Celtics benfiting from fan support on the road


Celtics benfiting from fan support on the road

MILWAUKEE The stands will be filled with Green-clad fans tonight at the Bradley Center, a common occurrence when the Milwaukee Bucks host the Celtics.

But that doesn't explain all the Rajon Rondo jerseys spotted at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Nor does it explain the fans sporting black-and-green Shamrock-adorned hats at Atlanta's Phillips Arena, whose owners made their presence heard with 'Let's Go Cel-tics!' chants that drowned out the cheers from the home team's supporters.

Don't think for a minute that the Celtics players don't hear and see all this before, during and after road games.

Following Boston's thrilling 79-76 comeback win at Atlanta, a strong fourth quarter surge helped the C's gain control before they barely hung on for the victory.

But lost in that strong play was the unexpected lift the C's got from their fans in the building as their 'Let's Go Cel-tics!' chants went head-up with the 'De-fense!' chants from the Hawks faithful.

"Our fans in this building really got going," said Paul Pierce. "That gave us a boost, more than anything. It was one of those strange games."

Boston experienced similar surges from their fans throughout this current eight-game road trip that concludes tomorrow night in Philadelphia.

"It just seems the last couple of games, we've been having a lot of fans," said Pierce, who added, "it really didn't feel like a road game."

Pierce never assumes that the fans on the road will be as Celtic-centric as they have been the last few games.

But when it happens, it's not a total shock, either.

"There's Celtics fans all over the world," he said. "We got the biggest fan base in all of the NBA. So it's never surprising when we go into other team's building and you hear Celtics chants."

Rookie Dak Prescott solid again, Cowboys beat Bears, 31-17


Rookie Dak Prescott solid again, Cowboys beat Bears, 31-17

ARLINGTON, Texas - Maybe the Cowboys will be OK without quarterback Tony Romo this time. The future of the Dallas running game with Ezekiel Elliott looks pretty good, too.

Dak Prescott led scoring drives on all four Dallas possessions in the first half before throwing his first career touchdown pass in fellow rookie Elliott's first 100-yard game, and the Cowboys beat the Chicago Bears 31-17 on Sunday night to snap an eight-game home losing streak.

With his second straight win, Prescott doubled the number of victories the Cowboys (2-1) had in 14 games without the injured Romo over three seasons before the fourth-round pick showed up.

Prescott's first TD pass was a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he's up to 99 throws without an interception to start his career. Philadelphia's Carson Wentz has 102, and those are the two highest career-opening totals for a rookie in NFL history.

"Dak's handled every opportunity he's had right from the start really, really well," coach Jason Garrett said. "No different tonight."

Brian Hoyer had trouble moving the Chicago offense early with Jay Cutler sidelined by a sprained right thumb as the Bears fell behind 24-3 at halftime and dropped to 0-3 for the second time in two seasons under coach John Fox.

Making his 27th career start for his fourth different team, Hoyer was 30 of 49 for 317 yards - a good portion of that with the game out of each late in the fourth quarter - and threw for two scores to Zach Miller.

"We haven't played a complete game," Fox said. "This week was the reverse of what we've had. We played very poorly in the first half."

Elliott finished with 140 yards on 30 carries, including a 14-yard run when he hurdled safety Chris Prosinski. The Cowboys kept giving him the ball while trying to work the clock with a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter a week after he was benched because of two fumbles in a win over Washington.

"Made a lot of good runs tonight, a lot tough runs, a lot of NFL runs," Garrett said. "He's physically tough. He's mentally tough."

It didn't even bother Prescott that Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith missed just the second game of his six-year career after his back tightened up during the week.

Prescott was 19 of 24 for 248 yards in Dallas' first home win since last year's opener, which was a week before the first of two broken left collarbones that kept Romo out of 12 games last season.

Romo is expected to miss about another month after breaking a bone in his back in the preseason.

Prescott had one of three rushing touchdowns for the Cowboys, who have seven this season after getting eight all of last year, when they finished 4-12.

Because the Bears fell behind again, they couldn't do much with the running game. They had just 15 carries for 73 yards and lost leading rusher Jeremy Langford to an ankle injury in the second half.