Wilcox sits against Cavaliers, stays positive

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Wilcox sits against Cavaliers, stays positive

BOSTON -- Doc Rivers wanted to change things up, so he looked to the paint and swapped out his starting center.
On Wednesday, Rivers shifted Kevin Garnett to the power forward spot and inserted Jason Collins at the five in the starting rotation. The Celtics were going for size against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which in this case left forward-center Chris Wilcox as the odd man out. He was a DNP (coach's decision) while Collins played 23 minutes, Garnett played 31, and power forwards Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger played 27 and 15 minutes, respectively, off the bench.
At the end of the game, Wilcox was more concerned with the end result. The Celtics snapped their three-game skid with a 103-91 victory over the Cavaliers.
"We went with JC tonight," Wilcox said of Collins. "JC, he had a great game. Sully, B. Bass did too. We won, so he (Doc Rivers) doesn't have to say anything to me."
Wilcox is averaging 4.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13 minutes per game after undergoing season-ending heart surgery last March. He also fought through back spasms this fall, determined to return to Celtics and contribute to their front court.
The 30-year-old big man picked up where he left off last season with Rajon Rondo as a duo who could run the fast break together, often the recipient of Rondo's alley oops. He understands his style may not be what the Celtics are planning for every game.
"We all bring different things to the table," Wilcox said of the Celtics bigs. "Doc said he's changing things up, he wants to see some different things, so that's what it was. I'm a more running-the-floor-type player. Sully and B. Bass are more like pop players. It's different views out there when I'm on the court and when they're on the court, but at the same time, we all bring something different to the team. Tonight we might need this and tomorrow we might need something else. We just take it one day at a time. We've just got to feed off this win we got tonight."
Wilcox sat at his locker and laughed with neighboring Jason Terry, Jeff Green, and Brandon Bass after the game. The win over the Cavaliers was about the team, and Wilcox will stay focused for the next one.
"You've got always stay ready so you then you don't have to get ready," he said. "Things will work out."

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Jared Goff, Todd Gurley explode in shootout win vs. 49ers

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Jared Goff, Todd Gurley explode in shootout win vs. 49ers

Jared Goff threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns and Todd Gurley ran for two TDs and caught another to help the Los Angeles Rams put up another big offensive performance with a 41-39 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.

The NFL's lowest-scoring team last year looks like a completely different outfit this season under first-year coach Sean McVay thanks to vastly improved play by Goff after a rough rookie season as the No. 1 overall pick.

The Rams (2-1) have also been helped by the additions of receivers Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods and the play-calling of McVay as they have scored 107 points through three games. That's the second-most in franchise history, trailing only the 119 by "The Greatest Show on Turf" squad in 2000.

This win didn't come easy as the Rams nearly blew a 15-point lead, giving up two late touchdowns, fumbling a kickoff return and failing to recover an onside kick. But Los Angeles managed to stop a potential game-tying 2-point conversion and then used an offensive pass interference penalty against Trent Taylor and a fourth-down sack by Aaron Donald to stop the Niners after the onside kick.

The 49ers (0-3) scored five touchdowns after failing to get any the first two weeks but still came up short in part because a missed extra point by Robbie Gould forced them to try for 2 on their late touchdown.

This time it was a tired defense that hurt San Francisco. After facing 79 plays in a 12-9 loss at Seattle on Sunday, the 49ers appeared to run out of gas on the short week as Goff frequently had wide-open receivers, especially on third down.

All three of Goff's touchdown passes came on third down, including a 13-yard pass to Watkins early in the fourth quarter that gave Los Angeles a 41-26 lead.

The Rams needed all that offense on a night where Brian Hoyer threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score.

QUICK START: The Rams took just 12 seconds to get on the board as Nickell Robey-Coleman intercepted Hoyer on the first play from scrimmage and returned it to the 3-yard line. Gurley ran it in on the next play to give the Rams a 7-0 lead.

DROUGHT BUSTER: The 49ers came into the game without a touchdown on the season but broke through in the first quarter with some help from the Rams. After Blake Countess jumped offside on a punt, the Niners took advantage of the second opportunity and drove to score on Hoyer's 9-yard run 126:43 into the season. That was the longest it took a team to score its first TD since 2006 when both Tampa Bay (143:03) and Oakland (127:10) took more time.

FOURTH DOWN CALLS: Both teams drove to the opposing 1 on their opening drives of the second half with help from a Willie Mays-style basket catch by Watkins and a perfect toe drag on the sideline by San Francisco's Pierre Garcon. But the Rams opted to kick a short field goal, while the 49ers went for it and converted on Carlos Hyde's 1-yard run that cut Los Angeles' lead to 27-20. Hyde added a second 1-yard run on fourth down in the fourth quarter.

INJURIES: Rams S Lamarcus Joyner left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury. ... Los Angeles C John Sullivan injured his groin in the second half and Watkins and Tavon Austin left with concussions. ... 49ers S Jaquiski Tartt (concussion), FB Kyle Juszczyk (neck), DL Tank Carradine (ankle) and LB Brock Coyle (concussion) all left with injuries in the second half.

UP NEXT: The Rams travel to Dallas on Oct. 1. The 49ers visit Arizona.

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Boston Sports Tonight Podcast: Is there a blueprint to beat the Patriots?

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Boston Sports Tonight Podcast: Is there a blueprint to beat the Patriots?

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST.

0:41 - Tom E. Curran breaks down the ‘blueprint’ to beat the Patriots and if the Texans have the talent to do it.

5:27 - Michael Holley and Kayce Smith discuss Kyrie Irving’s comments that he made on Early Edition about going back to Cleveland for the opening game. 

9:52 - We take a listen to what Malcolm Butler had to say about his role on the team and discuss how the cornerback keeps saying all the right things. 

15:18 - Michael McCann, Legal Analyst for Sports Illustrated joins BST to talk about Aaron Hernandez’s brain found to have CTE and his family now suing the NFL and the Patriots.