Wakeup Call: Fourth-and-29? Really?

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Wakeup Call: Fourth-and-29? Really?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, November 26:

BASEBALL
The Phillies have made B.J. Upton their top offseason target, and he may decide who he'll sign with this week. (CSN Philly)

My question: What in the world are the other 13 percent thinking about? (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Too late now, Mayor Henderson. Too late now. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
It's bad enough to lose to unranked Cal Poly. But to blow an 18-point lead -- at home -- in the process? Tough night there, UCLA. (AP)

Louisville will be without senior center Gorgul Dieng for a while. (AP)

Colgate continued playing Wile E. Coyote to Syracuse's Roadrunner with its 47th straight loss to the Orange. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
It's been a long time since Notre Dame was on top of the world, and the Irish are enjoying the view. (AP)

Now it's just a matter of seeing if they'll play Alabama or Georgia for the national championship. (AP)

Frank Spaziani's wasn't the only head on the chopping block yesterday. Also out are Gene Chizik at Auburn, Tom O'Brien at North Carolina State and Danny Hope at Purdue. (AP)

But the most embarrassing firing may have come at Colorado, where, just two days ago, Jon Embree -- fresh off a 1-11 season, and a 4-17 mark in the last two years -- told one and all that athletic director Mike Bohn assured him he'd be returning in 2013. (NBC's College Football Talk)

HOCKEY
These are dark days indeed on the NHL labor front if the best hope for a breakthrough is for someone on the Board of Governors to stand up to Jeremy Jacobs and Gary Bettman. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Fans and media aren't the only people astounded by the JacobsBettman suicide pact. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Um, players? That decertification idea? Don't. (CSN Philly)

PRO BASKETBALL
Some of the Rockets tweet their support for Kevin McHale after the tragic death of his daughter. (CSN Houston)

Even the broadcasters are into "Not in my house!" blustering. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Now, the Knicks; they now how to protect this house! (AP)

Rashard Lewis has become a missing person in Miami, but it's not like he didn't know it might happen. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Remember how excited the Sixers were to get Andrew Bynum? Seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it? (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Fourth-and-29? Fourth-and-29? (CSN Baltimore)

Alex Smith = Wally Pipp. (CSN Bay Area)

Remember all that talk out of Green Bay last year? About how the Giants didn't win their NFC semifinal matchup against the Packers as much as the Pack lost it? Looks kind of foolish now, don't you think? (AP)

Jay Cutler looked none the worse for wear in leading the Bears over Minnesota. (CSN Chicago)

Not for nothing, but it's easier to be urgent against the Vikings than it is against the 49ers and Texans. (CSN Chicago)

Matty Ice does it again, and now the Falcons are 10-1. (AP)

Peyton Manning does it again, and now the Broncos are 8-3. (AP)

Karma's a you-know-what, Carson. (CSN Bay Area)

You can't beat anyone when you turn the ball over eight times. Not even the Browns. (AP)

And now, with five weeks left, the playoff picture is beginning to take shape. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

It's not bad enough that the Seahawks lost to Miami; it looks like they're also going to lose their two starting cornerbacks for violation of the league's PED policy. (AP)

Oh, Reuben. You haven't been watching the Patriots much, have you? (CSN Philly)

Isaiah Thomas continues to claim Celtics' franchise records

Isaiah Thomas continues to claim Celtics' franchise records

BOSTON – This continues to be a historic season for Isaiah Thomas as more records fell in Wednesday’s 103-100 loss to Milwaukee, and the company he’s keeping becomes even more exclusive. 

Thomas had a game-high 32 points on Wednesday which included five made 3’s on nine attempts. That gave him 223 for the season which is a new franchise single-season record for made 3-pointers. The previous record was 222 set by Antoine Walker during the 2001-2002 season.

And his 32 points scored gives him 2,012 this season. 

Only six players in franchise history (Paul Pierce was the last to do it during the 2005-2006 season) have scored 2,000 or more points in a single season. 

Oh, there’s more. 

With Wednesday being the 66th time this season he has had 20 or more points, Thomas has now tied Pierce (2005-2006) and Larry Bird (1985-1986; 1987-1988) for sixth on the Celtics’ single-season franchise list. 

“I didn’t even know that,” a visibly disappointed Thomas said following Wednesday’s loss. “It doesn’t feel that good right now. But when I look back on it, probably in the offseason, I’ll appreciate it a little more. But I’m just staying in the moment and try and play as best I can to lead this team to as many wins as possible.”

Other season milestones Thomas is in the mix for include the following:

  • The 5-foot-9 guard is one of three players this season to have 50 or more games of 25-plus points, joined by Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook (57) and Houston’s James Harden (54).
  • Thomas has made at least one 3-pointer in a franchise-record 50 straight games (Dec. 3 – March 29). That’s also the longest current streak in the NBA. 
  • With 66 games of 20 or more points this season, Thomas is second in the NBA to Westbrook (67).

Marcus Smart at center of yet another controversial call

Marcus Smart at center of yet another controversial call

BOSTON – One of the more bizarre plays in Boston’s 103-100 loss to Milwaukee came in the second quarter, requiring some explanation from the officials afterwards. 

With 3:55 to play in the second quarter, the officials had originally called a foul on Marcus Smart which he verbally protested that eventually led to him being whistled for a technical foul. 

After the officials reviewed the play, they changed the call to a personal foul against Khris Middleton but no change to the called technical foul against Smart who objected to a call that, upon review, they agreed was the wrong call to make. 

Official Sean Corbin, through pool reporter Ken Powtak of the Associated Press, acknowledged that the original call was a loose ball foul against Smart. 

“The (officiating) crew got together, we met prior to video and we decided that we needed to look at video because both players were on the floor bleeding so we went to the video for a hostile act,” Corbin told Powtak. “In the review we noticed that Khris Middleton initially made contact to Marcus Smart’s face. That’s how the original contact to the play occurred.”

Fortunately for the Celtics, Middleton missed his technical free throw while Smart split a pair of free throws which cut Milwaukee’s lead to 49-40.

Still, that’s no consolation for Smart who was whistled for a technical foul on a play that the official acknowledged was the wrong call to make. 

In the fourth quarter, Smart was at the center of yet another controversial call that was also reviewed by the officials. The verdict wasn't nearly as good for Smart who was whistled for a flagrant foul after getting his feet tangled up with Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo who was called for a non-shooting foul in the play with 4:46 to play. 

Antetokounmpo made one of two free throws and on the Bucks' ensuing possession, he was called for traveling.

Smart was unavailable to talk after the game in part because the aforementioned incident left an abrasion to his mouth and, because of the technical foul, a little lighter in the wallet as well.