|11.13.09 at 11:15 pm ET|
BOSTON — Amid a growing rivalry between the Celtics and Hawks, Al Horford formed a close relationship with a Boston sports icon.
Horford, who grew up in the Dominican Republic, has been a fan of Red Sox slugger David Ortiz for years. The feeling was mutual. Ortiz watched Horford’s father, Tito, play in the NBA and was excited for the younger ball player to make it to the NBA.
After the two were told of each other’s mutual admiration, they met during Horford’s rookie season at TD Garden. They have developed a friendship over the past two years, and Horford even visits with Ortiz whenever the Hawks come to Boston.
‘I know that since I’ve been there, the last two days he’s been at Fenway working out, that’s all I can say,’ Horford told WEEI.com on Friday.
Horford always respected Ortiz’s game, and this week he saw his work ethic firsthand.
‘It looks like the season just got over and he’s already getting back to work,’ Horford said. ‘So that speaks a lot about him.’
|11.13.09 at 10:43 pm ET|
Player of the game: Joe Johnson dropped 14 points in the second half to push the Hawks to a win. He fought to get open the entire night and attempted 21 shots. But it would be unfair to name Johnson based on his offensive performance in a game that was won by defense. Al Horford added 11 rebounds for the Hawks.
Turning point: The Hawks held the Celtics to two points in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter to take control of the game. They outscored the Celtics 25-16 in the final 12 minutes to keep a Cs win out of reach.
- Paul Pierce suffered a bruised left knee and left the game with 3:15 left in the third quarter. He fell to the ground during a play at the basket earlier in the quarter and limped to the bench during a timeout. He returned to the game two minutes into the fourth quarter. Pierce led all Celtics with 24 points.
- The Hawks dominated the boards from the very start of the game and outrebounded the Celtics 47-29. A breakdown by quarter ‘ first: Hawks 12-4, second: 13-9, third: 11-10, fourth: 11-6.
- The Celtics failed to connect on key free throws down the stretch. Rajon Rondo missed two, down nine with 3:24 to go. Pierce only hit one of two when the Celtics were down seven with 2:21 left in the game. The Celtics finished the night 17-for-23 from the line.
- It was an ugly three-point shooting night for the second game in a row. On Wednesday night the Celtics shot 7-for-19 and held the Jazz to 0-for-10. On Friday it was the Celtics who struggled, shooting 1-15 while the Hawks were 4-15.
|11.13.09 at 9:57 pm ET|
With three minutes remaining in the third quarter, Paul Pierce left the game with a bruised left knee and limped to the locker room with trainer Ed Lacerte.
Pierce appeared to injury his knee earlier in the third quarter, when he was slow to come off the court at midcourt during a TV timeout.
Pierce returned to the game with 10:29 remaining in the fourth, with a wrap on his left knee. He was checked out by team doctor Alan Curtis.
|11.13.09 at 7:57 pm ET|
One thing NOT on his mind is whether the No. 23 should be retired throughout the NBA, as suggested by superstar LeBron James.
“I don’t know if there’s a right answer on that,” Rivers said. “Something I’ve been asked far more than I’d like to be asked, going into a game. He said he was going to wear No. 6. That number should be retired. I don’t know what the right answer to that question is. I think it’s good either way.”
James offered to give up his No. 23 and wear his Olympic No. 6 instead. Then, Rivers had some fun with reporters pregame Friday.
“You know who No. 6 is, right?” Rivers said, referring to Bill Russell.
|11.13.09 at 7:48 pm ET|
Brian Scalabrine returns after missing two of the last three games with back spasms. Bill Walker, who entered the game late in Wednesday’s blowout win over Utah in his first action of the season, returns to the inactive list as a healthy scratch. Glen Davis (right thumb) and Tony Allen (right ankle) are the other two inactives.
|11.13.09 at 7:33 pm ET|
BOSTON — Al Horford wants to clear the air — he never made a real bet with Paul Pierce.
“It was just some free throw talk,” he explained to WEEI.com on Friday prior to the Celtics and Hawks game. “I mean, that’s all it was. It was on the court. They were just talking about how they were going to beat us and, you know, I just retaliated. He said it in a jokingly way about betting, but it never meant nothing more than maybe just a little extra motivation for the next game.”
Horford made waves last month when told 790 the Zone in Atlanta that he and Pierce had made a $10,000 wager during the 2008 playoffs. On Friday night he was greeted to Boston with questions of the incident that took place two seasons ago. Now he just wants to move on.
“I was [surprised by the media attention], I was, but I was glad that I had a chance to speak it all out and make sure that I dealt with that and answered all the questions,” he said. “There was just nothing there.”
|11.12.09 at 4:53 pm ET|
Celtics F/C Rasheed Wallace appeared on D&H this afternoon to talk about his love for the Kansas City Chiefs, how Kevin Garnett and the rest of the Big 3 recruited him to Boston, and his relationship with NBA referees.
Click here to listen to the full audio and read below for some highlights.
How did a guy who grew up in Philadelphia become a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs?
Well, being the black sheep of the family, everyone in my family was an Eagles‘ fan, so I always rooted for the other teams. Everyone: my aunts, uncles, cousins, my mom, my dad, my brothers, they all cheer for the Eagles so I had to go against the grain.
Yep. You know, I’m always a fan of individual players, but around about ’93, ’94, when Joe Montana got traded to Kansas City, no one I knew was a Kansas City fan so I’ve been with them ever since.
There was a story on you in the Kansas City Star about your obsession with the Chiefs and the writer said, “Rasheed Wallace was holding a prosthetic leg,” or something like that. Why were you holding a prosthetic leg? Read the rest of this entry »