Familiar formula: KG's D, Pierce's offense

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Familiar formula: KG's D, Pierce's offense

WASHINGTON The Celtics' version of Yin and Yang - known to most as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett - were delivering some serious Celtic synergy on Saturday night.

Pierce delivering a steady dose of scoring went hand-in-hand with Garnett's stout defense as Boston held off a late Washington rally to escape with an 89-86 win.

After dropping the first two games of the season, Pierce was determined to avoid a trilogy of terrible losses to start the season.

"Aggressive" was how C's coach Doc Rivers described Pierce's play to begin the game.

While Pierce may have been more eager to make his mark offensively, Rivers believes his teammates did a better job of getting him and Kevin Garnett (15 points) more involved in the offense.

And the result was the C's racing out to a 17-2 lead.

"I reminded our guys that Paul is on our team, and Kevin was on our team," Rivers said. "I loved at halftime they had the most shots.

At the half, Boston had a 49-42 lead. Pierce led the way with 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting. Garnett chipped in 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting. The rest of the C's starters had a total of 14 points.

"In the third and middle of the fourth quarter our transition defense reverted back to where we've been all year," Rivers said. "But overall, especially in the beginning of the game, I thought we came out with great defensive energy."

And leading that defensive charge was Garnett.

"We played with a purpose," Garnett said. "We came with a little fire. That's the way Doc's teams are built. We played with an edge."

True, but the C's left more than enough room for improvement.

"We know we have to play better," Pierce told Comcast SportsNet moments after the win. "We got off to a good start, so we have to be able to maintain that. Late in the third when we got up 12, 13 points, that's a time when you have a chance to put a team away. We didn't do that. So we still have a long way to go, but I'm happy we got the win."

Andrelton Simmons slugs Angels to 7-3 win over Red Sox

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Andrelton Simmons slugs Angels to 7-3 win over Red Sox

Andrelton Simmons drove in three runs, including a go-ahead two-run homer, Albert Pujols went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and the Los Angeles Angels rallied for a 7-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.

Simmons hit his 10th homer of the season to left and put the Angels ahead 4-3 in the third inning after falling behind early. Pujols doubled to score Yunel Escobar and Mike Trout to start the four-run outburst.

Pujols became the 26th player to score 1,700 runs when he touched home plate after Simmons went deep. Pujols joins Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez and Willie Mays in amassing at least 600 home runs and 1,700 runs.

JC Ramirez (9-8) recorded his second win at home in 11 starts, striking out six while allowing one earned run and five hits in six innings.

David Price (5-3) gave up five earned runs and seven hits in five innings, allowing more than three earned runs for only the second time this year.

The Red Sox got off to another fast start after scoring five runs in the first inning on Friday. Hanley Ramirez had an RBI single to start the game, and the Red Sox got two runs in the second after the Angels' franchise-record streak of 14 games without an error ended when Ramirez couldn't make the catch to complete a double play while covering first. Mookie Betts hit his 31st double to knock in a run and then was driven in by Andrew Benintendi for a 3-0 lead.

However, the Angels were able to respond after dropping the series opener. They added two runs in the fifth when Simmons singled, again bringing home Pujols, and he scored on a throwing error by shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

Trout picked up an RBI in the sixth, giving him five in seven games this home stand.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: INF Josh Rutledge (concussion) is likely to come off the disabled list on Monday. . Mitch Moreland was in the starting lineup at DH for the first time this season.

Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (strained oblique) pitched four innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Salt Lake, giving up three earned runs and six hits.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (4-12, 4.60 ERA) has just one win in his last 10 starts, but it came against the Angels last month. Porcello has allowed two earned runs in 14 innings over his last two starts, striking out 13 without allowing a walk in that span, and still took the loss in both outings.

Angels: RHP Parker Bridwell (3-1, 3.18 ERA) went a career-high 6 2/3 innings to pick up the win against the Red Sox last month. Bridwell has held opponents to two earned runs or fewer in five of his last six starts.

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Lee Nguyen, Teal Bunbury help Revolution beat Galaxy 4-3

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Lee Nguyen, Teal Bunbury help Revolution beat Galaxy 4-3

Teal Bunbury scored twice, Diego Fagundez had three assists and the New England Revolution beat the Los Angeles Galaxy 4-3 on Saturday night to snap a four-game losing streak.

Bunbury gave New England (6-9-5) a 3-2 lead in the 70th. His pass down the right side led Kelyn Rowe, who played a perfect cross to a charging Bunbury for a header from the top of the 6-yard box.

Lee Nguyen opened the scoring for Revolution in the 16th, but Daniel Steres tied it in the 22nd. Kei Kamara put New England back on top going into halftime, and Steres made it 2-2 in the 53rd minute.

Bunbury's second goal put New England up 4-2 in the 73rd and Ariel Lassiter added a goal for the Galaxy in the 79th.

Los Angeles (6-10-4) has lost five in a row and has just one win in its last eight games.