The second week of the NBA‘s In-Season Tournament continues Friday with an Atlantic Division battle among the matchups.
Boston returns home after dropping the final two games of its road trip at Minnesota and Philadelphia.
The Celtics welcome the Brooklyn Nets, looking to beat their division rivals for the second time in less than a week.
Boston’s recent three-game road trip began with a 124-114 victory at Barclays Center last Saturday. Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 32 points, while Cam Thomas paced the Nets with 27 points in the loss.
Thomas, who is averaging a team-high 26.9 points per game, is out for the next two weeks with an ankle sprain suffered in Wednesday’s 100-93 home victory over the Clippers.
The Nets have covered the spread in seven of eight games this season. The one time they didn’t was a push as 10-point underdog in their loss at Boston last week.
Meanwhile, the Celtics have struggled to cover numbers this season, posting a 2-3-2 mark against the spread.
Boston led early in Wednesday’s showdown at Philadelphia, but the 76ers outscored the Celtics, 39-27, in the second quarter to lead by double digits at halftime.
Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 27 points in the loss.
Boston returns to TD Garden on Friday for only its third home game of the season.
Betting on the NBA?
The Nets are 1-0 in East Group C play with a victory over the Bulls last Friday, while the Celtics are playing their first game of the league’s in-season tournament.
The Celtics should be pretty focused returning home after the back-to-back losses to close out their trip.
With Thomas sidelined, it’s hard to see who else can fill his scoring void, especially against this Boston offense that can drop 140 on any given night.
Let’s back Boston here laying double-digits at home against Brooklyn.
The play: Celtics (-10.5)