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NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 6: Perkins goes out, Celtics go down. But is it for the count?

Jun 16, 2010, 1:23 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for Perkins_hurt.jpgBoston did not lose this game at the 5:30 mark of the first quarter. When Kendrick Perkins went down the Lakers were already up 6 points, L.A. had been dominating the boards, they were shooting better, they were playing with energy and getting to the 50/50 balls.

But that moment may have cost them Game 7.

The 5:30 mark Perkins went up for a rebound, fighting for it with Lakers center Andrew Bynum — a guy already playing through a knee injury that will require surgery — and Kobe Bryant. Perkins seemed to land awkwardly and injure his knee. He had to be helped off the court and to the locker room, and he never returned. Officially, the Celtics are saying it’s a sprain, although Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that it is a sprain to both the MCL and PCL. He will undergo an MRI on Wednesday.

It will be a day and a half before any decision is made, but Doc Rivers was not optimistic.

“I don’t know. It doesn’t look great, but I don’t know,” Rivers said.

After the game Perkins was seen walking to the team bus under his own power but very stiffly, according to’s Ric Bucher. Perkins also said he would try to give it a go.

They need him. Without Perkins in Game 6, things opened up inside even more for a Lakers team that came out the more aggressive team, the team playing with more desperation. The Lakers were get getting into the paint on the dribble drive, getting the ball to their big men in deep. And the Lakers were getting rebounds — Los Angeles had a 12 to 5 rebound advantage after one quarter, 30 to 13 at the half.

“(Perkins is) a guy that cleans the paint up, let’s say, and not having him there made the Lakers awfully long,” Rivers said. “It also, I thought, allowed them to rest Bynum even more in the game.”

Bynum also sat out almost the entire second half because he asked out after his knee swelled up and he could barely run after halftime. Jackson said Bynum had swelling on the back of the leg that will receive treatment. But as he has all series, Bynum said he will be out there for Thursday night.

So it comes to a Game 7 where Boston may well be without their defensive force in the paint, their key rebounder, another key big body. Rivers said that either Rasheed Wallace or Glen “Big Baby” Davis would start if Perkins can’t go — he hasn’t decided — but that both will get key minutes. Sheldon Williams may get more minutes as well.

“It would be tough if (Perkins) can’t go,” Rivers said. “Somebody else is just going to have to step forward.”

Boston to a man echoed that thought. They know that road teams are 3 and 11 in NBA finals Game 7s. But nobody was expecting things to be easy because nothing has been for Boston this season.

“We went through too many ups and downs to lose like this,” Davis said. “Out of all the teams in the league we were the one that struggled. We were the one that went through the bumps and bruises. We went through the, ‘we’re old.’ We went through the ‘oh, they can’t play, they’re going to get beat by Cleveland, get beat by Orlando.’ We’re here now, in spite of what everyone else thinks.

“So you think we’re just going to let this go? No. We accept the challenge to win the championship. We want it. It’s that point blank simple. We could have gave up a long time ago. We could have gave up a long time ago and looked forward to next year. But no, we’re here. So we’re going to take it while we are here. We understand we’ve been through the ups and down and deserve it more than them.”

  1. Basketball Jones - Jun 16, 2010 at 7:59 AM

    I like the Celtics’ spirit, but it will take huge games by the bench players to fill Perk’s shoes. The Lakers played great last night, but the game wouldn’t have been such a blowout if the C’s hadn’t lost their main rebounder. Still, I expect the Celtics to make adjustments and play a much better game 7, although I give LA the edge.

  2. tony - Jun 16, 2010 at 8:43 AM

    Wow – it is kind of quiet is beantown this morning….the garbage man must of picked up all that trash talk we were hearing after game 6.

  3. tony - Jun 16, 2010 at 8:47 AM

    It is kind of quiet in beantown this morning. The garbage man must of picked up all of that trash talk we were hearing after game 6.

  4. DCLAKERFAN - Jun 16, 2010 at 8:50 AM


  5. Chris - Jun 16, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    Lakers will be hard to beat at home in Game 7. My heart and loyalty is with the Celtics as they certainly have had more obstacles and adversity this season than the beloved Kobe and the Lakers. Personally, I think Kobe is an arrogant ego maniac and would love to see him lose. I can’t wait until he gets older and slower and has younger players dominate him. Maybe then he will get a little humility.

  6. Anonymous - Jun 16, 2010 at 9:06 AM

    tom joyner has a good deal on a vacation in the caribbean. sounds like you need a getaway. and take the hate with you.LAKERS IN 7!!!

  7. John - Jun 16, 2010 at 9:11 AM

    Arrogant? Kobe simply loves the game and enjoys it, and he is good at it. I hate it when people make their own assumptions about a person’s character. He knows how to lose as well as win.

