The Super Bowl champions received a warm welcome during Thursday night’s Celtics-Lakers game at TD Garden, two nights after being feted at the Bruins-Islanders contest.
Early in the second quarter, the packed house was fired up as the center-court video board played a brief montage of highlights from the Patriots’ 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams. From tight end Rob Gronkowski’s 29-yard, fourth-quarter catch to cornerback Stephon Gilmore’s clutch interception a drive later, the images had the sellout crowd on its feet.
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The cameras then panned to twin defensive backs Devin and Jason McCourty, who were greeted with roaring applause. Defensive end Trey Flowers, linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts, safety Duron Harmon, offensive tackle Trent Brown, and running back Sony Michel also received ovations when shown on screen. But none was louder than that for running back Rex Burkhead, who probably received bonus points for wearing a T-shirt featuring an old-school caricature of Celtics legend Larry Bird.
But Burkhead’s garb was no competition for coach Bill Belichick’s. Decked out in a plaid Nantucket red suit jacket, Belichick smiled and waved while fans showered him in celebratory cheers. A frequent visitor at the Garden, Belichick sat courtside next to longtime girlfriend Linda Holliday and Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca.
Other Patriots in the building — but not shown on the video board — included linebackers Ja’Whaun Bentley and Brandon King, guard Shaq Mason, defensive ends Derek Rivers and Deatrich Wise, cornerback Eric Rowe, and coaching assistant DeMarcus Covington.
The celebration for the Patriots was a bit more low key compared to that for the World Series champion Red Sox, who visited the Garden for a Celtics-Bucks game following their title in October. Manager Alex Cora, along with several Sox players and front office staff members, walked onto the parquet floor and passed around the Commissioner’s Trophy.