BOSTON -- After sitting out Monday's game against the Washington Wizards, Jermaine O'Neal made one thing clear: he was not injured.
O'Neal was out of the lineup due to a sore left hamstring, a decision he says was made by the Celtics staff based on the upcoming schedule. The Celtics were on the second half of a back-to-back and play four games in six days this week.
No, its not an injury, he said following the Celtics 100-92 win. I got here with the intentions of playing and (Celtics trainer) Ed Lacerte went through the regular routine of our pregame stuff and it still was sore, which has been sore the last three days, and he just thought based off our schedule, hed prefer for me not to play.
I came to the arena with the thought process that I was playing. He had a conversation with Doc (Rivers) and sometimes players get trumped, you know, with whatever decision they have. But its not a hamstring pull or anything like that. Ill be ready to go on Wednesday against the New Jersey Nets.
Rookie Greg Stiemsma started in place of ONeal. He recorded 13 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks in 21 minutes. O'Neal is averaging 7.0 points and 3.8 rebounds this season.
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.
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.