Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images
Kevin Garnett had a big game as the Celtics took a 2-1 series lead against the 76ers.Kevin Garnett has been rejuvenated in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The future Hall of Famer, now in his 17th season, carried the Boston Celtics to a Game 3 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.
Garnett, who turns 36 years old Saturday, had 27 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in Game 3. He is the third-oldest player in the past 25 seasons with those stats in a playoff game. Only Karl Malone and Charles Barkley did so after turning 36.
Celtics With Kevin Garnett On/Off Court
Eastern Conference Semis vs. 76ers
Garnett has been the difference for the Celtics in this series. With Garnett on the court, the Celtics are plus-47. With Garnett off the court, they're minus-31.
His effect is felt across the board. The Celtics have outrebounded the Sixers by 15 with Garnett on the court, but they're minus-15 on the boards with Garnett on the bench. The Celtics also are shooting significantly better and have a much better assist-to-turnover ratio with Garnett on the court.
Garnett helps open up the Celtics’ 3-point shooting. When he’s on the court, the Celtics are 14-for-34 (41 percent) on 3-point attempts. With him off the court, they’re just 1-for-13 (8 percent).
It's not just on the offensive end. With Garnett on the court, the Sixers are scoring 37 fewer points per 48 minutes, and shooting 11 percentage points less from the field and 23 percentage points less from 3-point range.
A Tale of Two Cities
In their Game 2 win in Boston, the Sixers led the Celtics 57-49 at the end of three quarters. The teams had already topped that score by halftime Wednesday, with the Celtics leading 60-49. In Game 2, the Celtics didn’t score their 60th point until 8:36 remained in the fourth quarter.
Celtics in 2nd/3rd Quarters
In Game 2, the Celtics scored just 24 points in the second and third quarters combined. On Wednesday night, they made 64 percent of their shots and scored 61 in those two quarters. Garnett scored 19 points in the middle quarters, with Rajon Rondo adding 10 points, 10 assists and no turnovers.
After scoring only 33 points in transition in the first two games of the series, the Celtics scored 28 points in transition in Game 3. They made 10 of 11 shots in transition after shooting less than 50 percent in the two games in Boston.
In Philly's first three home games during the playoffs, the 76ers' defense allowed an average of 78 points while forcing 15 turnovers per game. In Game 3, the 76ers allowed the Celtics to score 107 points with only seven turnovers.
More Than Luck of the Irish
The Celtics had three players with 20-10 games in the win, the first time they did so in a playoff game in 24 years. In Game 6 of the 1988 Eastern Conference semifinals, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge all had 20-10 games in a win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Rondo recorded 14 assists and turned the ball over only once. It was his third playoff game with at least 14 assists and one or fewer turnovers, the most of any active player. Despite playing at least 25 more postseason games than Rondo, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash have done it only twice each.
Ryan Feldman contributed to this post.