Barbosa making impact on offense in limited minutes


Barbosa making impact on offense in limited minutes

ORLANDO If you're surprised at how well Leandro Barbosa has acclimated himself to the Boston Celtics, well join the club.

Even he has been caught off guard at how well he has fit in with the C's so quickly.

Once again, it was Barbosa's instant offense that played a role in a Boston victory as the C's defeated Orlando 116-110 in overtime.

Barbosa led a Celtics' second unit with 15 points in less than 11 minutes of playing time. That in itself is impressive.

Consider this: Of the 15 points Barbosa scored, 11 came within his first three minutes or so of court time.

"That's my game," Barbosa said. "I like to be aggressive every time I am on the court. Coach (Rivers) has been giving me a lot of confidence so every time I am there, I try to of course set up plays for my teammates, but if I see opportunities for me to score, I will score."

Even Rivers finds himself looking on in astonishment at how quickly Barbosa can get going despite coming off the bench.

"We thought he was going to go for a (scoring) record in the first half," Rivers said. "He's a scorer. We don't have a backup point right now, so when we put him in, we're putting him in as a scorer."

And that's a role that the Celtics have to have him play when Rondo's off the floor for extended stretches of time, as was the case on Sunday when Rondo was in foul trouble.

"That's why we brought him in," said Rondo, who still managed to score 15 points to go with 16 assists and nine rebounds. "We know he can score the ball."

Even though Barbosa found himself racking up a hefty number of fouls, it still didn't take away from how he controlled the game for stretches of play.

"To have a point guard as a backup and have that type of effect on the game is big for me and our team," Rondo said.

And while much has been made of what Barbosa has brought to the C's offensively, he has had moments in which his defense has impressed the Celtics as well.

But on Sunday, it was all about buckets for Barbosa.

"Basketball is not all about scoring," Barbosa said. "If I am having one of those nights where I'm not dong well on offense, I am going to try to do my best I can on the defensive end. Tonight my offense was good and I took advantage of it."

And the opportunity to produce so often has been a bit unexpected for Barbosa who credits the C's coaches and his teammates for allowing him to impact games by simply doing what he seems to do best - score.

"They have been giving me a lot of confidence when I am on the court," Barbosa said. "That helps me a lot and I feel comfortable."

Rookie Dak Prescott solid again, Cowboys beat Bears, 31-17


Rookie Dak Prescott solid again, Cowboys beat Bears, 31-17

ARLINGTON, Texas - Maybe the Cowboys will be OK without quarterback Tony Romo this time. The future of the Dallas running game with Ezekiel Elliott looks pretty good, too.

Dak Prescott led scoring drives on all four Dallas possessions in the first half before throwing his first career touchdown pass in fellow rookie Elliott's first 100-yard game, and the Cowboys beat the Chicago Bears 31-17 on Sunday night to snap an eight-game home losing streak.

With his second straight win, Prescott doubled the number of victories the Cowboys (2-1) had in 14 games without the injured Romo over three seasons before the fourth-round pick showed up.

Prescott's first TD pass was a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he's up to 99 throws without an interception to start his career. Philadelphia's Carson Wentz has 102, and those are the two highest career-opening totals for a rookie in NFL history.

"Dak's handled every opportunity he's had right from the start really, really well," coach Jason Garrett said. "No different tonight."

Brian Hoyer had trouble moving the Chicago offense early with Jay Cutler sidelined by a sprained right thumb as the Bears fell behind 24-3 at halftime and dropped to 0-3 for the second time in two seasons under coach John Fox.

Making his 27th career start for his fourth different team, Hoyer was 30 of 49 for 317 yards - a good portion of that with the game out of each late in the fourth quarter - and threw for two scores to Zach Miller.

"We haven't played a complete game," Fox said. "This week was the reverse of what we've had. We played very poorly in the first half."

Elliott finished with 140 yards on 30 carries, including a 14-yard run when he hurdled safety Chris Prosinski. The Cowboys kept giving him the ball while trying to work the clock with a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter a week after he was benched because of two fumbles in a win over Washington.

"Made a lot of good runs tonight, a lot tough runs, a lot of NFL runs," Garrett said. "He's physically tough. He's mentally tough."

It didn't even bother Prescott that Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith missed just the second game of his six-year career after his back tightened up during the week.

Prescott was 19 of 24 for 248 yards in Dallas' first home win since last year's opener, which was a week before the first of two broken left collarbones that kept Romo out of 12 games last season.

Romo is expected to miss about another month after breaking a bone in his back in the preseason.

Prescott had one of three rushing touchdowns for the Cowboys, who have seven this season after getting eight all of last year, when they finished 4-12.

Because the Bears fell behind again, they couldn't do much with the running game. They had just 15 carries for 73 yards and lost leading rusher Jeremy Langford to an ankle injury in the second half.