January 5, 2013

Celtics rout Pacers to end losing streak

Kevin Garnett plays strong game until a fourth-quarter ejection for striking Tyler Hansbrough.

The Associated Press

BOSTON - Kevin Garnett went over the fans sitting courtside to save the ball, and then he ran through the seats halfway up the court before he found an opening -- over the broadcast table -- to get back on the floor.

Jason Collins, Roy Hibbert, D.J. Augustin
click image to enlarge

Celtics center Jason Collins and Indiana guard D.J. Augustin vie for a loose ball during first-quarter action of Friday’s game in Boston. Roy Hibbert is at left.

The Associated Press

SATURDAY'S GAME

WHO: Celtics at Atlanta Hawks

WHEN: 7 p.m.

TELEVISION: CSN

By the end of the game, he couldn't get back on the floor at all.

Garnett scored 18 points before he was ejected for a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter, but by then the Boston Celtics were on their way to a 94-75 victory over the Indiana Pacers that snapped a four-game losing streak.

"You could tell we needed this win, and that's how we came out tonight," Garnett said after Boston held the Central Division-leading Pacers to a season-low 31.8 percent shooting. "We needed a win. Tonight was the night to stop the bleeding. I felt like we did that."

Rajon Rondo added 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Boston, which had lost eight of 10. Garnett also had seven rebounds and made a nice play to keep a ball from going out of bounds in the second quarter.

After going over the thickly padded courtside seats, Garnett couldn't find a gap in them to get back on the court. He ran through the fans until he got to midcourt, then jumped onto and over the broadcast table to return to the game.

Things weren't so comical by the fourth quarter, though. After three Pacers technical fouls, Garnett picked up a Flagrant 2 for hitting Tyler Hansbrough in the face while flailing with his arms.

The Celtics center said he was merely trying to knock the ball away. Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said he thought referee James Capers was trying to keep the game -- which was long out of reach -- under control.

"I think he was thinking, 'I'm going to do him a favor,' because it was getting chippy," Rivers said.

Asked if Garnett apologized, Hansbrough said: "KG apologize? Are you from here?"

Hansbrough, who scored 19 points, said his immediate concern was his history of concussions; he didn't notice whether Garnett had reached out.

"I took a shot I'm the head," he said. "I had to take care of myself. I wasn't really concerned about retaliating at the time. I was just making sure I was OK."

 

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