Referee Leavy: Ridley's knee caused his fumble

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Referee Leavy: Ridley's knee caused his fumble

FOXBORO -- When Ravens safety Bernard Pollard made helmet-to-helmet contact with Patriots running back Stevan Ridley in the fourth quarter, forcing a fumble, the resulting chaos was difficult to sort out in real time.

It appeared as though Ridley lost consciousness upon contact. As he fell to the ground, his knee jarred the ball from his hand, causing a fumble. When players piled on one another to recover the ball, Patriots medical personnel ran to attend to Ridley. At one point, players and Patriots medical staffers were very close to making contact. It was an unusual scene where it appeared the play was still live (though it had been blown dead) while an injured player was being attended to.

"It was just a tackle," Pollard said. "It's football. He broke a hole and us as safeties, we have to fill when needed. That's football. I hope he's OK. We as players are competitive in the moment, bit when everything calms down, you want that guys to be OK. That is our brother."

The ruling on the field was that the Ravens recovered the fumble -- Ravens defensive lineman Arthur Jones emerged from the pile with the ball -- and the play was reviewed.

The NFL referee working the game, Bill Leavy, explained what he saw after the game:

"What I saw was the receiver was going to the ground, had both legs off the ground, no body part was on the ground. The ball hit his knee and dislodged from his hand before the rest of his body hit the ground, therefore it was a fumble and we confirmed it."

Four plays later, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco found Anquan Boldin for an 11-yard touchdown pass to make the score, 28-13.

"That was the turning point of the game," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "That was the turning point of the football game there on the 40-yard line. It was just a tremendous hit. It was football at its finest."

WATCH: Celtics vs. Hornets

WATCH: Celtics vs. Hornets

Tune into CSN to watch the Celtics host the Hornets at TD Garden. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by McDonald's on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

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Celtics-Hornets preview: Boston, Charlotte heading in opposite directions

Celtics-Hornets preview: Boston, Charlotte heading in opposite directions

BOSTON -- The last time Boston saw the Charlotte Hornets last month, both teams were streaking in the wrong direction with each coming in having lost three in a row.

Both come into tonight’s game streaking, although in two very different directions.

Boston (25-15) has won 12 of its last 15 games to firmly establish itself as the third-best team in the East behind Cleveland and Toronto. Meanwhile the Hornets (20-20) are on the cusp of falling below .500 for the first time this season after losing their last four games.

Still, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has seen enough of this Hornets team to know that a win tonight won’t come easily.

“This is a good team,” Stevens said. “We all know Charlotte. They don’t beat themselves. We’ve had to play really well against those guys. This is going to be a tough one, as we all know.”

Figuring out why these two teams are trending in opposite directions isn’t all that complicated.

For the Celtics, their success of late has hinged heavily on their ability to make 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s problems have had a lot to do with a tough slate of road games (all four of their recent losses were on the road) and their inability to make shots which has been an issue in some form for them all season regardless of the opponent.

Look at the last four games, all of which the Hornets lost while the Celtics won three of their four games in that span.

The Hornets rank 21st in scoring with a 101.5 points per game average while the Celtics average 110.8 points which ranks 8th in the league.

Charlotte ranks dead-last in the league the last four games when it comes to shooting the ball (40.5 percent), while Boston comes in 18th at 46.0 percent.

But it’s the 3-point shot and its impact on having an effective field goal percentage, that really separates these two.

Boston has averaged a league-best 15.3 made 3-pointers in the last four games while the Hornets and their 9.8 made 3’s ranks 20th.

And as far as its impact on eFG%, Boston comes in with the eighth-best eFG% in the league (54.8 percent) while the Hornets next-to-last in the NBA with an eFG% of .462.

So what does that mean tonight?

Boston will look to continue being fueled offensively by good ball movement and attacking the rim which in turn should result in lots of good looks from 3-point range which is clearly a strength of this team.

Charlotte will search for other sources of offense besides former UConn star Kemba Walker who is on the short list of candidates for a spot on this year’s Eastern Conference all-star roster.

As was the case in Charlotte’s 102-93 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, an off-night shooting for Walker (17 points, 7-for-23 shooting with three assists) left the Hornets extremely vulnerable to defeat. Similar struggles tonight will provide a similar ending for Charlotte which would allow both teams to continue streaking along … something the Celtics wouldn’t mind at all.