBA, they hope to get a key piece back in time for the start of their road trip. The Celtics could have Kevin Garnett in the lineup when they take on the sinking New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night. Garnett missed the last two contests while dealing with the flu and a strained abductor, but coach Doc Rivers said Garnett was close to playing against Miami on Monday. The Celtics (36-30) are 2-1 without Garnett this season. Boston led by 17 in the first half against the league-best Heat, but LeBron James' go-ahead basket with 10.5 seconds left gave Miami a 105-103 victory that extended its winning streak to 23. Jeff Green carried the Celtics offensively with a career-high 43 points. In the three games without Garnett, Green has averaged 28.0 points while going 30 for 44 from the field and 8 for 13 from 3-point range. Paul Pierce added 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists but missed a 3-point...
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