Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart. (Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Starters Kyrie Irving and Al Horford sat out Saturday's loss in Brooklyn, so it wasn't exactly shocking the Celtics fell, but both are expected back tonight at the Garden when the C's host the Heat at 7:30 p.m.—and coach Brad Stevens expects his guys to be ready.
"We've got some still significant travel, but at the end of the day, there's no reason for everybody not to be fresh and ready to roll from here on out," he said. "So I'm excited to see if we can't make some progress."
No back-to-backs left, but Boston has lost five of seven.
The club's down to its final five games of the regular season. The next two are against Miami, then a visit to Indiana Friday. That's a biggie. Celts clinched the tie-breaker with the Pacers last Friday, but those squads are even in the standings right now, and this last handful of games will decide whether their inevitable first-round series will begin in the Northeast or the Midwest.
Heat are still pushing for the playoffs. Miami's eighth in the East, and Orlando and Charlotte remain in striking distance.
Celtics and Heat split two January meetings, each winning at home. Irving led Boston in scoring in both.
WBZ NewsRadio's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports