The Celtics finally managed to win two games in a row, becoming the last NBA team to achieve that simple mark. They defeated the Utah Jazz 101-89 at TD Banknorth Garden and now sit at 11-14 as they prepare for a tough five game West coast road trip next week. Shira Springer says that the win made for a happy locker room following the game and heading into a bit of a holiday break. Steve Bulpett notes that a few in-game corrections brought about this win for the Celtics. Shalise Manza Young notes the strong play of Delonte West in his first game back from the concussion of Saturday night as a key in the win for Boston. Mark Murphy has more on the play of West, who filled up the box score with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists 3 steals and 2 blocks on the night.
Murphy also looks at rookie Gerald Green remaining patient and saying that his game has improved three seasons worth since he arrived here. Peter May has a look at Utah coach Jerry Sloan, who has been at the helm of the Jazz since 1988, and isn’t yet used to having a young, struggling team. You can check the Salt Lake Tribune for more on last night’s game from the Utah perspective. Ron Chimelis reports that the grandson of Dr. James Naismith wants to sell the original rules of the game of basketball, which was invented by Naismith for $10 Million dollars. The notebooks focus on Tony Allen, who has apparently suffered another setback from his knee injury and was not in uniform last night. Springer’s notebook reports that Allen could be “shut down” for an unspecified period of time. Bulpett’s notebook says that Allen will give it a go at practice today to see how the knee reacts. Young’s notebook has more on Allen as well as the return of West.
Michael Felger has a look at how veteran cornerback Artrell Hawkins has stepped in off the street and filled the hole at safety for the Patriots who had had a revolving door at the position since losing Rodney Harrison. Michael Parente has more on Hawkins. Cafardo has more on Hawkins role in the new Patriots four corners defense. AP writer Howard Ulman also has a look at Hawkins. Tom E Curran has a look at the Patriots receiving duo of Deion Branch and David Givens and how the pair compliments one another nicely in terms of style.
Alan Greenberg analyzes how Tom Ashworth and Nick Kaczur have filled in for Matt Light, who was finally placed on IR last night, ending his season. Nick Cafardo looks at Tom Brady and Richard Seymour being named to the AFC Pro Bowl team. Chris Kennedy has more on the duo being honored with their third and fourth appearances respectively.Felger looks at Adam Vinatieri’s streak of 100 point seasons being put in jeopardy this year. Eric McHugh looks at the Patriots offense getting back in gear.
Cafardo’s notebook has more on Matt Light being placed on IR. Curran’s notebook looks at the strangely empty injury report for the Patriots. Felger’s notebook has more on the Patriots Pro Bowl selections. Parente’s notebook also looks at that topic.
Chris Snow and Michael Silverman look at the exit of Johnny Damon from the Red Sox and how this leaves with team with a gaping hole. Tony Massarotti notes that the Red Sox ship seems to be sinking and that this ownership group is setting a bad pattern of letting players leave because of an unwillingness to pay them. Bob Ryan says that we should remember that Damon didn’t owe the Red Sox or Boston anything, he was a free man to take the best offer, which is what he did, and we should remember all that he did for the team while he was here. Gordon Edes insists that it didn’t have to end this way. Up to a few days ago, even the Yankees didn’t think they had a chance at Damon. The Hartford Courant has a whole section of articles devoted to Damon to the Yankees.
Silverman reports that John Henry passed on a final chance to keep Damon in Boston. Rob Bradford says that it is time for plan B for the Red Sox, but we’re not sure what that is at this point. Alex Speier writes that the Red Sox are going to have to act quickly to avoid a winter of discontent among their fan base. Jimmy Golen writes on the Red Sox facing life without Johnny. Garry Brown looks at the huge hole facing the Sox in center field. Ron Chimelis has no idea what the master plan is.
Joe Haggerty also writes about the impact of the bearded one leaving Boston. Lisa Wangsness talks to fans angry about Damon leaving for the Evil Empire. Bill Reynolds says Damon will no longer be the fair-haired boy in Boston. Silverman & Massarotti talk to Bronson Arroyo and Terry Francona about the loss of Damon. David Borges wonders just how this all came to take place in this manner, Damon to the Yankees. Steve Buckley (subscription only) looks at the spin going on from the Red Sox after Damon’s departure. Art Martone has more on the Red Sox and their insistence that they will be fine despite having no center fielder, leadoff man or shortstop at the moment. Chad Finn gets a shot from the Globe of listing out some possible replacements in center.
Stephen Harris looks at the importance of the Bruins next two games against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell notes that Glen Murray misses his linemate and friend Joe Thornton, across the country in San Jose. Mike Loftus and Harris look at Brian Leetch feeling snubbed by the USA Olympic Hockey selections. Harris’ notebook has winger Marco Sturm heading for his third Olympics with Germany.
NESN has Bruins/Maple Leafs at 7:00. TNT has Cavs/Bulls at 8:00 and Mavs/Kings at 10:30. ESPN has the Las Vegas Bowl of BYU/Cal at 8:00. ESPN2 has the Poinsettia Bowl of Colorado St./Navy at 10:30.