The 35-year-old Garnett has heard some suggest that the 23-year-old Kevin Love has already usurped him as the best Timberwolves player ever. But on Friday night Garnett had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists in a return to Target Center, and the outmuscled Love and the Timberwolves, 100-79.
“If you all know anything about me, you know that I was more than ready and prepared tonight,” Garnett said.
Love had 22 points and 11 rebounds but succumbed to Garnett’s physical defense.
Paul Pierce added 21 points and Rajon Rondo had 17 assists for the Celtics, who have won four in a row and are alone in first place in the Atlantic Division for the first time all season.
HEAT 113, RAPTORS 101 Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh scored 30 points each and visiting Miami beat Toronto for its seventh straight win over the Raptors.
LeBron James had 26 points and 9 assists, and Mario Chalmers added 14 points for the Heat.
DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points and Andrea Bargnani had 27 for Toronto, which lost for the sixth time in eight games.
WIZARDS 97, 76ERS 76 Host Washington built a big lead and held on to it for a change, ending a five-game losing streak. Cartier Martin tied a career high with 20 points in his second game under a 10-day contract.
The 76ers have lost six of nine and are struggling to score. The loss knocked them out of a first-place tie with the Celtics in the Atlantic Division.
Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young led Philadelphia with 14 points apiece.
BUCKS 121, CAVALIERS 84 Brandon Jennings scored 28 points as visiting Milwaukee routed Cleveland and closed to a game and a half behind the Knicks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The rookie Kyrie Irving scored 29 points to lead Cleveland before leaving in the fourth quarter with a sprained right shoulder.
MAVERICKS 100, MAGIC 98 Dirk Nowitzki banked in a jumper with 5.9 seconds left and scored a game-high 28 points to lead Dallas to its sixth straight victory over the Magic in Orlando.
Jameer Nelson scored 24 points to lead the Magic. Ryan Anderson added 21 and Dwight Howard finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds.
BULLS 83, PISTONS 71 Luol Deng scored 20 points, and Joakim Noah added 19 points and 12 rebounds for host Chicago as the Bulls improved their league-best record to 42-11 even though the star guard Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton remained sidelined by injuries.
NUGGETS 99, BOBCATS 88 Arron Afflalo scored 12 of his team-high 19 points in the second half and added 11 rebounds as visiting Denver held off Charlotte.
Gerald Henderson had 21 points to lead the Bobcats, who have lost six straight games and remain the only team in the league with fewer than 10 victories.
ROCKETS 98, GRIZZLIES 89 Goran Dragic scored a season-high 25 points and Courtney Lee added 17 as the Rockets beat Memphis, which has not won in Houston since April 2006.