BOSTON — The sports radio shock jocks in Philadelphia just got something to stoke their listeners’ anger.
Kevin Garnett credited the crowd’s role in lifting the Celtics’ spirits in their 101-85 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Monday. He compared playing at the TD Garden to “plugging in,” but from the sound of it he thinks the cord gets pulled out of the socket a little more often in the City of Brotherly Love.
After the game, NESN’s Jayme Parker asked Garnett to compare the fans in Boston to the ones in Philly.
“Not even close,” Garnett said. “You’ve got fans, and then you’ve got fair-weather fans. Take that how you want.”
The crowd’s energy seemed to pick up when Garnett was called for an offensive foul as he tried to score over Sixers center Spencer Hawes. When the replay showed on the arena’s video screen, the fans booed and raised their voices to a roar on the Sixers’ ensuing possession.
The Celtics responded by defending the Sixers for almost a full 24 seconds. They trapped Hawes under the hoop, and just before the shot clock expired, the officials whistled Elton Brand for a three-second violation. A few seconds later, Garnett hit a jumper to pull the Celtics within two points, and after two free throws by Brandon Bass, the Celtics tied it up and never trailed again.
Yet Garnett did not sense a change in the fans’ vigor on any of those momentum-shifting plays.
“They do it for 48 minutes from the tip on, so I can’t see a difference from minute to minute,” Garnett said. “I feel like every minute I look up, I see my family, I see people yelling, I see the drunk, fat guy. I can’t decipher one from the other. This crowd is ridiculous. I love it.”
Philadelphia fans might not have so much love for Garnett in Game 6, not that he cares.