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The Celtics managed to hold off a second-half rally by the Minnesota Timberwolves without the services of Kevin Garnett, who was not even in the building due to the flu. The man they traded (with others) to get KG, Al Jefferson, showed Boston how good he really is and what they’re now missing.
While I would never take back the trade that brought Garnett to Boston, I do wish I could’ve seen Al Jefferson grow up before our eyes 82 games per year. Big Al scored a team-high 34 points, but was outdone by former teammate Paul Pierce (36 points, eight rebounds, six assists) as the Celtics won their 11th game in a row, 109-101.
Big Al scored those 34 points on 15-21 shooting with 11 rebounds and four blocks. He showed off some amazing low-post moves and an unstoppable hook shot that seems to float out of reach. Jefferson seems to have mastered many skills on both sides of the floor.
As for other former Celtics, Ryan Gomes pitched in 17 points and four steals and Sebastian Telfair scored 10 points with eight assists in 40 minutes from the point guard position. Both players look much-improved and should continue to develop as complementary players to Al Jefferson in the coming years.
In KG’s place was Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis, who played over 37 minutes at power forward. Davis finished with 12 points, six rebounds, and three steals. Obviously, the C’s are better with KG, but it’s nice to know that someone can step in a relatively seamless manner.
The Celtics will look for their 12th win in a row Tuesday night against the 76ers.