Former Timberwolf great Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics visit the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight. Garnett spent twelve All-Star seasons in Minnesota before being traded prior to the 2007-2008 season, where he helped the Celtics win an NBA Championship. The Wolves will be without their NBA All-Star Kevin Love, who will miss his third straight game due to a left strained groin. Randolph will get the start again at power forward, where he has excelled in his last two starts in place of Love.
Wolves Michael Beasley got the Wolves off to a fast start, scoring their first 5 points of the game. The Celtics countered with a 15-0 run, led by Garnett who had a nice finger roll and two handed dunk on the fast break. The Wolves continued to struggle from the field by shooting 3-15 while the Celtics shot a blistering 78% to extend their lead 28-10 with 3 minutes to go in the first quarter. Celtics guard Ray Allen, who hit his first four of five shots, led Boston to a 32-13 lead after one quarter of play.
Celtics Paul Pierce’s three point shot with 4 minutes to play gave the Celtics a 43-23 lead, as the Wolves continued to struggle in the second quarter. Wolves reserve Anthony Tolliver was the lone bright spot with 8 points and 10 rebounds. His hustle and leadership helped the Wolves hold the Celtics to just 15 points in the quarter. Unfortunately, the Celtics still led 47-34 at the half.
Wolves Darko Milicic’s three point play at the beginning of the third quarter cut the Celtics lead to 49-41 but Pierce answered with a thunderous one hand jam on the break. Wolves Luke Ridnour’s alley-oop lob and finish by Wesley Johnson brought the Wolves crowd to its feet. The dunk capped off a 13-2 run to trim the Celtics lead to 57-54 with 4:11 to play in the third quarter. Celtics guard Carlos Arroyo’s two free-throws with 0.08 seconds left, gave the Celtics a 64-62 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Milicic’s lay up with 7:45 to go in the fourth quarter gave the Wolves a short 70-68 lead but Pierce again answered with a three-pointer to help the Celtics retake a 71-70 lead. After Tolliver’s block on Garnett’s dunk attempt, he followed it up with a three-pointer to give the Wolves back the lead, 73-72 with 4:30 to play. Pierce responded with a three point play and 15 foot jumper to give the Celtics a 77-73 lead. Garnett’s fadeaway jumper with a minute to go, put the game away for good as the Celtics held off a furious Wolves comeback by winning the game, 85-82. Michael Beasley led the Wolves with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Pierce had 23 points and 7 rebounds for the Celtics.
Another valiant effort by these young Wolves after falling behind by 25 points early. Unfortunately, the Celtics showed why they are considered one of the best in the NBA, as they were able to come up with the necessary stops to help escape Minnesota with a hard fought victory.
About the Author
Written by Phil Aguila