Kevin Garnett was having a quiet night as of 9:30 p.m. on Friday. By 10 p.m., he had taken over.
Garnett powered the Celtics to a victory with 11 clutch points in the fourth quarter of Friday night's win over Houston. Two of those points arrived in emphatic fashion, as KG caught a pass from Rajon Rondo at the left elbow, took a jump step toward the basket and flew in the air for a highlight-reel dunk with 3:07 remaining in the game.
The loud slam sent TD Garden into hysteria, put Boston ahead by 14 points and sent both teams into a timeout. As Kevin McHale tried to rally his troops at one end, Boston’s players celebrated Garnett’s slam at the other end. Jason Terry and Paul Pierce spent about a minute giving Garnett tons of love for his sweet flush. Pierce wafted a towel at KG in an attempt to cool the big man down.
Meanwhile, the Rockets were wishing that they had cooled Garnett down just a few minutes earlier. Boston’s starting center, who is on pace to start for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star game, put Houston on its heels and the Celtics ran away with a 103-91 win.
Key Box Score Line
You’ve already read about Kevin Garnett going into take-over mode in the fourth quarter, but let’s sum up his night from a statistical standpoint.
Garnett finished the night with 17 points and pulled in eight rebounds. Eleven of those points and four of those rebounds were accumulated in the fourth quarter. KG also rose high into the air to block a game-high four shots during his 32 minutes of playing time.
Box Score Nuggets
- James Harden's 24 points ended his streak of 14 consecutive games with at least 25 points.
- None of Boston's starters played more than 33 minutes.
- Jared Sullinger and Courtney Lee each scored 14 points off of the bench.
- Houston shot just 41.4 percent from the free-throw line.
- Harden attempted a game-high 19 shots.
- The Rockets outscored the Celtics 24-6 in fast break points.
- The Celtics outrebounded the Rockets 43-38.
- Boston was whistled for 29 personal fouls.
- Kevin Garnett blocked a game-high four shots to go along with 17 points, 11 of which were scored in the fourth quarter.
- The Celtics scored at least 24 points in each of the four quarters.
- Sullinger logged his second consecutive double-double by scoring 14 points and tying for the game high in boards with 11.
- Sullinger shot 7-of-8 from the field.
Quote of the Night
He was a bad player for one day, and that was the Draft. Doc Rivers on Jared Sullinger