Boston Celtics vs. New Orleans Pelicans Pick & Prediction JANUARY 29th 2024

The Boston Celtics are coming off one of their worst shooting performances of the season and will try to avoid a third straight home loss when they face the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.

Boston shot 36 percent from the floor in its 115-96 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday. The Celtics missed their first 10 3-point attempts and finished the game 10-of-40 from behind the 3-point arc.

The Clippers used a 21-0 run to build a 36-point lead in the third quarter. Boston’s starters made 13 of 55 shots from the floor and didn’t play in the fourth quarter.

It was Boston’s second consecutive home loss after starting the season 20-0 in home games. The Celtics lost 102-100 to the Denver Nuggets at home on Jan. 19.

“Definitely humbling, I think, to be able to kind of come home and get your butt kicked,” Boston’s Jrue Holiday said. “But we know it’s a long season. We know we can learn from this and just kind of hold it in our back pocket. It’ll always be in the back of our head when we have a good game the game before.”

The loss to the Clippers came one game after the Celtics shot 63.8 percent in a 143-110 victory at Miami on Thursday. It was their best shooting percentage in a game since 2011.

“You’re never as good as you think you are, you’re never as bad as you think you are,” Boston coach Joe Mazzulla said. “And I think it’s important. We always talk about adversity, and adversity is always looked at as something negative happens to you.

“But to me, one of the hardest things to do is win consistently, all the time, and handle success. And that’s just as hard as handling losing, is being able to handle success. So I think regardless, you just focus on the character of your team, and our guys will bounce back.”

The Pelicans are coming off an ugly loss as well. New Orleans trailed by 34 at one point during its 141-117 setback at Milwaukee on Saturday.

Brandon Ingram scored 26 points and Zion Williamson had 23 for the Pelicans, who also received 13 points, 10 rebounds and six assists from Jonas Valanciunas. Williamson, who is averaging a team-high 21.9 points per contest, returned to the lineup after missing the Pelicans’ 107-83 loss to Oklahoma City on Friday with a bone bruise in his left foot.

“Give them credit,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said of the Bucks. “They dominated the game. It was really a lackluster performance on our part, and it starts with me. I’ve got to hold our guys more accountable. This is a tough back-to-back. We know it, flying up here. They had a back-to-back as well, probably some tired legs, but our fight has to be better. Those guys in the locker room, they know it.”

Boston center Kristaps Porzingis didn’t play in the Celtics’ loss to the Clippers on Saturday after he sprained his left ankle during the third quarter of Boston’s victory over Miami. Porzingis is averaging 19.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

–Field Level Media

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