Back from injury, Thomas scores 25 as Celtics top Wizards

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 10:19 PM
Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 10:17 PM


            Back from injury, Thomas scores 25 as Celtics top Wizards

The Boston Celtics got a bit of revenge against the Washington Wizards and also took control of the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Isaiah Thomas scored 25 points after missing the previous two games with a bruised right knee, leading the Celtics to a 110-102 victory over the Wizards in another testy matchup Monday night between two of the top teams in the East.

"We knew it was going to be one of those games," Thomas said. "With that team it's always going to be a physical game, always going to be trash talking and things like that. We're basketball players. We love it. We love that type of environment, but we've got to be smart about the things we do and we did a good job tonight."

Avery Bradley added 20 points and nine rebounds for Boston, which moved 2½ games ahead of the Wizards for second place in the East. The Celtics trail first-place Cleveland by two games.

"You didn't have to say much to get ready for this game," Boston coach Brad Stevens said.

Jae Crowder and Al Horford each had 16 points and nine boards.

Bradley Beal led Washington with 19 points, and John Wall had 16 points with eight assists.

"I think it's the same as the last game. There were just a couple technicals this game, but other than that it was a clean game," Wall said. "Nobody did anything dirty. Just two teams that (are) playing physical, fighting for a seeding, know where they want to be and just playing hard."

Behind Thomas' 12 third-quarter points, Boston pushed an 11-point halftime lead to 92-75 after three.

The Wizards trailed by 15 with just more than four minutes left, but closed to 106-100 on Kelly Oubre Jr.'s steal and breakaway dunk with 2:05 to play.

Marcus Smart had a basket and two free throws to seal it.

The bad feelings built up between the teams this season resurfaced briefly midway into the second quarter. Washington's Brandon Jennings bumped into Terry Rozier a few times under the basket before Rozier pushed him to the floor near midcourt. Both got a technical.

"I just think it was a physical game," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "They're a physical team. They've got a couple of guys that play very physical."

In the last meeting at TD Garden in early January, Crowder and Wall had words at the end of the game. Crowder pointed his finger in Wall's face, and Wall slapped at him.

When they met in Washington on Jan. 25, the Wizards wore what they called "funeral black" to the game before picking up the win.

The Celtics used a 16-5 run midway into the second to help them build a 58-47 halftime edge.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Wizards: F Markieff Morris (illness) returned to the starting lineup after missing the past two games. ... Wall came up limping after a driving, spinning basket in the third quarter, but stayed in the game. ... Washington committed a season-high 28 fouls in losing for the fourth time in five games.

Celtics: Thomas hit a 3-pointer for a club-record 45th straight game. ... Boston opened a stretch of six straight at home and plays only three road games the rest of the regular season.

EXTRA SECURITY

There were four Boston police officers along the walls between the doors to the locker rooms when the media was allowed down the hall after the game. Usually, there is one or none. The doors are about 15 feet apart with a black curtain in the middle.

ON THE BOARDS

Boston outrebounded the Wizards 54-39, collecting a season-high 20 on the offensive glass.

REACQUAINTED

With the Celtics healthy again, Stevens said the final weeks of the regular season give his team a chance to get stronger playing together.

"We just haven't had a ton of time with ourselves fully healthy," he said. "We have to make sure that we utilize this time appropriately for our team to get better. Regardless of who we're playing against, there aren't any secrets."

UP NEXT

Wizards: Host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. Washington has won two of the three previous meetings this season.

Celtics: Host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. Boston has beaten Indiana twice this season, with Thomas leading the team in scoring both times.

Suns’ Devin Booker scores 70 in loss to Celtics

Published: Saturday, March 25, 2017 @ 1:04 AM

Suns’ Devin Booker scores 70 in loss to Celtics

The Phoenix Suns made history two nights in a row.

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The Suns started the youngest lineup ever Thursday, with an average of 21 years and 14 days. Worse, the Suns were down to eight players and lost by 26 to the Brooklyn Nets. The lineup was younger than several of the Sweet 16 teams still in the NCAA tournament. 