  8. ocgunslinger - Jun 16, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    Well at least you refrained from the stupid “Fakers” in your comment. Byrant keeps his mouth shut and simply plays the best overall game in the league. Yes he came into the league with an attitude of “me first” but take a serious look at how he has developed into not only a great defender,team leader by example and he has always wanted to take that shot that others pass off. Enjoy the overall skill and appreciate it while it lasts.

  9. johnsonj3 - Jun 16, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    To funny I heard this also.

  10. thurman - Jun 16, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    Arrogant Kobe??? Let us not forget Paul Pierce ” Its over now we ain’t comming back to L.A.” Baby and Nate Robinson so arrogant that the series was over did a Shrek and Donkey Skit to tease the Lakers. Lets not talk about the other players with chips to Rondo, Wallace and Ray Allen. All of them do the same thing as Kobe but they are not arrogant?? Come on man Kobe is compettive and every since Shaq left he was told he was nothing, selfish and would never be a champion. Guess everybody was wrong. Don’t mistake determination and the will of a champion as arrogant. Because to do what all these guys do in this league they have to seem arrogant or someone might mistake them as soft. Kobe has killer instinct!!!!!!

  11. dccelticsfan - Jun 16, 2010 at 9:42 AM

    The first trip to LA the Lakers came out like gang busters and took game one. Let down in game two. Lakers played great game six. But game 7 will be much different as game 2 was. Celtics take it as a TEAM.

  12. johnsonj3 - Jun 16, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    Please stop the hate against Kobe, he is just a player that can play the game. I watched the game last night and Boston just got beat. Stop making all these excuses for Boston. Go LAKERS

  13. Anonymous - Jun 16, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    Yeah, But Kobe needs to get his own personality. Shrugging like Jordan, tounge out like Jordan, He even licks his lips in interviews like Jordan. Never been a fan of Kobe’s. He has game i’ll give him that, something just doesn’t seem quite right about that guy.

  14. Drew - Jun 16, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    I agree, there’s no doubting Kobe’s talent and accolaides but I always felt like he never had his own personality. Everything he did was trying to emulate Jordan. Despite Kobe’s all-around ability, he has only enjoyed success when he’s had dominant big men surrounding him. All of the Lakers’ wins in this series are when they’ve had a noticeable advantage inside, not when Kobe has had big games. The same was true last year and during the three-peat years.

  15. Azucar - Jun 16, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    One thing is certain: all that talk about Lebron being the “best”
    player in basketball can go out the window and crash to the ground.
    Kobe Bryant is one of the top 5 players of all time. And let us not forget, Jordan had Pippen, one of the best defensive players of all time. Kobe does not have the defensive stopper Jordan had. Yes, Artest is very good at times, but still is unpredictable. Pippen took the Bulls to the playoffs after Jordan retired the first time which tells us all we need to know about the Bulls at that time. Without Kobe, the Lakers are not even in the playoffs.
    Now, on the other hand, all you Boston fans can bite it as I kept writing to you that this series was not over. LA just needed to get out of that trashy “town” of Boston. Who wants to go to Northern Ireland and get things thrown at you? Tell Kendrick Perkins hello from the Azucar….injuries are part of the game. In 2008, Bynum did not play, and he is injured right now. Let’s see if Paula Pierce can lead his team the way Kobe does.
    NUF SAID! Vooooo! Lakers to send Boston home in shame and guilt.

  16. Omnius - Jun 16, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    Man did I love watching Andrew Bynum crush Perkins, wasn’t a dirty foul but it did show just how strong Bynum is. Perkins may try to play game 7 but he’s no Willis Reed and if he does try to play he’s going to hurt his team more than help it. Bynum will play game 7 and is already familiar with how to have his knee treated while Perkin’s injured knee isn’t going to heal by Thursday night. Boston’s Little Big Men won’t be able to keep up with the Laker’s Big Men in game 7 and will have to play too long and will be too pooped to pop by the 4th quarter. It was really satisfying to watch the Lakers blowout the Ancient Celtics in game 6 and show all the pundits who thought Boston couldn’t be beat that Boston chokes in closeout game on the road. One more Laker’s Showtime game and then the Fat Lady will be singing the Blues for Boston’s chokers.

  17. Azucar - Jun 16, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    I could not agree with you more. They just, disappeared……geez, I wonder why?
    I hope at least the recycled people of the New England area got to avoid the land fill.

