A Cool 40 For Celts

The Celtics pushed their record to 40-9 this season with a 104-97 win over the Pacers in Indiana. Paul Pierce led the way with 28 points and 12 rebounds, while Ray Allen had 23 points, and Leon Powe contributed 16 points and 9 rebounds to the effort.

Marc J. Spears has the Celtics becoming the first team in the NBA to reach the 40 win mark this season, and becoming the third-fastest squad in franchise history to reach the 40 win level. Mark Murphy says that the Celtics came out flat last night, but Pierce and company turned things on to win the game. Mike Fine has a look at Big Baby doing some growing up as of late. Jeff Clark says that the Celtics have finally found a true point guard they can build an offense around in Rajon Rondo.

Spears’ notebook has Ray Allen talking about his chances to be named an All Star replacement with Washington’s Caron Butler missing games with a hip flexor. Murphy’s notebook has the Celtics and Knicks gearing up for round three of their often-times ugly battle this season.

Bruins

The B’s fell behind 3-0 early last night, rallied to get within a goal, but couldn’t tie things up as they fell to the Carolina Hurricanes last night 3-2 at the Garden. Fluto Shinzawa says that the Bruins started this one 50 minutes too late. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins are quickly entering crisis mode with their play of late. Rich Garven notes that two goals in 27 seconds by Shawn Thornton couldn’t give the Bruins enough of a lift last night. Douglas Flynn has the Bruins in a bit of a free-fall with the loss.

Frank Dell’Apa has a look at Thornton breaking his scoreless streak with the goals, but wishing they had come in a winning cause. Steve Conroy has more on Thornton and his pair of goals.

Garven’s notebook has the Bruins in a precarious spot, sitting right on the edge of the playoff picture. Harris’ notebook has the Bruins furious at an apparent kick-in goal by the Hurricanes last night. Shinzawa’s notebook has the Hurricanes shaking things up with a trade earlier this week.

Red Sox

Tony Massarotti writes that the Red Sox remain a threat to win it all, thanks to the vision of GM Theo Epstein. (You’ll recall back in the day, Massarotti was a harsh critic of Epstein, especially when the young GM first got the gig.) Amalie Benjamin raises the possibility that Julian Tavarez might get the call to replace Curt Schilling in the rotation, rather than just handing the role to Clay Buchholz. Michael Silverman looks at the offseason comings and goings around baseball.

Sleep apnea was the buzzphrase at Fort Myers yesterday, as the baseball blogs reported on Craig Hansen’s offseason surgery to correct this problem. Rob Bradford has the full story on the young reliever, who is hoping that the surgery will allow him to get the rest he needs to be a bigger contributor this season. Gordon Edes has more on Hansen, who claims that before the surgery he snored “like a 500-pound fat man.” Seems redundant to me. Jessica Heslam reports on just what sleep apnea is.

Bradford’s notebook has the Red Sox planning on giving their starters extra rest whenever they can this season.

Bob Hohler says that today is the moment of truth for Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee as they get set to testify in Washington.

Patriots/NFL

Dan Snapp over on Patriots Daily weighs on on petitions circulating from so-called Patriots fans claiming that the team was robbed of the Super Bowl.

Christopher L. Gasper and Karen Guregian (Could the Herald spell her name right, please?) report on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell getting set to meet with Sen. Arlen Specter to discuss the Patriots camera scandals.

David Scott on Scott’s Shots has a look at ESPN requesting YouTube to remove videos of Chris Berman in “unguarded moments” from a number of years ago.