CELTICS AT 76ERS, 7 P.M. ET

TV: ESPN

  • Celtics guard Rajon Rondo leads the NBA in assists (12.8 per game), and he returned two nights ago from a two-game suspension. In Rondo’s first game back Wednesday against Minnesota, he had 17 points and 11 assists.
  • Rondo is ranked fourth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.84) behind Jason Kidd (5.11), Chris Duhon (4.82) and Chris Paul (4.07).
  • Boston’s probable lineup includes Rondo and Jason Terry at guard, Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass at forward with Kevin Garnett at center.
  • The Celtics have dropped five of the last six games at the Wells Fargo Center, including games played in last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals.
  • Following Friday’s game, the Celtics will host the Sixers on Saturday night. Boston coach Doc Rivers, on playing home-and-home games against the same team: “I like it. I’ve always liked it. But most coaches don’t like it.”
  • Rivers believes that Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday is playing at an All-Star level. “I think his shot is what allowed him to see the floor more and makes him more dangerous,” Rivers said.
  • Sixers guard Nick Young (left toe) will not play, according to coach Doug Collins. Philadelphia guard Royal Ivey is also out with a right groin strain.
  • Philadelphia center Kwame Brown (stomach virus) is probable. If Brown is unavailable, Collins said that rookie Arnett Moultrie will be the first big man off the bench.
  • The Sixers (10-8) are trying to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season.
  • Collins, on his team’s identity through 18 games: “I’ve always said it takes about 20 games to find out who you are. With this team, it might take longer.”
  • Including this game, the Sixers will play five of their next nine at home before embarking on an eight-game road trip from Dec. 23-Jan. 5, their longest of the season.

– Andy Jasner

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