Celtics-Bucks review: C's let one get away

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Celtics-Bucks review: C's let one get away

MILWAUKEE The Boston Celtics did pretty much all they wanted to against the Milwaukee Bucks except one thing - win the game.

They kept the Bucks from scoring a bunch of points, they held their own on the boards, kept the turnover differential relatively even and that still wasn't enough to withstand a late-game surge by the Bucks who rallied for a 91-88 win.

"We had a lot of chances," said Boston head coach Doc Rivers. "Overall, I thought our guys really played hard and we did everything we could do. We missed a lot of good shots down the stretch. It was just a tough loss."

Rivers' comments were echoed throughout the Celtics locker room following the loss, their second in three meetings against the Bucks this season.

"Both teams were going back and fourth," said Boston's Kevin Garnett. "They made some shots and we made some shots.

Garnett added, "we had a chance to win the game and that's all you can hope for, especially when you're doing back-to-backs on the road."

So the Celtics will have three days off before they return to the court with the goal being to do what they did against the Bucks with one difference - win the game.

Here are some keys identified prior to Saturday's loss, and how those factors played out.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Because of the blowout nature of Friday's win, the C's are in position to play their core players - Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, specifically - extended minutes tonight if necessary.

WHAT WE SAW: Garnett and Pierce played 31 and 37 minutes, respectively, which isn't all that out of the norm for them.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Courtney LeeJason Terry vs Monta EllisBrandon Jennings: The Celtics backcourt of Lee and Terry will spend time alternating defensively against one of the most high-powered backcourts in the NBA. Holding their own against Ellis and Jennings will be critical to the C's hopes of winning.

WHAT WE SAW: This matchup, like the game, was a fairly close most of the game. Lee and Terry did a nice job of not only scoring, but facilitating the offense that churned out 26 assists on 34 made field goals. Lee had 13 points and two assists while Terry had his first double-double with the Celtics, scoring 15 points while registering a season-high 11 assists.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Jeff Green is coming off a season-high 19 points, delivering the kind of high impact performance that the Celtics have been longing for all season. What's next? Doing it again.

WHAT WE SAW: Jeff Green continues to play with a purpose for the Celtics, tallying 18 points on Saturday to go with six rebounds.

STAT TO TRACK: The magic number for the Boston Celtics is 95; as in 95 points allowed. This season, the C's are 7-1 when they hold opponents to 95 points or less. That'll be important against the Bucks who are 6-2 this season when scoring 95 or more points.

WHAT WE SAW: Boston kept the Bucks below 95 points scored, but a late-game offensive funk coupled with a couple of bad defensive rotations in the final minute, would prove to be too much for the Celtics to overcome.

Another big swing and miss from NYDN's Manish Mehta on the Patriots

Another big swing and miss from NYDN's Manish Mehta on the Patriots

Every few months, our buddy Manish Mehta gets suitably bored or his bosses at the New York Daily News get sufficiently impatient with him and he goes off with some prediction that winds up being the absolute direct opposite of what actually happens.

He would be like the drippy-nosed kid at his own birthday party trying to bust open the piñata for an uncomfortable length of time. Except, eventually, somebody takes pity on that kid. With Manish, nobody ever feels bad and he’s left out there swinging long after the party’s over and everyone’s gone home.

Tom Brady’s suspension has provided multiple opportunities for Manish to walk into screen doors.

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First, after Brady bailed in July on taking his suspension to the SCOTUS, Mehta spun it forward and said the Jets would be looking real good after four games with Jimmy Garoppolo driving the bus.

Brady will be in full-fledged F.U. mode by the time he faces the Jets for the first time in Week 12. But what if the Patriots start off winless or 1-3 with Garoppolo? Will Brady's greatness be enough to overcome such a sluggish start given that his team has the second toughest strength of schedule in the AFC (behind the Jets and just ahead of the Bills and Dolphins)?

"I feel like, in this division, you got to win 10-plus games, maybe 11-plus games," Decker said. "That means you almost have to go perfect the rest of the year (after a 1-3 start). You can be in a situation where you play a hard Sunday game and, all of sudden, you got a (quick turnaround) on a Thursday night. … You can factor those things in and make a case that it's more difficult to go on a run after starting 1-3."

After the Patriots started 2-0 and Garoppolo broke, Mehta waded in again.

