After turning his ankle late in the first quarter on a layup, Paul Pierce left Tuesday night's blowout win against Cleveland with just over three minutes left to get some extra treatment. 

 

Kendrick Perkins was the happiest person in the Garden on Tuesday night as he made a successful return to game action in 16 minutes of the Celtics' 112-95 romp over the Cavaliers. Perkins came in with 8:02 left in the first quarter to replace Semih Erden and played his first five minutes of the season. Perkins — who had reconstructive ACL surgery on his right knee — scored seven points and grabbed six rebounds in his first game since injuring the knee in Game 6 of the NBA finals last June. 

 

Celtics center Kendrick Perkins, out since tearing his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals last season against the Lakers, will return to the C's lineup on Tuesday night vs. the Cavaliers. Perkins returns about 10 days before his target date (Feb. 4), but Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he was told late Monday by the team's medical staff that Perkins was cleared to play. He won't start and is likely to play between 12-16 minutes. ESPN's Chris Forsberg was first to report the development.

 

Marquis Daniels is not with the Celtics as they play the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday night, but Doc Rivers said that he would likely be back with the team when they start their four-game west coast trip in Portland Thursday. Daniels has been away from the team and is dealing with a family issue. Even with the retrun of Kendrick Perkins the Celtics are down to 10 players for the Cavs game.

 

Paul Pierce scored 17 of his game-high 24 points in the first quarter and Kendrick Perkins played 16 minutes off the bench in his return to game action as the Celtics blasted the hapless Cavaliers, 112-95, Tuesday night at TD Garden. The Celtics improved to an Eastern Conference-best 34-10 and 22-3 at home. Cleveland — in its first season in the post-LeBron James era — lost its 18th straight, the longest in the NBA since the Nets lost 19 in a row last season. 

 

There hasn’t been much to worry about with the Celtics this season, even with all the injuries. One way or another they have managed to patch up the lineup with a Semih Erden here or a Luke Harangody there and continue to roll right along.



PAUL FLANNERY

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WALTHAM -- Saturday night's loss to the lowly Washington Wizards was just latest bad loss in a season filled with plenty of wins, according to Doc Rivers. The Celtics coach was asked to explain how his team could lose to a team like the Wizards, which came in with just 13 wins. 

 

WALTHAM - Doc Rivers said it's likely that Shaquille O'Neal will miss his second straight game on Tuesday night with a sore right hip. But the Celtics coach added after O'Neal missed practice on Monday that there's a chance the 38-year-old center could miss the upcoming four-game West Coast trip to Portland, Phoenix, Los Angeles (Lakers) and Sacramento. 

 

"Probably will not play [Tuesday] and maybe [return] on West Coast trip but he may miss that trip." Rivers said Monday. "We don't know yet."

 

Wizards rookie John Wall banked in a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with less than a minute left to break an 81-81 tie and help propel his team to a surprising 85-83 victory over the Celtics. Wall finished with 16 points — pouring in eight in the fourth quarter — while Rashard Lewis, long a source of frustration for the Celtics as a member of the Magic, continued to create headaches for Boston, scoring a game-high 18 and pulling in 11 boards.

 

With Shaquille O'Neal unable to play due to a hip injury he incurred on Friday, the Celtics will feature Semih Erden as their starting center on Saturday night against the Wizards. After the Celtics' victory over the Jazz on Friday, coach Doc Rivers said that O'Neal would not be taking the trip to Washington.