Posted November 03, 2012 on AP on Fox
A night after what their coach called a ''flat game,'' Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics held the Washington Wizards to 1-for-14 shooting at the start, then were barely better at the end. Strong defensive stands early - Washington's only scoring in the first 8 minutes came on Garnett's goaltending call - and late, plus Paul Pierce's 27 points, including a key 3 down the stretch, helped the Celtics beat the Wizards 89-86 on Saturday for their first victory. Boston is 1-2. Washington dropped to 0-2 after its home opener in front of a sellout crowd of 20,308 that occasionally included folks chanting ''Let's go, Celtics!'' Washington is still without two starters: point guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, and center Nene. Bradley Beal, the No. 3 overall pick this year, missed all five of his shots and scored two points for the Wizards, while backup Jordan Crawford led the hosts with 21 points. Another reserve, Kevin Seraphin, played after being sidelined by a right calf injury for their season opener and made his first seven shots, finishing with 19 points. But Seraphin also threw the ball away with Washington down one point and 28 seconds left. Cartier Martin scored five consecutive points during a 16-4 run that put Washington ahead 86-84 on Seraphin's turnaround 12-footer with a little under 3 minutes remaining. With thousands in the stands asking for ''De-fense! De-fense!'' Pierce made a 3-pointer to give Boston back the lead with 2 1/2 minutes left. Neither team managed to score until Jason Terry's two free throws with 1.2 seconds left padded Boston's lead. Garnett scored 15, and Rajon Rondo added 12 points and 12 assists. Wall has a knee injury and is expected to miss another month or so, while Nene is out with a foot problem and no one is quite sure when he'll be back. Both are really missed on offense, which was apparent not only with the way Washington opened the game, but also by checking the assists column on the stat sheet: The starting five combined for a grand total of one assist in the first half. Yes, the Wizards got points less than 1 1/2 minutes in, but that was because Garnett was called for goaltending on a short shot by Emeka Okafor. Otherwise, Washington missed 13 of its first 14 field-goal attempts. That run of futility included shanked 3-pointers and midrange jumpers, layups and putbacks. Even a dunk. A 19-foot jumper by Rondo put Boston ahead 17-2 with a little less than 4 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter. By then, three Celtics - Garnett, Pierce and rookie Jared Sullinger - each had at least twice as many points as the entire Wizards roster. Only then did Washington wake up, with Trevor Booker completing a three-point play with a finger roll while being fouled by Sullinger with 3:53 to go in the quarter. The Celtics led by as many as 16 points in the first quarter at 24-8, and the period ended with the visitors ahead 26-12. Washington gathered itself and got as close as five in the second before trailing 49-42 at halftime. Before the game, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said his team's 99-88 loss at home to Milwaukee on Friday ''wasn't pretty.'' ''You just never know why you have flat games,'' he said. ''And that clearly was a flat game. I don't think anybody came to the game and said, `You know what? I'm not going to play hard.' This team doesn't have that problem.'' NOTES: Sullinger, the Ohio State forward taken in the first round of the draft, made his first NBA start, replacing Brandon Bass in Boston's lineup. Sullinger ended up with four points and four fouls. ... The teams play each other again Wednesday at Boston. ... Okafor addressed the crowd before the game, first wishing a speedy recovery to anyone affected by Superstorm Sandy, then promising fans that the Wizards will ''work very hard to make sure this is a fun, exciting season.'' It was a measured, mature speech - and came a season after the now-gone Andray Blatche opened a pregame speech to the home crowd at Washington's opener by saying, ''This is your captain.'' ... Celtics F Jeff Green returned to the arena where he played college games for Georgetown. Green, who missed all of last season after surgery for a heart issue, scored 11 points. ''He's been up and down,'' Rivers said. ''You know it's in him, and I believe we'll get it out of him. He looks good. He's healthy.'' --- Howard Fendrich is on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Kevin Garnett's "pack of hyenas" speech to his teammates

KG and several of the Celtics discuss a speech that Kevin Garnett gave to his teammates in the locker room about going into every game with the mentality of a pack of hyenas. KG feels like the Celtics have a code about how they play as a team, and wanted to reiterate that teamwork wins games. And Jeff Green looks REALLY upset. Video courtesy of WEEI's Ben Rohrbach.

