BOSTON — It was another up-and-down night for Boston's Kevin Garnett in the Celtics' 116-103 win over the Toronto Raptors. The Big Ticket finished with 12 points on perfect 6-of-6 shooting, seven rebounds, and a sweet reverse layup.
But he struggled with fouls and saw his counterpart, Chris Bosh, score 20 points.
It has been a difficult start for Garnett, who is averaging a modest 13.6 points and 7.3 rebounds a game this year, both his lowest since his initial NBA campaign (10.4 points, 6.3 rebounds).
But he drew some support from a player that has seen plenty of Garnett both as a teammate and opponent, Toronto forward Rasho Nesterovic.
"Maybe he's lost a step," said Nesterovic. "But he can still get the job done. He is still one of the best players in the game."
Nesterovic spent five seasons playing in the same frontcourt as Garnett (1998-99 to 2002-2003) with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Like most, he was quick to note Garnett's trademark intensity.
"Sometimes it's a little much," Nesterovic said with a smile. "He's a little intense sometimes, but most of the time it's good and I always liked it. It's what definitely makes him one of those special players."
One Big sighting
Before the game, injured Celtics forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis was milling around the locker room and court with a cast on his right hand.
Davis, who became a playoff hero last season after averaging 15.8 points in the postseason, has not played yet this year after suffering fractured right thumb in a fight with a friend.
While expressing optimism, Celtics coach Doc Rivers declined to say Big Baby's return would be the solution to Boston's rebounding issues.
"The longer a guy's out, the better he gets," joked Rivers. "If I'm Baby, I think I sit out another month and maybe I'd make the All-Star team.