Celtics guard and reigning NBA Slam Dunk Contest title-holder Nate Robinson told the Boston Globe that he would not be defending his championship. The 5-foot-9, three-time contest champion (he won in 2006, 2009 and 2010) said that he turned down an invitation to participate in order to allow a new generation of dunkers have their shot at the crown.


Ray Allen said he will need a night of sleep and then see how he feels after taking a vicious hit on a pick early in the fourth quarter of Monday's loss to Houston. 


"I just took a hard hit, and kind of collapsed on the side," Allen said of the screen set with 10:56 left in the fourth. "I’m sore, I’ll feel it [Tuesday]. My shoulder but kind of my side, you got so much adrenaline running that you don’t really feel it, once I got in the back I felt it."


Celtics coach Doc Rivers left no doubt about the level of his disappointment following a 108-102 home-court loss to an undermanned Houston Rockets team on Monday night at TD Garden. 


"We just weren't ready," Rivers said. "I told our guys I thought overall it was probably our worst defensive effort in three, four years as far as overall effort."


Aaron Brooks hit a pair of clutch 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished with a game-high 24 as the Rockets - playing without leading scorer Kevin Martin (out with a sore right wrist) - stunned the Celtics, 108-102, Monday at TD Garden in the opener of a season-long six-game homestand.


Ray Allen and Paul Pierce hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final two minutes to help the Celtics close to within four, 106-102, with 27.2 seconds remaining but the C's couldn't complete the comeback. Allen and Marquis Daniels led the Celtics with 19 points apiece. 

Celtic center Kendrick Perkins told reporters prior to Monday night's game against the Rockets that he's been cleared to participate in full practices next week.


Already playing 3-on-3 in practice, Perkins said he could return to game action in three weeks from the ACL tear he suffered in Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals that kept him out of Game 7 against the Lakers as well as the first 36 games of this season.


Kevin Garnett's return will have to wait at least one more game, as the Celtics forward will miss his seventh straight game Monday night against the Rockets in Boston.


"We had a shootaround this morning, and he didn’t participate, so that mean he wasn’t ready," C's head coach Doc Rivers said prior to the game. "I didn’t even ask. He’ll tell us and so will [team trainer] Eddie (Lacerte)."


There are certain things Ray Allen can control and there are others that are beyond him. Take the act of making a jump shot, for example.



The Celtics were probably due for a rough game after playing four times already this week with Saturday night’s game against the Bulls the second back-to-back of the week. Add in the fact that they were playing Tom Thibodeau’s defensive-minded club and it’s no shock that the Celtics shot 38 percent in a 90-79 loss.


On a cold, snowy night in Boston a new folk-hero was born. Ladies and gentlemen, allow us to tell you of the tale of Luke Harangody.



Using a flare for the dramatic, Doc Rivers explained why Jermaine O'Neal didn't play in the second half of Friday's 20-point blowout win over Toronto. Rivers pointed to Boston's 67-45 halftime lead and O'Neal's stiff left knee as reasons O'Neal played just nine minutes, allowing Luke Harangody to have his rookie breakout game. Rivers said the hope is that he'll be ready for the Bulls in Chicago on Saturday night.