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Mitch's Sports Report: The Truth Works Overtime In Boston

Paul Pierce was back home in Boston last night, the aging veteran now with the L.A. Clippers but his heart always will be with the Boston Celtics, where he starred for 15 seasons and led the Green to their record 17th championship title in 2008.

The fans at TD Garden let Pierce feel the love during the player introductions and then the Celtics and Clippers went on to play a pretty terrific basketball game that needed overtime to decide the outcome.

The Celts trailed by two with just over twenty seconds left in regulation and were forced to foul the Clippers' Deandre Jordan, who could have made it a two-possession game by sinking both free throws but he missed them both, and Boston tied the game at 122 apiece when Isaiah Thomas sank a fade away jumper, two of his 36 points on the night. In extra time the Celtics pulled away for a 139-134 win over a very good team in the Clippers. It was Boston's 8th straight win at home and 9th in their last 11 overall. More impressive still was Boston taking this one without having Kelly Olynyk available in the second half. Olynyk has been having his best pro season providing valuable bench minutes but he suffered a bruised shoulder in the first half, tried to fight through it, but couldn't return for the second. X-rays show Olynyk suffered a subluxation, or partial dislocation of his shoulder, so he'll likely be rested right through the all-star break. But the Celtics are playing some inspired basketball of late and are in 3rd place in the eastern conference. It'll be interesting to see if GM Danny Ainge tries to bring in a star player via trade before the deadline, or hold on to his impressive array of draft picks and go to the dance, should they get there, with Thomas and the other young players who have been practicing their moves and are ready to show them off.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been underachieving for most of this NHL season, which led to the firing of their coach, but under new head coach Mike Sullivan they've been playing the kind of hockey of late that most expected them to, and were riding a 6-game home winning streak as they welcomed the New York Rangers to Steel City last night. But the Rangers, despite missing captain Ryan McDonagh and high scoring forward Rick Nash, still have one of the best goalies in the game in Henrik Lundqvist, and he shut the door on Sidney Crosby and company with a 3-0, thirty-four save shutout. Kevin Hayes, Dominic Moore and Kesper Fast scored for the Rangers, who have now won four in a row, and five of their last six.

The Boston Bruins begin a critical six-game road trip tonight. The B's own one of two wild card playoff sports right now but there are several teams nipping at their heels. The good news for Boston is that for some reason they've played much better on the road this season than at home. The bad news is they're coming off a humuliating 9-2 loss to the L.A. Kings, which they need to get out of their psyches as they take on the Jets in Winnipeg tonight. Jets fans have been bolstered by the recent re-signing of all star defenseman Dustin Byfuglien to a new five-year contract.

In mens' college hoops, the Lyndon State Hornets won a North Atlantic Conference match-up against New England College last night 87-81 behind thirty-one points from Shaun Hill and a double-double from  Kevin Love, who finished with twenty-one points and a game-high fifteeen rebounds. Elsewhere, Colby-Sawyer beat Johnson State 92-83.

In womens' college basketball, Johnson State avenged the mens' loss to some extent by beating Colby-Sawyer 63-51...15 points from the juniors Kasey DeGreenia and Ashley Goddard each had fifteen points for the Badgers in the N-A-C win. And elsewhere New England College topped Lyndon State 54-50.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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