KG finds his three-point range

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KG finds his three-point range

BOSTON Kevin Garnett is known for having an all-around game that causes problems for opponents at both ends of the floor.

For most of his career in Minnesota, that all-around game included the 3-point shot.

However, it seemed to have not made its way out East when KG became a Celtic; that is, until recently.

Among the positives Boston takes from its 98-80 win over Memphis, is that it was also the third straight game in which Garnett hit a 3-pointer. That hasn't happened to KG since December of 2002, which is why his recent run of making 3-pointers (he missed 25 of his previous 29 3s with the Celtics) has caught many off-guard.

A career 28.5 percent 3-point shooter, Rivers has been encouraging Garnett to look to shoot more often.

Needless to say, Rivers has been pleased with Garnett's production lately.

"He's shooting it well," Rivers said. "It's nice. Gives us another option at the end of the game. Don't tell him I said that."

Teammates have talked about Garnett essentially taking a shot now that he's always had the ability to make.

"There's pretty much nothing he can't do," said JaJuan Johnson, who had 10 points and has been an eager listener to the teachings of Kevin Garnett. "He's a real talented player, obviously. I've enjoyed watching him, growing up. I've tried to mimic some of the things that he does; just bringing the energy, intensity that he brings to the game. He can do it all, really."

That includes deflecting too much attention being paid to his 3-point shooting.

"I can shoot 3s. Y'all acting like I'm 50 and out here on one leg, and I can't," said Garnett, who was sort-of, kind-of joking about all the 3-point shooting talk. "Some nights are better than others. I'm human, I mess up. I make mistakes. But I can shoot 3s. I don't shoot 3s, because we have one of the all time greatest 3-point shooters in history(Ray Allen). We have Paul Pierce who has won 3-point shooting contest. We have other guys that can shoot 3s. That ain't my role here. My role is to get those guys open, and if you throw it to me, shoot it, dunk it, pass it, cool. I can shoot 3s. When I'm walking down the street, y'all stop acting like y'all shocked I can shoot 3s. Everybody in Boston, wherever I'm at I can shoot 3s, OK?"

Garnett, continuing his playful banter with the media added, "I can shoot 3s. Y'all acting all shocked like y'all ain't seen a black guy hit a 3 before. Hell going on with y'all? I can shoot 3s. Doc (Rivers) was yelling at me today, 'shoot, shoot, shoot!' Finally I just shot the 3. huh? that's what you want?' Man, I can shoot 3s."

But Garnett knows if it becomes something that's talked about too often that'll lead to potential expectations that every time he has the ball, fans will want to see him shoot 3-pointers.

"I don't want that," Garnett said. "Like how they used to do Scal, "shoot!!" Nah, don't do that to me. Do not do that to me, OK? I'm not on the Celtics to be out here shooting 3s. I am here to do other things; not shoot 3s. But Garnett is quick to add, "I can shoot 3s."

Rodriguez continues strong stretch as Red Sox blank Seattle, 3-0

Rodriguez continues strong stretch as Red Sox blank Seattle, 3-0

BOSTON -- The Red Sox scored runs in bunches in tallying four consecutive victories. They leaned on pitching and defense to earn their latest.

Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners for their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third win in a row for Rodriguez (4-1), who gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

"I just go out there and pitch," Rodriguez said. "I'm never really thinking about numbers. I just go out there and throw my pitches and do the best I can do."

That effort is producing one of the best stretches of his three-year career.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span. He hasn't allowed a run in 10 innings and only 11 runs in his last 49 1/3 innings. His ERA is just 2.01 over that same period.

"He was amazing," Jackie Bradley Jr. said. "Put zeroes on the board all night long. And he made the big pitch when he needed to."

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Manager John Farrell said his 24-year-old pitcher is in a "very good place" right now.

"He was powerful tonight," he said. "It's just a matter of his abilities coming together. This has always been an extremely talented young guy. We've talked about his maturity, we've talked about his progression. It's been on display here for a good number of starts consecutively."

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs.

"The whole night obviously wasn't consistent," he said.

Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help defensively. Bradley had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBIs in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.

MISSING: OFFENSE

Mariners manager Scott Servais said they are doing everything they can to find production from an offense that has gone missing.

"Offensively, we struggled to put innings together. That's kind of been the story here for the last week or so, we just haven't gotten the line moving at all, for whatever reason," he said. "Guys are frustrated by it, we all are. We know we're better than that, offensively. It's not happening right now."

Seattle was held scoreless for the fourth time this season.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his first major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.