Not even the greatest football mind of the generation will be able to wiggle out of this jam.

The Patriots face a new reality now that Jimmy Garoppolo wrecked his shoulder on Sunday: The Evil Empire will be looking up at the Jets in the AFC East standings when Tom Brady returns….

(Jacoby) Brissett has been a NFL player for FIVE MONTHS. He'll have THREE DAYS to prepare for his first start. Belichick is brilliant, but let's be realistic. He's not going to climb this mountain.

Friday, Manish made a Mehta Culpa in the New York Daily News and on CSN's SportsNet Central. His prediction of Brissett going bellyup and the Patriots being behind the Jets by the time Brady made his return was, “one giant swing and a miss,” wrote Mehta.

“I was wrong like pre-Socratic philosophers, who thought the world was flat. I was wrong like the Chicago Daily Tribune headline writer, who prematurely buried Truman in '48. I was wrong like Lex Luthor, who thought he could destroy Superman three or four hundred times.

Mehta got an avalanche of “You’re a ******* moooooorrrrrrooooonnnnn!!!!” tweets Thursday night. This was his blanket attempt to say, “Yes. Yes I am.”

And for a second, you worry. Is Manish done? Has he taken his blindfold off, put down his stick and gone into the house for good? No more wild swings and misses?

And then you realize it is his raison d’etre. He’ll be back. And – like this guy – he’ll be gloriously mistaken.

 

Towles accounts for 4 TDs, BC runs past Wagner, 42-10

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Towles accounts for 4 TDs, BC runs past Wagner, 42-10

BOSTON - Quarterback Patrick Towles passed for two touchdowns and added two more on the ground as Boston College defeated Wagner 42-10 on Saturday.

Jon Hilliman ran for two more touchdowns for the Eagles (2-2), who won their 25th straight game against a Football Championship Subdivision opponent.

Wagner (2-1) wasn't rattled early, scoring on its second drive of the game to take an early 7-0 lead. But after the Seahawks pulled within 14-10 early in the second quarter, BC took control, and scored the final 28 points of the game.

Boston College coach Steve Addazio expressed discontent this week with his team's inability to run the ball consistently over its first three games, after establishing that identity during his first three seasons in Boston.

BC had just 44 yards rushing in last week's 49-0 loss at Virginia Tech, its fewest since 28 at N.C. State in 2015. The Eagles entered Saturday ranked second from last in the Atlantic Coast Conference in rushing at just 124.4 yards per game.

They had 188 yards rushing at halftime against Wagner, and finished with 300 yards on the ground for the day.

"We wanted to emphasize running the football today and we did that," Addazio said.

Towles said the success on the ground helped relax the entire offense.

"That was big for us," he said. "We've traditionally been a good running football team here. It hasn't been to our standards the first few weeks of the season. I know that's one thing we really focused on this week was getting out there and really running the football well."

Towles' day ended after three quarters. He was 9 of 16 for 157 yards passing and rushed seven times for 46 yards. Hilliman rushed 19 times for 83 yards, and Davon Jones also rushed 12 times for 90 yards.

After giving up the early score, Boston College's defense tightened, holding to Seahawks to just 89 total yards in the first half, and -2 yards in the third quarter.

The Eagles outgained Wagner 490-107 in total yards for the game.

Wagner coach Wagner coach Jason Houghtaling said after some early stands, the Seahawks' defense started to show fatigue as the game progressed.

"We wanted to try and run it, but we knew it would be an uphill battle," he said. "The defense started to wear down. The longer they were on the field, the size of the offensive line, the physicality of the running backs, absolutely I think it wore down."

THE TAKEAWAY

WAGNER: The Seahawks held their own early with a FBS opponent, which should give it a boost going into its conference schedule.

BOSTON COLLEGE: The Eagles wanted to begin breathing life into what had been an anemic offense at times in their first three games. BC established the run early, and was able to get touchdowns in the red zone - a positive with the meat of the ACC schedule still remaining. But penalties remain a concern. The Eagles had seven for 85 yards on Saturday, including a few that took away big plays.

UP NEXT

WAGNER: The Seahawks return home next week to host Sacred Heart in its Northeast Conference opener.

BOSTON COLLEGE: The Eagles continue their four-game home stand next week with a visit from Mid-American Conference Buffalo.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.