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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Celtics Just Needed a Good Scream

Marcus Smart and Jason Hayward’s return and a good screamfest helped Celtics get back into Eastern Conference finals.
Marcus Smart and Jason Hayward’s return and a good screamfest helped Celtics get back into Eastern Conference finals.
Image: (Getty Images)

Sometimes, it’s good to just scream your problems away?

The Celtics let each other have it after Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, having blown a 17-point lead to fall into a 2-0 series deficit against the Heat. Then they came out in Game 3 on Saturday night and led from wire to wire, leading by as many as 20 points in a 117-106 triumph.

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Of course, it helps that Boston got Gordon Hayward back in the rotation and played him for 30 minutes. Hayward wasn’t exactly at his best, shooting 2-for-7 for six points, but he contributed three steals, five rebounds, and four assists. Hayward peeled away minutes mostly from Brad Wanamaker, who’s a fine player, but not someone who should be getting 24 minutes a game in the conference finals.

The old adage is that you only call a team meeting before a game you should be able to win. The Celtics may have twisted that a little with “screaming and throwing things around the locker room” in place of a formal team meeting, but it did happen to coincide with one of their key players returning from injury. Not that they were sure about that at the time or put any planning into the blowup, but the timing worked out for them.

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If it hadn’t they’d be down 3-0 and all the stories would be about how their meltdown continued and the Heat are psychologically destroying everyone they play. And that may yet happen! Narrative has a funny way of following results that way.


I’ve been an Anton Khudobin enthusiast since 2013, when he gave me this dazzling quote about then-Bruins teammate Tuukka Rask: “He’s a good goalie. That’s what makes him a good goalie.”

Well, guess what, Khudobin is a good goalie, too. That’s what makes him a good goalie. And he showed it in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, leading Dallas to a 4-1 win over Tampa Bay.


The only ranked team to lose to an unranked opponent in college football this week was No. 23 Appalachian State, which fell, 17-7, at Marshall.

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There were fans at the game on a day when 11 people died from COVID-19 in West Virginia, including one man in Cabell County, where Marshall is located.

Cases in the state have been spiking recently, although on Friday, Gov. Jim Justice’s office touted that the “West Virginia Model” is setting a “national standard.” Cabell County did move from gold to green on the state’s Department of Education school reopening map, as the test positivity rate there dropped below 3 percent, but it still seems that large gatherings such as football games… how many times do we have to go over this?

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“Yolo I guess lol” was the caption on the Instagram story that got Ty Lawson banned for life from the Chinese Basketball Association.

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“His inappropriate words are inconsistent with the social responsibilities and values abided by our club and have brought serious social impacts to the club and the league,” his now-former team, the Fugian Sturgeons, said in a statement.

It’s not the “Yolo” that was inappropriate, although taking a photo during a lap dance certainly is taboo. “Chinese woman got cakes on the low,” in another part of Lawson’s Instagram story, would be that.

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You do have to admit, though, that getting banned for life from the Chinese basketball league for social media posts from a strip club lives up to that “Yolo” spirit.


Happy trails and good health to Ron Gardenhire, who had planned to retire at the end of the season, but bowed out as manager of the Tigers on Saturday because a recent food poisoning incident, and the stress of the job, were taking their toll.

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Gardenhire retires with exactly 1,200 wins in his managerial career, 46th on the all-time list. After winning six division titles with the Twins from 2002-14, the former major league infielder’s record as a manager dipped under .500 in three seasons with a rebuilding Detroit team.

Former Pirates and Mariners skipper Lloyd McClendon took the helm for the final 10 games of the Tigers’ season. McClendon taking over represents a 50 percent increase in Black managers currently in the majors. McClendon started off with a 5-2 win over Cleveland with a four-run rally after Triston McKenzie came out of the game.

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Kassam Stadium is about 250 miles south of Gateshead, England, and no fans were allowed in for Saturday’s game between Sunderland and Oxford United in League One, the third tier of English soccer.

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That didn’t stop a few Sunderland supporters — as anyone who’s watched the Netflix documentary knows, some of the most committed in the world — from watching their beloved Lads.

Those fans were justly rewarded. American Lynden Gooch scored one of Sunderland’s goals in a 2-0 win.

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Here’s a headline from the News & Observer in Raleigh: “Florida State coach positive for COVID. How could this affect games vs. UNC, Duke, NC State?”

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Here’s an answer: Who gives a shit? We’re talking about a man contracting a virus that’s killed almost 200,000 people in this country, with no end in sight.

Here’s another answer, from the actual story, which also shows the stupid question wasn’t really even worth asking: It probably won’t at all, since Mike Norvell said he’s feeling alright — thank goodness — and those games against the North Carolina schools aren’t until Oct. 17 (UNC), Nov. 14 (NC State), and Dec. 6 (Duke).

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It’s probably not a surprise that Bill Belichick is very good at breaking down film, but the Patriots’ YouTube channel has a feature where he does it, and it’s a different version of the gruff guy that the public usually sees.

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Well, he’s still pretty gruff, but he does chuckle once, and the way he explains plays like the Seahawks’ version of the triple-option is illuminating while obviously not giving away anything about how the Patriots plan to deal with it on Sunday night.


“That should give MLB time to promote the hell out of Tim Anderson, right?” — this column, two days ago

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Tim Anderson wearing a microphone and talking to the broadcast during the game, in which he hit two home runs. — real life, yesterday

Cool! More of this, please and thank you.

Sorry to all the other Jesse Spectors for ruining your Google results.

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