Celtics overcome Mavericks in double OT, 117-115


Celtics overcome Mavericks in double OT, 117-115

BOSTON The Boston Celtics have a tendency to make things much harder on themselves than they should be. 
If ever there was a game that was indicative of that, it was Wednesday night's 117-115 double overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Paul Pierce led all scorers with 34 points, which included him making five of his last six free throws in the final seconds of Boston's second overtime. 
Dallas had one last shot at tying up the game, but Darren Collison threw the ball away with 5.3 seconds to play in the second overtime, a fitting end to the night for a Dallas team that turned the ball over 28 times that resulted in 34 points for the Celtics. 
Collison then fouled Courtney Lee with 4.1 seconds to play. Lee went to the line and made both to secure the Celtics victory. 
O.J. Mayo led the Mavericks with 24 points which included an end-of-the-game buzzer beater that meant nothing other than another 3-pointer to pad his individual stats line.
Rajon Rondo, who came about as close as you can to a triple-double, finished with 16 points, 15 assists and nine rebounds.
So much of the chatter leading up to Wednesday's game against Dallas was centered around Celtics guard Jason Terry seeing his former team for the first time since leaving. 
But that wasn't the reunion of sorts that had the Celtics feeling good afterward.
It was them re-introducing themselves to an old friend called winning streak, a friend they haven't seen much of this season. 
Bringing the two together was not easy as the Celtics made a slew of miscues in the fourth that led to the first of two overtime sessions.
Boston led most of the night, but the Mavericks chipped away at Boston's lead and eventually tied the game at 92 on a driving lay-up by Collison with 2:20 to play and then took their first lead of the night on a 3-pointer from Derek Fisher, 95-94, with 1:47 to play in the fourth quarter. 
Boston regained the lead just 17 seconds later on a jumper by Pierce. 
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle came into Wednesday's game well aware that the Celtics were a better team than their slightly-above .500 record.
"I like their team," Carlisle, a former Celtic, said prior to the game. "I like their veteran savvy. They have a real good mixture of different kinds of players. They're tough and physical and they're obviously well coached. They're a team that's going to get better as the year goes on."
Boston (12-9) is three games over .500 for the first time this season after winning their second straight game -- something they had not done since wins on Nov. 23 and 25 against Oklahoma City and Orlando, respectively. 
The Celtics also snapped a four-game losing skid to the Mavericks.
Getting off to a great start for the Celtics was Kevin Garnett, who made his first three field goals before finishing the night with 16 points and five rebounds.
Boston pushed its lead back to double digits in the third quarter after a Brandon Bass put-back basket gave the Celtics a 63-52 lead.
The first half belonged to Boston which led by as many as 10 points, only to see its lead cut down to 48-43 at the half.

Pregame Number: Perimeter pain for the Bulls


Pregame Number: Perimeter pain for the Bulls

Tonight’s pregame number is 133. That’s the total number of made 3-point field goals made last season by the players starting for the Bulls tonight. Whatever the Bulls reasons for signing Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade were this offseason, floor spacing was not one of them.

Wade’s career mark of 28.4 percent from distance is the third-worst percentage among active players with 600+ career attempts, while Rondo’s 28.9 career 3-pt FG% is seventh worst. And, for what it’s worth, the new-look Bulls shot 31.8 percent from beyond the arc (21st in the NBA) this preseason, while hitting 7.7 3-pointers per game. 

Despite allowing 15 3’s last night vs the Nets, perimeter defense should once again be a strength for the Celtics. Last season, the Celtics were fourth in the NBA with an opponent 3-pt FG% of 33.6. They were 38-15 when holding opponents to eight or fewer 3’s. 

With the NBA continuing to trend towards more 3-point shooting, it will be interesting to see how Fred Hoiberg’s offense looks this season, and especially tonight vs the Celtics.

Thursday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/report: Edelman still limited


Thursday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/report: Edelman still limited

FOXBORO -- Even though Dion Lewis returned to practice on Thursday, there were no changes to the Patriots injury report.

Because Lewis remains on the physically unable to perform list, he does not count against the active roster, and the team is not required to list his participation level following practices. The Patriots have three weeks to activate Lewis, and whenever they do, he'll be eligible to show up on the participation report.

There were no changes to New England's injury report, meaning that tight end Martellus Bennett, receiver Julian Edelman and linebacker Jamie Collins all continue to be limited. Edelman has been limited with a foot injury since before his team's Week 6 matchup with the Browns. Despite just nine catches for 65 yards in Tom Brady's first two games back from suspension, Edelman bounced back against the Steelers and reeled in nine passes for 60 yards.

The Bills continue to be hampered by a variety of ailments. Linebacker Zach Brown, who almost single-handedly ruined Patriots plans back in Week 4, missed Thursday's workout with an illness, as did guard Richie Incognito. Running back LeSean McCoy missed practice for the second straight day with a hamstring injury, and receiver Marquis Goodwin was out with a concussion. 

Here's Thursday's full practice participation/injury report for the Patriots and Bills:


TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)


LB Zach Brown (illness)
TE Cordy Glenn (ankle)
WR Marquise Goodwin (concussion)
G Richie Incognito (illness)
RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring)
S Aaron Williams (neck)

DT Corbin Bryan (shoulder)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
DT Marcell Dareus (hamstring)
RB Mike Gillislee (foot)
LB Jerry Hughes (hand)
LB Lerentee McCray (knee)
G John Miller (shoulder)
WR Robert Woods (foot)

T Seantreal Henderson (back)

LB Lorenzo Alexander (non-injury related)
DT Adolphus Washington (illness)