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Kendrick Perkins' work pays off

Celtics center returns ahead of schedule after offseason knee surgery

Updated: January 26, 2011, 2:28 AM ET
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- Even as he stepped onto the floor to a rousing ovation from the TD Garden faithful, Kendrick Perkins wasn't back. Even after he muscled in an and-1 layup a minute later, his first points of the season after spending the past six months rehabbing from offseason ACL surgery, Perkins wasn't quite back.

No, it wasn't until he stood in front of the Boston bench fuming at referee Scott Twardoski, displaying his familiar scowl while barking about the lack of an over-the-back call on ...

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