Patriots

Garnett reacts to Nets' Wallace after-whistle antics

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Garnett reacts to Nets' Wallace after-whistle antics

BROOKLYN, N.Y. It's too soon to call what Boston and Brooklyn have as a rivalry.

But it's pretty clear after the two have faced three times this season, that there's not a lot of warm and fuzzy feelings between these two.

Not. Even. Close.

And in case you weren't sure, look no further than Tuesday's 93-76 Celtics win in which four different players were whistled for technical fouls - all coming on the same play.

The incident happened with 9:31 to play and the Celtics ahead 77-60.

Nets guard C.J. Watson launched a 3-pointer that was rebounded by his teammate, Gerald Wallace. Wallace was fouled on the rebound by Jeff Green. Losing his balance following the foul, Wallace reached out to grab the shorts of Kevin Garnett.

Replays showed Wallace holding on to Garnett's jersey shorts after the play, with there being a brief moment in which Garnett has his hand around Wallace's wrist.

Wallace had little to say on the play after the game.

But Garnett didn't hesitate to state his case on what happened.

"He just grabbed my shorts. I tried to help him up, make sure he didn't fall," Garnett said in describing his role on the play. "And he just kept grabbing my shorts. So I asked him what he was doing. He didn't respond. And I looked at him, what you doing? And I tried to smack his hand away. It really wasn't nothing. He just jacked my shorts."

Their exchange resulted in technical fouls against both players which offset one another. Boston's Courtney Lee and Andray Blatche also had some words during the play which led to each of them getting whistled for offsetting technical fouls as well.

These two teams are no strangers to incidents resulting in technicals being called. Garnett and Wallace were among the players involved in a Nov. 28 incident at the TD Garden when Kris Humphries delivered a foul to Garnett that sent him tumbling to the ground.

Rajon Rondo then got in Humphries face and the two began a shoving match that briefly spilled into the crowd. The league suspended Rondo for two games for his role in the incident.

In that particular play, there was a minor exchange that involved Garnett and Wallace.

Garnett, who has the reputation of being one of the game's great instigators, was clearly bothered by the fact that on Tuesday the play was done and over with when Wallace - who by now had regained his balance - still clung to his jersey shorts.

"I don't get caught up in the scenarios and all the (bleep)," Garnett said. "The play was over when he (Wallace) started. I was just trying to make sure he was safe; that was it. I don't know where in America where you can jack somebody's pants off or shorts ... I don't know what the hell was going on."

When asked if this could carry over into the next time these two meet, Garnett's response was succinct.

"Next question," he said.

Gostkowski named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week

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Gostkowski named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week

FOXBORO -- Stephen Gostkowski is almost 34 years old, but in Mexico City he provided a reminder that he's not slowing down in his 12th NFL season. 

After going four-for-four on field goals -- including a team-record 62-yarder, a 51-yarder and a 40-yarder -- and making all three of his extra points, Gostkowski was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the sixth time in his career. 

During a press conference on Wednesday, Bill Belichick explained that someone in Gostkowski's situation probably isn't improving at this point in his career. But if he's maintaining a strong level of play, that's OK. 

"I don’t know how much real improvement you’re going to see from a player that’s been in the league 12 or 20 years in a case like Adam [Vinatieri] or somebody like that," Belichick said. "But, if the level they’re performing at is pretty good, if they can maintain that, then that’s certainly enough to help the team.

"Are there things that a player can do better? Yeah, sure, there always are technique things. I think Steve has really improved in some of his alternative kicks on kickoffs, as an example, instead of just kicking every ball as far as he can. He’s done a great job of that. I’d say it’s maintaining the timing and the overall leg speed and technique that makes kickers good at their job."

Bruins hope to keep cooking with a winning recipe

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Bruins hope to keep cooking with a winning recipe

The Bruins seemed to discover a winning formula on the West Coast. Now the challenge is to keep it going.

It took them more than a month of play in the regular season, but they finally won two games in a row. Anton Khudobin and the B's played strong defense and finally built leads against the Kings and Sharks, and they avoided the kind of soft goal or defensive mistake that has been at the heart of so many of their losses.

Clearly that kind of tight, defensive game is how they're going have to play until they get their full lineup back, and they need plenty of wins. They're currently stuck in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, three points out of a playoff spot.

"It's always nice to get a couple of wins, especially against tough teams," said David Krejci, who is scoreless but averaging almost 17 minutes of ice time  in the two games since returning from a back injury. "We knew we had some areas of our game that we had to improve, and we still do after the start to the game we had against San Jose. It's nice to get two in a row, and we're focusing on three in [New Jersey]. We're building toward something, and we're on the right track. It's a big game [against the Devils].

"Playing with a lead, playing good defensively and having a good, structured game with everybody buying in . . . when you have a young team and you're playing strong clubs like LA and San Jose, it really says a lot about what we're trying to do here when you can get the job done."

The good news is the Bruins are going to make it through the Thanksgiving marker within shouting distance of a playoff spot, but they're still just scratching the surface of what they need to do to stay relevant in the East. They're hoping that finally reeling off a couple of consecutive wins can start a run of good hockey at a time when they desperately need it.

"I think we've played as a five-man unit" said Kevan Miller. "Forwards are getting back to help the 'D', and defensemen are stepping up to help the forwards. When you play like that and everybody is on the same page, it makes it that much easier. I think everybody, whether you're coming from Providence or you're up here, has played the same systems, but it can be a little bit of a struggle to get everybody on the same page.

"We've done a pretty good job of that, but doing it for 60 minutes has been a bit of an issue. We're trying to work on that."

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