INDIANAPOLIS - There is no word yet on whether FEMA will officially declare the Celtics a disaster area, but the team's health continued to decline yesterday.
Kendrick Perkins played in last night's 105-98 loss to the Pacers despite being badly weakened by a fever, and Ryan Gomes spent the last 9:41 on the bench with a sore back.
Perkins responded to praise for his willingness to play by saying, ``I didn't do nothing though. I was really just a big body out there.
``We're limited right now,'' he added after recording two points and two rebounds in 19 minutes. ``I felt like I could pretty much give the team a few minutes. I never just said I couldn't give them nothing. I thought I could contribute a little bit. I played 'til I got tired and couldn't go no more.''
Said Doc Rivers of his center's illness: ``He had it (Friday) night, 101(-degree fever) all day and diarrhea and the whole thing.''
If Perkins had not played, either he or Paul Pierce would have had to put on a uniform and sit on the bench. The league requires a minimum of eight players be dressed.
Gomes hopes that number isn't in question Tuesday in Atlanta. He went hard to the hardwood, driving into Shawne Williams and getting an offensive foul for his trouble.
``It was a hell of a fall,'' Gomes said. ``I tried to grab somebody, but there was nobody there. I came down on my right elbow and my lower back. It's a little sore now, and I know when I get up in the morning it's going to be even worse. I'm just going to make sure I get some treatment so it doesn't lock up on me. I think I'll be fine.''
In other news from the infirmary, Delonte West did not make the trip. The team decided it would be best if he continued to nurse his sprained left ankle in Boston.
``He could (still play Tuesday in Atlanta),'' said Rivers. ``Eddie (Lacerte, the trainer) just wants him to run and do stuff back at home. There's a chance (of playing against the Hawks). I doubt it, but there's a chance. If he comes up, he'll come up on Monday morning or maybe Sunday night.''
Al Jefferson also stayed back to get double treatments on his left knee.