HOUSTON As the final seconds ticked away in Boston's 101-89 loss to Houston on Friday, Doc Rivers made his way towards Rockets head coach and former Celtic Kevin McHale.
The two embraced.
A similar scene played out moments later between McHale, whose 23-year-old daughter Sasha passed away last month, and Courtney Lee who played for McHale in Houston last season.
In between those two moments, there was McHale embracing Kevin Garnett who came into the league in Minnesota when McHale was part of the Minnesota Timberwolves' brain trust.
The embrace was long, the kind of hug you give an old friend who is hurting and there's nothing you can do to ease the pain other than to let him know you care.
McHale won the game, but he was fighting a losing battle with his emotions as the two old friends continued their embrace, each nodding to the other as words were spoken that only those two men can fully understand and appreciate.
Not surprisingly, McHale was asked about that moment during his post-game press conference.
"KG and I, we go way back," said McHale, who pulled the trigger on the multi-player deal that sent Garnett to Boston in 2007. "There will always be a special place in my heart for Kevin. We spent a ton of time together when he was a young guy. It was very nice."
Seeing McHale for the first time since the passing of McHale's daughter made the day that much rougher for Garnett emotionally.
Like most parents throughout this nation, Garnett was also deeply saddened by the deaths of nearly two dozen school-age children in Newtown, Conn. Friday morning when an armed man opened fire in the school and reportedly killed 27 people - most of them children.
"I'm all over the place. Today has been a crazy day," Garnett said. "I just want to say my condolences go out to the families in Connecticut. Anybody that has kids, niece, any kind of siblings, any kind of someone they love, it's just been a tough day. I just want to get it off my chest and say my condolences to all the parents out there. I seen Kevin (McHale) and had an emotional moment with him. So it's been an emotional roller coaster today."