Month: February 2018

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The 76ers raced to a 25-7 lead midway through the first quarter before Portis got hot and Chicago started making 3s.

Philadelphia’s lead was down to 33-29 at the end of the quarter and the Bulls busted out for 40 points in the second to take a 69-67 halftime lead. Chicago was 9 of 12 on 3-pointers in the quarter, including 4 for 5 by Portis.

The 76ers were up by five early in the fourth before Portis scored six straight points — on a 3-pointer and a three-point play — to put the Bulls on top 101-100. A few minutes later, Portis dunked over Embiid to stretch the lead to 111-106 with just over four minutes to play.

“It really is hard,” Hoiberg said. “It’s hard for Robin, it’s hard for Justin and it’s hard for Jerian, who’s probably making as big a sacrifice as anybody.”

Philadelphia is on the cusp of a playoff appearance this season, but the organization found itself in the same position as the Bulls the previous few years, playing mostly young players with the unspoken hope of improving draft position.

“When I look in the rearview mirror, it’s not as painful as people make it out to be,” coach Brett Brown said. “Losing stinks and the pain of losing is real, but the things that went into growing young players was really enjoyable for me. The development of young guys, giving them opportunities, explaining life in the NBA, what it takes to stay in the NBA, the culture — stuff that nobody sees.”

A ceremony at the museum steps starts at 1 p.m. and is expected to last until approximately 3 p.m. Those looking to attend can get there via the Market-Frankford and Broad Street SEPTA lines, which will be free all day to get people to the parade route. One of the bullet points announced for the parade is 14 Jumbotrons set up along the route, so the city is certainly going all-out.

The list of street closures and the times they will be closed can be found here, courtesy of ABC6. With more than a dozen closures, trying to navigate the area on the day of the parade will be tough. Below, you can find a map of the route, courtesy of the city of Philadelphia, via PennLive.

Player rest was eventually labeled a “significant issue for our league” by NBA commissioner Adam Silver in a memo distributed to all 30 teams in which Silver threatened “significant penalties” to NBA owners if their players rested in a manner that would be viewed as detrimental to the overall NBA product.


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Tyronn Lue: LeBron James ‘leading by example’ by playing every game

LeBron James is on pace to play in all 82 games for the first time in his 15-year career because, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue says, the Cavs star feels obligated to be out there every night for his teammates.

“I told you I want to play every game,” James said. “If my health continues as it is right now, then that’s what it is.”

James, 33, has picked up the nickname “Benjamin Button” by Lue because of his ability to seemingly age in reverse. Lue was surprised to hear Friday that James has never played in all 82 games. The most games James played before resting was in 2008-09 when he played the first 81 before sitting out the season finale. James’ good friend Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets played all 82 games in 2014-15 and told ESPN’s Michael Wilbon he has held bragging rights over the four-time MVP ever since.

The subject of James resting came up Friday because Lue chose to sit James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving when the Cavs traveled to play the Grizzlies last December. Cleveland’s big three did not even make the trip with the Cavs that game, contributing to a growing debate in the NBA about when player rest is appropriate.

On Friday, the Heat defense was victimized by Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis, who had 45 points, 17 rebounds, five blocks and five steals. Miami also couldn’t stop point guard Jrue Holiday, who had 29 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, including the game-winning runner with 7.3 seconds left in overtime.

Those performances overshadowed solid efforts by Heat point guard Goran Dragic, who nearly had a triple-double with 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists; and center Hassan Whiteside, who had a double-double with 19 points and 16 rebounds before fouling out.

“We have to forge ahead regardless of what emotions we’re feeling,” Erik Spoelstra told the media after the Pelicans loss. “All these moments can benefit us, and I truly believe they will. We are so close to getting over the hump.”

The Heat will be facing an 18-39 Memphis team that has been out of playoff contention for several weeks.

Injuries have crushed the Grizzlies, who lost their eighth straight game on Friday night, falling 112-89 to the Cleveland Cavaliers.


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Marte said he would not object to the switch.

I don’t care. I just want to be with the team, he said. I don’t care where I play. I can play anywhere. I just have to be ready to play anywhere.

Lovullo watched Souza often when the Arizona manager was Boston’s bench coach.

He was still a young player that was finding his way, but he seemed to improve every time we saw him, Lovullo said. The athletic ability, the ability to hit for power, the defensive ability — it was obvious to the opposing dugout that he was an exciting player.

Ohio State, which hasn’t lost a conference game to anyone other than Penn State, has a bit of a tougher road ahead. The Buckeyes will have to bounce back quickly from their embarrassingly one-sided loss to the Nittany Lions on Thursday because they’ve got arch-rival Michigan in Ann Arbor on Sunday. After hosting Rutgers two days later, they’ll wrap up the regular season with a tricky Friday night tilt at Indiana.

Even if Chris Holtmann’s surprising Buckeyes are able to win out, it might only be good enough for a share of the Big Ten crown.

