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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...

05/10/2012 - 10:41pm
Dirty birds: KG leads C's to series win

Kevin Garnett, labeled as the "dirtiest guy" in the NBA by Hawks owner Michael Gearon this week, let his production speak for itself Thursday night as he hit the go-ahead jumper with 30.6 seconds left in Game 6 as the Celtics closed out the Hawks, 83-80, before a roaring sellout crowd at TD Garden. Garnett had 28 points, 14 rebounds, five blocks and three steals as the Celtics elminated the Hawks, 4-2, and advance to face Philadelphia in the next round starting Saturday at TD Garden. Josh Smith missed a mid-range jumper with 10 seconds remaining and, with a chance to tie, Al Horford missed one of two free throws with 2.3 seconds remaining to allow the Celtics to escape. 

Horford scored six points during a 12-2 run to help the Hawks erase a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit and build a 79-76 lead before the Celtics came back in the final two minutes. The Celtics won despite scoring just two field goals in the final 8:42 of the game....

05/10/2012 - 10:21pm
Shank: Beckett, Sox blown out by Indians

In his first start since April 29, Josh Beckett delivered one of his worst starts as a member of the Red Sox at a wildly inopportune time for the pitcher and the team. With a controversy swirling over his decision to go golfing last Thursday, one day after the Sox announced that they would skip his scheduled start on Saturday to rest the pitcher's stiff lat muscle, Beckett was knocked out after allowing seven runs on seven hits in just 2 1/3 innings to the Indians, setting in motion an 8-3 loss.

The Indians sent one rocket after another around the park, as Beckett allowed six extra-base hits -- four doubles, two homers -- in an outing that was tied for his shortest ever at Fenway Park. The right-hander struck out two and walked two while seeing his ERA rise from 4.45 to 5.97. Manager Bobby Valentine received a hearty ovation as he approached the mound to pull Beckett after Michael Brantley's two-run double; Beckett, meanwhile, was pounded with boos as he...

05/10/2012 - 7:46pm
Rivers: Hollins 'is playing better'

After grabbing the backup center job with a strong second half of the season, Greg Stiemsma has been losing some minutes to Ryan Hollins in Doc Rivers' rotation. Hollins has played 41 minutes the last four games after not playing at all in Game 1 and saw the court for 19 minutes in Game 5 to Stiemsma's four.

"The other guy is playing better," Rivers said meaning Hollins. "It’s a competition, always, and Ryan is playing terrific for us. Ryan’s minutes on the floor with Kevin [Garnett] are unbelievable. When you put him and Kevin on the floor together that’s our best defensive team."

The numbers back up Rivers' assertion. In 16 defensive possessions with Garnett and Hollins in the frontcourt, the Celtics have given up just 11 points and scored twenty five.

Rivers also said that he thought about making a lineup shift to take Avery Bradley off Joe Johnson, but ultimately decided to keep things as they are...

05/10/2012 - 7:43pm
Doc on Pierce injury: 'Not the best situation'

Doc Rivers confirmed that Paul Pierce will play in Game 6 Thursday night as the Celtics try to close out the Hawks in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. But the coach expressed concern that Pierce is not 100 percent after being diagnosed with an MCL sprain of his left following an injury last Sunday. 

"It's not the best situation, but he's going to play," Rivers said of Pierce, who scored 16 points in 36 minutes. "We just have to see what he can do on the floor."

Pierce was clearly limited defensively in the second half as Josh Smith, Marvin Williams and Al Horford all helped the Hawks build a 12-point lead, then built a nine-point lead before another Celtics rally fell short. 

Pierce injured the left knee when he stepped on a teammate's foot in shootaround on Sunday morning before Game 4. He aggravated it in the second quarter when he collided with Josh Smith, who was setting a screen. 

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