Rondo, Perkins play first game against each other

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Rondo, Perkins play first game against each other

BOSTON -- As a former starting center, Kendrick Perkins had never practiced against the Celtics starters, let alone played against them.

He got an introduction to the opposing side on Monday night when he returned to Boston for the first time since being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder almost a year ago.

Nearly halfway through the first quarter, Perkins faced an unfamiliar task against a very familiar face -- to stop his best friend, Rajon Rondo, on a fast break.

Perkins' attempt to slow Rondo ended in a foul as Rondo ended up on the ground.

I didnt know what to expect, Perkins said following the Thunders 97-88 win. He was coming at me full speed. I was really just trying to wrap him up but he was coming so fast and I just tried to wrap him up but he kind of slipped out of my hands. But it wasnt anything where I was trying to do anything crazy to him. I just couldnt let him score on us (laughs).

After the game, Rondo, who is no stranger to hitting the ground on a fast break, shrugged it off.

It wasnt hard. I just lost my footing and hit my knee on the ground, but other than that it was nothing, he said. Im good, knee pads.

The two friends were happy to be on the same court again. Perkins came to Boston in November for Rondos charity game, but they had not been in different NBA uniforms before.

It was a good feeling, said Rondo. It was good to have him back in the building. They played great and he got the win.

Just as they did countless times over the years, Rondo and Perkins had dinner together on Sunday night. Rondo, playing the role of host, picked up the tab. Just as friends do, Perkins offered to take care of it next time.

We go to Oklahoma in a couple of weeks and its actually my birthday, said Rondo. So Im going to order a lot of bottles (laughs).

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Former Ravens and Jets linebacker - now an "NFL Today" analyst for CBS - Bart Scott usually "can't wait" to make his disdain for Tom Brady and the Patriots known. 

He was back at it Tuesday in an interview with CBS Radio's Damon Amendolara, in which he said the Falcons have the better quarterback heading into Super Bowl LI.

“We know they’re the better offense, and right now, you could say they got the better quarterback because they have the MVP of the league,” Scott said. Ryan is the favorite to win the NFL MVP, which will be announced the night before the Super Bowl at the "NFL Honors" show.

“Now that’s a debate, but Matt Ryan has earned the right for his name to be put up there with the upper-echelon quarterbacks," Scott said. "He’s always been elite in the regular season, but now he’s taken this show into the postseason and he’s won the hard battles against the elite quarterbacks and now you have to give him his due.”

More from Scott: “I can’t see the Patriots stopping this offense. So, that means that these receivers are going to have to [keep] pace. It’s all going to come down to what it always comes down to. It’s going to come down to who makes the turnovers, who gets up early and puts the pressure on the other team. Matt Ryan and that offense showed me a lot when they went behind [in the divisional round against the Seahawks]. Seattle came and busted them in the face, and [Atlanta] went right back down and answered immediately.

"The Patriots always find a way, but I think it makes it more close of a game than what people think.”

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while rooting for “Manchester By the Sea” to upset some favorites at the Oscars.

*Sidney Crosby and Auston Matthews top the annual NHL coaches' poll produced by TSN Insider Bob McKenzie.

*The oral history of Fox’s glowing puck used for the NHL during their run with the league is an entertaining one.

*Mike Babcock gives pep talks to the reporters along with his own players while running the show in Toronto.

*The Vegas Golden Knights are moving forward with their timetable toward hiring a coach with some good candidates out there now, and some other ones potentially available soon. I’ve wondered if Claude Julien would be interested in that spot if he’s let go by the Bruins this season, but the one sure thing is that he wouldn’t be out of work long if he is relieved of his duties.

*Claude Giroux needs to start playing a little more fearlessly and without dwelling on mistakes, according to his general manager.

*Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill doesn’t believe that fancy stats and analytics have had a major impact on the way the Wings do things.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the rundown on a Millenial’s dream of performers at the 2017 NHL All-Star Game: Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony and Carly Rae Jepsen.

*For something completely different: keeping an eye on the notion that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is going to run for President.