Welcome back: Celtics cruise in KG's return

Welcome back: Celtics cruise in KG's return
April 7, 2013, 8:30 pm
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BOSTON — Far from being a complete team, the Boston Celtics had a couple more bodies back in the fold for Sunday's game against the Washington Wizards with the return of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

And as folks have seen through the years, these two on the floor make the C's a tougher - much tougher - team to beat.

The surprisingly hot Washington Wizards found this out the hard way on Sunday as the C's pulled away in the second half for a 107-96 win.

Boston seemingly had the game wrapped up, but the Wizards rallied in the fourth to cut the C's lead to 10 after having fell behind by as many as 17 points.

At that point, Celtics coach Doc Rivers brought his starting five back on the floor with the C's ahead 98-88.

The C's got a 3-pointer from Pierce and mid-range jumper form Brandon Bass to lead, 103-88, with 1:58 to play.

But the Wizards refused to disappear without a fight.

A 3-pointer by Cartier Martin made it a 12-point game, but the Wizards could not get the big shot or defensive stop to put any real pressure on the Celtics.

Boston won their seventh straight over a Wizards team that came in having won four of their previous six games.

Garnett, out the past eight games with inflammation in his left foot, had 12 points and six rebounds while Pierce (sore right foot) returned from a one-game absence and had 15 points, five assists and four rebounds.

As much as Pierce and Garnett's production was beneficial, their presence was just as important.

When they are on the floor, teams have to pay close attention to their every move.

That creates opportunities for others to contribute.

Among those to benefit on Sunday was Bass, who continues to play a Swiss-knife brand of basketball by contributing in so many ways, both statistically and in terms of providing intangibles such as keeping loose balls alive and contesting shots around the basket.

He finished with a game-high 20 points and six rebounds for the Celtics.

After a relatively close first half, Boston went on a 19-3 run in the third quarter in the third to lead 77-60 following a 3-pointer by Pierce.

The C's spent the rest of the game with a double-digit lead that was never really threatened.

Boston also got a huge lift from its bench, specifically Shavlik Randolph and Chris Wilcox who had 8 and 13 points, respectively.

As for the Wizards, they were led by John Wall's 16 points and nine assists.