Morning sports update: Patriots players baffled by Air Force Academy challenge

"Ah, I ain’t the fastest guy, so we gotta trap him. I’m not catching no rabbit."

With the surrounding mountains in the background, the New England Patriots take part in drills at NFL football practice, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, on the campus of the Air Force Academy.
With the surrounding mountains in the background, the New England Patriots take part in drills at NFL football practice, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, on the campus of the Air Force Academy. –AP Photo/David Zalubowski

The Celtics prepare to face the defending champion Warriors tonight at TD Garden, putting their 13-game winning streak to the test. Elsewhere, the Bruins fell to the Ducks, 4-2.

Here’s a look at a few other sports stories:

Patriots players described why they couldn’t make it at the Air Force Academy: With the Patriots in Colorado for the week training at the Air Force Academy (to acclimate to the altitude of playing in Mexico City on Sunday), the team has gotten a full dose of what life would be like at a service academy. This included knowledge of a week long challenge that cadets go through, where they survive in the wild with no help.

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“Just kinda hearing, it starts off like, ‘OK, it’s not that bad. That’s kind of like camp,'” noted running back Brandon Bolden. “Then they have another week where they just go out into the mountains and it’s just them. It’s like, ‘Ooh, lost me on that one.’ They said you’ve got to get your own nutrition and stuff like that. Then he made the comment, ‘You hope that there’s a rabbit out there.’ Ah, I ain’t the fastest guy, so we gotta trap him. I’m not catching no rabbit.” (NESN)

Brad Stevens compared the Celtics’ Mexico City experience to the Patriots’ preparations: Before ending his regular radio interview with Bertrand & Zo on Wednesday, Celtics coach Brad Stevens was curious about how the Patriots are handling the lead-up to Sunday’s game in Mexico City.

“We played there a couple of years ago, and the reason I asked that is the one thing that hits you quickly when you get there is that the altitude is real,” said Stevens. “And it’s interesting, because I was thinking about the Patriots probably have the perfect week in place.” (Boston.com)

Celtics playing so well right now it has Dan Shaughnessy “off his game”: A veteran skeptic, Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy is having a difficult time finding any fault in the current Celtics run. After starting 0-2 amid Gordon Hayward’s shocking injury, Boston has now ripped off 13 straight wins and, with the Warriors in town, is “the center of the NBA universe.”

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“Celtics TV ratings are up 144 percent from last year,” noted Shaughnessy. “The Celtics-Nets game on Tuesday got the second-highest rating for the team since 2012.” (Boston Globe)

Lonzo Ball benched for second straight fourth quarter: In Wednesday night’s 115-109 loss to the 76ers, Laker rookie Lonzo Ball had a game to forget. Shooting just 1-9 (0-6 from three-point range), Ball sat out the entire fourth quarter.

It was his second straight game in which the second overall pick did not play in the entire fourth, as Los Angeles tried to rally without the former UCLA star. (ESPN)

Daily highlight(s): As Lonzo Ball struggled, his counterparts in Philadelphia were thriving. Joel Embiid put up a career high 46 points, adding 15 rebounds, seven assists and seven blocks: