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Celtics notebook

It’s smooth sailing on road

Pierce wants to see same intensity on home court

By Julian Benbow
Globe Staff / May 20, 2010

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The Celtics knew coming into the postseason that because they would be playing without home-court advantage for the first time in the Big Three Era, they had no choice but to win on the road.

They’ve won five road games so far — one in Miami, two in Cleveland, and now a pair in Orlando. The record for road wins in a single postseason is nine, set by the 1995 Rockets.

The Celtics have averaged more points in their seven road games (99.4) than their six home games (95.5). During the regular season, they were a better road team (26-15) than home team (24-17).

“All year long, we’ve been a great road team,’’ said Paul Pierce. “It doesn’t matter what building we go in. We’ve been in all types of environments as a unit, being together three years.

“There’s really nothing that fazes us going out on the road, because we expect hostile environments. We expect calls really not to go our way. We know what to expect, truthfully.’’

Coming back to the Garden after beating the Cavaliers in Game 2 in Cleveland, the Celtics suffered the worst home playoff loss in team history.

“We’ve still got to put our hard hat on, even though we’re going home,’’ Pierce said. “Because home isn’t necessarily a place we played well, pretty much all year long. We have to keep our same intensity and really take it up to another level at home.’’

A big influence
At 6 feet 10 inches and 235 pounds, it’s hard not to notice Clifford Ray screaming from the Celtics bench. Yet he somehow manages to fly under the radar, while earning every stripe he’s gotten on the way to becoming one of the league’s most well-regarded big-man coaches.

And it’s not as if he doesn’t have stories to tell. “There’s too many of them to recount,’’ said Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

“When you think about it, he’s the Gordon Parks of basketball,’’ added Rivers, comparing Ray to the photographer, musician, poet, novelist, journalist, activist, and film director known more for directing “Shaft’’ than for writing “The Learning Tree’’ in 2009.

Ray is the common link between Dwight Howard and Kendrick Perkins, having had a chance to mold both of the young centers.

“Cliff has so much knowledge,’’ said Rivers. “As a player. He’s been in the league a long time as a coach. Dwight Howard and him have a special relationship. Dwight credits him with a lot of the stuff before Patrick [Ewing] got there.

“I can teach big stuff, but I’m not a big,’’ said Rivers. “Cliff’s big. He actually knows what it’s like.’’

Stepfather arrested
Marquis Daniels’s stepfather was arrested Tuesday night at Amway Arena during Game 2, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Orlando Police charged Willie L. Buie with resisting arrest with violence after an incident late in the game that led police to use a stun gun on the 55-year-old man.

Police reportedly attempted to escort Buie from his seat behind the basket, but Buie refused, according to the police report, saying, “I’m not going, [expletive] you.’’

After Buie was escorted to a nearby security center, police tried to handcuff him, but he resisted. An officer then Tased Buie for five seconds, according to the reports.

According to the Sentinel, Buie served 11 years in prison for second-degree murder, being released in 1989.

Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said the team was still gathering information about the incident and declined comment.

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