DALLAS — All-Star Weekend is viewed by many players as friendly competition. Yet for Kevin Garnett, it still was very much a game that he wanted to win. After the East defeated the West on Sunday night, Garnett’s teammates revealed the impact he made on the squad.



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The first significant NBA trade deadline domino to fall came over the weekend when the Mavericks acquired Caron Butler from the Wizards, completing a long-rumored exchange.



DALLAS – You could hear Paul Pierce coming from down the hallway. He strutted into the interview room clutching his newest piece of hardware and sporting a smile from ear-to-ear.

“I came to win!” he proclaimed with a laugh.



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At what point does a string of bad performances become a problem that can’t be fixed? At what point does the Celtics' run of uninspired second-half play inspire Danny Ainge to do something to change the mix?



Before we dive into the Ray Allen trade rumors, let’s start with a premise: The Celtics don’t want to trade him for two reasons.



A week ago after a nationally televised loss, the Celtics stood up after their latest fourth-quarter collapse against an elite team and accepted collective responsibility for their breakdown.



The Celtics should have known you can’t read into a record.

After all, this is the same team that just a few years ago, at one of the low points of the franchise’s existence, stunned the Spurs on the road to “improve” to 20-46.



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The way Tony Allen had it figured, he had been going over the pick and roll all night in an effort to force Dwyane Wade from doing what Wade does best: barrel his way to the basket.



Add Paul Pierce’s strained left foot to a laundry list of injuries faced by the Celtics this season.



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First, the good news for Celtics fans — the C’s snapped a three-game skid with a 99-88 win over the Wizards Monday night in Washington, D.C.

Now, the better news — Paul Pierce expects to be OK.



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