It took two defensive stops that resulted in Dwayne Wade steals for the Chicago Bulls to break there two game losing streak beating the Sacramento Kings 102-99. The win improved the Bulls record to 22-23 on the season while the Kings dropped to 16-27 with the loss.

It was a tight first quarter as the biggest lead either team could get was four points which the Bulls did twice. The Bulls last four point lead was 19-15 with 1:45 left in the quarter, but the Kings scored six of the next eight points to tie the game at 21 all. Jimmy Butler completed a three point play to end the quarter and give the Bulls a 24-21 lead.

The Bulls scored the first five points of the second quarter to take a eight point lead at 29-21. Sacramento went on a 13 to 5 run to take the lead at 34-32. The game was tied six times through the rest of the quarter and neither team could get a lead bigger than four points. With the game tied at 52 all Jimmy Butler was fouled on a three point shot with :01 left. Butler made all three free throws to give the Bulls a 55-52 lead at halftime.

The Kings went to the lead in the 3rd quarter and built that lead to seven points at 70-63 with 5:39 left after DeMarcus Cousins hit a jump shot. The Bulls went on a 10 to 3 run to tie the game at 73 with 2:24 left in the quarter. After Jimmy Butler made a lay up to give the Bulls at two point lead at 75-73 with 1:40 left in the quarter the teams combined to miss the seven final shots of the quarter. So the Bulls took that 75-73 lead into the final quarter.

Sacramento was able to go right back to the lead at the start of the 4th quarter and after Ty Lawson hit a short jump shot the Kings had a five point lead at 82-77. The teams hit another stretch of no scoring as they combined to miss nine shots and two free throws before Dwayne Wade ended the drought by making the second of two free throws with 8:27 ;left to play. That free throw was the start of a 9 to 2 run that saw the Bulls tie the game at 86 all. The teams traded the lead five times down the stretch and when Dwayne Wade split another pair of free throws the Bulls had a one point lead 100-99 with :14 seconds left to play. The Kings went to DeMarcus Cousins to try and get the final shot, but Taj Gibson knocked the basketball away and Dwayne Wade dumped it off to Michael Carter-Williams for an easy lay up and a Bulls 102-99 win.

Dwayne Wade was the Bulls leading scorer with 30 points while Jimmy Butler added 23 points and handed out a game high 7 assists. Paul Zipser came off the Bulls bench to score 13 points while Nikola Mirotic; also off the Bulls bench added 10 points. Cristiano Felicio grabbed a team high 10 rebounds in just 15 minutes of action.

DeMarcus cousins was the only Sacaremento player to score in double figures and he had a game high 42 points as well as a game high 14 rebounds. Ty Lawson handed out a team high 6 assists for the Kings.

The Bulls get a couple of days off before they head to Orlando to face the 18-27 Magic on Tuesday night. This game was the second of an eight game road trip for the Kings. Sacramento gets a day off before they head to Detroit to face the 21-24 Pistons.

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Posted: January 21, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in sports
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The New York Knicks are 19-25 heading into tonight’s game against the Phoenix Suns. The Knicks are currently 11th in the Eastern Conference standings, but they’re just two games out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the conference. Now even if the Knicks did manage to get into that last Eastern Conference playoff spot I’m not sure they’d have much of a chance in a first round match up against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The last few weeks there’s been quite a bit of drama with the Knicks on what Carmelo Anthony’s future with the team should be. There was talk of trying to trade Anthony, but he has a no trade clause in his contract and would have to waive that before any move could be made. Yesterday Anthony said he would consider allowing the Knicks to trade him if that’s what management wanted to do. Any team acquiring Anthony in a deal would be adding quite a bit of money to there salary cap. Anthony is due $24,559,380 this season. In 2017-18 Anthony’s salary is $26,243,760.In the 2018-19 season Anthony has a salary of $27,298,140. While Anthony is still a solid scorer averaging 22.3 points per game. Is he worth the kind of money his contract calls for?

