Rondo triple-double carries C's past Knicks, 115-111

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Rondo triple-double carries C's past Knicks, 115-111

BOSTON Linsanity may be running wild globally, but the best point guard on the floor Sunday was Rajon Rondo.

Rondo's triple-double, his second in the last four games, was instrumental in the Celtics' 115-111 overtime win against the New York Knicks.

Jeremy Lin had a decent game (14 points, five assists), but Rondo's play-making and overall game proved to be too much for Lin and the Knicks. Rondo had 18 points, 17 rebounds and 20 assists as the Celtics (19-17) won their fourth straight.

According to the Elias Bureau, it was the firs triple-double since Magic Johnson on April 18, 1989, in which an NBA player had at least 17 points, rebounds and assists. And the last time a player had Rondo's triple-double numbers or better, was Wilt Chamberlain on Feb. 2, 1968 when Chamberlain went off for 22 points, 25 rebounds and 21 assists.

It was clear after the game that Boston's Kevin Garnett knew that what he had just seen, what he was a part of, was one of the more dominant individual performances that the NBA has seen in years.

"Rondo's line is one that I haven't seen since I been in the league," said Garnett, a 16-year NBA veteran. "It was very impressive. I had to come in here and give him some real dap after that.

Garnett took a pair of stat sheets from today's game as well.

When asked if he was going to have Rondo sign it, Garnett said, "nah, I won't go that far. Just as a witness that I was here and got to see this up front and center."

Garnett said Rondo's play was in part fueled by his matchup with Lin.

"The thing about Lin is, I think everybody at the point guard position is going to be excited to play the kid," Garnett said. "And 'Do (Rondo) was nothing short of that. I could tell; I've been around him when he's motivated and when he's more than motivated. Tonight was one of those nights."

Rondo's motivation may also be fueled because this year, more than any since he has been in the NBA, he has been the subject of trade rumors.

Celtics veteran Keyon Dooling, whose locker is next to Rondo's, has been impressed with how Rondo has handled his first real run through the trade talk rumor mill.

"I tip my hat to him because he's been able to stay so focused, with all the stuff," Dooling told CSNNE.com. "It's sad to see him have to ride those waves everyday. But everyday he puts on his hard hat and comes to work."

And did he ever put in work on Sunday, the kind of performance that reminds folks why Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, has made no secret about wanting significant talent in exchange for any deal that would involve Rondo.

"He's one of the best in the league and so you saw his stat line tonight," Lin said. "There aren't many guards, maybe no guards who can put up something like that. We didn't do a good job of containing him and he obviously controlled the tempo of the game."

In typical Rondo fashion, even when it comes to praise he thinks like a pass-first point guard.

"I wouldn't say I took over," Rondo said. "I missed a lot of easy shots that I usually make, but it was a great win for us tonight. Everyone stepped up, Ray (Allen) and Brandon (Bass), P (Pierce), we all made special efforts when it counted."

Indeed, Rondo's big night was helped by a number of his teammates playing well.

Pierce had a game-high 34 points, which included a 3-pointer with less than five seconds to play that forced overtime.

The Celtics also welcomed back Ray Allen, who missed the Celtics' last game against New Jersey because of an illness. He had 12 points, five of which came during a critical stretch in overtime in which the Celtics began to take control.

As for the Knicks, Lin was clearly the big story coming in for the Knicks. But their success still hinges heavily on the play of Carmelo Anthony. He spent significant chunks of time on the bench because of foul trouble Sunday, but still managed to score a team-high 25 points to go with seven rebounds.

HOT SHOT: Paul Pierce had a game-high 34 points, with none being bigger than the 3-pointer he hit with less than five seconds to play that forced overtime.

IN-N-OUT: J.R. Smith is a player that the Knicks count on to provide instant offense off the bench. He came into Sunday's game averaging more than 10 points per game. However, he was limited to just two points on 1-for-6 shooting.

