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Celtics notebook

Hot seat: Perkins on the bench the entire fourth quarter

By Julian Benbow
Globe Staff / June 9, 2010

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He played 13 minutes in the first half, eight minutes in the third quarter, and watched the entire fourth. And after watching the Celtics swallow a 91-84 Game 3 loss to the Lakers, unsure why he wasn’t apart of the final outcome, Kendrick Perkins was in no mood to talk.

Visibly upset at sitting out, Perkins left the locker room without speaking to reporters, letting his 11 rebounds, 5 points, and 21 minutes do the talking.

After falling behind by 17 points, the Celtics clawed back late in the fourth quarter when knee troubles forced Lakers center Andrew Bynum off the floor. The Celtics’ bench was a huge part of a 17-8 run that cut the Lakers’ lead to 68-67 with 9:46 left. Glen Davis was one of the catalysts, scoring 10 of his 12 points in the second half.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers downplayed sitting Perkins.

“Baby was playing well,’’ Rivers said. “No conspiracy. Baby was playing well.’’

Davis played 11 minutes in the fourth quarter, scoring 8 points, knocking down all three of his shots, going 2 for 3 at the line, and pulling down two rebounds.

A Tony award
After a night of guarding Kobe Bryant, the tip of his lip was noticeably red, but Tony Allen wanted to make sure the details of his bangs and bruises were accurate.

“Let’s get this straight,’’ Allen said. “Kobe didn’t bust my lip. It was a kick in the neck.’’

The busted lip that led to eight stitches was sort of a blur for Allen. The kick to the neck was something he clearly recalled. Bryant pulled up for a 3-pointer with a little more than eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, and also was trying to draw a foul.

“He kicks his legs out a lot when he shoots those long threes and tries to [draw] contact,’’ Allen said. “I didn’t give him no contact because I slipped. Thank God I slipped because I probably would have fouled him. I just took a kick in the neck, couldn’t breathe for a hot second and I was subbed.’’

Pierce replaced Allen, who was part of the platoon that made Bryant’s 29-point, 10-for-29 shooting night a pain. The stitched lip and the sore neck came with the territory.

“I mean, that type of stuff happens throughout a battle,’’ Allen said. “You’re going to expect stuff like that — kicking, punching, scratching.’’

Bryant was suspended twice in 2007 for hitting opponents with elbows while following through on his jump shot.

“I’m definitely going to make it a point of emphasis to let [the officials] know that once he gets the ball, he’s definitely trying to get the foul and wants to get the shot off,’’ Allen said. “But it’s all love.’’

Upon further review
The game officials had to take a second look at three plays. The most crucial review came late in the fourth quarter, when they were unclear about a scramble for a loose ball between Kevin Garnett and Bryant.

They originally gave the Celtics possession. At that point, Boston was trailing, 84-80. But after a review, they ruled the ball went out off Garnett. The Lakers got possession and closed the game on a 7-4 burst.

The officials overturned each of the three plays they reviewed, and the last one didn’t sit well with the Celtics.

“I thought that was a tough overrule because I watched it there five times, and I wasn’t sure,’’ Rivers said.

“And I thought that if it was inconclusive that you couldn’t overturn it. But clearly I was wrong. Going by the percentages of the replays, we should replay a lot of them because every one of them were turned the other way. Maybe we need to use the replay more in a lot of our calls.’’

Julian Benbow can be reached at jbenbow@globe.com.

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