With the Celtics seeking Christmas Day revenge against the Orlando Magic, Kevin Garnett returned from a nine game absence in a rematch with the Magic on MLK. Orlando probably wishes KG sat out one more as he was in vintage form finishing with 19pts, 8rebs, and 2stls. That last steal was potentially game saving and the Celtics defeated the Magic 109-106.
The Celtics shot 60% in a seesaw affair that included 16 lead changes in the 2nd half and 6 in the final stanza. Big time plays from both teams kept the game close with jumpers raining from the likes of Nelson, Turkgolu, Richardson, Allen, and Pierce in the fourth quarter. With the scored tied at 104, Pierce pump faked, leaned into the airborne Richardson, then flung a desperation shot at the rim from his favorite spot on the floor. And 1! Pierce made the free throw and put the Celtics up 107-104 with 38.7 seconds left in the game.
On the ensuing Magic possession, Orlando ran a dummy pick and roll with Nelson and Howard. Jason Richardson darted up from the baseline as Nelson dribbled towards him for kick back pass to the top of the key. KG read the play beautifully side stepped Nelson as he attempted to set a moving screen and picked off the Nelson shovel pass to Richardson. KG alertly threw the ball ahead to Ray Allen (26points) who got fouled and nailed two free throws to seal the win. With the way the game was going it was an almost certainty that a Magic 3point attempt would have tied the game had Garnett not foiled the play call of Coach Stan Van Gundy.
That play was a punctuation mark on Garnett’s return this evening as well as a testament to his continued intensity, high basktetball IQ and effort. From the moment Kevin Garnett steps on the court his demeanor sets a tone that is undeniable, irreplaceable, and at times unstoppable. “We look like a totally different team out there with Kevin on the court. His presence and everything he does goes far beyond the numbers.” said Paul Pierce. Welcome back KG, why don’t you stay a while.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com