The Houston Rockets had won 22 straight games coming into last night, the second longest streak in NBA history. That streak is over, thanks to a dominating second-half performance from the Celtics, who cruised to a 94-74 win over the Rockets, thanks to 22 points from Kevin Garnett, 21 points from Leon Powe and 20 from Paul Pierce.
Steve Bulpett notes that the Celtics “evidently don’t have the best record in the league for nothing.” Marc J. Spears has Tracy McGrady praising the Celtics defense as the best he has seen in his 10 years in the NBA. You can check the Houston Chronicle for more coverage of the Celtics putting an end to the historic run by the Rockets.
Spears has Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor saying before last night’s game that KG tanked it at the end of last season. Bulpett has more on the comments from Taylor, which just reek of sour grapes. Bulpett also has a piece on Rockets GM Daryl Morey, who spent three years here in Boston working under Danny Ainge.
Spears’ notebook has TNT analyst Kenny Smith talking at length about his former teammate Sam Cassell, whom he mentored during the latter’s first two seasons in the league, and who is glad to see Cassell taking a similar role with Rajon Rondo and the Celtics. Bulpett’s notebook has Paul Pierce saying that former teammate Gerald Green, now out of the league after being cut by the Rockets, simply didn’t want to work hard enough.
Jackie MacMullan has David Ortiz getting ready for the trip to Japan, while still trying to get fully comfortable in his recovery from offseason knee surgery. Rob Bradford has Terry Francona taking pains to protect his health, although he knows that once the season begins, personal issues won’t be high on his list of priorities. Joe McDonald and Sean McAdam report on the developing news that coaching staffs of the A’s and Red Sox may not be getting paid to make the trip to Japan. They say that players and managers are getting $50,00 each for the trip, while the coaches are getting nothing.
Michael Silverman examines the decisions that need to go into putting together the roster for the trip to Japan. Jeff Goldberg has Jed Lowrie impressing the Red Sox this spring, so much so that he is being included on the 30 man roster going to Japan. Mike Fine observes that while the Red Sox have some notable veteran pitchers, their young arms are really the core of the pitching staff. Joe Haggerty has Kevin Youkilis hoping to get even better while coming off his best-ever season.
MacMullan’s notebook has more on Crisp and Kielty getting the call to come along and contribute on the Japan trip. The Herald notebook has more on the news that the coaching staffs of the A’s and Red Sox may not be getting paid to make the long trip to the far East. This report says that the managers are included in the group that might not get paid. This report also has the figure at $40,000 for the players. Goldberg’s notebook has Crisp looking forward to experiencing a little bit of the Mr Baseball life while out in Japan
Yesterday was Pro Day over at Boston College, with NFL scouts and executives from all over the league descending upon Boston to watch some players with Boston College and local ties work out. Eagles Quarterback Matt Ryan was the center of attention for most of the time. Steve Conroy has staff from the Dolphins, Falcons, Ravens and Chiefs paying special attention to Ryan. Mike Reiss has Chiefs coach Herm Edwards spending extra time with Ryan at the workouts. Eric Avidon has more on Ryan as the star of the show yesterday.
Shalise Manza Young has a look at Jamie Silva hoping to impress scouts with his football skills, rather than his (relative lack of) physical abilities. Lenny Megliola has former Bentley lineman Mackenzy Bernadeau hoping to get an NFL shot. Conroy’s notebook has BC offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus garnering quite a bit of attention as well, many have him pegged as a late first round selection.
You can search for more Patriots related items on PatriotsLinks.com.
Barbara Matson has Zdeno Chara continuing to make improvement, but already sick of talking about getting better. Stephen Harris has the Bruins well are of their futility against the Canadiens this season. Mike Loftus has Marc Savard hoping to be the spark that ignites the dormant Bruins offense.
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Marty Dobrow has UMass moving on in the NIT with an 80-60 win over Stephen F. Austin last night. Mark Murphy and Craig Larson have 33-0 Bentley moving on to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Division 2 tournament.
Mark Farinella has another installment of Ask Fearless.