Celtics trying to establish a home court presence


Celtics trying to establish a home court presence

BOSTON To have a 16-17 record is bad enough for the Boston Celtics. Realizing that only one team (the Minnesota Timberwolves) had more home games prior to the All-Star break than the C's is downright depressing.

The Garden has been affectionately referred to as the jungle for all the rough and tumble action teams expect when they're on the Green Team's turf.

But this year?

It's been more like a jungle gym as the Celtics sport an 11-8 home record, the kind of mediocrity that they know can't continue if they're to make a surge record-wise.

"We gotta go home and play better basketball," said Paul Pierce. "That's something we've been thinking about, something we've been talking about, just playing better at home. If we played better at home in the first part (of the season), we know we'd have a better record. That's on us, to take care of business at home."

Winning at home is important, obviously.

For the Celtics, winning period is what really matters at this point.

"Momentum is important for us right now," said Kevin Garnett, whose strong play in Tuesday's win at Cleveland helped snap a five-game losing streak. "We playing every other day, and this is going to be a grind, a true grind physically. Mentally, we have to be into it and prepare and just be ready to hoop."

And as far as winning at home, Garnett added, "We have to establish some type of presence at home, and it starts (tonight against Milwaukee)."

Said Rajon Rondo: "We need to establish a presence, period. We're trying to get back on track some how, some way. It starts with a win (over the Cavs), try to follow with another win (tonight over Milwaukee)."

Sheary, Crosby lead Penguins past Bruins, 5-1


Sheary, Crosby lead Penguins past Bruins, 5-1

PITTSBURGH - Conor Sheary scored two goals, Sidney Crosby added his league-leading 28th and the Pittsburgh Penguins won their fourth straight game, 5-1 over the Boston Bruins.

Pittsburgh led 2-1 through two periods before breaking out in the third with three goals in a span of 2 minutes, 57 seconds.

Sheary scored his 17th and has nine goals in nine games. Bryan Rust added his 12th and Patric Hornqvist his 11th for the Penguins, who won a season-high seventh straight at home. Pittsburgh the NHL's best home team, is 13-0-1 in its last 14 home games.

Evgeni Malkin had two assists for a season-best seven-game point streak. Crosby added two assists for a three-point game. Matt Murray made 44 saves to win his fourth straight game.

David Krejci scored his 11th for the Bruins, who have lost four straight and five of their last six.