Kendrick Perkins finished with seven points, six rebounds and three assists in his first game back since his devastating knee injury in Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals as the Boston Celtics vanquished the Cleveland Cavaliers, 112-95, at TD Garden on Tuesday night.
Perkins had not played since Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals after suffering a devastating knee injury that required surgery and a lengthy recovery period. He was expected to return on February 4th when the Celtics faced the Dallas Mavericks, but news broke 45 minutes prior to tipoff that Perkins would play in Tuesday night's game.
Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 24 points in the first quarter for the Celtics (34-10), who led the Cavaliers 34-26 after the first quarter. The Celtics broke the game open in the second quarter, outscoring Cleveland 33-19. The Cavaliers (8-37) outscored the Celtics 50-45 in the second half, but it was far too little on Cleveland's behalf for a miracle comeback.
The loss was Cleveland's 18th in a row and their 22nd straight road loss, setting a new franchise record for futility on the road. The Cavs shot 46.2% from the floor (37-for-80) and made 5-of-11 threes and 16-of-25 free throws.
Ray Allen scored 18 points and Kevin Garnett added 10 points and five rebounds for Boston. Rajon Rondo chipped in with 11 points and 10 assists while Glen Davis and Nate Robinson both had 11 points.
Semih Erden, who started in place of injured center Shaquille O'Neal, only had two points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes. Von Wafer also received a solid helping of minutes, finishing with 10 points in 21 minutes for the Celtics.
Boston connected on 50% of its shots (42-of-84) and sank 11-of-24 shots beyond the arc and 17-of-25 free throws.
Cleveland had seven players score in double-digits. Christian Eyenga paced the Cavaliers, scoring a team-high 15 points. Ramon Sessions and Manny Harris both scored 14 points, J.J. Hickson had 12 points and eight rebounds and Antawn Jamison scored 11 points and had seven rebounds. Joey Graham and Samardo Samuels each scored 10 points off the bench in the Cavaliers' losing effort.
To view the complete box score from Tuesday night's game on SB Nation, click here.
Boston returns to the court to face the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday (10:30 p.m. EST; TV/Radio: TNT/WEEI) when it begins its four-game West coast road trip. The Celtics are expected to be without Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal, who are both dealing with injuries, as well as reserve swingman Marquis Daniels, who is tending to personal matters.