From Comcast SportsNetSYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- An affidavit filed in a slander suit against Syracuse University and basketball coach Jim Boeheim says the wife of fired assistant Bernie Fine had sex with players, and several people associated with the program knew about it, including Fine. In the affidavit, Bobby Davis, a former ball boy with the men's team, says he was present on several occasions with basketball players when he heard them speaking of having sex with Laurie Fine. Davis said players joked about it and it seemed to be an openly known fact that Laurie Fine had sex with basketball players. A lawyer for Laurie Fine said the accusations were "disgusting." After Davis and his step-brother, Mike Lang, accused Bernie Fine of molesting them when they were boys, Boeheim vehemently defended his longtime friend and assistant coach. He said Davis was lying to cash in on the publicity generated by a sexual abuse scandal unfolding at Penn State University. The Hall of Fame coach later backed off, saying he based his defense on loyalty and two previous claims of abuse against Fine that authorities could not substantiate. Boeheim apologized after a third accuser came forward at the end of November and a years-old audiotape surfaced of a phone conversation between Davis and Laurie Fine that some have interpreted as Fine acknowledging Davis was abused by her husband. In December, Davis and Lang filed a slander suit in state court. The affidavit filed Monday repeatedly makes the point that Davis believes Boeheim knew or should have known what his players were up to. He also believes Boeheim should have backed his accusations. "He knew or purposefully chose to ignore Fine and his wife's behavior," Davis said in the affidavit. "He had every reason to know that I was telling the truth, but he instead lashed out at me and called me and my brother liars." Lawyers for Boeheim and Syracuse University did not immediately return calls seeking comment. The court document also says Davis spoke directly to Bernie Fine about his wife's sexual relationships with players and that "Bernie Fine did not react in the slightest." Davis, who lived with the Fines for a time, said Laurie Fine would lavish certain players with attention, including doing their laundry, lending them her car and giving the player money and gifts. A lawyer for Laurie Fine calls the accusations in the affidavit a "desperate" attempt to keep the suit alive. "Only the news media can think that 20-year-old hearsay is newsworthy if it is salacious enough," Edward Z. Menkin said in an email to The Associated Press. "This is both desperate and disgusting, an example of an irresponsible and unprofessional lawyer flailing about to keep a dying lawsuit in the public eye." The affidavit was filed Monday in New York State Supreme Court by high-profile lawyer Gloria Allred. "If Laurie Fine was having multiple sexual relationships with basketball players, then the university must explain how this could have been taking place for years right under Coach Boeheim's nose without his being aware of it and without the university's doing anything about it," Allred wrote in an email to The Associated Press. Davis, now 40, and Lang claim they were repeatedly forcibly touched by Fine in the 1980s. Fine, who was fired Nov. 27, has not been charged and has denied any wrongdoing. His lawyer declined comment Tuesday. Davis tried to get Syracuse police to investigate Bernie Fine in 2002 but was told the statute of limitations had expired. The same was true of any charges brought by Lang. The U.S. attorney's office is investigating the claims of a third man, 23-year-old Zach Tomaselli of Lewiston, Maine, who says Fine abused him in a Pittsburgh hotel room in 2002.
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Hosting the San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 25, the Boston Celtics had the perennial title contenders on the ropes with the lead in the fourth quarter only to lose it and the game, 109-103.
On the road at Houston, one of the Western Conference’s top teams, the Celtics led in the fourth quarter and wound up losing their Dec. 5 matchup 107-106 as Al Horford missed what would have been a game-winning lay-up as time expired.
Boston played well in both games, but not well enough to win which unfortunately for the Green Team has been how things have gone when they’ve faced some of the better teams in the NBA this season.
They are hoping to break that trend tonight when they hit the road and face the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Thunder (14-9) come in with a slightly better record than the Celtics (13-10).
Boston’s issue isn’t that they can’t play with the better teams.
It’s their finish that needs work.
Boston has lost five of its six games this season against teams that are currently among the top-4 in their respective conferences.
Losses to San Antonio and Houston only highlight Boston not being able to make the late-game runs needed to win.
Even in their 101-94 loss to Toronto on Friday, it was the Raptors’ ability to make one clutch play after another when it mattered most, that proved to be what was needed to propel them to victory.
“That’s what good teams do; they execute at the end of the game,” said Celtics guard Avery Bradley. “We just have to execute better and get stops at the end of the game. That’s what it comes down to.”
And while the Celtics have a number of returners from last season, every season brings about a different team and with that, a need to learn how to collectively be successful especially down the stretch in close games.
“We’re learning,” Bradley said following the Raptors loss. “We’re moving on to the next game.”
And that would be the Thunder who come in having won six of their last seven games.
Of course when it comes to the Thunder, everything starts with Russell Westbrook who is on everyone’s short list for league MVP.
He is averaging a triple-double this season with 30.9 points, 11.3 assists and 10.8 rebounds per game.
“He’s amazing,” said Boston’s Terry Rozier who will likely spend some time defending Westbrook tonight. “He’s going to be aggressive. We have to try and find a way to stop that. He’s putting up video game stats. It’s tough but we gotta do something.”
The Celtics will likely lean heavily on Marcus Smart and Bradley, a first-team all-NBA defensive selection last season, when it comes to trying to slow down Westbrook.
“Russell’s a good player,” Bradley said. “I look forward to every matchup. If it’s him, whoever it is, I look forward to it. That’s what this league is about.”
It’s also about growth and development of franchises into title contenders, something the Celtics are eager to continue pushing towards tonight.
Horford spent the previous nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, advancing to the playoffs every season.
He saw first-hand how they went from a team that could barely get into the playoffs, into one that produced four all-stars in one season and had the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Horford saw the loss to Toronto as an example of a really good team doing what great teams do and that’s finding a way to win regardless of how things are going most of the night.
“We made a run early (against Toronto), they stayed with it, didn’t rattle and eventually got over us,” Horford said. “We’re growing as a group.”