Celtics hold off Pistons

Celtics forward Al Horford split the Pistons’ defense on a drive to the basket during the first half.

Duane Burleson/Associated Press

Al Horford led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Steelers 39, Ravens 38

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/11/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/2c64bcde41814ab7aed21c04add1d002-2c64bcde41814ab7aed21c04add1d002-0.jpg Steelers beat Ravens to maintain AFC’s top playoff spot

The Steelers (11-2) have the playoff edge on the Patriots (10-2) going into next Sunday’s showdown.

Ben Volin | On Football

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/10/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/879682096.jpg How the once-maligned Patriots’ defense turned it around

The Patriots were one of the worst in points allowed after four weeks, but since then they are No. 1.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/04/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/tara_sullivan_20171204.jpg A presence like Devin McCourty’s is more valuable than ever

The Patriots safety provides an anchor while the NFL is rocked to its foundation by bigger issues than we’ve seen in decades.

Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright, 33, will be in court Dec. 21 to face two counts of domestic assault.

Barry Chin/Globe Staff/File 2016

Red Sox’ Steven Wright arrested for domestic assault

The Red Sox pitcher is facing charges after being arrested in Tennessee on Friday night following an incident involving his wife.

Peter Abraham

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/07/24/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/SCAN_1_1tiant%2030-1838445.jpg Luis Tiant misses out on Hall of Fame vote

Alan Trammell and Jack Morris were elected on the Modern Era ballot.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/10/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/873409984.jpg Patriots ahead of the game in new age of running backs

Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead, and James White have the pass-catching abilities that NFL offenses are now featuring out of the backfield.

Patriots notebook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/08/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/lee_patdol7_spts-14613.jpg Patriots’ Malcolm Butler on challenge of defending Dolphins receivers

The cornerback said Miami’s receivers present a challenge because of their size and speed.

In this Friday, July 7, 2017, photo, a fan looks at enlarged baseball cards of Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton, left, and New York Yankees' Aaron Judge at a booth at the All-Star FanFest at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Fla. Virtual Reality baseball is a hit at the All-Star FanFest in Miami. Fans get to feel what it's like to be the San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey catching without the pain of snatching major league pitches at 86-to-93 mph. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)


For Red Sox, making a smart acquisition — not a fast one — is what matters

Making a hasty move in the wake of the Giancarlo Stanton deal proves nothing.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/11/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davis_bosgs16_spts.jpg Stevens appreciates Hayward’s optimism but doesn’t expect him back this season

Although the Celtics star isn’t expected to play in 2017-18, he’s still working toward beating the clock in his rehab.

On hockey | Fluto Shinzawa

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/11/10/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/d4c5864e17c44a3a8e0b5c6b964aba4a-d4c5864e17c44a3a8e0b5c6b964aba4a-0.jpg Torey Krug has blue-line competition

The offensive defenseman gets push from Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk.

Wellesley, MA - 12/09/2017 - Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward watches the Boston Celtics take on the San Antonio Spurs. - (Barry Chin/Globe Staff), Section: Sports, Reporter: Adam Himmelsbach, Topic: 10Hayward, LOID: 8.4.311493760.

Barry Chin/Globe staff


A night out with Gordon Hayward, discussing his recovery, his team, and his eventual return

More than 50 days have passed since Hayward suffered his grisly injury, and though he’s pleased with his progress, he won’t look too far ahead.

National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton is the newest member of the Yankees following their stunning deal with the Marlins on Saturday.


Giancarlo Stanton deal is one more reason to hate the Yankees

Stanton, who led the majors in homers last season with 59, was precisely the type of slugger the Red Sox needed in their lineup.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/10/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/shaughnessy-14696.jpg While Yankees pull off a blockbuster, Boston’s baseball winter is boring

The Red Sox do nothing day after day.

Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer celebrates after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Charlie Riedel/AP


What are each team’s interests entering the Winter Meetings?

Look for the Red Sox to significantly add to their lineup, and the Yankees to pay up for a starting pitcher.

