The Celtics cruised to a rare easy win last night, as they routed the Joe Johnson-less Atlanta Hawks 109-88 at the Garden. Al Jefferson led the Celtics with 23 points, while Paul Pierce added 17. Rajon Rondo had 13 points and 10 assists, and Kendrick Perkins recorded 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Scott Souza looks at the win for Boston, and specifically at Perkins producing the last two nights despite the pain in his foot from plantar fasciitis. Bill Doyle has Paul Pierce continuing to play despite a swollen elbow and being unable to get real lift because of the stress injury to his left foot. Tony Massarotti tries to produce some numbers of interest during last night’s game, because the actual game wasn’t interesting for him. Peter Stringer on has more on Perkins slowly getting his health back.

Shira Springer’s notebook is the only Celtics coverage in the Globe today. She also looks at Pierce’s weight and Leon Powe seeing some increased time. Doyle’s notebook has more on the rout of the Hawks. Souza’s notebook has Delonte West no longer worrying about being a point guard or a shooting guard, he’s just playing basketball. Mark Murphy has Doc River’s son Jeremiah talk about Red Auerbach and how he influenced him to end up at Georgetown.

Red Sox

John Tomase has Theo Epstein and the Red Sox focused on finding a closer candidate from within their own organization and confident that they can do so. Nick Cafardo has Theo Epstein not anticipating any big moves before the season starts. Sean McAdam has Kevin Youkilis looking to improve in his second season as a starter. Jeff Goldberg has Manny Delcarmen seeing better results after practicing his delivery with his eyes closed.

Jon Couture has a look at J.D. Drew’s strong spring thus far, which has taken some of the heat off the outfielder. Karen Guregian has a look at Drew’s efforts at a healthy lifestyle, which includes time in a hyperbaric chamber. Alex Speier has the Red Sox lineup looking to put up more runs for the pitchers this season.

Tomase has Daisuke Matsuzaka getting ready to step into the batter’s box tomorrow, where he won’t be allowed to swing the bat. Guregian also has Terry Francona continuing his battle against smokeless tobacco. Tomase also looks at five slots in the batting order which aren’t yet set in stone. Maureen Mullen has a look at the strong arm of Alex Ochoa. Speier has more on Francona’s efforts to quit spit tobacco.

Tomase’s notebook has Alex Ochoa as a longshot to make the team, but if he does, it might be because of his arm. Cafardo’s notebook says Ochoa might be hard to get rid of. McAdam’s notebook has the Nationals and Marlins interested in Kyle Snyder. Couture’s notebook looks at Jason Varitek’s struggles at the plate this spring.


Michael Felger has Donte’ Stallworth doing a little self examination, and that is at least part of the reason he is here in New England. Mike Reiss says it was actually after talking to Deion Branch and hearing good things about the Patriots that Stallworth decided to make the move to New England. Shalise Manza Young has Stallworth dismissing any talk of a feud with Kelley Washington, and downplaying talk of any substance abuse issue. John Altavilla has the newest Patriots receiver blaming bad judgment for many of the situations he’s found himself in.

Albert Breer has more from Stallworth, who says everything is cool between he and Washington. Christopher Price has Deion Branch pushing Stallworth towards the Patriots. Mark Farinella has Stallworth putting the past behind him and looking forward to a fresh start with the Patriots.

Felger has a short bit in which a source close to Troy Brown says that the receiver wants to play another year.

Buddy Thomas is just goading Patriots fans.


Bob Ryan has a look at Bobby Knight as the Texas Tech coach gets ready to play Boston College this afternoon. Mark Murphy has BC and Texas Tech taking different paths to their meeting today. Michael Vega has more on today’s game. Steve Buckley has BC’s Seniors setting the tone for the squad.

Vega also has Knight meeting his match in a playful back-and-forth with Bob Ryan.

Dan Shaughnessy says that it is time for Holy Cross to get back into the win column in the NCAA, where they haven’t recorded a victory since 1953. Jennifer Tolland says that Holy Cross needs a complete game to register the upset.

Christopher L. Gasper has Javier Mojica from Central Connecticut State having overcome some huge obstacles to get to the NCAA tournament. Tom Yantz says Central has to be perfect to have any chance against Ohio State. Jeff Jacobs has more on the journey to the garden of Oden.