NEW YORK (Reuters) - Kendrick Perkins is clear to play in Game Six of the Eastern Conference final after a technical foul against the Boston Celtics center was rescinded, the National Basketball Association said on Thursday.
Perkins was ejected from Wednesday's loss to the Orlando Magic after he was assessed his second technical foul of the game. It also marked his seventh of the playoffs, which under league rules called for a one-game suspension.
But the NBA said in a statement it had dropped the second technical foul against Perkins, which means he is available to play when the best-of-seven series resumes Friday in Boston.
While Celtics coach Doc Rivers was happy with the decision, he said he was "a little disappointed" that both technicals were not rescinded.
"I felt they both should have been and I'm very surprised that they're not," Rivers added during a teleconference call.
"But I will take the one and hopefully we can keep working on the other one. Unfortunately we can't get those calls back. It clearly hurt us in Game Five not having Perk out on the floor."
Starting center Perkins was ejected shortly before the end of the first half and Boston went on to lose the game 113-92 as Orlando cut their deficit in the series to 3-2.
Making matters even worse for the Celtics on a difficult night were the loss of bench players Glen Davis and Marquis Daniels, due to concussion, and a fitness concern over Rasheed Wallace, who tweaked his back.
"Marquis is not doing as well as Baby. Right now, I'm not sure he will be ready. Rasheed is doing better. He said he's feeling better and his will be a game time decision as well."
(Writing by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina and Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue and Sonia Oxley)