Tyler Hansbrough: Kevin Garnett ‘just hit me in my face’
|01.05.13 at 12:20 am ET|
On the Celtics PR staff’s quote sheets, the first sentence in Kevin Garnett‘s post-ejection press conference reads: “This game was not about foreplay.” There’s a chance he said “floor plan,” but foreplay seems more appropriate.
After being pushed around in four embarrassing blowout losses, the C’s finally fought back. Maybe a little too hard, as Garnett decked Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough across the face midway through the fourth quarter of a lopsided victory of their own, earning a flagrant-2 foul and an early trip to the massage table.
“He just hit me in my face,” said Hansbrough, who scored a game-high 19 points. “I went to the basket and took a blow to the head. I didn’t really see the replay. I’ve got nothing to say about it. It is what it is.”
“I was firm,” countered KG (18 points, 7 rebounds). “I didn’t mean to get him in the face like that. I was actually trying to swipe the ball, but it was a physical game, and they called it that way. It was part of the game.”
Generally, when Garnett mixes it up, and that sort of thing happens a lot, he offers no sympathy and the opponent says something like: “That’s just Kevin being Kevin.” This time, KG actually appeared to lend a helping hand to Hansbrough, a rarity to say the least, but the Duke lightning rod didn’t see it that way.
“I felt like that late-in-the-game hit was a little more than I’m used to,” said Hansbrough. “Did KG apologize? Are you from here? I didn’t see it. I took a hit in the head. I was making sure myself was OK.”
Elsewhere, Garnett’s backcourt mate Jared Sullinger fouled out. And Celtics coach Doc Rivers loved it.
“He was awesome,” said Rivers. “He was awesome. … Sully was phenomenal. I wish we could just see we could see him finish a game. Just once in the next couple. But he’s so physical, and he stays in the fray. He’s the guy who just likes to be in the trenches, and he’s down there working. And he never stops.”
The end result: The C’s committed a season-high 28 personal fouls and allowed a season-low 75 points.