Washington (21-38) at Boston (39-21)

  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Sun Mar 7, 2010
  • TV: ESPN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Boston Celtics are taking advantage of a favorable stretch in their schedule. A visit from the Washington Wizards could be the perfect time to ease their newest addition into the mix.

With veteran Michael Finley(notes) set to make his Boston debut, the Celtics look for a fourth consecutive victory overall while trying for a sixth straight win over the Wizards on Sunday night.

After suffering a 104-96 home loss to lowly New Jersey last Saturday, Boston (39-21) has reeled off wins over Detroit, Charlotte and Philadelphia - all have losing records.

“We’re a veteran team, we know how to play,” said forward Kevin Garnett(notes), who had 22 points and eight rebounds in a 96-86 win at Philadelphia on Friday. “It’s just (about) when we want to put our heads together, go out and execute and do the things we have worked on.”

The Atlantic Division-leading Celtics look to continue their success against Washington (21-38), which has lost two in a row and four of five. Finley could have a hand in helping the Celtics stay hot.

After asking for and receiving his release from San Antonio earlier this week, the 15-year veteran will add more experience to an already seasoned team looking to make a lengthy postseason run.

Finley, who turned 37 on Saturday, has scored more than 17,000 points in his career but averaged 3.7 in 25 games for the Spurs this season. The two-time All-Star will play behind Paul Pierce(notes) and Marquis Daniels(notes) at the small forward position.

“I think he has basketball left in him,” coach Doc Rivers said of Finley, who won a championship with the Spurs in 2007. “We don’t know where we’re going to fit him in, but adding a veteran can never hurt.”

Rajon Rondo(notes) had 16 points with 11 assists Friday as Boston shot 50.7 percent after making 53.5 percent of its attempts in a 104-80 win over the Bobcats on Wednesday.

Rondo and Garnett made up for a seven-point, 1-of-9 shooting effort from Pierce, who went 9 of 13 from the field and finished with 27 points against Charlotte.

Pierce is averaging 26.0 points in his last 11 home games against Washington, while Rondo is averaging 19.0 and 11.5 assists in two road wins over the Wizards this season.

The Celtics have won two in a row at home over the Wizards, who are averaging 93.6 points while allowing 109.6 during their five-game skid against Boston.

The Celtics will face a much different Washington team than the one they beat 99-88 on Feb. 1. Antawn Jamison(notes), Caron Butler(notes) and Brendan Haywood(notes) were traded, and the Wizards also lost forward Josh Howard(notes) to a season-ending knee injury less than a month after acquiring him from Dallas.

Washington shot 37.8 percent and scored its fewest points of the season while falling to Milwaukee for the second time in three days, 102-74 on Friday.

“We just didn’t compete. It carried over to defense. It carried over to offense,” coach Flip Saunders said.

Andray Blatche(notes), who had 13 points Friday and 17 in a 104-102 loss to the Celtics on Dec. 10, is averaging 24.1 in his last nine games since becoming a starter.

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Sunday, Mar 7