It’s been a long journey to this point, and it’ll still be a long journey until hopefully we get what we need to get done in Indianapolis, Luck said. The rehab has been hard at times. The one thing I know in my heart is that I am getting better, and I’m feeling great. I’m extremely optimistic. It’s been fun to see myself improve, so really I couldn’t be more excited for this offseason and for our new coach — everything that’s happening — and where the direction of the team is going.

Luck has spent the past few weeks in Southern California working with throwing experts. He said he has started throwing but didn’t specify what kind of ball he’s throwing.

Hunziker lost a ski on his third run, for a score of 46.40, and will not medal with a best score of 66.20. McEachran was next, and he posted a score of 32.60, finishing in fourth, just outside the podium, with plenty of athletes to go. Dahl went next, and posted a score of 41.80, with a best of 76.40 will also finish outside of the top three. Elias Ambuehl will be just behind him after posting a 73.20 in his third run.

James Woods posted a 90.00 in his third run, which wasn’t enough to move him up, because he had a 91.00.

Unfortunately for the United States, Gus Kenworthy couldn’t put it together in three runs, posting a best of 35.00, putting him in 11th place.


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A request for comment from the Eagles was not immediately returned.

The names of plays have rarely been trademarked, though Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famer Franco Harris owns the phrase Franco’s Immaculate Reception, the moniker for his famous catch in Pittsburgh’s 1972 AFC divisional playoff win over the Oakland Raiders.

The Philly Special was called for a critical Eagles touchdown on fourth-and-goal late in the second quarter of the Super Bowl. On the play, running back Corey Clement took the ball on a direct snap, then pitched the ball to tight end Trey Burton, who threw it to quarterback Nick Foles in the end zone. The Eagles went on to beat the New England Patriots 41-33.

The United States never had a chance to be good in these Olympics. It’s no fun to get destroyed by Russia, but the NHL’s personnel decisions made it inevitable.

The Olympic Athletes from Russia destroyed the American men’s hockey team in Group B play at the Winter Olympics on Saturday morning.

The score was 4-0, which accurately reflected how bad the Americans looked, if you were able to keep your attention fixed on the game for more than a few minutes. Team USA’s far from out of the tournament, but what the Russians did to it on Saturday reinforces the point that the U.S. probably isn’t going far in this event.

Motte now makes his home in the Memphis area, home of the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate. Should the Cardinals ask Motte to begin the season with Memphis, he would do so.

In nine seasons Motte owns a 27-15 record with 60 saves and a 3.30 ERA.

St. Louis issued Motte jersey No. 30, the same number he wore during his first tenure with the club.

The opportunity to put this uniform back on again is pretty awesome, Motte said.

The Bubba Watson experience, which we’ve now watched for a decade, is one that comes with so much baggage. He’s a popular foil, has often been a jerk, and is easy to crack on from a distance on social media (I’m as guilty of this as anyone). The critiques of Bubba have often been deserved, and in response to some sort of objectionable or intemperate Bubba being Bubba moment.


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It could wind up being Bell’s last game with the organization.

These are the actions of a player who is signaling his unhappiness with the team. This information getting out publicly could be a signal that the team is preparing to move on rather than franchise-tag him again at the price of $14.57 million. A veteran writer like Bouchette does not suggest Bell might not be back with the Steelers in 2018 without having reason to do so.

Todd Bowles has to get his next hire right: For all the credit Bowles received for leading a flawed Jets team to a second straight 5-11 season, he is at fault for his offensive coordinator hires. Firing John Morton only one season after Chan Gailey “retired” and other offensive assistants were fired is an admission of failure.

As if making his first appearance in a regular-season game in almost a year weren’t inspirational enough, J.J. Watt has become the face of Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery, with an online fundraising effort that has now topped $31 million. The Texans honored first responders before the game, then introduced the defensive starters with, you guessed it, Watt entering last. The response was deafening.

However, shortly before halftime, Watt headed to the locker room with a dislocated finger. He described it after the game as the bone having “busted through the skin. Nothing bad, just tape it up.” He later returned.

Sunday night’s game promises a little more competitive matchup than last week’s New England-Atlanta affair, with 5-2 Pittsburgh playing Detroit, trying to end a two-game losing streak and make noise in the NFC North. The Steelers have been a soap opera this season — imagine how much Coach Mike Tomlin loves that.

Wide receiver Martavis Bryant will not play after a week in which he repeated a trade request on social media, a decision that ended with him on the scout team pretending to be a Lions receiver for the defense during practice. “He just has to earn his way back,” fellow wide receiver Antonio Brown said. “Obviously, we need him. We know what he’s capable of. We’re going to need him down the stretch. He made a mistake, and he’ll learn from it.”


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The Rockets are really good when they’re rolling, but it’d be a historic upset if they’d knock off the Warriors.

