- Created on 12 February 2013
Pictured: San Antonio Spurs center Boris Diaw (33) shoots over Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) as forward Luol Deng watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Feb. 11, 2013, in Chicago. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
Kawhi Leonard had a career-high 26 points and Danny Green scored 18 on Monday night, helping the short-handed San Antonio Spurs beat the Chicago Bulls 103-89 without their three biggest stars.
Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were all out with injuries, and swingman Stephen Jackson also missed the game due to "personal business," according to the team. And the NBA-best Spurs still had enough talent to beat one of the Eastern Conference's best teams in its building.
Gary Neal and Tiago Splitter had 16 points apiece for San Antonio, which improved the league's best road record to 19-10. Nando De Colo, subbing for Parker, had nine points and seven assists in his second career start.
Nate Robinson scored 20 points and Richard Hamilton had 16 for the Bulls, who were coming off a 3-3 road trip — their longest of the season. Carlos Boozer added 14 points and All-Star Joakim Noah pulled down 15 rebounds despite a nagging right foot injury.
San Antonio led by 14 at three different points in the third quarter, but Robinson led the Bulls right back. The streaky point guard converted a twisting reverse layup to trim the Spurs' lead to 73-69 with 56 seconds left in the period.
Chicago pulled within one in the fourth before the Spurs began to pull away. Boris Diaw had a three-point play and Leonard converted a layup in a 7-0 surge that made it 89-78 with 5:55 to go.
Parker had 29 points and 11 assists in the Spurs' 111-86 victory at Brooklyn on Sunday night, but coach Gregg Popovich said his right knee became swollen during the game. Parker is having an MVP-type of season, averaging 20.7 points and 7.7 assists per game.
"I'm not going to chance it with three (games) in four nights and a back-to-back and what he's been doing for us," Popovich said. "It's kind of ignorant to say 'That's OK, go out there anyway.'"
Duncan missed his fourth straight game due to a sore left knee. Ginobili was out for the fifth consecutive game with tightness in his left hamstring.
The injuries for All-Stars Parker and Duncan, plus key scorer Ginobili, meant San Antonio's three best players were reduced to a cheerleading role for the night, but their teammates gave them plenty of reasons to stand and applaud.
Marco Belinelli had a steal and dunk during a 7-0 run that gave the Bulls a 27-20 lead early in the second quarter, but the Spurs controlled the rest of the half.
San Antonio put together a 10-0 spurt to grab a 38-32 advantage with 4:51 left. Matt Bonner sparked the surge with a long jumper and Neal also had four points in the run.
The Spurs converted 11 Bulls turnovers into 22 points and led by as many as 12 before settling for a 51-42 lead at halftime. Neal had 13 points at the break.
- Created on 07 February 2013
by Zack Burgess – MICHIGAN CHRONICLE EDITOR-AT-LARGE
History has a wonderful way of righting its wrongs. A person in South Africa no longer lives with the oppression of apartheid, Americans have a black president and sports can no longer be compared to slavery as it has often been suggested. Never before have the atrocities of man been more transparent than with the advent of the 24-hour news cycle.
“There have been comparable times in history when sports have been at the center of culture and seemed to dominate the landscape,” Roone Arledge, the former president of ABC News and the man who brought us Monday Night Football, once said to NFL. “Whether in Greek society or in what used to be called the Golden Age of Sports…everything is magnified by television.”
As the turn of the century approached, ESPN became a monopoly, the internet came into our homes with blinding speed and before you knew it, a new star beyond Hollywood had been created — the American athlete. The salaries of athletes escalated beyond ones imagination and so did the profile of the men who coached them. Instantly, coaches were the face of a franchise. Bill Parcells and Mike Ditka quickly come to mind.
But there was one problem. You had teams dominated by people of color, being coached by white men. And in a country where image is everything and the talk of race is still a touchy subject, like religion and politics, this was not a good look, particularly for the NFL, where 70 percent of the players are black.
