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Pierce leads Celtics to 99-81 win over Kings

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Pierce leads Celtics to 99-81 win over Kings

BOSTON (AP) Paul Pierce scored 16 points and the Boston Celtics won their second game since losing Rajon Rondo for the season with a knee injury, beating the Sacramento Kings 99-81 on Wednesday night.

The Celtics charged to a 59-38 halftime lead as they hit 62.5 percent of their shots. They led by at least 14 points the rest of the way against the team that allowed an NBA-worst average of 103.2 points going into the game.

Boston won despite losing another starter when forward Jared Sullinger left just over four minutes into the game with back spasms and didn't return. Sullinger was drafted 21st last year by the Celtics, but might have gone higher if he hadn't suffered back problems at Ohio State.

Tyreke Evans had 19 points and 11 rebounds and DeMarcus Cousins scored 13 for the Kings, who had beaten the Celtics 118-96 in Sacramento on Dec. 30 but fell to 5-18 on the road.

The Celtics trailed only once, 24-22 after one quarter and led by 21 at halftime. They were on top 80-56 before layups by Thomas Robinson and Evans cut that to 80-60 after three quarters. A three-point play by Cousins made it 90-76 with 5:44 remaining, but the Kings came no closer.

Courtney Lee started in place of Rondo, who leads the NBA assists and was chosen as the starting point guard for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star game next month in Houston.

Rondo was injured late in a 123-112, double-overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks last Friday night. Boston won another double-overtime game on Sunday, 100-98 over the Miami Heat, breaking a six-game losing streak, their longest in six seasons. An MRI taken that day showed that Rondo had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

On Wednesday, Kevin Garnett scored 13 points and substitutes Brandon Bass, Jeff Green and Jason Terry had 12 each for Boston.

A driving dunk by Evans had given the Kings their only lead with 15.9 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Then the Celtics hit their first 14 shots of the second. By the time Avery Bradley missed, a layup with 2:29 left in the half, the Celtics had built a 54-36 lead.

They outscored the Kings 37-14 in the second period. Boston's dominance was so thorough that its bench made 15 of 21 shots in the first half while Sacramento's entire team went just 14 for 40.

Boston had an impressive 16 assists in the first half, even without Rondo. Garnett scored 11 points and Green had 10 as each hit all five of his shots before intermission.

Sacramento's Isaiah Thomas missed all seven of his shots in the first half two nights after his floating basket with one second left ended the Kings' four-game losing streak with a 96-94 win over the Washington Wizards.

Notes: The Celtics have two games left in their four-game homestand, against the Orlando Magic on Friday night and the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. ... Garnett played in his 1,300th NBA game. ... The Kings had just 13 assists.

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Bills cornerback trolls Kirk Cousins after Buffalo beats Minnesota

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Bills cornerback trolls Kirk Cousins after Buffalo beats Minnesota

Former Redskins and current Minnesota Vikings' quarterback Kirk Cousins famously coined the phrase "You like that?" after leading a Redskins' comeback victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015.

The phrase took off, leading to Cousins filing for a trademark on the phrase in 2016.

Well unfortunately for Cousins, the phrase has been used as a way for other players to mimmick him, especially when things don't go his way.

The Vikings, who entered Sunday's clash against the previously winless Buffalo Bills as 17-point favorites, fell 27-6 at home in what has been the biggest upset thus far in the 2018 NFL season.

In the visiting tunnel following the Bills' victory, Buffalo cornerback Tre'Davious White shouted exactly what you would expect.

The second-year cornerback looked straight into the camera with a big grin on his face, then shouted Cousins' famous phrase twice before jogging into the locker room.

After the Bills' dominating performance, you can't blame White for having a little fun.

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Conforto’s bases-loaded triple brought Mets to 8-6 over Nationals

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USA Today

Conforto’s bases-loaded triple brought Mets to 8-6 over Nationals

WASHINGTON -- Michael Conforto hit a go-ahead, bases-loaded triple, rookie Jeff McNeil matched a career high with four hits and the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 8-6 on a slow and soggy Sunday afternoon.

The first pitch was delayed 25 minutes, and rain continued during the game, which lasted 4 hours, 14 minutes. Washington's grounds crew tended to the infield between innings throughout the day.

The Mets finished their road slate at 40-41, better than their 33-42 mark at home, where they have six games left.

The Nationals, who fell to .500 (78-78), led 3-1 before New York rallied in the fourth. Wander Suero (3-1) entered with one out and two on and issued a walk before McNeil singled in a run.

Conforto then poked a shot to left-center past a diving Michael A. Taylor to clear the bases and make it 5-3. Suero surrendered two more runs in the fifth when Kevin Plawecki delivered an RBI double and scored on Amed Rosario's infield single.

Drew Gagnon (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the Mets, who took three of four from the Nationals in the teams' final series of the season. Anthony Swarzak recorded the final five outs for his fourth save in five tries.

New York starter Steven Matz allowed three runs in three innings. Washington's Erick Fedde surrendered three runs in 3 1/3 innings.

McNeil improved his batting average to .328 in 195 at-bats since his big league debut on July 24.

Rookie Victor Robles homered, tripled and drove in three for Washington.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mets: Manager Mickey Callaway said the team still plans to activate 3B David Wright from the disabled list before Tuesday's game against Atlanta. Wright, who has not played for the Mets since May 2016 because of neck, back and shoulder injuries, is scheduled to start Saturday against Miami in what will likely be his final appearance in the big leagues. However, he could also make an earlier appearance. "I wouldn't mind getting him in there and getting him a pinch-hit at bat when it makes sense in the Braves series," Callaway said.

RECORD SWIPE

Washington SS Trea Turner stole second base in the third to set the Nationals' career record with 123. The previous steals leader since the club moved to Washington in 2005 was Ian Desmond's 122 from 2009 to 2015. Turner's 42 steals this season lead the majors.

UP NEXT

Mets: New York has Monday off. RHP Noah Syndergaard (12-4, 3.36 ERA) is scheduled to start Tuesday against Atlanta.

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (9-7, 3.83 ERA), who is 17-7 with a 3.04 ERA in 30 career starts against Miami, gets the nod as Washington opens its final home series of the season Monday against the Marlins.

 

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