SUPER SUB: With Jeremy Lin in foul trouble, Baron Davis got a chance to play more than usual. In just under 21 minutes, Davis reminded folks why it wasn't that long ago that he was considered one of the NBA's top point guards. He finished with eight points and seven assists. Rajon Rondo said getting Lin off the floor was part of the game plan, "But B.D. (Davis) played well as well, when he came in."

TURNING POINT:Trailing 103-100, Paul Pierce drilled a 3-pointer to tie the score and force overtime. The Celtics opened overtime with a 7-2 spurt, and never looked back. "I got to a spot where I like to get the shot off from, maybe rushed it a little bit but it felt good coming off my hand and sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't," Pierce said.

BY THE NUMBERS: 23: That would be the number of points Boston got off of the 22 turnovers it forced.

Quote to note: "That's what makes the game of basketball, and these type of games versus New York so fun because you always see the great players rise to the finish." - Celtics forward Paul Pierce.

MLB ump saves woman attempting to jump from Pittsburgh bridge

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MLB ump saves woman attempting to jump from Pittsburgh bridge

PITTSBURGH -- John Tumpane can't explain why he approached the woman as she hopped over the railing of the Roberto Clemente Bridge on Wednesday afternoon.

The woman told Tumpane she just wanted to get a better view of the Allegheny River below. The look on her face and the tone of her voice suggested otherwise to Tumpane, a major league baseball umpire in town to work the series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays.

So the 34-year-old Tumpane reached for the woman even as she urged him to let her go.

"It was just pure instinct," Tumpane said . "You hear kind of stories of this all the time, different scenarios, people aiding and situation where I was lucky enough to be there to help and try to think of everything I could do, hanging on to her. At times she wanted to go the other way. I was like, 'not on my watch, please.' We were just hanging on."

And saving a life.

Tumpane secured one of her arms. A bystander walked up and grabbed the other while another -- Mike Weinman, an employee for the Rays -- clutched her legs and pinned them to the railing while Tumpane mouthed to someone in the crowd to call 911.

What followed were chaotic moments of panic, fear and ultimately, grace.

"I couldn't tell you how long we were waiting for everyone else to get in place," Tumpane said. 'Obviously another power comes into be when you're hanging on and you know what the alternative is of you letting go and not having other people to help you."

Tumpane, Weinman and the third volunteer clung to the unidentified woman until emergency responders arrived. A police boat raced up the river to the iconic yellow bridge named for the Pirates Hall of Famer who died on Dec. 31, 1972, when a plane making humanitarian deliveries to earthquake victims in Nicaragua crashed. Now, 45 years later a crowd thrust together by fate brought a complete stranger back from the brink. Together.

"Once they were able to secure her, we were able to talk her back to help us out and we got her back on this side," Tumpane said. "After that I went up to her, she said, 'You'll just forget me after this' and I said, 'No, I'll never forget you.' This was an unbelievable day and I'm glad to say she can have another day with us and I'm glad I was in the right place at the right time."

Tumpane, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, got into umpiring as a teenager, made his major-league debut in 2012 and received his full-time MLB commission in 2016, stressed he's no hero.

"I just happened to be there," he said. "I think I've been a caring person in my life. I saw somebody in need, and it looked like a situation to obviously insert myself and help out."

The aftermath was a bit surreal. After the woman was taken away, Tumpane called his wife, his arms still shaking.

"Not too many times you call your wife and say you helped save somebody's life," he said. "A really special moment."

One that stayed with him even as he prepared to call balls and strikes behind home plate Wednesday night. During breaks in the action his eyes would drift to the bridge just a few hundred feet behind the center field wall at PNC Park.

"It's also hard when you stand back behind home plate and look and you see the bridge in the distance, In between innings and whatnot, just thinking of how things could have maybe been," he said. "Glad it was this way."

Tumpane has no experience in crisis management or suicide prevention. He's spent 16 years living the nomadic life of an umpire. Asked what was going through his head while he tried to coax the woman back to safety, Tumpane just shrugged his shoulders. How do you explain the unexplainable?

"I happened to be in the right spot at the right time," he said. "Tried to be as comforting as I could and talk her through it. Thankfully that was the outcome."

