In the NBA, most coaches will tell you the key to winning is having solid defense and a balanced scoring attack, but the truth is, when a team has a player that carries a team on his back when it comes to pouring in the points, that'll do, too.
Isaiah Thomas has been that player for the Boston Celtics this season, and he continued that trend last night, with 41 points to lead Boston to a 113-109 win over the Detroit Pistons last night. Thomas has also made a habit of making his points count, that is, scoring a bunch in the fourth quarter, and last night 24 of his points were scored in the final frame. He was also clutch from the line, going 15 for 15 on free throws and his string of games with at least 20 points is now at 32 in a row and counting. Thomas doesn't take the floor all by himself, of course, and he did get 21 points from Jae Crowder to aid the cause, and the Celtics have now won four in a row.
The NHL all-star game now in the rear view mirror, the Boston Bruins return to regular season action tonight, hoping to build on the modest two game winning streak they took into the break. Every game the rest of the way is critical for the Bruins, who sit within the playoff bubble right now, but with a lot of teams taking pokes at it from close range, and many of those teams have games in hand on Boston. The B's are trying to avoid a third straight season without a playoff appearance and their bid to escape that fate resumes tonight in Tampa Bay with a game against the Lightning.
The Montreal Canadiens are also back in action tonight, sitting on a much more comfortable playoff perch in first place in the Atlantic. They host the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre tonight.
Major League Baseball has handed down penalties to the St. Louis Cardinals after a two year investigation that found their former scouting director Chris Correa hacked into the computer database for the Houston Astros. As a result, the Cardinals will forfeit their top two draft picks in the 2017 draft and pay the Astros $2 Million. Correa was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for his actions last summer.
Locally, the long time boys' soccer coach at Mount Mansfield Union High school is trying to keep his job in a dispute with school officials over when he intended to retire. The Burlington Free Press reports Phil Jacobs, who's coached the boys' MMU team for the past 25 years, wanted to retire at the end of this 2017 season, which would coincide with the school's 50th anniversary and would line up with Jacobs' own association with soccer at MMU. Jacobs played on the school's team starting back in 1967 and has coached the JV team as well as the varsity since 1992. He led the Cougars to two Division I titles in 1995 and 2000, but the school declined to offer Jacobs a contract for next season. School district superintendent John Alberghini told the Free Press he didn't want to delve into personnel matters regarding the Jacobs decision, but did say that "Phil has a different perception on the position for next year" and offered praise for the dedication Jacobs has given to student-athletes over the decades at Mount Mansfield.