MIAMI Kevin Garnett was nowhere to be found following Boston's 115-107 win over Miami.
Not to worry.
Garnett has a thing for showing up right on time for the C's, which against the Heat, meant the fourth quarter.
The 6-foot-11 veteran was having a pretty good night leading up to the fourth, but took his game - and with it, the C's - to another level in leading them to victory.
Garnett had 24 points for the game on 11-for-14 shooting. He was especially impressive in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting.
"That's what he does," said C's center Greg Stiemsma. "That's K.G., all day. We will take those looks any time he can get them, and he can get them whenever he wants. It gets us fired up."
Garnett was a central part to a blistering shooting performance by Boston, an unexpected development considering the Heat have one of the NBA's top 10 scoring defenses and field goal percentage defenses.
"That is a tough loss," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team allowed the C's to shoot 60.6 percent from the field. "None of us were expecting that, to give up 115 points on our home floor. That's not our style."
But what the C's are showing of late, is how difficult they are to matchup with now that Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley are in the lineup.
Bass' ability to hit 15-20 foot jumpers meshes well with Kevin Garnett's pick-and-pop game. And Bradley's ability to cut to the basket and at various angles towards the rim, has caused fits for a number of teams - the Heat included.
But with so many players stepping up for the Celtics, Garnett's play stood out even in comparison to Rondo's 18-point, 15-assist night.
And you could tell that Garnett was into this one more than usual, with him waiving off Stiemsma to replace him on one occasion.
Rivers acknowledged it was tougher than usual to get Garnett off the floor like they normally do.
"His minutes were low, but he was going in that 12 minutes in a row stretch which we try to avoid with him, " Rivers said. "But we had to keep him out on the floor."
Even as Paul Pierce was delivering a slew of big shots through three-plus quarters, he too recognized Garnett had the hot hand and so that's what the C's rode down the stretch.
"We kept giving him the ball and he just kept coming through," said Pierce who had a team-high 27 points. "He's on a wonderful stretch. The last 20 games, he's been playing just unbelievable."