Pierce does talking on court, not after game


Pierce does talking on court, not after game

BOSTON Paul Pierce was in no mood to talk with the media, despite the Boston Celtics finally snapping a five-game losing streak with a 96-73 thumping of the Toronto Raptors.

Looking at the kind of night Pierce had, not providing the media with his take on the game would turn out to be one of the few assists Pierce did not make.

It was role-reversal time for him and Rajon Rondo, the team's usual playmaker who had 21 points and just two assists -- a season low for him.

Meanwhile, Pierce had eight points to go with a game-high seven assists.

Rivers was pleased with Pierce's entire game. But there was one play in the third quarter that stuck out.

With the C's up 46-40, Pierce had a wide open look at the basket. Rather than shoot, Pierce instead set up Ray Allen for a 3-pointer -- Allen's first made shot of the night.

"Paul clearly had the shot off the pick and roll," Rivers said. "And he held it long enough for Ray to (get) open and gave Ray a three."

Those are the little plays, the intangible plays that the C's need more of moving forward.

"Ray clearly appreciated that," Rivers said. "Paul knew what he was doing. I didn't; I wanted him to shoot when he came off it. But then when you saw what he was trying to do, it was just -- those little things, man, they really help team building."

And team-building -- or re-building, depending on how you look at it -- has been a topic of conversation following a Yahoo! Sports report that teams were calling the Celtics to see if Pierce was available.

Rajon Rondo can relate to being the subject of trade rumors.

"I was a couple months ago," he said. "It's part of it. I don't think no one is safe until the actual trade deadline is over."

Regardless of what they hear, Pierce's place with the team remains the same.

"He's still our leader. He's the Captain," Rondo said.

And part of that leadership from Pierce as well as the rest of the veterans, doesn't allow for trade rumors to impact the overall product on the floor.

"We're very focused on what we have in our locker room," Rondo said. "We believe in each other."

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official


Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

NEW YORK - Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for shoving a game official during the Raiders' victory over Kansas City on Thursday night.

Lynch was ejected from the game after he shoved line judge Julian Mapp.

The scuffle started when Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was hit late on a run by Kansas City's Marcus Peters midway through the second quarter. Raiders offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn immediately confronted Peters, and Lynch sprinted onto the field from the bench to join the fray. Mapp tried to break up the fight, but Lynch pushed him and grabbed his jersey. Lynch also got a personal foul.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Lynch, saying:

"You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. ... You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."

Lynch will be eligible to return to Oakland's active roster on Oct. 30, the day after the Raiders' game against the Buffalo Bills.

Lynch finished the game with two carries for 9 yards.

The Raiders rallied to win 31-30 on a touchdown pass by Carr on the final play, and Lynch was in the locker room after the game congratulating his teammates.

Lynch came out of retirement this season and was traded from Seattle to the Raiders. Lynch said he wanted to make a comeback so he could give something back to his hometown of Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.

Lynch has rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.


Larkin provides fourth-quarter spark, Celtics beat Sixers, 102-92

Larkin provides fourth-quarter spark, Celtics beat Sixers, 102-92

PHILADELPHIA – Despite playing its second straight game without a key rotation player, the Boston Celtics did just enough to get their first win of the season, 102-92, over Philadelphia.

Boston (1-2) was led by Kyrie Irving’s game-high 21 points, but it was Shane Larkin's floor game down the stretch that truly catapulted Boston to its first win of the season.

Larkin, who was seeing action in large part because Marcus Smart was out with a left ankle injury, provided a huge spark in the fourth before finishing with 10 points and four assists.

He drained a 3-pointer that tied the game at 75-all, which was part of an 18-9 Celtics run.

The Sixers (0-2) were led by J.J. Redick and Jerryd Bayless who had 19 and 18 points, respectively. Joel Embiid got off to a slow start, but finished with a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Boston played with a lead for most of the first half, but Philadelphia took over with a 7-0 run to end the second quarter and had the Celtics playing catch-up for all of the third and some of the fourth quarter.

Boston was once again short-handed, with Marcus Smart out with a left ankle injury. He replaced Gordon Hayward, whose left ankle injury in the first quarter of Boston’s loss to Cleveland on Tuesday, is expected to keep him sidelined for the rest of the season.

But with players out, that opens up opportunities for others to step up.

Larkin, who walked away from a contract overseas that would have paid about $5 million more than he’s making with the Celtics, was one of those players.

Aron Baynes, who got the start with Smart out, had 10 points and eight rebounds. Boston also got another strong game off the bench from Terry Rozier who had 14 points and seven rebounds