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Meltdown no excuse for C's loss

1/12/2010

BOSTON -- With Rasheed Wallace and Kendrick Perkins jockeying for the top spot on the NBA's technical foul leaderboard, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers last month texted both players his motto for the 2009-10 season: "He who angers you, owns you."

In the aftermath of Monday's 102-96 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Rivers wished he had considered his own message after a personal meltdown helped the visitors rally from a double-digit deficit at TD Garden.

The Hawks have won all three meetings this season (the teams play one more time in Atlanta later this month), rallying from halftime deficits in each win.

Rivers lost his cool when Glen Davis got called for a flagrant foul for a hard takedown of Marvin Williams midway through the third quarter.

Rivers expressed his displeasure in no uncertain terms to referee Bennett Salvatore, who promptly hit the Boston coach with a double technical and ejected him from the game. Before Rivers could be herded down the tunnel to the locker room, assistant coach Armond Hill drew yet another technical.

The volatile series left Atlanta with five free throws -- it made four -- and possession of the ball, helping the Hawks trim Boston's 10-point lead to a 67-61 advantage with 6:16 to play in the third.

Atlanta tied the game before the end of the quarter, then pulled ahead in the fourth, making Rivers' tantrum sting that much more.

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