Friday also netted a loss, but Devin Booker kept them in it. He scored 70 points for the Suns, and helped Phoenix claw back from a 20-point first quarter deficit. Booker’s scoring eventually won over the Boston crowd, who began cheering for him as the Suns tried to keep the game going late, calling timeouts to give Booker a chance to score more points. He finished with the highest single-game total in franchise history, but lost to the Celtics 130-120.

Booker joined Wilt Chamberlain, David Robinson, David Thompson, Elgin Baylor and Kobe Bryant as players to reach 70 in one game.

Booker was 21 of 40 from the field, four of 11 from the 3-point range and was 24 of 26 shooting free throws. The former Kentucky star also had eight rebounds and six assists. He averaged 20.9 points per game before Friday. 

Angels’ defense sparkles to preserve combined no-hitter

Published: Saturday, March 25, 2017 @ 12:53 AM

Angels’ defense sparkles to preserve combined no-hitter

Eight members of the Los Angeles Angels’ pitching staff combined for a no-hitter Friday night — thanks to three diving stops in the ninth inning — in a 4-0 victory against the Seattle Mariners.

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Angels defenders made three great defensive plays as 24-year-old Abel De Los Santos closed out the game, The Associated Press reported. First baseman C.J. Cron dived to his right for a grounder for the first out, right fielder Shane Robinson left his feet for a fly ball for the second out and then third baseman Sherman Johnson ended the game by sprawling to his left for a grounder and throwing to first.

"That defense was unbelievable," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "C.J. and Robbie in right field and Sherm at third base, that's a good way to cap off a good night, with some plays like that."

Starter Bud Norris struck out two in two perfect innings, and Jose Alvarez followed with a perfect inning. Jean Segura reached on catcher interference against Cam Bedrosian in the fourth, and then Andrew Bailey threw a perfect fifth. Austin Adams walked Zach Shank during the sixth inning, and then Drew Gagnon, Justin Anderson and De Los Santos ended the game with a perfect inning each.

"It's fun for the kids," Scioscia said. "De Los Santos, all those kids. They've all been in camp for a long time now. I think the way it happened. You see C.J. making a great pay and Robbie and then Sherm at third, that'll be a fun night for those guys."

WATCH: Iguana stops tennis match at Miami Open

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 2:49 PM

WATCH: Iguana stops tennis match at Miami Open

An iguana, later named Iggy, wanted to join the fun at the Miami Open Wednesday, but instead brought a match to a halt. 

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Iggy perched itself on the scoreboard during a match between Tommy Haas and Jiri Vesley, according to Sports Illustrated

Maybe the iguana just wanted a better view of the game? 

Or maybe Iggy wanted a selfie with Haas? 

Special selfie @miamiopen , thanks for coming out to watch some Tennis 🎾🦎

A post shared by tommy haas (@tommyhaasofficial) on

Either way, Iggy wasn’t happy when officials tried to remove it from the court. 

The Iguana thought his new selfie friend, Haas, would let it stay and watch. But, instead, Haas quickly jumped out of the way. 

Eventually officials got the iguana off the court, but Iggy might have won this match. 

Baseball coach hits home run with social media plea for equipment

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 12:13 PM

Baseball coach hits home run with social media plea for equipment

A Virginia high school baseball team in desperate need of equipment finally got the help they needed.

John Marshall High School coach Brent Butler told local TV station WTVR that his team needed essential equipment, like gloves, cleats and bats. 

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He said he’s seen his team make big strides in recent weeks, but now they need equipment.

The committed coach got so desperate he said that he took to Facebook to ask the community for donations.

“It’s been really beneficial so far,” said Butler because donations are starting to trickle in.

WTVR stepped up to the plate, too, and presented the coach with a gift of $500.

“We know you have gotten some things and that helps, but we wanted to help as well,” WTVR reporter Lane Casadonte said. 

Butler said he was caught off guard and surprised by the gift.

“This is going to be really beneficial… I thought you guys were here for the weather!” Butler joked.