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Howard: Perkins makes me better

Dwight Howard [1] has always been generous with his compliments of Kendrick Perkins [2].

“Kendrick did a Kareem shake tonight,” Howard said after the Magic’s win in March [3]. “It shocked me, but that just shows me that those guys have really been working on their game and they’€™ve gotten a lot better.’€

He was just as quick to credit Perkins after the Magic’s victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Howard scored just seven points and got to the line once in the second half.

‘€œThey played great defense tonight,’€ Howard said of the Celtics [4]. ‘€œThey pushed me out, I didn’t get into a good rhythm. Kendrick (Perkins) kept a body on me and that’s what he’s supposed to do. I have a lot of respect for Kendrick and he makes me a better player, something I look forward to next game. Me and Pat (assistant coach Patrick Ewing [5]) will watch film, see what I need to do so that it won’t be another night like tonight.’€

Howard and Perkins will battle again in Game 2 on Wednesday night.