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Celtics notebook

Visitors charged up over last-minute call

James Posey gets in LeBron James's face as the Cleveland superstar (32 points, 6 assists) looks to dish the ball. James Posey gets in LeBron James's face as the Cleveland superstar (32 points, 6 assists) looks to dish the ball. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)
Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Marc J. Spears and Michael Vega
Globe Staff / May 17, 2008

CLEVELAND - At times it felt like the Celtics had eight opponents on the floor last night instead of five.

Boston not only lost Game 6 to Cleveland, 74-69, but got the wrong end of the whistle, too. The Celtics were called for 25 personal fouls, while the Cavaliers got 16. Boston also shot just 13 free throws to 25 for the Cavaliers, including 15 by LeBron James.

"That's what really helped them, they were able to get to the line," said Paul Pierce.

When asked about the discrepancy in fouls, Ray Allen said, "I don't know."

With the Celtics trailing, 72-67, with 49.9 seconds remaining, Pierce was called for a charge after colliding with James.

"I thought the charge call on Paul . . . well, you guys can take it from there," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "I mean, that's a huge call . . . to make, but listen, we played hard. I'm just going to stop there."

Said Kevin Garnett, "There were questionable calls at the end."

Bunch of busybodies

While the Hornets and Spurs are enjoying three days of rest between Games 6 and 7 of their Western Conference semifinal series, there's been no rest for the weary in the Celtics-Cavaliers Eastern Conference semi.

Since Game 3 of their first-round series against the Hawks, the Celtics have had to play every other day.

"I like [playing] every other day," Rivers said during yesterday morning's shootaround. "I don't like to travel every other day, but I do like the every-other-day format for your players. It's a good rhythm for them. It doesn't affect us a whole bunch."

Garnett, who scored 25 points in 43 minutes last night, said he would prefer extra time off between games.

"Rest is always good, man," said Garnett, who is averaging 20.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 37.6 minutes in the playoffs, second most playing time on the team behind Allen (38.2). "Any way you can get [rest], you've got to grab it. Rest is never a bad thing in this league. It obviously gives you a chance to heal and it's always a great thing."

House viewing

Eddie House only had 3 points in 41 minutes in the playoffs, and just 11 minutes in this series, entering last night. But with Sam Cassell shooting only 24.2 percent in the series, Rivers opted for House off the bench in Game 6. House responded with 8 points on 3-of-5 shooting, including two 3-pointers, with an assist and a steal in 18 minutes.

"Doc just wanted to put more pressure on the ball defensively, push the ball offensively," said House. "I've been just chomping at the bit on the bench to get my number called to play in situations when the game counts. I was ready tonight."

Oh, Mom

At the time, Garnett realized it was Gloria James, LeBron's mother, who was coming to the defense of her son when he was fouled hard by Paul Pierce in Game 4. "I knew who she was, but it doesn't take away from the fact that I was kind of surprised," Garnett said. "But, yeah, I knew who she was. We didn't want the situation to escalate. We weren't trying to hurt anyone." . . . P.J. Brown, a native of Slidell, La., believes the atmosphere in New Orleans will be like Mardi Gras for Game 7 of the Hornets-Spurs series Monday night. "I think it's going to be crazy," he said. "It's going to be the first-ever Game 7 in New Orleans. The crowds have been super excited and have been going bonkers throughout the whole playoffs." . . . The Celtics' 69 points were an all-time playoff low for a Cavaliers opponent . . . The Celtics announced that a limited number of tickets for Game 7 will go on sale this morning at 11 with a two-ticket limit. Tickets can be purchased by visiting celtics.com, calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX, or at the TD Banknorth Garden box office and Ticketmaster outlets . . . Rivers reported that assistant Tom Thibodeau, whose name has surfaced as a possible candidate for the head coaching vacancies in Phoenix and Chicago, has not heard from those organizations. "He's not been contacted by anyone yet, but I think it will happen," Rivers said . . . ESPN.com reported that Celtics assistant general manager rDave Wohl is on a short list of candidates for the Hawks' GM opening.

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