You hate to read intent into things that happen on the basketball court and calling a play "dirty" or a "cheap shot" is not something you can responsibly do on many occasions. But when Kevin Garnett, for the second time in the game, slid his foot under Channing Frye as he was taking a three-point shot and then added a little love tap to Frye's groin -- well, that's just crossing the line.
"I'm not trying to be hard or a fighter or thug or anything like that. I just try to stick up for myself. The first thing, I didn't really complain too much about. The second thing, you know at some point you just have to stand for yourself," Frye said.
Frye got plenty of support from his teammates. Someone hung a pair of boxing gloves in Frye's locker while he was in the shower and they certainly had his back during the scuffle. Marcin Gortat and Steve Nash are right in the middle of things as you can see in the video and Vince Carter is there keeping the peace including a fist-bump with Nate Robinson as the groups are separating.
Frye was in the middle of a fracas last season between the Suns and Pacers when Frye shoved Earl Watson which initiated a similar dust up. Frye downplayed his reputation as a trouble-maker.
"Every year it's always me," Frye joked. "Why is it me all the time? I'm the nicest guy out there. All I want to do is shoot some threes, get a couple of dunks. I just want to play ball."
Of course, Garnett was the victim of some physical play earlier in the quarter as well when Mickael Pietrus tangled with the Celtics big man on a screen. Pietrus shoved Garnett in the neck or face area and was called for a Flagrant One foul. That happened about three minutes prior to the Garnett - Frye incident.
"I heard that Suns are soft and everything like that. That's not going to happen this year. We're not soft. I'm going to make sure when we come out on the floor, we come out hard," Pietrus said about his role on his new team.
Speaking of hard, Grant Hill took an inadvertent shot to the nose on the defensive end that sent him to the floor. As he was recovering, he was faced with Von Wafer coming at him full speed off a turn over. Hill somehow managed to jump up and block Wafer's shot attempt even though he had to leave the game right after for treatment.
Hill said his nose wasn't broken but there was a decent cut on the bridge area.