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Celtics at Pacers, Game 4 preview: Boston out for a sweep in Indiana, but knows firsthand this isn’t over – The Boston Globe

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Celtics at Pacers, Game 4 preview: Boston out for a sweep in Indiana, but knows firsthand this isn’t over – The Boston Globe


If any team understands that a 3-0 series lead isn’t entirely safe, it’s these Celtics, who roared back from a 3-0 deficit against the Heat in last year’s Eastern Conference finals to force a Game 7, only to watch an early ankle injury to Jayson Tatum derail their comeback.

But as close as the 2023 Celtics came, becoming only the fourth team in NBA history to even force a Game 7, they ultimately became the 154th consecutive team to lose a series after falling behind 3-0.

“We’ve met every challenge,” Jayson Tatum said after the Celtics improved to 11-2 in these playoffs. “We’re in great position right now, one win away from the finals. But we can’t look past Monday or anything like that, and we have a special opportunity to go back to the finals.”

The Celtics will still be without Kristaps Porzingis, who has been ruled out, while Pacers star guard Tyrese Haliburton is listed as questionable with a left hamstring injury he suffered in the third quarter of Game 2, which forced him to miss all of Game 3. Luke Kornet (wrist sprain) and Jrue Holiday (illness) are both listed as questionable. Holiday was questionable for Game 3 but ended up playing and coming up with some of the game’s biggest plays.

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The Pacers aim to avoid the fate that befalls 61 percent of teams that fall down 3-0: getting swept.

“We’re not going to be deterred,” Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. “We’re going to be back here Monday night looking to extend the series and we’re going to come at it even harder. We have to. We don’t have a choice . . . Believe me, we are going after them.”

With a victory, the Celtics would reach their second NBA Finals in three seasons.

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When: Monday, 8 p.m.

Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis

TV, radio: ESPN, ESPN2, WBZ-FM 98.5

Line: Boston -7.5. O/U: 222.5.

CELTICS

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Season record: 75-20. vs. spread: 49-42, 4 pushes. Over/under: 51-44

Last 10 games: 9-1. vs. spread: 5-5. Over/under: 7-3

PACERS

Season record: 55-43. vs. spread: 53-42, 3 pushes. Over/under: 53-45

Last 10 games: 4-6. vs. spread: 6-4. Over/under: 7-3

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TEAM STATISTICS (2022-23 season)

Points per game: Boston 117.9, Indiana 116.3

Points allowed per game: Boston 111.4, Indiana 119.5

Field goal percentage: Boston .475, Indiana .469

Opponent field goal percentage: Boston .463, Indiana .485

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3-point percentage: Boston .377, Indiana .367

Opponent 3-point percentage: Boston .345, Indiana .373

Stat of the day: 90 percent of best-of-seven series end in four or five games when one team leads 3-0

Notes: The Pacers and Celtics are the two highest-scoring teams in the playoffs, with Indiana averaging 114.6 points per game and Boston putting up 111.8 . . . The Pacers are shooting 51 percent overall in the playoffs, the highest mark in the league . . . The Celtics lead all playoff teams with 39.5 3-point attempts per game . . . Both conference finals have never ended in sweeps in the same year in NBA history. The Mavericks lead the Western Conference finals, 3-0, after beating the Timberwolves on Sunday.


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Brendan Kurie can be reached at brendan.kurie@globe.com.





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Boston, MA

Man Accused of Trying to Detonate Bomb He Said Was ‘Double the Size’ of Boston Marathon Device Outside Hospital

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Man Accused of Trying to Detonate Bomb He Said Was ‘Double the Size’ of Boston Marathon Device Outside Hospital


A man has been accused to attempting to detonate a bomb he said was “double the size” of the device used in the deadly 2013 Boston Marathon bombing outside of a hospital in the United Kingdom.

The man behind the alleged attempt, Mohammed Farooq, 28, was arrested under suspicion of targeting St James’s Hospital in Leeds where he worked on January 20, 2023.

On Wednesday, June 19, the Sheffield Crown Court reviewed his interview transcripts following his arrest where he denied preparing acts of terrorism but plead guilty to possessing an explosive substance with intent, per BBC News.

Farooq also plead guilty to possessing a document that would be useful to someone who was planning or committing an act of terrorism.

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According to the outlet, Farooq revealed that the pressure cooker bomb contained about 7kg (15 lb.) of gunpowder and could “blow [up] a room” when asked about the power of the alleged explosive.

“It should have been double the size of the Boston Marathon bomb,” the clinical support worker said, adding others were not involved and the attempt was a “lone job.” In 2013, the Boston Marathon bombing killed three people and injured more than 250 others (with at least 17 of the surviving victims losing their limbs in the terrorist attack).

Runners compete in the Boston Marathon one year after the attack.
Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

Elsewhere in his interview, Farooq explained his motives behind the bomb and claimed he wanted to scare his colleagues for “parring round rumors about me.”

“This has been building up for about one year now,” the outlet reports he said. “There’s only so much a person can take.”

