Suns-Celtics Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 09, 2013
Strong defense has the Boston Celtics on the brink of their longest winning streak of the season, and now they're getting Rajon Rondo back from his latest suspension. Kevin Garnett may be just looking to move past a feisty incident. With Rondo back, the Celtics attempt to open a season-high five-game homestand by sending the struggling Phoenix Suns to their longest road losing streak in 29 years Wednesday night. Boston (17-17) is on its second three-game winning streak of the season, and this one is being spurred by holding opponents to an average of 84.0 points and 37.6 percent shooting. The Celtics may be getting an offensive lift with the return of Rondo, the NBA's leader with 11.3 assists per game. The All-Star guard, however, has been plagued by four suspensions over the past two seasons - two in 2012-13. The most recent was issued after he made contact with a referee during Saturday's 89-81 win at Atlanta, and failed to cooperate with a league investigation. Rondo had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against the Hawks for his second triple-double of the season. Boston didn't seem to miss him Monday, beating Atlantic Division-leading New York 102-96 while hitting 52.7 percent from the floor. "The best thing is that we got the win," Rondo told the team's official website. "It's our first time we've gotten three wins in a row (actually the second) so we've got to build on that." Garnett is looking to build on his 19 points and 10 rebounds against the Knicks, but it wasn't his production that put him in the limelight. While battling with Carmelo Anthony, the two stars had a heated exchange that Anthony wanted to continue after the game. He tried to follow the Celtics off the court, and was caught by cameras waiting for Garnett near the team bus. "Listen, heat of the battle, man. Guys go back and forth. He's trying to get his team to go, I'm trying to get my team to go, both teams are colliding, not to mention that it's the Knicks and the Celtics," Garnett said. "Just what it is, man." Garnett is averaging 24.6 points and 11.8 boards over his last 17 meetings with the Suns (12-24), but he was held to 10 and five while going 5 of 13 from the floor in a 79-71 home loss Jan. 20. That marked the only meeting last season, and Rondo missed it with a sprained right wrist. Boston has dropped four of the last five meetings with Phoenix, but the Suns enter this matchup with a 2-15 road record and are in the midst of their longest slide as a visitor since 1985. They opened a four-game trip by extending their current road losing streak to 10 games with Tuesday's 108-99 defeat at Milwaukee, and haven't dropped 11 in a row away from Phoenix since a 14-game slide from Jan. 3-Feb. 17, 1984. "We can't play 40 minutes, 42 minutes or 38-minute games where we play pretty good and give ourselves an opportunity and then let it deteriorate away over a four- or five-minute period," coach Alvin Gentry said. "That's kind of how our season has gone, really. We've just got to find a way to get better. The season is slipping away." Goran Dragic was a bright spot for the Suns on Tuesday, getting 21 points after mustering nine in a 92-81 home loss to Memphis two days prior. The guard hasn't been much of a factor in seven career meetings with the Celtics, averaging 4.7 points while getting 11 at Boston in a loss with Houston on March 6.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Top eight takeways from Raiders’ relocation to Las Vegas

Tony Romo upset with situation, distancing himself from teammates and coach

Kings owner looking for an executive to place over Vlade Divac

Elway: Broncos plan to 'stay the course' with Siemian, Lynch

Boykin may have violated probation, could face jail time

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

USF suspends DB indefinitely for role in shooting, arrest

Softball player, coach get physical in handshake line

Kraft: Patriots do not intend to trade Malcolm Butler

Brandon Marshall talks about how he can help Odell Beckham

Scherzer makes Tebow look silly in spring training at-bat

Lonzo Ball discusses headlines his father creates

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The 28 craziest ballpark foods for the 2017 season

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

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

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

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