Bruins

Andrew Bynum could be out until Christmas

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Andrew Bynum could be out until Christmas

From Comcast SportsNetPHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Andrew Bynum's debut with the Philadelphia 76ers may not come until 2013.Bynum, Philadelphia's 7-foot center, will miss at least five more weeks because of a bone bruise in his right knee and could be held out until early January.When Bynum was hurt in mid-September, the team initially hoped its newly-acquired star would be ready for the season opener Oct. 31. Late last month, though, the Sixers said he was out indefinitely.Philadelphia said Monday that the new goal was for Bynum to resume "normal basketball activity" around Dec. 10. He would then need 1-4 weeks of conditioning and practice before he can play in his first game for the 76ers."It's better than when it started, it's just not quite there yet," he said. "It's not where I want it to be."Bynum was allowed to start low-impact exercise after an MRI last week and he did everything from swimming to biking to stay in shape.The Sixers acquired Bynum from the Lakers in a four-team deal that saw them ship Andre Iguodala to Denver, but he has yet to even practice with them this season."We know that Sixers fans are eager to see Andrew Bynum play and shine in a 76ers uniform," Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo said. "We also know that no one is more eager to see Andrew play for the Sixers than Andrew himself. He fully realizes the key contribution he can make to the team. Hopefully, that day is coming soon."Bynum, 25, is in the final year of his contact and could sign a five-year deal worth more than 100 million in the offseason, if he's healthy.Bynum said his uncertain contract status was not playing a role in the decision to rest until he's ready to go out and dominate. However, Bynum said he could play through the bone bruise had the Sixers been in a playoff series."As far as getting better, I think this is the way I need to handle it," he said. "It's tough. I want to get out there, I want to play. It's just a roller coaster. Obviously, missing games is not good. I want to be out there, I want to be there with my teammates."Without Bynum, the Sixers took a three-game winning streak into Monday's game against Milwaukee.Bynum has already had surgery on both knees. In September, he went to Germany for injections of plasma-rich platelets that supposedly stimulate healing in arthritis-affected areas in both of his knees.Bynum won two NBA titles in seven seasons with the Lakers and called their coaching carousel "crazy." The Lakers fired Mike Brown five games into the season, flirted with Phil Jackson then hired former New York Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni late Sunday night."It's tough," Bynum said. "You've got that caliber team, it's a shame what happened. I think he'll be back around."

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

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Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

BOSTON – At the end of the day, it was simply a game where the Bruins allowed themselves to get outworked in the third period and overtime. 

The B’s held a three-goal lead in the second period and still enjoyed a two-goal lead in the third period, but eventually dropped a frustrating, futile 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday night. It was clear to most speaking after the game that the Bruins eased up on the gas pedal once they’d scored their fourth goal of the game in the second period, and simply watched as the Sabres stomped all over them in the game’s second half. 

“I think we might have been a little bit too scared to play [in the third period], you know? We tried to just flip the pucks away, and didn’t make any plays trying to get it in the zone. Instead we should have just kept going like we did in the first two periods,” said David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals early in the loss to allow the Bruins to build up the three-goal lead. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We got one point. I think we didn’t play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us, and you know, it’s on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It’s just another learning session.”

To Pastrnak’s point, the Bruins were outshot by a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes of regulation and 21-6 overall in the third period and overtime prior to Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winner during 3-on-3 play. It was at this point the Bruins certainly missed stalwart stay-at-home defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller in the D-zone, and fell short of qualified penalty killers while trying to burn off a Brandon Carlo interference call at the end of the third period. 

All of that caught up to them once the Bruins loosened their grip on the Sabres, but certainly the feeling is that the loss should’ve been avoidable even if some of the circumstances made it difficult for the Black and Gold. It also should have been avoidable against a Sabres hockey club that was dreadful last season, and is again one of the doormats in the Atlantic Division in the early going thus far. 

“Those are the games you can’t lose. We obviously didn’t do the job there in the third and close it out, but we’re going to have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one,” said Brad Marchand. “We didn’t play the game we needed to play. We relaxed a bit and we started losing a few battles in the wrong areas, and you know, they just played better than we did.”

It’s mystifying that any team would need a crash-and-born loss like Saturday night in order to learn any lessons moving forward, and it certainly might have been a different story for the Bruins if they weren’t missing a few big defensive pieces. But that’s not how it went down for the Black and Gold as they sagged under rising pressure from the Sabres, and simply stopped working when the chips were on the table late in Saturday night’s game. 

Astros beat Yankees in Game 7 to advance to World Series, 4-0

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Astros beat Yankees in Game 7 to advance to World Series, 4-0

HOUSTON - Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers combined on a three-hitter, Jose Altuve and Evan Gattis homered and the Houston Astros reached the World Series, blanking the New York Yankees 4-0 Saturday night in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

Just four years removed from their third straight 100-loss season in 2013, the Astros shut down the Yankees for two straight games after dropping three in a row in the Bronx.

Next up for the Astros: Game 1 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Houston aces Dallas Keuchel and ALCS MVP Justin Verlander will have plenty of rest, too, before the matchup begins at Dodger Stadium.

Houston has never won even a single World Series game. The only previous time the Astros made it this far, they were a National League team when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

Now, manager A.J. Hinch's club has a chance to win that elusive first title, while trying to boost a region still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

Houston improved to 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in these playoffs and became the fifth team in major league history to win a seven-game postseason series by winning all four of its home games.

Morton bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to allow two hits over five scoreless innings. Starter-turned-postseason reliever McCullers limited the Yankees to just one hit while fanning six over the next four.

Combined, they throttled the Yankees one last time in Houston. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and their New York teammates totaled just three runs in the four road games.

CC Sabathia entered the game 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts this season after a Yankees loss. But he struggled with command and was gone with one out in the fourth inning.

Houston was up 2-0 in fifth when former Yankees star Brian McCann came through for the second straight game by hitting a two-run double after snapping an 0-for-20 skid with an ground-rule RBI double to give Houston its first run on Friday night.

The Yankees, trying to reach the World Series for the first time since 2009, lost an elimination game for the first time this season after winning their first four in these playoffs. New York struggled on the road this postseason, with this loss dropping the team to 1-6.