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Updated: No penalty for Perk 05.09.09 at 2:18 pm ET
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Update: The verdict is in from the NBA and there will be no suspension for Kendrick Perkins for Game 4 against the Magic, ESPN’s Chris Sheridan reports.

Sheridan reports that NBA will leave the Flagrant 1 call as it stands, which means Perkins will be in the lineup for Game 4.

The Celtics opted not to practice Saturday, and instead conducted a film session and walk-through at the team hotel in downtown Orlando. Topic number one on everyone’s mind was Perkins’s status after he was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul for hitting Orlando’s Mickael Pietrus up high during Friday’s Game 3.

“I didn’t even know who it was,” Perkins said. “I was just trying to get through a pick. It wasn’t like I saw Pietrus and tried to hit him with an elbow. It wasn’t nothing like that.”

The Magic have already had two players suspended during the playoffs. Dwight Howard was out for Game 6 of their first round series when he hit Philly Sam Delambert with an elbow and Rafer Alston was suspended for Game 3 of this series. LA’s Derek Fisher was suspended for Friday’s Game 3 of the Lakers-Rockets series, and all this has Doc Rivers more than a little ticked off. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Kendrick Perkins, Mickael Pietrus,
Game 3: Final Wrap 05.08.09 at 9:58 pm ET
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The Magic were in control the entire night as they defeated the Celtics, 117-96, to take a 2-1 series lead in Orlando. The Celtics got off to a slow start and found themselves down 54-41 at halftime. After cutting the lead to single digits, they failed to take advantage of Dwight Howard’s five fouls. Even with the Magic’s big man on the bench, the Celtics were never able to put together a threatening offensive run. Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 27 points (14-14 FT). Ray Allen shot just 3-for-13 (8 points). Rashard Lewis led all scorers with 28 points. Game 4 will be played on Sunday at the Amway Arena.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic,
Flagrant 1 for Perk 05.08.09 at 9:27 pm ET
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Celtics center Kendrick Perkins was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul in the fourth quarter after he delivered an elbow to Orlando’s Mickael Pietrus. Things have gotten heated in the second half. After the play, Hedo Turkoglu and Eddie House were given double technical fouls. Turkoglu has also caught Paul Pierce with a couple of elbows.

There have been several hard fouls, but nothing like the play in the Rockets-Lakers series. Yet.

Read More: Game 3, Kendrick Perkins,
Game 3: Third quarter update 05.08.09 at 9:10 pm ET
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After 33 minutes, the Celtics were down by 18 points. Three minutes later, the Magic lead is down to nine and suddenly we have a very interesting fourth quarter ahead of us. Orland’s penchant for blowing leads late in games is becoming legendary and they have set themselves up for another test.

The change came when Doc Rivers inserted Stephon Marbury into the lineup and he began to pressure Anthony Johnson fullcourt. The shots that were coming so easy previously, were suddenly nowhere to be found and when Rajon Rondo picked Johnson’s pocket and race down the floor for a dunk the Celtics had cut a humongous lead down to a manageable size.

All of this came without Dwight Howard on the floor, who has been a force at both ends of the floor tonight.

Read More: Celtics, Game 3, Magic,
The Courtney Lee experience 05.08.09 at 8:36 pm ET
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Courtney Lee wasn’t supposed to play a lot tonight. So much for that plan. The Magic rookie guard suffered a fractured sinus in Game 5 of Orlando’s series with Philadelphia after he caught an elbow from teammate Dwight Howard and had to be fitted for a mask.

He worked out in Boston, but Magic coach Stan Van Gundy told the press that he wasn’t sure what Lee would be able to give his team back in Orlando. Perhaps Van Gundy was posturing, or maybe the coach didn’t have much choice after losing Rafer Alston to a suspension, but Lee played in the first half and he played a lot.

Lee logged 20 minutes and made an immediate impact scoring 10 points and making several energy/hustle plays. Lee recorded a +12 in plus/minus, second only to Rashard Lewis at +15.

Doc Rivers was pretty sure Lee would get some big minutes in this game. “He’s a tough kid,” Rivers said, and he’s made things tough on the Celtics thus far.

Read More: Courtney Lee, Game 3,
Game 3: Halftime Update 05.08.09 at 8:33 pm ET
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Just as the Magic have a tendency to do, the Celtics fell into the trap of outside shooting in the first half of Game 3. Rather than attack the paint like they have done successfully so many times, the Cs are settling for jumpers. They’re not making them either. The Magic are outshooting the Celtics 56% to 41% from the field, while the Celtics have attempted 11 three-pointers and made just two.

The surprise of the night so far is the performance by Anthony Johnson. The Celtics were expected to gain an advantage with the suspension of Rafer Alston but it’s Johnson who is leading the Magic offensively. He has hit a game high five field goals (5-7 FG, 11 points).

None of the Celtics, on the other hand, have posted in double figures. Rajon Rondo scored a team-high nine points.

Foul trouble will be the key to the second half. Brian Scalabrine already picked up four personals and Glen Davis has been called for three. None of the Magic have more than two fouls. They shot 13-for-16 from the line.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic,
Game 3: First quarter update 05.08.09 at 7:41 pm ET
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All things considered, the Celtics ought to be reasonably happy to be down just 22-18 after one quarter. Orlando came out with a lot of energy and scored 14 points on layups and dunks, while the Celtics missed eight of their first 10 shots.

Ray Allen is the high scorer with six points, but nothing has really come easy for the Celtics. Two positive stats to note: Boston has three offensive rebounds and has kept the Magic off the offensive glass, and the Celtics had only two turnovers. Also, none of the Celtics has more than one foul, while Anthony Johnson and J.J. Redick both have two.

The Magic are playing without Rafer Alston, who was suspended by the NBA for his slap on Eddie House so depth is a concern for them at the point behind Johnson.

Read More: Celtics, Game 3, Magic,
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