By ROBERT LEE
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON -- Boston center Kendrick Perkins only played 24 minutes last night, but he made the most of it by scoring six points, pulling down eight rebounds, and blocking seven shots.
"I was messing up so bad on the offensive end that I had to make it up on the defensive end," Perkins said.
Kevin Garnett didn't see it that way.
"He's active," Garnett said of Perkins. "He's probably a little more mobile than last year. For the most part he's very active. He's talking. He and I always say that we have to be on the same page and hold the middle down. I think more than anything he's active.
"He's taking a challenge night in and night out, whether it's Yao [Ming], tonight it was [Andrew] Bogut. He wants that. Last year, I think he was trying to find his way a little bit. I think what you see with the starting group, if not the whole team, is that we have a sync and we have a way that we play. Everybody trusts us that way. He's found his groove. He's a beast right now."
Perkins said that blocking shots is just a matter of getting a groove.
"There's going to be some games where you don't block any shots," Perkins said. "We protect the paint so much that it's very seldom that guys get into the paint so we could block shots. As long as I keep protecting the paint, they'll come."
"He's been great," Boston coach Doc Rivers said of Perkins. "He's just doing his thing, playing his role. He's doing it at a high level. He's playing his role at a high level, and it's been terrific."