  18. jonnjust ymac - Jun 16, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    The Lakers are soft?…..just ask rondo’s chin.
    Boston deserves to win it?…..just look at the replay of pierce’s tripping of Gasol…Classless…celtic thuggery got spanked last night.
    Celtics fans whining about perkins being hurt….foools please!….Bynum has a frickin torn miniscus you dopes…so don’t say that the game is lopsided now that perkins is out….it’s a TEAM game as the celtics fans always like to say, so it shouldn’t be a problem for them…..besides our big-man has been injured all playoffs fools….Oh and by the way Kobe has a broken finger, twisted knee, bruised back, and a sprained ankle, and is still puttin up consistent great numbers, unlike the so called big three who probably shoot craps before the game tryin to figure out who’s going to be the leading scorer on a given night…Exhibit A?: allen’s 3 point massacre one night and disgrace the other.
    And for those who think Kobe’s so arrogant becuase he’s giving the press one-word terse answers and isn’t kissing their butt like Stan Van Gundy so aptly put it last night…..well how would you act if people said/wrote that you were washed up and too old all season long?
    Lstly I love the comment by the Kobe-hater above who said I can’t wait for Kobe to get older so younger players can dominant him. Well with that logic I agree, in fact let’s all wait 52 years when Lebron turns 82….so that the oderlies in the nursing home can dominate him in nerf hoops!

  19. JackNSoCal - Jun 16, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    And how many rings did Jordan win without Pippen???

  20. Azucar - Jun 16, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    I can hear the Fat Lady preparing the song as I type this blog. She is singing on the Staples floor. She is wearing a lot of yellow with a touch of blue. There are…..wait…..Lucky Charms spilled all over the floor…..the Fat Lady is stepping on them, crunching them with every step of her high heeled shoes. An african american green Leprechaun is limping his way to the locker room at Staples Center with his head down, shoulders slumped, full of facial persperation. Kendrick? Kendrick? is that you a fan asks….the Fat Lady continues her singing and crunching of the cereal….yes he replies; it’s me. He says, “I sprained my ACL and PCL”….the fan asks respectfully, “Does that mean you won’t be running the floor tomorrow?” The tanned Leprechaun replies, “I could never run the darn floor 100 percent to begin with.”
    Puzzled, the fan just nodded with acceptance while Kendrick continued on mysteriously into the shadows of the exit to the treatment room…
    Signed, Azucar

  21. slot33 - Jun 16, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    Deserve it more than them?… C’mon Big Baby Davis. That’s locker board stuff for the Lakers. Nobody Deserves it more. You have to Earn that championship plain and simple. You don’t think the Lakers to a man saw Paul Pierce after Game 5 in his Sports Center clips basically saying we know Kobe will get his but don’t worry about anybody else. Sounds arrogant to me and all it did was motivate the Lakers other guys to stuff the ball down Boston’s throats. So each team is hobbled with a big man being injured and likely not effective. Home court you’d think would be an advantage but we’ll see. All I know is the Champs of 2010 will Earn that victory with their play in Game 7.

  22. Azucar - Jun 16, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    Big three shooting craps before the game…..hilarious!!!!!!!!!!
    They probably use the Garden floor using the squares as the 6 and 8.

  23. Hackpiper - Jun 16, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    From Beantown…
    Ah just shut up, everyone!
    NOTHING said, boasted, flung, hurled, insinuated, declared, whined, accused, questioned, insulted, or hallucinated in HERE has anything to do with whats going to happen on the parquet. If the C’s win it tomorrow it will be great for us up here, but if they lose to the Lakers I’m pretty sure that life will go on. Same thing for the Lakers and LA, of course.
    Congrats on the convincing win Laker fans. Expect the Celtics to dust themselves off, look at each other and ask “What the Hell were we DOING out there last night? That was embarrassing!”…and come back at the Lakers with ferocity.
    I do think it will be Game 7 War out there tomorrow night…as it should be.
    Let’s enjoy it and leave the silly-ass, girly smack talk to the weenies and morons who’ve never understood competition at a gut level.
    Can’t wait for the game!

  24. Ron - Jun 16, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    Finally, an awesome reply from a basketball fan.
    May the best team win.

  25. jay - Jun 16, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    I wish Perks didnt get injured. I for one want LA to win but wouldnt be mad at all if Boston won. Because in every finals, in every sport East meets West, North meets South, Americans meets Nationals. But sometimes the best 3 or 4 teams are in the same conference, division or whatever. And what happens is we get one of the best teams in the league going against a team that happens to be playing good in the playoffs. And as a result we get these sweeps and 4-1 series in the finals. But finally (as with the Yanks vs the Phils last year) we get the top 2 teams in the league vying for a championship where homecourt and blowouts dont phase anyone. When Perk went down I knew that was a problem for Boston. While he isnt Pierce, KG, Ray or even Rondo or Rasheed he is still good enough to start and strong enough to be a force. And if he isnt available I think that’s ashame.

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