Red Sox

Celtics-Raptors: What you saw

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Celtics-Raptors: What you saw

BOSTON Finally, the Boston Celtics are done streaking!

Wednesday's 96-73 victory for Boston snapped a five-game losing streak and in the process, extended the Toronto Raptor's losing skid to six and counting.

Before the game, we pointed out four areas to keep tabs on that would be major factors who won. Now that the game is over, we point out how it all actually went down.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR - If you're looking for a lot of points scored, you're not going to like tonight's game which features two of the NBA's lowest-scoring clubs. The C's average 89.8 points per game which ranks 26th in the NBA. The Raptors are even worse, averaging 86 points per game which ranks 29th in the league.

WHAT YOU SAW - The Celtics' were clicking at both ends of the floor. When you combine that with facing a bad team that was without their best scorer (Andrea Bargnani) because of injury, it's not a stretch that the C's dominated the game with such relative ease.

MATCHUP TO WATCH - Rajon Rondo vs. Jose Calderon. Similar style, both playmakers are more concerned with getting their teammates shots than taking them. However, both players sense a need to change that up some, which is why both are shooting the ball more than usual. Still, these two veterans will continue to rack up the assists. Rondo is tied for first in the NBA with 10 assists per game. Calderon is third with 9.1 assists per game.

WHAT YOU SAW: Rondo had no problem getting to the basket anytime he wanted to. He led all scorers with 21 points on 7-for-8 shooting from the field.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Paul Pierce. All eyes are usually on the Captain anyway. But you can expect folks to pay even closer attention to him after a report earlier this week indicated that playoff-contending teams are inquiring about whether the C's are willing to trade him.

WHAT YOU SAW: Pierce prides himself on giving the game whatever it needs. On Wednesday, he was needed to be more of a facilitator instead of a scorer. Along with eight points, Pierce also had a game-high seven assists.

STAT TO TRACK: Field goal percentage defense: The magic number for the Celtics is 45. The C's are 0-5 when teams have shot 45 percent or better from the field against them.

WHAT YOU SAW: Boston controlled the boards and contested most shots. Doing those two things against a bad team like Toronto, all but guarantees you a convincing win which is exactly what the Celtics got on Wednesday.

HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

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HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan is urging voters to keep “known steroid users” out of Cooperstown.

A day after the Hall revealed its 33-man ballot for the 2018 class, the 74-year-old Morgan argued against the inclusion of players implicated during baseball’s steroid era in a letter to voters with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The letter from the vice chairman of the Hall’s board of directors was sent Tuesday using a Hall email address.

Read the full text of Morgan's letter here. 

“Steroid users don’t belong here,” Morgan wrote. “What they did shouldn’t be accepted. Times shouldn’t change for the worse.”

Hall voters have been wrestling with the issue of performance-enhancing drugs for several years. Baseball held a survey drug test in 2003 and the sport began testing for banned steroids the following year with penalties. Accusations connected to some of the candidates for the Hall vary in strength from allegations with no evidence to positive tests that caused suspensions.

About 430 ballots are being sent to voters, who must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years, and a player needs at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.

Writers who had not been covering the game for more than a decade were eliminated from the rolls in 2015, creating a younger electorate that has shown more willingness to vote for players tainted by accusations of steroid use. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens each received a majority of votes for the first time in 2017 in their fifth year on the ballot.

Morgan said he isn’t speaking for every Hall of Famer, but many of them feel the same way that he does.

“Players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids, or were identified as users in Major League Baseball’s investigation into steroid abuse, known as the Mitchell Report, should not get in,” Morgan wrote. “Those are the three criteria that many of the players and I think are right.”

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were inducted into the Hall of Fame in July. They were joined by former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta executive John Schuerholz, who were voted in by a veterans committee.

Some baseball writers said the election of Selig, who presided over the steroids era, influenced their view of whether tainted stars should gain entry to the Hall.

Morgan praised BBWAA voters and acknowledged they are facing a “tricky issue,” but he also warned some Hall of Famers might not make the trip to Cooperstown if steroid users are elected.

“The cheating that tainted an era now risks tainting the Hall of Fame too,” he wrote. “The Hall of Fame means too much to us to ever see that happen. If steroid users get in, it will divide and diminish the Hall, something we couldn’t bear.”

© 2017 by The Associated Press

Ray Allen tells court he was 'catfished'

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Ray Allen tells court he was 'catfished'

ORLANDO, Fla. — Retired NBA star Ray Allen said he is a victim of “catfishing,” and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online.

Allen filed an emergency motion in Orange County, Florida, on Tuesday, one day after Bryant Coleman told the court he is being stalked by the 10-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion.

Allen said Coleman is the one who is stalking.

“Coleman pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in Ray Allen,” read the motion filed on Allen’s behalf. “Ray believed he was speaking with these women and communicated with them.”

Attorney David Oscar Markus released a statement saying Allen took legal action in an effort to put an end to threats against him and his family, and that Allen was the victim “of an online scheme to extract money and embarrass him by someone who appears to be troubled.”

In the filing, Allen said Coleman threatened to reveal details of their conversations, and that the sides eventually struck a deal to keep everything private. Allen said that deal has been violated and that Coleman has continued to harass him and his family through several social-media accounts.

“He posted about Ray’s wife, Ray’s children, Ray’s dog, Ray’s homes, Ray’s wife’s restaurant, and numerous other personal items,” read the motion. “Coleman not only posted about these things, he would actually post while physically located inside Ray’s wife’s restaurant in Orlando. And he would make sure they knew it, tagging Ray and his wife on those posts.”

Allen asked the court to stop Coleman from “cyber-stalking.” It was not clear if Coleman has an attorney, and a working phone number for him could not be found.

“Ray regrets ever engaging with this person online and is thankful they never met in person,” Markus said. “This experience has negatively impacted Ray, and he hopes that others might use his mistake to learn the dangers of communicating online with strangers.”

Allen is the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made. He starred in college at UConn and won championships with the Celtics in 2008 and Miami in 2013, the second title coming after he made one of the most dramatic shots in playoff history — a game-tying 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in regulation of Game 6 of The Finals against San Antonio, a game that the Heat would win in overtime to extend the series to a seventh game.

Allen also played for Milwaukee and Seattle, and last appeared in the league in 2014. He and his family have lived in the Miami area since.

© 2017 by The Associated Press