|James Posey gets in LeBron James's face as the Cleveland superstar (32 points, 6 assists) looks to dish the ball. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)|
CLEVELAND - At times it felt like the Celtics had eight opponents on the floor last night instead of five.
Boston not only lost Game 6 to Cleveland, 74-69, but got the wrong end of the whistle, too. The Celtics were called for 25 personal fouls, while the Cavaliers got 16. Boston also shot just 13 free throws to 25 for the Cavaliers, including 15 by LeBron James.
"That's what really helped them, they were able to get to the line," said Paul Pierce.
When asked about the discrepancy in fouls, Ray Allen said, "I don't know."
With the Celtics trailing, 72-67, with 49.9 seconds remaining, Pierce was called for a charge after colliding with James.
"I thought the charge call on Paul . . . well, you guys can take it from there," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "I mean, that's a huge call . . . to make, but listen, we played hard. I'm just going to stop there."
Said Kevin Garnett, "There were questionable calls at the end."
Bunch of busybodiesWhile the Hornets and Spurs are enjoying three days of rest between Games 6 and 7 of their Western Conference semifinal series, there's been no rest for the weary in the Celtics-Cavaliers Eastern Conference semi.
Since Game 3 of their first-round series against the Hawks, the Celtics have had to play every other day.
"I like [playing] every other day," Rivers said during yesterday morning's shootaround. "I don't like to travel every other day, but I do like the every-other-day format for your players. It's a good rhythm for them. It doesn't affect us a whole bunch."
Garnett, who scored 25 points in 43 minutes last night, said he would prefer extra time off between games.
"Rest is always good, man," said Garnett, who is averaging 20.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 37.6 minutes in the playoffs, second most playing time on the team behind Allen (38.2). "Any way you can get [rest], you've got to grab it. Rest is never a bad thing in this league. It obviously gives you a chance to heal and it's always a great thing."
House viewingEddie House only had 3 points in 41 minutes in the playoffs, and just 11 minutes in this series, entering last night. But with Sam Cassell shooting only 24.2 percent in the series, Rivers opted for House off the bench in Game 6. House responded with 8 points on 3-of-5 shooting, including two 3-pointers, with an assist and a steal in 18 minutes.
"Doc just wanted to put more pressure on the ball defensively, push the ball offensively," said House. "I've been just chomping at the bit on the bench to get my number called to play in situations when the game counts. I was ready tonight."