PISTONS 113, CELTICS 104

Pistons stop Celtics cold, end win streak at 8

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) shoots on Boston Celtics center Aron Baynes (46) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Paul Sancya/AP

Boston hit only 41.8 percent of their shots from the floor and Blake Griffin scored 27 points to help Detroit pull away.

NICK CAFARDO | SUNDAY BASEBALL NOTES

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/08/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/4df729ed4aa24210b4ac2015a116a53a-58f98db1a1474052a23bf75330ee2469-0.jpg Too many teams are tanking and that’s leading to dwindling competition

The American League appears to be a three-team race among the Red Sox, Yankees and Astros.

Dan Shaughnessy

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/shaughnessy-25023.jpg Simply put, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have had the Steelers’ number

Despite its pedigree, Pittsburgh is just another team that loses it at the sight of Brady and Belichick.

KEVIN PAUL DUPONT | SUNDAY HOCKEY NOTES

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/Chin120818Leafs-Bruins_Spt13.jpg Concussions are, and will remain, a major issue

Although the NHL has made great strides in player safety, second-year coach Bruce Cassidy has seen at least seven Bruins exit with concussions during his tenure.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/11/14/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davis_st8g_spts.jpg Red Sox to pay $11.9 million in luxury tax, money well spent

The World Series champions and the Washingtoin Nationals were the only teams to exceed the tax threshold of $197 million.

CELTICS NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/Chin121418Celtics-Hawks_Spt21.jpg Celtics not feeling any urgency to make moves

Even before the eight-game winning streak, Danny Ainge said he was confident his team would turn things around.

Josh Gordon has caught on with the Patriots, his approach appreciated by coach Bill Belichick.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff/File

Patriots notebook

Wideout Josh Gordon grabbing at every opportunity to improve

Gordon leads the Patriots with 701 receiving yards despite not joining the team until Week 4.

Bruins notebook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/f94b389e25b6468da1ae95fc61030ed6-f94b389e25b6468da1ae95fc61030ed6-0.jpg Brandon Carlo’s long goal drought ended in Pittsburgh

The Bruins defenseman scored his first of the season in a 5-3 loss and he is taking more chances offensively.

GARY WASHBURN | SUNDAY BASKETBALL NOTES

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1f15a273981949d09ae74d6596e67c16-1f15a273981949d09ae74d6596e67c16-0.jpg New coach Jim Boylen is pushing the Bulls, but they are shoving back

Ordering a practice after back-to-back games almost led to a revolt by the players.

Foxborough MA 11/30/18 North Andover team after they defeated King Philip 6-0 capturing the MIAA Division 1 State Championship at Gillette Stadium. (photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) topic: 01schbowl reporter: Nathaniel Weitzer

Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

Here are the Globe’s 2018 fall All-Scholastics

We highlighted the athletes and coaches who stood out above the rest this fall.

Alex Speier

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/09/26/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davis_soxos2_spts-22563.jpg Same cast, different script for Red Sox lineup?

The group that propelled the club to the best offensive marks in the game remains essentially the same, but matching those numbers will be a challenge.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by CJ GUNTHER/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9633964s) Des Linden 122nd Boston Marathon, USA - 16 Apr 2018 Des Linden of the US after crossing the finish line to win the women's division of the 122nd Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, USA 16 April 2018. The Marathon has been run annually by the Boston Athletic Association since 1897 and features more than 30,000 registerd participants.

CJ GUNTHER/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Shira Springer | Fair Play

2018 was a breakthrough year of change in women’s sports

It was a year of firsts and drought-ending victories and big numbers and sports bra-related controversies.

Tara Sullivan

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/14/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/tsullivan-24985.jpg Checking in with Phil Simms on the state of NFL quarterbacks

There is plenty of excitement for some of the young signal-callers, but the veterans are still getting it done.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/14/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/15shelton1.jpeg Growing furry family is a game-changer for this Patriot

“Our dogs have always been popular,” Danny Shelton said. Now, they’re Internet-popular, as is the dog owned by Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

CELTICS NOTES

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/Chin121418Celtics-Hawks_Spt10.jpg Here’s why Robert Williams has his coach, teammates excited

The rookie center, who has given a glimpse of his potential in recent games, has also proven to be a willing student.

Kyler Murray received a $4.6 million signing bonus from the Oakland Athletics after he was drafted ninth overall.

Jeff Chiu/AP/File

BEN VOLIN | SUNDAY FOOTBALL NOTES

Why Heisman winner Kyler Murray should ditch baseball and go for the NFL

Average NFL quarterbacks are getting paid $15 million-$20 million per year.

Rob Gronkowski and the Patriots will play the Steelers Sunday at 4:25 p.m.

file/Jim Davis/Globe Staff

CHAD FINN | UNCONVENTIONAL PREVIEW

Patriots-Steelers feels like a rivalry, but the numbers say otherwise

New England has five straight and 12 of the last 15 meetings.

