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Dec 20, 2012 7:43pm
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BOSTON - The abdominal strain that sidelined Kevin Garnett for nine games at
mid-season was probably the best chance for the rest of the NBA to catch the
Celtics. Wade Smith Jersey . Now Garnetts back, and
playing as well as he did before his injury. “Hes all the way back,” Boston
forward Paul Pierce said Sunday night after Garnett had his best game since
returning, scoring 20 points and grabbing 16 rebounds to lead the Celtics to a
98-88 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. “Did yall watch the game tonight? “When
hes going to the basket, inside and outside, dominating the rebounds: Thats the
Kevin Garnett I like to see.” Garnett never looked up. “I had a decent night,”
he said, deadpan. Pierce scored 30 points, 17 in the pivotal third quarter when
Boston scored 13 straight points to take the lead for good. Ray Allen scored 17,
and Kendrick Perkins had 11 points, a season-high 12 rebounds and a career-high
six assists to help the Celtics win their fifth consecutive game. “In the third
quarter, the difference was Paul Pierce. He just took over,” Perkins said. “Im
used to that now, but when I first got here, I was like, Man! Now, its just what
Paul does.” Point guard Rajon Rondo had six points and eight assists one day
before the Celtics are expected to bring in backup Sam Cassell, who was waived
last week by the Los Angeles Clippers. The Celtics play the Detroit Pistons on
Wednesday in a matchup of the top two teams in the East. “People are expecting
that to be the Eastern Conference finals matchup,” Garnett said. “It should be a
fun game.” And more fun for Garnett now thats hes healthy. The Celtics big man
strained a stomach muscle on Jan. 25 and returned on Feb. 19, eight games ago.
His 20 points, 16 rebounds and 35 minutes were all his most since hes been back.
“Im human, too, and I do have rust,” he said. “Im coming along, slowly but
surely.” Josh Smith scored 20 points and added nine rebounds, and Al Horford had
14 and 11 for the Hawks, who missed a chance to move into a tie for the eighth
and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Mike Bibby, acquired at last
weeks trading deadline for a playoff push, had 14 points and nine assists.
“Theyre probably going to be a team that we see in the first round, a team that
can play in the eight (seed) or the seventh spot,” Pierce said. “Hes definitely
an added dimension for that team, a veteran who can give them a boost,
especially in these last 20-25 games.” The Hawks led 46-41 after Bibbys
alley-oop to Horford for the first basket of the second half. But Boston scored
the next 13 points including nine in a row from Pierce _ before Smith hit a
free throw with 8:42 left in the quarter. Pierce added a jumper that gave him 11
consecutive Boston points and gave the Celtics a 58-47 lead. “In the third
quarter, we started to turn it over, Paul got a hot hand and our defence went
the other way,” Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. “This is a good ball club they
have here in Boston.” Atlanta came within three points several times, the last
at 73-70, before Eddie House hit a three-pointer with 9:05 to play. Notes: P.J.
Brown did not dress again for the Celtics. He has not played since being signed
off the street on Wednesday. .. Cassell was bought out by the Clippers on Friday
and is expected to clear waivers at 6 p.m. Monday. Arian Foster Red Jersey . He stopped, then
puckered up again for another take that will eventually introduce the “Kiss Cam”
at the Barclays Center. It was a fitting visual for a day the Nets formally
kicked off what they hope will be a love affair with the New York City borough
that hasnt had major professional sports since the Dodgers left town in 1957. Andre Johnson Pink Jersey . Toronto scored
three power-play goals, two from captain Ryan Hamilton, in a 3-1 win over the
Rochester Americans on Saturday evening. Last season, the Marlies were ranked
near the bottom of the AHL on power play. http://www.shophoustontexansgears.com/ . The
Timberwolves found the versatile, tough-defending small forward theyve been
seeking to fill out their roster, and this one they didnt have to try to pry
away from a division rival. J.J. Watt Nike Jersey . The veteran
utilityman drove in the tying run and scored the go-ahead run to back Cuetos
gritty pitching as the Reds wrapped up one of the best homestands in franchise
history with a 2-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday. Arian Foster Jersey . Now hes joining forces
with the defending AL champion Detroit Tigers—a team thats come close to
winning baseballs ultimate prize each of the last two years.MONTREAL—Veteran
forward Travis Moen has elected to remain a Montreal Canadien for another four
seasons. The 30-year-old potential free agent agreed to a US$7.4 million,
four-year contract with the club on Friday. Moen will earn $1.85 million per
season after getting $1.5 million in each of the last three campaigns in
Montreal. “Travis brings tremendous leadership to our club and is very
appreciated by his teammates,” general manager Marc Bergevin said in a
statement, adding he was glad to sign him before the free agent market opens on
Sunday. “He has a lot of experience and brings a physical presence to our group
of forwards.” Moen said the Canadiens offer doused any idea of testing free
agency. “Youre always tempted because you only get a few opportunities to test
the market,” Moen said from his home in Swift Current, Sask. “Our family loves
Montreal and our first choice was to stay. “When theyre stepping up with four
years; it was something we wanted but we werent sure wed get. When you get a
great deal in a place you like, you take it.” Moen said he is symptom-free from
a concussion suffered in February against the New York Islanders. “I was cleared
to play the last two games, but me and the team felt it wasnt necessary with the
team out of the playoffs,” he said. The Canadiens also added former NHL
defenceman Jean-Jacques Daigneault to their coaching staff as an assistant to
new bench boss Michel Therrien, and signed checking centre Petteri Nokelainen
and defence prospect Brandon Nash. The six-foot-two, 214-pound Moen was on pace
for a career season in goal-scoring with nine in 48 games before the injury. The
Stewart Valley, Sask., native averaged 15:42 of ice time, mostly playying a
physical, checking game on the third or fourth lines. Brian Cushing Authentic Jersey. Moen, who won
a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007, had has 52 goals and 107 points in 570
games. He first signed as a free agent with Montreal in 2009. The Canadiens have
reportedly made no offers to their other potential unrestricted free agents—
Brad Staubitz, Chris Campoli and Michael Blunden. Mathieu Darche got a two-way
offer and turned it down. The 46-year-old Daigneault played six of his 16 NHL
seasons in Montreal, winning a Stanley Cup in 1993. Therriens staff is now
likely complete with Daigneault, Gerard Gallant and Clement Jodoin as
assistants, along with returning goaltender coach Pierre Groulx and video coach
Mario Leblanc. “Our group of defencemen will largely benefit from his experience
and his solid reputation as a coach,” Therrien said of Daigneault in a
statement. Daigneault spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach with the
Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL. He got into coaching in 2005-06 with the Phoenix
Roadrunners of the ECHL. Dai
gneault grew up in southwestern Montreal, pla ying on
minor hockey teams with Bergevin and Pittsburgh Penguins owner and former star
player Mario Lemieux. Nokelainen and Nash signed one-year contracts. Nokelainen,
26, a five-year NHL veteran, had three goals and four assists in 56 games last
season. His contract pays $575,000. He was acquired in a trade from Phoenix last
October. Nokelainen has 20 goals and 21 assists in 245 career NHL games. The
25-year-old Nash missed all of last season after suffering a shoulder injury in
training camp. The six-foot-three 214-pound blue-liner played two games for the
Canadiens in 2010-11, while spending most of the season with AHL Hamilton. ’ ’ ’  

Dec 24, 2012 1:32am
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