BOSTON -- Kevin Garnett sure looked as though he wanted to remind the Minnesota Timberwolves what they've been missing these last five years.
Garnett scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and remained unbeaten against his former team as the Boston Celtics beat the Timberwolves 104-94 on Wednesday night in Rajon Rondo's return from a two-game suspension.
The Celtics improved to 10-0 against Minnesota since they acquired Garnett from the Timberwolves during the summer of 2007. They also won for the 11th straight time against Minnesota.
Asked if Garnett still liked to play against his old team, Boston coach Doc Rivers didn't hesitate.
"What do you think?" he said.
When the reporter answered "yes," Rivers smiled and replied: "That's a good answer."
Celtics teammate Paul Pierce, who scored 18 points, downplayed all that, saying Garnett just likes to face good young players such as Timberwolves forward Kevin Love.
"I think he just accepts the challenges of playing against some of the top players in the game," Pierce said.
Minnesota is the only other team Garnett has played for in his 17-year career. Garnett looked motivated from start to finish, even coming out and swiping the ball out of Love's hands in front of Boston's bench early in the final quarter.
"We established the post, I thought, early on. I thought defensively we played with a lot of energy," Garnett said. "We made them go to their
Love could see Garnett's energy sparked Boston's other players.
"He's intense," Love said. "He's K.G. He's a guy that defensively, he'll clamp down on you. He didn't leave me out there more than once tonight, really clamped in."
Boston went 1-1 without Rondo, suspended for his role in a scuffle during a game against the Brooklyn Nets last Wednesday.
Rondo had 17 points and 11 assists. Jason Terry scored 17 and Brandon Bass 12.