Childís health shouldnít sideline Allen
By Howard Ulman
BOSTON ó The Celtics expect Ray Allen to play when they try for a second time to win the NBA championship.
Kendrick Perkins? Now thatís a different story.
Allen rushed from Staples Center after the Los Angeles Lakersí 103-98 win Sunday night that forced a sixth game Tuesday night in Boston. The reason: ihealth issuesî involving one of his three children.
Perkins watched Game 5 from the bench with a shoulder injury. His availability today will be a game-time decision.
As the Celtics waited at LA International Airport on Monday for their delayed flight to leave, team spokesman Jeff Twiss said he expected Allen to take a later airplane to Boston. And, Twiss said, iI donít believeî Allen will miss the game that could bring him his first NBA title in a 12-year career as a deadeye shooter and give the Celtics their first championship in 22 years.
Allen has two sons and a daughter. Some of the playersí family members made the journey to Los Angeles for Games 3, 4 and 5.
The Celtics gave no details, only issuing a statement from coach Doc Rivers that iRay Allen was forced to leave Staples Center at the conclusion of tonightís game due to a health issue with one of his children.î
Allen has been a solid contributor in the NBA Finals ó second on the Celtics with 19.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game ó after struggling with his shooting in earlier rounds.
Perkinsí presence also has been very important ó as shown by his absence in the game that cut Bostonís lead in the series to 3-2.
The Celticsí 280-pound center was wearing street clothes when Lakers guard Jordan Farmar ventured into the key and sank two fourth-quarter layups Sunday. Perkins could only watch from the bench while Pau Gasol grabbed 13 rebounds. His strained left shoulder kept him from clogging the middle and convincing opponents they might be better off to stay away.
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