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Celtics Schedule 2012: Boston Starts A Grueling Stretch This Week

The Boston Celtics will start this week with a nice rest on Monday and Tuesday. They better take full advantage of it.

Starting on Wednesday, Boston plays nine games in 12 days including a road trip of three games in three nights There is one silver lining however: the opponents are the Toronto Raptors, New Jersey Nets and Charlotte Bobcats.

Before all that happens, the Celtics will have four contests this week, all against contenders.

Wednesday: San Antonio Spurs at Boston 7:30 p.m. ET

Tim Duncan and the Spurs make a trip to TD Garden in a battle of aging giants. San Antonio is still one of the best in the Wes with a 36-14 record. They'll be coming off of a game in Cleveland the night before.

Thursday: Boston at Chicago Bulls 9:30 p.m. ET

Derrick Rose has been injured lately, but it hasn't slowed down Chicago in the least. The Bulls come into this week with the best mark in the East (42-12).

Saturday: Boston at Indiana Pacers 7:00 p.m. ET

After a day off, the Celtics will take on Indiana and its budding team. The Pacers are a tough group to deal with because of their size and depth, both things Boston struggles mightily with.

Sunday: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston 6:00 p.m. ET

The Celtics finally get to return home to the Boston faithful for what promises to be a pivotal game in the Atlantic Division race. The 76ers are struggling badly lately, losing six of 10. However, Philly is only one game back for the lead and after pacing the division for most of the season, will be anxious to reclaim it.

For more on the Celtics, be sure to check out CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston for all the latest news and notes.