The NFL has been around for 90 years now and there have been, get this, a mere 10 black head coaches, which has us again talking about the Rooney Rule, which requires that NFL teams interview at least one minority coaching candidate before making a new hire..
Only five blacks had previously coached in the NFL, beginning with Art Shell in 1989, and only two held the position when the rule was adopted in 2003. The following year there were five, and between six and seven every year since, including two of the last five Super Bowl winners. These numbers have people questioning whether the rule has outlived its usefulness.
“I would hope we’re at the point where the Rooney Rule is not necessary,” said Tony Dungy, former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and current NBC analyst, to Sports Illustrated. “But even if we are, there’s still some good things, some benefits that come from it. The biggest thing it has done, to me, is slow down the process and encouraged people to look at a broad spectrum and interview a lot of different guys. That helps everyone. It helps the person who ended up getting the job, and it helps the person who was looking.”
- Created on 05 February 2013
NEW ORLEANS — Vikings running back Adrian Peterson wins AP 2012 NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
- Created on 05 February 2013
INDIANAPOLIS — The Chicago Bulls were without three starters Monday night at Indiana.
Guard Kirk Hinrich did not travel with the team after having a procedure to clean out an infection in his right elbow Saturday.
Forward Joakim Noah also was out with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He told reporters Monday morning that he's hoping a couple extra days of rest will help him get close to 100 percent.
The Bulls did get some good news as forward Carlos Boozer started after returning from an injured right hamstring.
Monday night's game, rescheduled from a Dec. 26 postponement, featured the two top teams in the Central Division.
Another starter, guard Derrick Rose, still has not played as he continues to recover from a torn ACL sustained late last season.
The Bulls fell to the Pacers 111-101.
- Created on 04 February 2013
NEW ORLEANS — From blowout to blackout to shootout, Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens had just enough power to survive one of the most electric Super Bowls ever.
The outage flipped a switch for the San Francisco 49ers, but the Ravens used a last-gasp defensive stand to hold on Sunday night, 34-31.
America's biggest sporting event came to a half-hour standstill in the third quarter when most of the Superdome lights and the scoreboards went dark. By then, the Ravens had a 22-point lead.
Everything changed after that, though, and the 49ers staged a sensational rally before Ray Lewis and Co. shut it down. But there were plenty of white-knuckle moments and the Ravens (14-6) had to make four stops inside their 7 at the end.
For a Super Bowl with so many subplots, it almost had to end this way.
Flacco's arrival as a championship quarterback coincides with Lewis' retirement — with a second Super Bowl ring no less. The win capped a sensational month since the star linebacker announced he was leaving the game after 17 Hall of Fame-caliber years.
The sibling rivalry between the coaching Harbaughs went to John, older than Jim by 15 months.
"How could it be any other way? It's never pretty. It's never perfect. But it's us," John Harbaugh said. "It was us today."
The loss of power delayed the game 34 minutes and left players from both sides stretching and chatting with each other. It also cost Baltimore whatever momentum it built, and that was considerable after Jacoby Jones' 108-yard kickoff return and game MVP Flacco's three touchdown passes made it 28-6.
Back came San Francisco (13-5-1) in search of its sixth Lombardi Trophy in as many tries.
Michael Crabtree's 31-yard touchdown reception on which he broke two tackles made it 28-13. A couple minutes later, Frank Gore's 6-yard run followed a 32-yard punt return by Ted Ginn Jr., and the 49ers were within eight.
Ray Rice's fumble at his 24 led to David Akers' 34-yard field goal, but Baltimore woke up for a long drive leading to rookie Justin Tucker's 19-yard field goal.
San Francisco wasn't done challenging, though, and Colin Kaepernick's 15-yard TD run, the longest for a quarterback in a Super Bowl, made it 31-29. A 2-point conversion pass failed when the Ravens blitzed.
Tucker added a 38-yarder with 4:19 remaining, setting up the frantic finish.
Kaepernick couldn't get the Ravens into the end zone on the final three plays — there was contact on Crabtree on the final pass that appeared incidental — and Ravens punter Sam Koch took a safety for the final score.