Celtics keep rolling, blow out Sixers, 103-79


Celtics keep rolling, blow out Sixers, 103-79

BOSTON Sunday's game wasn't a must-win for the Boston Celtics.

But you wouldn't know it by the way they approached the game, easily defeating Philadelphia 103-79 on Sunday.

With the win, Boston (32-24) now has a three-game lead in the Atlantic Division on the slumping Sixers (29-27).

After a relatively close first quarter, Boston began to pull away in the second and led, 50-36, at the half.

The third quarter has usually been a good one for Philadelphia, which came into Sunday's game giving up an NBA-low 20.7 points per game.

Needless to say, that number will take a bit of a spike after the C's lit the Sixers up for 34, third-quarter points to take an 84-63 lead into the fourth.

At a time when teams are trying to balance staying healthy with winning games, the C's are managing to do both just fine.

Because of the blowout nature of the game on Sunday which came after a strong performance by the C's bench the previous night in Indiana, a number of key Celtics got more in-game rest than usual.

However, the Sixers made a bit of a mini-run in the fourth to cut Boston's lead to 86-70 which is when head coach Doc Rivers brought Kevin Garnett back in the game.

Garnett, who has missed a number of shots he normally makes lately, was among the Celtics playing good basketball on Sunday.

He finished with 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting. Boston got another strong game from Paul Pierce (17 points, five rebounds) and a good bounce-back showing by Brandon Bass.

After scoring just two points while missing all of his shots from the field at Indiana on Saturday, Bass had 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting against the Sixers.

And last but certainly not least, was Rajon Rondo.

The 6-1 playmaker continues to play at an exceptional level as he finished with seven points along with 15 assists.

To put Rondo's night in perspective, he had nine assists in the third quarter alone which nearly doubled the number of assists (5) of the Sixers in that quarter.

But in 2011-2012 Celtics fashion, they allowed Philadelphia to make the game mildly interesting in the fourth quarter.

The Sixers trailed by 14 and had a chance to cut into the C's lead even further. But Evan Turner, who had a career-high 26 points against Boston earlier this season, turned the ball over.

Moments later, Sasha Pavlovic drained a 3-pointer to put the Celtics up by 17. Another Sixers turnover followed, which led to a breakaway attempt by Avery Bradley who was fouled on the play.

There was still another six minutes of basketball to play, but it was clear that Philadelphia could not muster up enough plays to come back and make the game close. And the Celtics were clearly in no mood to allow this game to become even mildly interesting.

And the seal-the-deal moment that this was over?

The appearance of Gino on the JumboTron with 2:28 to play and the C's up 96-76.

Tuesday, Oct. 25: Carlo for Calder?


Tuesday, Oct. 25: Carlo for Calder?

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while having watched the Curious George Halloween special about eight times over the last three or four days thanks to my three-year-old son.

*Bob McKenzie with a great story in former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore talking a shift as an Uber driver as his hockey work has dried up.

*Alex Radulov is earning some early respect for his play from his Habs teammates and the fickle Canadiens fans, but let’s see how the whole season plays out for the notoriously combustible Russian winger.

*Zach Werenski has taken an early lead among his NHL rookie peers for the Calder Trophy, but it looks like it’s going to be a crowded field this year. Just a couple of weeks in, Brandon Carlo certainly looks like he could be in the conversation as well.

*Pioneering female goaltender Shannon Szabados has been cut from the Peoria team in the Southern Pro League.

*The Chicago Blackhawks have plenty of advice for the Chicago Cubs about playing in the big games as the Cubbies get ready for their World Series close-up.

*A more mature David Perron is having greater success the second time around with the St. Louis Blues while contributing in many different areas.

*For something completely different: a really fun story of a Hollywood Reporter contributor recording the reactions of her 7-year-old son watching Empire Strikes Back for the first time. I was around the same age when Empire came out, so I’m sure my reactions were pretty similar to his at different points in the movie.

Red Sox exec Amiel Sawdaye follows Hazen to Arizona


Red Sox exec Amiel Sawdaye follows Hazen to Arizona

The Red Sox lost another key member of their front office Monday, when vice-president of amateur and international scouting Amiel Sawdaye followed former general manager Mike Hazen to Arizona.

Sawdaye will be the Diamondbacks' assistant GM. As stated by Rotoworld, he had been instrumental in building up the Red Sox' young big league talent and farm system.

The Boston Globe reported today that the Red Sox may not fill the GM vacancy created when Hazen left, instead using "other staffers to take on Hazen’s administrative duties". President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski handles many of the duties traditionally associated with the general manager's position, leaving the actual GM's job in Boston as "essentially an assistant [position] with a lofty title but little power".

The Red Sox have also lost two other front-office members this offseason: Senior baseball analyst Tom Tippett, who had been with the organization for eight years, and director of sports medicine services Dan Dyrek, who had been with the Sox for five years.