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A Clash of Titans In the Front Court

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By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 13, 2008

Among the interesting subplots to last night's Wizards-Celtics game was the matchup between Washington forwards Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler and Boston forwards Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

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Garnett and Pierce, along with a healthy dose of shooting guard Ray Allen, helped Boston enter the game with an NBA-best mark of 30-4, but it is worth noting that Jamison and Butler have been the league's highest-scoring forward tandem. Those two combined for 43.4 points per contest entering last night's matchup, while Garnett and Pierce were averaging a combined 40.3 points.

The principle difference is that Garnett also has been a dominating force on the defensive end. He entered the game averaging 1.53 blocks and has been the main reason why Boston's opponents were posting an NBA-low 87.2 points per game.

Last season, the Celtics allowed 99.2 points per game, which ranked 18th. The Wizards, who entered last night's game allowing an average of 97.5 points per game (13th), have experienced nearly as large a turnaround without making a major addition. Last season, they allowed 104.9 points (28th).

Here They Come Again

Neither team will have long to dwell on the particulars of last night's contest because the teams meet again tomorrow night in Boston. The only other time this season that the Wizards will face a team in consecutive games will be Jan. 29 and 30, when they have a home-and-home against the Toronto Raptors.

UP NEXT: Tomorrow at Celtics 7:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

Tuesday at Knicks 7:30 p.m. CSN+, WTEM-980


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