Pierce dealing with recent foul trouble

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Pierce dealing with recent foul trouble

ATLANTA If the Celtics are going to make the kind of end-of-the-season push they want to, chances are Paul Pierce will be a major cog in that effort.

But the captain can't do much if he's on the bench, a place that he has become far too familiar with lately.

Pierce fouled out of Boston's 98-91 loss at Denver on Saturday, and was in foul trouble before finishing with five fouls in Boston's 79-76 win at Atlanta on Monday.

Pierce had not fouled out all season before the Denver game, andhe only had one game (Jan. 22 at Washington) in which he was whistled for five personal fouls.

"I'm just getting caught with some tough calls that could go either way," Pierce said. "That's about it. I'm not worried about it."

Worrying about it won't do him or the Celtics any good.

But it is something he needs to be mindful of during this critical stretch of play for the short-handed Celtics.

While Pierce may not be worried, the same can not be said for his head coach, Doc Rivers.

It's one thing to pick up fouls that prevent easy scores, but Rivers sees many of Pierce's recent fouls, as being "silly."

"You just can't pick up silly fouls," Rivers said. "Three of his five (against Atlanta) were bad. I'm trying to get our team to understand, we don't have a margin for error."

Jermaine O'Neal (wrist) and Chris Wilcox (heart condition) are both out for the season, while a number of other Celtic players are battling an assortment of bumps and bruises.

And it's not just Pierce who has picked up bad fouls lately.

Against the Hawks, Rivers recalled a conversation he had with Kevin Garnett shortly after Garnett picked up an early foul in which he wrapped up an Atlanta player.

"I said, 'Kevin, we don't have fouls to give," Rivers recalled. "We're not 12-deep right now."

Rivers added, "We keep talking about it, but then you don't want to get in their way. You want them to play. Paul sets those open court picks for Rajon Rondo. He gets a (personal foul) call on that, and then he charges two, maybe three times."

Red Sox salvage finale of series with 6-2 win over Orioles

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Red Sox salvage finale of series with 6-2 win over Orioles

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Barnes ejected for throwing pitch behind Machado's head

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Barnes ejected for throwing pitch behind Machado's head

A Red Sox pitcher was ejected after a foul ball on Sunday afternoon, and a dangerous one.

Reliever Matt Barnes threw behind the Orioles’ Manny Machado in the bottom of the eighth inning at Camden Yards in a bad place — way too close to the head.

The pitch was an assumed attempt at retribution after Machado spiked Dustin Pedroia with a slide on Friday, and it got Barnes ejected.

Oddly enough, it was a foul ball. Machado was holding his bat with just his right hand as he moved his head out of the way, in the direction of first base.

The ball hit the bat and then bounced off Machado’s back in as strange a sequence as you’ll find.

As everything was sorted out, Machado and Pedroia were shown on the telecast talking to each other. Machado pointed toward his own head, indicating his displeasure at where the pitch was located.

“Hey," Pedroia said, before he whistled to get Machado's attention.

“It’s not me," Pedroia said in an exchange caught on camera. "If it was me, we would have hit you the first day. Now, it’s not me"

 

Joe Kelly came on and gave up a first-pitch double to Machado on a hanging breaking ball that was drilled to center.