As much as Kevin Garnett wants everyone to believe he's put Minnesota in his rearview mirror, he's still watching — and listening...

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MINNEAPOLIS — As much as Kevin Garnett wants everyone to believe he’s put Minnesota in his rearview mirror, he’s still watching — and listening.

Garnett, 35, heard some suggest that 23-year-old Kevin Love has already usurped him as the best Timberwolves player ever.

Friday night, the Old Wolf showed the Young Pup who still runs things.

Garnett had 24 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in his return to Target Center and his Boston Celtics outmuscled Love and the Timberwolves, 100-79.

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“We’ve been watching, keeping track of all his accolades and what he’s been doing of late,” Garnett said of Love. “If y’all know anything about me, you know that I was more than ready and prepared tonight.”

Paul Pierce had 21 points and nine rebounds and Rajon Rondo had 17 assists for the Celtics, who have won six of their last seven.

Garnett improved to 6-0 against the Wolves, including 4-0 at Target Center since he was traded in 2007.

Garnett has excelled since Celtics coach Doc Rivers moved him to center at the All-Star break. Boston is 14-5 since then, and is alone in first place in the Atlantic Division for the first time all season. And that’s with Ray Allen missing the last five games with a sore right ankle.

Love had 22 points and 11 rebounds, but succumbed to Garnett’s physical play.

Luke Ridnour, who starred at Blaine High School, had 15 points and eight assists for the Timberwolves. Avery Bradley, who played at Tacoma’s Bellarmine Prep, scored 17 for Boston.

Maloof not happy with Kings terms

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento Kings said they are still committed to building a new arena despite disagreements over part of the funding.

Co-owner George Maloof said in a phone interview that he does not believe the team should pay $3.2 million in predevelopment costs for the estimated $391 million downtown arena.

“It’s pretty simple,” he said. “We’re playing the role of the tenant. We didn’t feel like it would be appropriate to pay for predevelopment costs as a tenant.”

Under the term sheet, the Kings and arena operator AEG each were to pay about $3.2 million in predevelopment costs with the city paying the remaining $6.5 million. Maloof said he believes the sides can resolve the disagreement over the predevelopment costs.

“I don’t think it can hold up the whole project,” he said.

Clippers’ Evans fined $25K

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Clippers forward Reggie Evans was fined $25,000 for making an obscene gesture during a game against New Orleans.

“I was shocked, really shocked,” he said of the fine.

Evans, who played four seasons for the Sonics, admitted he made the gesture but he said it wasn’t directed at fans.

He said teammates Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan were teasing him from the Clippers’ bench, telling him, “Good job, cupcake,” a name they call each other in practice.

Evans said his gesture was aimed at them.

“It’s an inside joke is what’s going on,” he said.


• Chicago’s Derrick Rose missed his ninth straight game because of a groin injury, but the Bulls improved to 14-5 without the defending league MVP by beating Detroit 83-71.

DeMarcus Cousins scored 27 points, including the winning free throw with 3.8 seconds left, as Sacramento snapped Utah’s seven-game home win streak, 104-103.

Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh scored 30 points each as Miami beat Toronto, 113-101. Wade dedicated the performance to his nephew, one of 13 men shot — two fatally — during a violent six hours in his hometown of Chicago on Thursday. His nephew was to undergo surgery.

Gerald Green tied the score with a thundering one-handed dunk and added a go-ahead basket moments later as New Jersey rallied to beat Golden State, 102-100. Gerald Wallace had 24 points and 18 rebounds for the Nets, who won for the first time in six years in Oakland.

• The Clippers beat the Blazers, 98-97, on Chris Paul’s driving layup with 5 seconds to go. Jamal Crawford‘s 22-foot basket with 13 seconds left had put Portland ahead. J.J. Hickson of the Blazers had a season-high 29 points and 13 rebounds.

Grant Hill had what the Suns labeled a “successful procedure” to repair a torn meniscus in the 39-year-old forward’s right knee. The team said Hill could return before the end of the regular season.

• Celtics center Jermaine O’Neal had season-ending surgery on his left wrist.

• Point guard Steve Nash, likely to be one of the top free agents after the season, said if he left Phoenix he would be receptive to joining LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami next season. “I would listen,” said Nash, 38.

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