No surprise there are some teams names that continue to come up as trading partners for the Knicks if they decide to deal Anthony. The Los Angeles Clippers name has come up, but it seems as though any time a big name player is talked about in a deal the Clippers name comes up, but no deal ever happens. I can see why the Clippers are always brought up. They’re a bit of a stagnant team in a difficult conference and they don’t appear to be able to get past the Golden State Warriors with the way the team is composed. Of course to get a player the caliber of Anthony the Clippers would have to give up someone like Blake Griffin. Now Griffin has had some injury issues and some off the court problems; so a change of scenery might be a good thing for him. It would be interesting to see how Anthony would do in the higher scoring more uptempo Western Conference. Anthony has been seen as a guy who “pounds ” the ball while waiting to get his shot. Anthony is shooting 36% from behind the 3-point line this season and for his career shoots 34.5% from behind the 3-point line. While this is Anthony’s 14th season I the NBA he’s just 32 years old; so physically he should be in good shape for the Western Conference style. Would you like to see Anthony with the Clippers?

The other team that has been mentioned as of late in the Anthony trade talks are the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are being looked at as the up and coming team in the Eastern Conference and they don’t have a player over 30 years old. Could Anthony be the veteran player a team like the Celtics need to turn them into a title contender? Point guard Isaiah Thomas has broken out this season averaging 28.7 points per game, but is still averaging 6 assists per game; so sharing the basketball shouldn’t be an issue. Now Celtics starting shooting guard Avery Bradley has missed some games as of late with a Achilles issue. Anthony could plug in nicely as a fill in for Bradley as well as picking up minutes at small forward. The trade here could be interesting for the Knicks here. The Celtics own the rights to the Brooklyn Nets 1st round draft pick in the next draft. Brooklyn currently has the worst record in the NBA at 9-33; so not only is that pick going to be a lottery pick it should be in the Top 3 pick and has to be the #1 overall pick in the draft. That draft pick could help the Knicks get back on track, but then who are the players that would come over in an Anthony trade? What do you think about Boston as a landing spot for Anthony?

The Baltimore Orioles brought back baseball home run leader from last season Mark Trumbo on a 3 year deal worth $37.5 million dollars. The deal pays Trumbo $11 million dollars a season. Trumbo will also receive deferred money in the deal. He’ll be paid $1.5 million dollars in 2020,2021 and 2022. Trumbo also get s partial no trade clause. He’ll be able to block deals to seven teams.

While it’s not a huge surprise to see the Orioles bring Trumbo back the money came down from where contract talks started out. The original contract talks started at $50 million dollars in a total deal. By bringing Trumbo back the O’s will lose a chance to recoup a draft pick, as he had declined a qualifying offer from the team at the start of the offseason.

The Orioles acquired Trumbo along with left handed pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser from the Seattle Mariners for catcher Steve Clevenger in December of 2015. Trumbo went on to hit .256 with 47 home runs and 108 RBI’s in 159 games last season. Trumbo just turned 31 years old and if he can get close to the numbers he out up last season you have to think the Orioles will be happy with that.

We also had a couple of other pitchers sign this week. Neftali Feliz signed a one year $5.35 million dollar deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. With incentives Feliz’s deal could reach $6.85 million. Feliz pitched in 62 games last season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He went 4-2 with a 3.52 E.R.A. and had 29 holds and 2 saves last season.

The other pitcher to sign was Tyson Ross. Ross got a one year deal from the Texas Rangers for $6 million dollars. The deal also contains $3 million dollars in incentive clauses. Ross made just one start for the San Diego Padres last season and it just so happened to be Opening Day. Ross attempted to rehab his shoulder injury all season without success and  ultimately ended up undergoing surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome. After the Padres non-tendered Ross last month nearly two-third of the league showed some level of interest in him as a free agent, but in recent weeks it’s been reported that the Rangers and Chicago Cubs were his two likeliest landing spots, with the Washington Nationals also floating on the periphery of his market. If Ross is healthy for the start of the 2017 season he should be a good addition to the Rangers rotation.

