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KG: ‘Felt good to be back with the guys’ 01.19.10 at 3:06 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  For the first time since being sidelined by a hyperextended right knee, Kevin Garnett returned to full practice on Tuesday. He took part in session, running up and down the court without a noticeable limp.

“It felt good,” Garnett said. “It felt good to be back with the guys today.”

Head coach Doc Rivers said he will not allow Garnett to play on Wednesday night in Detroit when the team plays the Pistons but rather keep him on track for a Friday return when the Celtics host Portland.

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA,
Sheed: League doesn’t like tough D on Dirk 01.18.10 at 11:52 pm ET
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Dirk Nowitzki ‘€” with 37 points on 14-of-22 shooting from the floor ‘€” had a great game. Rasheed Wallace thinks he had a whole lot of help from the officiating crew of Tony Brown, Dan Crawford and John Goble.

Wallace didn’t hold back in expressing his frustration following Monday night’s game about a crucial fourth personal foul called on him with 5:16 remaining in the third quarter and the Celtics holding on to a 63-60 lead.

With Wallace on the bench, Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks on a 15-5 run to close out the third quarter, on their way to a 99-90 win over the Celtics at TD Garden.

“You know, they don’t like no tough defense on him so of course I get a whole lot of bull[crap] calls but that’s how the story goes,” Wallace said, before adding, “I ain’t worried about it. We’ll see them again. Honestly, I can’t remember which one the fourth foul was, there were so many bogus [calls]. I ain’t worried about it. Like I said, we’ll see them again. We go down there in about a month or so. There’ll be retribution.”

Wallace and the Celtics will have their chance at payback on March 20 when the Celtics visit Dallas.

Wallace also said there was a double-standard when it came to fouls that weren’t called on Paul Pierce.

Read More: Celtics, Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks, NBA
Banged Up, Perkins Can Still See Woes Clearly 01.18.10 at 11:39 pm ET
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BOSTON ‘€“ Kendrick Perkins walked into the locker room with a bandage on his cheek. The big man caught an elbow from Dirk Nowitzki 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‘ 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. 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], 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.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett,
Fast Break: Celtics vs. Mavericks 01.18.10 at 10:38 pm ET
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BOSTON — What started off as a duel between Paul Pierce and Jason Kidd ended as a one-man show starring Dirk Nowitzki. The Celtics crumbled in the second half as the Mavericks went on tear to erase a nine-point halftime deficit and win, 99-90, in Boston.

Player of the Game: Dirk Nowitzki had an impressive first half with 13 points. Then he came out of halftime and crushed the Celtics to carry the Mavs to victory. He was nearly flawless in a critical third quarter in which he shot 6-for-7 from the field for 13 points. Nowitzki continued the assault in the fourth, scoring another eight points to finish with a game-high 37 (14-for-22 FG).

Turning point: Whatever Rick Carlisle said at halftime worked for the Mavericks. Led by Nowitzki, they dominated the third quarter. The Mavs erased the Celtics’ 50-41 halftime lead to go up 75-68 by the end of the third. Aiding Nowtizki was Erick Dampier, who scored his first 11 of the game in those 12 minutes. The Celtics gave up a season-high 34 points in the third and lost all control of the game.

– Paul Pierce and Jason Kidd combined for 19 points in the first quarter. But they both went scoreless in the second quarter (neither attempted a field goal). Pierce finished with 24 points (9-for-17 FG) while Kidd posted 13 (5-for-7) and 17 assists.

Kendrick Perkins showed a poise and maturity tonight by staying out of foul trouble. He picked up his first personal nine minutes into the game and didn’t get whistled again until six minutes left in the third quarter.  Perkins finished the game with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Rasheed Wallace posted 11 points (5-for-13 FG) and three rebounds in 35 minutes in his first game back since being sidelined with a sore left forefoot.

– The Celtics are now 4-9 when trailing after three quarters.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki,
Doc feels Starbury still has game 01.18.10 at 10:05 pm ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers recalled his last meeting with Stephon Marbury last spring after the Celtics were eliminated by the Orlando Magic in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Celtics and Marbury had a 37-game marriage, starting on Feb. 27, 2009. It ended after the 14th game of the playoffs and a Game 7 loss to Orlando.

“We wanted to move on,” Rivers said of the 32-year-old guard before Monday’s game. “I thought we had him for the right amount of time and if he came back he would have wanted to play more minutes, which I wouldn’t have blamed him for.

“I did not think he was done, no. I thought he still had a lot of basketball left in him,” Rivers added. “I thought someone would pick him up last summer but I don’t think the web broadcast helped his cause at all.”

Of course, that broadcast is the now infamous 24-hour homemade production from last July in his house where he rambled about various thoughts on his mind.

But now, Marbury is focused on heading to China to show he can still earn a paycheck playing the game he loves.

“I hope someone does pick him up and I think he’s going over there to prove he still can play,” Rivers said.

Read More: Celtics, China, Doc Rivers, NBA
Doc on Dirk: There’s never been a player like him 01.18.10 at 8:28 pm ET
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Doc Rivers has seen plenty of great players in his time as a player and coach in the NBA.

But he says he’s never seen one like Dirk Nowitzki.

What makes the 7-foot big man so special is his ability to roam the court like a guard.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a player like Dirk, honestly,” Rivers said. “He’s a rare [player]. He’s literally an original. There’s been seven-footers who can shoot, there’s been seven-footers who can pass but there’s been none who can do all of them.”

[Listen to Rivers rave about Dirk]

Reggie Miller was in town Monday night, doing the TNT broadcast with Kevin McHale. And Rivers had the chance to chat with the NBA’s all-time leading three-point specialist.

“I was laughing with Reggie Miller,” Rivers said. “They’re running plays for Dirk that we run for Ray Allen and teams [used to] run for Reggie Miller. Bringing him off triple-screens. You just haven’t seen that. The next coming of that would be the kid in Oklahoma, [Kevin] Durant. They’re the only two guys like that.”

Rasheed Wallace picked a heckuva time to come back after a three-game hiatus with a sore left foot. He had the task of guarding Nowitzki.

“I don’t know if this is the perfect game for him to come back and face Dirk Nowitzki,” Rivers said. “That’s a tall order but that’s the order we have and he’s got to follow through.”

Read More: Celtics, Dirk Nowitzki, NBA,
Pierce plays, Sheed returns 01.18.10 at 7:32 pm ET
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Doc Rivers announced before Monday’s tipoff that both Paul Pierce and Rasheed Wallace were cleared to play against the Mavericks.  Pierce banged his sore right knee into the leg of Shelden Williams during Sunday’s practice while Wallace missed the last three games with a sore left foot.

Read More: Celtics, NBA, Paul Pierce, Rasheed Wallace
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