Irish Coffee: Kevin Garnett’s ‘goddamn bar fight’
|01.27.12 at 12:23 pm ET|
Three nights after holding the Magic to a record low 16 field goals in an 87-56 victory at the Garden, the Celtics dealt Dwight Howard & Co. another embarrassing blow in Orlando — storming back from 27 points to steal a 91-83 win in one of the 10 greatest comebacks in NBA history. And one of the great postgame interviews in history.
“It was a goddamn bar fight,” Celtics forward Kevin Garnett told TNT’s Craig Sager after the game. “A goddamn bar fight, man. It was a bar fight, Craig. Tonight was a bar fight, man. We knew they were going to come in with a lot of energy. Tonight was a bar fight. You ever been in a bar fight? Ask Charles [Barkley], he’s been in a bar fight. This is what it was tonight. We won in the second half. We came out with a lot of energy.”
At some point, KG remembered Sager was conducting an interview, so he allowed him to ask a couple questions.
We heard Doc Rivers say late in that third quarter, “This is not over yet.” Did you believe him?
“Since I’ve been here in Boston, Doc has never told me nothing that wasn’t true. We were in the Finals one time, we were down whatever it was, and he told us we could come back. And I believed him. And we did. So, tonight was no different.”
Does this victory mean even more than holding the Magic to 56 points on Monday?
“When you’re down and you fight back, you’ve got reason to be proud of yourself. That’s what this was. This was a Celtics win right here, man.”
Of course, Garnett proved a big part of that win, notching his second straight double-double and fifth of the season. More importantly, he helped hold All-NBA center Dwight Howard to fewer than 20 points.
DWIGHT HOWARD: ‘I’D ALWAYS LISTEN TO A TEAM LIKE’ THE CELTICS
As we wrote on Tuesday, Howard respects the hell out of the Celtics. He repeated that reverence days later.
“They have the championship mentality,” Howard told the Boston Herald. “It means a lot. Like I said, I like the team. They play hard and they go after it, and that’s what I like.”
Should Howard reach free agency this summer, there’s no doubt Celtics president Danny Ainge will call to offer a max contract of four years and $80.5 million. As Steve Bulpett asked, will Howard pick up the phone?
“Always,” Howard said in the interview. “Always. I’d always listen to a team like that.”
CELTICS INJURY REPORT: BEST GUESSES
It’s been a nonstop parade of the walking wounded in the Celtics locker room, as six players have been in and out of the lineup of late. If I had to guess, here’s who I’d think would be in the lineup Friday night against the Pacers.
- Mickael Pietrus: He returned from a shoulder injury Thursday to net 12 points in 32 minutes.
- Ray Allen: While he’s still recovering from an ankle injury, my guess is he sat out Thursday in part because of the birth of his fourth son, Wystan Ryan Allen. You can only keep him away from the court so long.
- Chris Wilcox: Still not completely recovered from a left calf injury, he played 19 solid minutes in Orlando.
- Jermaine O’Neal: I assume he’ll rest his knees once in a while, and Thursday was one of those days.
- Rajon Rondo: Considering he can’t shoot or dribble consistently, he expects to miss a few more days as a result of his sprained right wrist, according to the Boston Herald.
- Keyon Dooling: After sitting out seven straight games with a knee issue, he returned against the Magic but suffered a right hip injury and left after nine minutes. I don’t see any reason to rush him back.
QUICK RELEASE: CELTICS LINKS
The Indianapolis Star profiled Pacers president Larry Bird prior to another game against the franchise he led to three NBA championships in the 1980s. Here’s his quick take on his team.
“There were a lot of times in the past that I didn’t want to go into the locker room. These are real guys we have now. David West has brought so much into that locker room. They care, and that’s what you want to see on a team.
“They care about winning. They care about doing community work. I don’t hang around with them, but I like to go to practice. I like to talk to the guys.”
In case you missed Thursday’s interview with Danny Ainge on WEEI, here’s the full audio. …
The Celtics rank fifth on Forbes.com’s list of the most valuable NBA franchises behind the Lakers, Knicks, Bulls and Mavericks. Wyc Grousbeck & Co. are worth $482 million, an increase of 7 percent since the previous season.
(Have a question, concern or conception for tomorrow’s Irish Coffee? Send a message to @brohrbach on Twitter.)