Celtics sign Monroe in lone move at trade deadline


Two division leaders will clash in Washington on Thursday when the Wizards (31-23) host the Boston Celtics (39-16). The Boston Celtics are allowing 33.7 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 44.4 rebounds per game. With that loss, the Celtics are now just one game ahead of the Raptors for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Instead, the Celtics came out and laid an absolute dud. Defensively, Boston is 2nd in the National Basketball Association allowing just under 99 points per game. Washington won the lone meeting between the teams this season on Christmas Day, pulling off a 111-103 upset at Boston as a four-point road underdog. In point guard Kyrie Irivng's first game back from a quad contusion, the Celtics trailled the Raptors by 29 points at one stage and had no answer to the likes of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.

After a very disappointing performance on Tuesday, Boston hoped to redeem themselves against another tough Eastern Conference opponent.

Boston is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games. Thursday night was also the debut of newest Celtic Greg Monroe.

CJ McCollum added 22 points for the Blazers, who squandered a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead before ending a three-game losing streak. With just under five and a half minutes to play, Boston went up by ten and it looked like they were in control. The momentum switched as the Celtics went cold and committed a couple turnovers over the next few minutes. The Wizards recovered to lead as late as the 55.3 second mark of regulation, before Irving tied the game at 98-98 with 9.8 seconds remaining on three shots from the line.

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When is Game Time? The Indiana Pacers are shooting 37.4 percent from beyond the arc and 77.1 percent from the free throw line.

Over the last nine games, Valanciunas has scored 18-plus points four times and pulled down 10-plus rebounds five separate times.

After the Wizards had 30 assists and eight players score in double figures against the Raptors, Beal explained the contagious ball movement as "everybody eats". Kyrie Irving is averaging 24.7 points and five assists while Jaylen Brown is averaging 14.1 points and 5.4 rebounds. That will be needed in the matchup against Irving, who missed three games with a quad injury. Led by their other All-Star guard Bradley Beal, Washington fought back, but each rally was met by a 76ers key play or 3-pointer.

NY heads to IN tomorrow for a matchup with the Pacers, while the Raptors head on the road tomorrow for the first time after a 4-0 homestand with a matinee tilt at Charlotte.