Bucks rally to kick Celtics, 91-88

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Bucks rally to kick Celtics, 91-88

MILWAUKEE A fast start, a forgettable finish.

Boston (9-8) led by as many as 17 points in the first half, only to see that early dominance go to waste as the Milwaukee Bucks rallied for a 91-88 win.

A 3-pointer by Brandon Jennings with 24 seconds to play put the Bucks ahead 90-88, and a free throw by Larry Sanders proved to be the game's final point of the night. Jennings had 13 points on 5-for-12 shooting.

Boston had multiple chances to force overtime, but both Paul Pierce and Jason Terry's 3-point attempts hit the back of the rim before rolling out. They finished with 19 and 15 points, respectively. Terry also had a game-high 11 assists.

Seconds into the fourth quarter, the Bucks got back-to-back baskets from Luc Mbah a Moute, who was seeing his first action of the season, that gave Milwaukee a four-point lead which was their largest of the game at that point.

The first couple of minutes had the C's looking like a team on the verge of unraveling while Milwaukee's confidence only grew as their lead increased.

Milwaukee led by as many as six in the fourth, but the Celtics roared back and cut the Bucks lead to just a single point on a dunk by Kevin Garnett.

A Bucks turnover put the ball back in the C's hands.

That's all Paul Pierce needed as he canned a short jumper that put the Celtics back on top.

From there, the two teams treated the lead like a ping-pong ball with neither team gaining any type of significant leverage or control.

The game's ending didn't seem likely considering how Boston controlled the first five or six minutes.

The Celtics looked very much in the mood for another blowout win as they opened the game with a 17-2 run.

But then Kevin Garnett took a break, and from there we saw once again a breakdown in the Celtics defense.

Knowing how the C's go into their offensive funks most nights when Garnett leaves the floor, there was sense that the game was shifting away from Boston's defense fueling their offense.

Milwaukee continued to chip away at the Celtics lead with an improved effort on the boards which led to second-chance opportunities, and of course a slew of timely shots from their backcourt of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings who had nine and 10 points, respectively, at the half.

The Bucks also got a huge lift from Ersan Ilyasova who hasn't been nearly as effective this season as he was a year ago.

Making an impact was not an issue on Saturday with him scoring 11 first-half points to lead all Bucks scorers. He finished with 17 points.

Boston was getting a nice boost from its bench as Jeff Green had 11 points for the Celtics, a similarly strong first-half performance akin to what he did when he tallied a season-high 19 points against Portland on Friday night. He had another solid night offensively for the Celtics, finishing with 18 points.

Even with all those contributions, many of which came in the first half, all the Celtics had to show for it was a measly 48-47 halftime lead after having led by as many as 17 points.

Milwaukee eventually took the lead, 51-50, on a lay-up by Ellis with 10:29 to play in the third.

But Boston regained the lead moments later as they tried to fend off a slew of mini-runs by the Bucks which enabled to go into the fourth tied at 69.

Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

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Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

The Red Sox look to end their three-game losing streak tonight when the play the middle game of their three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.

Against Royals' left-hander Danny Duffy (11-1, 2.66 ERA), the Red Sox start right-handed hitters Chris Young in left field and Aaron Hill at third base. Duffy has won his past 10 decisions and came into Saturday with the fifth-best ERA in the American League. He joined the rotation from the bullpen on June 1.

Left-hander David Price (12-8, 4.00) gets the start for the Red Sox. Price has won his past three decisions, going eight, six and eight innings and not allowing more than three runs in each start. 

The Royals won the series opener 6-3 Friday night.

The lineups:

ROYALS
Paulo Orlando CF
Cheslor Cuthbert 3B
Lorenzo Cain RF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Salvador Perez C
Alex Gordon LF
Alcides Escobar SS
Christian Colon 2B
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Danny Duffy LHP

RED SOX
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Sandy Leon C
Chris Young LF
Aaron Hill 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
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David Price LHP

Saturday, Aug. 27: Adding toughness Habs' priority

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Saturday, Aug. 27: Adding toughness Habs' priority

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, after a busy morning celebrating my 3-year-old’s birthday at the trampoline park. Yee-ha.

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri says that adding toughness was a big offseason priority for the Montreal Canadiens.

*There’s at least one big fan of the Edmonton Oilers trade that brought defenseman Adam Larsson from the New Jersey Devils, and that fan’s name is Mark Letestu.

*Here’s everything you need to know about the Ice Guardians movie premiering this fall that takes a long, balanced look at the NHL enforcers.

*Roberto Luongo has an alibi for the robbery in Winnipeg with one suspect getting away in goalie equipment, and it’s funny as you would expect it to be.

*CSN Washington takes a look at the New York Rangers in their season previews for the Metro Division.

*I’m not entirely sure whether this “RIP Harambe” thing is genuine or meant to be ironic by the largely millenial group that seem so enamored with it, but I think it’s just stupid. I think the same with the crying Jordan meme…also stupid.

*For something completely different: a look at how Triumph the Insult Comic Dog learned how to poop on Trump’s politics.

 

Report: Patriots sign LB Jonathan Freeny to two-year extension

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Report: Patriots sign LB Jonathan Freeny to two-year extension

The Patriots have signed backup linebacker and special teamer Jonathan Freeny to a two-year contract extension through 2018, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported.

Freeney, 27, was originally signed by the Patriots to a one-year free-agent deal in March 2015 after spending the first four years of his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins. He then earned a one-year extension last September and played 13 games, seven starts, with 50 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. 

"Jonathan is a very dependable player," Bill Belichick said on a conference call Saturday. "He is able to do a lot of different roles for us. He can play inside, outside, on the line of scrimmage and off the ball defensively. He has been a very valuable player for us in the kicking game, obviously with some size, a four-phase special teams player.

"He is one of our overall top workers in terms of the offseason program, preparation, training. He always does things right. He works hard, doesn't really say a lot, but is very dependable and consistent. I think everybody in the organization looks up to him."