Celtics top Wizards in Garnett, Pierce’s return

BOSTON —- What was great news for the Celtics ended up being terrible news for the Wizards.

The Celtics welcomed back both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett Sunday at the TD Garden, and Boston took care of Washington easily, 107-96.

It was Garnett’s first game back with the team since a March 22nd loss to the Dallas Mavericks, after dealing with inflammation in his foot. Pierce has been dealing with a sprained ankle.

Garnett finished with 12 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes, while Pierce added 15 points and four rebounds in 30 minutes.

But while getting Garnett back was great news, it was the play of his backups – Shavlik Randolph and Chris Wilcox – that really helped out Boston. Randolph finished with eight points and seven rebounds and Wilcox, 13 points and five rebounds.

Unlike on Friday, the Celtics opened things up in the second half with a 31-19 third quarter to take an 87-71 lead into the fourth quarter that they wouldn’t give up.

Brandon Bass was solid for Boston, finishing with 20 points on 9-12 shooting.

The Wizards were led by John Wall, who finished with 16 points and 10 assists. Trevor Ariza added 15 points off the bench.

What they’ll be saying: The focus after the game will be on the guys in the paint. It was good to see Kevin Garnett back in uniform barking out orders on the court. Was this one of his better games? No. But it’s necessary for him to return around this time and get back into game-flow before the postseason. Boston will go as far as he takes them, but he’ll also need help from his backups – who showed up to play tonight. Perhaps Randolph’s emergence is the type of push Wilcox needs to step up – and step up more consistently – for the rest of the way. But playing next to Garnett certainly has something to do with it, too.


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