Broncos acknowledge they were overmatched

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Broncos acknowledge they were overmatched

FOXBORO -- The pomp, circumstance and fantasy that proliferated in the past week didn't seem to infect Broncos coach John Fox.

Football coaches, as a rule, tend to be realists. And the reality Fox inhabited was that of head coach of an overachieving football team.

After Denver got its collective head caved in, Fox said simply, "We played them twice in a month, and were a work in progress and were obviously not up to par to compete with them at this point."

What else do you really need to know?

Despite Tim Tebow's pregame effort to frame this game in biblical terms, the more appropriate analogy would have included Christians and lions.

What can you say hes Tom Brady," said Denver's legendary corner Champ Bailey. "Hes been around the block a few times and if youre not ready to punch him in the mouth, hes going to eat you up all night.

Forget the mouth punching. There was barely even shoulder tapping with an index finger.

"They just execute," said Broncos defensive tackle Marcus Thomas. "They find the mistakes that we made and they capitalized on it. I know me personally, I didnt get a good enough rush, a good enough push up the middle, and Brady had time to do what he do, and do what he do best. Hes a great quarterback and its a great team, and they just capitalized on any mistake that we made. Its something to build on in the off-season, and just get right and thats basically what it comes down to.

Said safety Rahim Moore, Its not like we lost to some bums, we lost to Tom Brady and the Patriots. We lost to a great team and a three-time Super Bowl winning quarterback, so we definitely have something to build on next year."

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics surge at end of second quarter

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics surge at end of second quarter

BOSTON –  For the second time in as many games, the Boston Celtics were hosting a team eager to get off a losing skid.

But a strong surge near the end of the second quarter gave the Celtics a 65-56 halftime lead over Portland which came into the night having lost four straight.

Boston opened with a 12-4 run capped off by a 3-pointer by Jae Crowder – his second within the game’s first couple minutes.

But the Blazers were being carried by C.J. McCollum, half of the most explosive backcourt in the NBA. His 12 first-quarter points were crucial to keeping the Blazers within 28-26 at the end of the quarter.

McCollum continued to out-perform everyone else on the floor, even Isaiah Thomas who had a quieter than usual first half.

But the 5-foot-9 Thomas continued to make all the plays needed to put the Celtics back on top courtesy of a 12-3 run that put them ahead 57-49 with 1:55 to play in the half.

From there, Boston was able to maintain control of the game.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Saturday’s game.

 

STARS

C.J. McCollum

While there’s still talk about whether Damian Lillard will be an All-Star this year, McCollum has played well enough to where he’s at least worthy of a mention in the All-Star conversation. He certainly carried Portland in the first half with 26 points on 8-for-12 shooting.

Isaiah Thomas

As usual, Thomas drew a considerable amount of attention from the opposing defense. And slowly but surely, he found cracks that he could exploit. At the half, he had 17 points, four assists and three rebounds, one of which was an offensive board that he put-back in for a lay-up.

 

STUDS

Jae Crowder

He put the Celtics on a good path from the outset, knocking down a couple 3’s in the first couple of minutes. He finished the half with 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting which included a trio of 3-pointers.

Meyers Leonard

He was 3-for-4 in the first half which included a pair of powerful dunks over Boston’s Jordan Mickey. At the half he had eight points and two rebounds.

 

DUDS

Damian Lillard

It was a rough half for the two-time All-Star, tallying just three points on 1-for-5 shooting. A big part of his problem? Foul trouble. He played just 10 minutes in the first half due in large part to having three personal fouls.