NBA Basketball

West-leading Warriors return home to face Celtics

(Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

Two teams fighting for home-court advantage in their respective playoff races duel Tuesday night when the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors meet in a battle of heavyweights in Oakland, Calif.

Neither team will take the floor in particularly good form, although the Warriors were able to salvage a 2-2 Eastern swing with a 120-117 win over the Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

The win produced good news for the Celtics, who were thumped 115-104 at home by Houston on Sunday. Despite the loss, Boston (38-26) was able to enter the week just 2 1/2 games behind Philadelphia (40-23) in the battle for the fourth playoff spot in the East and home-court advantage in the first round.

The Warriors (44-19) have an edge in their quest for home-court advantage throughout the Western playoffs, but the week began with just a slim 1 1/2-game margin over Denver (42-20). Golden State hosts the Nuggets on Friday night.

The Warriors and Celtics battled from tip to buzzer in Boston in January, with Golden State pulling out a 115-111 victory. Six players scored 20 or more points in the marquee matchup, with Kevin Durant pacing Golden State with 33 and Kyrie Irving the Celtics with 32.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr labeled Saturday's triumph at Philadelphia as "one of the best wins of the year." Stephen Curry added he believes it could have long-term ramifications.

"With 20 games or 19 games left, these feel-good kind of games where you just figure out how to win is very kind of playoff-esque," he told reporters after the game. "We want to build that kind of mentality and expectation down the stretch of the season."

Adding to the magnitude of the win was that it came against a 76ers team that had won 113-104 a little more than four weeks earlier at Golden State, and came without Klay Thompson, who was out with a sore knee.

The Warriors have had two days off since the win, but will not return Tuesday against the Celtics.

If there's been something positive to say about the Celtics in recent outings, it's that they've been healthy. The negative of having all hands on deck is that is has exposed a weakness: the bench.

The Celtics got just 31 points from five reserves in the loss to Houston. That came two games after opening a 1-2 homestand by getting just 13 points off the bench in a loss to Portland.

The lack of firepower has prompted some to suggest the club take a flier on Carmelo Anthony off the waiver wire. Coach Brad Stevens isn't one of them.

"(General manager) Danny (Ainge) has said this on a number of occasions: When we have six or seven guys playing well, we're pretty good," Stevens noted to reporters last week. "We've just got to get back to that."

Roster rumors also have been swirling around the Warriors, who are expected to re-sign Andrew Bogut. The center has finished his season in Australia is apparently interested in taking another shot at the NBA.

Bogut played four seasons for the Warriors, helping them win the 2015 championship and return to the NBA Finals the following season.

ESPN reported that Bogut needs FIBA clearance and a work visa, and that those steps could take from a few days to 10 days.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 5, 2019

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Teams Score Time
NCAA FB
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
NFL
Carolina   Sun 4:05pm
Arizona  
Teams Score Time
Air Force   9:00pm
Boise State  
Utah   9:00pm
USC  
Boston College   Sat 12:00pm
Rutgers  
California   Sat 12:00pm
Ole Miss  
Elon   Sat 12:00pm
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LSU   Sat 12:00pm
Vanderbilt  
Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Wisconsin  
Southern Mississippi   Sat 12:00pm
Alabama  
Tennessee   Sat 12:00pm
Florida  
Western Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Syracuse  
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Auburn   Sat 3:30pm
Texas A&M  
Louisville   Sat 3:30pm
Florida State  
Miami (OH)   Sat 3:30pm
Ohio State  
SMU   Sat 3:30pm
TCU  
UCF   Sat 3:30pm
Pittsburgh  
Washington   Sat 3:30pm
BYU  
Central Michigan   Sat 4:00pm
Miami  
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
Old Dominion   Sat 7:00pm
Virginia  
Oregon   Sat 7:00pm
Stanford  
Charlotte   Sat 7:30pm
Clemson  
Oklahoma State   Sat 7:30pm
Texas  
Notre Dame   Sat 8:00pm
Georgia  
Colorado   Sat 10:00pm
Arizona State  
UCLA   Sat 10:30pm
Washington State  
Teams Score Time
Interleague
Seattle 6 F
Pittsburgh 5
San Francisco 4 F
Boston 5
Philadelphia   7:10pm
Cleveland  
American League
Los Angeles 1 F
New York 9
Toronto 8 F
Baltimore 4
Detroit 0 F
Cleveland 7
Kansas City 5 9th
Minnesota 8
Seattle   7:05pm
Baltimore  
Toronto   7:05pm
New York  
Boston   7:10pm
Tampa Bay  
Chicago   7:10pm
Detroit  
Kansas City   8:10pm
Minnesota  
Los Angeles   8:10pm
Houston  
Texas   10:07pm
Oakland  
National League
Philadelphia 4 F
Atlanta 5
San Diego 1 F
Milwaukee 5
St. Louis 5 F
Chicago 4
St. Louis   2:20pm
Chicago  
New York   7:10pm
Cincinnati  
Washington   7:10pm
Miami  
San Francisco   7:20pm
Atlanta  
Pittsburgh   8:10pm
Milwaukee  
Arizona   10:10pm
San Diego  
Colorado   10:10pm
Los Angeles  
Teams Score Time
Tennessee 7 0:26 4th
Jacksonville 20
Atlanta   Sun 1:00pm
Indianapolis  
Baltimore   Sun 1:00pm
Kansas City  
Cincinnati   Sun 1:00pm
Buffalo  
Denver   Sun 1:00pm
Green Bay  
Detroit   Sun 1:00pm
Philadelphia  
Miami   Sun 1:00pm
Dallas  
New York   Sun 1:00pm
New England  
Oakland   Sun 1:00pm
Minnesota  
Carolina   Sun 4:05pm
Arizona  
New York   Sun 4:05pm
Tampa Bay  
Houston   Sun 4:25pm
Los Angeles  
New Orleans   Sun 4:25pm
Seattle  
Pittsburgh   Sun 4:25pm
San Francisco  
Los Angeles   Sun 8:20pm
Cleveland  
Chicago   Mon 8:15pm
Washington  
Teams Score Time
Boston 3 F
Philadelphia 1
Columbus 1 F
Pittsburgh 4
Florida 4 F/SO
Montreal 5
Dallas 2 F
Colorado 1
Vancouver 6 F
Edmonton 1
Vegas 0 05:05 2nd
Los Angeles 0
Buffalo   7:00pm
Toronto  
Nashville   7:00pm
Tampa Bay  
New York   7:00pm
New Jersey  
New York   7:30pm
Detroit  
St. Louis   8:00pm
Winnipeg  
Calgary   9:00pm
Edmonton  
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 19 Martin Truex Jr 24
2 4 Kevin Harvick 3
3 2 Brad Keselowski 18
4 9 Chase Elliott 8
5 12 Ryan Blaney 23
6 88 Alex Bowman 19
7 24 William Byron 14
8 42 Kyle Larson 15
9 22 Joey Logano 22
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
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1 2 Tyler Reddick 4
2 20 Christopher Bell 2
3 19 Brandon Jones 6
4 00 Cole Custer 1
5 7 Justin Allgaier 3
6 9 Noah Gragson 36
7 08 Gray Gaulding 16
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 13
9 18 Riley Herbst 15
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
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1 16 Austin Hill 7
2 45 Ross Chastain 2
3 51 Christian Eckes 1
4 2 Sheldon Creed 6
5 4 Todd Gilliland 3
6 30 Brennan Poole 18
7 24 Brett Moffitt 4
8 99 Ben Rhodes 13
9 18 Harrison Burton 9