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Banged Up, Perkins Can Still See Woes Clearly

BOSTON ‘€“ Kendrick Perkins [1] walked into the locker room with a bandage on his cheek. The big man caught an elbow from Dirk Nowitzki [2] while he was trying to block a shot and ended up with six stitches under his right eye.

In spite of the battle wound, Perkins could still see the Celtics [3]‘ problems clearly. They have dropped the past three games at home after giving up a 12-point lead to the Mavericks on Monday night. The Celtics are now 11-7 in Boston this season and 4-6 in their last ten games.

‘€œWe’re not putting together a full game, obviously, so we’re playing in spurts,’€ he said following the C’s 99-90 loss. ‘€œWe’re not playing for 48 minutes. The first half was pretty great tonight. Second half, third quarter we gave up 34 points and we can’t do that.’€

In addition to blowing a third quarter lead to the Mavericks, the Celtics have been outscored in the fourth quarter in their last four games. They are 1-3 during that stretch, except for a win over the Nets [4]. Extended minutes and fatigue all come into play late in the games. So does the absence of a leader whose intensity is heightened down the stretch.

‘€œYou need Kevin [Garnett [5]], we needed Kevin tonight,’€ said Perkins. ‘€œI think [the Mavericks] match up pretty well with this defense and the way Dirk stretches the court, Kevin could guard guys like this. So I guess we needed him, but we couldn’t do it.’€

Even with the bandage under his eye, Perkins has a clear perspective on the Celtics’  recent woes.

‘€œ[It’s been an] up and down season,’€ he said. ‘€œI think we’re playing in spurts during the season so some games we look like a championship team, some games we look pretty old, but we’ve just been playing in spurts.’€