Boston Celtics defeat Atlanta Hawks, 104-81

It wasn't as if Kevin Garnett hadn't played in a playoff game before.

But after a four-year postseason hiatus, the first-year Celtic made a point to collect himself and appreciate the atmosphere he longed for as he ran onto the TD Banknorth Garden floor.

An emotional Garnett and the Celtics made a statement in their first playoff game last night by going up by as many as 27 points in pounding the Atlanta Hawks, 104-81, in front of a sold-out crowd.

"I ran through the...

His first playoff game? Really? Sure could have fooled me.

"I was pretty comfortable," said Rajon Rondo. "I just tried to approach it like a regular-season game, but I knew the intensity would be a lot more higher and the crowd would be a lot better."

It was a playoff game, all right, and a lot of people were wondering how he'd fare. There weren't too many folks worrying about Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen, and there weren't too many talking about Kendric...