Ortiz: 'I was real depressed'

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Ortiz: 'I was real depressed'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Ortiz arrived in Red Sox camp Wednesday morning, giving the team a full complement of players three days before the first full-squad workout scheduled for Saturday.

After hugs, handshakes, and quintessential-Ortiz off-color greetings for players, staff, and media, Ortiz met with reporters for nearly a half-hour, touching on a plethora of subjects, including the horrific end of last season and the possibility that Ortiz would not return this year.

Asked if that would have been a difficult ending to his legacy with the Red Sox after winning two World Sereis, being a seven-time All-Star, finishing in the top five in MVP voting five times, setting the team single-season home run record Ortiz replied:

I didnt think about it because I think I did my job last year. I would have thought about that if things had gone down the way they did. My year wasnt bad last year. I was really upset because the way we finished and all the opportunities we had through the season and to just be behind by one game. All the chances we had for the season and winning games and those games walking away from us. I just didnt blame one game. I didnt blame everything on one game but the history of the whole season and everything coming down to one game. Everybody was focusing on one game but there were a lot of games we let go during the season.

We should have been on top 10 games and not being away from the playoffs because of the one game. Because like sometimes youre playing teams like Baltimore who were packing to go home. So youre playing with a lot of pressure and theyre not playing with any. And you wind up getting beat because of that. You want to be perfect in everything you do so you can win that one game and it doesnt work that way. Ive been saying that for years.

On the other hand you have a lot of opportunities to win ballgames and for any reason that doesnt happen and then you have to face the situation. I think after the season last year I was real depressed. I was so ready to go to the playoffs and it didnt happen. I remember at one point in the season I said this is the best ballclub Ive ever been on. So when youre playing that good in July and August, me personally, in my mind I was in the playoffs. Having the drop that we had, and moving forward to the end of the season when you know youre running out of chances, that wears you out.

I was like having all this stress and all the pressure that we have to win to go to the playoffs, thats pressure you have to bring to the table. After all, it was like, man, it was very disappointing. At one point I was like, Lets move on and theres nothing you can do about this year. Youve got to pull yourself together and do damage the next year.

Celtics force overtime, come up short in 127-123 loss to Blazers

Celtics force overtime, come up short in 127-123 loss to Blazers

BOSTON – For the second time in as many games, the Boston Celtics ran into a team that played with a greater sense of desperation.

And the result was yet another defeat as the Portland Trail Blazers, playing their second game in less than 24 hours, were able to get off their losing skid with a 127-123 overtime win over the Celtics.

Boston (26-17) has now lost back-to-back games at home, while the Blazers (19-27) snapped a four-game losing streak.

In the extra session, Portland jumped out to a 117-113 lead only for Boston’s Al Horford scoring on a bank-shot in the paint and Thomas draining a go-ahead 3-pointer for Boston.

Portland regained the lead when Al-Farouq Aminu made a pair of free throws with 59.3 seconds to play to make it a 119-118 game.

Boston soon fell behind 122-118, but a pair of Thomas free throws with 44.8 seconds to play made it a two-point game.

Mason Plumlee scored with 24 seconds to play in overtime, and an Al Horford miss – rebounded by Plumlee who was then fouled by Horford – essentially put the game away with 13.5 seconds to play.

Boston found themselves down late in the fourth quarter and seemingly headed towards defeat, only to get an unexpected lift in the final seconds from Terry Rozier.

Trailing by three points late in the fourth, Boston had one last chance to force overtime so who did they turn to?

If you were thinking Thomas which is what the Blazers and most fans were thinking, you would have been dead wrong.

The fourth quarter may be Thomas’ time to shine, but at that point in the game it was Rozier’s moment as he drained a 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds left that ultimately forced overtime. He finished with 15 points, three rebounds and three assists off the bench.

The Blazers came into the game with the kind of potent scoring punch in the backcourt that strikes the fear into the heart of any defense, let alone one that has been as up and down as the Boston Celtics this season.

For most of the game, Portland’s 1-2 punch of Damian Lillard (28 points) and C.J. McCollum (35 points) lived up to the lofty billing as they combined for 63 points.

McCollum and Lillard both did their share of damage down the stretch, but it was their bench – specifically Meyers Leonard – whose play kept Portland in the game early on.

He finished with 17 points off the bench.

Boston led 65-56 at the half, but soon found itself in a 67-all game after McCollum made the second of two free throws.

But Boston countered with a put-back basket by Kelly Olynyk and a 3-pointer from Isaiah Thomas to push Boston’s lead to 72-67.

Once again the Blazers fought back and eventually took the lead 74-72 on a powerful put-back dunk by Haverill (Mass.) native Noah Vonleh.

Brad Stevens had seen enough of his team getting pushed around, as he called a time-out with 5:31 to play in the quarter.

It didn’t help as Portland continued to bully their way around the rim for second and third-shot opportunities with their lead peaking at 78-72 following a put-back basket by  Plumlee.

But the Celtics responded with a 7-2 spurt capped off by an end-to-end, driving lay-up by Rozier that cut Portland’s lead to 80-79 with 2:44 to play in the quarter. Boston continued to be within striking distance as the third quarter ended with the Celtics trailing 88-86.