Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined guest hosts Bob Ryan and Chris Mannix on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday to talk about his team's 14-game winning streak, the upcoming battle with the new-look Magic, the health of Kendrick Perkins as well as other news from around the league.

 

Rivers was asked about Wednesday night's sloppy 84-80 win over the 76ers. The coach said he wasn't surprised by the performance of his team but will take the end result.

 

The Celtics won their 14th straight game on Wednesday night by beating an angry but overmatched Philadelphia 76ers team, 84-80 at TD Garden.



PAUL FLANNERY

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Paul Pierce started off the night by missing his first seven shots from the field, including a pair of 3-point attempts. But that's not what caused him to admittedly lose his cool in the third quarter, when he was hit with a technical foul by referee Tony Brothers. Pierce was called for his fourth personal foul, causing him to wave his hand in disgust at Brothers. 

 

Ray Allen had 22 points and Shaquille O'Neal added 13 to lift the Celtics to their 14th straight win, an 84-80 victory over the 76ers Wednesday night at TD Garden. The 14-game winning streak is the fifth best in Celtics history, trailing only the 19-game record streak of two seasons ago, an 18-game streak in 1982, a 17-gamer in 1959-60 season and a 16-game run in the 1964-65 season. 

 

The Celtics don't expect Rajon Rondo to be active when they play Orlando on Christmas, and there is still no definitive timetable for his return from an ankle injury that had him in a boot and on crutches for a few days, but they are encouraged by his recovery. Rondo was at the team's practice on Tuesday, without the boot, and was dribbling a basketball on the side of the court. "I know he’s walking and running pretty well and moving a lot better," Doc Rivers said. "So I know he’s getting pretty close."  

 

The good news is that injured center Jermaine O'Neal probably would have been able to play against the 76ers Wednesday night after missing the last 18 games with a knee injury. The bad news is that he has the flu and won't be in the lineup. The Celtics hope to have O'Neal back for their Christmas Day game against the Magic.

 

"I think he’ll play next game, hopefully," coach Doc Rivers said. "[He's] just not feeling well. He was ready. I don’t know how much how he’ll play when he comes back." 

 

By scoring 17 points in his team's 105-99 victory over the Magic, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki surpassed former Celtics great Larry Bird for 25th on the all-time NBA scoring list. Nowitzki has 21,798 points, seven more than Bird recorded in his career with Boston.

 

Nowitzki moved into the NBA's top 25 scoring list by burying a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter. Bird was aware of the fact that he had been surpassed.

 

Like most NBA teams, the Celtics conduct their practices behind a veil of secrecy. Actually, they do their business behind a curtain, which goes down over the viewing area from the media room’s perch above their practice court in Waltham.



PAUL FLANNERY

BIO | ARCHIVE | GREEN STREET BLOG


For the first time since undergoing knee surgery in the offseason, Kendrick Perkins was able to participate in part of a Celtics practice. Perkins went through the non-contact phase of practice and the team's warmup stretching routine. "I felt all right," Perkins said. "My timing was a little bit off. I thought I did pretty well for my first time out." 

 

Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal went through his second practice with the team since he injured his knee in early November and said there was a chance he would be able to play Wednesday when the Celtics host the 76ers at TD Garden. "I’d say it’s a 50-50 chance," O'Neal said. "At some point I’m going to play this week, whether it’s tomorrow or Christmas Day [against Orlando.]. I think I’m doable. I can help the team but for how long I don’t know."