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04/29/2012 - 9:51pm
Doc 'would be surprised' if Rondo suspended

Despite replays showing Rajon Rondo clearly bumped official Marc Davis with 41 seconds remaining before getting ejected, Celtics coach Doc Rivers came to the defense of his star point guard after Sunday night's 83-74 loss to the Hawks in Game 1.

"He’s in the game, right?" Rivers answered when asked about Rondo's reaction to the foul call on Brandon Bass, who raked Josh Smith in the face on a loose ball scramble. "So, when you’re in the game, I didn’t know there’s a rule the guy only involved in the play is the only one who can argue the call. As a coach, I’m not in the play, either. I argue calls vehemently.

"They’re all 10 competitors. You’re standing right there, you see what you see, you have a right to argue just as much as anybody else. I think it’s great. I think it’s getting your guys’ back on your team."

But Rivers also conceded that there is a...

04/29/2012 - 9:37pm
Pierce: 'For us to win, I have to play better'

Following a performance in which he made just 5-of-19 shots and finished with 12 points, Paul Pierce acknowledged his poor performance cost the Celtics in an 83-74 loss to the Hawks in Game 1 Sunday night in Atlanta. 

"I thought I had really good looks tonight," Pierce said. "For us to win I have to be a better player. That's just what it is. I have to knock down shots, I have to be aggressive on the offensive end. I have to guard Joe Johnson. I think I was a really big culprit of that tonight. Shots I got tonight, I'll take all of them. I missed a ton of them. I even missed a layup wide open at the end of the game. That was just an indication of the night I had."

Pierce said his sore big toe had no impact on his subpar night. He gave credit to the Atlanta defense. 

"We kind of eased into the game," Pierce said. "It's hard to tell. We establish ourselves defensively early, and we definitely...

04/29/2012 - 8:34pm
Wrong foot: C's lose, Rondo ejected

Josh Smith scored 22 points and hauled in 18 rebounds to lead the Hawks to an 83-74 win over the Celtics in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at Philips Arena in Atlanta. 

Rajon Rondo had 20 points and 11 assists but lost his cool after a foul call on a loose ball scramble with 41 seconds left. He yelled at and bumped official Marc Davis. He faces a potential suspension for Game 2 Tuesday night.

Brandon Bass and Smith were in a scramble for a loose ball and Bass appeared to rake Smith across the face when Davis called the foul on Bass. Rondo thought it was a jump ball situation. Rondo lost control and went after Davis before bumping him with his chest and getting ejected.

Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 12 rebounds but the pair had little offensive support as Paul Pierce went just 5-for-19 from the field and finished with 12 points.

Avery Bradley went just 4-of-12 and the Celtics shot just 39 percent from...

04/29/2012 - 5:28pm
Allen out for opener, remains day to day

ATLANTA -- Ray Allen went through part of his normal presume shooting routine, but not all of it prior to the Celtics' playoff opener with the Hawks. That was the indication that Allen would miss the opener due to an ankle injury that kept him out of the final nine games of the regular season.

Allen said on Saturday that he'd have surgery after the season to deal with bone spurs, but the Celtics still aren't closing the door on a possible appearance. "No, it’s going to be day-to-day, game-to-game," coach Doc Rivers said. "That’s just what it is."

With Allen out, Mickael Pietrus will see the majority of the minutes on the wing, but Rivers said three other players could see time. He mentioned Keyon Dooling, Sasha Pavlovic and rookie E'Twaun Moore as possibilities.

The Hawks will start their normal lineup, which has Joe Johnson at the small forward spot, Kirk Hinrich at guard and veteran Jason Collins at...

04/29/2012 - 5:13pm
Youkilis says back shouldn't keep him out

CHICAGO -- Kevin Youkilis said after the Red Sox' 4-1 loss to the White Sox Sunday that he was available for pinch-hitting duty despite being scratched just before the game with a stiff lower back.

"I was just really tight today and it locked up and they decided to scratch me and use me later on int he game if they were going to use me," Youkilis said.

"I can't play the outfielder and I'm not left-handed, so I think that was the reason for those (decisions not to pinch-hit him). As far as I know -- maybe, I don't know if trainers said anything else. As far as I was concerned, I was ready."

Youkilis said he hadn't experienced any stiffness in the days leading up the injury, but surmised the cold weather throughout the three-game series might have contributed to the ailment.

"It's probably just three days in the freezing cold," he said. "I don't know, I felt good. I felt good all week. I just woke up...

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