Celtics

Rondo returns, Celtics top Timberwolves, 104-94

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Rondo returns, Celtics top Timberwolves, 104-94

BOSTON Kevin Garnett was feeling it at both ends of the floor, providing the kind of inside-outside game that doesn't come around often enough for Celtics Nation.
Soon after, he got some help in the form of Brandon Bass and Jason Terry. And then Rajon Rondo got into the act.
Just like that, the Celtics were in the midst of a strong team-wide performance that proved to be too much for the Timberwolves as Boston pulled away for a 104-94 win.
Garnett, who has now won 10 straight against his former team, had 18 points and 10 rebounds along with four assists.
Rajon Rondo, returning to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension, had 17 points and 11 assists.
All five of Boston's starters had double figures scoring with Brandon Bass (12 points), Paul Pierce (18 points) and Jason Terry (17 points) having strong games, too.
The victory came after some not-so-stellar play by Boston in the game's early moments.
Boston got off to a good start, but their control of the game took a detour in the first quarter when -- you guessed it -- Garnett took his first break from the game.
When he left, the Celtics were ahead by three points.
By the time the first quarter ended, Boston was literally on the other side of the scoreboard facing a 30-27 deficit.
Not surprisingly, Doc Rivers was not happy with his team's play in the first quarter defensively and didn't mince his words during a time-out to let them know.
They began the second quarter strong with a lead that peaked at 39-32 following a 11-foot jumper by Terry.
But the Timberwolves cut into the C's lead and eventually pulled ahead with a 5-0 spurt to end the half and led, 51-47.
Boston had a solid third quarter with Bass leading the way early, and Rondo coming through near the end.
But in between, Minnesota all-star Kevin Love was doing what he does best -- rebounding. He finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
And his boardwork coupled with that of his teammates, kept the Timberwolves within striking distance going into the fourth with the C's ahead, 79-72.

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