By A.Sherrod Blakely
OAKLAND, Calif. Kevin Garnett had a big night scoring in Boston's 115-93 win over the Golden State Warriors Tuesday night.
Memo to the rest of the NBA: Get used to it.
"Second half of this run towards the playoffs, I'm going to have to be aggressive," said Garnett, who had his 18th double-double of the season with game-high 24 points and 12 rebounds. "I'm a team player first . . . but I will be aggressive on this whole trip or this whole second half of the season to try and divert some of the responsibility off Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, and even Rajon Rondo. I have to be."
That ear-to-ear grin on coach Doc Rivers' face?
Yeah, he was happy with the win, which was Boston's first road victory over Golden State since 2003.
Even more pleasing was the fact that it came in part because of Garnett asserting himself offensively, something he has been reluctant to do at times.
"We told him before the game - early, often, and we are going to you every single time we can," Rivers said. "It's funny, our guys they were yelling at him, they kept telling him to shoot. You know Kevin; if he takes two in a row he will pass the next three times so they just kept saying keep going. And it was great to see him do that."
Garnett said his mindset towards being more of a scorer came about following the Celtics' 94-89 loss at Charlotte on Feb. 7.
In that game, Garnett had 9 points on 4-for-11 shooting, to go with 14 rebounds.
"I just thought I wasn't aggressive," he said. "I thought my play was beep, to be honest. I wasn't happy with my play, and ever since then I just marked it as, 'Let's pick it up. let's pick it up.' And I have."
In the four games since the Charlotte loss, Garnett has averaged 16.8 points, 10 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.
When Garnett looks to score, it makes the Celtics a much more dangerous squad.
He has the ability to consistently knock down the 15-20 foot jumper. He can also scoring while taking defenders down into the paint.
On Tuesday, the Warriors (26-30) got a good dose of both styles of scoring from Garnett.
While the C's weren't necessarily making a conscious effort to get Garnett more touches offensively, Rajon Rondo did recognize a slightly different Kevin Garnett offensively.
"Tonight he was extra aggressive," Rondo said.
Even as he looks to score more, Garnett will still look to make an impact in other areas as well.
"I just try to be the glue on this team," Garnett said. "When you're playing with the talent we have on this team, I just try not to be one-dimensional. I try to be . . . everywhere. I try to fill every category in the book that's positive."
And yes, that includes being more of a scorer.
"My offense has to be . . . probably above average, and it will be," Garnett said.