“I wasn’t going to hurt nobody,” he continued and revealed that he sent a text message of warning to the manager to “scare them” and “get a bit of revenge.”

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“Just to see the look of fear in their faces, that’s all,” Farooq added. “I look after patients, that’s my job, I don’t want to hurt more people and send them to hospital.”

According to the outlet, Farooq confided his intentions to a patient at the hospital named Nathan Newby, who told him that his plan “wasn’t worth it.” Then, he told Newby to “ring the police.”

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

After his arrest, Det Con Maisie Stevens, of West Yorkshire Police said officers found gunpowder, a blank-firing gun, nails and two knives in his posession and other weapons in his home in Leeds.

Upon searching the property, they also found ingredients for explosives and “numerous fuses.”

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Celtics Notebook: Porzingis played through injury in Game 5

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Celtics Notebook: Porzingis played through injury in Game 5


According to Joe Mazzulla, the Celtics’ medical staff did not want Kristaps Porzingis to play in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. He was dealing with a rare and serious leg injury, after all, one we now know will require offseason surgery to repair.

Porzingis didn’t care.

Mazzulla revealed in an interview on the “Pardon My Take” podcast that the Celtics big man overruled Boston’s medical team in order to take the court in Monday night’s championship-clinching win over the Mavericks.

“It was like, we don’t know how long this series is going to go on for, let’s try to save him from himself because he was trying to play,” said Mazzulla, who did not use Porzingis in Game 3 or 4 in Dallas. “So let’s see if we can get through a game or two.

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“And then when it was Game 5 at home, it was like, ‘Hey, this might be it. I’ve got to be out there.’ He was like, ‘I’m playing.’ He overrode the medical team and was just like, ‘I’m playing.’ Credit to him.”

Porzingis, who said earlier in the Finals that he’d be willing to “die out there” to be on the floor with his teammates, played 16 minutes in Game 5, tallying five points and one rebound. He was not as impactful as he was before his latest injury — Dallas had few answers for the 7-foot-2 difference-maker in Games 1 and 2 — but Mazzulla said his contributions were vital nonetheless.

The Celtics head coach also said Porzingis would have been available in certain situations in Game 4, including if Boston had a key jump ball in its own end or was on the verge of winning. Neither of those came to pass, as a Mavs blowout extended the series and allowed the C’s to clinch on their home floor.

“If we were winning, I would have put him in the game for a minute or two, just because he sacrificed his whole career to get to this point, and to not be a part of it would have just devastated him,” Mazzulla said of Porzingis, who had never advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs before his trade to Boston last summer. “He had a serious, serious injury and he worked his ass off to get back. And what he brought for us in Game 5 was unbelievable and really led to winning.”

Porzingis also dealt with a calf injury during the playoffs that sidelined him for 10 games. His exact recovery timeline is unclear, but he reportedly is expected to miss several months.

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“I gave everything I could,” Porzingis said after Game 5. “And man, it feels great to be a champion.”

Mazzulla thankful for knee tear

Porzingis’ coach was dealing with his own significant injury throughout the Celtics’ playoff run, with Mazzulla sharing after Game 5 that he tore his meniscus following a late-season loss to Atlanta.

Mazzulla offered a deeper explanation of how that happened during his “PMT” appearance, saying his frustration over the defeat caused him to overexert himself during a mixed martial arts training session.

But the notoriously intense coach — who also needs surgery this offseason — said he actually enjoyed the grueling rehab that followed because it heightened his focus.

“Well, listen, that’s what happens when you lose games in the regular season,” Mazzulla said. “You’re just not allowed to lose. So after we lost to Atlanta at home, I just went out on the mats, punished myself and just pounded my body until it couldn’t take any more, and ended up just tearing my knee. It ended up being a great experience for me. I had to do, like, six hours of treatment in order to coach the next game without too much of a limp because I could not walk.

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“But I’ll tell you what, it was one of the best things that happened to me for the rest of the season because it put me in this fight or flight mentality to where I could just not relax. Like, I had to constantly train to keep it pain-free, had to constantly get physical therapy. My physical therapist has been great. And it was just awesome. I’ve been thinking about maybe getting hurt every All-Star break.”

Boston never lost to the Hawks at home this season, so Mazzulla likely was referring to one of its back-to-back L’s in Atlanta in late March. The Celtics went 23-5 after those stumbles, including their 16-3 playoff run.

Mazzulla said coaching through pain “just brought a different level of focus that I had to have.”

“Because it’s a bucket handle tear and it would lock and click from time to time, so I had to walk slower,” he said. “I couldn’t move certain ways. So it really forced me to focus more. So I’m actually really grateful that it happened. I miss the mats, though.”

