Iguodala leads streaking Nuggets into Boston

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Updated: February 10, 2013

The Boston Celtics are one of just a few teams Andre
Iguodala has faced at least 30 times in his career and the swingman will take
his first crack at them in a Denver Nuggets uniform Sunday night at TD Garden.

Iguodala, a longtime Sixer, was dealt to the Nuggets in the offseason and is
averaging 14.9 points, 5.2 assists and 4.9 rebounds in 30 career games against
the one-time Atlantic Division rival. He is posting averages of 13.5 points,
5.4 boards and 4.7 assists with Denver, which is riding a nine-game winning
streak and in the midst of a four-game road trip.

Denver got the trek off to a good start with Saturday’s 111-103 victory over
the improving Cleveland Cavaliers as Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points and
pulled down nine rebounds and Kenneth Faried added 17 points with seven
boards. Iguodala had 14 points, seven assists and four rebounds for the
Nuggets, who last won nine in a row during a 10-game run in 2004-05.

“We’re going to try and shock the world and become the first team to win a
championship without an All-Star,” Denver coach George Karl said. “There are
only about 10 true superstars in the NBA, I think, but I believe Andre
Iguodala, Ty Lawson, Andre Miller, and Kenneth Faried are in the next 40
players.”

The Nuggets, who played just their fourth road game in the new year, are
winners in 14 of their last 16 games and sit 1 1/2 games behind the Los
Angeles Clippers for the third seed in the West. They are 11-15 away from the
Rockies and will also visit Toronto and Brooklyn.

In other news, Gallinari is averaging 19.7 ppg in his last 17 games, scoring
20-plus points eight times over that stretch.

Who would have thought the Celtics would be playing so well without their top
distributor, All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo?

Done for the season with a knee injury, Rondo’s absence left many to believe
Boston would be in trouble. However, the Celtics are 6-0 without Rondo and are
coming off Thursday’s 116-95 home triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers. Paul
Pierce led the way with 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the
Celtics, who shot 53 percent from the field and led by as many as 32.

“Whenever you match up against the Lakers, it always feels good to give them
the old fashioned beat down at your house,” said Pierce. “It doesn’t matter
what direction this team is going, there will always be a rivalry. You know
everybody’s always going to watch and it feels good to win like that.”

Jeff Green scored 19 points off the bench, while Jason Terry and Kevin Garnett
each posted 15 points. Garnett recorded his 25,000th career point and is three
games shy of tying Buck Williams for 11th on the all-time games played list.

“It’s typical Celtics basketball. They all just put their hard hats on and
they go out, go hard and figure things out,” said Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who
posted 27 points. “It always just seems like whenever their backs are against
the wall, you know that’s when you really see the best from them.”

The Celtics will try to extend their home winning streak to six games Sunday
and are 18-9 in Beantown this season. Boston is 10-3 at home against the
Western Conference. After hosting the Nuggets, the Celtics will play six of
seven games on the road.

Boston lost the only meeting with Denver a season ago, but is 18-3 in the past
21 as the host in this series.