National Basketball Association
Preview
Boston at Cleveland
When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, April 12, 2014
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

The Boston Celtics sat Rajon Rondo on Friday and still managed to end a nine-game losing streak. They hope to add Rondo back into the lineup when they visit Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. The Celtics have been resting Rondo on the second night of back-to-backs since his return from knee surgery but sat him on the front end Friday with a shin injury and could have him back for Saturday.

The Cavaliers were eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the week and played like a team with nothing left on the line in a 119-116 loss to the lowly Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. Cleveland has dropped three of its last four overall and gave up at least 117 points in two of those setbacks. The Celtics have allowed at least 103 in each of their last five contests and are fighting with the Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz for position in the draft lottery with three games left.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, CSN New England (Boston), FSN Ohio (Cleveland)

ABOUT THE CELTICS (24-55):
Boston moved one game ahead of Orlando and into a tie with Utah for the fourth-worst record in the league and a corresponding amount of ping pong balls in the lottery by knocking off the Charlotte Bobcats 106-103 on Friday. Phil Pressey started in place of Rondo and did his best Rondo impression with 10 points and 13 assists while Jared Sullinger continued to make his case as a building block for the future with 20 points. The Celtics developed a disturbing pattern of squandering double-digit leads during their losing streak and let go of a 13-point cushion on Friday only to battle back and earn the win.

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (32-48):
Cleveland allowed the Bucks to shoot 52.4 percent from the field in Friday’s loss and Irving did not do much to keep pace with 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting. The All-Star guard put up 44 points in a loss to the Bobcats last Saturday but totaled just 20 points in the next two contests. The Cavaliers will remain in evaluation mode in the last two games with the postseason no longer an option, and the compatibility of Irving and backcourt mate Dion Waiters will be scrutinized along with the frontcourt duo of Spencer Hawes and Tristan Thompson.

BUZZER BEATERS


1. The Celtics took each of the previous two meetings this season and six of eight overall.

2. Cleveland F Luol Deng (back) sat out Friday and is day-to-day.

3. Boston G Avery Bradley is averaging 23 points in two games since returning from an Achilles injury.

PREDICTION:
Celtics 103, Cavaliers 97
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Boston 24-55 W1 16-24 8-31 3-4 21-51 5-10 20-29
Cleveland 32-48 L1 18-21 14-27 2-4 30-44 7-9 20-30
Last Meeting
Boston Cleveland
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
12/28/13 CLE 100 BOS 103 103 43 45.8 100 40 46.8
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Boston J. Crawford 19 63.6 2
Cleveland K. Irving 32 59.1 2
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Boston A. Bradley 8 3 5
Cleveland T. Zeller 10 4 6
Assists Player  
Boston J. Crawford 5
Cleveland J. Jack 4
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Boston J. Green 1396 40.4 288
Cleveland K. Irving 1580 43.2 312
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Boston J. Sullinger 633 254 379
Cleveland T. Thompson 807 291 516
Assists Player  
Boston R. Rondo 280
Cleveland K. Irving 467
Quickchart Matchup
Boston Off vs  Cleveland Defense
95.8 Points For
101.6 Points Against
43.4 FG%
45.3 FG%
42.5 Reb
42.6 Reb
Cleveland Off vs  Boston Defense
98.0 Points For
100.4 Points Against
43.6 FG%
46.3 FG%
42.6 Reb
42.3 Reb