Celtics Show Some Magic in OT

The Celtics once again showed some determination and desire against a team fighting for a playoff spot, as they outlasted the Orlando Magic 105-96 in double-overtime last night at the Garden. Paul Pierce led the way with 32 points, Al Jefferson had 23 points and 13 rebounds and Kendrick Perkins, whose game was maligned on the Dale & Holley show yesterday, finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks and 4 assists. He played very good defense on Magic star Dwight Howard, who only finished with 12 points. The win closed the gap between the Celtics and fast-sinking Milwaukee Bucks to only 3.5 games for the second worst record in the league.

Scott Souza has the recap of the win, and Paul Pierce again talking about shutting in down for the season as he says his body can’t take much more. Steve Bulpett has the Celtics taking the opportunity late in the season to learn how to win games. Bill Doyle leads off by saying he doesn’t want to hear any more talk about Pierce shutting it down. Well, that talk dominated the stories this morning as Pierce hinted that last night might’ve been his last game of the season. Michael Vega has Pierce mulling a shutdown after last night’s win. Shalise Manza Young says that Pierce and the Celtics didn’t get the memo about their lottery chances last night.

Doyle does also write about whether Paul Pierce is done for the season. Souza’s notebook has Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck praising Doc Rivers for his “trending upward” Celtics. Bulpett’s notebook has more from Pierce on shutting it down for the season. Doyle’s notebook compares and contrasts Dwight Howard and Al Jefferson, two big men who came out of high school in 2004 to go pro. Young’s notebook has the Celtics broadcasts moving over to WEEI.

Red Sox

A few members of the Red Sox media were invited to have lunch with pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, and their two interpreters yesterday. Michael Silverman leads off with Matsuzaka banging his elbow on the table while talking about Pedro Martinez redirecting Don Zimmer to the ground during the playoff series in 2003. Dan Shaughnessy sat next to Matsuzaka and describes the experience in some detail, right down to the stubble on his chin. Tony Massarotti wonders what was really going through the mind of the pitchers during the session with the “group of gaijin that Johnny Pesky frequently refers to as ‘the carnivorous Boston press.’” Sean McAdam has more on the luncheon and Jeff Goldberg provides a Q&A of the session.

Alex Speier talks to Brendan Donnelly about how his brief stint with the Nashua Pride was a crossroads for his career. Stan Grossfeld examines some of the superstitions that members of the Red Sox have had and current have. Jeff Horrigan has Kevin Youkilis enjoying a productive spring as one of the more unheralded players in the Red Sox lineup. Joe Haggerty looks at Alex Cora playing the role of utilityman to perfection with the Red Sox.

Bill Doyle has Don Orsillo and Worcester Tornadoes GM R.C. Reuteman talking about their time together in Binghamton, where Orsillo started his career as a 22 year old announcer boy.

Horrigan’s notebook has Schilling feeling good about his tune-up start yesterday for Monday’s opening day start against the Royals. Shaughnessy’s notebook has the Red Sox taking back the Mayors cup last night. McAdam’s notebook has more on Schilling and the Red Sox looking good last night. Goldberg’s notebook has more on a favorable outing from Schilling in preparation for Monday.

NFL

Mike Reiss looks at NFL commissioner addressing the issue of player personal conduct.

Reiss’ notebook has more college players scheduled for visits to Gillette stadium and Troy Brown saying that he’d like to play this year, but hasn’t decided for sure yet.