Celtics slide continues

25 January 2013 12:24:52 EST
Celtics veteran Kevin Garnett.

The Boston Celtics play the Hawks at the Philips Arena in Atlanta on Friday after suffering a fifth consecutive defeat Thursday evening.

Currently holding down the eighth and final place in the Eastern Conference post-season standings, Boston saw Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks hit 11-of-28 from the floor for a game-high 28-points in the 89-86 set back at the TD Garden. The Hawks have won two in a row over the Minnesota Timberwolves and Charlotte Bobcats, but it's been a disappointing month for Atlanta who are just 5-8 and appear to be running out of steam after a fine start to the season. Should either the Toronto Raptors or Detroit Pistons improve their away form consistently then the Celtics may start to look over their shoulder.

The Celtics are 10/11 to secure the win in the point spread (+5), while the Hawks (-5) can be backed at 10/11.

The Raptors continue to hint at such a potential run and Thursday came away from the Amway Center in Orlando with a 97-95 victory over the Magic. DeMar DeRozan led the way with 22 points and Amir Johnson chipped in with a useful double-double as the visitors bounced back from their overtime defeat to the Miami Heat on Wednesday.

Toronto's last three losses have all come in the extra period, showing the thin margin between winning and losing in the playoff race. Saturday the Raptors return to the Air Canada Centre in Toronto to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs host the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night as the visitors go in search of their fourth straight win.

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