Homepage, Sports - Paul Pierce led the Boston Celtics with 36 points to win out over the Miami Heat in overtime 112-108 last night in Boston. He was the only big 3 member present as Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett were sidelined with injuries. Rajon Rondo picked up his game for the C’s scoring 27 points while dishing out 10 assists. With 13 games to go in the regular season Boston was able to clinch the Atlantic Division with the win.
The Miami heat also had injury troubles with their star player Dwayne Wade recently injuring his right hip flexor. Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers helped the Heat give the Celtics a run for their money, scoring 21 and 19. “It showed that even without D-Wade we’re still going to fight,” Chalmers said. “We’re a good team.”
Though they were able to pull off the overtime win at home, the Celtics need to get healthy soon for the post season. Leon Powe, Tony Allen, and Brian Scalabrine were inactive along with Garnett and Allen. Pierce believes the team morale is high after the victory saying “we know that we are injured, but just to get back on the winning mind-frame is big for us.”
The Celtics are on their way to San Antonio to match up against the Spurs Friday at 8:30 p.m.
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Homepage, Sports - The 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is about to set off, and the level of excitement is higher than ever. There seems to be a lesser gap between the top and mid-ranked teams, knowing 19 of the 25 top teams lost in the week leading up to the bracket selections.
Look for UCLA vs. VCU to be a tight game in the Eastern region. UCLA has been able to reach three consecutive Final Fours, but VCU has the potential to create an upset. They were able to knock off Duke in the first round 2 years ago and continued on to lose to Pitt in overtime. VCU will rely on Eric Maynor to keep them going offensively. Maynor has averaged 22.4 points a game this season, making him 11th in the country in scoring.
The Western region will feature Washington vs. Mississippi State. The game will showcase two of the best big men in the tournament, Washington’s Jon Brockman and MSU’s Jarvis Varnado. Varnado leads the nation in shots blocked, and Brockman has led the Pac-10 in total rebounds for three years straight. Washington is ranked 13th in scoring but MSU might be able to counter their attack knowing they are listed 17th in field-goal defense.
Siena vs. Ohio State will be the game to watch in the Midwest region. Siena has been competitive with powerhouse teams such as Kansas and Pitt this year, and is also remembered for knocking off #4 Vanderbilt last season in the first round. Ohio State has struggled defending 3-pointers, but they shouldn’t have an issue with Siena as they shot 33.5 percent from 3 all season. Siena starts a big line up with three guys over 6’5″, but OSU will keep their 7 foot freshmen B.J. Mullens guarding the paint.
The Southern region will showcase Syracuse vs. Stephen F. Austin this afternoon. Syracuse performed brilliantly in the big East tournament, upsetting UConn in 6 overtimes and just falling short of winning the Big East conference. The Orangemen are eighth in the country in scoring, but their opponent S.F. Austin is ranked 2nd in field goal D. Syracuse should be able to come out on top, but it won’t be easy.
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Sports - The Boston Bruins split their recent weekend campaign, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4 which followed a close win over the Islanders 2-1. Against New York on Saturday the Bruins put in their first two shots passed Islanders goalie Yann Davis. Tim Thomas had 21 saves for the Bruins, only giving up one goal to Mark Streit in the first.
Late in the third period Milan Lucic and Blake Wheeler were both in the penalty box for tripping, creating a five on three advantage for the Islanders. New York couldn’t capitalize and the Bruins were able to luckily hold on for the win.
Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh was more of an offensive battle with the score at 2-2 just after the first period. Blake Wheeler scored the only goal of the second period for Boston to give them a 3-2 lead. Things went sour at the start of the third when the Penguins scored back to back goals in the first minute. The Bruins were able to score once near the end, but it was not nearly enough to match Pittsburgh’s four goals in the final period.
Boston remains on top of the East heading into the final stretch of the regular season. They will square off against the Los Angeles Kings Thursday, March 19th at the TD Banknorth Garden.
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Sports - The Boston Celtics were unable to find a rhythm last Sunday against the Milwaukee Bucks, losing 77-86. Kendrick Perkins scored a career high 26 points with 12 rebounds for the C’s, but it wasn’t enough to keep them in contention. The Celtics had 25 turnovers, setting the mark for the most they?ve had in a single game all year.
“With 25 turnovers, we gave up 21 offensive rebounds. We held them to 32 percent shooting and we lost the game,” Perkins said. “We just can’t win like that.”
Charlie Villanueva and Richard Jefferson lead the Bucks to victory, contributing 19 and 17 points. Paul Pierce had 15 points while pulling down 11 boards despite his squad coming up short. The Celtics will be in Chicago next as they are set to go against the Bulls tonight at 8:30 p.m.
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Homepage, Sports - Roy Halladay gave up three home runs in five innings as the Red Sox beat out the Blue Jays 6-4 in Dunedin, Florida on Monday. Jed Lowrie went 3-for-4 from the plate with a homerun and 2 RBI’s for the Sox. Jeff Bailey and Chris Carter also had multiple hits with one homer apiece.
