Celtics-Warriors Review: More milestones for KG

Celtics-Warriors Review: More milestones for KG
March 1, 2013, 11:30 pm
Share This Post
(Associated Press)

BOSTON — Kevin Garnett continues to climb up the all-time leaders' list in a vast array of categories.

The latest milestone came Friday in a 94-86 victory over Golden State.

Garnett led the Celtics with 13 rebounds, bringing his career total to 13,756 which moved him into 11th place all-time just past Hakeem Olajuwon (13,748).

But the game Friday was yet another one in which Garnett's value to the Celtics went beyond his play statistically even as he continues to pile up statistics that only cement his place as one of the all-time NBA greats of this generation.

Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who played against Garnett prior to retiring in 2004, is not surprised that Garnett is still capable of competing at a high  level in this, his 18th NBA season.

"What's on the inside, comes out," Jackson told CSNNE.com. "He's been a warrior. He's been a great player. He's been passionate. He's been a leader. He's been incredible. He's an all-time great for a reason."

Garnett's all-around play was among the factors contributing to the Celtics' victory over Golden State. Here are some other factors outlined prior to the game, and how they ultimately played out.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: The return of David Lee from a one-game suspension will provide yet another stiff challenge on the boards for Boston. Lee averages 19 points and 11 rebounds this season. In 21 career games against Boston, Lee has averaged 15.7 points and 10 rebounds.

WHAT WE SAW:  Lee was a major factor on the boards with a game-high 19, but his inability to produce around the basket had a domino effect on the Warrior's high-powered offense. He had 10 points on 4-for-13 shooting, which created fewer open looks for Golden State's three-point shooters who connected on just 21.7 percent (5-for-23) of their 3s.

MATCHUP TO WATCH:  Courtney Lee vs Klay Thompson: As much as the talk leading into the game will center around Stephen Curry, his backcourt mate causes just as many problems because of his size (6-foot-7), length and ability to score in bunches. Keeping Thompson in single digits scoring will be a job well done considering it's only happened once in the last nine Golden State games.

WHAT WE SAW: Like Curry, Lee was part of a Celtics defensive unit that made it rough on Thompson to get into any kind of flow offensively. He had 15 points but shot just 7-for-19 from the field.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Paul Pierce and that his pinched nerve injury creates some level of uncertainty every game for both the Captain and the Celtics with there being no way of knowing if - or win - it will flare up. So the importance of him getting off to a good start takes on even more significance now.

WHAT WE SAW: The Captain got off to a fast start with 13 points in the first quarter. He finished with a game-high 26 points to go with eight rebounds and four assists while shooting 9-for-15 from the field. But his game did have one blemish - turnovers. The C's committed 17 for the game, seven of which were credited to Pierce.

STAT TO TRACK: Limiting the high-scoring Warriors has been a key to most teams finding success against them. In the month of February, Golden State was held to less than 100 points four times with each resulting in a loss.

WHAT WE SAW: Boston's defense limited Golden State to just 34 percent shooting from the field, which was just what they needed to keep the Warriors' offense off track. Friday marked just the third time this season the Warriors scored 86 points or less. And the result in each game was the same -- a loss.