(BOSTON) — The moral of the story is don’t call Kevin Garnett a dirty player. Atlanta Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. called Garnett “the dirtiest guy in the league,” and Garnett responded by scoring 28 points, grabbing 14 boards and blocking five shots leading the Boston Celtics to a series ending 83-30 victory over the Hawks.
“I want to say thank you to their owner for giving me some extra gas tonight,” Garnett said. “Just because you got a bunch of money it doesn’t mean you can open your mouth.”
With teammates Paul Pierce and Ray Allen beat up, Garnetts emergence was huge.
“He was phenomenal,” Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said. “He bailed us out. I’m mean you could see Ray (Allen), his legs couldn’t get into the shot. I’ve never seen him miss that many free-throws in my life. Paul (Pierce) just gave us everything he had, but didn’t have a lot. And then Kevin was fantastic.”
The Celtics advance to the second round of the playoffs for the fifth straight year.
They will play the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Game 1 is Saturday at 8 PM ET in Boston.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN