Pierce, Celtics outlast Bryant, Lakers.

The Celtics capped off a 3-1 West coast swing with a dramatic 112-111 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on national television last night. Shira Springer examines the game, which featured a superstar matchup of Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant, who went for 39 and 40 points respectively on the night. Steve Bulpett notes that even though the Celtics needed to survive some dramatics at the end, this game and trip is one that they an feel very good about. In LA, Mike Bresnahan chastises the Lakers for falling to the “hapless” Celtics. Ross Siler claims towards the end of his game story that Ryan Gomes should’ve been called for a loose ball foul on the Paul Pierce missed free throw which set up the Lakers final shot. John Nadel of the AP looks at Pierce capping off the finest month of his career with his 39 in his home town.

Tim Weisberg is surprised that Danny Ainge showed restraint at the trading deadline. Bulpett says that the Laker rivalry with the Celtics is still alive and has a certain amount of mystique attached to it, even after all of these years. Springer’s notebook has a look at Ryan Gomes, who continues to fill up the stat sheet for the Celtics since being placed in the starting lineup. Bulpett’s notebook reports that Wally Szczerbiak has taken over for Paul Pierce as being the go-to guy for shooting technical free throws. He also notes that Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins remain out with their respective injuries.

Jeff Horrigan reports that the Washington Nationals could be a potential trade partner for the Red Sox after they lost one of their starting pitchers until at least August. Gordon Edes looks at utilityman Willie Harris as he attempts to latch on with the Red Sox after winning a title with the White Sox last fall. One of the angles Edes’ pursues is the fact the Harris is from the same town in which Jackie Robinson was born. Steven Krasner looks at Craig Hansen who is prepared should the Red Sox need him to close games sooner than is expected. David Heuschkel looks at Jonathan Papelbon as a youngster who is sure to play a huge role with the Sox this season.

David Borges has an interesting look at the three catchers who are battling for the right to be Jason Varitek’s backup this season. Rob Bradford has a look at a couple of Doctors whose job it is to test and monitor the players eyesight in spring training. Jon Couture says Pedro Martinez’s ailing toe is making the Red Sox decision not to re-sign him look wiser by the day. Tony Massarotti looks at Theo Epstein promising some high school girls he’d show up at their prom.

Horrigan’s notebook reports on Josh Beckett putting on a show while throwing batting practice yesterday. Krasner’s notebook catches up with Dustin Pedroia, who was one of those who batted against Beckett. Edes’ notebook looks at David Wells taking a pass on photo day.

John Tomase looks at the clock continuing to tick on the Adam Vinatieri contract negotiations. Albert Breer has had a two part series on the Patriots offseason needs, yesterday he examined the offense, today he looks at the defense. Michael Parente says that the release of Duane Starks could be just the beginning of an offseason makeover for the Patriots. Tomase wonders if a linebacker might be in the Patriots draft future.

John Molori looks at Greg Dickerson taking some shots at Ed Berliner, previews the Whineys and talks boxing with Ron Borges.

I’m hoping to have an update later today with some highlights from the weekend articles…