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Garnett Key Down the Stretch Against Orlando

The Celtics might have lost to the Orlando Magic on Christmas, 86-78, and there might have been a few cringe-worthy performances (Nate Robinson, Jermaine O'Neal), but things weren't all bad, as Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald notes:

The lingering image here of Saturday afternoon was Kevin Garnett calling for the ball and willingly going into physical battle inside with Dwight Howard and Dwight Howard's biceps. The more recent model KG has shied away from such confrontations, but he was different when he showed up this season. Christmas Day was just the latest giant step, and, for the Celtics, it was a gift that could give them so much more.

While the team's offense, overall, sputtered down the stretch, Kevin Garnett did his best to put the rest of his mates on his back (figuratively, not literally. Robinson resisted the urge to literally jump on his back) and drive them into victory lane. Perhaps most impressive was the fact that four of his final seven fourth quarter points were initiated in the post, before he extended his game to his customary 19-20 feet and buried a jump shot with 3:20 to play. He would later make one of two free throws - the final point for Boston on the afternoon. 

Was he able to accomplish his game-saving task? Technically not. However, I don't think anyone will complain with Garnett carrying the load offensively in the waning minutes, as it quite possibly serves as more evidence of his rejuvenated health, while also showing that he still has the ability to take control when he needs to. I say needs to, because, on that day, the Celtics' primary closer candidates - Paul Pierce and Ray Allen - were in the midst of laying goose eggs in terms of fourth quarter points.  

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