The Celtics and Warriors are each coming off their most lopsided losses of the season. One of them will bounce back with a victory when Boston welcomes Golden State to the TD Banknorth Garden.
Boston was trounced 118-86 Saturday by the Chicago Bulls, allowing them to shoot nearly 60 percent for the game. In the third quarter, the Celtics yielded 39 points on 70 percent shooting.
“When you get beat this bad, you just have to let it go,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “It’s not difficult for me to put it behind me, but it really hurts your pride.”
Golden State can relate after a 118-90 loss Sunday to the New Jersey Nets. The Warriors surrendered 66 points by halftime and fell to 1-1 on their five-game Eastern Conference road trip.
“We weren’t ready to play and they obviously were, so, basically, end of story, really,” Warriors coach Mike Montgomery said. “We just weren’t ready to play and there’s just no other issue. They just drilled their shots early. We didn’t defend them and then off they went.”
The Celtics may have thought they were getting better defensively holding the Indiana Pacers to less than 33 percent shooting Wednesday in an 85-71 win. But they allowed the Milwaukee Bucks to shoot 49 percent in a 100-96 loss two days later.
“I have been saying all year long, I don’t think we concentrate hard, I don’t think we believe in one another, we don’t play with a sense of urgency on defense,” Boston forward Paul Pierce said. “We need to get all five guys defensively on the same page.”
Pierce has led Boston in scoring in nine of the last 10 games, averaging 27.1 points in that span.
Boston has received some recent improved play from forward Mark Blount, who is averaging 14.2 points over his last six games after averaging just 7.6 points over his six previous games.
The Warriors had a three-game road winning streak snapped with the loss to the Nets. Jason Richardson was held to 12 points—more than 10 below his season average—as Golden State shot 38 percent.
Point guard Baron Davis was limited to five assists in the loss. The Warriors are 0-6 this season when Davis hands out fewer than five assists.
Boston has won five of the last seven meetings with Golden State.