Rondo returns, Celtics top Timberwolves, 104-94

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Rondo returns, Celtics top Timberwolves, 104-94

BOSTON Kevin Garnett was feeling it at both ends of the floor, providing the kind of inside-outside game that doesn't come around often enough for Celtics Nation.
Soon after, he got some help in the form of Brandon Bass and Jason Terry. And then Rajon Rondo got into the act.
Just like that, the Celtics were in the midst of a strong team-wide performance that proved to be too much for the Timberwolves as Boston pulled away for a 104-94 win.
Garnett, who has now won 10 straight against his former team, had 18 points and 10 rebounds along with four assists.
Rajon Rondo, returning to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension, had 17 points and 11 assists.
All five of Boston's starters had double figures scoring with Brandon Bass (12 points), Paul Pierce (18 points) and Jason Terry (17 points) having strong games, too.
The victory came after some not-so-stellar play by Boston in the game's early moments.
Boston got off to a good start, but their control of the game took a detour in the first quarter when -- you guessed it -- Garnett took his first break from the game.
When he left, the Celtics were ahead by three points.
By the time the first quarter ended, Boston was literally on the other side of the scoreboard facing a 30-27 deficit.
Not surprisingly, Doc Rivers was not happy with his team's play in the first quarter defensively and didn't mince his words during a time-out to let them know.
They began the second quarter strong with a lead that peaked at 39-32 following a 11-foot jumper by Terry.
But the Timberwolves cut into the C's lead and eventually pulled ahead with a 5-0 spurt to end the half and led, 51-47.
Boston had a solid third quarter with Bass leading the way early, and Rondo coming through near the end.
But in between, Minnesota all-star Kevin Love was doing what he does best -- rebounding. He finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
And his boardwork coupled with that of his teammates, kept the Timberwolves within striking distance going into the fourth with the C's ahead, 79-72.