Celtics notebook

House cleans up in second

He erupts with 20 off bench in quarter

Eddie House had something to shout about: a season-high 25. Eddie House had something to shout about: a season-high 25. (Alan Diaz/Associated Press)
By Frank Dell'Apa
Globe Staff / January 22, 2009
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MIAMI - Eddie House does not seem to lack for confidence. But House acknowledged his belief in his shooting had been wavering before the Celtics' 98-83 win over Miami last night.

"Sometimes, when you're not knocking them down, it kind of messes with you a little," House said after scoring a season-high 25 points. "But you've got to keep on shooting. If you don't shoot the next one, you can't make the next one."

In scoring 20 points in the second quarter, House became the third Celtic this month to convert his first five 3-pointers in a quarter - Paul Pierce went 5 for 5 in the third quarter of a 118-86 victory over New Jersey Jan. 14 and Ray Allen was 5 for 5 in the opening quarter of a 94-88 win at Toronto Jan. 11.

"[Last] night was a ball-movement night and there were a lot of open shots," House said.

House's hot shooting not only defeated the Heat's defensive strategy, it also allowed the Celtics' starters to rest.

"He came in and knocked down his shots," Pierce said. "I think Eddie needed a breakout game like this. I think he's had some pretty good games, but if you have a game like this, it can really do a lot for your confidence.

"The way we play, we just try to go out there and try to play with ball movement. We have a lot of confidence in each other. We understand our spacing. We know we're going to get the ball. Miami just had a good road trip and we just wanted to jump on them early."

Perkins returns
Kendrick Perkins had been avoiding contact since injuring his left shoulder early this month. So he was eager to return to action last night, and played 22 minutes, scoring 2 points and grabbing seven rebounds.

"I'm just happy to be going on the court," Perkins said before the game. "It's always a question about getting into the rhythm. I'm not really worried [about endurance]. I've been doing a lot of conditioning, so it's not really a factor in my mind. I just want to see how it is with the shoulder; that's about it."

It was Perkins's first appearance since a 98-83 loss at Cleveland Jan. 9. The Celtics started a six-game winning streak after that game.

"His shoulder was all right, but his lungs collapsed," said coach Doc Rivers. "He was exhausted in the third quarter. But it will help him for [tonight, when the Celtics visit Orlando]."

People have spoken
Allen was the leading vote-getter as the "best pure shooter you've ever seen" in a poll of NBA players conducted by Sports Illustrated. Allen (26 percent) was ahead of Reggie Miller (15) and Larry Bird and Jason Kapono (10).

Allen rejoined the team after attending the presidential inauguration in Washington Tuesday.

"Trying to get around D.C. was impossible, there were so many people walking and they had big buses blocking the streets," said Allen, who went to the ceremonies with managing partner Steve Pagliuca and strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo. "So our driver dropped us off and we probably walked for a little over an hour. The most awe-inspiring thing was when we sat down in our seats in front of the Capitol, looking behind us, all the way to the Washington Monument, there were just waves of people. It was 2 1/2 hours before it got started, so we were extremely cold. There were celebrities sitting around us and just regular people, Americans. I wondered how many people I knew were in the crowd - and I saw someone get up a few rows in front of us and it was [University of Connecticut] coach [Jim] Calhoun.

"It was great to be a part of it. Whenever you are at an event of great magnitude you don't realize where you are until you see video of it after the fact - watching us win the [NBA] championship, you don't really feel the full effect until after the event."

Votes are in
The Celtics might not have a starter in the All-Star Game when results are announced today. Coaches for the Feb. 15 game in Phoenix will be determined by the teams with the best records after Sunday's games. Rivers is ineligible because he coached in the game last year . . . Tony Allen (ankle) did not play last night and will not suit up against the Magic tonight, but hopes to return when the Celtics meet Dallas Sunday . . . The Celtics return to Boston tomorrow, but Rivers plans to remain in Orlando to attend his son's high school game.

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