Garnett leads Celtics past the Grizzlies,King James steers Miami over Toronto Last updated Monday January 6,2012 5:12am
2/6/2012 5:12 am
Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers could see that Kevin Garnett was looking and feeling spry.
Running the floor and looking strong on the glass, the 35-year-old Garnett matched his season-high with 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Celtics to their fourth straight win, a 98-80 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.
“He was feeling good. It’s a still a kids’ game. He was having fun,” Rivers said of Garnett, a 14-time All-Star. “He was having a ball playing today and you don’t want to tell him you have to come in because the lights are on, so we let him play in the dark a little bit.”
Garnett was 9 of 12 from the field, including his third 3-pointer of the season on three tries. He hit one in Friday’s win over New York.
“He’s shooting it well,” Rivers said, before joking about Garnett’s recent 3-point success. “Gives us another option at the end of the game—don’t tell him that.”
Paul Pierce scored 21 points, moving nine behind Hall of Famer Larry Bird for second place on the club’s all-time list, and Ray Allen added 12. Rajon Rondo had 14 assists and reserve Chris Wilcox chipped in with 12 points.
Boston took charge with a 21-7 run early in the fourth quarter that turned a six-point lead to 90-70 on Garnett’s jumper.
Relying on a combination of reserves and two of their usual stars—Garnett and Pierce—the Celtics controlled the glass and outran the Grizzlies for transition baskets.
In Miami,LeBron James' continued his terrific scoring form to lead the Heat past Toronto.
James’ steal and dunk with just more than two minutes left gave Miami some breathing room, and the Heat held on to defeat the Toronto Raptors 95-89 on Sunday. James finished with 30 points and Dwyane Wade added 25 for the Heat (18-6), who won for the 10th time in its last 12 games and moved within one game of Chicago (20-6) for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
“We stuck with our principles,” James said. “And that’s to defend.”
Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey shouts instructions to his team against the Miami Heat in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Miami, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012. The Heat won 95-89.
Chris Bosh scored 12 points against his former team, which saw a 15-point edge trimmed to three in the final minutes but never surrendered the lead. Mario Chalmers added 11 for Miami.
DeMar DeRozan scored 25 for the Raptors, who got 17 apiece from Je