Sports

Wizards at Celtics | 6 p.m.

Garnett, Pierce to start tonight

Kevin Garnett (right) and Paul Pierce (behind Garnett) are pictured on the floor two hours before the start of the game.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Kevin Garnett (right) and Paul Pierce (behind Garnett) are pictured on the floor two hours before the start of the game.

The Celtics face yet another important game in their quest to reach sixth in the Eastern Conference and avoid a first-round matchup with the New York Knicks. They are two games behind the Atlanta Hawks with six games to play. They own the tiebreaker over the Hawks, who have four games left -- at Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Toronto and at New York. The Celtics end with Washington, Brooklyn, Miami, Orlando, Indiana and Toronto.

STARTING LINEUPS

BOSTON CELTICS (39-37)

PG Avery Bradley

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SG Paul Pierce

SF Jeff Green

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PF Brandon Bass

C Kevin Garnett

WASHINGTON WIZARDS (29-47)

PG John Wall

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SG Garrett Temple

SF Martell Webster

PF Emeka Okafor

C Nene

Officials: Jason Phillips, Scott Twardoski, Leon Wood

TV, radio: 6 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, WEEI (93.7 FM).

Pregame notes:

• Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett each made it through Saturday's practice healthy and ready to go. Garnett will return after an eight-game absence with left ankle inflammation.

• Pierce missed Friday's loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers with a sprained right ankle but was back in the starting lineup.

• John Wall is averaging 23 points, 7.8 assists, 5 rebounds and 1.6 steals in his past 21 games and is one of three players -- along with LeBron James and Kobe Bryant -- averaging at least 23, 7 and 5 since March 1.

• Courtney Lee returns to the bench with Pierce returning to the starting lineup. Jeff Green was named a permanent starter on Thursday.

• Although the Celtics have won the previous two meetings, the two teams haven't met since Nov. 7 in Boston, a 100-94 overtime win for the Celtics. Wall did not play in either of the previous two meetings, prompting Rivers to declare he didn't show any previous game tapes to his players.

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