Off the rim

Mazzulla said he and Jayson Tatum watched the Batman-Joker interrogation scene from “The Dark Knight” during a discussion about how the Celtics would handle pressure and expectations from the media. “Batman’s like, ‘Why do you want to kill me,’” Mazzulla said. “And the Joker starts laughing at him. He’s like, ‘I don’t want to kill you. I need you. You complete me.’ It was the coolest moment of, like, good and evil has to coexist. Differences have to coexist in order to bring the best out of each other.” … The Celtics coach channeled his inner Bill Belichick when he noted, multiple times, that all other teams are now ahead of Boston in their preparation for next season. “A week from now,” Mazzulla said, “we’ll be 0-0.”

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Cerullo: Young Red Sox deserve buy-in from fans, ownership

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Cerullo: Young Red Sox deserve buy-in from fans, ownership


Even if it’s not always apparent in the standings, you can tell there’s something different about this Red Sox team.

Tossed into the deep end by ownership and written off by a jaded fanbase that’s learned to expect mediocrity, the Red Sox have survived one injury after another to keep their heads above water when almost any other team in their position would have drowned.

Now, after being tethered to .500 for more than a month, the Red Sox entered Tuesday having won five of their last six games. They’ve picked up huge series wins against the Phillies and Yankees, owners of MLB’s two best records, and finally appear to be building momentum after months of being stuck in the mud.

Can the Red Sox keep it up? We’ll see, but at this point it’s clear this group has a level of youth, athleticism and camaraderie that’s been sorely lacking the past few years.

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Even if it’s not quite championship-ready, this club has proven itself worthy of investment from both fans and ownership.

The fact that the Red Sox are in this position is pretty remarkable. This past offseason the Red Sox did almost nothing to bolster the big league roster, instead focusing on acquiring young depth and getting more out of the players they already had. It was a huge gamble, one that looked doomed to fail after two of their most notable offseason acquisitions — starting pitcher Lucas Giolito and second baseman Vaughn Grissom — had their seasons derailed due to injury before Opening Day.

Incredibly, the club’s faith in its young talent appears to be paying off.

After years of starts and stops, Tanner Houck has made the leap and emerged as a genuine ace. The former first-round pick is on track to become an All-Star for the first time, and Kutter Crawford has also taken a big step towards establishing himself as a dependable workhorse. Those two, plus Brayan Bello, who is undeniably talented but whose season has been a disappointment so far, all look like they can be rotation anchors for years to come. Plus, the bullpen is probably as deep and formidable as it’s been since the 2018 playoffs.

The kids are coming to play everywhere else on the diamond too. Ceddanne Rafaela has immediately established himself as a Gold Glove-caliber defender and David Hamilton’s recent emergence has helped further stabilize the shortstop position in the wake of Trevor Story’s season-ending injury. Those two, plus fellow rookie outfielder Wilyer Abreu, have been a revelation.

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Boston’s young veterans have also taken a step forward. Jarren Duran has been one of the most impactful outfielders in the league, and the fact that he isn’t even among the top 20 All-Star vote-getters is outrageous. Connor Wong is batting .332 and has been one of the best all-around catchers in the league. Triston Casas had gotten off to a great start and should return from injury within the next two weeks. Rafael Devers, still only 27 himself, is on pace to easily clear 30 home runs for the fourth time in his career and has been much improved defensively.

These guys can play. They just need more help.

The question of whether the Red Sox should buy or sell at the trade deadline has loomed over the season since the beginning, and while selling would better fit the club’s recent pattern of behavior, you can make a case the Red Sox should buy, one that gets stronger with each passing win.

For one, the competitive landscape of the American League has changed. The AL East is no longer a five-team gauntlet and the Red Sox aren’t just an average team that’s badly outgunned by four serious contenders. The Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays aren’t what they were, and even if the Red Sox probably won’t catch the Yankees or Orioles, they should at least be good enough to finish third.

Considering what a mess the AL West has been, that just might be good enough to make the playoffs as the third Wild Card.

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Maybe that doesn’t sound very ambitious, but after back-to-back last-place finishes there’s value in showing meaningful progress. Plus, this isn’t like the NBA or NFL where the best teams in the playoffs usually advance. Crazy things can happen in baseball, and if the Red Sox get in who knows what could happen?

Look no further than the Phillies, who made the playoffs as the third Wild Card two years ago and reached the World Series, or last year’s Diamondbacks, who snuck into the postseason with 84 wins and made the Fall Classic as well.

The other factor worth considering is the Red Sox have reached a different point in their rebuild. A young big league core has already been established, and top prospects like Marcelo Mayer, Roman Anthony and Kyle Teel could soon be knocking at the door. Boston will have the No. 12 overall pick in this summer’s draft, and while the club could benefit long-term from continuing to sell off pending free agents for controllable young talent, there’s also a long-term benefit in re-establishing a winning culture.

That way when those young players do reach the big leagues, they won’t be stepping into a clubhouse that just talks about winning, but one that expects it and already understands what it takes.

With Banner 18 secured and the Boston Celtics’ historic season officially in the books, all eyes now turn to the Red Sox. Could this be a summer to remember or another season of discontent? Time will tell, but this group has proven it deserves people’s support, and if the front office signals its belief, fans will undoubtedly line up behind them as well.

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