Garnett gets better of Love

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Garnett gets better of Love

MINNEAPOLIS Kevin Garnett is pretty fired up all the time. So the idea of him being even more amped up than usual, is a little scary.

But consider this:

He was returning to where he spent more than a decade as the face of Minnesota Timberwolves basketball.

Garnett would be matched up against Kevin Love, who has been getting lots of attention and praise of late for putting up ridiculous numbers scoring and rebounding.

Sprinkle in the fact that Boston needs every win it can get to keep moving up the playoff seeding charts, and it adds up to a motivated - very motivated - Kevin Garnett.

And that motivation was more than enough for Boston to continue on its winning ways with a 100-79 victory over Minnesota, his former team.

Boston's defense was stifling for most of the night, with Garnett leading the charge.

Garnett also got it done offensively, scoring a game-high 24 points to go with 10 rebounds for his team-leading 17th double-double.

He was especially clutch in the fourth, scoring back-to-back baskets after Minnesota cut Boston's lead to 10 points.

"It was just a situation where I know Kevin (Love) doesn't play a lot of defense," Garnett said. "He does get a lot of rebounds and shoots a lot of threes. I felt like I had the advantage and I took it. It wasn't nothing more than that."

Even if he was more pumped up than usual, "he won't tell you that either way," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "You know that. But I think everyone's up when they come back. And I think the other guy is up when the last guy, comes in."

On Wednesday, Garnett faced a Utah Jazz team that featured former Celtic Al Jefferson, who was part of the trade that brought Garnett to Boston and sent Jefferson to Minnesota. The C's beat the Jazz by 12 points and Jefferson - like Love on Friday - had a less-than-stellar performance against a motivated Garnett.

"I think KG took it personal tonight," said Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver. "I'm sure he's been hearing a lot of stuff that Love is the best power forward in the league and everything else. One night doesn't change it, but he's a competitor and we knew he (Garnett) was going to come in here and bring it straight to Kevin (Love). He (Garnett) had a great game. He's a veteran; he knows what to do and how to win. He looked like his old self tonight."

Said Garnett: "If you know anything about me, I was more than ready and prepared tonight."

And with Garnett having won the head-to-head matchup with Love and the C's getting the win, this will likely slow down some of the comparisons that have been made between the two.

"My time has passed (as the face of Timberwolves basketball)," Garnett said. "It's Kevin Love's time, and I understand that."

That maybe so.

But it can't change the fact that as good as Love is now, Garnett is still widely viewed as the greatest player in franchise history.

"He (Garnett) was the face of the franchise, and I think always will be," Garnett's former coach in Minnesota, Flip Saunders, told CSNNE.com. "Any time you talk about Minnesota, KG and Minnesota pretty much go hand-in-hand."

Saturday, June 25: No stress for No. 16 pick Chychrun

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Saturday, June 25: No stress for No. 16 pick Chychrun

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while there’s a beautiful day going on outside in Buffalo.

*D-man Jakob Chychrun says that he wasn’t stressing dropping into the middle of the first round before the Arizona Coyotes picked him.

*It’s a great piece of video from Friday night’s first round as Tyson Jost’s grandpa became a sobbing, proud man when his grandson was taken early in the first round of the NHL Draft.

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin believing that Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning crossed the line by publicly expressing interest in P.K. Subban.  

*Evander Kane is being investigated on a couple of harassment claims in the Buffalo area, a tough development during NHL Draft weekend there.

*The Blue Jackets had the biggest surprise of the first round by drafting Pierre-Luc Dubois with the third overall pick in the first round. They must think he’s going to be a center long term.

*The Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild are talking trade for a D-man, but none of the defensemen names moved on Friday night.

*For something completely different: Adam Kaufman gives his take on the draft night for the Celtics.

 

 

Bruins' D-man target Kulikov goes from Panthers to Sabres in trade

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Bruins' D-man target Kulikov goes from Panthers to Sabres in trade

One of the Bruins' defenseman trade targets is off the market. 

Dmitry Kulikov was traded from Florida Panthers to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. He was on Boston's list of usual suspects for D-men.

Buffalo traded defenseman Mark Pysyk and the 38th and 89th pick to Florida for the 25-year old Kulikov and pick No. 33.

The Bruins had discussed a Kulikov deal with the Panthers last week. 

 

Bruins plan to discuss re-signing Chris Kelly

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Bruins plan to discuss re-signing Chris Kelly

BUFFALO – The Bruins might not quite be finished with the Chris Kelly era in Boston.

After the gritty, seasoned and defensive-minded forward played only 11 games last season due to a left femur fracture suffered in November, there was some question about his future with his contract up on July 1. The B’s have maintained a consistent interest in potentially bringing back the team leader if Kelly proved he was healthy enough to contribute and of course if the price was right for the 35-year-old.

Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that Kelly now has a full bill of health seven months after the injury and that Sweeney planned to speak with the fourth-liner’s agent in the near future.

“I’m actually going to speak with Chris Kelly’s representative,” said Sweeney. “We had great news that he was physically and medically cleared, so we’re going to have a discussion with them in short order.”

While Kelly’s days of scoring 20 goals or playing big minutes as a third-line center might be behind him, he’s still a respected leader and gritty, tough penalty killer that sets a great example for the young players in the B’s dressing room. If Kelly is willing to sign for short term and something in the neighborhood of $1 million, he could be an acceptable fit as a fourth liner/13th forward on a Bruins team gearing more toward speed and youth with each passing month.

If not, then Kelly is more than likely one of those veteran players who might have to win an NHL job in training camp, given that he’s coming off a pretty major leg injury, and that the league is skewing more toward entry level contract players as fourth line/extra forwards.