No Perkins, no problem as Celtics beat KingsDec 13, 2007 - 5:02 AM By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
BOSTON (Ticker) - The loss of Kendrick Perkins to a bizarre big toe injury failed to slow the historic home-court run of the Boston Celtics.
Rookie Glen "Big Baby" Davis, filling in at center, scored a career-high 16 points while Paul Pierce had 26 as the Celtics remained perfect at home with a 90-78 win over the Sacramento Kings at TD Banknorth Garden on Wednesday night.
Davis added nine rebounds and was a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line in his first career start for Boston (18-2), which has won its first 11 home games to begin the season - second only to the 1984-85 team that went 12-0 to begin their home schedule.
"When they make that trip here, and look at our record, we want them to think twice," Pierce said. "That in itself is an intimidation factor."
Davis' performance made up for the loss of Perkins, who dropped part of his bed on his right foot Monday night.
"I was trying to find my way, what role I can have, what the team needed me to do," Davis said. "And being a versatile guy, adapting to the different situations. I just kind of sorted out what we needed and tried to attack that."
"I thought he played really well," said Celtics superstar Kevin Garnett, who has mentored Davis this season. "He communicated, he was loud and he was vocal. He is really coming into his own. It's because he's busting his (butt) and playing really hard and playing really well in practice."
Sacramento (8-13) is at the other end of the spectrum. The Kings lost their ninth straight road game to start the season and remain the only NBA team that has yet to win away from home.
"You have to be tough-minded to win on the road and you have got to play four good quarters, you cant play three like we did today, you know three quarters will get you beat," Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "Four quarters like the first half, we can come away with a victory, but each time we had opportunities we would go through a span of something shooting-wise or not being able to finish down the stretch."
The Kings, playing without leading scoring Kevin Martin (groin), were led by Ron Artest and Beno Udrih with 16 points apiece.
"Yeah, it definitely (hurts), but right now we got to do (with) what we got right now and you can see we still got a pretty good team, but definitely when we get Kevin back and Mike (Bibby) back, we are going to be tough to play against, you know tough to stop," Artest said.
With an average winning margin of 21 points at home coming in, the Celtics, led by Pierce, began the game looking to roll to another easy victory, building a 25-16 lead late into the first quarter.
"I just wanted to be aggressive," said Pierce, who was being guarded by Artest. "He's one of the better defensive players I've matched with on both ends of the court. I just took my time out there and played within the flow of the game and really focused in on my defense."
Boston kept the lead at nine, 35-26 early in the second quarter before Sacramento made its best run of the game. With Garnett on the bench with three fouls, the Kings went on a 17-4 run that put them ahead, 43-39.
Facing a rare halftime deficit of 45-44, the Celtics outscored Sacramento, 24-19, in the third, taking the lead for good on Ray Allen's two free throws with 10:43 remaining in the quarter.
Boston kept the pressure on in the final quarter, pushing the lead to as many as 87-70 after Pierce knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:58 remaining in the game.
Allen scored 15 points and Garnett finished with 11 points and six rebounds for the Celtics, who capitalized on 22 Sacramento turnovers to win their seventh straight overall.
"We had five turnovers a quarter," Theus said. "I told our team before the game, if we rebounded and took care of the ball we could win."
BOSTON 90 FINAL
Dec 12 9:54 PM
BOSTON 68 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 12 9:23 PM
BOSTON 44 HALFTIME
Dec 12 8:40 PM
BOSTON 25 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 12 8:07 PM
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