Kevin Garnett tells Boston Celtics they need to be more like hyenas, is still awesome at metaphors

In his most introspective moments, and really at any other time of day, Kevin Garnett is prone to complex metaphors. He uses them, I think, in an attempt to simplify his own thoughts when relating them to everyone else. So it was little surprise when Garnett referred to a cackling animal when describing how his team needs to behave after Friday night’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks...
ANIMAL INSTINCT

KG wants Celtics to play like hyenas

BOSTON -- Kevin Garnett ran with a pack of wolves for 12 years in Minnesota. Now he wants to run with a pack of hyenas. Garnett implored his Celtics teammates to play like that intimidating African carnivore after the Celtics dropped a 99-88 decision to the Bucks on Friday. The flop embarrassed the Celtics, who were making their home debut for the 2012-13 season and were...

The Celtics and their over-reliance on Kevin Garnett

We’ve seen what happens to the Celtics when Kevin Garnett isn’t in the line up.  We know it.  But if you don’t, Cedric Maxwell summed it up quite nicely on CSNNE: “I think the thing about KG, KG is the engine,” Maxwell said. “You can have the keys — Rondo has the keys to everything — but KG is the engine and when the engine is going the car is going the right way...

Kevin Garnett, "I want us to play like hyenas" (Video)

After losing to the Milwaukee Bucks last night, Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett was not pleased with his team's performance.After the game, Garnett gave an impromptu speech in the Celtics locker room about going into every game as the underdog.That's where the hyena analogy came into play and below is the response from his teammates and Garnett himself about the speech...

Garnett's Return Dictated Decision To Retool Celtics

The Celtics likely would have completed rebuilt their roster had Kevin Garnett retired.

Celtics Live Blog: Kevin Garnett, C's Aim to Get Back to Winning Ways in Washington

8 a.m. ET: Whoever it was that showed up Friday at the TD Garden wearing the home uniforms, that team did not resemble the squad that the real Celtics insist they can be. They are what their record says they are, however, and entering Saturday's game in the nation's capital, the Celtics were 0-2. In front of them was an underwhelming Wizards team dealing with injuries to...

The Boston Celtics grind now begins

Doc Rivers and the Celtics need to get back to worrying about getting through the regular season Opening night in the NBA for the Boston Celtics had almost everything. There was Kevin Garnett giving the Ray Allen “I will (bleeping) murder you” face, both the Celtics and the Heat played hard and the game even ended with a hard foul that has both teams riled up and ready to throw...

Celtics focus on better communication and a return to their defensive roots

If you have been to or watched any Celtics game on TV in the last 6 years, you would see either Kendrick Perkins or Kevin Garnett calling and directing defensive plays for the team.   Perk is no longer here, and Rajon Rondo has  taken up the slack. In game one, KG's voice was silenced and Rondo became indecisive with his new role as on-court leader. This was not the Rondo...

Celtics/Wizards postgame interviews

Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jeff Green talk after Saturday night's 3 point victory over the Wizards. Videos courtesy of CSNNE.

Devolution: The Boston Celtics’ disappearing offense

Devolution: Noun: The notion that a species can change into a more “primitive” form over time.There’s been a common theme to every single Celtics game against every single inferior team for the past few years, and frankly, it’s depressing as hell.Here’s how it goes: The Celtics score a ton in the first quarter and hold the opposing team to between 10-15 points. Then the...

Boston Celtics News From Around the Web: Daily Links for Monday, November 5

Like us on Facebook Celtics Daily Links for Monday, November 5 Boston Globe Jared Sullinger making strong impression on Celtics Jared Sullinger’s NBA smarts are coming around, especially by learning from one of the best in the league: Kevin Garnett. Garnett calls Sullinger one of the smartest players on the team. Boston Herald Doc Rivers, [...]

Bucks Spoil Home Opener 99-88

On Friday night the Celtics opened up their 2012-2013 season at home against the Milwaukee Bucks. Coming off a loss to the Miami Heat the Celtics looked to crack down on the defensive end and continue to execute on offense. Unfortunately neither of these things happened for the Celtics as they lost to the Bucks 99-88. The Celtics struggled from the start looking sloppy on offense...

Your Morning Dump… Where Doc reminded the guys that Pierce, KG are on the team

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. But then the Celtics got back to what they know best. Actually, it was more about who they know best: Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. “I made a point of it,” Rivers said. “I reminded our guys that Paul was...

Your Morning Dump… Where Jared Sullinger is getting the rookie treatment

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. He has picked up fouls when officials didn’t want to whistle Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce, he’s gotten them for merely raising his hands and standing in the same spot, he’s drawn them simply for being a 20...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.