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"I would doubt that players would get affected by what happened in another sport," Van Gundy said. "I would have a hard time believing that. I don't think most of our guys on any of our teams follow hockey very much."
What started as an unprecedented pipe dream -- Boston had never even needed a sixth game after going up 3-0 -- is now more realistic as the Magic gain confidence and the Celtics lose personnel.
"It's another closeout game on their home court," Magic forward Rashard Lewis said. "I think the game on Friday will most definitely be the hardest game of the playoffs that we've ever faced. They're a veteran team. They'll come out with a lot of energy and a lot of heart, and I'm sure they're not going to want to come back to Orlando."
Perkins was called for two technicals on Wednesday night -- an automatic ejection -- and since that gave him seven total in the playoffs he was in line for a mandatory one-game suspension. But the league rescinded the second "T" on Thursday -- taking the rare step of announcing it in a news release -- clearing him to play.
"I knew he would play tomorrow," Rivers said. "I'm a little disappointed that both technicals weren't rescinded. I think they both should have been; I'll take the one. Unfortunately, we can't get those calls back. It clearly hurt us in Game 5 not having Perk in."
Also Thursday, the league upgraded a foul called on Pierce to a one-point flagrant foul. If Pierce amasses four flagrant foul points, he would also face an automatic one-game suspension.
"Paul's not going to be a guy that's going to have a ton of flagrant fouls," Rivers said. I don't think we have to worry about him getting to that number, that silly number."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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