Celtics

Curran: Patriots-49ers preview

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Curran: Patriots-49ers preview

FOXBORO - On the surface, this week's opponent for the Patriots - the San Francisco 49ers - has a lot in common with last week's.

But on closer inspection, the differences between the Niners and Houston - this week and in general - show divergent approaches and mindsets. And because of that, this "measuring stick" game is going to end with both sides feeling like they got pummeled with lead pipes. Because as daunting as Houston's defense was, it didn't have the horses because of injuries and it didn't show the same aggression San Francisco does. The Niners have allowed more than 24 points once all season (26 to the Giants in a 26-3 loss in mid-October). Since the end of September, they've allowed 0, 3, 26, 6, 3, 24, 7, 21, 16 and 13. They've allowed 16 touchdowns all year. They haven't gradually built to prominence under Jim Harbaugh. They've stormed the castle, going to the NFC Championship last year and setting their sights on New Orleans this season.

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Gordon Hayward had surgery on his left ankle Wednesday night.

While there was hope he could return, Hayward's agent told Adrian Wojnarowski that the Celtics forward is unlikely to play for the remainder of the season.

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Hayward suffered a dislocated ankle and fractured tibia in the first quarter of Boston’s 102-99 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-8 All-Star landed awkwardly on his ankle after a lob pass by Kyrie Irving was deflected by LeBron James.

“We’re expecting this to be a full recovery,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Wednesday, “No timeline on it but a full recovery.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their thoughts on Kyrie Irving’s struggles, not having Gordon Hayward, and the Celtics losing for the 2nd time in as many nights.

6:31 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the message delivered by Hayward to the fans before the game, what was going on with Kyrie’s shot, and why they failed in stopping The Greek Freak.

10:33 - Albert Breer joins BST to preview the Falcons/Patriots Sunday night game and if Atlanta is in the middle of a Super Bowl hangover.

15:40 - In a new game called On The Clock, each person gets 40 seconds to rant on their selected subject including if Red Sox fans can root for the Yankees if the playoffs and how painful the Bruins season will be. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE