Garnett does the little things to help Nets win

Garnett does the little things to help Nets win
December 10, 2013, 11:45 pm
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BROOKLYN, N.Y. — It wasn't vintage Kevin Garnett on display Tuesday night.

There wasn't a 20-point, 10-rebound, 5-assist kind of night that Garnett delivered so many times during his six seasons with the Green team.

But Garnett did for Brooklyn what he had done in Boston for years - found a way to help his team win.

And as much as Deron Williams' big game (25 points, seven assists) and Brook Lopez (24 points) dominating the paint factored heavily in Brooklyn's 104-96 victory, the former Celtic did his part as well.

As far as the win being more meaningful against their former team, Garnett didn't show much emotion during the game other than going over to the Celtics bench during a time-out in the second quarter to give a hug to Rajon Rondo who is still out with a torn right ACL injury.

"Because (former Celtics coach and now Los Angeles Clippers coach) Doc Rivers is not there, it's probably a little less emotional," Garnett said. "You don't see (Celtics president of basketball operations) Danny Ainge sitting on the side; you don't see Paul Pierce over there, Ray Allen, Eddie House. I see Rajon Rondo over there, which makes it a little more emotional at times. Those are solid guys that I went to battle with."

And on Tuesday he went against his former friends who are now foes, and delivered one of his better performances this season.

He had 11 points, only his third double-digit scoring game this season, to go with nine rebounds.

Garnett also made a free throw with 1:41 to play in the game that eventually became the game-winning point.

But arguably Garnett's biggest contribution came moments later when he grabbed a Celtics miss in traffic and fell to the ground as Boston's Avery Bradley tried to grab the ball and either take it from Garnett or force a jump ball.

Garnett, as savvy a player to suit up in the NBA, managed to keep Bradley's mitts off the ball long enough for the Nets to get a time-out and retain possession.

Out of that time-out, Lopez was fouled and made a pair of free throws that put the Celtics even further behind.

The final stat sheet will remember the free throws by Lopez, but not the man - Garnett - who made them possible with his multiple-effort play.

Brad Stevens was well aware before, during and after Tuesday's loss how important Garnett can be to a team defensively.

And if he wasn't sure, Tuesday's loss was a reminder.

"They (Brooklyn) took us out of what we wanted to do," Stevens said. "Garnett, specifically, defensively did some really good things that just took us out of what we wanted to do."

Which is what Garnett has done for years - before in Boston, now in Brooklyn.