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Celts' Garnett makes good first impression

ROME — Kevin Garnett had 19 points and 16 rebounds in his Celtics debut, and Boston ruined Andrea Bargnani's homecoming with an 89-85 preseason victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.

Paul Pierce added 21 points for Boston, while Ray Allen had an off night with only 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting.

The start of the NBA Europe Live tour marked the Celtics' first game since Garnett and Allen joined the team, creating a "Big 3" with Boston veteran Pierce.

"It was good to finally get out there and get our feet wet," Pierce said. "It was probably the best first game since I've been with the Celtics."

Coach Doc Rivers left both Pierce and Garnett in for 32 minutes, while Allen played 31.

"Doc told us we're not going to play a lot of minutes tonight, but he wanted us to go really hard," Garnett said. "We had a lot of energy tonight."

Bargnani, last year's top overall draft pick by Toronto, played his first game in his hometown in an NBA jersey and scored 13 points in less than 15 minutes.

"Andrea was pretty good. I probably could have done a better job at getting him back in, but I wanted to keep him fresh for tomorrow," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "I know where Andrea's at."

T.J. Ford and Anthony Parker started at guard for the Raptors, with Chris Bosh and Jason Kapono at forward and Bargnani at center.

Ford led the Raptors with 15 points.

The other Celtics starters were Rajon Rondo at point guard and Kendrick Perkins at center.

The Raptors play Roma today, then travel to Spain to face Real Madrid. The Celtics meet Garnett's former club, the Minnesota Timberwolves, on Wednesday in London.

"We did some good things and we need to work at some other things," Mitchell said. "We play again tomorrow and we'll try to clean some things up."

TIMBERWOLVES 84, EFES PILSEN 81: At Istanbul, Turkey, Al Jefferson had 11 points and 17 rebounds, fellow newcomer Ryan Gomes scored 12 points, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat Efes Pilsen 84-81 Saturday in the first game of the NBA Europe Live tour.

Gomes had 10 points and nine rebounds in the first half. Ricky Davis scored 12 points.

Drew Nicholas scored 24 points, and Andre Hutson had 15 points and 19 rebounds for the Turkish team.

The Timberwolves spent the past week training in Istanbul as part of the Europe Live tour, helping dedicate a new basketball court and community center at a local school. They also distributed hearing aids to more than 1,000 children.

CARTER BREAKS HAND: Denver Nuggets guard Anthony Carter broke a bone in his right hand during practice Saturday morning.

He fractured the third metacarpal, the team said. No timeline was set for his return.

Carter averaged 3.0 points, 5.5 assists and 1.5 rebounds in two games for the Nuggets last season. In eight years in the NBA, Carter has averaged 4.7 points, 3.7 assists and two rebounds in 364 games for Miami, San Antonio, Minnesota and Denver.

SHARPTON TAKES ON ISIAH: Al Sharpton promised to lead protests against Madison Square Garden unless Knicks coach Isiah Thomas apologizes for saying whites and blacks should be held to different standards about the use of derogatory language toward women.

"If, in fact, that's what Mr. Thomas said, he's wrong," the activist minister said at the weekly Harlem gathering of his National Action Network.

Thomas responded that he has nothing to apologize for, and hopes Sharpton will come to the same conclusion.

In a videotaped deposition introduced at his sexual harassment trial, Thomas said: "A white man calling a black female 'bitch,' that is wrong with me. I am not accepting that. That's a problem for me."

But, asked whether he would be as angry if the same words came from a black man, Thomas said, "Not as much."

"I'm sorry to say, I do make a distinction," Thomas added.

KOBE SITS OUT PRACTICE: Kobe Bryant and Luke Walton sat out the Lakers' morning workout in Honolulu Saturday as they recovered from minor injuries.

Bryant rested a sore right knee, while Walton has a strained right hamstring. Coach Phil Jackson said he expected Bryant to participate in the evening practice, but Walton, Lamar Odom and Kwame Brown would not.

"Some of it's preventative, some of it's the two-a-days and the attrition from it," Jackson said.

Walton said he felt a "tug" while running during practice Friday. He expects to return to workouts as early as Monday.

"It's just one of those things where it's only going to be a couple days, but you just can't rush it because it could turn into something a lot worse," he said.

YI IMPRESSES: Yi Jianlian had 10 points and five rebounds, and threw in a halfcourt shot Saturday during the Milwaukee Bucks' open scrimmage at the Bradley Center.

Three days after arriving from Shanghai, the Bucks' first-round pick from China also blocked a shot in 25 minutes before 7,109 fans.

Yi was the main focus of the scrimmage for the fans, who cheered him loudly when he was introduced before the practice and then chanted his name after he scored seven points in the fourth quarter. He also hit from midcourt during a fan contest after the third quarter, earning a standing ovation.

"I heard my name while I was on the court and I was excited for the atmosphere of the game," Yi said through an interpreter. "It was a good start to get ready for the season."

Yi started slowly and appeared sluggish after a long week of traveling and practice. He made his first basket on a dunk with 2:28 remaining in the second quarter, then had to leave the court a minute later with a bloody nose.

But he turned it on in the fourth quarter, hitting a 10-foot jumper, a driving jump shot and then a turnaround jumper with 2:17 remaining. His final shot at the buzzer was blocked by center Andrew Bogut. Yi ended up shooting 4-of-9 from the field and 2-of-3 from the free throw line.