After hearing his name tossed around in trade rumors for the first time he's been with the Celtics, Kevin Garnett showed why he is still the most important player on this team, if the C's have thoughts of a post season run. Down by 10 to a rejuvenated Toronto Raptors squad, KG put up 11 of his season high 27 points in the fourth quarter to cement the Celtics fifth straight victory.
There has been much talk about potential suitors for the 15 time all star center over the past few days. Whether it was a deal with the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe, or with the Nuggets for Andre Igudala, the bottom line is Garnett is a Celtic true and true and has a no trade clause in play to prove his loyalty to Boston.
Last night, Garnett embodied the Celtics will to win at any cost. It was sloppy but the C's were able to pull together late and knock of the Raptors 99-95.
"We're fighters," Garnett said. "We're a team that's going to compete for 48 minutes. It's not always pretty. We're not perfect. We're human beings. But we play hard, we do our best to go out and try to perfect the game plan."
It wasn't only Garnett's offensive game that was the key to Wednesday nights victory, he was key in the Celtics 4th quarter turnaround on the defensive end as well. the Celtics held Toronto to only 16 points in the last quarter of play and outscored them by 15.
In what is starting to become a trend, the 'Rondo-less' Celtics got contributions from the role players, notching six players in double figures. Along with Garnett, Paul Pierce(12pts), Courtney Lee(15), Avery Bradley(11), Brandon Bass(10), and Leandro Barbosa(14) all had solid offensive nights.
Jason Terry who only had one field goal in the game, had a big part in the outcome. He berated his team after sloppy play was dominating the first three quarters of the game. His Antoine Walker-esque speech really hit home to his teammates entering the 4th quarter, and sparked the turnaround. Doc Rivers noticed the sentiments forwarded by the Jet and was impressed with the 6th man's leadership.
"His message was simple," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "The ball will find the open guy. You don't have to dribble around and create your own shot. We've got enough scoring. Space the floor and play
together.' And I think that's what we did."
Paul Pierce notched his 4th double double in the five game winning streak. Over the season he has only reached the double double plateau three other times. He may not be overwhelming with his scoring numbers on this streak, but the Captain is changing his game to fit the teams needs...
Rudy Gay, the most recent acquisition by the Raptors continued to show he can be a superstar in this league, putting up 25 pts last night. Scary to think what the Raptors could turn into if they begin to get production this guy and flip some of their young talent for another piece next year...
Celtics take on the Lakers tonight, at the Garden. Both teams are suffering injuries but finding ways to rally to save their respective seasons. RIVALRY RENEWED.
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