Yet another player has fallen victim to Kevin Garnett’s world famous trash-talk. Monday night, when the Knicks hosted the Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony and KG exchanged some unpleasant words with one another during the fourth quarter. Both players received technical fouls, but it did not end there. After the game Carmelo Anthony looked to confront Garnett as he was heading into the locker room, and later waited for him outside of the Boston Celtics’ team bus.
Carmelo insists that he was only looking to talk with Garnett, not to fight him. But the league has determined that "there are no circumstances in which it is acceptable for a player to confront an opponent after a game," as stated by NBA executive vice president of operations Stu Jackson. Jackson and the league decided to suspend Anthony for one game as a result of his actions. Anthony will miss Thursday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers.
The altercation took place in the midst of a tough night for Anthony who was held to 20 points on only 6-26 shooting from the field. Boston continues to play strong defense with Bradley back in the lineup, holding the Knicks to only 41% shooting (Boston shot 53%) and 14 turnovers (Boston committed 11). The Celtics went on to win the game 102-96 without Rajon Rondo, who was serving a one game suspension for bumping a league official.
The Boston Celtics then faced the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night and continued to utilize their defensive chemistry, putting together another win (87-79), and building a four-game win streak. The Celtics held the Suns to 39% shooting from the field and a lousy 17% from long-range. They forced 16 turnovers and took care of the ball by committing only 13.
Together, Rondo and Paul Pierce combined for only 15 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds. The Suns have not been the most difficult opponent recently, but a number of Boston players stepped up and played well. Jared Sullinger had a career-high 16 rebounds to go with 12 points off the bench. Jason Terry added 13 points, five assists, five rebounds and Jeff Green scored 14 points; both players also playing off the bench.
For now, the Celtics have found themselves a rhythm to their game and are climbing in the standings. They are currently 18-17, but only good enough for eighth place in the eastern conference. They have had their fair share of troubles this season, but Avery Bradley back is paying dividends. He may not solve all of their problems, but he is certainly a step in the right direction. Keep a close eye on these veterans as they look to build on their momentum and gain some ground in the standings before the all-star break.