Garnett turns back the clock in Celtics win

May, 8, 2011
5/08/11
1:01
AM ET
By ESPN Stats & Info
ESPN.com
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Kevin Garnett
Garnett
The Boston Celtics won Game 3 behind Kevin Garnett, who had his best playoff game statistically since May of 2004 in a Timberwolves win over the Lakers. He had 28 points and 18 rebounds Saturday, just his second 25-15 game in the playoffs with Boston and his first since 2008 against Cleveland.

The Celtics’ Big 3 of Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen scored 70 points in Game 3 after combining for just 36 points in Game 2.

That easily outpaced the Heat’s Big 3 -- Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh -- who combined for 44 points, their worst output of the season. Those three scored 80 points in Miami’s Game 2 victory. Miami scored just 81 points total, their third-fewest in a game this season.

Garnett made 9-of-13 shots from inside of 10 feet in Game 3. He had more makes and attempts from that range Saturday than in the first two games of the series combined.

Garnett got it done on the defensive end as well, as he had a hand in keeping Bosh to just six points, a career-low for a postseason game and the fewest points he's scored in any game all season.

The Heat shot just 5-for-23 from beyond the arc while the Celtics went 9-for-18 from three-point range. The Celtics are shooting 50.9 percent from the three-point line in the series.

One reason why has been the play of point guard Rajon Rondo, as Boston has hit 15 of 19 three-point attempts when shooting off a pass from Rondo in the series, including 5-for-6 in Game 3. Without a pass from Rondo, they are shooting just 35.3 percent from three-point range.

One of the biggest things to come out of Game 3 was Rajon Rondo’s inury; he left the game in the third quarter with a dislocated elbow, but returned to play the entire fourth quarter.

His injury has ramifications for how Boston’s Big 3 has performed against the Heat this season.

The main beneficiary of Rondo’s presence is Ray Allen, who has scored more than twice as many points per 40 minutes while on the floor with Rondo than when he plays without the All-Star point guard.

LeBron James was held to just 15 points in this one, his fourth playoff game with as few as 15 points. Two of those have come against the Celtics. Entering Game 2, Pierce had been effective when guarding James this season (including the playoffs), holding him to 37.0 percent shooting.

But James had success in Game 2, perhaps partly due to Pierce’s strained left Achilles. In Game 3 Pierce bounced back, and once again held James under 37 percent shooting from the field.

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