Rondo ejected as Celtics fall to Nets, 95-83

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Rondo ejected as Celtics fall to Nets, 95-83

BOSTON Winning the Atlantic Division for years has been a given for the Boston Celtics.
Not any more, not with vastly improved teams in the division like the Brooklyn Nets who defeated the Celtics 95-83 on Wednesday.
As much as the focus going into this game was on both teams trying to improve their status as one of the top teams in the East, that became an afterthought with 29.5 seconds to play in the second quarter.
That is when Kevin Garnett was fouled by Kris Humphries, and an incident involving players from both teams spilled into the front row near the Celtics bench.
When the dust finally cleared, Rajon Rondo was ejected along with Humphries and Gerald Wallace for Brooklyn.
And with his ejection, Rajon Rondo's double-digit assists streak is over at 37, which ties John Stockton for the second-longest streak in NBA history.
Rondo had six points and three assists.
Despite winning the division each of the last five seasons, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers says he doesn't pay much attention to it.
"I honestly don't look at it (division standings)," Rivers said. "I really don't. I know it's a lot of good teams. Philly and Brooklyn, New York, I mean everybody is pretty good now. But I honestly can't tell you where anyone's at. I never look."
That's a good thing right now, because the C's (8-7) are looking up to a lot of teams -- and there's nothing good about that.
As for Brooklyn, they have now won both matchups with the Celtics, the kind of success that can not be ignored.
Leading the way for them on Wednesday was a surprisingly strong showing from their bench.
Andray Blatche had 17 points and 13 rebounds while veteran Jerry Stackhouse chipped in 17 which included five 3-pointers.
"I know my role here," Stackhouse told CSNNE.com earlier. "Wherever they need me to fit in, that's what I'm going to do. For me at this point in my career, it's all about winning."
As for the C's, Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett each had 16 points. Pierce had 14 points and nine rebounds, in addition to a team-high seven assists.

Sandoval 'starting from scratch' after career had 'fallen into an abyss'

Sandoval 'starting from scratch' after career had 'fallen into an abyss'

The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal. 

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.

"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.

"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."