This Week in Boston Sports — Week of Wednesday, April 11
Published: Monday, April 16, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 16, 2012 21:04
While the Celtics began the week with a solid 92-72 win over the Miami Heat, they followed up with a crushing 87-86 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. They then lost to the Chicago Bulls 93-86.
It all came down to the final seconds in the Spurs game after the Celtics cut San Antonio’s lead from 16 to 11 points in the third quarter. Boston then scored 22 points in the fourth quarter and was down by one with seconds left. Paul Pierce tossed up what would have been the winning shot had it been a basket. His fadeaway jumper was blocked by San Antonio’s Tim Duncan and clinked off the rim.
“I think I got to a good place. Just missed the shot,” Pierce said after the game. “These things are not really pre-scripted. You get into pressure situations, sometimes they make and sometimes they don't.”
This was the Spurs’ ninth win in a row, which snapped the five-game winning streak that the Celtics themselves had going. The loss to the Bulls punctuated Boston’s slump; Coach Doc Rivers called it the team’s “worst loss of the year.” Rivers was very vocal about this loss, also calling it “unacceptable” and blaming himself as well as his players.
Boston outscored Chicago in the first two periods, but lost focus after halftime. The Celtics blew their eleven-point lead and allowed the Bulls to score 29 points in the third quarter and 26 in the fourth.
The Bruins have also been experiencing a few ups and downs, beginning with a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers, followed by a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. The team ended the regular season with a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
The Bruins fought hard in the Penguins game, scoring a goal in each period, but they were unable to keep pace with Pittsburgh’s own scoring. “I thought we played a pretty decent game, and we had lots of chances, certainly didn't bury enough,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said of his team’s performance. “I'm not disappointed in our game.” Their follow-up win over the Senators showed that they can come back from a loss. The Bruins scored one goal in each period and their new goalie Anton Khudobin made 44 saves.
The Red Sox finally opened up the season with a series against the Tigers in Detroit. They lost the first game 3-2 and caused some to wonder if they were going to be the same team as last season. Jon Lester got the start for Boston in the opener and pitched seven innings, struck out four and gave up one run. The Sox had yet to score a run by the time he left the game and Victor Padilla came in to the game to relieve Lester and gave up another run to Detroit. Boston had some fight left it in them in the top of the ninth when they scored two runs to tie the game. Soon after, in the bottom of the inning, the Tigers scored a run for the walk-off win. They also lost their second game against the Tigers 10-0. Josh Beckett got the start and gave up seven runs in the 4.2 disastrous innings he pitched.