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12/19/2012 - 9:50pm
Truthful: Red-hot Pierce scores 40 in win

Paul Pierce hit his first six 3-point field goals on the night and scored a season-high 40 points as the Celtics hung on for a 103-91 win over the undermanned Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night at TD Garden. The win snapped Boston's three-game losing skid and helped them back over .500 at 13-12 on the season while the Cavaliers fell to an NBA-worst 5-22 on the season. Pierce finished 13-of-16 from the field to lead a red-hot Celtics night from the floor. Boston shot 59 percent from the field as a team. It was Pierce's 24th career 40-point game. 

The Celtics appeared to have the game well in hand, building a 20-point lead with 3:16 left in the third. But Boston's bench got sloppy with the ball and allowed the Cavaliers to go on a 20-2 run that made it close in the fourth. The Celtics went on a 10-1 run to fend off the Cavaliers late in the fourth quarter. 

Celtics coach Doc Rivers shook things up before the game, benching Courtney...

12/19/2012 - 7:04pm
Terry, Collins new Celtics starters

After losing their third straight game Tuesday night in Chicago, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he would continue to search for answers to shake his team out of its early season funk. On Wednesday, he followed through, replacing Courtney Lee in the starting lineup with Jason Terry, who got only two shots in Tuesday's 100-89 loss in Chicago. 

"Nothing more, until Avery [Bradley] comes back," Rivers said of the decision. "Jet just doesn't get involved unless [Rajon] Rondo is on the floor. It has nothing to do with anybody else, it's more to do with getting Jet more involved." 

In a more drastic measure, Rivers said Jason Collins would take over the starting center role from Kevin Garnett in order to move Garnett back to his more natural spot of big forward. The move would mean Brandon Bass would come off the bench. Bass has started 21 of Boston's 24 games this season, including the last 16 straight. 

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12/19/2012 - 5:56pm
Brady (right shoulder) DNP at Pats practice

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady was given the day off from practice to rest his right shoulder after throwing a career-high 65 passes on Sunday night in the 41-34 loss to the 49ers at Gillette Stadium. While Wednesday marked Brady's first day off from practice this season, the Patriots have routinely given Brady a day off on Wednesday in years past as the team approached the postseason. 

Linebacker Mike Rivera (ankle) was the only other player to miss practice due to injury on Wednesday outside in sweats and shells. Jermaine Cunningham is serving the fourth and final week of his four-game suspension for violation of the NFL PED policy. 

Rob Gronkowski was again officially listed as "limited" Wednesday, five days after his return to Patriots practice on Friday. He was inactive on Sunday for the game against the 49ers. Gronkowski was one of 18 listed as limited by the Patriots in their first injury report of the week. 

Here is...

12/19/2012 - 3:52pm
Cherington talks status of Ross, Ellsbury

Following the press conference to introduce newly-acquired pitcher Ryan Dempster, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington offered updates on negotiations with free agent outfielder Cody Ross, and the team's approach toward Jacoby Ellsbury.

Regarding Ross, who met with the Rangers Tuesday and is drawing significant interest from Philadelphia and Seattle, Cherington said he hasn't recently been in touch with the outfielder's representatives, but hasn't ruled out a possible return to the Red Sox.

"We have not closed the door by any means," said Cherington of Ross, who is seeking a three-year deal from the Red Sox. "I have not had a conversation recently with him. But no, we have not closed the door."

Asked if his stance that Ellsbury is expected to be a big part of the 2013 season has been altered after some recent trade rumors regarding the outfielder, Cherington said, "Nothing's changed on that."

Cherington...

12/19/2012 - 3:08pm
Dempster: Sox have a chance next season
By: DJ Bean

At his introductory press conference, Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster said that he believes "there's a lot of room to go up" for the Sox as they look to improve from their 69-93 finish from last season. 

Dempster said he felt general manager Ben Cherington and the front office have done a "really good job of adding a lot of good players and baseball guys" this offseason, and that he chose the Red Sox because he expects them to be competitive over the course of his two-year deal. 

"The money and things like that in baseball are great, but I came here because I believe this team has as good a chance of winning as much as anybody else," Dempster said. "I've always believed that. I believe that that should be your mentality going into any season because it's proven day in and day out. 

"Every team's gong to win 50 games and every team is going to lose 50 games. It's what you do with the other...

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