A-Rod is staying in New York

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A-Rod is staying in New York

From Comcast SportsNetTAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez will not report to spring training with the Yankees' position players and will work on his rehabilitation from hip surgery in New York.The third baseman is expected to be sidelined until at least the All-Star break following the Jan. 16 operation."I spoke to him last week. He was still barely, I think, on the crutches," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday during his opening spring-training remarks. "There's not a lot that he can do here."The Miami New Times last month published records that allege Rodriguez purchased performance-enhancing substances in recent years from Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed clinic in Coral Gables, near Rodriguez's offseason home.Rodriguez has denied the allegations. Four years ago, Rodriguez admitted using PEDs from 2001-03 while with the Texas Rangers."Him being in New York has nothing to do with trying to get rid of a distraction. It's the best place him for him to be."Major League Baseball is investigating the New Times report and hopes to acquire the documents."MLB has to go through its steps before any of us are really going to be aware of anything," Girardi said. "I think you're always curious about things that you read about that are potentially damaging to your players and to baseball, of course. My concern is getting him healthy, and that's what I'll focus on. I think that's our team's focus, too."New York signed former Boston third baseman Kevin Youkilis to fill in for Rodriguez. Girardi said that when Rodriguez is able to do more, his rehab situation will change."I think Alex had somewhat of a special surgery," the manager said. "It's not a hamstring. It's not something we've done a lot of, and we feel at this point the best place for him to be is New York, rehabbing under the doctor's supervision."Yankees captain Derek Jeter is coming back from a more common operation, surgery on Oct. 20 to repair a broken left ankle sustained during the opener of the AL championship series against Detroit. The 38-year-old shortstop expects to be ready for the April 1 opener against Boston."When you look at our club, Derek has been very important over the years," Girardi said. "And I think we all anticipate that he's going to be back opening day. In my mind, he's going to be an every day shortstop for us, I do."Closer Mariano Rivera also expects to be ready for opening day. The 43-year-old closer had surgery June 12 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, an injury that occurred while he was shagging fly balls during batting practice in Kansas City on May 3."He's had ample time to heal, and I believe he's a great athlete," Girardi said. "I don't think it should affect his pitching."Girardi said no decision has been made about potentially switching Curtis Granderson to center field and Brett Gardner to left.Speaking in the pavillion behind third base during his news conference,Overall, Girardi feels good about the defending AL East champions."This team could win 95 games and get to the World Series, and win the World Series," Girardi said. "There's a lot of talent in that room."Notes: Entering the final year of his contract, Girardi is not concerned about his status. "I'm worried about the next 162 games in front of us and getting to the playoffs, and getting to the World Series," Girardi said. "That's my concern." ... Ace CC Sabathia, coming off surgery Oct. 25 to remove a bone spur from his left elbow, could throw off a mound Thursday. "I never throw off a mound until I get down here, anyway," Sabathia said. The left-hander has been playing catch without problems. ... C Francisco Cervelli, alleged by Yahoo Sports to appear on Biogenesis documents, said he will address his situation Wednesday.

Red Wings' Vanek, Nielsen score in 6-5 SO win over Bruins

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Red Wings' Vanek, Nielsen score in 6-5 SO win over Bruins

DETROIT - Thomas Vanek and Frans Nielsen scored in a shootout, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a comeback 6-5 win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.

The Red Wings rallied from 3-0 and 4-1 deficits in the first period, and with 3:04 remaining in regulation, Gustav Nyquist scored to pull them into a tie.

In the shootout, Tuukka Rask and Petr Mrazek stopped the first shots they faced before Vanek scored for the Red Wings and Brad Marchand countered with a goal for the Bruins. Nielsen, who like Vanek joined the team last summer as a free agent, scored on the team's third attempt and Vatrano missed the net with a chance to extend the 1-on-1 duels.

The Bruins were dominant early before blowing a chance to keep Detroit at a distance in the Atlantic Division standings.

No late-game heroics for Celtics as they lose to Knicks, 117-106

No late-game heroics for Celtics as they lose to Knicks, 117-106

BOSTON – Lately, shots seemed to fall for just about every player the Boston Celtics put on the floor. You knew sooner or later, Boston would have one of those nights when those same shots wouldn’t fall.

And then there’s the New York Knicks at the opposite end of that spectrum, a team that was overdue for a good night of basketball after having lost 11 of their previous 13 games.

Both worlds collided on Wednesday night, resulting in a 117-106 loss for the Celtics.

Not even the usual late-game scoring heroics of Isaiah Thomas could save the Celtics this time. He led all scorers with 39 points but only eight came in the fourth.  

Trailing 88-83 going into the fourth quarter, Boston (26-16) had been within striking distance on a number of occasions earlier in the night, only to have the Knicks (19-24) rebuff them with a made basket, or a rebound or a rebound that led to a made basket.

It was that kind of game for the Celtics, seemingly playing uphill most of the night.

No player exhibited Boston’s struggles more than Al Horford.

The four-time All-Star had arguably his worst game as a Celtic, scoring just five points while missing 12 of his 14 field goal attempts.  

Even though Boston spent most of the game trailing, it was hard to not think the Celtics would do what we’ve seen them do time and time again of late and that’s find a way to win in the fourth quarter.

After all, the fourth quarter has been good to the Celtics – especially Isaiah Thomas.

He leads the NBA in fourth quarter points at 10.1 per game, the kind of fourth quarter scoring the league has never seen before.

But Thomas never found any kind of late-game rhythm, a similar experience felt by most of his teammates.

It wasn’t just bad shooting that ultimately sunk the Celtics.

Rebounding, which has been a problem for them all season, was a major factor in Wednesday’s outcome as well.

For the game, New York out-rebounded Boston 57-33. Many of those boards were on the offensive glass which was a major factor in the Knicks holding a 24-12 advantage on second-chance points.

And as impressive as Thomas has been in elevating his game in the fourth quarter this season, the Knicks were being led by an equally determined Derrick Rose.

The former league MVP looked like his old self instead of just old, dribble-driving his way in and out of the paint, raising up for stop-on-the-dime jumpers. He would finish with a team-high 30 points.

The Celtics led 34-31 after the first quarter, but spent most of the night afterwards playing catchup to a New York Knicks team that came in having lost 11 of its previous 13 games.

NOTE

Both Boston and New York were missing key players with a sore Achilles injury. For the Celtics, they were without Avery Bradley (right Achilles) and the Knicks were missing Kristaps Porzingis (left Achilles).