Celtics without Rondo face Lakers

07 February 2013 13:14:00 EST
Pau Gasol of the Lakers faces a six week spell on the sidelines due to a foot injury.

The Boston Celtics put their five-game winning streak on the line Thursday when they welcome in the Los Angeles Lakers to the TD Garden.

Now 25-23 and with a four-game lead over the chasing Philadelphia 76ers in the race for a playoff spot, the Celtics have surged since Rajon Rondo was ruled out for the year with injury.

Somewhat curiously the Lakers too have been in fine form since Dwight Howard was forced out of the lineup, but now LA must deal with the absence of Pau Gasol. The Spanish star is out for at least six weeks with a foot injury.

The Celtics can be backed at 10/11 in the point spread (-1.5), while the Lakers (+1.5) are priced at 10/11.

Wednesday all five starters were in double figures for the Celtics as they defeated the Raptors 99-95 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Kevin Garnett led the way for the visitors hitting 11-of-18 from the floor for a game-high 27 points and Garnett and Paul Pierce both recorded double-doubles on the evening. Losers of five of their last six, the Raptors are in Indianapolis on Friday to play the Indiana Pacers at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Down in South Florida the Miami Heat moved a game and a half ahead of the New York Knicks atop the Eastern Conference standings when they defeated the Houston Rockets while New York was losing to the Washington  Wizards. Missing Chris Bosh through illness, the Heat still had too much for the visitors with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combining for 63 points on the evening.

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