Patriots

Bruins' Lucic, Marchand getting motivation back

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Bruins' Lucic, Marchand getting motivation back

For long periods of November both Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand were absent from the informal skates held by locked out NHL players around Boston. Marchand was shuttling back-and-forth between Boston and his native Nova Scotia and squeezed in a few moose-hunting trips with his dad given the rare spare time at his disposal. Lucic has a new bride and is expecting his first child at the end of January, and was also very surprised that the lockout actually lasted into December.

Otherwise, Lucic might have headed over to Europe for a month or two to stay sharp like a dozen of his Bruins teammates, but instead he stuck around the Hub with Shawn Thornton, Mike Mottau, Keith Yandle, Ryan Whitney, Jay Pandolfo and other local players. But the Bs power forward admitted he got a little discouraged over the last few weeks, and stopped skating regularly during the month of November. Motivation was a difficult thing to come by when he didnt have a likely regular season start date that he could be shooting for.

Ive been using the word hope a lot, so lets hope things get solved, said Lucic. It definitely was difficult to stay motivated when the NHL cancelled the entire month of November. It was really hard. It came to a point where I decided to step back from the ice a bit because I felt like I was hurting myself rather than helping myself.

It was more into getting healthy in all my off-ice stuff. But last month was definitely tough. With Tuesday happening and hopefully something happening on Wednesday you get that fire burning again.

The fire is important for Lucic because the 6-foot-3, 230-pound forwards engine historically takes some time to get running at high efficiency, and hed need some time to ramp up for a shortened regular season.

Marchand admitted much the same thing while sticking around North America unless there came a time when the entire 2012-13 season was cancelled. But perhaps in an encouraging sign the players truly believe progress is coming, both Lucic and Marchand were among a large group of players skating at an informal practice on Tuesday.

Thats a long way from two or three weeks ago when skating day after day seemed a little hopeless.

Its gone on longer than I thought it would and longer than I had hoped it would, said Marchand. Hopefully something will get done so the season doesnt get cancelled. Its been tough at times. Youre so unsure about whats going to happen and the future of the game.

It can get tough getting up, and sometimes the skates arent very good or the workouts arent very long. But you work out for a reason and you need to make sure you stay in game shape.

If motivation was a challenge in November it certainly doesnt seem to be the case now. Marchand was buzzing around at Tuesdays practice with his typical extra gear of skating speed and willingness to stick his nose into high traffic areas. Thats a good sign Marchand is quickly getting ready for an NHL season that might finally be arriving later than scheduled.

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

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Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

NEW YORK - Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for shoving a game official during the Raiders' victory over Kansas City on Thursday night.

Lynch was ejected from the game after he shoved line judge Julian Mapp.

The scuffle started when Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was hit late on a run by Kansas City's Marcus Peters midway through the second quarter. Raiders offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn immediately confronted Peters, and Lynch sprinted onto the field from the bench to join the fray. Mapp tried to break up the fight, but Lynch pushed him and grabbed his jersey. Lynch also got a personal foul.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Lynch, saying:

"You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. ... You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."

Lynch will be eligible to return to Oakland's active roster on Oct. 30, the day after the Raiders' game against the Buffalo Bills.

Lynch finished the game with two carries for 9 yards.

The Raiders rallied to win 31-30 on a touchdown pass by Carr on the final play, and Lynch was in the locker room after the game congratulating his teammates.

Lynch came out of retirement this season and was traded from Seattle to the Raiders. Lynch said he wanted to make a comeback so he could give something back to his hometown of Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.

Lynch has rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.

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Larkin provides fourth-quarter spark, Celtics beat Sixers, 102-92

Larkin provides fourth-quarter spark, Celtics beat Sixers, 102-92

PHILADELPHIA – Despite playing its second straight game without a key rotation player, the Boston Celtics did just enough to get their first win of the season, 102-92, over Philadelphia.

Boston (1-2) was led by Kyrie Irving’s game-high 21 points, but it was Shane Larkin's floor game down the stretch that truly catapulted Boston to its first win of the season.

Larkin, who was seeing action in large part because Marcus Smart was out with a left ankle injury, provided a huge spark in the fourth before finishing with 10 points and four assists.

He drained a 3-pointer that tied the game at 75-all, which was part of an 18-9 Celtics run.

The Sixers (0-2) were led by J.J. Redick and Jerryd Bayless who had 19 and 18 points, respectively. Joel Embiid got off to a slow start, but finished with a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Boston played with a lead for most of the first half, but Philadelphia took over with a 7-0 run to end the second quarter and had the Celtics playing catch-up for all of the third and some of the fourth quarter.

Boston was once again short-handed, with Marcus Smart out with a left ankle injury. He replaced Gordon Hayward, whose left ankle injury in the first quarter of Boston’s loss to Cleveland on Tuesday, is expected to keep him sidelined for the rest of the season.

But with players out, that opens up opportunities for others to step up.

Larkin, who walked away from a contract overseas that would have paid about $5 million more than he’s making with the Celtics, was one of those players.

Aron Baynes, who got the start with Smart out, had 10 points and eight rebounds. Boston also got another strong game off the bench from Terry Rozier who had 14 points and seven rebounds

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