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The Beast Is Back: Celtics 112 Cavaliers 95

ESPN Box ScoreCavs The Blog Fear The Sword

More than the blowout victory, more than the C’s answering the bell after the off-game against the Wizards on Saturday, more than the Cavs suffering their 18th consecutive loss, the return of Kendrick Perkins – and the reunification of the Celtics starting five – is the story for Celtics fans tonight.

Perkins saw his first 17 minutes of game action since blowing out his knee in game six of the 2010 NBA finals. After entering the game to a standing ovation with 8:02 left in the first quarter, Perkins tallied 7 points, 6 rebounds (3 offensive) and 3 assists and looked lean and strong throughout the game. His addition to the C’s rebounding corps, again down Shaquille O’Neal tonight, is going to make a huge difference for this team.

We also saw Rajon Rondo on the court for 44 inexplicable minutes tonight, many of them long after the outcome was no longer in doubt, making many of us wonder what exactly Doc Rivers was trying to do to his starting point guard. Paul Pierce, too, had a big game with 17 first quarter points before cruising home with 24 for the game, in the same number of minutes.

Hayes is back later for the full recap but in the meantime, enjoy this C’s win and return of #43.

  • Batman

    Rondo's assists r edging away from 14 more and more….

  • Rich

    it's ok if rondo plays 40+ from time to time… he is not forty years old like the rest of the team… marquis and bradley weren't there… he wants to break records… so… as long as it doesn't happen every night… I'm OK with this one…

  • I wish Rondo hadn't played so much tonight. But hey, it happens. Even in a blow out, someone in the starting 5 plays a bunch of minutes. I'm so excited to see Perk and Shaq in action together! Well not literally together- but active in the same game. Scary for the other team!

  • I_Love_Green

    I gave Perk a standing ovation from my house.

    • Zain

      Green, same! Well, from my hotel room. But I was so pumped!

  • Syllica

    I also gave Perk a standing ovation while watching the game online.. and would lie if I said I didn't have watery eyes too.. but it's ok, I'm a girl. I'm allowed.

    • DRJ1

      C'mon… there's no crying in basketball!

  • john schaffer

    well rondo wanted to play and he told doc he wanted to stay in so he got his way ,, it was so awsome to see the perk back got what a feeling

  • Zee

    Good W… Glad to see KP back!

  • DRJ1

    Rondo's prolonged PT was prob related to Perk coming off the bench. It would be reasonable for Doc to want Perk's first time(s) back to be with the starters, or if that couldn't be, then at least with Rondo running the offense. Rondo at the offensive helm means there is relative order out there, even if he's a low-energy version of himself (which was no problem tonight).

  • AussieCeltic

    I don't think RR should have played so many minutes either. But he did have a very low energy game by his standards. Not a lot of work done defending the Cavs PG and ran the offense standing still most of the time. Perk's entry had me smiling giddily. So happy for him and this amazing team.