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18-22

Celtics-Warriors Preview

AP - Sports

Rajon Rondo will to wait until later in this road trip for the Boston Celtics to face Monta Ellis.

The Golden State Warriors will play their first home game since trading away Ellis when they meet Rondo and the Celtics on Wednesday night.

Golden State (18-21) made a major move Tuesday by trading Ellis, forward Ekpe Udoh and center Kwame Brown to Milwaukee for center Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson, who will eventually begin his second stint with the club.

"It was emotionally draining for us," coach Mark Jackson said. "These were three guys we were attached to. It's a business and we talked about it. It's hard to see guys in this business go other places. This hurts."

The Warriors put aside the surprising five-player trade Tuesday night to cruise to their third straight win, 115-89 at Sacramento. Six Golden State players scored in double figures, as David Lee, Nate Robinson and Brandon Rush all had 17.

Ellis averaged team highs of 21.9 points and 6.0 assists for Golden State this season.

"Monta was our leading scorer, the heart and soul of our team," Lee said. "It was tough to see him go. This is business and there is no way to sugar coat this. That's the way it goes down in this league."

Ellis has been a handful for Rondo and the Celtics (22-19) in the past, averaging 27.4 points in five career starts against them.

Boston won't get a look at Ellis until March 22 in Milwaukee on its season-high eight-game trip. Rondo had success against another high-scoring guard Monday when he helped limit Chris Paul to 14 points and 3-of-12 shooting in a 94-85 win over the Clippers.

The hard-fought victory featured two technicals for each team as the Celtics closed the game on a 20-7 run to salvage a split of two games in Los Angeles after Sunday's loss to the Lakers.

"Once we settled into this game, we were more physical and pushed back, made it uncomfortable for them,'' forward Paul Pierce said. "We have to do it on a more consistent basis. We have to come out and throw the first punch. ... You could feel it in the atmosphere. It was a chippy game from the start.''

Pierce scored 25 points, Kevin Garnett added 21 and Ray Allen had 15 before he hurt his ankle late in the contest. Allen appeared to be okay after the game.

"I was running and I hit a wet spot and I slipped and my ankle turned over," Allen told the Celtics' official Twitter account.

The Celtics ended a six-game road losing streak to the Warriors with a season-high 35 assists - 15 by Rondo - in a 115-93 rout Feb. 22, 2011. Garnett and Pierce combined for 47 points in that contest and Rondo had 19.

Golden State is unsure when Stephen Curry will play again after he did not suit up Tuesday. His bothersome right ankle injury continues to be a problem, and he played 10 scoreless minutes Sunday against the Clippers before leaving the game for good with ankle problems.

"I'm fed up with it. I'm not able to produce," Curry said. "I have to let it heal. What that means I don't know yet."

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