Finish line in sight

Times Staff Writer

The easiest, most-readied and relied upon adjective to pull would be “historic.”

After all, when a reporter at Staples Center said he couldn’t recall a team ever coming back from as many points in an NBA Finals game as the Boston Celtics did Thursday, it was because nobody could.

It hadn’t happened.

Now, everyone can and will remember it.

Kevin Garnett says he can now taste an NBA championship. Leon Powe surmises that the loss they handed the Lakers in Game 4 could break the Lakers’ hearts.

Other than that, it’s just same old, same old.

“The joy and the journey and the process that we’ve talked about all year long, you know, enjoy the process and continue the process, because the process is going to get us to where we want to go,” guard Ray Allen said after playing every second of Game 4.

That process now leads Boston to the cusp of an NBA championship.


Winning, but hurting

Eighty-one victories down. One to go.

It’s that last one that will last eternally for the Celtics.

That’s the one that will probably have Paul Pierce’s jersey someday hanging from the rafters along with Larry Bird’s and Bob Cousy’s, the one that will cement Garnett’s legacy as a player, the one that will send a legion of Bostonians spilling onto cobblestoned streets. In the afterglow of their epic comeback, the Celtics did not practice Friday, reflecting on their win and taking inventory of an ailing, but still capable roster. Neither starting center Kendrick Perkins (left shoulder strain) nor point guard Rajon Rondo (bruised left ankle) played in Thursday’s fourth quarter. Also, Pierce rolled his ankle, but remained in the game.

Pierce will play and Rondo will probably do so as well. The status of Perkins is murkier.

“We’re not in great physical shape, there’s no doubt about that,” Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said. “You know, but that’s what it is, and there’s nothing you can do about that. I think our guys are mostly gamers. The fact that Rajon tried to go [Thursday], again, was phenomenal. Perk[ins], obviously the injury he had last night could be significant, and we don’t know the results yet. But that’s clearly not looking great right now.”