No laughing matter: KG upset by loss

May, 29, 2012
5/29/12
9:15
AM ET
Mike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesWith the Heat en route to victory, LeBron James could laugh at Kevin Garnett's trash talk.
MIAMI -- The Miami Heat already owned a 15-point lead with under four minutes to play when LeBron James absorbed a hard foul from Kevin Garnett under the basket. As Garnett barked into James' ear after the play, Miami's star guard -- nearing the end of a 32-point, 13-rebound effort -- simply held out the ball and appeared to laugh at any trash talk Garnett was spewing.

Asked after Miam's 93-79 Game 1 triumph at AmericanAirlines Arena whether the Heat were showboating a bit as they ran away with a win to open the Eastern Conference finals, Garnett suggested that they had earned the right to puff out their chests a little bit.

"It's all good," said Garnett. "They're home, they're comfortable. And when you're comfortable, you do things like that. We've got to make sure we take them out of their comfort zone and fight a little harder."

Garnett and the Celtics were more troubled by how easily the Heat appeared to get to the rim at times during Monday's game, converting easy layups while Boston struggled to generate any sort of offensive consistency outside of a 35-point second-quarter outburst.

"They got more layups, man," said Garnett. "We can't beat this team by giving them layups. I thought they did a real good job of being aggressive, getting to the basket. I thought in the first half we did a decent job of keeping them floating a little bit, and second half they just got what they wanted. We've got to be more disciplined on defense and believe in it."

Garnett wasn't happy to look for silver linings, even after Boston's strong finish to the first half left the game tied at the intermission.

"This is not our best basketball, so I believe we have better basketball in us, and in order for us to stay alive, we've got to play better," he said. "And we will."

And pressed on whether those breakdowns in Game 1 were the result of individual or team breakdowns, Garnett barked, "It doesn't even matter. They laid it up. Whether it was breakdowns, whether we weren't in our spots or the scheme didn't work, or whatever it was, we have to put in more of a fight, and more of an effort."

Clearly, the loss was no laughing matter for Garnett.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksK. Humphries 0.9