There was another starting pitcher on the move this week as the Cincinnati Reds traded Dan Straily to the Miami Marlins for three minor leaguers. The Reds acquired two right handed pitcher Luis Castillo and Austin Brice as well as outfielder Isaiah White. Straily pitched in 34 games making 31 starts last season. He was 14-8 with a 3.76 E.R.A. in 191 1/3rd innings. Straily will be put into the mix for a spot in the Marlins starting rotation. Miami has also added Edison Volquez and Jeff Locke to try and strengthen there starting rotation.

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It looked as though the outcome of this game well in hand until the Bulls reserves made it close in the 4th quarter. It just wasn’t enough as the Bulls lost there second game in a row and fell to two games under .500 at 21-23. Atlanta picked up there 8th win in there last 10 games as they improved to 25-18 with there 102-93 win over Chicago.

The Bulls tried to stay close early in the quarter, but when you score only 13 points in the quarter you’re going to be in trouble. Jimmy Butler made a technical free throw with 2:41 left in the quarter for the Bulls 13th and final point of the 1st quarter. Atlanta was already ahead by 11 at that point and went on to add 11 more points to there lead. After just one quarter the Hawks where up 35-13.

Dwayne Wade hit a jumper with 10:02 left in the quarter to break the Bulls scoreless streak, but Atlanta scored 8 of the first 10 points in the 2nd quarter to push there lead to 28 points at 43-15. The biggest lead the Hawks had in the quarter was 30 points at 58-28, but had to settle for just a 29 point lead going into halftime ahead 65-36.

The 3rd quarter was actually a tightly played quarter between the two teams. Atlanta just outscored the Bulls by one point 22-21. Of course when you’re down 29 points at halftime a quarter like this is barely even a moral victory for the Bulls. The Bulls closed out the quarter scoring the last four points and found themselves down by 30 points 87-57 after three quarters.

The teams empty there benches in the 4th quarter as the game looked to be decided. Believe it or not the Bulls reserves went on a 33 to 8 run and the Atlanta lead was down to just five points at 95-90 with 1:08 left to play. The Hawks re-entered a couple of there starters back into the line up and the Bulls comeback came to an end. Atlanta finished the game on a 7 to 3 run to get the game to it’s 102-93 final.

Dennis Schroder was Atlanta’s and the games high scorer with 25 points. Schroder also handed out a game high 6 assists. Paul Milsap had 14 points, Dwight Howard scored 11 points and Thabo Sefolosha added 10 points for Atlanta. Kris Humphries tied Milsap for the game high in rebounds with 9.

Jimmy Butler was the Bulls leading scorer with 19 points. The only other Bulls starter to hit double figures was Robin Lopez with 10 points. Three Bulls came off the bench to score in double digits led by Jerian Grant with 12 points. Bobby Portis and Paul Zipser each scored 10 points while Portis also grabbed a team high 7 rebounds. Butler, Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo all tied for the team lead in assists with 3 apiece.

This was the start of a three game home stand for the Hawks and they don’t get a day off. Tomorrow (Saturday) night the Hawks face the 15-26 Philadelphia 76ers. The Bulls don’t get a day off either as they return home to host the 16-26 Sacramento Kings tomorrow night.

The baseball Hall of Fame added three new members yesterday. Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriquez will join the elite group of players in Cooperstown when they are inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame on July 30th.

I have no real issue with any of the players elected, but I will say that I’ve never been a Bagwell supporter. Bagwell got in on his 7th try while it took Raines the full 10 years to get elected. I have no idea why it took Raines so long to be elected, but he finally got in. Rodriquez was on the ballot for the first time in 2017. Rodriquez became the second catcher to be elected on his first ballot. The other was Johnny Bench.

I’d like to take a look at the players that didn’t get in. In his second year on the ballot Trevor Hoffman just missed getting in. Hoffman had 74% of the vote and missed getting in by five votes. With just a little bump he should find himself being inducted in 2018.

Vladimir Guerrero was on the ballot for the first time and also got very close to being elected. Guerrero got 71.7% of the vote and was just 15 votes short of getting in. Like Hoffman you think with a little bump next season Guerrero should be going in on the next ballot.

