Jalen Brunson (1)
Jalen Brunson (1)
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics play their final tune-up before the postseason when they host the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday in the finale of the regular season for both teams. The Celtics are locked into the No. 2 seed for the upcoming Eastern Conference playoffs but have lost four of their last five after a 113-101 setback at Washington on Tuesday.
Jaylen Brown, who will be relied upon to carry a depleted Boston squad in the postseason, scored 21 of his 27 points in the first quarter of the loss. Brown’s fellow starters combined to shoot 10-of-40 from the floor as the Celtics – who will face either Milwaukee, Miami or Washington in the first round of the playoffs – shot 37.9 percent as a team. “There has to be concern,” forward Al Horford told reporters. “We know it’s the second-to-last game of the season. We have to be better.” The Nets are playing out the string but they’re playing it out well while enjoying their first three-game winning streak of the season.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, YES (Brooklyn), NBCS Boston
ABOUT THE NETS (28-53): Among those ending with a flourish is guard Allen Crabbe, who made 8-of-11 3-pointers en route to a career-high 41 points in Monday’s 114-105 victory over Chicago. “Things are maybe turning that corner that we wanted to get a little early in the season, but it’s better late than never,” Crabbe told reporters of Brooklyn’s current run. The Cal product needs four 3-pointers to become the first player in franchise history to make 200 in a season.
ABOUT THE CELTICS (54-27): With Kyrie Irving (knee) out for the postseason and Marcus Smart (thumb) sidelined for another two weeks or so, Brown has become the go-to guy down the stretch. He made 6-of-10 3-pointers in Tuesday’s loss, which came two games after a 7-of-10 effort in a win over the Chicago Bulls, and has scored at least 19 points in five of nine games since returning from a concussion. Fellow starting guard Terry Rozier had filled in admirably in place of Irving but is just 10-of-38 from the floor in four games since returning from an ankle injury.
1. Brooklyn is 1-14 against division opponents.
2. Celtics C Greg Monroe is 19-for-24 from the field over a three-game span.
3. Boston won each of the last eight meetings, including the first three this season by a total of 12 points.
BOSTON – (Staff Report from Fenway Park) – This season, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are renewing their rivalry and tonight was the first of 19 games between the two American League East foes. The first game of the season-long 19-game set went to Boston and the Red Sox made an early-season statement, defeating the Yankees, 14-1, behind a career-night from Their lead-off hitter and right-fielder Mookie Betts.
Betts hit a Grand Slam in the club’s nine-run, bat-around sixth inning. Betts went 4-for-4 with a walk for the game and scored five times, a career high. Red Sox left-fielder Andrew Benintendi went 2-for-3 with a triple, a double with two walks and two runs scored while Boston 1B Hanley Ramirez recorded three RBI, going 2-for-2 with a SAC fly and a walk.
Boston’s Mookie Betts celebrates with Christian Vazquez (7)
The Red Sox struck first when Betts led-off the home end of the first with a double, high off the left-center field Green Monster (near the 379 mark). Betts scored when 1B Hanley Ramirez sent a dribbler up the middle for his ninth RBI of the early season.
The Red Sox offensive outburst was backed up by a strong outing by starting pitcher Chris Sale, who allowed baserunners in every inning he pitched and let-up eight hits, including a towering solo Home Run by NYY RF Aaron Judge which put the Yanks on the board in the visitor’s half of the fifth.
On the night, Judge went 3-for-4 and was the only productive Yankees batter.
Sale worked his way out of trouble in the top of the 3rd inning by striking out NY’s LF Giancarlo Stanton for the second time, the third strike a 94.8 mph fastball. Sale fanned DH Gary Sanchez with a wicked off-speed pitch to escape the inning. Sale struck-out the side in the fourth after a Didi Gregorius single.
Sale went 6.0 innings, allowing eight hits and one run with eight strike-outs. He threw 87 pitches on the night, 65 for strikes and allowed the Judge HR.
New York’s starer, Luis Severino, pitched only 5.0 innings and allowed five runs and eight hits while walking three and striking out six. He threw 94 pitches, 61 for strikes.
LOS ANGELES – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – Premium pay television network EPIX announced undefeated boxing champion Andre “Son of God” Ward will host the new version of its “The Contender” boxing franchise. Legendary boxing trainers Freddie Roach and Naazim Richardson will join the series as trainers, helping launch multiple boxers into contention for world titles.
Andre “Son of God” Ward (left)
The all-new 12-episode season of the boxing competition series, the first of its kind to air on EPIX is produced by Mark Burnett and his longtime executive producer Eric Van Wagenen. MGM Television has joined forces with Paramount Television to produce the series. Filming will begin this Spring in Los Angeles.
As host, Ward brings his undefeated record and undisputed boxing expertise to The Contender. Throughout his incredible 13-year career, he’s held multiple world titles in two weight classes including, unified WBA (Super), WBC, Ring magazine, and lineal super middleweight titles between 2009 and 2015 as well as the unified WBA (Undisputed), IBF, WBO, and Ring’s light heavyweight titles between 2016 and 2017. Ward also won the gold medal in the light heavyweight division in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
“I have faced the unique challenges of professional boxing firsthand and know the focus required to succeed at the highest level,” said Ward. “Hosting a show that has enabled so many talented fighters reach their dreams is an honor and I look forward to giving the fans unique insight into the life of a fighter and leading the audience through the thrills of this competition.”
“It’s so important for The Contender to have the best and most trusted boxing experts which is why we reached out to Andre, Freddy and Naazim,” said Burnett. “They are the very best and can help create an experience almost never seen before. Eric and I are really excited to exceed the fans’ expectations. We love The Contender and we love boxing.”
Esteemed coaches Roach and Richardson will each oversee a team of eight fighters, pushing their fighting skills, strength and endurance to the limit in preparation for elimination competitions. The coaches will also act as the fighters’ mentor, helping them to navigate their everyday life as the competitors live and train together and fight each other in the ring. Each fighter will be vying to become the ultimate Contender and take the winner’s six-figure purse.
Roach is widely regarded as one of the most successful boxing trainers of all time. His roster includes the eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, five-time and four-division World Champion Miguel Cotto, former WBC Middleweight Champion Julio César Chávez, Jr., defensive master and three-time world champion James Toney, former UFC Middleweight and three-time Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre, as well as top prospects Jose Benavidez, Peter Quillin, and Vanes Martirosyan, among many others.
One of the most respected trainers from the boxing hotbed of Philadelphia, Naazim Richardson has helped shape the careers of some of the biggest names in the sport over the past 30 years. From Bernard Hopkins to “Sugar” Shane Mosley, as well as others like Travis Kauffman, and prospect Khalib ‘Bigfoot’ Whitmore, Richardson’s work and his spirit continue to be part of boxing lore. The father and trainer of boxing twin brothers Rock Allen and Tiger Allen Richardson, Naazim is also known for discovering plaster hidden in Antonio Margarito’s wraps before the January 24, 2009 fight between Margarito and Mosley.
Eric Van Wagenen serves as executive producer and showrunner alongside Burnett. The format is owned by MGM Television and Paramount Television.