Garnett puts in solid performance in return

Garnett puts in solid performance in return
April 7, 2013, 11:00 pm
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BOSTON – Expecting Kevin Garnett to be dominant after missing the last eight games with a foot injury would have been unrealistic.

But even with a long lay-off, Garnett is still pretty good.

And a pretty good Garnett was more than enough for the Celtics to defeat the Washington Wizards, 107-96.

Garnett played just 24 minutes, but still managed to score 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting along with grabbing six rebounds.

"I felt okay," Garnett said afterwards. "I felt strong enough to play."

One of the big concerns with Garnett having had so many days off was that he would be rusty, either shooting the ball or with his defense.

But for the most part, Garnett looked a lot like, well, Garnett despite having not played since March 22.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers, pleased with the way Garnett was playing overall, said he was pleasantly surprised at how well Garnett was able to get up and down the court.

"I was surprised at how well he was running; I noticed that (Saturday) in practice. We did all fast-break stuff and I was just doing it for him, just so he could blow his lungs out, and I was surprised how well he was running. So that was good."

And his return to the team?

Even better.

Avery Bradley was among those ecstatic to have Garnett back on the floor.

"Kevin's presence on the floor ... I love playing with Kevin," Bradley said. "He just, his intensity ... he just makes everything easier, for everybody. He talks the whole game. Like I said, I love playing with him."

And Garnett loves to play the game, especially when he's capable of playing it at a high level which is why his return to the floor took so long.

"I did the things I typically do," Garnett said. "That was it. I told Ed (Lacerte, the C's head trainer) that if I felt like I couldn't go that I wouldn't push myself but Doc (Rivers) has a lot of trust in what I'm doing. We were on the same page so, so far so good."