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05/11/2012 - 8:04am
Mashup: Moss impresses 49ers at practice

Randy Moss began his NFL comeback with his first formal practice for the 49ers Thursday in Santa Clara, Calif., and Niners quarterback Alex Smith said the former Patriot looked smooth.

"It's tough to tell that he missed a year of football. I certainly don't see any rust," Smith said. "He's running well, catching well. No surprise, he's a pro and already has a good understanding of the playbook."

Added safety Donte Whitner: "He still looks the same. He never, ever since he's been playing football has looked like he's been running fast. But he's a long strider, and when you actually run against him, he's really running really fast. He's running the same as he's always run. His body looks like a younger Randy Moss, so I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do on the football field."

Moss also showed he was in midseason form in terms of his dealings with the media, as he has little to say following the...

05/11/2012 - 6:50am
Cherington: Beckett 'always accountable'

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, in an e-mail after starter Josh Beckett got hammered for seven runs on seven hits in just 2 1/3 innings in his team's 8-3 loss to the Indians on Thursday night, said that the poor performance was unrelated to the pitcher's decision to go golfing after he'd been scratched from his previous outing. Cherington also said that he did not have any concerns about the degree to which the pitcher held himself responsible for his failures and successes.

“Josh has always been accountable for his performance on the field,” Cherington wrote after the outing. “I don’t believe his outing tonight was affected by anything he did or didn't do on our last off day. I expect he'll pitch well five days from now.”

For more on Cherington's view of the team's clubhouse culture,...

05/11/2012 - 2:04am
Horford: 'Should've tried to miss' second FT

With the Hawks trailing the Celtics 81-79 with two seconds remaining, Atlanta center Al Horford stepped to the free throw line with a chance to send Game 6 into overtime. He missed the first and -- to the surprise of many -- made the second. That allowed the Celtics to inbound the ball to Paul Pierce, who was fouled and hit a pair of free throws that capped the scoring in the C's 83-80 victory Thursday night at TD Garden.

The Hawks had no timeouts remaining, and thus no chance to set up a potential game-tying 3-point play from halfcourt once Pierce's free throws were true.

"I didn't really think about it," Horford said. "That's probably something that I should have given some thought. The first one felt good, and I was just kind of surprised when I missed it. Looking back, I probably should've tried to miss the second one, not realizing that we didn't have any timeouts on top of it. There's a lot of stuff going through the game...

05/11/2012 - 12:20am
After win, KG fires back at Hawks owner

Kevin Garnett wasted no time following his game-winning and series-clinching dagger in the hearts of the Hawks to blast Atlanta owner Michael Gearon for labeling him as the league's "dirtiest guy" after Game 5, a game won by the Hawks. 

"First off, I want to say thank you to the owner for giving me some extra gas tonight," Garnett said. "My only advice to him is next time he opens his mouth, actually know what he’s talking about, X’s and O’s vs. checkbooks, bottom lines."

Garnett helped usher the Hawks into the offseason Thursday night, scoring 28 points, hauling down 14 rebounds, blocking five shots and coming up with three steals in just over 38 minutes as the Celtics won Game 6 and the series with an 83-80 win at a thunderous TD Garden. 

Garnett continued moments later defending the way he and the Celtics play.

“We’re not dirty. We’re firm, we play...

05/10/2012 - 11:19pm
Beckett: 'My off-day is my off-day'

Following the Red Sox' 8-3 loss to the Indians, Josh Beckett addressed the controversy surrounding his golf outing May 3, one day after it was announced he would be scratched from his May 5 start due to a sore right lat.

Beckett -- whose 2 1/3-inning outing was his shortest since Aug. 17, 2008, giving up seven runs on seven hits -- would only say that he believed his off day to be of nobody's concern but his own.

"I spend my off-days the way I want to spend them," the starter said. "My off-day is my off-day."

When asked if he could understand why there would be some questions about playing golf in such a situation, he added, "Not on my off-day. We get 18 off-days a year. I think we deserve a little bit of time to ourselves."

Beckett was roundly booed upon being replaced by Andrew Miller with one out in the third inning, having left with the Red Sox holding a 7-1 deficit. He was questioned whether he...

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