Boston At New Orleans
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Friday, March 6, 2015
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
With Anthony Davis healthy and dominating once again, New Orleans is primed to continue its pursuit of a playoff spot in the challenging Western Conference. Davis and the Pelicans look to keep alive their momentum when they continue a three-game homestand against Boston on Friday. After going 4-1 with Davis on the sidelines nursing a shoulder injury, New Orleans stayed hot in his return Wednesday against Detroit, eking out an 88-85 win behind a phenomenal performance by Davis.
The budding superstar finished with 39 points, 13 rebounds, eight blocks and three steals in a stat-stuffing effort that lifted the Pelicans to 9-3 at home against Eastern Conference opponents. The Celtics, who are also trying to track down the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, enter on a positive note after an 85-84 win over Utah on Wednesday in a game that featured a buzzer-beater by center Tyler Zeller. Boston has won four of its last six and the two losses in that stretch have come against league powers Golden State and Cleveland.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN New England (Boston), FSN New Orleans
ABOUT THE CELTICS (24-35): Boston's roster has been in a state of flux for months with many changes occurring among the big men, and the latest was a bid to sign former Philadelphia center JaVale McGee to help bolster a unit that recently lost Jared Sullinger. McGee was claimed off waivers after being picked up by Philadelphia in the trade deadline following several seasons with Denver, where he struggled to meet expectations but won't be trying to find his form in Boston. McGee and the club reportedly failed to reach contract terms with McGee insisting on a player option for next season and the Celtics desiring a team option.
ABOUT THE PELICANS (33-28): Reserve center Alexis Ajinca stepped into a more prominent role once Davis went down and responded with five straight double-digit scoring efforts and a rebounding average of 7.8. When Davis returned, Ajinca kept it going with 10 points and 11 rebounds in 23 minutes against the Pistons. He also has at least one blocked shot in each outing of the six-game stretch for a team that entered Thursday tied for fourth in the league in that category.
1. Celtics SF Jae Crowder, who had 18 points in the win over Utah, scored 22 - tied for his season high - in a 108-100 win over New Orleans on Jan. 12.
2. Pelicans SG Eric Gordon is shooting 19.2 percent inside the 3-point line over a span of 13 games.
3. Davis had 34 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in the previous meeting.
PREDICTION: Pelicans 103, Celtics 97
Stats and Records
New Orleans Off vs
99.5 Points For
102.5 Points Against