BOSTON -- Celtics forward Kevin Garnett let his play serve as a response to comments made by Bulls forward Joakim Noah that called the 15th-year veteran "mean" and "ugly" after a dust-up between the two in the first meeting last month.
Garnett registered 20 points and 17 rebounds to highlight Boston's 104-92 triumph over Chicago Friday night at the TD Garden. He added six assists, two steals, and a blocked shot over 33 minutes, 11 seconds of action.
Noah sounded off about Garnett following the Celtics' overtime triumph here at the start of the 2010-11 season, then appeared on ESPN radio in Chicago soon after, where he suggested Garnett is "a very mean guy," and added that he was, "ugly, too."
Garnett tried his best to suggest the comments had no affect on him Friday.
"No, let me tell you something about people, man," said Garnett. "Everybody has an opinion and, obviously, he had one. I'm not entertaining nor addressing nobodies. I'm not even entertaining them. I'm focused on basketball -- winning and trying to make this team better. Other than that, I'm not on anything."
Asked twice if he considered Noah a "nobody" (he asked for the question to be repeated by a reporter the first time it came up), Garnett barked, "Next question," and gave a quick wink and smile, triggering reporter laughter.
Shaquille O'Neal suggested Garnett did indeed know what was said about him.
"It's not that he's up for [Friday's game], it's that these young cats have no respect," said O'Neal. "So Kevin just has to teach them."
Garnett and Noah were whistled for double-technicals with 2:24 remaining in the first half after Noah gave a slight shove as Garnett danced by after registering one of five first-half field goals.
Asked about Garnett after the game, Noah said: "He played very well. He won again. So we'll get ready next time we play him."
And, as much as Noah tried to downplay it, Garnett's play clearly got into the 25-year-old's head.
"It doesn't matter. Who cares?" Noah said of all the hype around the two players. "At the end of the day, they won the game. We got our [butts] kicked and they won the game, so that's what's frustrating. I don't care about the other stuff. At the end of the day, it's talk. It's all talk. Nothing's going to happen. What's frustrating is they won the game and we didn't."
Noah finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds over 38:47.
Garnett recently dismissed Charlie Villanueva as a nobody after the Detroit forward went on Twitter to suggest Garnett called him a "cancer patient" during a game last month.
“[He's] a nobody," Garnett said in the aftermath of the incident. “I’m not paying attention to nobodies any more.”
And maybe you can add Noah to that list.