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Kevin Garnett powers Celtics past Raptors 02.06.13 at 9:34 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett. (AP)

Kevin Garnett had 27 points in the Celtics’ win. (AP)

Kevin Garnett led all five Celtics starters in double-figure scoring with a season-high 27 points and powered a key run at the start of the fourth quarter as the Celtics outlasted the Raptors, 99-93, Wednesday night at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. His turnaround jumper with 46.6 seconds left put Boston up 96-91.

Garnett’s three-point play with 8:46 remaining capped a 10-0 run at the start of the final period as the Celtics overcame a sloppy third quarter to win their fifth straight game and improve to 25-23 on the season. Garnett was 11-of-18 from the field and added 10 rebounds in the win.

Paul Pierce had 12 points and 11 rebounds while former Raptor Leandro Barbosa chipped in 14 points off the Boston bench. Courtney Lee (15), Avery Bradley (11) and Brandon Bass (10) also scored in double figures. After dominating the previous four games, the Celtics bench was not a major factor Wednesday but still outscored Toronto’s reserves, 24-20.

The Celtics finished the first half on an 11-6 run to take a 50-45 lead. The Celtics scored first in the third quarter to increase their lead to seven, but Rudy Gay then came alive. Gay, who was 8-of-22 from the field, scored 13 of his team-leading 25 in the third.

The Raptors appeared ready to steal the game with a 17-4 run late in the third quarter. The Raptors would outscore the Celtics 34-19 to take a 79-69 lead heading into the final 12 minutes. The Raptors had five of their 11 steals in the quarter as Toronto took command.

But Garnett led a Celtics charge that saw Boston outscore Toronto 30-16 in the final 12 minutes to wrap up a fifth straight win. Barbosa had 12 of his 14 in the final period to help Garnett and the Celtics put the game away.

The Celtics will have little time to rest as they fly back to Boston and take on Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on Thursday at 8 p.m. at TD Garden. The Lakers will not have the services of Pau Gasol, as the Lakers big man was diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia.

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, KG, Leandro Barbosa
Lakers will take on Celtics without Pau Gasol 02.06.13 at 9:04 pm ET
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Pau Gasol (16) suffered a serious foot injury Tuesday night against Brooklyn. (AP)

Pau Gasol (16) suffered a serious foot injury Tuesday night against Brooklyn. (AP)

Pau Gasol was in Boston Wednesday but not getting ready for a matchup with Kevin Garnett and the Celtics at TD Garden.

Following an MRI, the Lakers big man was diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot Wednesday in Boston, sidelining the 7-footer indefinitely, just as the Lakers (23-26) were showing signs of turning around a season that right now has them on the outside looking in on the playoffs.

Gasol felt a pop in his foot Tuesday night late in the Lakers’ 92-83 victory over the Brooklyn Nets and Wednesday’s exam in Boston confirmed his fears.

While his teammates get ready to take on the Celtics Thursday night at TD Garden, Gasol will fly to Los Angeles to be examined by team physician Steve Lombardo and foot specialist Kenneth Jung. The Lakers announced Wednesday they will give a timeline for Gasol’s return after his LA exam. The injury could knock Gasol out for the season if he undergoes surgery.

The Lakers are losing Gasol just as it appears they’re turning a corner. They come into Boston as winners of six of seven games, including three in a row on their season-long seven-game road trip. The Lakers have played the last three games without center Dwight Howard, who has a torn labrum in his right shoulder, and top backup big man Jordan Hill is out for the season with a bad hip.

Gasol has been dealing with tendinitis in both knees and fasciitis for two months. The four-time All-Star big man also missed five games in January with a concussion. Since then, Gasol largely has been coming off the bench. Gasol is averaging a career-low 13.4 points per game and 8.0 rebounds while playing in just 36 of his team’s 49 games.

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Pau Gasol
Paul Pierce schools Fab Melo ‘all day’ in 1-on-1 drill in the post 02.05.13 at 5:55 pm ET
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WALTHAM — If you needed any proof that Fab Melo still has a lot to learn (and prove) to make it in the NBA, and that D-League stats don’t carry over to the NBA, we submit for your review the following evidence.

Celtics captain Paul Pierce took the opportunity Tuesday before practice began to teach the rookie big man out of Syracuse a thing or two about playing on the low post.

With Jared Sullinger out with season-ending back surgery, Melo was called up from D-League and played just three minutes against the Magic with a steal on Friday but did not seen any action Sunday.

