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Game 5: Early update

04.28.09 at 7:22 pm ET
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Any questions about the health of Bulls guard Ben Gordon seem to have been answered. Gordon started the game by aggressively attacking the basket and he drained a couple of jumpers. He looks fine, in other words.

Like the first two games in Boston this one has been off to a sluggish start. The Bulls started the game 2-for-9 from the floor and there were numerous sloppy mistakes on both sides. But the Celtics interior defense has tightened up. Kendrick Perkins has been a monster with five rebounds and he blew up several layup attempts.

With 4:35 to go in the first quarter, the C’s have a 13-12 lead.

Del Negro: Gordon will start

04.28.09 at 6:35 pm ET
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Chicago Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro just told the media that Chicago’s Ben Gordon, who is suffering from a torn hamstring, will start in Tuesday night’s Game 5 between the Celtics and Bulls. “He’s going to try to play,” Del Negro said. “He’s loosened up a little bit. It’s still pretty tight, but he’s going to try.”

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Gordon on point in warm ups

04.28.09 at 5:53 pm ET
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Bulls guard Ben Gordon, who is questionable for tonight’s Game 5, hit 18 of his first 20 jumpers in warms up. Gordon received treatment on his left leg before shooting. He suffered a torn hamstring in Game 4. Head coach Vinny Del Negro has not addressed the media yet to give an official decision.

Rondo to fans: We need you tonight

04.28.09 at 12:23 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Rajon Rondo is looking for a little help from some of the most loyal fans in the NBA.

Tonight, as the Celtics prepare to battle the Chicago Bulls in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference series at TD Banknorth Garden, Rondo and his mates will look to put that grueling double-overtime loss in Game 4 in Chicago behind them.

When you spend 3 hours, 33 minutes battling, only to lose and have to hop on a plane and play 48 hours later in playoff intensity, it’s understandable that you would look for a pick-me-up wherever you can find it.

“I think it’s important for us, to get the crowd in early,” Rondo said. “I think it’s very key. I think it’s one of the most important things besides us playing well tonight is for the crowd to be into it.”

The man who has averaged a triple-double in this series, with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, will be called upon to get the Celtics offense into high gear at the start.

“We look at it as a game we have to win,” Rondo said Tuesday morning. “We looked at Game 4 the same way. We could have separated the series if we had won Game 4 but we have to move on.”

Rondo has two triple-doubles in this series, in the Game 2 win, and the Game 4 loss. Celtics coach Doc Rivers would welcome another triple double but what he’s really looking for is  just a steady court presence.

“That would be great,” Rivers said of another triple-double. “His numbers are almost gaudy at times. We don’t expect those numbers, we just expect his solid play. Sometimes, even when he plays and has a great, solid numbers it doesn’t translate into number. But so far this series it has.”

Read More: Celtics, NBA, Rondo, triple-double

Doc on Garnett: There’s a chance, not a very good one

04.28.09 at 11:35 am ET
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WALTHAM – Responding to a radio report by Reggie Miller to Dan Patrick that Kevin Garnett could return if the Celtics made it to the second round, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said this morning that Garnett is still out indefinitely with his sore right knee, adding, “Like I’ve said before, yeah, there’s a chance, it’s not a very good one,” Rivers said. “I guess you could report that and it’s correct but it’d be incorrect.”

Garnett has been reduced to a role of cheerleader during the series, spending most of his time on the Celtics bench while Leon Powe tore the ACL in his left knee in Game 2 and is lost for the playoffs.

Garnett will need surgery on bone spurs in his right knee that are not related to his tendinitis in the back of the same knee. Garnett is holding off on the procedure in the remote hope that he could return if the Celtics advance past the first round.

Meanwhile, no decision has been made on when to proceed with surgery on Powe’s knee.

The Celtics will once again be without Garnett and Leon Powe (left knee) tonight when they battle the Chicago Bulls in Game 5 of the first round Eastern Conference series, with the series tied, 2-2. Gametime is 7 p.m. at TD Banknorth Garden. For more, visit the Green Street blog.

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Miller: KG could return

04.28.09 at 8:31 am ET
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TNT analyst Reggie Miller told the Dan Patrick Show that he believes Kevin Garnett will return if the Celtics advance to the next round of the playoffs. While Miller did not confirm that Garnett told him this, the two are neighbors in Malibu, California. Garnett injured his knee in February against the Utah Jazz. He recently decided to postpone surgery.

Doc: Jacoby’s steal gave me something to smile about

04.27.09 at 2:42 pm ET
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WALTHAM – When you go through what Doc Rivers went through on Sunday in Chicago, you’ll look for any good reason to smile.

While watching the fifth inning of Sunday night’s Red Sox-Yankees game on TV, he got that reason.

Red Sox speedster Jacoby Ellsbury took off for home on a straight steal with the bases loaded and just barely made it under the tag of Jorge Posada, sparking the Red Sox to their 10th straight win.

“That was cool,” said Rivers, who has cheered hard for the Red Sox since coming to town in 2004. “That actually put a smile on my face. One of the few smiles I had on my face was that play. Thank gosh that happened.”

And after coming back from Chicago and getting back to his Boston apartment following his team’s 121-118 double-overtime loss in Game 4, he was in the mood to put on something to just take him away.

And with the Red Sox winning their 10th straight, Rivers was also looking for a little Boston sports karma.

“I’m happy with the way they’re playing,” Rivers said. “I want some of that. I want us to do that, too.”

Following Sunday’s 3-hour, 33-minute marathon, the team did not practice today. Instead they watched film and held a very light shootaround. The Celtics play the Bulls in Game 5 Tuesday night at the Garden, with the series tied, 2-2.

“We may not have even needed the film, to be honest,” Rivers said. “But sometimes when you lose the way you lost (Sunday) and execution is not perfect, I think it’s just better to get the guys together and put them in the same locker room. Hell, I should’ve just sat in there and sang songs or whatever. Kumbaya or whatever.

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