One man's concussion story: Taylor Twellman

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One man's concussion story: Taylor Twellman

The problem of concussions in sports aren't an abstract discussion to Taylor Twellman.

"I had seven concussions -- diagnosed concussions, that is -- in my career," said the former soccer star (and leading scorer in New England Revolution history), whose career was ended due to recurring post-concussion symptoms. Twellman, who now works as a part-time host and analyst on Comcast SportsNet New England, played his last game in 2008.

MORE ON THIS STORY
THE PROBLEM: Isthere a concussion 'epidemic' in hockey? Notnecessarily
THE VICTIMS: Fromone extreme to the other: Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron
THE REACTION: Manyplayers choose not to worry about concussions

Since a concussion is an unseen injury -- no crutches, no limp, no timetable for a return -- athletes have historically been unsure how to respond to it.

"As an athlete, you're taught not to really feel pain," Twellman said. "And when you do feel pain, you're taught to ignore it or take a shot for it."

But you can't ignore it. There is no shot for it. It's an injury like no other.

"Literally, you feel sick," said Twellman. "No one can help you. There's no medicine out there that can get rid of concussions and the brain injury that I have."

Which made his play-or-not-to-play decision -- while gutwrenching -- a fairly simple one.

"When a doctor tells you, 'Taylor, do you want to live the rest of your life . . . do you want have the chance to live the rest of your life normal?', you don't really think about soccer," Twellman said.

DeRozan has career-high 43, Raptors beat Celtics, 107-97

DeRozan has career-high 43, Raptors beat Celtics, 107-97

TORONTO - DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 43 points and the Toronto Raptors rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Boston Celtics 107-97 on Friday night.

DeRozan shot 15 of 28 from the floor as he surpassed his 42-point effort against the Houston Rockets on March 30, 2015, helping the Raptors overcome the absence of fellow All-Star Kyle Lowry. Lowry sat out with a right wrist injury.

Serge Ibaka, acquired by trade from the Orlando Magic last week, scored 15 points in his debut, while fellow newcomer P.J. Tucker, picked up from the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, had a game-high 10 rebounds and nine points in his first game for his new team.

Isaiah Thomas scored 20 points for Boston, which also got 19 points each from Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart.

Down 91-88 with 4:11 to play, the Raptors went on a 9-1 run to lead by five with 2:01 to play. Though Crowder cut that lead to three with a jump shot with 1:46 remaining, DeRozan drilled a jump shot with a minute remaining to put the Raptors up by five.

Tucker was unable to convert either free throw after being fouled by Al Horford with 47 seconds left, but Thomas missed the next time down the court, and after being fouled by Smart, DeRozan converted both free throws with 33 seconds to play. He then followed up with two more after a three-point play from Smart to take the game away from Boston with 27.5 seconds to go.

The Celtics found their range early, connecting on 55 percent of their shots from the floor and 40 percent from 3-point range in the first quarter. The Raptors could only hit 40 percent and went 0 for 3 from beyond the arc, and while DeRozan topped all scorers with 10 points, they were trailing 29-18 after 12 minutes.

Boston pushed its lead to 17 on a 3-point shot from Jaylen Brown with 1:29 to play in the half, but Toronto closed on a 7-0 run following a flagrant foul by Thomas on DeRozan.

The Raptors continued their comeback effort in the third quarter, with Ibaka's 3-pointer with 5:58 to go capping a 27-8 Toronto run to give the Raptors their first lead since the 3:54 mark of the first quarter. Smart's 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds remaining handed Boston a 77-74 edge entering the final 12 minutes.

Mannix: Celtics going to be in best bargaining situation this summer

Mannix: Celtics going to be in best bargaining situation this summer

Chris Mannix helps break down what the Boston Celtics could do with all the cap space this offseason in hopes that they can build a championship team to compete next season.