Tuesday we saw a small reason why. Pierce noticed Melo working by himself on low-post moves and came over to give him some real resistance.

Melo missed a shot, double-dribbled and then, while defending Pierce forced a fadeaway that was off-target. But Pierce objected, calling a foul. The next two drives to the basket were baby hooks that found the bottom of the basket. Pierce walked away triumphantly, shouting “all day” to Melo, Celtics coaches and anyone within earshot.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Fab Melo, Jared Sullinger, NBA
Doc Rivers is sick and tired of ‘silly’ trade rumors 02.05.13 at 5:24 pm ET
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WALTHAM — The always media savvy Doc Rivers knows as well as anyone that trade rumors are going to happen in this day and age in the NBA.

But what really gets his goat is when those rumors spring out of nowhere and he’s not even remotely familiar with them. With reports swirling that the Clippers may be interested in Kevin Garnett and with Garnett reportedly saying he’d only waive his “no-trade” clause if Paul Pierce were also dealt out of town, Rivers said Tuesday he’d finally heard and seen enough.

“Really, really I would like to say that sometimes, I like you guys [local media], sometimes some of the stuff that happens is just silly. It really is. When I wake up in the morning and I hear a trade rumor I haven’t heard in my office that’s silly. And that’s what happens.”

Does he address it with the team?

“I don’t even address it,” he said before Tuesday’s practice before the team left for Wednesday night’s game in Toronto. “I really don’t. I rarely do. I don’t 99.9 percent of the time because some of it is so silly.”

The “Inside Track” in the Boston Herald reported Monday that Rivers, Chauncey Billups, Garnett and Pierce had dinner recently as the Clippers were in town to play the Celtics.

“I heard one report, I honestly did, that me, Chauncey, Kevin and Paul had dinner,” Rivers said. “I was like, ‘Well, I wish I would’ve known about it. That would’ve been terrific because I would’ve made them pay and I could’ve had a free dinner.’ It’s just silly what goes on.

“I don’t honestly think it’s [local media]. I think someone can sit behind a computer and write something. The problem is that you guys have to report on it, which you shouldn’t do, but you do and it becomes an issue.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chauncey Billups, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett on trade rumors: ‘I bleed green, I die green … but it is a business’ 02.05.13 at 1:41 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Celtics superstar Kevin Garnett has heard all about the trade rumor that has the Los Angeles Clippers interested in offering Celtics GM Danny Ainge a package that includes Caron Butler if Garnett would only waive his “no-trade” clause.

Garnett has been a Celtics icon since coming to Boston in the summer of 2007, along with Ray Allen, and joining Paul Pierce to form the “Big 3.” Last summer, Garnett signed a three-year, $36 million deal that includes a very rare full no-trade clause, meaning he can veto a deal anywhere.

Before Tuesday’s practice, Garnett was asked if he would be interested in waiving his no-trade if Ainge came to him with a deal that made sense for everyone.

“Well, Danny made it very, very obvious since Day 1 when he brought Ray and myself here to be aligned with Paul that he was going to do whatever is best for this organization,” Garnett said. “He’s always made that apparent so I’ve always understood that. I bleed green, I die green. That’s what it is. But it is a business and when that crosses the path, I’ll deal with it. But trades are part of this league. Every year you’re going to hear certain things. If I were you all, I wouldn’t read too much into it.”

Garnett has a home in Malibu and the Clippers are considered contenders in the Western Conference, which has led to speculation that he might waive the no-trade clause.

“It’s part of the year,” Garnett said. “Right after the All-Star, you start to hear things,” Garnett said. “Some of it’s chatter, some of it’s real and you just have to be able to block certain things out, be able to play through certain things. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. It’s out of your control a lot of times. The things you do control, you control as well as you play. Obviously, if a situation comes up where you have to move, you deal with it.”

Can this team – as constructed – compete?

“My own personal views on this team, I won’t share them,” Garnett said. “Management usually makes those decisions on what they feel is best for the organization, and a lot of times the players are just parts, moving, and not decision-making. Danny talks to the key guys here about certain things, and that’s cool. He has always given us informative information and been upfront with us. I don’t anticipate that changing anytime soon.”

Would he be open to going somewhere else?

