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Doc: Jacoby’s steal gave me something to smile about 04.27.09 at 2:42 pm ET
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WALTHAM – When you go through what Doc Rivers went through on Sunday in Chicago, you’ll look for any good reason to smile.

While watching the fifth inning of Sunday night’s Red Sox-Yankees game on TV, he got that reason.

Red Sox speedster Jacoby Ellsbury took off for home on a straight steal with the bases loaded and just barely made it under the tag of Jorge Posada, sparking the Red Sox to their 10th straight win.

“That was cool,” said Rivers, who has cheered hard for the Red Sox since coming to town in 2004. “That actually put a smile on my face. One of the few smiles I had on my face was that play. Thank gosh that happened.”

And after coming back from Chicago and getting back to his Boston apartment following his team’s 121-118 double-overtime loss in Game 4, he was in the mood to put on something to just take him away.

And with the Red Sox winning their 10th straight, Rivers was also looking for a little Boston sports karma.

“I’m happy with the way they’re playing,” Rivers said. “I want some of that. I want us to do that, too.”

Following Sunday’s 3-hour, 33-minute marathon, the team did not practice today. Instead they watched film and held a very light shootaround. The Celtics play the Bulls in Game 5 Tuesday night at the Garden, with the series tied, 2-2.

“We may not have even needed the film, to be honest,” Rivers said. “But sometimes when you lose the way you lost (Sunday) and execution is not perfect, I think it’s just better to get the guys together and put them in the same locker room. Hell, I should’ve just sat in there and sang songs or whatever. Kumbaya or whatever.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA playoffs,
Doc: Perkins is a target of officials 04.27.09 at 2:18 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Doc Rivers has said all year that his team has a target on its back. Now, he feels, there’s someone else taking aim.

After watching video of the two fouls called on Kendrick Perkins for two moving screens, in which there was little or no contact, Rivers let out a little of his frustration. Rivers was trying to give support to Perkins who was criticized for fouling out of Game 4 when his team didn’t have a big man to spare.

“I’ve got to say this about Perk,” Rivers began, “clearly, every game he’s been targeted for these moving screens. He gets them every game. He gets them called every game. Watching that tape last night, there two where he did move in the direction but there was zero contact on him. Brad Miller, on the other hand, is flying around. He’s laying guys out on screens and didn’t get one of those called. That bothers you.”

But Rivers also said that he would like Perkins to show some diplomacy on the court toward the officials.

“Perk does do it. Perk doesn’t help himself, which I’ve told him 100 times. When you do commit a foul, sometimes say, ‘Good call.’ And I know he’s never committed a foul and I probably whine as much as he does.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, NBA playoffs
Gordon has MRI 04.27.09 at 1:22 pm ET
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Bulls guard Ben Gordon, he of the clutch 3-point shooting, is supposed to have an MRI on his hamstring today. Gordon told reporters:

“I was driving and I heard something pop. It’s sore; hopefully it’s not too serious. I’m going to do what I need to do.”

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Watching the other series 04.27.09 at 10:00 am ET
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It’s a good thing the NBA had Game 4 of the Cavs-Pistons scheduled directly after the epic Celtics-Bulls clash, because after watching Ben Gordon and Ray Allen play UConn H-O-R-S-E we all needed a breather and nobody has sucked the air out of the playoff balloon quite like the Detroit Pistons.

That gave us a second to prepare for Game 4 of the Magic-Sixers series, which should be of slight interest to Celtics followers. If the C’s and Bulls represent the best of the first round of the playoffs and the Cavs and Pistons are the worst, Philly and Orlando lie somewhere in between.

The games in that series have been mostly competitive, but nowhere near the breakneck pace of Boston-Chicago. Three of the four games have come down to last-second shots and Philly has won two of those, further proof for most that Orlando just isn’t ready for prime time. If Hedo Turkoglu doesn’t knock down his contested 3-pointer in Game 4, the Magic would be in serious trouble right now.

But he did and they are back in control of the series, although warily. The problem for Orlando remains that its best player is not the go-to guy down the stretch. From the outside looking in, I’m still not sure how Stan Van Gundy’s team can deliberately go away from feeding Dwight Howard, even with his troubles at the free throw line.

It’s worth remembering that on the final day of the regular season the first round matchups looked like they would have Chicago playing Orlando and Philly playing Boston. If the Bulls hadn’t inexplicably lost to Toronto–and Cleveland hadn’t rested its most important players against Philly–we would be looking at entirely different scenarios right now.

But they did and here we are. The survivor of the Boston-Chicago series won’t have a lot of time to lick their wounds, but whoever it winds up being has to feel good about its chances in the second round.

One other odd note from the first round thus far. Homecourt advantage in the East hasn’t meant a whole lot, where the home teams are just 8-7. But in the West, the home team has gone 12-3. Indirect evidence that the East is a whole lot more competitive than people have given it credit for?

Celtics lose in double overtime 04.26.09 at 4:38 pm ET
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The late game heroics game to an end for the Celtics in Game 4. The Celtics lost 121-118 to the Bulls in double overtime.

The Cs were scoreless in the first two minutes of double OT, allowing the Bulls to take control of the final five minutes. Despite cutting the lead to one off a Pierce trey, he fell short on an attempted game-winner.

Pierce led all scorers with 29 points. Ray Allen added 28 and Rajon Rondo recorded another triple-double. Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 23 points.

The series is tied 2-2. Game 5 will be played on Tuesday in Boston.

Game 4 in Double Overtime 04.26.09 at 4:12 pm ET
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Ben Gordon drained a three-pointer over Paul Pierce to send Game 4 into overtime, 110-110. Rajon Rondo passed on a drive to the basket and missed an attempted game-winning jumper. Kendrick Perkins, Brian Scalabrine, and Brad Miller have fouled out.

Game 4 Heading to Overtime 04.26.09 at 3:46 pm ET
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Ray Allen played the hero again, sending Game 4 into overtime tied at 96 apiece. Allen drained a three-pointer with seconds left in regulation. The Celtics fended off a Derrick Rose attack on the Bulls last possession.

The Celtics are without Kendrick Perkins, who fouled out in the fourth quarter. Brian Scalabrine is playing with five fouls.

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