JIM MCBRIDE

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/19/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davis_qbs_spts.jpg Frustrated describes seasons for Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger

Each star quarterback is coming off a hideous loss, and in Roethlisberger’s case, three in a row.

JIM MCBRIDE

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/12/19/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davis_ben3_spts.jpg Patriots-Steelers scouting report: Who has the edge in each phase and keys to victory

Here’s the rundown on Sunday’s matchup.

TEXANS 29, JETS 22

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/16/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/7bf81299f30f40359e94fa216f1f4400-7bf81299f30f40359e94fa216f1f4400-0.jpg Texans rally late to stop Jets

Deshaun Watson’s 14-yard touchdown pass to De’Andre Hopkins with 2:15 left capped the 10-4 Texans’ comeback.

Eastern Washington Eagles Mitchell Johnson (94) and Jonah Jordan (91) sack Maine's quarterback Chris Ferguson during the first half of a college football game on Saturday, Dec.15, 2018, in Cheney, Wash. (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review via AP)

Kathly Plonka/The Spokesman-Review via AP

Sports Log

Eastern Washington routs Maine, 50-19, in FCS semifinals

Eric Barriere threw seven TD passes as the host Eagles (12-12) dispatched road weary Black Bears (10-4) back home to Orono, Maine.

PATRIOTS NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/10/30/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/Lee102818bosbuff25spts.jpg Patriots’ Bill Belichick is used to facing off against Steelers

Belichick’s history with the Steelers goes way back.

Grace Connolly #543 of Natick leads the pack across a snowfield at the MIAA State Cross Country Meet in Westfield, Mass. Connolly ended up winning the race with a winning time of 18:14 for the Girls 5k Run Division 1. Photo by Steven G. Smith LOID: 8.4.3863524051 Item Name: 19schcross Content Folder: Sports Photo by Steven G. Smith Photographer contact steve@stevengsmith.com cell 970 618 5584

Steven G. Smith

Here are our Athletes of the Year for girls’ volleyball, field hockey, cross country, boys’ golf and girls’ swimming

These athletes stood out above the rest.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/15/BostonGlobe.com/ReceivedContent/Images/121418WiggsSwimming3.jpg Team of the Week: Wayland boys’ swimming team going for three straight state titles

Wayland went 18-0 least season en route to its second straight Division 2 state title.

SATURDAY’S SCHOOL ROUNDUP

Jake Higgins sparks Hingham boys’ hockey over St. John’s Prep

Senior forward had a goal and an assist — giving him five points through the first two games — for the No. 3 Habormen in a 5-2 win

Red Sox notebook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/14/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1040458840.jpg Red Sox hire scout who landed Mike Trout for Angels

Greg Morhardt, who spearheaded the Angels’ scouting efforts with Trout, will serve as the Canadian scout for the Red Sox.

12/13/2018 Boston Ma- BC High School Hockey players left to right are Peter,Joseph, and Thomas Kramer (cq). Jonathan Wiggs /Globe Staff Reporter:Topic:

JONATHAN WIGS/GLOBE STAFF

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS’ HOCKEY NOTES

Thomas Kramer leads BC High’s Band of Brothers No. 1 line

The leading scorer (12 goals, 25 assists) from last season’s Super 8 champion will center his younger twin brothers, Peter and Joseph, on the Eagles’ top line.

PATRIOTS NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/14/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/gronkcatch-25010.jpg Rob Gronkowski hoping for big things against Steelers again

The Patriots tight end had a big game — 9 catches, 168 yards — in last year’s controversial win over Pittsburgh.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/03/BostonGlobe.com/ReceivedContent/Images/davispats4spts.jpg Building Patriots’ 2018 roster had hits, misses

Trade to land receiver Josh Gordon was a clear win, but defensive tackle Danny Shelton has had minimal impact.

Lakers 128, Hornets 100

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/16/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/ceaeec70c5d043fdb14485a64b72c60a-ceaeec70c5d043fdb14485a64b72c60a-0.jpg LeBron James, Lonzo Ball post triple-doubles in Lakers’ win

It was just the second time in franchise history that two Lakers teammates had triple-doubles in the same game.

bruins notebook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/14/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/8cb5471b439d48e4967634757121459a-8cb5471b439d48e4967634757121459a-0.jpg After surgery to repair broken nose, Sean Kuraly returns for Bruins

The Boston forward will wear a full face shield for 4-6 weeks.

Tara Sullivan

Sullivan is a columnist who joined the Globe in December of 2017.

Kevin Paul Dupont

/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/05/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/dupont-13978.tif More from Dupont

Read his recent “On Second Thought” columns and more features from the longtime Globe writer.