Pierce leads Celtics to 103-91 win over Cavaliers

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Pierce leads Celtics to 103-91 win over Cavaliers

BOSTON Coming back to the TD Garden after losing three in a row, Paul Pierce deemed the Boston Celtics' play of late as being "embarrassing."
Well there was no shame in what the Captain's game was about on Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers -- getting buckets.
And that would prove to be just what the Celtics needed in order to defeat Cleveland, 103-91.
With Pierce playing the professional scorer's role that he has so accustomed to, he led all scorers with a season-high 40 points on connecting on 13-of-16 shots from the field. The Cavs were led by Kyrie Irving's 22 points.
The Celtics led by as many as 20 points in the third quarter before Cleveland went on an 20-2 run of their own to make it a two-point game in the fourth.
A lay-up by Rajon Rondo seemed to settle the team down as they went on to pull away for the win that snapped a three-game losing streak.
As pleased as the Celtics (13-12) were with Pierce's play and the victory, it has to be put in its proper perspective.
The Cavaliers (5-22), losers of five straight following Wednesday's loss, are a bad team.
Making matters worst, they were without Anderson Varejao (right knee) who is the league's top rebounder at 14.4 per game.
Varejao's presence would have surely helped Cleveland's cause. But when Pierce is on fire the way he was Wednesday night, the list is a short one of players who can hold their own with him when he's playing like -- and Varejao isn't on it.
As the third quarter rolled on, the Cavaliers continued to get rolled over with the C's taking a solid 82-72 lead into the fourth.
Boston's dominance over the Cavaliers was triggered by strong play defensively, timely shot making and maybe more than anything else, great effort.
It is that latter point, effort, that has been missing with the C's for most of this season.
"That's one thing I feel we can control night-in and night-out," Pierce said following Boston's loss at Chicago on Tuesday. "We may not shoot the ball, we may not execute the offense but to say we get out-worked night-in and night-out, I'm embarrassed to even say it. But that's just the facts."
And the facts are that the Celtics treated the Cavaliers the way quality teams are supposed to deal with teams that have more modest goals and with that, a less talented roster.
The first half was relatively close, but Cleveland at no point seemed poised to take control of the game away from the Celtics who led the entire game.
Boston's strong performance was also aided by Doc Rivers delivering his sixth different starting lineup this season. Usual starters Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were joined by the two Jasons -- Terry and Collins -- with the latter making his first start of the season.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: George, Hayward, or Griffin?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: George, Hayward, or Griffin?

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0:41 - Celtics are reportedly trying to trade for Paul George and sign Gordon Hayward. Kevin O’Connor joins BST to break down how the Celtics could fit both players under the cap and what Boston would have to give up to acquire George. 

6:37 - Kevin O’Connor joins Michael Holley, Kayce Smith, and Tom Curran to talk about Blake Griffin, what kind of contract he could get, and if Griffin could be a better fit over Gordon Hayward. 

10:13 - With Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs getting into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Phil Perry joins Tom Curran to discuss how Robert Kraft getting into the Pro Football Hall of Fame might not be as easy of a process as you think. 

14:05 - If the Celtics were to add George and Hayward or Griffin, would they be a better team than the Cavaliers? Curran, Giles, and Smith discuss. 

Young, Vazquez homer for Red Sox in 9-2 win over Twins

Young, Vazquez homer for Red Sox in 9-2 win over Twins

BOSTON - Chris Young hit a three-run homer and Christian Vazquez homered for the first time in more than a year as the Boston Red Sox routed the Minnesota Twins 9-2 on Tuesday night in a game delayed twice by stormy weather.

Drew Pomeranz (7-4) pitched five innings, three after a 1 hour, 16 minute delay between the second and third as a thunderstorm slowly passed over Fenway Park. Despite the interruption, Pomeranz held the Twins to one unearned run and four hits, struck out seven and didn't walk a batter.

Dustin Pedroia had three hits and scored twice and Xander Bogaerts had two hits and scored twice for the Red Sox as they won consecutive games for the first time in nearly two weeks.

The two rain delays totaled 2:06.