The Boston Celtics went nearly 15 years between eight-game winning streaks. They're now on the verge of their second such run in less than two months.

Boston also will try to match the best home start in franchise history as it faces the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Banknorth Garden on Friday night.

The offseason acquisitions of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Paul Pierce have already paid off handsomely for the Celtics (18-2), who have rolled to the NBA's best record and need just six wins to match their total from 2006-07, when they went 24-58 and finished last in the Atlantic Division.

Boston opened the season with eight straight wins - its longest streak since a nine-game run from March 16-31, 1993. The Celtics now are in position to win eight in a row again after a 90-78 victory over visiting Sacramento on Wednesday.

Beating the Kings also improved the Celtics to 11-0 at TD Banknorth Garden - one win short of the best home start in franchise history, accomplished by the 1984-85 club.

"When they make that trip here and look at our record we want them to think twice,'' said Pierce, who scored a team-high 26 points against the Kings. "That, in itself, is an intimidation factor.''

The season is going so smoothly for the Celtics that even their fill-ins seemingly can do no wrong. When starting center Kendrick Perkins injured his right big toe after he dropped his bed on it in an accident at home earlier this week, that allowed rookie Glen Davis to make his first career start.

The 289-pound Davis - known as "Big Baby" - rose to the occasion Wednesday by going 10-for-10 from the free-throw line, scoring a career-high 16 points and pulling down nine rebounds.

"You think all kinds of things,'' said Davis, a second-round draft pick from LSU. "Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. You don't want to mess up. So just breathe in and breathe out, absorb it. This is a beautiful thing here.''

X-rays were negative on Perkins, whose status is uncertain for Friday.

The Bucks (9-12) have an opportunity to win consecutive games over the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, as they defeated Southeast Division-leading Orlando 100-86 at home Wednesday night. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for Milwaukee, which has dropped eight of 10 after a 7-4 start to the season.

"It was a huge win for us,'' Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "We needed to stop the bleeding and winning is good medicine.''

Milwaukee will try to end its struggles on the road, where it is 2-10 on the season. The last three of those losses have all been by six points or fewer.

Michael Redd had 27 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Bucks on Wednesday, narrowly missing his first career triple-double. Redd is averaging 18 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 17 career games versus the Celtics.

These teams split last season's four-game series, with each club winning once on the other's home floor.


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