Celtics notebook

House hurts ankle but says he's OK

A 32-point victory will do wonders for one's sense of humor, so Kevin Garnett (left) and Paul Pierce yukked it up in the fourth. A 32-point victory will do wonders for one's sense of humor, so Kevin Garnett (left) and Paul Pierce yukked it up in the fourth. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)
By Frank Dell'Apa
Globe Staff / January 15, 2009
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A night that seemed favorable for 3-point shooters turned painful for Eddie House.

House twisted his ankle in the final minute of the Celtics' 118-86 win last night over the New Jersey Nets, but expects to recover by the time the teams meet Saturday.

"Yeah, I rolled my ankle a little bit," House said. "But I'm all right. I'll get some treatment [today], treatment the next day."

Glen Davis converted his first career 3-pointer, a 28-footer with 0.4 seconds remaining in the opening quarter. And Paul Pierce went 5 for 5 on threes in the third quarter, matching a team record for 3-point perfection in a quarter set by Ray Allen in a 94-88 win at Toronto last Sunday. The Celtics' record for most 3-pointers in a quarter was set by Dee Brown, who went 6 for 7 in a 110-99 win over Dallas Feb. 4, 1998.

Davis's shot leaves three Celtic veterans who have yet to convert a 3-pointer in their careers: Kendrick Perkins (0 for 8), Patrick O'Bryant (zero attempts), and Leon Powe (0 for 3).

Don't hurry back
Perkins (left shoulder) said he could return for Monday's game against Phoenix. But coach Doc Rivers said Perkins probably won't return before the Celtics visit Miami Wednesday.

"Right now, until somebody tells me differently, I'm not playing him," Rivers said of Perkins's chances of performing against the Suns, who could have a significant size edge with Shaquille O'Neal and Amare Stoudemire.

Perkins was involved in conditioning workouts, weightlifting, and free throw shooting during yesterday's shootaround and pregame activities.

"We need all our starters to play," Rivers said. "But at the end of the day, when a guy goes down, we've had it last year and in the past, someone else will step forward. We don't know who that will be, but we don't worry. You've got to make do. Injuries happen to every team. It's the strong teams that get through it and the weak teams focus on that one guy being out - we don't do that. We just keep playing. I would love to have a longer guy but I don't worry about things we don't have."

As for O'Bryant, Rivers said, "We'll see. What we need him to do, we need him to do it all the time. I'm patient. I'm not playing him when he's not ready, and he's not ready yet. Just because you are 7 feet tall doesn't mean you play."

Guard Tony Allen (right ankle sprain) missed his sixth game and said he hopes to return against Dallas Jan. 25.

"I was scheduled to be out like 10 days," Allen said. "I'll probably be back on the 25th, around that time."

Middle of the road
The Celtics (32-9) became the first team to reach the halfway mark of the season. Milwaukee also played its 41st game last night. Last season, the Celtics had a 34-7 record at the halfway mark. In the 2006-07 season, they had a 12-29 record and were halfway through an 18-game losing streak. "We had a really big bump in the road these last couple weeks with consistency, something we didn't have a year ago," Pierce said. "Maybe it's something we needed to give us a gut check. It's something we've never had, because the regular season went so well for us a year ago. When you go through something like that, you really find out what kind of team you are. Being on the bus, being in hotels, you find out more about each other. What you see is, this team is really together. This is something we can use down the stretch, going into the playoffs, just getting to know one another just a little bit better than the past." . . . Bill Walker scored 6 points in the final quarter in his longest stint of the season, and first appearance since he was recalled from Utah in the Development League. "I didn't even know if I would play," Walker said. "But you've got to be ready. I don't look at it as garbage time - they could have made a run at us."

High praise
If Kevin Garnett needs an endorsement, he could use the following from Nets coach Lawrence Frank: "On so many levels, he's what's right about the game. He plays at such a high effort and energy level every night that if you can't match it, you are going to be in trouble. He raises everyone's game."

Lucky stars
Lucky (Damon Blust), the Celtics' mascot, filmed a skit Monday that is slated to be shown on "The Late Show with Conan O'Brien" tonight. In the skit, the 6-foot-7-inch O'Brien jumps off a trampoline and dunks.

Marc J. Spears of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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