Tatum easing into new challenge with Celtics

Tatum easing into new challenge with Celtics

BOSTON -- While the newest Boston Celtics were scattered about while at a community service event, 19-year-old Jayson Tatum was sitting in a really comfortable-looking chair, resting. 

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind unlike any he had ever experienced, beginning with the pre-draft process, to workouts, to the draft itself and all the appearances and media engagements that have followed. 

“It’s a lot,” Tatum, grinning, told CSNNE.com. “But I’m taking it one day at a time.”

That steady-as-she-goes approach served him well during his lone season at Duke. 

Keeping an even-keeled approach will bode well for him as he gears up for his first taste of NBA basketball beginning with summer league practice this week in preparation for next week’s summer league action which begins in Salt Lake City. 

Boston’s summer league opener will be July 3 against Philadelphia and the top overall pick Markelle Fultz, at the University of Utah’s Jon M. Huntsman Center.

Tatum, who has not played in a five-on-five game since Duke’s loss to South Carolina in the NCAA tournament, is admittedly excited to get back on the floor this week. 

“I can’t wait,” he said. 

Celtics Nation feels the same way about Tatum, selected with the third overall pick in last week’s NBA draft. 

Although it’s only a preseason game, there will be expectations and with that, possibly some added pressure for Tatum to show he was such a coveted player by the Celtics. 

“That’s why Duke helped me a lot,” he told CSNNE.com. “Duke, the best program in college basketball, we were always on the national spotlight good or bad, whether we were winning or losing. That will help me a lot preparing for the Boston Celtics.”

And like Duke, Tatum will have to fight his way on to the court although he readily admits the challenge is much greater in the NBA. 

“Isaiah Thomas, Jaylen Brown, Jae Crowder . . . we didn’t have those guys at Duke,” Tatum said. “It’s gonna be tough; just try my best and get in where I fit in.”

Tatum said he will at times lean on his more experienced teammates, one of which was a former teammate of his – sort of – in Jaylen Brown. 

“I’ve known Jaylen for a while,” Tatum said. “We played with and against each other in high school at AAU camps. 

Tatum added, “at the AAU camps, sometimes we were on the same team and sometimes we were not.”

While much has been made about how the two are similar, Tatum sees both having strengths that complement, rather than compete, with each other. 

“He’s further along than Jaylen was skill-wise and he’s not as far along as Jaylen physically,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “Again, he’s 19 years old. I don’t want to put any expectations … I want to give him time to grow. We’ll see. He’ll definitely have a role, get a chance to play. And how well he performs is up to him.”

Tatum’s assessment of his game and Brown’s goes as follows:

“He’s a lot stronger, bigger than me,” Tatum, who is 6-foot-8, 204 pounds, acknowledged. “He’s much more athletic. Offensively, I think that’s what I excel in, being smooth and my ability to score. I can just learn from him, the things that he went through last year.”

One of the things he has already picked up on, is that Brown is a pretty smart – and at times clever – dude. 

Not long after Tatum picked jersey number 11, Brown, who wears number 7, took to social media and came up with a 7-11 theme that has already lead to some pretty snazzy t-shirt designs. 

“I thought it was funny,” Tatum said. “It’s catchy; I like it.”

And the Celtics really like Tatum’s game which has been compared at times to former Celtic great Paul Pierce. 

“I hate to make those comparisons when kids are 19 and let his game evolve into whatever it is,” Ainge said. “The similarity is they have good footwork. They both have really good ways to create space for shots. But the similarity … they’re both very good defensive rebounders. Those are two things that stand out to me with Jayson that are Paul characteristics.”

Tatum knows he’s a long way from being in the same company as Celtic royalty such as Pierce. 

Before then he must first earn minutes on the floor which will not be an easy task. 

But Tatum’s demeanor, much like his game, has seemingly always been a bit more mature than most of his fellow basketball brethren. 

Tatum credits his parents, Justin Tatum and Brandy Cole.

“They raised me to be different, be more mature and stand out above the crowd and be my own person and be comfortable in my skin,” Tatum said. “That’s how I’ve always been.”