Celtics fans didn’t get to see Kevin Garnett, but they did watch their team spank the Timberwolves, 113-99.
Kelly Olynyk led six Celtics in double figures with 19 points, helping the Celtics snap a three-game losing streak and improve to 15-13. Jae Crowder (18 points, 10 rebounds), Tyler Zeller (14 points, 8 rebounds), David Lee (13 points, 8 rebounds) and Avery Bradley (13 points) also reached double-digits.
Isaiah Thomas and Evan Turner combined for 22 assists, as the Celtics assisted on 34 of their 46 field goals.
Rookie Karl Towns led the Timberwolves (11-17) with 25 points and 16 rebounds.
For the complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.
STUD OF THE NIGHT: Kelly Olynyk.
Making his first start of the season in place of the injured Jared Sullinger (back), Olynyk was an offensive force, making seven of his first 10 shots, including all three of his 3-point attempts through three quarters, effectively stretching a Minnesota defense that had two legitimate bigs — Gorgui Dieng and Karl Towns — to clog the lane.
DUD OF THE NIGHT: Avery Bradley.
Bradley had his fourth straight subpar shooting night, finishing 5-of-14 from the floor for 13 points. After shooting 6-of-23 from distance over the past four games — including 2-of-6 on Monday night — his 3-point percentage has finally dipped below 40 percent for the season. Bradley said prior to the game opposing defenses are honing in on his newfound offensive game, and he’ll have to readjust in order to keep up the pace he had to start the season.
VINE OF HTE NIGHT:
WHINE OF THE NIGHT: No KG.
Really, how do the Timberwolves not start Garnett against the Celtics? Now, I realize their argument was he’s not playing on the second night of a back-to-back, but c’mon. He’s only averaging 15.5 minutes a game this season. What would be the harm in starting him, letting the Garden crowd cheer him as the lineups are announced and at the opening tip, and then sitting him the rest of the night two minutes into the game? After all, Garnett was active and dressed for the game, so it’s not like the Wolves freed up a roster spot by keeping him on the bench. Such a hardo move by Minnesota coach Sam Mitchell. If this is Garnett’s final trip to Boston in uniform, shame on Mitchell.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: 10.9 points per 100 possessions.
Prior to the game, David Lee was asked about his suspect advanced analytic numbers — specifically the fact the C’s are 10.9 points per 100 possessions better with him on the bench — and Lee responded: “My analytic numbers weren’t good when I was averaging 22 and 12.” Except, his on/off numbers were never quite this bad when he was averaging 20 and 12. (He never averaged 22 and 12.) And saying his advanced numbers weren’t great even when he was an All-Star isn’t necessarily an argument against analytics, but rather a commentary on his porous defense. Then again, Lee collected 13 points and eight rebounds, finishing a plus-seven in one of his better performances for the Celtics this season.
@ OF THE NIGHT: