The Boston Celtics may want nothing more than to post their first road win of the season against one of their biggest rivals.
Boston will meet the New York Knicks to start a five-game road trip.
The Celtics have lost all four road games this season by an average of 10.5 points per game. Two of those defeats, however, were by a combined five points.
Boston’s 106-102 loss Friday to the Chicago Bulls gave the Celtics a split in their four-game homestand, but All-Star forward Paul Pierce said a loss wasn’t the best thing for their confidence as they open a five-game road swing tonight.
“Anytime we blow a big opportunity especially before a big road trip coming up, it hurts,” said Pierce who had game-high 43 points and 11 rebounds.
Pierce is averaging 22 points in 27 career games against New York, including a 46-point effort on Nov. 2, 2002 at Madison Square Garden.
Boston has alternated losses and wins in its last five games and has failed to post consecutive wins this season.
The Knicks return home after coach Larry Brown’s return to Detroit, where the New York dropped a 106-98 decision to the Pistons.
“That’s one of the best teams in the league and we stayed with them,” said Knicks rookie Channing Frye who scored 21 points. “We’re getting better every day. Sooner or later, we’ll get there.”
Jamal Crawford led the Knicks with 22 points, but scoring leader Stephon Marbury had an off night. Marbury came into the contest averaging 23.6 points in his previous five games, but was held to just 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting.
New York also has been inconsistent of late, alternating wins and losses in its last six games. The Knicks have reached the 100-point mark just five times this season, going 1-4 in that span.
Boston leads the all-time series, 254-166 including a 126-109 mark in New York. This is the second of four meetings this season and the teams will not play again until March 29 in Boston.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 3): Celtics - 3rd place, 1/2 GB, Atlantic Division. Knicks - 4th place, 1 1/2 GB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Celtics - Pierce, 26.9 ppg and 9.1 rpg; Davis, 5.7 apg. Knicks - Marbury, 17.3 ppg and 6.8 apg; Curry, 6.5 rpg.
SEASON SERIES: Celtics, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 2, Celtics, 114-100 OT. At Boston, Pierce went for a double-double with 30 points and 12 rebounds and Davis added 27 points in the regular-season opener. Marbury finished with 22 points and Curry had 19 points and eight rebounds in for the Knicks in his debut.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Celtics - 0-4 on the road; Knicks - 3-2 at home.