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04/29/2012 - 8:34pm
Wrong foot: C's lose, Rondo ejected

Josh Smith scored 22 points and hauled in 18 rebounds to lead the Hawks to an 83-74 win over the Celtics in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at Philips Arena in Atlanta. 

Rajon Rondo had 20 points and 11 assists but lost his cool after a foul call on a loose ball scramble with 41 seconds left. He yelled at and bumped official Marc Davis. He faces a potential suspension for Game 2 Tuesday night.

Brandon Bass and Smith were in a scramble for a loose ball and Bass appeared to rake Smith across the face when Davis called the foul on Bass. Rondo thought it was a jump ball situation. Rondo lost control and went after Davis before bumping him with his chest and getting ejected.

Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 12 rebounds but the pair had little offensive support as Paul Pierce went just 5-for-19 from the field and finished with 12 points.

Avery Bradley went just 4-of-12 and the Celtics shot just 39 percent from...

04/29/2012 - 5:28pm
Allen out for opener, remains day to day

ATLANTA -- Ray Allen went through part of his normal presume shooting routine, but not all of it prior to the Celtics' playoff opener with the Hawks. That was the indication that Allen would miss the opener due to an ankle injury that kept him out of the final nine games of the regular season.

Allen said on Saturday that he'd have surgery after the season to deal with bone spurs, but the Celtics still aren't closing the door on a possible appearance. "No, it’s going to be day-to-day, game-to-game," coach Doc Rivers said. "That’s just what it is."

With Allen out, Mickael Pietrus will see the majority of the minutes on the wing, but Rivers said three other players could see time. He mentioned Keyon Dooling, Sasha Pavlovic and rookie E'Twaun Moore as possibilities.

The Hawks will start their normal lineup, which has Joe Johnson at the small forward spot, Kirk Hinrich at guard and veteran Jason Collins at...

04/29/2012 - 5:13pm
Youkilis says back shouldn't keep him out

CHICAGO -- Kevin Youkilis said after the Red Sox' 4-1 loss to the White Sox Sunday that he was available for pinch-hitting duty despite being scratched just before the game with a stiff lower back.

"I was just really tight today and it locked up and they decided to scratch me and use me later on int he game if they were going to use me," Youkilis said.

"I can't play the outfielder and I'm not left-handed, so I think that was the reason for those (decisions not to pinch-hit him). As far as I know -- maybe, I don't know if trainers said anything else. As far as I was concerned, I was ready."

Youkilis said he hadn't experienced any stiffness in the days leading up the injury, but surmised the cold weather throughout the three-game series might have contributed to the ailment.

"It's probably just three days in the freezing cold," he said. "I don't know, I felt good. I felt good all week. I just woke up...

04/29/2012 - 4:09pm
Red Sox not quite perfect on road trip

CHICAGO -- The Red Sox were forced to finish their road trip with a 6-1 mark, dropping the series finale against the White Sox, 4-1, Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Earning the win for the White Sox was starter Gavin Floyd, who no-hit the visitors through the first 6 1/3 innings before Dustin Pedroia pushed a single to the opposite field in the seventh. Floyd finished giving up one run on two hits while striking out nine.

Josh Beckett, who got the start for the Red Sox, tried to keep pace with Floyd, but succumbed to a three-run first inning which was highlighted by Adam Dunn's two-run home run. Beckett finished tying a career-high with 126 pitches, marking the first time since July 21, 1998 that Red Sox pitchers have thrown back-to-back games of 121 pitches or more (Pedro Martinez, Tim Wakefield).

Beckett finished his 6 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits, striking out eight and walking three. He lowered his ERA to 4.45.

The...

04/29/2012 - 12:07pm
Valentine: Shoppach, Beckett clicking

CHICAGO -- Prior to his team's series finale against the White Sox, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine wouldn't commit to catching Kelly Shoppach each time Josh Beckett takes the mound. Sunday would be the fourth straight game in which Beckett threw to Shoppach, during which time the righty has compiled a 2.57 ERA.

In Beckett's four starts throwing to Saltalamacchia over the past two seasons, the starter's ERA stands at 7.54, with the only pairing this season resulting in a 4 2/3-inning, seven-run loss in Detroit.

"I like all the pairings," said Valentine, who first jokingly explained the move was because Sunday was Shoppach's 32nd birthday. "The way it looks right now, it looks like our catchers and pitchers are working very well together. Matter of fact, I can’t think of a better caught game than Salty did yesterday. Worked in 21 changeups for Jon Lester. I haven’t seen that since I’ve been managing, had swings and...

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