Edgar Martinez receiver his highest vote total since being on the ballot. In his 8th year Martinez got 58.6% of the vote and appeared on 259 ballots. Martinez has two year left on the ballot and you have to wonder if there’s enough time for Martinez to get the 73 votes needed to get into the Hall of Fame.

Interestingly in there 5th time on the ballot Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds made big jumps in the voting. Clemens went from 45.2% in 2016 to 54.1% yesterday while Bonds went from 44.3% in 2016 to 53.8% yesterday. No matter how you look at these two players it’s very clear that they both used performance enhancing drugs to help there game, but they continue to climb in the voting and have time to get elected. Now there’s no way I could ever support either of these guys, but with the crop of new voters now onboard it looks as though we’ll see Clemens and Bonds in the Hall of Fame eventually.

Rolling in 9th and 10th in the voting was Mike Mussina (51.8%) and Curt Schilling (45%). This was Mussina’s 4th year on the ballot and his vote total has increased every year. This was Schilling’s 5th year on the ballot, but his vote total dropped 7% from 2016 to 2017. Now I don’t buy either of these guys as Hall of Fame players. They where both very god and at times great, but neither of them sustained that greatness to the point where they should be in the Hall of Fame. With the path that Mussina is on it looks as though he’ll be voted in before his time on the ballot runs out. It was asked yesterday that if Schilling just kept his mouth shut would he be elected. It’s an interesting question as his vote total did drop this year and you have to wonder if voters will get back on board with him or if Schilling will say something else to turn more voters off.

Lee Smith was a hold over from the old rule and was in his 15th and final season on the ballot. Smith only received 34.2% of the vote and will now be moved to the old timers committee for consideration. Smith reached 50.6% back in 2012, but his totals dropped every year after that. Smith was a 7-time All-Star and won the at the time Rolaids Relief Man of the Year 3 times. Smith finished in the Top 10 of the Cy Young voting 4 times in his career. Smith led baseball in saves 4 times in his 18-year career. Smith was still a closer in the era when they had to pitch multiple innings to get a save and actually kind of led in to the specialization of the closers role. Being that Smith was a Chicago Cub for 8 seasons I always rooted for him to get in, but he just never got the support and I’m not sure the veteran’s committee will put him in.

Another first timer on the ballot was Manny Ramirez who received 23.8% of the vote. Ramirez is another interesting case as he has two failed drug tests on his record and part of the reason he retired was because he didn’t want to serve another suspension. Ramirez appeared on 105 ballots and I’d really like to know how these voters looked past not one, but two failed drug tests to vote for him. Ramirez has Hall of Fame numbers and if the new crop of voters decides that they don’t care if a player used a performance enhancing drug Ramirez has a very good chance to get into the Hall of Fame.

In his 7th year on the ballot Larry Walker got 21.9% of the vote. In his 8th year ion the ballot Fred McGriff got 21.7% of the vote. In his 4th year on the ballot Jeff Kent got 16.7% of the vote. While Walker and Kent each won an M.V.P. in there careers and McGriff was just 7 homers short of 500 I don’t think any of these three players will be getting into the Hall of Fame.

I need so much help understanding this next player and why his vote totals are so low. Gary Sheffield received just 13.3 % of the vote in his 3rd year on the ballot and it’s the first time his vote totals have went up. Sheffield is a 9-time All-Star, won a batting title and finished in the Top 10 of the M.V.P. voting seven times in his career. Sheffield is a career .292 hitter with 509 home runs and 253 steals. Sheffield did have some injury issues in his career, but he played in 22 seasons and 2576 career games. I have a difficult time understanding what a voter is looking at when they see Sheffield’s name on there ballot and don’t check it off. Sheffield was a better player than Walker, McGriff and Kent who finished just ahead of him in the voting and his career numbers are in line with what Ramirez did minus the failed drug tests. Take a look at how similar Sheffield’s numbers are to Vladimir Guerrero’s who looks like a sure bet to get elected next year. Sheffield is a Hall of Famer!

