Up For The Challenge?

After New Jersey lost to Boston four days ago, the Nets' Richard Jefferson declared the Celtics would not finish the season undefeated.

While the thought of an NBA team posting a perfect record over 82 games is far-fetched, it's still mathematically possible for Boston.

Jefferson and the Nets try once again to hand the Celtics their first loss when the Atlantic Division rivals face each other Wednesday night at TD Banknorth Garden.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Boston -11 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 184.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 78% of bets for this game have been placed on Boston -11 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Boston continued its early-season superiority on Saturday, when it improved to 5-0 after a 112-101 win at New Jersey in which the Celtics' new "Big Three" all made significant contributions. Paul Pierce scored 28 points, Ray Allen added 27 and Kevin Garnett had 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Jefferson led the Nets with 28 points, but refused to put too much stock in the game's result.

"It's one game,'' he said. "We're not going to play our best ball now. Right now, they are on a roll. They are not going to go undefeated. I will stand by that.''

But the Celtics (6-0) remained the league's lone unbeaten team Tuesday night, beating Indiana 101-86 on the road behind 31 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists from Pierce. Garnett had 18 points and 11 boards for his sixth double-double in as many games, and Allen chipped in 17 points.

Boston has won its first six games for the first time since 1987-88, and has done it convincingly. The Celtics have posted victories in five of their six games by double figures, and their average victory margin is more than 16 points.

Last season, they didn't win their sixth game until Dec. 9, when they already had 13 losses.

"You saw me last year,'' Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "Did it look like we were having a lot of fun? Winning means fun. Even if at times our guys know we are a better team than what we show, when you like each other, and you're winning, that is fun.''

The franchise record for consecutive wins to start a season is 14, by the 1957-58 club.

Meanwhile, the Nets (4-3) are trying to bounce back from their first consecutive losses of the season. Jefferson had a season-high 32 on Monday, but failed to score in the fourth quarter of an 84-82 home loss to New Orleans. Jason Kidd added 14 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in the contest, which New Orleans won on Chris Paul's layup with 2.6 seconds remaining.

"We had an eight-, nine-point lead without me scoring in the fourth quarter. So obviously we were doing something right,'' said Jefferson, who has led New Jersey in scoring in every game this season. "My job is to get my teammates open. In the third quarter I had a bunch of shots, in the fourth quarter we had great looks. We just made a couple of bonehead plays down the stretch that didn't allow us to finish it out.''

The Nets are trying to avoid their first three-game skid since they dropped five in a row from March 3-10, a slide which also began with a home loss to Boston.

The road team has dominated this series recently, taking the last five matchups. The Nets have won their last three visits to Boston since a 99-96 defeat Jan. 20, 2006.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Headlines

  • DENVER (AP) The Denver Nuggets say they're exploring options to repair All-Star Paul Millsap's torn ligament in his left wrist amid concerns he'll need surgery that will sideline him until late Fe...
  • MILWAUKEE (AP) Injuries are thinning the Milwaukee Bucks' frontcourt as they begin a Western Conference road trip.
    The team says forward Mirza Teletovic is expected to miss four weeks followi...
  • METAIRIE, La. (AP) New Orleans center DeMarcus Cousins says he was protecting a rebound the way all big men are taught when he was ejected for a flagrant foul during a game against Oklahoma City.<...
  • ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Retired NBA star Ray Allen believes he is a victim of ''catfishing,'' and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online.
  • NEW ORLEANS (AP) Pelicans center Demarcus Cousins has been ejected from a game against Oklahoma City after swinging his elbow near the head of Thunder star Russell Westbrook.
    The play occurre...

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Lakers vs. Kings Pick Are the Los Angeles Lakers going to win for a second straight night when they play at the Sacramento Kings tonight at...
Thumbnail Spurs vs. Pelicans Pick Are the San Antonio Spurs going to notch a win at the the host New Orleans Pelicans...
Thumbnail Warriors vs. Thunder Pick Are the Golden State Warriors going to waltz into the home arena of the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight and pick up a win against the spread? Game time is 8PM...
Thumbnail Raptors vs. Knicks Pick Are the visiting Toronto Raptors going to cover the spread tonight at 7:30PM ET when they play at the New York...

NBA Team Pages