Notebook: Celtics 104, Timberwolves 94



Posted Dec 5, 2012 11:37 PM

Brian Robb, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett both finished with double-doubles, as the Boston Celtics pulled away in the second half for a 104-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rondo (17 points, 11 assists) looked sharp in his return from a two-game suspension as he captained a balanced Celtics scoring attack that saw all five starters finishing in double figures. Garnett added 18 points and 10 rebounds in Boston's second straight home win. Kevin Love had a game-high 19 points and 13 rebounds for the visitors in the setback.

QUOTABLE: "You can feel it starting to come. It's not here, but it's coming and you feel that. We've just got to push through. It's going to be a great month for us."
-- Doc Rivers

THE STAT: The Celtics don't hit the offensive glass often, but they took advantage of all of their opportunities against the Wolves in the second half, scoring 10 second chance points on five offensive rebounds. The strong showing, combined with sharp shooting (55 percent) helped Boston post a 57-point second half in the come-from-behind-win.

TURNING POINT: Boston's play without Garnett on the floor has been a recurring issue for the Celtics all season, but Wednesday's win proved to be a strong step in the right direction for the team's second unit. With Garnett resting for the final seven minutes of the third quarter, the C's outscored Minnesota 20-11 without their defensive anchor, enabling Boston to build a double-digit lead and cruise to a comfortable win late.

QUOTABLE II: "[Garnett] pokes and prods and elbows and jabs. He does whatever he needs to do in order for his team to win, and that sums up Kevin Garnett to me."
-- Love

HOT: Garnett, 36, came out smoking hot against his former team, hitting six of his first seven shots of the game to help carry the Boston scoring load early against the Wolves. Garnett shot 8-of-13 for the game.

NOT: Josh Howard -- Filling in for Andrei Kirilenko in starting five, Howard could not solve Boston's defense after halftime, shooting just 1-of-5 from the field to finish with 12 points after scoring 10 in the first half.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Jason Terry -- The shooting guard took advantage of his extended time on the floor, with Leandro Barbosa limited by the flu. The former Maverick piled up 17 points behind a trio of 3-pointers, along with a season-high five rebounds over 37 minutes.

ROOKIE WATCH: Jared Sullinger -- With Brandon Bass saddled with foul trouble early on, the power forward made his presence felt on both sides of the floor over his 16 minutes of action. The 20-year-old had seven points, six rebounds, two blocks, a steal and drew a charge against Love.

NOTABLE: Leandro Barbosa only played a minute, as he continues to battle flu-like symptoms. The Celtics have defeated the Timberwolves 11 straight times. Minnesota shot just 50 percent (13-of-26) from the free throw line. Avery Bradley told reporters before the game he is "a week or two" from returning to practice. The shooting guard has missed the first two months of the season while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Minnesota missed 16 free throws. Greg Stiemsma scored two points in his first game against his former team. Kirilenko sat out with back spasms.

UP NEXT: For Minnesota, Friday vs. Cleveland, Wednesday @ Denver, Friday @ New Orleans. For Boston, Friday @ Philadelphia Saturday vs. Philadelphia Wednesday vs. Dallas.