Celtics fall flat in fourth, lose to Cavs, 88-87

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Celtics fall flat in fourth, lose to Cavs, 88-87

BOSTON The Boston Celtics fall back to below-average status following Sunday's 88-87 loss to Cleveland, a game in which the C's had under control for most of the night.

Boston (9-10) seemingly had the game wrapped up with a few minutes remaining, only for the scrappy Cavaliers to cut into Boston's lead and rally for the win.

And leading the comeback was Anderson Varejao, who had 18 points and nine rebounds.

Following a slew of Cleveland misses in the game's closing seconds, Varejao was able to force a Brandon Bass rebound out of his hands, and later gain control of it and call a time-out.

That set up a game-winning basket by Kyrie Irving with 2.6 seconds to play.

After a Celtics time-out, Paul Pierce's potential game-winning jumper was off the mark as time expired.

It was a disappointing finish to what had been a pretty solid performance most of the night.

But the C's allowed Cleveland to hang around too long.

Big mistake, Green Team.

Prior to the end-of-game collapse by the Celtics, it had been a great return to the lineup for the C's and Ray Allen.

Look no further than his first 10 points coming in just nine minutes of playing time.

As well as Allen and the Big Three played, the Celtics once again got strong play from their role players.

Chris Wilcox, in his third game back after missing the previous six with a left calf injury, continues to give the C's a strong inside presence defensively and on the boards while coming off the bench.

In addition to his four points, he also grabbed six rebounds. And seldom-used Sasha Pavlovic had four points, including a highlight-worthy dunk along the baseline that got a good rise out of Celtics Nation.

For the Cavaliers, Irving, the No. 1 overall pick in last June's NBA draft, lived up to the hype while scoring a game-high 23 points (he made his first six shots before finally missing) along with six assists and four rebounds.

OFFSEASON

Celtics second in Larry Sanders’ Twitter poll for his next team

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Celtics second in Larry Sanders’ Twitter poll for his next team

Veteran forward Larry Sanders, who hasn’t played since December of 2014, has taken to Twitter to get feedback on “Which team do you believe will utilize my skills the best?”

So far, it’s his last team, the Milwaukee Bucks leading, with the Celtics edging the Cavaliers for second place.  

Sanders, 27, has been away from basketball after two drug-related suspensions and issues with anxiety and depression led him to accept a buyout from the Bucks.  The 6-11 Sanders was a solid rim protector. He averaged 1.8 blocks a game in his career. Could the Celtics, with an already crowded roster, take a flyer on him as a low-cost option? 
 

Hanley Ramirez named A.L. player of the week

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Hanley Ramirez named A.L. player of the week

After a power binge in which five of his seven hits were home runs, Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez has been named American League player of the week.

In six games, Ramirez batted .333 (7-for-21) with five homers, 12 RBI, six runs scored, a slugging percentage of 1.048 and OPS of 1.488. Three of the home runs came in one game, an 11-7 victory Wednesday night over the San Francisco Giants. 

For the season, Ramirez is hitting .282 with 13 homers, 60 RBI and an OPS of .821. 

Monday’s Red Sox-Tigers lineups: Betts back in right

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Monday’s Red Sox-Tigers lineups: Betts back in right

Mookie Betts returns to the Red Sox lineup tonight as they open a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park.

Betts is in his customary lead-off spot and playing right field. He missed the past two games after leaving in the fifth inning on Friday night with soreness and swelling in his right knee. 

Left-hander Drew Pomeranz makes his second Red Sox start since being acquired in a trade with the San Diego Padres on July 14. Pomeranz lasted only three-plus innings in his first start for Boston, allowing five runs in a game the Red Sox held on to win 11-7 over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.

Justin Verlander (9-6, 3.74 ERA) starts for the Tigers.

The lineups:

TIGERS
Ian Kinsler 2B
Jose Iglesias SS
Miguel Cabrera 2B
Victor Martinez DH
Nick Castellanos 3B
Justin Upton LF
Mike Aviles RF
James McCann C
Andrew Romine CF

Justin Verlander RHP

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Travis Shaw 3B
Sandy Leon C
Brock Holt LF

Drew Pomeranz LHP