McQuaid leaves loss to Caps with head injury

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McQuaid leaves loss to Caps with head injury

BOSTON -- While nothing has been confirmed on Adam McQuaid after taking a hellacious hit from behind courtesy of Washington grinder Jason Chimera in the first period, the initial reports werent exactly rosy.

The brawny, mullet-wearing defenseman crumpled to the ice after taking the hit, and instinctively covered his face and head following the impact with the boards and the dasher. McQuaid suffered a cut above his right eye and the normal disorientation after taking a blow to the head, and never returned to the game after the collision in the first period.

McQuaid suffered a cut over the right eyebrow and he wasnt feeling quite right. The doctors didnt want to take a chance of sending him back. So well probably learn more on Friday and find out a little more about it, said Claude Julien. But for the obvious reasons that medical staff deals with those kinds of things. The minute you dont feel right, they pull you out. So hopefully well get good news tomorrow, but well find out later.

McQuaid has had past issues with concussions and neck injuries, so there is further attention paid to the symptoms bothering the defenseman. Above and beyond that McQuaid also took a knee to the head during an awkward collision against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, so hed already had his bell rung to some degree before the bigger blow to his head in the 3-2 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals.

With Dennis Seidenberg in question with an infected cut on his leg and McQuaids status now up in the air, it would appear that reserve defenseman Mike Mottau might be in line for some playing this weekend against the Rangers and Islanders.

Chimera was slapped with a five-minute charging major after taking more than 10 strides after coming straight off the Washington bench before slamming into McQuaid behind the Boston net. McQuaid absolutely turned at the last minute away from Chimera with his head down playing the puck behind the net, but Chimera was going far too fast to control his actions on the ice.

Similar to the Andrew Ference hit on Ryan McDonagh that drew a three-game suspension for the Bruins defenseman, it appeared the hit was reckless while failing to qualify as intent to injure. Thats how Claude Julien saw it following the game, and the Bs coach wasnt pushing for a suspension.

Chimera came off the bench and he was going hard. Maybe it was a little bit reckless, but theres no doubt in my mind that it wasnt intentional. McQuaid just turned at the last second and put himself in a bit of vulnerable position, said Julien. But I agree with the referees call: It was a bit of a reckless hit, and it deserved probably a five-minute penalty. They had to make that decision. It was a tough one.

Thats why I keep saying that I really, really encourage our players to be careful, with the speed of the game today, to make sure you dont turn your back to the play. Those kinds of things happen. You worry about the security of the players, you worry about the safety of the game, and Im one of those guys that will look at both sides of it and not just preach for my side of it.

The Bruins at this point are clearly much concerned about the health of their rugged, stay-at-home defenseman with five games to go in the regular season than they are about what kind of discipline the league opts to pursue for Chimera.

Celtics miss an opportunity in first half with LeBron in foul trouble

Celtics miss an opportunity in first half with LeBron in foul trouble

CLEVELAND – There are 240 minutes of play in an NBA game, but Boston’s 112-99 Game 4 loss to Cleveland came down to seven (six minutes and 46 seconds to be precise).

That would be the amount of time left in the second quarter that LeBron James spent on the bench with four personal fouls (a first for him in the first half of an NBA playoff game ever) and Boston ahead by 10 points.

Boston could not have asked for a better scenario than that, especially considering how well they had played up to that point in the game and again, knowing that James wasn’t about to set foot back on the court until the third quarter.

But here’s the problem.

Boston’s 10-point lead when James left with four fouls.

Halftime rolled around and Boston’s lead was still at just 10 points.

Celtics players agreed that not finding a way to increase their lead with James out was among the more pivotal stretches of play in Game 4.

“They did a really good job of not letting it (the 10-point lead) get out of control while he was on the bench,” Boston’s Marcus Smart told CSNNE.com. “Every time we scored, they came back and scored.  They answered back with everything we answered.”

While many will point to that stretch as a time when the Celtics failed to make the necessary adjustments to increase their chances of winning, it wasn’t as if the Cavs are a one-man team.

“They still have two All-Stars out on the court,” said Boston’s head coach Brad Stevens, referring to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. “With the best player in the world they go to unreal, but they’re still a pretty darned good team when those guys are out there.”

Irving had a playoff career-high 42 points which included him scoring 12 of Cleveland’s 14 points in the final 6:46 of the second with James on the bench.

“He’s one of the best point guards in the NBA, and you know, you can tell he puts in a lot of work in his game, a lot of respect from myself, my teammates,” said Avery Bradley. “We have to do a better job at defending him as a unit, trying to make everything hard on him. He definitely got a great rhythm going tonight, and I felt like we had a chance to make it harder on him.”

James still finished with a strong stat line for the night – 34 points, six assists, five rebounds and a blocked shot.

As good as he was on the court, the Celtics have to be kicking themselves for not doing more with the time James on the bench in the second quarter which in hindsight, was among the bigger factors in them now returning home facing elimination as opposed to being tied at two games apiece in this series.

“What are you going to do?” said Cleveland’s Kevin Love. “You have to continue to fight through it. At halftime, we were down 10. We made some adjustments on the defensive end and we just fought; we needed to. They got everything out of us tonight in that second half, but we played more inspired basketball as well.”

Stars, studs and duds: Celtics don't take advantage of LeBron's foul trouble

Stars, studs and duds: Celtics don't take advantage of LeBron's foul trouble

CLEVELAND – Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Tuesday night’s Game 4 matchup between Boston and Cleveland which ended with the Cavs rallying for a 112-99 win. Boston now trails Cleveland 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.

 

STARS

Kyrie Irving

He was simply the best player on the floor by a mile in Game 4 as he tallied a career playoff-high 42 points with 21 coming in the pivotal third quarter.

LeBron James

Despite picking up four personal fouls in the first half – a first for him in a playoff game ever – James bounced back with a dominant performance. He finished with 34 points, 15 of which came in the decisive fourth quarter. He also had six assists and five rebounds.

 

STUDS

Jae Crowder

He continues to be one of the more consistent Celtics in this series. In Game 4, he had 18 points on 6-for-12 shooting with eight rebounds and four assists.

Kevin Love

Most of Game 4, Kevin Love found ways to make life difficult for the Celtics. He ended up with a double-double of 17 points and 17 rebounds with five assists and two blocked shots.

Avery Bradley

Boston’s Game 3 hero couldn’t deliver like that in Game 4, but Bradley still managed to score a team-high 19 points to go with five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

 

DUDS

Boston’s sense of urgency

They had the Cavs in prime position to be beaten. But they didn’t play with the kind of effort and focus in the second half, that we saw through most of the first. And that 6:46 stretch in the second quarter when LeBron James was on the bench, and they didn’t increase their lead? That was a major, major factor in the game’s outcome.