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Associated Press, Published December 05 2012

Garnett, Celtics defeat Timberwolves

BOSTON – Kevin Garnett sure looked as though he wanted to remind the Minnesota Timberwolves what they’ve been missing these last five years.

Garnett scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and remained unbeaten against his former team as the Boston Celtics beat the Timberwolves 104-94 on Wednesday night in Rajon Rondo’s return from a two-game suspension.

The Celtics improved to 10-0 against Minnesota since they acquired Garnett from the Timberwolves in 2007. They also won for the 11th straight time against Minnesota.

Asked if Garnett still liked to play against his old team, Boston coach Doc Rivers didn’t hesitate.

“What do you think?” he said.

When the reporter answered “yes,” Rivers smiled and replied: “That’s a good answer.”

Celtics teammate Paul Pierce, who scored 18 points, downplayed all that, saying Garnett just likes to face good young players such as Timberwolves forward Kevin Love.

“I think he just accepts the challenges of playing against some of the top players in the game,” Pierce said.

Minnesota is the only other team Garnett has played for in his 17-year career. Garnett looked motivated from start to finish, even coming out and swiping the ball out of Love’s hands early in the final quarter.

“We established the post, I thought, early on. I thought defensively we played with a lot of energy,” Garnett said. “We made them go to their second and third options, which is something they don’t like to do.”

Love could see Garnett’s energy sparked Boston’s other players.

“He’s intense,” Love said. “He’s K.G. He’s a guy that defensively, he’ll clamp down on you. He didn’t leave me out there more than once tonight, really clamped in.”

Love led the Timberwolves with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Nikola Pekovic had 14 with nine boards.

Minnesota went just 6-for-19 from 3-point range one night after hitting a season-high 13 3s in a win over Philadelphia.

Minnesota 30 21 21 22 – 94

Boston 27 20 32 25 – 104

MINNESOTA (94): Howard 5-14 1-2 12, Love 6-15 6-12 19, Pekovic 6-13 2-2 14, Ridnour 5-8 0-0 11, M.Lee 2-5 1-2 6, Shved 4-11 1-4 11, Cunningham 3-5 1-2 7, Stiemsma 1-3 0-0 2, Barea 4-8 2-4 10, Williams 1-2 0-0 2, Amundson 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 37-84 14-30 94.

BOSTON (104): Pierce 6-15 5-6 18, Bass 6-9 0-0 12, Garnett 8-13 2-4 18, Rondo 6-11 5-6 17, Terry 7-10 0-0 17, Sullinger 1-3 5-6 7, Wilcox 2-3 1-2 5, C.Lee 1-4 0-2 2, Green 4-9 0-0 8, Barbosa 0-0 0-0 0, Joseph 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 41-78 18-26 104.

3-Point Goals: Minnesota 6-19 (Shved 2-5, Ridnour 1-1, M.Lee 1-2, Howard 1-3, Love 1-5, Williams 0-1, Barea 0-2), Boston 4-17 (Terry 3-5, Pierce 1-6, Sullinger 0-1, Green 0-1, Garnett 0-1, Rondo 0-3). Fouled Out: None. Rebounds: Minnesota 51 (Love 13), Boston 57 (Garnett 10). Assists: Minnesota 19 (Ridnour 5), Boston 24 (Rondo 11). Total Fouls: Minnesota 19, Boston 24. A: 18,624 (18,624).