“If you define his best and what I feel is best, maybe that’s different. [Until then], this is what I am,” Garnett said tugging his green Celtics practice shirt.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Caron Butler, Kevin Garnett, Los Angeles Clippers
Three for all: Paul Pierce, Jeff Green lead C’s over Clippers 02.03.13 at 3:41 pm ET
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Blake Griffin ran into a stone wall D led early on by Jason Collins. (AP)

Paul Pierce scored 22 points while Jeff Green and Leandro Barbosa added 14 apiece off the bench as the Celtics outlasted the Clippers, 106-104, Sunday afternoon at TD Garden. Pierce’s three as the shot clock expired sealed the win with 2.5 seconds left in the game and helped the Celtics avoid the embarrassment of blowing a 19-point halftime lead. The Celtics finished 11-for-18 from 3-point range while Boston’s bench outscored LA’s reserves, 52-29, with 23 of those 29 coming from Jamal Crawford.

Jason Terry hit a big shot as the shot clock expired late in the fourth quarter as the Celtics won their fourth straight and moved back over .500 at 24-23 on the season. While the Celtics were playing without Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger, the Clippers were without star point guard Chris Paul, missing his seventh game in nine outings with a sore right knee.

Both teams came out on fire in the first quarter. The Celtics started off 8-of-13 from the field while the Clippers hit 6-of-9 to start the game. The Celtics overcame four Clippers dunks in the first quarter to take a 33-30 lead after 12 minutes.

The Celtics turned the defensive screws on the Clippers in the second quarter while staying red-hot themselves. The Celtics scored the first six points of the quarter while Los Angeles didn’t get on the board until Lamar Odom‘s turnaround over four minutes into the quarter. The Celtics forced 15 Clippers turnovers in the first half, including nine in the second quarter. The Celtics managed to turn those 15 turnovers into 24 points and race out to a 59-40 halftime lead.

The Celtics had remarkable balance in the first half, with 10 of their 11 players finding the scoring column. Only rookie Fab Melo, who didn’t see the floor, failed to score. Green and Terry led a potent attack off the bench with nine points apiece, combining to go 4-for-5 from the three-point range.

The Clippers responded to open the third, scoring the first eight points to cut the lead back to 11, 59-48. But after Blake Griffin picked up his fourth foul midway through the third, the Celtics, thanks to a pair of responded, building the lead back to 19, 74-55. The Celtics closed the third as they did in the second quarter, on a run. Green and Barbosa hit back-to-back threes and Barbosa hit a top-of-the-key jumper as time expired to give the Celtics a 92-77 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Celtics were 10-for-14 from long range through three quarters before going ice cold in the fourth. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, Jeff Green
Doc Rivers on possibly adding Greg Oden: ‘He’ll come with a long list of scenarios’ 02.03.13 at 1:11 pm ET
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Coach Doc Rivers, general manager Danny Ainge and the Celtics may very well be interested in adding Greg Oden to their roster but they’re doing a job of not going overboard in expressing their enthusiasm after meeting with him on Saturday while the rest of the team had the day off.

“I got the Clippers tonight,” Rivers said before Sunday’s game with the Clippers. “I said hi to him, reminisced about high school days when I watched some AAU, but other than that, I can tell you I thought far more about the guys we are playing tonight than next year.

“We really haven’t talked about [additions]. Honestly. We obviously can, because we need a body. But we really haven’t talked about it much at all. Nothing really. What I think Danny is doing is probably doing all the work right now and I’m sure this week maybe, or who knows in two weeks, he’ll come with a long list of scenarios.”

The Celtics are in the market for a big man after losing Jared Sullinger for the season to back surgery on Friday. Rivers said he has only heard from Sullinger via text since the surgery and expects him out of New England Baptist Hospital this weekend.

Other Sunday pregame notes: Eric Bledsoe started for Chris Paul (knee), who missed his seventh game in nine contests Sunday. “In some ways, they are harder to guard and some ways they are not. Obviously, Chris Paul is fantastic. But when he plays, at least you know where the ball is at a lot, because it’s in his hands and that helps you somewhat defensively. When he doesn’t play, the ball is going all over the place, and they are in some ways difficult to guard.”

As for Doc Rivers’ Super Bowl prediction: “Oh, San Fran; it’s not even really close. It won’t be close, it’ll be a blowout,” he said, before hinging his bet bigtime. “Three points. No I do think San Fran, but who knows? I think they are the better team, but clearly I don’t know enough about football. That’s why I’m here.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, Greg Oden
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