The Boston Celtics have dropped five games in a row and will try to get back on track Wednesday night when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Celtics haven't won since a home victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on March 16. Boston has lost five in a row on the road and this is not how the franchise wants to play heading into the playoffs in just under a month.
"Over our last five games, our turnovers have been up," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "We can't play that way."
Adding to the frustration, Kevin Garnett will be out a few more games with an ankle injury. Courtney Lee, who also has a left ankle injury, was expected to play Tuesday night against the New York Knicks, but didn't.
Against the Knicks, the Celtics committed 20 turnovers, which led to 17 Knicks points. To make matters worse for Boston, the Celtics only forced eight turnovers in a 100-85 loss and surrendered 29 second-chance points.
"If you're not going to rebound, and then you turn the ball over, its' just saying you're going to lose the game," Rivers said. "I thought we were flat, we didn't play with a lot of energy. I thought we never had any rhythm."
Jeff Green, who started in place of Garnett, had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Paul Pierce, Jordan Crawford, Brandon Bass and Jason Terry also scored in double digits.
The Celtics aren't in danger of falling out of a playoff spot, but they are only 1 1/2 games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks for eighth. Boston is now 2 1/2 games behind the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks for sixth.
The Cavaliers are also nursing a five-game losing streak and have faced their fair share of injuries. All-Star guard Kyrie Irving is out with a sprained left shoulder and Anderson Varejao has been down for months with serious injuries. Rookie guard Dion Waiters has been sidelined with a strained left knee.
"They've got one guy out, we've got three," head coach Byron Scott said, dismissing the notion that the teams' injury problems are comparable before being reminded that Boston's Rajon Rondo was out too.
Two of Cleveland's five straight losses came at home, but their most recent setback came in Houston against the Rockets on Friday. The Cavs fell 116-78.
Now, the Cavs draw a playoff-bound, hungry team that needs to get some momentum heading into the postseason.
"They've got a world of experience," Scott said of the Celtics. "They still have good pieces, they're just missing one of their main guns. The biggest thing for us is we've got to come out with a ton of energy."
The two teams split this season's matchups with each team winning on their home floor. The Cavs win on Jan. 22 snapped a three-game home losing streak to the Celtics.
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