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News » KG saves face at MSG

KG saves face at MSG

KG saves face at MSGCeltics 107, Knicks 105

NEW YORK - Had the Celtics somehow managed to lower themselves and limbo to a loss against the three-win New York Knicks, much of the talk would have been about Kevin Garnett. Fortunately for himself and his friends, Garnett found an interesting way to say, ``Shhh.''

After spending most of his Manhattan afternoon bricking jumpers and having Al Harrington roar past him, Garnett hit a 19-footer at the overtime buzzer to give the Celts a 107-105 victory.

So ended a 4-for-15 day that would have been utterly regrettable for KG and the seemingly wobbly - even at 10-4 - Bostonians.

``I was just rushing everything,'' said Garnett, who made just one of his first 10 shots. ``I could never get a steady beat and a nice flow. I'm still dealing with that. But a lot of times it's not how you start; it's how you finish.''

He had a first quarter dunk in transition, and then, after getting some extra bench time because of fouls, Garnett took feeds from Paul Pierce and hit two outside shots in the final period - the latter coming with 1:07 left to give the Celts a 98-96 lead and account for their last points in regulation.

Pierce had that two-man game in mind when he got coach Doc Rivers to change the play he called with 9.3 seconds left in OT.

The captain then worked a pick and roll with Garnett, and when David Lee and Wilson Chandler both followed the guy who had 33 points, Pierce threw it back to KG at the top of the key. Harrington, who came off the bench for a team-best 30 points and nine rebounds, was late popping out, and Garnett gave the C's a sigh of relief.

Ahead by just three at halftime, the Celtics scored the first 11 points of the third quarter and looked comfortable - perhaps too comfortable. With Harrington bombing away, the Knicks needed just five minutes to get the game even. They entered the last period with an 82-77 lead and were up seven soon after.

Even when they got the lead back, the Celts were awful in the final minute of regulation, turning the ball over twice then getting a rushed trey attempt from Rajon Rondo out of a timeout in the last 4.7 seconds.

The C's got another chance to make a final impression after Lee tied it on a pick and roll with 9.3 tics left.

``Well, I drew up a play and Paul says, `Coach, no, let's not run that play,' '' said Rivers. ``He said, `Either I'm going to get to the basket or Kevin's going to get a shot.'

``Sometimes a coach is a good listener, and on that one I was. Honestly Paul called that. I had a completely different play. It was a good thing because he saw it. And Kevin needed that shot. It was great. Kevin had shots all night; he just couldn't make them. So it was great for him to make the shot.

``It shows great confidence that Kevin made the shot. It shows even more confidence that Paul passed to a guy that had been missing that same shot all night. I think it almost says more for Paul that he trusts his teammate.''

As for Garnett shaking off a bad day at the office, Pierce said, ``Well, he's that type of player. You're talking about a Hall of Fame player who's missed millions of shots. He's going to keep playing and keep shooting the ball. When he had the opportunity, he stepped up big for our team.''

Even Garnett was a bit surprised to be so free.

``A little bit,'' Garnett said, ``but I knew I hadn't made a shot, so (expletive) I wouldn't even guard myself either.

``I knew they were going to switch or sort of follow Paul and he was going to draw a lot of attention. I just had to make the shot.''

Easier said than done on a day when Garnett, Ray Allen and Rasheed Wallace - established shooters all - combined to go 7-for-34 from the floor.


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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 24, 2009


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