Double-bill of NBA action sees four giants go to battle.
There is an action packed Sunday ahead for NBA fans, as the Boston Celtics travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder, while the Los Angeles Lakers welcome the Chicago Bulls to the Staples Center.
Boston Celtics at Oklahoma City Thunder
The Celtics are in great form ahead of their meeting with Kevin Durant and Co. as they look to stretch their five game winning streak.
While Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce continue to set the standard, Celtics coach Doc Rivers is getting great contributions from across the roster as they move their way up the Eastern Conference standings.
Jeff Green is set to face his old team off the back of some impressive performances, while Boston will also be looking at Jason Terry to have an impact off the bench.
However, they will face a major challenge in maintaining their run when they take on the Thunder, who have their sights firmly set on top spot in the West.
Last Sunday, OKC conquered the Staples Center as they found a way to get by Western Conference rivals the Los Angeles Clippers, and with home advantage they will be confident of putting Boston to the sword too.
Durant and point guard Russell Westbrook continue to torment NBA defenses, while the likes of Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha produce the grit at the other end of the court to provide their star duo with the platform to win games.
Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers
If the Chicago Bulls have any hope of coming away from LA with a win, they will need to stop Kobe Bryant.
The ‘Black Mamba’ has been in scintillating form in recent games, as he continues to drain key three-pointers in clutch situations as well getting to the basket as he rolls back the years.
The Lakers are still chasing down a play-off spot in the West, and have a chance on Sunday to move ahead of Utah into the eighth and final place if they can secure their sixth straight home win.
Coach Mike D’Antoni appears to have turned the corner with this Lakers team, as they have now sealed 15 wins in their last 21 games, and they will be confident of their chances against the Bulls.
Chicago arrive at the Staples Center in pretty bad shape fitness-wise. They are still without Derrick Rose as he works his way to full fitness but are likely to be missing several other players in addition.
Richard Hamilton (back), Kirk Hinrich (foot) and Taj Gibson (sprained MCL) are all unlikely to feature, giving coach Tom Thibodeau plenty of headaches ahead of tip-off.
However, the Bulls will be buoyed by their 89-88 win over the Jazz on Friday night, with a last-gasp three-pointer from Marco Belinelli sealing the win.
They will hope to defeat another Western Conference team in the shape of the Lakers, and have won all three encounters so far this season.