Garnett comes back down to earth in loss to Sixers

Garnett comes back down to earth in loss to Sixers
May 19, 2012, 6:00 am
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PHILADELPHIA Kevin Garnett once again had a major impact on the game but not the kind of impact he's used to.

The Boston Celtics' most dominant player in this series, Garnett, was nothing of the sort Friday night - a first for him in this series.

And the end result was a 92-93 loss to Philadelphia that now puts this best-of-seven series at 2-2, with Game 5 in Boston on Monday and Game 6 in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Garnett had just nine points, his lowest-scoring game in this series. And he did it on 3-for-12 shooting (25 percent) which equalled his worst field goal percentage in a playoff game in which he took 12 or more field goal attempts. He came into the game having shot 63.3 percent in this series.

It was an inexplicable performance which in many ways, summed up what kind of night it was for the Celtics as a whole.

When asked about why Garnett never really got into the offense, C's coach Doc Rivers said, "I don't know. I'm going to have to go look at that and figure that myself."

Said Garnett: "They tended to be a little bit more aggressive, and they were getting the whistle."

The Sixers were whistled for 18 personal fouls compared to the Celtics being called for 28 personal fouls. That led to a huge discrepancy in free throws, with the C's shooting 16-for-19 from the line compared to the Sixers who were 25-for 36.

Still, Philadelphia's aggressive play only told part of the tale as to why Garnett's impact was so minimal.

The Celtics relied on their jump-shots far too often in the second half.

"We're a jump-shooting team," said Rajon Rondo who had 15 points and 15 assists. "We made those shots in the first half. We made those shots in Game 3. But (in Game 4), like I said, they sped us up a little bit. We may have lost our composure, but we're a veteran team. We're better than that, but we didn't respond well."

Said Rivers: "I never thought we established him. I thought he was a passer tonight. We have to get him back in the middle of the paint and being more aggressive. That's on us; we have to figure that out again."

At this stage of the playoffs, there's not going to be a major overhaul by the Celtics or anything like that in order to get Garnett back on track.

Garnett, in succinct Garnett-fashion, was asked about Game 5 and what he's looking forward to heading into that game.

"Making adjustments," he said. "And getting better."