Boston scored all 6 of their runs in different innings of the game. Halladay ended his outing giving up four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts. Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston commented on his performance, saying “They didn’t beat him up badly. I think he just didn’t locate the way he wanted to. When you don’t, you’re going to get hit sometimes.”
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Homepage, Sports - The Carolina Panthers have recently denied a report saying they have spoken with the New England Patriots about a possible trade for defensive end Julius Peppers. NFL.com took the lead citing unidentified sources, stating the Patriots were close to a deal that would send Peppers their way for the 34th overall pick in the upcoming draft. New England gained the pick a few weeks ago by trading Matt Cassel to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Carolina general manager Marty Hurney explained that they are unable to speak about Peppers to other teams at the moment. “Under the non-exclusive franchise tag, Julius and his agent, Carl Carey, are within their rights to talk to other teams about a potential contract,” said Hurney. “However, at this point, we are not aware of any such conversations.”
Peppers was the number two overall pick in the 2002 draft, and he is currently the Panthers all-time sacks leader. He has announced this off season that he is looking to play elsewhere, and he would like to try moving to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense (similar to what New England offers). Nothing can happen unless Peppers signs a one-year $16.7 million tender for the Panthers, which goes against the teams salary cap and leaves no room to sign other free agents.
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Sports - AFL players and managers have currently reached agreement on a new collective bargaining deal, leading to arena football returning for 2010. Commissioner Ed Policy said the agreement was crucial to bring the league back, which closed last season due to the struggling economy.
“The AFL is working tirelessly to develop a comprehensive plan to ensure that the league not only survives but thrives as a business enterprise,” said Policy. “This revised deal with the players provides a fundamental and vital foundation upon which we can rebuild the economic model of our league and its teams.” Players and owners share a positive mentality for the upcoming season and hope to grow in the years to come.
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Concerts, Homepage, Ticket Sales - According to a rumor printed in the Boston Globe and posted on numerouswebsites, Phish will follow up the pair of Dave Matthews shows with a gig of their own at America’s most beloved ballpark. The show has a tentative date of May 31st, and would take advantage of Fenway already being in “concert mode”. Neither the band or the Red Sox have confirmed the date, but it would be quite a kick-off for Phish’s first tour together in five years.
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Sports - The Pittsburg Panthers and Duke Blue Devils have earned the number 1 and 2 seeds for the upcoming men’s basketball NCAA tournament. Pittsburg (28-4) serves as a heavy favorite to reach the final four with their physical defense and multiple offensive options. Their big men Sam Young and DeJuan Blair have led them in scoring all year, averaging 19 and 16 points per game.
Duke is hungry for a successful run after going 1-2 in their past two NCAA tournament appearances. Gerald Henderson, Kyle Singler, and Jon Scheyer will lead their offense. They have some of the strongest guards in the tournament, but their inside game lacks.
Villanova clinched the number 3 seed in the East this year, finishing with a 26-7 regular season record. They will be a strong contender as they have held opponents to 67 points per game all year while shooting 37 percent from 3 point range. Xavier (ranked #4) could be a team to upset the top seeds if they find a way to play close to their early season form. They started their season off strong with a 20-2 record, but then slipped in the standings after going 5-5 in their last 10 games. Look for Florida State, UCLA, Texas, and Tennessee to possibly make strong runs of their own.
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Concerts, Homepage, Ticket Sales - U2 played their “secret” Boston show tonight at the Somerville Theatre, dazzling the intimate local crowd with cuts from their new #1 album ‘No Line on the Horizon’. Performing “back where it all started, in Boston” Bono and the boys performed their news songs almost flawlessly opening up with “Get On Your Boots” followed by the instant classic and soon to be live favorite, “Magnificent”. After introducing the members of U2, Bono led the band into “Breathe”, another solid track from the new album. After some banter with the crowd Bono introduced radio friendly cut “I’ll Go Crazy, If I Don’t Crazy Tonight”. U2 ended the show with 2005′s hit single, “Vertigo”.
U2 then took questions from the audience, sharing experiences from past tours.
Thousands gathered throughout the day today in Davis Square in hopes of gaining entrance to the invite only U2 gig. Those lucky enough to attend won tickets on various radio contests over the past two weeks, or had some nice connections with the band and promoter. U2 arrived in the late afternoon and greeted many who had waited all day just to catch a glimpse of the band.
The rest of U2′s 2009 live performances promise to be less secretive as tour dates are now set. U2 will open their 2009 U2 360 Tour in Europe, followed by a stint in North America, including shows in Chicago, Boston (Gillette Stadium) and New York (Giants Stadium). U2 tickets for some European shows will be onsale this weekend with more shows going onsale in the coming weeks.