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Garnett blocks out nostalgia

Celtic center focused on future, not past

KEVIN GARNETT Key stop Wednesday KEVIN GARNETT
Key stop Wednesday
By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / November 6, 2009

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Celtics coach Doc Rivers usually does not call Kevin Garnett’s number early on when the team plays in Minnesota. Garnett, Rivers realizes, will be so hyped to be playing in his old home that he will “probably shoot it over the glass.’’

Two years after being traded to the Celtics, though, Garnett seems to have adjusted. The Timberwolves gave the Celtics one of their toughest tests of the early season Wednesday, the Celtics taking a 92-90 win, with a last-second stop by Garnett preserving the victory.

“I never looked back,’’ Garnett said after the game. “I have some family that still lives here. Other than that, when a new situation comes open, a new page in my book opens, I just try to embrace that and go forward. Apply the things in my past to my future and move on.

“I can’t sit back and worry about things that happened in the past.

The Celtics are 6-0 going into tonight’s game against Phoenix. Garnett is clearly feeling at home with a successful team, but a part of him wants his former team to improve as well.

“So many different changes [to the building], it’s not even the same tunnel,’’ he said. “So many changes I can’t even relate to, so there’s no need to dig into that part of it, at all. Faces are different in the crowd.

“Someday, I feel at some point, the team is going to have to be put together by the city. The city is not going to allow that to be subpar or anything average. Sometimes, I think, at some point, basketball is going to have to go to another level and I think the people will speak out.

“But my focus is on Boston and being in the New England area. I’ll play a couple more years and they’ll set me down.’’

Tuesday at Philadelphia, Garnett had 3 points and six rebounds in a 105-74 victory. Less than 24 hours after that contest, he was facing a high-energy Minnesota team. This time, Garnett had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and he tied up Corey Brewer as he drove for the tying score with four seconds remaining.

“I come in here and sort of put on my face, as I say, because I’m really intense when it comes to game day,’’ Garnett said. “It’s actually easy to come in here and focus because I don’t have any of my old teammates on the other side.

“The separation was cut the minute I was traded. Some of the guys I made special relationships with, they all left.

“One time, I was in the middle of the road, I was crossing the street, I looked and I saw the car coming, and I looked and I sort of hesitated. And I just took off. I’ll never forget, my mother told me, ‘Never second-guess a decision. If you’re going to go, go. If not, stop and wait for the car to go.’

“And I sort of applied that to my everyday life. I think if you give some hesitation or guilt, if you will, I think if you live through situations, you embrace them and embrace them fully. And look forward to them. The past is the past, you enjoy what happened in the past and look forward to what’s in the future.’’

The NBA said it will not penalize Celtics guard Rajon Rondo or New Orleans guard Chris Paul for their actions Sunday at TD Garden. Rondo and Paul were assessed a double technical after they got tangled up under the basket in the second quarter, and they confronted each other after the game ended.

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