Johnson learned from brief Celtics tenure


Johnson learned from brief Celtics tenure

BOSTON Chris Johnson was a Boston Celtic for 10 days - 10 days that he says had a significant impact on his NBA career.

"I took a lot from that," Johnson told "I learned a lot. Plus I was here for training camp, so I learned a lot from that, too."

Johnson, who now plays for Portland, said he paid attention to all of the C's. But he paid particular attention to the Big Four of Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

"From KG, how to play defense and man-up, one-on-one in the post. You get advice from Paul, Ray and future Hall of Famer Rondo," Johnson said. "It was a bunch of good guys."

After the C's released him to make room for Carlos Arroyo, the Blazers picked him up.

It didn't take Johnson long to put the lessons he learned with the Celtics, to good use.

In his second game with Portland after the Celtics waived him in March, Johnson had a seven-point, 3-rebound, 3-blocked shot night in a Blazers win over Washington.

The breakout performance did not come as a surprise to the Celtics, who had a tougher time waiving him than anticipated.

After waiving him following training camp, the Celtics kept close tabs on him when he went to the D-League.

"We needed a body and he can play a little bit," C's coach Doc Rivers said shortly after the Celtics signed him to a 10-day contract.

Johnson said he had no hard feelings towards the Celtics for waiving him.

"I understood the move they had to make, by getting Arroyo," Johnson said. "You can control what you can. All I can control is working hard, trying to get better everyday."

This season, Johnson has seen limited action for the Blazers. He has appeared in 17 games this season, averaging 1.5 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game.

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla. 

Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.

He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.

Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.


Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Kyle Kendrick strengthened his bid for a spot in the rotation by allowing two runs in six innings and striking out six and Jackie Bradley homered as a Red Sox split squad played to a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Kendrick, 32, a non-roster invitee to spring training, allowed eight hits and a walk in his sixth start this spring. He's been the Red Sox best starter with an ERA of 2.17. 

With David Price out until May and lefty Drew Pomeranz still a question mark, Kendrick could find his way into the rotation behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.

Bradley went 2-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. He's hitting .244 in spring training games. 

The Phillies pushed across the tying run in the ninth off lefty reliever Robby Scott, the first run he's allowed this spring in 10 innings. 

The Minnesota Twins host the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.