Celtics

Barbosa returns to C's after attending family issue in Brazil

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Barbosa returns to C's after attending family issue in Brazil

SACRAMENTO Leandro Barbosa was on the court working on his game, launching 3-pointers, floaters in the lane and a few free throws.

And this after nearly 16 hours in the air coming from Brazil where he has been for more than a week attending to a personal family matter.

The Celtics will have him availabletonight, but it's unclear if Celtics coach Doc Rivers will go to him at all.

"He has to be exhausted," Rivers said. "But if we need him, we're going to play him. But he has had a tough go. The fact that he could make it is nice. But honestly, I hope I don't have to use him. But he's ready to play."

Barbosa, bleary-eyed from what has been one of the longer days of his life, acknowledged he had no idea what he would be able to do if he's called upon to play.

"I haven't been sleeping much," said Barbosa, adding that "if they need me, I will try to do my best."

The decision to return and leave his family was not an easy one for Barbosa.

"It's time," he said when asked about returning to the C's at this point. "Given the situation is bad (with his family in Brazil), it's time. I have never been far away from my teammates that long. I just had a conversation with the family and said I had to come back. And we've been in touch as far as communication on the cell phone and however we had to. I still can help from here. Hopefully everything will be OK."

Barbosa toldCSNNE.comthat his Celtics teammates were instrumental in helping him cope with what he says has been "a very tough time for me and my family."

In addition to text from Rivers and the C's front office, Barbosa said Rajon Rondo communicated with him in addition to Jeff Green who Barbosa said reached out to him almost daily.

"It means a lot," Barbosa said about hearing from his teammates. "It's always good when somebody worries about you, especially given the situation. I was just happy to hear that they were worried about my situaiton. I appreciate the worries from them."

Added Rivers: "That's important. Listen, family first. We forget a lot that these guys out there, actually have real lives, human things that happen. When it happens, it affects you; it affects your play and it's good to have teammates ... teammates are your other family. That's important."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.

7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.

11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far. 

16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

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ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

HOUSTON -  Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE