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Third quarter update

04.20.09 at 9:11 pm ET

What we have here at the Garden is 12 minutes that could potentially decide a season. The Celtics have an 88-87 lead and to demonstrate the urgency of the situation, Doc Rivers did not go to his bench until there ere 40 seconds left in the third quarter.

Rajon Rondo returned to the lineup after spraining his right ankle in the first half and he already has a triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, but the big story has been Ray Allen who erupted for 16 points in the third quarter. Every Celtics starter is in double figures, but the bench has been non-existent.

The other issue was the staredown between Kendrick Perkins and Joakim Noah. There have been a lot of hard fouls in this game and Noah has emerged as Public Enemy No. 1 in the Garden. At one point he wandered toward the Celtics bench and got an earful from Kevin Garnett, who has been giving a lot of people an earful. Tyrus Thomas also had a few choice words for the C’s bench.

As we head into the final 12 minutes, the Celtics season is on the line.

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