Boychuk enjoys successful return to lineup

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Boychuk enjoys successful return to lineup

BOSTON -- The story of Saturday's 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders was injury related. Tuukka Rask and Daniel Paille were added to the team's injury list.

Already on it were Andrew Ference (lower body), Rich Peverley (knee), and Nathan Horton (concussion).

But if there was a positive injury-related note on Saturday, or any positive note at all, it was that defenseman Johnny Boychuk returned from a mild concussion, and felt fine after playing over 20 minutes.

"It felt pretty good, just to get back into the groove of things," said Boychuk after the loss. "To just get out there and do the simple things."

Boychuk had three shots on goal and recorded four hits in the loss. He said afterwards that getting back out there after missing two games "felt normal", and that throwing a couple early hits gave him the confidence to know that his head was going to be just fine.

"They told me if I felt any symptoms at all, then to get off," said Boychuk. "And if I had to sit out another week, it would be fine, because we have enough guys to fill in.

"But no symptoms at all after warm ups. And after the first period, same thing, no symptoms the whole game."

Boychuk looked and sounded completely normal following his return from that concussion, which has to be great news for the Bruins defenseman who's paired with captain Zdeno Chara every game, going up against each and every opponent's top line.

Sure, additions like Greg Zanon and Mike Mottau have added depth to the position. But especially since it now looks like Tim Thomas may have to carry all of the goaltending load for the remainder of the season, the Bruins will be needing more than just depth on the blue line. They're going to need their best defensemen in the lineup.

"The most important thing is the fact that it wasn't a long-term thing," said Bruins coach Claude Julien on Saturday. "He felt good before the game. He felt good during the game. As far as I know, there haven't been any issues at all. So, hopefully that's the way it's going to continue."

Report: Celtics not one of the teams trying to acquire Cousins

Report: Celtics not one of the teams trying to acquire Cousins

The Sacramento Kings are "fully engaged" in DeMarcus Cousins trade discussions, but it appears the Boston Celtics are not in the running for the All-Star center.

According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, the Celtics are not one of the teams talking to the Kings about Cousins.

More to come. . . 

 

Davis' 52 points breaks Chamberlain's All-Star record, West beats East, 192-182

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Davis' 52 points breaks Chamberlain's All-Star record, West beats East, 192-182

NEW ORLEANS – The stars were everywhere, on and off the court during the 66th annual NBA All-Star game.

There were lots of hugs, handshakes and goody-good vibes shared by all.

And then … the fourth quarter arrived.

It’s the only time of the game when the All-Star game actually looks like a game and not an open gym full of the best players on the planet.

And as we’ve seen this season, no one is better in the fourth quarter than Boston’s Isaiah Thomas.

True to form, Thomas saw a playing time in the fourth quarter.

But his scoring prowess wasn’t enough with the Western Conference emerging with a 192-182 win.  It is the sixth time in the last seven All-Star games that the West has come away with the victory.

Thomas had 20 points on 7-for-15 shooting and 4-for-10 from 3-point range.

That’s not a bad performance, but there were others who were a lot more prolific shooting the ball.

Kevin Durant, playing in his first All-Star game as a member of the Golden State Warriors, had a triple-double of 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, MVP each of the previous two All-Star games, finished with 41 points – one shy of tying the most points scored in an All-Star game.

Despite Westbrook’s monster game, the record wound up being shattered by New Orleans’ Anthony Davis who had 52 points which broke Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star game record of 42 points set in 1962.

Shooting 26 for 39 from the field, Davis also grabbed 10 rebounds.

One of the more interesting stretches came in the first half between Thomas and Westbrook.

Westbrook grabbed an offensive rebound, saw that he was being guarded by Thomas and snarled at him moments before banking in a 3-pointer.

Thomas wasn’t about to be showed up by his fellow All-Star.

On the ensuing possession, he came right back and hit a long range 3-pointer in Russell’s mug. Westbrook came back with a 3-pointer that was off the mark followed by a Thomas miss.

That sequence was about as close as we came to seeming some semblance of defense played by either team, with lay-ups, and wide open dunks reigning supreme all night.

The much-talked about “reunion” between Durant and Westbrook was very civil, one that included the two connecting on a give-and-go in the first half that ended with a Westbrook basket.

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo gave the crowd better dunks in the All-Star game than the actual slam dunk contest, finishing with 30 points on 14-of-17 with 12 dunks.