Wilcox sits against Cavaliers, stays positive

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Wilcox sits against Cavaliers, stays positive

BOSTON -- Doc Rivers wanted to change things up, so he looked to the paint and swapped out his starting center.
On Wednesday, Rivers shifted Kevin Garnett to the power forward spot and inserted Jason Collins at the five in the starting rotation. The Celtics were going for size against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which in this case left forward-center Chris Wilcox as the odd man out. He was a DNP (coach's decision) while Collins played 23 minutes, Garnett played 31, and power forwards Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger played 27 and 15 minutes, respectively, off the bench.
At the end of the game, Wilcox was more concerned with the end result. The Celtics snapped their three-game skid with a 103-91 victory over the Cavaliers.
"We went with JC tonight," Wilcox said of Collins. "JC, he had a great game. Sully, B. Bass did too. We won, so he (Doc Rivers) doesn't have to say anything to me."
Wilcox is averaging 4.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13 minutes per game after undergoing season-ending heart surgery last March. He also fought through back spasms this fall, determined to return to Celtics and contribute to their front court.
The 30-year-old big man picked up where he left off last season with Rajon Rondo as a duo who could run the fast break together, often the recipient of Rondo's alley oops. He understands his style may not be what the Celtics are planning for every game.
"We all bring different things to the table," Wilcox said of the Celtics bigs. "Doc said he's changing things up, he wants to see some different things, so that's what it was. I'm a more running-the-floor-type player. Sully and B. Bass are more like pop players. It's different views out there when I'm on the court and when they're on the court, but at the same time, we all bring something different to the team. Tonight we might need this and tomorrow we might need something else. We just take it one day at a time. We've just got to feed off this win we got tonight."
Wilcox sat at his locker and laughed with neighboring Jason Terry, Jeff Green, and Brandon Bass after the game. The win over the Cavaliers was about the team, and Wilcox will stay focused for the next one.
"You've got always stay ready so you then you don't have to get ready," he said. "Things will work out."

Pastrnak's two goals lead Bruins past Panthers, 4-3

Pastrnak's two goals lead Bruins past Panthers, 4-3

BOSTON – The Bruins are undefeated this season when they manage to cobble together three goals in a game. 

It took a little extra as David Pastrnak knifed through former BC defenseman Mike Matheson in overtime for his second goal of the game, and his 15th of the season, to take a 4-3 win over the Panthers at TD Garden. 

It was thought the final offensive push they needed took place in the third period when Ryan Spooner hopped on the David Krejci line with David Backes, and fired a shot at the Boston net that Backes redirected through Roberto Luongo for his seventh of the season. 

But the Panthers tied it up on a Demers goal late in the third period, and that set up Pastrnak’s brilliant one-on-one move for the game-winner for the Black and Gold. 

The Bruins led off the scoring on a nice play by Tim Schaller winning a battle to enter the Florida zone, and then circling around behind the net before burying a one-timer from the slot as he crashed the net to connect with a David Krejci dish headed straight his way. 

The Panthers tied it a period later when the legend, Jaromir Jagr, buried a chance from the slot after his line had hemmed in the David Krejci line and Torey Krug/Adam McQuaid pairing for an extended shift in the Boston zone. It was goal No. 754 of Jagr’s brilliant NHL career as he continues to go strong for the Panthers, and it also tied the game 1-1. 

The Bruins looked like they might haven the lead for good on David Pastrnak’s 14th goal of the season, but it wasn’t mean to be. Pastrnak started it all by protecting a puck and retaining possession from his knees in the corner of the offensive zone. Eventually Patrice Bergeron fired a puck wide of the net, and Brad Marchand unleashed a spinning, no-look pass to a waiting Pastrnak for the easy score past Roberto Luongo. 

The Panthers tied it a second time in the third period when Reilly Smith stripped a puck from Patrice Bergeron going up the center of the ice, and eventually it found its way to Aleksander Barkov for a ripped shot from long distance for his fourth goal of the season. 

Then Florida tied it again in the final minutes of the third on a Jason Demers rebound bid after Mike Matheson’s shot went wide of the net and took a wild carom off the end boards in the exact opposite direction. 

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics struggling with three-pointers

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Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics struggling with three-pointers

You knew the 3-point shots were going to be flying all game long when the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets tipped off Monday night. 
 
Now whether they would go in, that’s another matter entirely. 
 
Boston’s struggles with knocking down the long ball played a pivotal role in them going into the half trailing the Houston Rockets, 58-48.
 
Houston, the NBA’s leader in three-pointers made (14.0) and taken (37.0), were 8-for-21 in the first half on 3s while the Celtics were a not-so-impressive 5-for-18.
 
Despite the shooting struggles, Boston managed to lead 37-36 after a driving lay-up by Jaylen Brown. 
 
But the Rockets had too much firepower and when they weren’t knocking down shots, they were getting to the free throw line where there 18-for-20 compared to Boston which was just 1-for-2.
Here are the first half Stars, Studs and Duds from Monday’s game. 

 

STARS
 
James Harden

The MVP candidate was bringing it all areas, scoring 21 points to go with seven assists. But he was far from perfect, evident by his six turnovers. 
 
Isaiah Thomas

He led the Celtics with 11 points, but looks to be growing frustrated with the lack of calls going the Celtics’ way. Near the end of the second quarter, Thomas was grimacing while holding his right groin. But it didn’t appear to be too big a deal as he hit a 3-pointer just moments later. But it’s worth keeping an eye on in the second half. 
 

STUDS
 
Jaylen Brown

He gave Boston a surprisingly strong lift off the Celtics bench. At the half, he had seven points which included a lay-up that put Boston ahead 37-36.

Trevor Ariza

He doesn’t get a ton of attention, but Ariza’s play has been one of the keys to Houston’s success this season. At the half he had 10 points and six rebounds.

 

DUDS
 
Jonas Jerebko

He got the start tonight, but looks nothing like the high-energy, impact player he has been of late while coming off the bench. He was scoreless in the first half while missing all three of his shot attempts.