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Pierce, Perkins lead the way for Boston

BOSTON (AP) -- Kendrick Perkins was a surprise weapon for the
Boston Celtics.

Paul Pierce scored 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while
Perkins added career highs with 12 points, 19 rebounds and four
assists to lift the Celtics to a 110-103 victory over the
Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

"I've been playing uptight and the coaches have told me to
relax," Perkins said. "I knew things were going my way when I hit
a jump hook in the first half. I haven't done that since high
school."

Allen Iverson had 40 points for Philadelphia, but was hounded by
Celtics guard Delonte West in the fourth quarter and only had two
baskets in the period.

"In the past we have had trouble scoring and we were a good
defensive team," Iverson said. "This year is totally the opposite
and we can't stop anybody."

Perkins was making only his third start of the season and
combined with Mark Blount to total 20 points and 26 rebounds out of
the center position for the Celtics.

"He attacked every rebound and made everyone want to crash the
boards," Celtics guard Ricky Davis said. "That is the best I have
seen him rebound since I've come here."

With the game tied at 87 and 6:25 remaining, the Celtics went on
a 9-1 run capped off by Raef LaFrentz's 3-pointer to give them
their biggest lead of the game at 96-88.

Davis added 26 for Boston, which won for the third time in its
last eight games.

Chris Webber had 28 points for Philadelphia, loser of four
straight on the road and five of seven overall.

"It's disappointing. (Perkins) had a career night against us,"
Webber said. We didn't take him for granted, but we didn't do our
job on him."

After Philadelphia outrebounded Portland in its last game 60-30,
Boston dominated this matchup with a 59-40 edge.

With the Celtics ahead 62-59, Iverson scored nine straight
points for Philadelphia to tie the game at 68 with 5:31 remaining
in the third.

Iverson led all scorers with 20 in the first half, including 15
in the second quarter, as the 76ers trailed 51-50 at the break.

Perkins had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first half,
recording his first career double-double with just under 3 minutes
to go in the second quarter. He received an ovation when he fouled
out with 2:47 remaining in the game.

Game notes
Philadelphia completed its fifth set of back-to-back games
in November. ... Former Celtics legend John Havlicek was in
attendance. ... Celtics assistant coach Dave Wohl was a third round
draft pick of the 76ers in 1971. ... Iverson is averaging 41 points
over his last four games.