Red Sox

Allen returns from illness, plays big in overtime

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Allen returns from illness, plays big in overtime

BOSTON -- Ray Allen was back in the Boston Celtics lineup on Sunday after a recent bout with the norovirus, scoring 12 points in their overtime win against the New York Knicks.

Allen began feeling ill with a loss of appetite on Wednesday evening following the Celtics game against the Milwaukee Bucks. He vomited after returning home and thought some rest would cure the problem.

When you go to sleep you think it's all going to be better when you wake up, he said before the game. It wasnt better.

Allens wife, Shannon, drove him to New England Baptist Hospital where he was diagnosed with the norovirus. He said his children also had the illness while the Celtics were on the road.

He spent the day in the hospital receiving fluids as he battled with stomach problems. Allen returned home on Thursday evening and has regained his appetite since then.

After sitting out Fridays game against the New Jersey Nets, he looked bounce back on Sunday afternoon against the New York Knicks. Allen didnt expect any problems other than with his wind, as he calls it, after missing a game.

I'm always 100 percent, he said with a smile.

Allen struggled, though, on the offensive glass a points during the game. He went scoreless in the first quarter and didnt get on the board until three minutes into the second. At halftime he had just three points and went scoreless again in the third. He tacked on another four points in the fourth, heading into overtime with seven points.

Nonetheless, Doc Rivers was impressed by Allens performance for the way he fought off the Knicks defense.

They decided that they were going to take Ray out of the game, said Rivers. Start of the second half, we used Ray as a picker. He was picking everybody and getting guys open because nobody was getting off his body, and that was effective for us.

Enter overtime, where none of those missed shots in regulation mattered. Allen scored five of the Celtics 12 points in extra play. His back-to-back three-pointer and layup broke a 105-105 tie that pushed the Cs lead up to five points. They never trailed after that.

The greatest part about Ray over any player that Ive coached, is rare, said Rivers. He can miss all his shots and if you draw up a play for him at the end of a game, if he gets open, hes probably going to make it.

Theres not a lot of guys like that.

Brad Ausmus interviews with Red Sox, but Alex Cora appears frontrunner

Brad Ausmus interviews with Red Sox, but Alex Cora appears frontrunner

BOSTON — Brad Ausmus was the second person to interview to replace John Farrell as Red Sox manager, baseball sources confirmed Monday afternoon. The Sox are expected to interview Ron Gardenhire, the Diamondbacks' bench coach, as well.

But the net might not be cast too wide. More and more, it sounds like the Sox already know whom they want.

Astros bench coach Alex Cora, who met with Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in New York on Sunday, appears the frontrunner to take the reins next year. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal has reported that to be the case multiple times, and for some inside the Sox organization, that's a growing feeling as well.

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The criteria the Sox value most isn't hard to guess: a strong connection with players, an ability to incorporate data and analytics; and someone who can handle the market.

"I knew Alex for a couple of years before getting a chance to work with him and had tried to recruit him to work a few years ago and he had other options," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Monday in New York, before Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees. "To watch him develop relationships with the players, he's all about baseball. He's all about the competition and small advantages within the game, one of the brightest baseball intellects that I've been around. And to see him pass some of that on and transition from player to TV personality to coach, he's had a ton of impact.

"He challenges people. He challenges me. He's someone who's all about winning. And I think to watch our players respond to him, he's got a lot of respect in that clubhouse because of the work he puts in and the attention to detail that he brings. That's why he's the hottest managerial candidate on the planet and deservedly so."

Cora joined the Astros before this season.

Ausmus, whom Dombrowski hired in Detroit ahead of the 2014 season, grew up in Connecticut and went to Dartmouth. The 48-year-old spent 18 seasons as a big-league catcher, the last in 2010. He was working for the Padres before Dombrowski gave him his first shot at managing the Tigers. 

Ausmus went 314-332 in four years managing the Tigers, a more veteran team than might have been ideal for him as a first-time manager.

Ausmus pulled out of the running to interview with the Mets, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag while Cora was expected to interview with the Mets on Monday or Tuesday, per the New York Post's Mike Puma.

What could change from here? One baseball source indicated a second interview with Cora was expected. Asked if he plans a second round of interviews generally, Dombrowski did not say.

"We have started the interview process," Dombrowski wrote via email. "I do not have any specific time frames at this point. Will wait and evaluate as we go through the process."

The Boston Herald's Chad Jennings first reported Ausmus' interview.

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Smart 'not worried' about lack of contract extension with Celtics

Smart 'not worried' about lack of contract extension with Celtics

CLEVELAND – For the third year in a row, a first-round pick of the Boston Celtics is unable to come to terms on a contract extension prior to the deadline.

That means Marcus Smart will become a restricted free agent this summer. Last year it was Kelly Olynyk (now with the Miami Heat) and in 2015 it was Jared Sullinger (now with Shenzhen Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association).

Both the Celtics and Smart's camp intensified their discussions in recent days as the October 16th 6 p.m. EST deadline drew near.

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While there was progress made, there wasn’t enough to get a deal done.

Smart has repeatedly indicated that he wants to re-sign a long-term deal to stay in Boston.

And the market for the 6-foot-4 guard became clearer based on the contracts that some of his fellow rookie class of 2014, were receiving.

Denver’s Gary Harris agreed to a four-year, $84 million contract after establishing himself as one of the better young two-way talents in the NBA last season. And at the other end of the financial spectrum, you would have to look at Phoenix’s T.J. Warren who signed a four-year, $50 million contract.

More than likely, Smart’s deal next summer will fall somewhere between the deals those two players received.

As much as Smart would have preferred to get a deal done heading into the season, it’s not something that he’s going to cause him to lose any sleep.

“Get it done now, or get it done in six months, I’m OK either way,” he told NBC Sports Boston. “I’m not worried about it.”

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