BOSTON With so much energy that he always seems to be on the verge of exploding, it should come as no surprise that Kevin Garnett has to be told to slow down from time to time.
Doc Rivers found himself in desperate need of that energy from Garnett, who responded to Rivers' plea in helping Boston knock off Orlando 116-110 in overtime on Sunday.
Garnett had a game-high 24 points in the win, half of which came in the fourth quarter following a third-quarter collapse by the Celtics that saw their 12-point lead totally wiped out.
"I was on him about slowing down, because there's no one his size," said Rivers, who added that the Magic did a nice job of keeping a body on Garnett, which led him to shoot more quickly than usual.
But when the game was anyone's for the taking, Garnett made sure it was his. All his.
He had 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, providing the kind of steady production down the stretch that was absolutely critical to the Celtics to win and will remain a vital component for future success.
"When he slowed down," Rivers said, "the game changed for us."
Garnett said he had no idea that the Celtics would make him such a priority on offense down the stretch.
"Usually times like (that), Paul (Pierce), Rajon (Rondo), each one gets in another gear," Garnett said. "You could see . . . we had a little lackadaisical presence. Everyone reaches within themselves to try pick it up."
That includes himself, even if not a given that the team will make getting him the ball a priority.
"Some nights they come to me, some nights they don't," Garnett said with a grin. " You have to be ready. (Sunday) I was trying to be as aggressive as I could."