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 10: Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles is hit by Mark Barron #26 of the Los Angeles Rams during the third quarter of the game. Wentz was later escorted off the field due to a knee injury at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Jeff Gross/Getty Images


Eagles beat Rams but may have lost QB Carson Wentz for season

Philadelphia’s star quarterback reportedly suffered a torn left ACL in the Eagles’ win.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/11/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/889861452.jpg Blake Bortles, Jaguars rough up Seahawks

Surprising Jacksonville took the lead in AFC South with its sixth win in seven games.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/11/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/9810a75fd6d14129bbf52c48d22f47b9-9810a75fd6d14129bbf52c48d22f47b9-0.jpg Texans take hit for letting Tom Savage keep playing

Houston’s QB suffered a concussion but stayed in for one more series before leaving the game.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/08/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/917dc2180bac48baad893e5ecff50799-917dc2180bac48baad893e5ecff50799-14618.jpg To put down Dolphins, Patriots must stay focused

The AFC East rivals meet in a rematch just two weeks after a chippy game in Foxborough.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/7333f028adab4fdaaa8e394f05fc752d-7333f028adab4fdaaa8e394f05fc752d-0.jpg Let’s take a closer look at Jimmy Garoppolo’s impressive first start

After years as Tom Brady’s backup, the 49ers quarterback showed a lot as the leader of his own team.

Arizona State forward Romello White (23) and guard Shannon Evans II (11) celebrate in front of Kansas head coach Bill Self after an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. Arizona State defeated Kansas 95-85. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Orlin Wagner/AP

College roundup

Arizona State pulls road upset at No. 2 Kansas

Sun Devils shocker in Lawrence, Kan., came one day after BC’s upset of top-ranked Duke in Chestnut Hill.

Sports log

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/11/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/041d49be28c94ff79ef615c4107e297e-b371529ca56f4365aaaa16598fda7a8f-1.jpg Lindsey Vonn injures back, withdraws from World Cup Super-G event

American downhill champion suffered jarring back injury Saturday in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Boston-12/08/17 Boston Bruins vs Islanders- Bruins Brad Marchand sends Islanders John Tavares hard into the boards in the 3rd period. John Tlumacki/Globe staff (sports)

bruins 3, islanders 1

Bruins turn aside Islanders

Tuukka Rask made 30 saves in the team’s eighth win in its last 10 games.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/d097a22b713349fbbbf8d56790ec791a-d097a22b713349fbbbf8d56790ec791a-14674.jpg Gracie Gold should be applauded for stepping away from figure skating

Gold showed a strength more rare and more valuable than anything she’s displayed on the ice.

Fluto Shinzawa | on hockey

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/4c0b1f3ee9c54631858d5cb5cc374550-4c0b1f3ee9c54631858d5cb5cc374550-0.jpg Brandon Carlo is working on mental strength

The second-year NHLer wants to bounce back from mistakes sooner.

Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins holds the Frank J. Selke Trophy after winning the award during the NHL Awards, Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

John Locher/AP

Fluto Shinzawa | Sunday Hockey Notes

Spacing is critical for an NHL center. Here’s why

The hardest part of the position is in the defensive zone, which is why Patrice Bergeron is so valuable.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/b679423905804580bc3a62c8294c7114-b679423905804580bc3a62c8294c7114-0.jpg There’s no bigger fan of the NBA than Mark Cuban

The Mavericks owner believes the NBA is the No. 1 professional sports league in terms of growth.

BC 89, DUKE 84

Hot-shooting BC basketball upsets top-ranked Duke

Ky Bowman led the way with 30 points as the Eagles sank 15 of 26 3-pointers.

Heisman Trophy

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/10/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/925b7174a4aa4c89b731ddd2b23c9226-925b7174a4aa4c89b731ddd2b23c9226-0.jpg Baker Mayfield wins Heisman Trophy

Oklahoma quarterback, who began his career as a walk-on, easily beat Bryce Love and Lamar Jackson.

FILE - IOC Bans Russia from 2018 Winter Olympics PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 4: The Olympic rings is seen in Hoenggye town, near the venue for the Opening and Closing ceremony ahead of PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 4, 2017 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Bob Ryan

The Winter Olympics are not what they used to be

They are bloated, have gotten too expensive to stage, and most people don’t even want them.