BOSTON – Boston Celtics Coach Doc Rivers could see that Kevin Garnett was looking and feeling spry.

Running the floor and looking strong on the glass, the 35-year-old Garnett matched his season-high with 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Celtics to their fourth straight win, a 98-80 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

“He was feeling good. It’s a still a kids’ game. He was having fun,” Rivers said of Garnett, a 14-time All-Star. “He was having a ball playing today and you don’t want to tell him you have to come in because the lights are on, so we let him play in the dark a little bit.”

Garnett was 9 of 12 from the field, including his third 3-pointer of the season on three tries. He hit one in Friday’s win over New York.

“He’s shooting it well,” Rivers said, before joking about Garnett’s recent 3-point success. “Gives us another option at the end of the game — don’t tell him that.”

Paul Pierce scored 21 points, moving nine behind Hall of Famer Larry Bird for second place on the club’s all-time list, and Ray Allen added 12. Rajon Rondo had 14 assists, and reserve Chris Wilcox chipped in with 12 points.

Boston took charge with a 21-7 run early in the fourth quarter that turned a six-point lead into a 90-70 advantage.

Relying on a combination of reserves and two of their usual stars — Garnett and Pierce — the Celtics controlled the glass and outran the Grizzlies for transition baskets.

“I thought we put together some really good runs and got the ball moving,” Pierce said.

Rudy Gay had 21 points and seven rebounds, and O.J. Mayo scored 15 points for Memphis, which has lost six of eight.

Allen hit three shots from beyond the arc and was fouled on one, hitting the free throw for a four-point play. Pierce and Garnett also hit 3s, with Garnett’s bringing a loud ovation from the crowd.

“I can shoot 3s,” Garnett said. “Everyone’s acting like I’m 50 and out here on one leg. I don’t shoot 3s because we have one of the all-time greatest 3-point shooters in the history of the league (Allen), we have Paul Pierce who has won 3-point contests, we have other guys who can shoot 3. That ain’t my role here. My role is to get those guys open and shoot it, dunk it, pass it, whatever to get us going. But, I can shoot 3s.”

HEAT 95, RAPTORS 89: LeBron James scored 30 points, Dwyane Wade had 25 and the Miami Heat survived a shaky fourth quarter to beat visiting Toronto.


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