Game Preview: Cavaliers at Celtics
Boston has been a streaky team during this rebuilding season, and it will try to begin a new winning streak when it meets the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
The Celtics opened 2013-14 with four consecutive losses before winning four in a row. They followed that streak with a six-game slide, then won two straight on the road prior to Wednesday's 100-93 defeat to Memphis.
Boston shot 42.7 percent against the Grizzlies and was held below 95 points for the 11th time. It's averaging 88.5 points during its four straight home losses.
"It's certainly not the atmosphere; the atmosphere has been great," Brad Stevens said. "Of all the atmospheres I've been in in the NBA, and I haven't been here very long, this is by far my favorite. With the passion and how loud the fans are. ... At the end of the day we need to get better at home, we need to get better on the road, we need to become a better basketball team."
The same can be said for the Cavaliers, whose skid reached a season-high four with Wednesday's 95-84 loss to the visiting Heat.
Cleveland has also had trouble offensively, ranking right behind Boston with 92.6 points per game while sitting 27th in the league with a 41.8 shooting percentage.
Since beating Philadelphia 127-125 in double overtime Nov. 9, the Cavaliers have averaged 91.3 points in losing seven of eight. Six of their 11 defeats have been by more than 10 points.
"Everyone else can write us off. But in this locker room, we believe in each other. We're going to figure this out," said point guard Kyrie Irving, who leads the team with 21.0 points per game but is shooting 40.4 percent.
Cleveland, which is 1-8 on the road, has split its last six regular-season games in Boston after losing 17 of its previous 21 visits.