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Celtics try to give Boston a lift against Knicks

Saturday - 4/20/2013, 5:02pm  ET

New York Knicks' Chris Copeland shoots Atlanta Hawks' Dahntay Jones (30), Johan Petro (10) and Mike Scott (32) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, April 17, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Knicks won 98-92. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

AP Basketball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Doc Rivers' phone rang sometime around 6 a.m. Friday, a concerned Boston Celtics owner calling to check on his coach and team.

The Celtics were already safely in New York, but forgive Steve Pagliuca for forgetting. This is a sad, confusing and chaotic time in Boston, and nobody is thinking about basketball first.

But the Celtics have a game to play Saturday, the opener of their playoff series against the Knicks, and if they can provide a boost to their struggling city with some postseason success, that gives them even more motivation in their rare role as an underdog.

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