Tonight in the NBA: Celtics host Knicks

Tonight in the NBA: Celtics host Knicks
January 24, 2013, 1:45 pm
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The Sixers' season started off promising with a record of 10-6, but they've gone 7-19 since and are limping towards the All-Star break.

Besides the injury to Andrew Bynum, a lack of an inside presence is not the only factor in the Sixers' struggles.

With Doug Collins' team off, here's a look around the NBA on a quiet Thursday night:

Knicks at Celtics, 8 p.m. -- TD Bank Garden
The last time the Knicks and Celtics squared off, the Celtics won 102-96, but the focus of the game was instead a confrontation between Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony.

Garnett and Anthony were jawing at each other during the game, and afterward Anthony reportedly sought out Garnett again.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers downplayed the issue, saying: "I'm going to let you all figure that one out. I'm going to stay out of that.  If it was the playoffs I'd tell on [Anthony], but since it's not I'm going to just be quiet." 

Certainly makes for an additional storyline Thursday night, when the Celtics (20-21) look to snap a four-game losing streak. Boston is 3.5 games ahead of the Sixers for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Knicks are 25-14 and hold the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

Clippers at Suns, 10:30 p.m. -- US Airways Center
The Los Angeles Clippers are looking to get closer to the second-best record in the NBA after a home loss to the Thunder on Tuesday night. They are 32-11, a game behind Oklahoma City (33-10) and the San Antonio Spurs (34-11).

The 14-28 Phoenix Suns are looking to play spoiler against the Clippers, who may be without Chris Paul (bruised right kneecap) for the fifth time in seven games. Paul is averaging 16.6 points and 9.7 assists this season. Only he, Jrue Holiday and Russell Westbrook are averaging at least 16 points and eight assists.

The Suns, who fired coach Alvin Gentry last week, have played just once under interim coach Lindsey Hunter, beating the Kings 106-96. Phoenix has lost to the Clippers twice this season, by 18 and 26 points.

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