Terry, Lee starting to make it work together on court

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Terry, Lee starting to make it work together on court

BOSTON In the absence of Rajon Rondo, the Boston Celtics didn't find that one playmaker to run the team ... they found two in Courtney Lee and Jason Terry.

While the two have played together often this season, it wasn't until they had to play a couple Rondo-less games did each seem to figure out how to be an effective playmaker with the other on the floor.

"They've been together, but it was like neither one of them really wanted to run the position," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "And when they were forced to, they realized there were sets we can run where they don't have to be the point and be very effective. Now they're doing it."

And the impact it has on the C's can't be measured solely by assists and points, either.

One of the keys to Boston's 104-94 victory over Minnesota was their play in the second and fourth quarters.

They were the starting backcourt to begin the second quarter, and were instrumental in Boston erasing a three-point deficit and turning it into a three-point lead before Rondo returned.

After taking a seven-point lead into the fourth, the duo once again delivered early as Boston opened the quarter with an 11-3 run to go up by 15 points - their largest lead of the night at that point - before Rondo checked back into the game.

"We've built up some good chemistry, he (Lee) and I," Terry said. "It took a while but we've gotten there now."

Added Lee: "We're definitely getting a better feel for each other's game, and how to play off one another better."

Terry is a 6-foot-2 combo guard while Lee is a 6-5 combo guard who can also play some at small forward. That versatility has the potential to impact games on various levels; among them, being a reliable backup for Rondo.

"We both can handle the ball, we both can get us into our offense early and we both like to fly out in transition," said Terry who had a season-high 11 assists against Milwaukee on Saturday which was one of the games Rondo missed while serving a two-game suspension.

And while neither is a tradition bring-the-ball-up kind of point guard, it's clear that the league is gravitating more and more away from those type of playmakers as backups or key reserves.

That's why Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, has insisted that he's not seeking to add another ball-handler to the mix anytime soon.

And because both know each other's games better, Terry says it's easier to just play now rather than try to play and be the team's point guard, too.

"In Doc's system and in this system a multitude of ball handlers can be on the floor at any given time, so that's why our skillset plays right in for each other," Terry said. "If I see him (Lee) get the outlet, I'm gone. If he sees me, he's gone. So there's no hesitation. There's definitely a much, much smoother burden on each other."

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

BOSTON (AP)  Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Boston Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners to earn their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third consecutive win for Rodriguez (4-1), who went six innings, gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span.

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs. Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help from his defense. Jackie Bradley Jr. had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBI in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what manager John Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.

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