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Thursday, December 6, 2012

For KG, Beating The Timberwolves Will Always Be Extra Sweet

A week after his scuffle with Brooklyn's Kris Humphries and a two-game suspension by the NBA, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was back on the TD Garden parquet where he belonged tonight. As expected, it was like he hadn't missed a beat as he put up 17 points and 11 assists in Boston's (10-8, 6-4 home) 104-94 win vs. Minnesota (8-9, 4-6 away).

The Timberwolves were playing the second night of a back-to-back on the road but they looked good in the first half as they took a 51-47 lead into halftime. Predictably, they fell apart in the second half and the much more rested Celtics took advantage of their tired legs. Oh by the way, the C's have won 11 straight against the Timberwolves (10 in a row since KG got here).

Kevin Garnett had 18 points and 10 rebounds against his former team. Paul Pierce scored 18, Jason Terry added 17 points and five rebounds while Brandon Bass put up 12 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Jeff Green scored eight off the bench and Jared Sullinger had a statistically pleasing seven points and seven rebounds.

Kevin Love paced the Timberwolves with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Nikola Pekovic added 14 points and nine rebounds, Josh Howard scored 12 and Luke Ridnour had 11 points and five assists. Alexey Shved notched 11 points off the bench and former Northeastern star J.J. Barea tallied 10.

Boston shot better from the field (52.6%-44%), they made four more free throws (18-14), grabbed four more rebounds (45-41), dished out five more assists (24-19) and blocked three more shots (6-3).

Earlier in the day, rookie swingman Kris Joseph was recalled from the Red Claws. He even got in during garbage time against Minnesota and hoisted up a shot that missed.

In a weird scheduling quirk, the Celtics play a home-and-home with the Sixers (10-8, 3rd in Atlantic Division) this weekend. Boston travels to Philadelphia on Friday (7:00 p.m., CSN) then hosts the Sixers on Saturday night (7:30 p.m., CSN). As we all know, Philly is a bad matchup for Boston therefore they usually play them very tough. In their first meeting this season-back on November 9-Philadelphia won 106-100 at the Garden.

This weekend is when Boston could use some extra contributions from its supposedly deep bench. They can't rely on Garnett, Pierce and Terry to give them huge minutes in either contest so it's up to the young guys-Green, Sullinger, Courtney Lee, Leandro Barbosa-to make it happen when they need a rest.

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