Patriots coach Bill Belichick shuts down talk on absent Tom Brady

The drama surrounding Tom Brady and the Patriots took another sharp turn Tuesday, when head coach Bill Belichick refused to talk about his starting quarterback.

After months of speculation regarding a possible retirement, Brady is expected to play for the Patriots next season. However, the five-time Super Bowl champion, who turns 41 in August, has not shown up for the Patriots’ organized team activities, and Belichick didn’t want to talk about absent players.

Both Brady and Gronkowski are expected to play for the Patriots in 2018, though retirement talk followed them all winter. It’s possible the two veterans are just resting their bodies until training camp, but Belichick doesn’t seem happy about the situation.

Game 6 is in Cleveland on Friday night, with the decisive seventh game back in Boston on Sunday if necessary. The home team has won every game so far in the series, and none has been closer than nine points.

LeBron James had 26 points and 10 rebounds and Kevin Love scored 14 for the Cavaliers, who are trying to reach the finals for the fourth consecutive season. James has played to the end in seven straight seasons.

The Celtics opened a double-digit lead in the first quarter and nursed it the rest of the way, holding on through a four-minute scoring drought that saw Cleveland score nine straight points to cut the deficit to 83-71. But Terry Rozier hit Horford with an alley-oop to snap the skid, and that was as close as the Cavs would get.

James seemed to tire in the fourth, scoring just two points on four shots. He finished 1-for-6 from 3-point range in the game; the Cavaliers made just 9 of 34 attempts from beyond the arc and shot just 42 percent overall.
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