Wakeup Call: This is why celebrities sit in luxury boxes

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Wakeup Call: This is why celebrities sit in luxury boxes

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, December 5.

BASEBALL
Now this is friendship: Robin Yount shot Dale Sveum -- with pellets, in the right ear and back -- on a recent quail hunt in Arizona, and the Cubs manager laughed it off. (AP)

It didn't take long for the Cliff Lee-for-Justin Upton trade rumor to get blown up. By both sides. (CSN Philly)

That's quite the rotation in D.C. now that Dan Haren is aboard. (CSN Washington)

The marriage of A.J. Pierzynski and the White Sox might be saved, after all. (CSN Chicago)

And why not? Marco Scutaro and the Giants saved theirs. (CSN Bay Area)

The Orioles are looking to find someone to play first base, and Michael Morse might fit the bill. (CSN Washington)

Or maybe it'll be Mark Reynolds, just like last year. (CSN Baltimore)

There'll be no Yunel EscobarJohn Farrell reunion -- which was the rumor for a while Tuesday -- as the ex-Blue Jays shortstop is headed to Tampa Bay. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
John Thompson III may not be very happy with Georgetown's offense, but when you allow only 41 points, well, you don't need much offense. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Bret Bielema is taking his talents to Arkansas. (AP)

And they're none-too-happy about it in Wisconsin . . . to the point that they may not let Bielema coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Elsewhere on the coaching carousel, it's Gus Malzahn taking over at Auburn. (AP)

And Darrell Hazell heading to Purdue, reportedly. (AP)

Meanwhile at Cincinnati, Butch Jones is said to be "weighing his options", though one of those options -- Purdue -- apparently has disappeared. (AP)

GOLF
No surprises here: Rory McIlroy is voted PGA Tour Player of the Year. (AP)

So can Tiger Woods challenge him for that title in 2013? After a year of progress, the jury is still out. (AP)

Nice job earning your Tour card, Si Woo Kim. Too bad you're not old enough to use it. (AP)

HOCKEY
"Cautious optimism" is the catchword of the day in the NHL labor talks. (CSN Philly)

In fact, NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr thinks Tuesday's marathon negotiating session might have been "the best day we've had," though he was quick to add that's not saying much. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
The Wizards went all Rodney Harrison -- "NOBODY thought we could do it!" -- before the game, and whaddya know? It worked! (CSN Washington)

It happens, shrug the Heat. (AP)

The Rockets' Hack-a-Dwight strategy worked to perfection as they rallied from 13 points down with 10 minutes left to beat the Lakers. (CSN Houston)

And afterwards, both Howard and Mike D'Antoni were a little defensive. (AP)

That's six straight, and counting, for the Thunder. (AP)

The New Orleans Pelicans makes a lot more sense when you realize that was the name of the city's minor-league baseball team . . . though you have to be at least 60 to have ever seen the baseball Pelicans play. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
See, this is why celebrities sit in luxury boxes. (NBC's Off The Bench)

Jon Gruden-back-to-the-Raiders would be a nice story if it made any sense . . . which it doesn't. (CSN Bay Area)

Thanks for everything, Charlie, but Ben Roethlisberger might be back this Sunday. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Just as Ben returns, Ike Taylor goes down. (AP)

Chuck Pagano's chemotherapy is over and he may return to the Colts in Week 17. (Pro Football Talk)

The Redskins' other Griffin -- cornerback Cedric -- is hit with a four-game PED suspension. (AP)

That Braylon Edwards thing didn't work out too well, did it, Seahawks? (AP)

Losing Brian Urlacher is not what the Bears need as they head down the stretch, but . . . (AP)

More details are emerging about the Jovan Belcher murdersuicide. Among them: While at the University of Maine, Belcher had several incidents involving domestic violence; he and Kassandra Perkins, whom he shot and killed, had a "strained" relationship and were separated for a time before reconciling around Thanksgiving; and Belcher may have been involved with another woman, whom he told police he was attempting to contact early Saturday morning. (AP)

Thomas becoming one of the NBA's best in the fourth quarter

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Thomas becoming one of the NBA's best in the fourth quarter

Isaiah Thomas has established himself as one of the NBA’s top players in the fourth quarter of games this season.

“I’d rather play that than any other quarter,” Thomas said.

But there will be times when the game’s flow or head coach Brad Stevens’ gut will tell him to go in a different direction with Thomas’ minutes which is something the two have had conversations about which has helped eliminate any confusion or misunderstandings.

“We’ve had player-coach talks, how he feels and how I feel,” Thomas said. “That’s the relationship we have. We changed it up a little bit (in the win over Sacramento) and I’m just happy we got the win.”

In that game, Thomas was replaced by Terry Rozier with 3:20 to play in the quarter and Boston trailing 66-63. He returned to the floor at the 8:31 mark and the Celtics were down 76-74.

“The key is, there are some times where you feel like those last few minutes of the third quarter will be real important moving forward,” Stevens told reporters prior to tonight’s game. “Especially based on how your team is playing. And you just have to make that decision. You have to make that decision, you take him out early in the third like we did (against Sacramento) and put him back in earlier; or play him through until the two or one-minute mark in the third, and then give him his rest up until the seven or six. Either way, we’ve talked about it like I do with all our guys, especially the guys that are playing and big in the rotation.

Stevens would love to come up with a game plan and stick to it with little to no changes being made.

But the NBA game is unpredictable and his job as the head coach is to make the necessary on-the-fly changes that best position the Celtics for victory.

“Ultimately there will be days that it will be very consistent and there might be a time or two where I’m gonna go with my gut,” Stevens said. “They know that and we’ve talked about it.”

And while Stevens’ decision may not sit well with some, players understand it’s all done to achieve one goal – win. 

“There’s a number of reasons why you make a decision to leave someone in or take someone out,” Stevens said. “Ultimately, we have to figure out game to game, moment to moment, what’s best for our team. That’s what I’m charged with. That doesn’t mean I’m always right. I’m not gonna act like that. Ultimately, those guys know I’m thinking about it all the time.”