The Celtics used a third quarter burst keyed by some hot shooting by Raef LaFrentz and Ricky Davis to cruise to a rare easy victory last night 91-78 over the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. Peter May, Steve Bulpett and Shalise Manza Young all report on the same from TD Banknorth Garden. Ricky Davis most decidedly did not “suck” in the second half last night, lighting up the scoreboard for 23 second half points, including 17 in the third quarter alone. Mark Murphy and Lenny Megliola report on the hot night for Davis after a few less than stellar games from the Celtics swingman.

Dan Shaughnessy looks at how Hurricane Katrina has affected the Hornets, who have been displaced every bit as much as the New Orleans Saints, but with less fanfare. Bulpett looks at Paul Pierce, whom Doc River feels is a different player from the one who had issues during the 2002 World Championships and deserves a second look from the national team. Murphy gets some reaction from the Celtics regarding Kobe Bryant’s 81 point game the other night. May’s notebook and Young’s notebook each have more reaction on Bryant. Bulpett’s notebook says the trade winds are quiet for now, though he does bring up the name of Seattle’s “Flip” Murray as someone the Celtics might be looking at.

It’s a rare night these days when both Boston winter sports teams come out with a victory, but thanks to the Bruins’ 3-2 victory in Washington over the Capitals, that’s exactly what happened last night. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, Steve Conroy and Dan Hickling report with details of the Bruins going up 3-0 and then hanging on for the victory with Tim Thomas in net. Conroy reports on the defense of P.J. Axelsson being a big factor last night. With two goals last night, Wayne Primeau has shown more scoring that the Bruins could’ve hoped for when they traded for him. Hickling’s notebook and Conroy’s notebook each look at the tenacious Primeau. Burrell’s notebook looks at what another new addition, Marco Sturm has done for the Bruins since coming over.

Jeff Horrigan says that the additions of Coco Crisp and Alex Gonzalez to the Red Sox are imminent, and examines what Crisp will bring to the Red Sox. Rob Bradford had a profile of Crisp in yesterday’s Eagle-Tribune, with the scout who originally signed him saying that they are going to love him in Boston. Dan Shaughnessy has a short report stating that the Red Sox will issue a statement, rather than hold a press conference to outline what Theo Epstein’s new role with the Red Sox will be. David Borges looks at some minor league veterans signed by the Pawtucket Red Sox that could see time in Fenway this season. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) says that this years version of the Red Sox is an upgrade on the field over last year’s edition. The column is basically a rebuttal to what Ken Rosenthal wrote for yesterday.

Ron Borges notes that the Seahawks struggled against the only 3-4 defense they faced this season, and now they are going against “perhaps the best 3-4 defense in football” in the Pittsburgh Steelers. He looks at how they must address this potential problem. Jonathan Comey says that the Steelers are going to win this game as it is clearly their year. Jim Donaldson has a “thoughts” column where he says the Seahawks are being disrespected. John Altavilla has some ideas for those who can’t go without football for the next 12 days.

NESN has Bruins/Thrashers at 7:00. ESPN has Kentucky/Auburn at 7:00 and Indiana/Iowa at 9:00. (HD) OLN has Coyotes/Wild at 8:00.