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Preview: Celtics at Suns

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Feb 19 2014 02:25:16 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 19 2014 02:25:17 AM CST

The Phoenix Suns needed overtime to notch their first win of the second half and will look for a bit of an easier go when the Boston Celtics visit on Wednesday. Gerald Green's career-high 36 points against Denver, including eight in the extra frame, saved the Suns from falling for the fourth time in five games. Phoenix erased a five-point deficit in the final 35 seconds to force the bonus period, ultimately overtaking the Dallas Mavericks for sixth place in the Western Conference with the win.Boston will take the court for the first time after All-Star Weekend and while the premier event in New Orleans went on without a single member of the struggling Celtics, a pair of youngsters gave the team a look to what they hope will be a bright future in Friday night's Rising Stars game. Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger combined for 22 points in a losing effort for Team Webber, though an injured finger kept Sullinger focused on more than just the fun of the exhibition game. "I'm just trying to make sure I'm as healthy as possible," he told the Boston Herald. "We're still trying to make that late playoff push, if possible."TV: 9 p.m. ET, CSN New England (Boston), FSN Arizona (Phoenix)ABOUT THE CELTICS (19-35): Boston point guard Rajon Rondo has been mentioned in trade rumors of late, as have a slew of other Celtics, but he is taking it all in stride while still easing his way back into a groove following ACL surgery. "This is year eight for me," Rondo told the Boston Herald, "and I think this is year eight for me being in trade rumors, especially around this time." Rondo is averaging 9.8 points and 7.1 assists in 10 games this season, averaging just a shade over 27 minutes as he continues to recuperate.ABOUT THE SUNS (31-21): Phoenix's win over Denver came despite shooting less than 38 percent from the floor - the second time this month the Suns have connected at less than a 40 percent clip. Goran Dragic notched 21 points and a season-best 14 assists on Tuesday, following his much-talked about exclusion from the West's All-Star roster. The sixth-year pro is Phoenix's leading scorer, averaging 20.3 points and also dishes out a team-leading 6.3 assists per game.BUZZER BEATERS1. Boston has won its last two games against the Suns and is 6-4 in the last 10 meetings.2. Green is averaging 29 points in his last three games.3. The Celtics are 4-18 against Western Conference teams this season, while Phoenix has gone 11-8 against the East.PREDICTION: Suns 104, Celtics 91

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