MacMahon: Fiction. The Warriors might be the best collection of talent in basketball history, and all the pieces fit together. Now, if LeBron decides to head to Houston next season …

Flacco threw three touchdowns against a San Francisco defense that had not allowed more than two passing touchdowns a game all season. He followed up in the second half by completing 9 of 13 passes for 95 yards, but the Ravens didn’t score another offensive touchdown and had to rely on a goal-line stand in the final minutes to win, 34-31.

“We could hear some USA chants as it started, which is fantastic. Could also hear some negativity being yelled during the anthem. Semantics there, right? What’s disrespectful to the anthem? Yelling things during it or standing at attention with arms locked, facing the flag? That’s for you to decide.”

On Friday, the Seattle Seahawks announced that they would channel their protest into the Seahawks Players Equality and Justice for All Action Fund, which players said would support education and leadership programs addressing equality and justice.

There would be no obvious in-house candidate to succeed Goodell and to turn to an outsider at this point would be extremely risky, said that person, who described Goodell as remaining stoic during the latest crisis while trying to boost the morale of those in the league office and refraining from pushing the owners — his bosses — too hard at this point to complete the extension sooner rather than later.

Not sure I can say the same for Blake Bortles. Still, if the much-maligned passer plays at or near the level he did in the Divisional Round, Jacksonville wins. (And we’ll all be in awe of a potential Bortles- Nick Foles Super Bowl.) Matt Patricia’s Patriots defense has been performing at such a high level for three months that this is where Doug Marrone and staff must be careful — as in, the Jags should run the ball 30 times. Part of staying on the ground could mean Bortles takes off whenever appropriate.


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With Minnesota leading 121-118, Karl-Anthony Towns’ bad pass out of bounds gave the Clippers the ball.

Representatives for Ezekiel Elliott have made clear their intention to fight the six-game suspension the NFL dealt to the Dallas Cowboys running back on Friday after a lengthy investigation concluded the 22-year-old violated the league’s personal conduct policy when he allegedly “engaged in physical violence” against an ex-girlfriend last summer.

“Mr. Elliott and his team of representatives are extremely disappointed with the NFL’s decision,” Elliott’s attorneys Frank Salzano and Scott Rosenblum wrote in a statement (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter). “The NFL’s findings are replete with factual inaccuracies and erroneous conclusions and it ‘cherry picks’ so-called evidence to support its conclusion while ignoring other critical evidence.”

Alonso spent Tuesday with a trip into the heart of NASCAR country, as he made a stop at the NASCAR preseason media days in Charlotte, North Carolina. NASCAR owns IMSA, the sanctioning body of the Rolex 24, and the two-time Formula One champion relished the chance to meet seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

One of those calls was a 3-pointer by Lou Williams in the left corner that got waved off when Montrezl Harrell was whistled for an offensive foul with the game tied 106-all.

“That hurt,” Griffin said.

But they lost it in a wild scramble on the floor before Griffin regained it only to get called for a double dribble.

“He was brought in as an agent of change,” said one person familiar with the league’s inner workings. “He has a young family. I don’t think he was prepared to commit four or five more years to doing this.”

Goodell wrote in a memo to teams’ chief executives and club presidents that Lockhart had informed him and Tod Leiweke, the NFL’s chief operating officer, of his intention to step aside.


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Playing short-handed, the Minnesota Timberwolves grew up a bit.

Andrew Wiggins scored a season-high 40 points and Jeff Teague added 30 to help them hang on for a 126-118 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night that snapped the Wolves’ four-game road skid.

Without injured Jimmy Butler and Jamal Crawford, the Timberwolves overcame 56 percent shooting by the Clippers and made 33 of 39 free throws — led by Teague’s 16 of 17 — to win for the seventh time in nine games.

“They are playing as well as anybody in the league, so to come in here and get a win, we did do a lot of good things,” Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We got great contributions from everybody.”

49ers: The deals with Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley give the new decision-making regime of General Manager John Lynch and Coach Kyle Shanahan a couple prospective placeholders at quarterback.

Jaguars: The Jaguars spent big money to bolster their defense. Sound familiar? At some point, it has to work. Doesn’t it? Thursday’s deals with defensive end Calais Campbell, cornerback A.J. Bouye and safety Barry Church come on the heels of last year’s signing of defensive end Malik Jackson. The Jaguars also have added plenty of young talent on defense through the draft. Maybe, just maybe, it all will come together at some point.

In November, Schnatter sparked outrage by blaming sagging sales at Papa John’s — a top NFL sponsor and advertiser — on the league’s “poor leadership” in response to the demonstrations during the national anthem.

He said the practice of players kneeling during the anthem to raise awareness of police brutality and social injustice hurt the NFL’s TV ratings, which in turn hurt sales of his pizza, which is advertised heavily during games.

“We do not want these individuals or groups to buy our pizza,” he said.

Ritchie, who told the Wall Street Journal that he was poised to eventually replace Schnatter when he was named company president in 2015, joined Papa John’s in 1996, making $6 an hour as a customer service representative, the company said.

He declined to specifically say whether the NFL controversy played a role in the timing of the transition, but told the Journal that “all of the PR things have been quite a distraction.”