Garnett: Davis is a 'freak of nature'

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Garnett: Davis is a 'freak of nature'

BOSTON -- When is being referred to as a freak of nature a compliment?
When it comes from Kevin Garnett.
Garnett got his first glimpse of New Orleans Hornets rookie and first overall pick Anthony Davis on Wednesday night. Davis posted a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double as the Hornets snapped the Celtics six-game winning streak, 90-78. 
"That kid is long," said Garnett. "I think he makes me look like a midget, man. He's a freak of nature. The kid's going to be really good. The kid's going to be really good."
Davis said he grew up watching LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, which means Garnett was already well into his career by the time the 19-year-old started tuning into hoops.
Growing up in Chicago, though, Davis heard people frequently talking about Garnett, who finished high school in the same city. Davis took an interest and began watching tapes of his game. He studied veterans like Garnett and Tim Duncan, familiarizing himself with their skillsets and moves. 
This season he is making his debut against the players he watched as a child. James and Anthony are in their tenth seasons, Duncan is in his 16th, and this is season number 18 for Garnett. 
Davis looked forward to facing Garnett (15 points, 4 rebounds) and wished he had more matchups with him during Wednesday's game. Davis liked Garnett's movement, how he got to different spots on the floor, and his communication with his teammates. 
The notes on Garnett in the Hornets scouting report were familiar to Davis, who has by this season watched hours of the veteran in action. 
"He looked to score the ball and he played hard the whole game," Davis said. "(My) expectations were the reality."
Now Garnett has expectations for Davis as well. It is not every day that he throws around a term "freak of nature" for teenagers who have only played in 26 NBA games.
"It's fun because it's going to make me better, see where my game is, see what I need to work on," said Davis. "But it's just fun, going against primetime guys. I just want to get better. Hopefully I can play well enough to help them get better."

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic. 

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tyreek Hill had touchdowns receiving and on a punt return, Kansas City's defense made life miserable for Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, and the Chiefs beat the Raiders 21-13 on a frigid Thursday night to take control of the AFC West.

Charcandrick West also had a touchdown run for the Chiefs (10-3). They moved into a first-place tie with Oakland (10-3) but holds the tiebreaker with two wins over their longtime divisional rival.

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