BOSTON, Nov. 30 (Ticker) -- Kendrick Perkins
appears intent on remaining
the starting center of the Boston Celtics.
Perkins had 12 points, a career-high 19 rebounds and two blocks
as the Celtics used a late surge for a 110-103 victory over the
Philadelphia 76ers, who wasted 40 points from Allen Iverson
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had 32 points and 11 rebounds and Ricky Davis
26 points for the Celtics, who held Iverson scoreless for the
first 9 1/2 minutes of the final period and gained the early
upper hand in one of the NBA's oldest rivalries.
"It's a big win against a division rival and a quaility
opponent," Pierce said.
But the story was Perkins. A third-year center who had been
backing up the inconsistent Mark Blount
, he started Monday's
loss to Orlando and had just four points and five rebounds in 15
minutes. However, coach Doc Rivers
stayed with him and was
rewarded with the best game of the youngster's career.
"I knew that all along, that's why I started him," Rivers joked.
"I think he's a hell of a rebounder and when you look at the
minutes he played (28), it's even more impressive."
Despite battling 7-footers Samuel Dalembert
and Steven Hunter
Perkins had a double-double in the first half. He continued to
work both backboards in the second half and teamed with Pierce
to help the Celtics pull away midway through the final period.
"I knew I could do it but I just had to get comfortable and
relax," Perkins said. "My coaches (were) just telling me to
relax and I would be all right."
Two jumpers by Chris Webber
, who scored 28 points, gave
Philadelphia its last lead at 87-86 with 6:52 to go. A free
throw by Davis tied it, and Pierce added a pair of layups, with
the second off a nice give-and-go with Perkins, who also had
After a free throw by Andre Iguodala
cut the deficit to 91-88,
Pierce made a scoop shot and Raef LaFrentz drilled a 3-pointer
for a 96-88 advantage with 3:35 remaining. It was a
two-possession game thereafter.
"The time before that I felt I didn't go in strong enough, so I
wanted to make sure I went in as strong as I could," Pierce
Before fouling out, Perkins made 5-of-9 shots and swept eight
offensive rebounds. He helped the Celtics to a 59-40 advantage
on the glass, including 15-5 on the offensive end.
"Everybody knew we needed to get this win," Perkins said.
"There's no way we can lose two in a row at home."
"He really came into his own tonight," Pierce said. "I hope he
watches this game and watches it to see what he does well and
continues to do it."
The 76ers (8-8) were outrebounded for the 12th time this season,
falling to 4-8 in those games. They were coming off Tuesday's
rout of Portland in which they held a 60-30 advantage on the
"Losing this game is defense and offensive rebounds for them,"
76ers coach Maurice Cheeks
said. "Every time we got a chance to
put a little distance, they got an offensive rebound and kick
it out for a shot. It's a constant thing that we have to work
on. It's not going to fix overnight."
Pierce made 12-of-21 shots as he had his way with Iguodala, a
defensive-minded player who was plagued by fouls. Davis made
10-of-20 shots as he repeatedly got past Kyle Korver
Iverson made 11-of-27 shots and 16-of-18 free throws as he
scored 40 points for the fourth time this season - all on the
road - and 63rd time in his career. He added nine assists but
was just 2-of-7 in the fourth quarter, with both baskets coming
in the final minute.
"Same ol' story," Iverson said. "You have to want to rebound.
It's pride and with the best rebounders, it's ego. I can try to
help rebound more. There's always a game when you think you
played well when there's something else you can do."
Philadelphia has lost five of its last seven games.