KG, Celtics Beat T-Wolves 104-94
BOSTON (AP) — Kevin Garnett sure looked as though he wanted to remind the Minnesota Timberwolves what they’ve been missing these last five years.
Garnett scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and remained unbeaten against his former team as the Boston Celtics beat the Timberwolves 104-94 on Wednesday night in Rajon Rondo’s return from a two-game suspension.
The Celtics improved to 10-0 against Minnesota since they acquired Garnett from the Timberwolves during the summer of 2007. They also won for the 11th straight time against Minnesota.
Asked if Garnett still liked to play against his old team, Boston coach Doc Rivers didn’t hesitate.
“What do you think?” he said.
When the reporter answered “yes,” Rivers smiled and replied: “That’s a good answer.”
Minnesota is the only other team Garnett has played for in his 17-year career. Garnett looked motivated from start to finish, even coming out and swiping the ball out of Love’s hands in front of Boston’s bench early in the final quarter.
Love could see Garnett’s energy sparked Boston’s other players.
“He’s intense,” Love said. “He’s K.G. He’s a guy that defensively, he’ll clamp down on you. He didn’t leave me out there more than once tonight, really clamped in.”
Boston went 1-1 without Rondo, suspended for his role in a scuffle during a game against the Brooklyn Nets last Wednesday.
Rondo had 17 points and 11 assists. Jason Terry scored 17 and Brandon Bass 12.
Love led the Timberwolves with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Nikola Pekovic had 14 with nine boards.
Minnesota went just 6 for 19 from 3-point range one night after hitting a season-high 13 3s in a win over Philadelphia. The Timberwolves also went 14 for 30 from the free throw line.
Boston, which led by seven entering the final quarter, scored 11 of the initial 14 points in the fourth and opened a 90-75 lead on Terry’s 3 from the left wing with 7:50 to play. The Timberwolves went nearly 5 minutes without a basket.
The Celtics maintained between a 14 and 12-point lead over the next 3 minutes, keeping the Timberwolves from making a run by nailing a handful of free throws before a spinning, crowd-pleasing basket by Rondo made it 100-85 with 3½ minutes left.
The Celtics used a 9-0 run over 2 minutes to open a 67-61 lead on Terry’s 3-pointer midway into the third.
Minnesota, coming off a 17-point win in Philadelphia on Tuesday, scored the last five points of the half to grab a 51-47 edge at the break.
The Celtics opened the game 10 for 13, but cooled off late in the first quarter, missing six of their last nine shots and trailed 30-27 after one.
Love headed to the bench early when he picked up his second foul — both on offense — with 2:27 left in the first quarter.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.