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04/08/2012 - 8:17pm
Easter candy: C's steamroll Sixers

The Celtics took a major step toward a fifth straight Atlantic Division title with a 103-79 cakewalk over the collapsing 76ers on Easter Sunday at TD Garden. Kevin Garnett led the way for the Celtics with 20 while Brandon Bass had 18 and Paul Pierce added 17. The Celtics improved to 32-24 and now have their biggest lead of the season in the division, as they lead by three games with just 10 remaining. Rajon Rondo had 15 assists while Avery Bradley chipped in with 18.

The Sixers entered the game leading the NBA by committing just 10.9 turnovers per game. The Celtics forced the Sixers into 11 in the first half alone. The Celtics were red-hot from the field, shooting 62 percent from the field and finishing up at 59 percent. They held Philadelphia to just 39 percent. 

Since the Sixers beat the Celtics in Philadelphia on March 23, the two teams have headed in completely opposite directions. The Sixers have lost four straight and 6-of-8 while the...

04/08/2012 - 5:57pm
Sox bullpen blows it in 11th vs. Tigers

The Red Sox survived a devastating defeat, blowing a three-run lead in the ninth inning and a two-run advantage in the 11th to suffer their second walkoff defeat in three games, this one by a 13-12 count. As was the case on Opening Day, the culprits were Alfredo Aceves and Mark Melancon, with Aceves giving up three runs in the ninth and Melancon allowing three in the 11th, including a two-out, two-run, walkoff homer by Alex Avila.

With the game tied 10-10 in the 11th, the Sox received run-scoring singles from Nick Punto and Dustin Pedroia to take a 12-10 lead. But Melancon permitted singles to Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the bottom of the inning, and after Fielder came around to score on a sac fly, Aviles blasted a 2-2 curveball into the right-field bleachers for the game-winning homer. 

That erased an impressive performance by the Red Sox offense, which overcame a poor start by Clay Buchholz (four innings, seven runs). The Sox fell...

04/08/2012 - 5:34pm
Pietrus passes 'baseline' concussion test

Celtics swingman Mickael Pietrus has passed the first of several concussion tests needed to receive clearance for a return to game action, coach Doc Rivers announced before Sunday's game against the Sixers. 

It was against those same 76ers on March 23 that Pietrus was fouled by Lou Williams and fell awkwardly to the floor, twisting his back and snapping his head back in a whiplash fashion. Despite not hitting his head, Pietrus was on the floor for nearly 10 minutes before being carried out of Wells Fargo Center and held overnight in Philadelphia. 

Pietrus was diagnosed with a concussion that left him in such discomfort that he could not walk anywhere without sunglasses. That had to improve before he was even cleared to undergo what are being termed "baseline" tests to determine the severity. There is still no timetable for a return.  

But Doc Rivers sounded a bit more optimistic before Sunday's game, joking,...

04/08/2012 - 1:12pm
B's-Capitals first-round schedule released
By: DJ Bean

The NHL released the schedule for the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs Sunday. The Bruins' schedule series against the No. 7 Capitals is as follows: 

Game 1 @ Boston: Thursday, April 12, 7:30 p.m.

Game 2 @ Boston: Saturday, April 14, 3 p.m.

Game 3 @ Washington: Monday, April 16, 7: 30 p.m.

Game 4 @ Washington: Thursday, April 19, 7:30 p.m.

*Game 5 @ Boston: Saturday, April 21, 3 p.m.

*Game 6 @ Washington: Sunday, April 22, time TBD

*Game 7 @ Boston: Wednesday, April 25, time TBD 

* If necessary 

For more on the Bruins and the Stanley Cup playoffs, visit weei.com/bruins


04/08/2012 - 12:53pm
Chiarelli: Horton return 'a longshot'
By: DJ Bean

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said on a conference call Sunday that while he won't rule Nathan Horton out for the season, the veteran winger is a "longshot" to play again this season after suffering his most recent concussion in January. 

Horton began skating last week, but has not yet been cleared for contact. Chiarelli noted that Horton is "quite far off right now" as he still has occasional post-concussion syndrome issues. Even if Horton were to be cleared for contact, Chiarelli said the 26-year-old would still need "a couple weeks" before he would be ready to play in games. 

In 46 games this season, Horton has 17 goals and 15 assists for 32 points and an even rating. 

On the status of the team's other injured players, Chiarelli said defensemen Johnny Boychuk (bruised knee) and Adam McQuaid (swollen eye) are both "day-to-day," while he considers goaltender Tuukka Rask "a...

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