Rondo watches as Celtics squeak out 98-93 win over Jazz


Rondo watches as Celtics squeak out 98-93 win over Jazz

BOSTON The Boston Celtics have proven in the past that as good as Rajon Rondo is, they do know how to win from time to time without him.
That was indeed the case on Wednesday as the Celtics managed to make all the necessary plays with a Rondo-less roster down stretch and squeak out a 98-93 win.
Utah's Mo Williams had a chance to put the Jazz ahead in the game's final seconds, but his runner down the baseline grazed the rim and was ultimately rebounded by Kevin Garnett.
Paul Pierce was fouled and made both free throws to give Boston a 96-93 lead with 19.5 seconds to play.
Following a Utah time-out, Jeff Green grabbed a missed lay-up attempt by Paul Millsap but was called for traveling on the play.
The Jazz used another time-out with 12.7 seconds to play.
Once again, Utah came up short on a shot and once again it was Garnett corraling the
Boston's late-game heroics may not have been needed if Rondo was able to play down the stretch.
He left the game with 4:55 to play in the third quarter after rolling his right ankle. Celtics officials said he was going to try and "give it a go" in the fourth, but it was clear that he was still in some pain.
As the players began to walk on to the court at the start of the fourth, Rondo was on the sideline with a noticeable limp to his step and did not attempt to enter the game.
It is unclear if Rondo will be able to play in Thursday night's game at Brooklyn.
The Utah Jazz were no different than most NBA teams that face the Boston Celtics.
Missed shots should never been seen as a missed opportunity to score on Boston, not with the struggles they have rebounding the ball at both ends of the floor.
Sadly for the C's, they stayed true to what is once again a significant weakness- rebounding. The Jazz pounded Boston on the boards by the tune of 48-33.
Even with the struggles rebounding, Boston came away with the only thing that truly matters right now as they try to continue making progress towards becoming the team they envision will be playing late into the month of June.
And if it takes some late-game success to happen along the way, so be it.
"We're a veteran ball club," said C's guard Jason Terry. "We thrive in situations where it's a tight ball game. We've all been in that situation plenty of times. We know what we have to do to close games out."

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner


Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.