Celtics

KG finds his three-point range

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KG finds his three-point range

BOSTON Kevin Garnett is known for having an all-around game that causes problems for opponents at both ends of the floor.

For most of his career in Minnesota, that all-around game included the 3-point shot.

However, it seemed to have not made its way out East when KG became a Celtic; that is, until recently.

Among the positives Boston takes from its 98-80 win over Memphis, is that it was also the third straight game in which Garnett hit a 3-pointer. That hasn't happened to KG since December of 2002, which is why his recent run of making 3-pointers (he missed 25 of his previous 29 3s with the Celtics) has caught many off-guard.

A career 28.5 percent 3-point shooter, Rivers has been encouraging Garnett to look to shoot more often.

Needless to say, Rivers has been pleased with Garnett's production lately.

"He's shooting it well," Rivers said. "It's nice. Gives us another option at the end of the game. Don't tell him I said that."

Teammates have talked about Garnett essentially taking a shot now that he's always had the ability to make.

"There's pretty much nothing he can't do," said JaJuan Johnson, who had 10 points and has been an eager listener to the teachings of Kevin Garnett. "He's a real talented player, obviously. I've enjoyed watching him, growing up. I've tried to mimic some of the things that he does; just bringing the energy, intensity that he brings to the game. He can do it all, really."

That includes deflecting too much attention being paid to his 3-point shooting.

"I can shoot 3s. Y'all acting like I'm 50 and out here on one leg, and I can't," said Garnett, who was sort-of, kind-of joking about all the 3-point shooting talk. "Some nights are better than others. I'm human, I mess up. I make mistakes. But I can shoot 3s. I don't shoot 3s, because we have one of the all time greatest 3-point shooters in history(Ray Allen). We have Paul Pierce who has won 3-point shooting contest. We have other guys that can shoot 3s. That ain't my role here. My role is to get those guys open, and if you throw it to me, shoot it, dunk it, pass it, cool. I can shoot 3s. When I'm walking down the street, y'all stop acting like y'all shocked I can shoot 3s. Everybody in Boston, wherever I'm at I can shoot 3s, OK?"

Garnett, continuing his playful banter with the media added, "I can shoot 3s. Y'all acting all shocked like y'all ain't seen a black guy hit a 3 before. Hell going on with y'all? I can shoot 3s. Doc (Rivers) was yelling at me today, 'shoot, shoot, shoot!' Finally I just shot the 3. huh? that's what you want?' Man, I can shoot 3s."

But Garnett knows if it becomes something that's talked about too often that'll lead to potential expectations that every time he has the ball, fans will want to see him shoot 3-pointers.

"I don't want that," Garnett said. "Like how they used to do Scal, "shoot!!" Nah, don't do that to me. Do not do that to me, OK? I'm not on the Celtics to be out here shooting 3s. I am here to do other things; not shoot 3s. But Garnett is quick to add, "I can shoot 3s."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their thoughts on Kyrie Irving’s struggles, not having Gordon Hayward, and the Celtics losing for the 2nd time in as many nights.

6:31 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the message delivered by Hayward to the fans before the game, what was going on with Kyrie’s shot, and why they failed in stopping The Greek Freak.

10:33 - Albert Breer joins BST to preview the Falcons/Patriots Sunday night game and if Atlanta is in the middle of a Super Bowl hangover.

15:40 - In a new game called On The Clock, each person gets 40 seconds to rant on their selected subject including if Red Sox fans can root for the Yankees if the playoffs and how painful the Bruins season will be. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Former Patriots defensive end Chris Long is donating his salary

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Former Patriots defensive end Chris Long is donating his salary

PHILADELPHIA - Chris Long is donating the rest of his year's salary to increase educational equality.

The Philadelphia Eagles' defensive end already gave up his first six game checks to provide two scholarships for students in Charlottesville, Virginia. Now, he's using the next 10 to launch the Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign.

"My wife and I have been passionate about education being a gateway for upward mobility and equality," Long told The Associated Press. "I think we can all agree that equity in education can help affect change that we all want to see in this country."

Long signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Eagles, including a $500,000 signing bonus and $1.5 million guaranteed. His base salary in 2017 is $1 million.

The charitable initiative encourages people to make donations to improve equal education opportunities. Long began his career in St. Louis in 2008 and played for the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots last season. Long's foundation has selected four organizations whose missions focus on making education easily accessible to underserved youth while also providing students the support they need to develop strong social and emotional character.

The four organizations are based in the three communities in which Long has played during his NFL career. The city that raises the most money during the season will receive an additional $50,000 donation.

"There's a lot of opportunities to help out and they're wonderful organizations," Long said. "We have such a great platform as football players and hopefully fans get behind it."

Long grew up in Charlottesville and starred in high school at St. Anne's-Belfield before going to the University of Virginia. He was moved to start the scholarship program following the violent protests in Charlottesville in August.

"Our hometown is a wonderful place and I feel like people got the wrong idea about what the residents of Charlottesville are all about," he said.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE