The Kings tested the Celtics with some questionable physical play. Rajon Rondo was knocked hard to the floor on more than one occasion. After a disgruntled Rondo asked Kings forward-center Mikki Moore why he fouled him on one play, Moore explained that he had six fouls and he was going to use them. But what stood out was when Garnett lay on the floor after being poked in left eye and fouled hard by several Kings with 8:29 remaining.
"You've got to expect that," said Pierce of the physical play. "We've got a target on our back. We're on the road. We can't expect to get any calls. Teams are going to play physical and push us around. I thought we kept our composure late in the game and we were able to come away with the win."
Said Kings coach Reggie Theus: "Sometimes when you're not playing well you've got to be more physical. They're a great basketball team and they played extremely well."
But the Celtics appeared to draw their most energy when Garnett was poked in the eye while battling Artest and Miller for a rebound.
"I got poked in the eye twice and elbowed in the head," said Garnett, who went to the bench for a timeout in a dizzied state but finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. "Sure it was edgy. Some of their guys might have been playing a little out of character. Maybe they were asked to, I don’t know. But I’m sure from now until the end of the year we’re going to see all kinds of different things."
The Dime gives a somewhat humorous account of the action:
It was a physical game, and of course Ron Artest and KG were prominently involved in the physicality. Going to the benches during a timeout, someone on Boston said or did something to set Artest off — he started walking over to the Boston bench until Dahntay Jones jumped off the Kings’ bench to sprint down the court to corral him. Coming out of the timeout, KG (14 pts, 10 rebs, 2 stls) was jawing with multiple guys on Sacramento … When the game was basically over, Francisco Garcia was going to the bench yapping at Garnett, and KG just waved good-bye at him.
The Celtics are a target again. Teams desperate for solutions will try anything they can to knock this team down. On this night, it didn't work. The Celtics held off the Queens and just waved good-bye to them. In the future, the C's will have to continue to maintain their focus and stick to playing superior basketball to keep winning games. Another good learning opportunity for this team that is growing stronger every day.