Charlotte (28-30) at Boston (37-21)

  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Wed Mar 3, 2010
  • TV: FSCR, CSNE
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Boston Celtics opened the season with a decisive drubbing of the visiting Charlotte Bobcats, but on the whole in 2009-10, their home court has not provided a big advantage.

That was especially true in their last game at TD Garden.

The Celtics have already bounced back from an embarrassing home loss to the NBA’s worst team, but they’ll try to avoid a third straight defeat in Boston as they face the Bobcats on Wednesday.

Boston (37-21) went 70-12 at home in the first two seasons after acquiring Kevin Garnett(notes) and Ray Allen(notes), but has already lost 11 times in 27 home games this season, including a 104-96 defeat to lowly New Jersey on Saturday.

The Celtics are 5-7 in their last 12 games at TD Garden, with only one of the victories against an opponent with a winning record.

Leading scorer Paul Pierce(notes) returned to the lineup Tuesday night after missing three games with a thumb injury, and the Celtics improved to 21-10 on the road with a 105-100 win at Detroit.

Pierce wasn’t a major factor statistically, totaling nine points, but a newer Celtic provided the biggest boost. Playing his fourth game since Boston acquired him from the New York Knicks, Nate Robinson(notes) had 14 points. The diminutive guard hit three 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter to help give the Celtics the lead.

“That’s exactly what we need from Nate,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said. “We want to wind him up and let him go. I felt like we had to get him comfortable, so we put in one of the Knicks’ plays and ran that for him in the fourth quarter. The other four guys were uncomfortable, but Nate was comfortable and he hit the shots.”

While the veteran-laden Celtics aren’t playing like title contenders, they’re still all but assured of a playoff berth - something Charlotte cannot claim after dropping four of its last five.

Still seeking their first-ever playoff appearance, the Bobcats (28-30) fell out of postseason position in the Eastern Conference when Miami beat Golden State on Tuesday night.

In their first game since Michael Jordan struck a deal to buy majority control of the team, the Bobcats lost 89-84 at home to Dallas on Monday, shooting below 40 percent from the field for the first time in more than a month.

“We didn’t pass the ball, we didn’t recognize who was open, we didn’t use screens, we didn’t set screens,” Charlotte coach Larry Brown told his team’s official Web site. “That’s on me. It didn’t look like we had any organization at all.”

Brown also blamed himself after the Bobcats’ last trip to Boston. Charlotte opened the season with a 92-59 loss to the Celtics on Oct. 28 - the only time in franchise history the Bobcats have failed to reach 60 points.

At the time, Brown was asked if he had ever coached a team to such a meager offensive output. His response: “I don’t know if they call that coaching.”

Still, the Bobcats are looking to pull off at least one upset of the Celtics for a third straight season. They won 95-83 at Boston on Jan. 9, 2008, coming after the Celtics started 29-3 overall following the additions of Garnett and Allen.

“It’s a big game,” Charlotte guard Raymond Felton(notes) said of Wednesday’s matchup. “It’s going to be a tough one against a good team in their building. At the same time, we’ve won there before, so we’ve got to go and get another one.”

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Wednesday, Mar 3