First half proves too much to overcome for Celtics

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First half proves too much to overcome for Celtics

BROOKLYN, N.Y. The Boston Celtics delivered yet another Jekyl-and-Hyde kind of performance in their 102-97 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
As strong as the C's were for the most part in the second half, a woeful effort most of the first half ultimately proved to be too much for them to fully overcome.
"I was disappointed with our effort in the first half," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "I thought they just kicked our butts. They were more physical, went over our backs, pushed us around."
And the numbers made this painfully clear.
Offensive rebounds: Boston 6, Brooklyn 15.
Total rebounds: Boston 17, Brooklyn 26
Second-chance points: Boston 6, Brooklyn 19.
Getting bully-balled like that and still be down by just nine points at the half?
The C's were ripe for a rally in the second half, which is exactly what they were able to do.
Boston was able to lead by as many as six points in the second half, but could not hold on as the Nets managed to make all the big shots and get the big stops when it mattered most.
And the C's contributed to their own demise in the second half with critical misses from the field and the free throw line.
"We had point-blank wide open looks at the elbow, we missed lay-ups, we missed free throws," Rivers said. "Maybe that was because we had to fight out of a ditch, a hole in the third quarter. I liked our looks. I liked how we finished the game overall. We just didn't win it."
And while there were plenty of factors that contributed to the loss, none sticks out as much as the team's overall lackluster play in the first half.
"We can't wait to turn it on when we get down and decide when we want to play," said Paul Pierce, who missed a pair if critical free throws in the final minute of play. "It has to be from the start."

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz the oldest to hit 30 home runs in a season

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Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz the oldest to hit 30 home runs in a season

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays:

QUOTES:

"It's one of those freak things. You don't plan on it happening, but it's one of those things. So we'll just see what the results say and move on from there.'' - Andrew Benintendi on his knee injury.

"That's kind of a routine 3-1 play. Unfortunately, it comes at a time when you've got two outs and a guy on the move. But that's a routine play.'' - John Farrell on the deciding play in which Heath Hembree couldn't hold onto the ball at first.

"I felt good. I felt strong.I felt good out there the whole game.'' - Rick Porcello, asked how he felt going back out for the eighth inning.

"I think everybody in the ballpark knew that that ball was leaving.'' - Porcello, on the hanging curveball to Evan Longoria.

 

NOTES:

* The loss snapped a five-game winning streak against the Rays for the Red Sox.

* Three of the four Red Sox walk-off losses this season have occurred because of errors.

* The homer by Evan Longoria was his first off Rick Porcello in 40 career at-bats.

* Rick Porcello has now pitched seven innings or more in six straight starts, the longest run for a Red Sox starter since John Lackey did it in 2013.

* David Ortiz is now the oldest player to ever hit 30 homers in a season

* Ortiz has now reached the 30-homer, 100-RBI level 10 times with the Red Sox, including the last four years in a row.

* The loss was the first of Heath Hembree's career, in his 67th major league appearance.

* Dustin Pedroia tied a career high with two stolen bases, the 12th time he's swiped two bases in the same game.

 

STARS:

1) Evan Longoria

The Rays were down to their final five outs when Longoria struck, hitting a game-tying homer off Rick Porcello.

2) Brad Miller

Miller's two-run double in the third enabled the Rays to stay close until Longoria's homer tied things up five innings later.

3) Rick Porcello

Porcello gave the Sox length and was brilliant in getting out of some early jams before settling in through the middle innings.

 

Shaughnessy: Everything Farrell does blows up in his face, particularly in 8th inning

Shaughnessy: Everything Farrell does blows up in his face, particularly in 8th inning

Dan Shaughnessy joins Sports Tonight to discuss Rick Porcello giving up a game-tying homerun in the 8th, and explains why John Farrell has been very unlucky with any decision he makes.