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Reply To: NBA • Monday Service Plays • 12/7/15

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Preview: Boston At New Orleans

When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, December 7, 2015

Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

The New Orleans Pelicans have only won 25 percent of their games but are building confidence as healthy bodies return to the lineup. The Pelicans will try to secure back-to-back wins when they host the Boston Celtics on Monday.

New Orleans snapped a four-game slide with a 114-108 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday as Omer Asik, Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday all played big roles after being in and out of the lineup with injuries over the first month of the season, including Holiday’s 3-pointer that forced overtime. “Right when I let it go, it felt good,” Holiday told reporters. “That’s probably why I held my follow-through up so long.” The Celtics dropped to 2-2 on their five-game road trip with a 108-105 loss at San Antonio on Saturday but are 4-2 in its last six games. Boston is one of the top offensive teams in the league but could not get the stops at the other end it needed against the Spurs.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBATV, CSN New England (Boston), FSN New Orleans

ABOUT THE CELTICS (11-9): Boston averaged 108 points in its last three games and raced to 28 fast-break points in Saturday’s loss. “We talked about getting stops,” Jae Crowder told reporters. “I knew we could get anything we wanted at the offensive end against those guys, get stops and get out and run, and we could get whatever we want. But we just wanted to get stops – consecutive stops – in a row.” Crowder has scored in double figures in five straight games and is averaging 15.4 points while shooting 52.3 percent from the field in those contests.

ABOUT THE PELICANS (5-15): Two of New Orleans’ five victories have come against top contenders San Antonio and Cleveland but it has some trouble against the rest of the league. “It just shows that when we play like we’re supposed to, we can beat anybody,” Pelicans forward Anthony Davis told reporters. “We proved ourselves against (the Cavaliers) and the Spurs. We’ve got to do it against teams that are not the Spurs or not Cleveland. We can’t play down to the level of competition.” Davis finished with 31 points and 12 rebounds on Friday for his fourth straight double-double.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Celtics G Avery Bradley is 11-of-19 from 3-point range in the last three games.

2. Evans is averaging 14.7 points, 9.3 assists and six rebounds in three games since returning to the lineup.

3. Boston took each of the two meetings last season after dropping five in a row in the series.

PREDICTION: Celtics 112, Pelicans 101