Boston Celtics at Denver Nuggets (-8.5, 203)
Most teams enjoyed a fairly quiet All-Star weekend, but the Boston Celtics managed to make news when center Kevin Garnett said he will not waive his no-trade clause with Thursday’s trade deadline fast approaching. As a result, Garnett is fully expected to accompany the Celtics on Tuesday when they visit the Denver Nuggets, who entered the All-Star break on a three-game losing streak.
Boston is 8-1 since losing point guard Rajon Rondo with a season-ending knee injury and stands a season-high four games above. 500. Despite its recent skid, Denver is fifth in the Western Conference standings and boasts an impressive 22-3 home record. The teams combined for one of the most memorable games of the season at TD Garden on Feb. 10, when Paul Pierce recorded a triple-double with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists in the Celtics’ 118-114 triple overtime win.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet New England (Boston), Altitude (Denver), NBATV
ABOUT THE CELTICS (28-24, 21-28-3 ATS): In addition to losing Rondo, the Celtics have also been hit with season-ending injuries to rookie Jared Sullinger and veteran Leandro Barbosa over the past three weeks. The team has responded by focusing on its defense in recent weeks, including the Celtics’ 71-69 win over Chicago in the final game before the All-Star break. Boston forced 22 turnovers and held the Bulls to 36.5 percent shooting in the win. Forward Jeff Green has stepped up his play with Rondo out, and he's averaging 13.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists in the last nine games. Garnett should be rested after playing only six minutes in the All-Star game on Sunday.
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (33-21, 32-22-0 ATS): Denver, which has won three straight at home against the Celtics, appears content to stand pat at the trade deadline with one of the deepest rosters in the NBA. Forward Kenneth Faried was selected the MVP of the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday after scoring a game-high 40 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Faried also competed Saturday in the dunk contest, where he scored a perfect score on his second dunk before falling to eventual winner Terrence Ross of Toronto. The second-year forward is averaging 12.3 points and 9.7 rebounds while starting all 54 games. Point guard Ty Lawson, averaging 15.8 points and 7.1 assists, had 29 points and nine rebounds against Boston two weeks ago.
* Favorite is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
* Home team is 16-5 ATS in the last 21 meetings.
* Celtics are 1-7 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Denver.
* Over is 16-5 in Nuggets last 21 overall.
* Nuggets are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
* Celtics are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games.
1. Boston is beginning a five-game road trip and won’t return to the TD Center until March 1 against Golden State.
2. Andre Iguodala (neck) and Gallinari (sinus infection) each missed Denver’s final game before the All-Star break, but both are expected to return against Boston.
3. Denver is 241-81 (74.8 percent) at the Pepsi Center under coach George Karl.