Boston at New Jersey

Venue: IZOD Arena

The Boston Celtics have been stumbling as they deal with injuries to a number of their stars, but a road game against the NBA's worst team should provide a welcome respite.

The New Jersey Nets have lost five straight, but they will try for a major upset Wednesday night against a Celtics team likely to take the floor without Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace.

Boston (26-10) dropped five of its last eight games, with Paul Pierce also missing time in that stretch as the veteran-laden team struggles to overcome several key injuries.

Pierce has returned from a knee problem, but Garnett and Wallace could remain out at least another week. Wallace, who had been replacing Garnett in the starting lineup, missed his first game this season Monday with a sore left foot. The Celtics went on to lose 102-96 at home to Atlanta.

Garnett's absence, however, has been the most jarring for Boston. The forward has played about half of the Celtics' minutes this season, with Boston outscoring opponents by a combined 198 points with him in the game and by 50 with him on the bench.

"He got to start working out (Monday) for the first time," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "Now it's just a conditioning thing. We want to make sure he gets strong and back in shape because he literally hasn't done anything. We figure 10 days to two weeks, that's what it'll take."

The Celtics certainly could have used Garnett's defensive presence against the Hawks as they allowed at least 100 points for the fourth time in six games. Boston has allowed 103.3 points a contest during Garnett's six-game absence, nearly 10 above its average.

Rivers was ejected Monday for arguing a flagrant foul called on Glen Davis during the third quarter. The sequence may have sparked a comeback for the Hawks, who outscored Boston by nine points in the final 12 minutes.

"It was just a terrible situation, whether it was justified or not," guard Ray Allen told the NBA's official Web site. "Up until that point we were playing well and after that the game did change."

A loss to New Jersey (3-34) would be far more deflating for Boston. The Nets are on pace for the worst record in NBA history, and their five-game losing streak is only their third longest of 2009-10. New Jersey dropped 10 in a row in December and 18 straight to start the season.

The team returns home after a three-game road trip that ended with a 97-85 loss at San Antonio on Sunday.

"It's very frustrating," forward Chris Douglas-Roberts said.

Center Brook Lopez had 28 points and 11 rebounds against the Spurs, but the Nets didn't get much production from their backcourt as Devin Harris sat out with wrist tendinitis.

Keyon Dooling, his replacement in the starting lineup, and Courtney Lee combined for 14 points on 6-of-21 shooting and did not get to the free-throw line. It's unclear if Harris will return against the Celtics.

Harris, Lee, Dooling, Douglas-Roberts and Yi Jianlian missed the Nets' previous meeting with Boston, an 86-76 loss in New Jersey on Nov. 7.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Game Odds
Boston -9 New Jersey 9
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Boston2nd Atlantic 4834.58586-4Won 1
New Jersey5th Atlantic 2244.33316.53-7Lost 6

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K OlynykShoulder
New Jersey
No injuries reported.
Key Players
, SF
34.0 Min. Per Game 36.9 Brook<br>Lopez
, C
18.3 Pts. Per Game 18.8
3.1 Ast. Per Game 2.3
4.4 Reb. Per Game 8.6
47.2 Field Goal % 49.9
41.4 Three Point % 0
85.2 Free Throw % 81.7
Team Rankings
Boston Celtics291.65
New Jersey Nets3059.68
Series Game Log
Other Games
Wash 82 Final
Atl 94
Pho 114 Final
Ind 122
NY 93 Final
Phi 92
LAC 94 Final
NO 108
SA 109 Final
OKC 108
LAL 100 Final
Dal 95
Min 114 Final
Hou 120
Orl 97 Final
Den 115
Mil 108 Final
Port 120
Miami 115 Final
GS 102