Wakeup Call: Magic sheds no tears over Brown's departure

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Wakeup Call: Magic sheds no tears over Brown's departure

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, November 12:

AUTO RACING
Brad Keselowski would rather not have relied on Jimmie Johnson's misfortune for victory Sunday at Phoenix, but in any case he's now on the brink of his first Sprint Cup championship. (AP)

BASEBALL
The Yankees are confident that Mariano Rivera, Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte will be back in 2013. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Meanwhile, Davey Johnson has already decided to return to Washington. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
San Diego State was gone with the wind -- har, har -- on the USS Midway against Syracuse. (AP)

Larry Brown starts coaching job No. 14 with a victory. (AP)

Now that's defense: Florida holds Alabama State to nine points in the first half en route to an 84-35 victory. (AP)

The UConn women win their 17th consecutive opener rather decisively, 103-39 over the College of Charleston. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Sure enough, Alabama's loss Saturday puts Kansas State and Oregon in the Nos. 1 and 2 spots in the BCS rankings. (AP)

And the AP poll, too, only their positions are reversed. (AP)

Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that a few folks were claiming the Tide could beat some of the NFL's bottom feeders? (AP)

Two games away from its first-ever BCS title game, Kansas State is in tight, take-it-one-day-at-a-time mode. (AP)

But at Notre Dame, Brian Kelly wants to know: Why not us? (AP)

Meanwhile, the conference commissioners continue to plan the BCS' demise. (AP)

Mike Leach is on the hot seat at Washington State thanks to some explosive charges by wide receiver Marquess Wilson. (AP)

HOCKEY
NHL assistant honcho Bill Daly explains the league's hard-line stance on the contract issues that apparently have scuttled this latest round of negotiations . . . and perhaps the season. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Canadiens farmhand Blake Geoffrion, grandson of former Montreal star Bernie Geoffrion, is expected to make a full recovery from a skull fracture suffered in an AHL game Friday night. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
All the Phil Jackson talk was just that -- talk -- as the Lakers hire Mike D'Antoni as their new coach. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Maybe they should have kept Bernie Bickerstaff in the big chair. (AP)

Magic Johnson is shedding no tears over Mike Brown's departure, that's for sure. (Pro Basketball Talk)

As for Brown, he apparently drowned his sorrows after his firing at a nearby Chick-Fil-A. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Confronting one of San Antonio's announcers -- yes, announcers -- in a hostile manner is going to cost Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins two games and 70,500. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Mercury Morris' moment in the sun is over for another year: The Saints hand the Falcons their first loss. (AP)

Bad day for quarterbacks in the NFL: Concussions claim Jay Cutler . . . (AP)

. . . Michael Vick . . . (AP)

. . . and Alex Wilson. (AP)

Vick's job, though, will be waiting for him when he gets healthy, despite Philadelphia's five straight losses. (CSN Philly)

Tim Dobbins, whose hit concussed Cutler, says he shouldn't be fined because Cutler "ran into me." (CSN Chicago)

Texans defensive line coach Bill Kollar in a Chicago hospital because of blood clots that doctors discovered after he complained of shortness of breath. (CSN Houston)

Ties have become so rare in the NFL that the 49ers aren't sure how they should feel after their 24-24 standoff with the Rams. (CSN Bay Area)

And a bizarre tie it was. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Giants' annual November swoon is on. (AP)

Eli Manning's been "dreadful" the last few weeks, but he insists it's not anything physical. (Pro Football Talk)

As for the Jets, they've been swooning all year. And it continued yesterday. (AP)

This is a recording: Mark Sanchez is our quarterback. This is a recording. (Pro Football Talk)

Some of the Raiders said all the right thinks, but a few of them admitted how they really felt about the Ravens scoring a touchdown off a fake field goal with a 41-17 lead in Baltimore's 55-20 rout of Oakland. (CSN Bay Area)

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).