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4 decks, 42 pt tb blk cond gg

WALTHAM, Mass. — The Celtics made it official: Kevin Garnett is coming back as part of the team's efforts to keep key pieces after losing Ray Allen to the Heat.

More than a week after Garnett reportedly agreed to a three-year contract, the team announced Saturday that he, forward Brandon Bass and center-forward Chris Wilcox re-signed.

Backup forward Jeff Green, who missed last season with an aortic aneurysm that required surgery, and free agent guard Jason Terry still haven't signed, but they were at a news conference with Bass, Wilcox and team president Danny Ainge.

Garnett, 36, the Celtics' emotional leader, is the most important player returning, especially after Allen's decision to leave as a free agent broke up the Big Three of him, Garnett and Paul Pierce that won one championship in five seasons together.

Last season, the Celtics reached the East final, losing to eventual champion Miami in seven games.

"I don't feel like we lost Ray," Ainge said. "I feel like Ray left us to go to Miami."

Ainge said his primary target, though, was Garnett, who was offered a three-year contract while Allen reportedly was given a two-year proposal.

"That was a priority for us this summer, to get KG back," Ainge said. "That was a great relief to get him back. He's such a big part of who we are and going forward we think he has a lot of basketball left in him."

Garnett is the most important part of the team's future after having an outstanding season, especially down the stretch and in the playoffs. He averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

Terry figures to replace Allen as the primary 3-point shooter. "If they need me to wash the uniforms or sweep the floors, whatever role (coach) Doc (Rivers) wants me to play I'm here to do it at 100 percent and give my all," he said.

howard update: Rockets Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon told Fox Sports Florida that Houston asked him to talk to Dwight Howard about signing a long-term deal if the Rockets pull off a trade for the Magic center.

Olajuwon knows Howard and has worked out with him the past two summers.

Without a long-term deal, Howard could play one season in Houston, then leave as a free agent.

Irving breaks hand: Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving broke a bone in his right hand that will require surgery.

Last season's rookie of the year will be out 6-8 weeks but is expected back in time for training camp.

Irving, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft who dazzled during workouts and scrimmages against the U.S. Olympic team recently, injured the hand during a practice session in a summer league in Las Vegas after he slapped a padded wall.

"I'm a little disappointed for a freak accident like that," Irving told the Akron Beacon-Journal. "That thing I did, hitting the padding on the wall, I've done it so many times. This time it was just a freak accident."

trade ends lin in N.Y.? The Knicks have agreed to a sign-and-trade deal with the Blazers that will bring point guard Raymond Felton and center Kurt Thomas to New York for center Dan Gadzuric and forward Jared Jeffries, ESPN reported. The deal raises the possibility the Knicks will not match the offer sheet restricted free agent point guard Jeremy Lin signed with the Rockets. Lin signed a three-year, $25 million offer sheet with Houston that New York previously had been expected to match.

Bobcats: The team was awarded center Brendan Haywood off waivers from Dallas.

hornets: The team matched the Suns' four-year, $58 million offer to Eric Gordon, 23, keeping the restricted free agent guard it hopes will be the centerpiece of a rebuilding effort that includes first-round picks Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers. Last week, before signing the Suns' offer sheet, Gordon said he hoped to play for Phoenix.

pistons: Vyacheslav Kravtsov, 24, a 6-11 center who has played on the Ukrainian national team since 2006, signed a multiyear contract.

4 decks, 42 pt tb blk cond gg 07/14/12 [Last modified: Sunday, July 15, 2012 1:12am]

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