Celtics

Hours after Majerus' funeral, Doc returns to bench

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Hours after Majerus' funeral, Doc returns to bench

BOSTON Keeping his personal and professional life in their own individual boxes is easier said than done for Doc Rivers.

Days like today bring that point painfully home as Rivers arrived to the TD Garden hours before tip-off after attending the funeral of coaching great Rick Majerus in Milwaukee.

Majerus, 64, died of heart failure last week.

In 25 seasons as a head coach, he compiled a record of 517-216 which included 15 20-win seasons and a pair of 30-win seasons.

He is most remembered for leading Utah to the NCAA championship game in 1998 in addition to coaching at Marquette, Ball State and most recently, St. Louis University.

"It was a long day, and a tough day," said Rivers, visibly saddened by the events of the day. "Now we have a game. That's how I look at it."

Majerus was the man who gave Rivers his nickname, 'Doc,' after seeing Rivers at a basketball camp wearing a Dr. J. t-shirt.

When Rivers learned of the day that Majerus' funeral would be held, it didn't matter what the Celtics had going on.

He had to be there.

"Rick had a lot to do with why I'm here," Rivers said. "I've been with Rick since fifth grade. I felt like I had to be there; it was important for me."

Rivers is one who doesn't hide his emotions, coaching or otherwise. Because of that, one would think that he would have at least considered sitting this game out.

Not an option, Rivers said.

"No. If I really want to piss Rick off, don't coach the game," quipped Rivers. "So, I didn't give that much thought. Life is involved in what we do everyday. You deal with life and you deal with your job. So I always try to separate it when I can. Sometimes you can't."

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