Pierce out for Celtics opener

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Pierce out for Celtics opener

NEW YORK Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce arrived a few minutes ago, donning a blue suit with a red tie.

It's a look that unfortunately for the C's, he'll still have when the season tips off today against the New York Knicks.

The sore right heel injury that has kept him sidelined for most of training camp will keep him out for today's game as well.

"If there was a slight chance I could play, I'd definitely be out there," said Pierce, who added that an MRI recently revealed he has a bone bruise and remains questionable for Tuesday's game at Miami.

Not having their best scorer is certainly a blow; even more so when you consider what he has done on Christmas Day games.

Pierce has averaged 21.7 points in his three Christmas Day games, more than any player in franchise history. Trailing him are former Celtics legends Bill Sharman (20.8 points in 9 games); John Havlicek (20.67 games); Bob Cousy (20.311 games) and Jo Jo White (20.34 games).

If Pierce is unable to play, the C's are likely to go with Sasha Pavlovic or Marquis Daniels. Rivers is inclined to go with Pavlovic primarily because he likes the look of the second unit when it includes Daniels.

Newly acquired Mickael Pietrus will not be with the team for today's game. He told NBA.com that he hoped to join the C's in Miami for Tuesday's matchup with the Heat, but it's more likely that his first action with the Celtics won't come until the home opener Dec. 30 against Detroit.

Other Celtics-related notes:

Pierce isn't the only record-setting Celtic on this current team. Point guard Rajon Rondo holds the team record for assists in a Christmas Day game, tallying 12 against the Lakers in 2008.

That performance broke a franchise record that had stood for 41 years. The previous record holder was Havlicek who racked up 10 assists in the 1967 at the old Madison Square Garden.

Celtics head coach Doc Rivers had one of his best Christmas Day performances in 1987 with the Atlanta Hawks.

But that game, like many with Atlanta, was one in which one of his teammates -- Dominique Wilkins -- was even more impressive.

In Atlanta's 106-100 win over Philadelphia at the Spectrum, Rivers had 19 points and 11 assists.

But the star that night was Wilkins, who scored 45 points in 41 minutes of work.

Jermaine O'Neal will start at center, and the C's will look to him offensively more than they did last season. If that's the case, O'Neal may have a shot to do something a Boston center hasn't done in a while on opening night -- score in double figures.

Not since Mark Blount scored 19 points in 2005 did a C's starting center reach double digit points on opening night. The last time a Celtics starting center scored 20 points was Robert Parish in 1993 against today's opponent, the New York Knicks.

Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

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Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

BOSTON - JC Ramirez rebounded from his shortest career start with six solid innings, Cameron Maybin doubled home a run and scored another and the Los Angeles Angels held off the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Saturday night.

The Angels look for their fifth series win in their last six on Sunday.

Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost for only the third time in their last 13 home games.

Ramirez (7-5) allowed one run and four hits with five strikeouts after lasting just three innings and giving up five runs in his previous start.

Blake Parker struck out pinch-hitter Chris Young with the bases loaded for the final out for his first save of the season after Boston scored twice in the ninth.

Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected by third-base umpire and crew chief Bill Miller after Fernando Abad was called for a balk, scoring a run that made it 5-1 in the seventh.

John Farrell ejected Saturday night for arguing a balk call

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John Farrell ejected Saturday night for arguing a balk call

BOSTON — Red Sox manager John Farrell went ballistic Saturday night in the bottom of the sixth inning at Fenway Park, arguing a balk call that led to a run for the Angels and promptly, Farrell’s ejection.

Home-plate umpire Ryan Blakney called a balk on Fernando Abad with the Sox trailing 4-1 in the seventh, the first inning of work for the Sox bullpen after David Price went six innings. Cameron Maybin scored on the balk.

Dustin Pedroia was among the first to run in and argue the balk call was wrong.

Farrell asked for the umpires to convene and they did, but the decision was not reversed. The Sox skipper and crew chief Bill Miller had spit flying in each other’s face as Farrell unloaded in close quarters for his first ejection of 2017.

Farrell has some history with Miller. On May 17, 2016, in Kansas City, Farrell was tossed by Miller from the dugout because of a balls and strikes argument. 

Farrell and Miller also got into it when Farrell was managing the Blue Jays, on another balls and strikes issue. In the ninth inning of that May 15, 2012 game, Brett Lawrie spiked his helmet and it hit Miller.