Celtics

Celtics to begin playoffs in Atlanta

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Celtics to begin playoffs in Atlanta

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics will start the first round of the playoffs against the Hawks in Atlanta.
In spite of the Cs 87-74 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, the Hawks topped the Dallas Mavericks, 106-89, to earn home court advantage in the opening round of the Eastern Conference series.
The Celtics finished the regular season 39-27 while the Hawks edged them out, 40-26.
Theres nothing we could do about it, said head coach Doc Rivers. They won, and so were going to Atlanta.
This is the first time since the New Big Three era the Celtics will not begin the postseason at the TD Garden. The Cs are 24-9 at home this season and 15-18 on the road. The Hawks are 23-10 in Atlanta and 17-16 away.
Looking back on the regular season, Rivers can pinpoint certain games that could have changed the playoff scenario had the Celtics pulled them off. But in the last few weeks he has been faced with the challenging decision -- play the starters and run the risk of compromising their health or rest the starters for the postseason and run the risk of losing games.
In the end, Rivers opted for rest on several nights. He is willing to deal with the outcome.
Wed rather not (open on the road), said Rivers. Honestly. It would have been easier to open up at home, but were just not. We had to make tough choices. Looking at Kevin (Garnett), the way he ran today, I was happy with the choice. He looked like his legs were back. So for me, that answered the question.
Then I looked at the scoreboard and I was hoping Dallas was winning the game so we could get everything. But listen, weve earned the road because of our record. You can look at games -- we lost two in Toronto, we lost a lot of games early in the year. That is the reason we are on the road, so we earned that.
And well have to be ready for it.

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