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R-O-N-D-O to play H-O-R-S-E in D-A-L-L-A-S

02.08.10 at 4:44 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Celtics All-Star guard Rajon Rondo confirmed following Monday’s practice that he will be taking part in the HORSE competition at All-Star weekend in Dallas.

The guard said he will come up with some trick shots that only he can make in an effort to beat Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, the defending champion, and Sacramento’s Omri Casspi.

Last year, Durant beat Atlanta’s Joe Johnson and O.J. Mayo of Memphis for the title.

Read More: HORSE, Kevin Durant, NBA All-Star, Oklahoma City Thunder

Doc on Pierce for Weds: ‘Wait and see’

02.08.10 at 3:39 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Celtics captain Paul Pierce was pulled out of practice early on Monday after coach Doc Rivers felt his star didn’t look smooth on his strained left foot.

“Paul didn’t do a lot today,” Rivers said. “We actually pulled him out early. He was practicing and wasn’t moving very well so just took him out. He’s questionable. I think he’s going to play but right now we’ll wait and see.”

Marquis Daniels, meanwhile, looked good in practice after his first game back on Sunday following left thumb surgery. The team was forced to move up their departure to Tuesday morning in order to get into New Orleans ahead of the parade Tuesday afternoon for the Super Bowl winners.

Read More: Boston Celtics, NBA, New Orleans Hornets, Paul Pierce

KG video: ‘It’s unpleasant’

02.07.10 at 7:10 pm ET
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Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett reacted to Sunday’s 96-89 loss to the Orlando Magic.

“It’s unpleasant,” Garnett said. “We don’t like that at all. Our goal is to establish home court and try to add that as an advantage and we really haven’t done that consistently, at least against good teams.”

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Magic, NBA

Daniels fueled by adrenaline in return

02.07.10 at 6:58 pm ET
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All along, Marquis Daniels has said he didn’€™t want to play with any fear when he returned from his thumb injury.

More than two months have passed since Daniels underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. On Sunday against the Magic, he stayed true to his word.

Daniels was greeted by a standing ovation when he made his debut with 4.3 seconds left in the first quarter ‘€” ‘€œI appreciate that,’€ he said. ‘€œThank ya’€™ll. Thank you everybody.’€

Doc Rivers told Daniels he was looking for him to be aggressive, and Daniels listened. He shook off a careless foul he committed as Mickael Pietrus shot a 3, and had confidence in his own shot. He knocked down his first attempt (a turnaround jumper) just 46 seconds into the second quarter.

‘€œIt’€™s always a good feeling to make your first shot,’€ he said with a laugh. ‘€œThe basket started looking wider, so it was just a good feeling just to make the first one.’€ Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Marquis Daniels, Rajon Rondo,

Doc: ‘We played like crap’

02.07.10 at 6:52 pm ET
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Doc Rivers says in his postgame address that his team is not as good as it might think it is. The Celtics were outscored 36-11 in the third quarter and blew an 11-point halftime lead in a 96-89 loss to the Magic, dropping them to third in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics are have lost all seven home games this year against opponents with at least 30 wins.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA, Orlando Magic

Fast Break: Celtics vs. Magic

02.07.10 at 5:09 pm ET
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The Celtics had this game in their grasp. They led by 11 points at halftime. All they had to do was hold on for another 24 minutes.

That task proved too difficult. The Magic went on a 19-0 run in the third and outscored the Celtics 36-11. It was the least amount of point the Celtics have scored in a quarter all season (previous low was 12 against the Heat on Nov. 29).

Ray Allen, Kendrick Perkins, and Paul Pierce went scoreless in the third, while Vince Carter, Dwight Howard, and Rashard Lewis combined for 26.

The Celtics got back within eight late in the fourth and flirted with a few runs, but their third-quarter hole was too deep to overcome. They lost 96-89 to the Magic.

Turning point: Lewis tied the game 60-60 off a three-pointer with 4:36 left in the third. The Magic took the lead off Carter trey, 63-60, immediately following a timeout. Kevin Garnett was whistled for an offensive foul on the next possession, and the Magic continued to extend their lead from that point on.

Player of the Game: The trio of Carter, Howard, and Lewis stepped up in the second half to drive the Magic to a come-from-behind victory. Howard also grabbed 10 rebounds during that stretch.

‘€¢Paul Pierce scored 13 points (5-11 FG, 1-5 3PG, 2-2 FT) in 30 minutes after coming back from a foot injury. Marquis Daniels looked impressive in his return from thumb surgery in December. He scored eight point (4-7 FG) in 13 minutes.

‘€¢Howard dominated the match up against Perkins. Despite being called for five fouls, Howard still posted a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Perkins, on the other hand, added just two points and three rebounds in 22 minutes.

‘€¢The Magic won the regular season series 3-1. Last season the Celtics split the series 2-2.

Third Quarter Wrap: Celtics vs. Magic

02.07.10 at 4:27 pm ET
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The Celtics blew a nine-point halftime lead to let the Magic take over in the third quarter. They trail 76-62.

The Magic went on a 19-0 run to tie the game at 60 apiece and outscored the Celtics 25-2 in the final seven minutes of the quarter.

Dwight Howard scored nine points in the third and Rashard Lewis added eight. Kevin Garnett scored all six of his points in the quarter but both Ray Allen and Paul Pierce went scoreless.

The Celtics committed eight turnovers as they lost control of their lead.

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