Two weeks and three trades after their last game at TD Garden, the Celtics return home Wednesday night to face the red hot Phoenix Suns. For the C's the game will mark the home debuts for new acquisitions Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic, while the Suns will be looking for their fifth straight win, their sixth straight on the road and their fourth straight over the Celtics, who they beat 88-71 back on Jan. 28, in Phoenix.
In their first two games with the C's, both wins, Green and Krstic have fared reasonably well. Green has averaged six points in 18.5 minutes while Krstic has put up 10 points and five and a half boards in 25.5 minutes per game. The Celtics have won five of six dating back to their final game before the All-Star break, their only loss coming last Thursday night in Denver, the same day they acquired Green and Krstic from Oklahoma City in exchange for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson. The C's lead the league in scoring defense, allowing just 91.3 points per game, but something may have to give against the Phoenix, which scores 104.7 PPG on the road. The Suns are just 1-10, however, when they score less than 100 points away from Phoenix.
Another subplot of tonight's game will be the actions of the Celts Kevin Garnett and the Suns Channing Frye, who had an altercation in the January game at Phoenix that resulted in Garnett hitting Frye in the groin and subsequently getting ejected. Frye, who averages 12.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, has hit overtime game-winners in back-to-back games for the Suns, on Sunday at Indiana and then the next night against the Nets in New Jersey. Phoenix, which is currently a game out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, is led in scoring and assists by veteran point guard Steve Nash, with 16.4 and 11.4, respectively. Nash is second in the NBa in assists per game, trailing only the Celts Rajon Rondo.
On the injury front, the Celts will likely again be without both Shaquille O'Neal (Achilles) and Delonte West (ankle). Both could return on Friday night when the Golden State Warriors come to town. Forward Troy Murphy, who chose the Boston as his new home after being bought out by the Warriors on Monday, cleared waivers today, making his move the the Celts official. It's unclear when he will make his Celtics debut.
The Celts (43-15) come home to face the Phoenix Suns (31-27) tonight at 7:30 p.m. EST, on Comcast Sports Net New England.