Flames were fanned
Garnett appreciates noise of home crowd
Kevin Garnett will miss the TD Garden crowd when the Celtics visit Philadelphia for Game 6 of their playoff series Wednesday night.
“No comparison,’’ Garnett said, talking about the Celtics’ and Sixers’ home crowds.
“This crowd sparks you - it doesn’t take much here, man,’’ Garnett said when asked the response to an offensive foul call on him early in the third quarter of the Celtics’ 101-85 win over the Sixers Monday night.
“Speaking about this crowd, it’s like plugging in, man - enthused from 48 minutes on, from the tip on,’’ he added.
“Every time I look up I see my family, I see people yelling, the drunk fat guy, I can’t decide. This crowd is ridiculous - I love it.’’
The Sixers led, 57-53, when a Garnett turnover led to a clear-path foul by Paul Pierce. But Andre Iguodala missed both free throws, then a Pierce steal set up Garnett, who was called for a charge against Spencer Hawes with 7:41 left in the quarter. Garnett then hit a jumper, sparking a 10-point Celtics run.
“I don’t know what the turning point was, honestly,’’ coach Doc Rivers said. “You could say the foul called on Kevin - I thought from that point on we exploded. It was one of those games, we needed something to ignite us together. I don’t know what did it, but something did it, and once we started playing right then we played very well.’’
Greg Stiemsma scored 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting.
“Tonight was another opportunity,’’ he said. “It’s been like that the whole season. For the most part, I think I’ve taken advantage of it and tonight was just another one of those nights where got some looks early, got myself going, and I was just happy we won at the end.
“It’s playoff time, so as long as we’re winning, I’m happy. It’s tough to see us struggle, but at the same time I don’t feel like I was playing the same way I was at the end of the year. So it felt good to get out there and feel comfortable again.’’
Rivers on Rajon Rondo: “I thought the second half was one of the best games he’s had, in my opinion, this year for us. Because I thought it was more than just the basketball part of it. I thought his will, his leadership, we needed it, and he gave it to us. So, I thought it was one of the best halves he’s had. He played with a force. And he got us in our stuff. I can hear him barking at guys, demanding guys get into spots. And that’s not something he loves doing. And so I told him that after the game; I thought that was as good of a leadership role that you’ve had with us in the playoffs.’’
Bradley sits out
Avery Bradley led the Celtics with 74 playoff and regular-season appearances before Monday night. But Bradley (left shoulder) was held out of the lineup and his status is undetermined for Game 6 . . . Rivers on Game 6: “Well, it’s not going to be easy. We’ve got a quick turnaround here and we’re going to have to be ready. But I just want us to play the right way every minute, and if we do that, I don’t know if we’ll win or not but we’ll be good.’’
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.