The Boston Celtics are one of two NBA teams that hasn't lost at home. On Wednesday, they welcome the only team in the league that has yet to win a road game.
That would seem to create a mismatch when the Sacramento Kings visit the TD Banknorth Garden, as the Celtics look to win their seventh straight overall and 11th in a row at home.
The Kings (8-12), though, have won 12 of 14 against the Celtics (17-2), including five of seven in Boston. But things have changed on both sides, with the Celtics now having Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett and the Kings missing their two best players in Kevin Martin and Mike Bibby due to injury.
With their new stars, the Celtics are 10-0 at home with an average margin of victory of 21.1 points. Only one of those 10 games was decided by single digits, and only three visitors were within 20 points of the Celtics. Sacramento, meanwhile, is 0-8 away from Arco Arena this season.
Wins over Sacramento Wednesday and Milwaukee Friday would tie Boston's franchise record of 12 straight home wins to start the season, a mark established in 1984-85. The following season, the Celtics finished 49-1 at home, including playoffs.
The trio of Allen, Garnett and Paul Pierce has led them to the dominating start. With Pierce shooting just 1-of-8 Friday in Chicago, Garnett had 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting and Allen led all scorers with 21 points in Boston's 92-81 win. But the key for the Celtics may have been point guard Rajon Rondo, who was 9-of-13 from the field for 18 points, to go with seven rebounds and five assists.
"They are worried about KG, they are worried about Paul, they are worried about myself," Allen said. "Him being so aggressive like that, it definitely gives us another angle to our offense."
Boston's defense has been even better. Friday's game was the 10th time the Celtics held an opponent under 90 points, something they've done in five of the last six games. They allow a league-low 87.7 points per game, and have allowed opponents an average of just 80.3 during the six-game win streak.
The Kings may have trouble finding points as they remain without their two leading scorers from last season. Martin, who was averaging 24.5 points this season, injured his groin last Tuesday against Utah and is expected to miss at least a month. Bibby still hasn't played this season while recovering from an injured thumb.
Sacramento eked out a 96-93 home win against Milwaukee Monday despite 5-of-16 shooting from Ron Artest, as John Salmons had 22 points starting in place of Martin and Brad Miller had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
"Anytime that you are down players like we are you have to come together more as a unit," Salmons said. "It's hard to replace guys like Kevin and Mike. We have to come together as a group and play together."
The Kings, opening a five-game road trip, signed swingman Dahntay Jones on Monday. Jones was drafted by the Celtics in 2003, but never played for Boston, spending the first four seasons of his career with Memphis. The Celtics signed Jones in late September, but waived him Oct. 25.
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