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                  === Knicks, Celtics square off in Boston ===
 (Sports  Network)  - The  Celtics are  mired in  their second four-game losing
 streak in less than a month and could be staring down an 0-for-5 hole with the
 rival New York Knicks in town Thursday night at TD Garden.
 Thursday  will mark  the first matchup between  the two teams since the Jan. 7
 matchup  that turned  somewhat ugly. Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett battled
 all  game,  received matching technical  fouls, then  went off after a Celtics
 road win.
 Anthony  was  seen waiting for Garnett  by the Celtics team bus. Video footage
 showed  the two  still exchanging words and  having to be separated by a large
 throng of security people.
 The  two claimed to  have worked things out, but that could be put to the test
 on Thursday.
 The  Celtics'  losing streak  continued with  a 95-90  setback at Cleveland on
 Tuesday  as Cavaliers  guard Kyrie Irving lit up the scoreboard for 40 points,
 including 11 of the team's final 13 points.
 "It's  no secret  who they're going to  when the game gets tight -- it's Kyrie
 (Irving).  There are a lot of great guards, but he's probably the best scoring
 point guard in the league," Celtics forward Paul Pierce said. "There is really
 no scorer like him at that position."
 Rajon  Rondo  scored a  team-best 17 points  to go along  with 13 rebounds and
 eight  assists, while  Garnett tallied 16 points and Pierce ended with only 12
 on  3-for-15 shooting for  Boston, which also lost four in a row from Dec. 27-
 Jan. 2 and hasn't sustained five consecutive losses since last Feb. 15-22.
 Celtics  rookie  forward Jared Sullinger  added a double-double with 12 points
 and  10  boards. Sullinger is  averaging 8.7 points  and 8.4 rebounds over the
 last  13 games. Boston's current slide come on the heels of a six-game winning
 streak, and it has failed to score 100-plus points during the skid.
 In  milestone news,  Pierce is seven assists shy of tying Bill Russell (4,100)
 for fourth on the team's all-time list.
 The  Celtics will play  seven of their next nine games at home, where they are
 13-8 this season and have dropped two in a row.
 New  York hasn't  been exactly lights-out either, having lost four of its last
 six  games,  and had a  two-game winning streak  stopped with an 88-85 setback
 versus  the Brooklyn  Nets Monday at Madison Square Garden. Joe Johnson scored
 25 points, including the go-ahead jumper with 22.3 seconds left in the game.
 Anthony  scored  a game-high 29 points,  while J.R. Smith and Amare Stoudemire
 chipped  in  16 and 15 points,  respectively, for the Knicks. Anthony missed a
 shot at the end and knew he should have made it.
 "I  don't make no  excuses," Anthony said. "I should've made the shot. I don't
 know what to say about that."
 Anthony is still one of the league leaders in points with 29.2 ppg.
 The  Knicks  will also visit Philadelphia  on their two-game trek and are 11-8
 outside  of  Madison Square  Garden this  season. After  visiting the 76ers on
 Saturday,  New  York will return home  for five straight games versus Atlanta,
 Orlando, Milwaukee, Sacramento and Detroit.
 New York lost the first of four meetings with Boston by a 102-96 score on Jan.
 7  in  the Big  Apple. The Celtics  were without Rondo,  but Pierce amassed 23
 points  on  10-of-18 shooting and Garnett  added 19 points with 10 rebounds in
 that one. Boston has won 19 of the last 23 matchups in this series.
 The  Knicks  have struggled  lately as  the visitor in  this series, losing 11
 straight, 14 of 16 and 18 of their last 22 trips to Beantown.
 01/24 10:26:57 ET