Moore back for more after heady first game


Moore back for more after heady first game

FOXBORO - The Patriots' back end is in some discomfort. And nobody likes that. James Ihedigbo's shoulder is hurting, Devin McCourty's too. Patrick Chung's right foot is still in disrepair. And Kyle Arrington's hurts as well. So the little-known guys who were on the field a ton last week - Antwaun Molden at corner and Sterling Moore at safety being the main ones - will be out there again Monday night against the Chiefs.

On Wednesday of last week, Ihedigbo mentioned that Moore would be instrumental against the Jets if Chung was unable to play. I honestly wasn't sure who Ihedigbo was speaking about until he pointed at Moore's locker. Moore played all 72 defensive snaps for the Patriots in New York. He'dnever even played the position in a game before last week. "It wasn't a shock but it was like, 'OK, time to step up,' " Moore said of the moment he learned Chung couldn't make it througha pregame workout. "I tried to make it not bigger than it was and I think I did a really good job of that. It wasn't too big of a stage I don't think."Being able to reduce a game to its essence is practically a measurable attribute. The player concerned about prime time and big lights and how he'll say his name for the network introductions is spending focus and energy on things that can detract from on-field performance. Norman Dale pretty much demonstrated that concept for his team in Hoosiers."I've always been able to do that and that's something I try to do," said Moore. "When you let(the hype)get in the way, you don't tend to play fast and you don't remember your Xs and Os so I just try to keep a level head and go out there and play."How could a group with two guys who'd barely played regular defense in an NFLgame - Moore and Jeff Tarpinian - play as fast and efficiently as the Patriots did last week?"We had confidence and we studied well throughout the week," Moore offered. "When you study well you can play fast and that's the key any week, knowing your opponent and Ithink we knew the Jets well."ThePatriots' familiarity with the Chiefs is a lot more shallow. Add in the fact that Tyler Palko starts instead of Matt Cassel at quarterback for Kansas City andthe ability to know what's coming is pretty much gone for Monday night. But because Moore and Co., didn't get blown away by the moment last week, they'll be back for another round.

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 “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.



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.



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.



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.