In his 2nd year on the ballot Billy Wagner receiver 10.2% of the vote. Wagner receiver 10.5% in 2016. I’m not sure Wagner will ever get the backing to get into the Hall of Fame, but he was a dominant closer for about an 8 year period. I’m not sure Hall of Fame voters know how to judge closers yet and with the new crop of voters being added it may change. I’m just not sure that Wagner will be on the ballot when that happens.

Another player that I’m not going to understand why his vote total is so low is Sammy Sosa. Sosa’s numbers jumped a little to 8.6%, but still far away from what he’d need to be elected. Now Sosa is someone who most if not all people believe took performance enhancing drugs, but he never failed a drug test and there was never the evidence brought against him like there was with Binds and Clemens. So why does Sosa struggle barely staying on the ballot while Bonds and Clemens have had a resurgence in there numbers? Sosa is still the only player on baseball history with three 60 home runs seasons. Think about that; not Hank Aaron, not Babe Ruth, not even Barry Bonds has three 60 plus home run seasons in his career. Sosa won an M.V.P. and has 609 career home runs, but yet he’s never receiver more than 12.5% of the vote for the Hall of Fame. Sosa has five more years on the ballot as long as he can stay above the 5% of the vote he needs to stay on the ballot. It’s a bit of a travesty that Bonds and Clemens have gained support while Sosa is still barely hanging on.

16 players didn’t receive the needed 5% percent to stay on the ballot. Jose Posada, Magglio Ordonez, Edgar Renteria, Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield, Corey Blake, Pat Burrell, Orlando Cabrera, Mike Cameron, J.D. Drew, Carlos Guillen, Derek Lee, Melvin Mora, Arthur Rhodes, Freddy Sanchez and Matt Stairs are the players who will come off the ballot.

There’s a quick recap of the Hall of Fame voting with some of my own opinion thrown in. I’d love to get your thoughts on the voting and who might or might not get into the Hall of Fame in the next few years.

The Dallas Mavericks picked up there 6th road win and there 14th win overall this season as they got by the Chicago Bulls 99-98 Tuesday night. The Mavericks are currently 12th in the Western Conference standings, but have managed to sweep the Bulls in the two games they played this season. Dwayne Wade did have a chance to win the game for the Bulls, but he missed a 21-foot jumper as time expired.

The Bulls got out of the gate quickly scoring the first seven points of the game. Dallas did comeback with an 18-10 run to take there first lead of the game at 18-17. A Robin Lopez jumper gave the lead right back to the Bulls and they held it the rest of the quarter. After the 1st quarter Chicago led 28-24.

The Mavericks fought back to tie the game at 31 all. The game was tied again at 33 all before the Mavericks where able to take control. Dallas built a nine point lead 46-37 with 5:46 left in the quarter, but the Bulls used a 8 to 1 run to cut the Mavericks lead to two points 47-45 with 2:31 left in the quarter. Chicago managed just two more points in the quarter and the Mavericks where able to pull out to a seven point lead at halftime 54-47.

At the start of the 3rd quarter the Mavericks got out to there biggest lead of the game after Harrison Barnes hit a jumper to give them a 13 point lead at 64-51. The Bulls used the rest of the quarter to chip away at the Dallas lead. While the Bulls never took the lead back they did cut the Dallas lead to just two points by the end of the quarter. Heading into the final quarter the  Mavericks had a 76-74 lead.

The game was tied five different times in the 4th quarter. There where five lead changes in the 4th quarter. The biggest lead Dallas had in the quarter was five pints while the biggest lead Chicago had was four points. Doug McDermott tied the game for the final time at 96 all when he hit a short jump shot with :59 seconds left. After a Dallas miss Jimmy Butler hit a jumper to put the Bulls ahead 98-96 with :22 seconds left. The Mavericks moved the ball down the floor and with :11 seconds left Wesley Matthews hit a 3-pointer to give Dallas the lead at 99-98. The Bulls used a time out to set up there final possession, but it ended in a Dwayne Wade miss as time expired.

All five Dallas starters scored in double figures led by Harrison Barnes with 20 points. Seth Curry had 18 points. Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews each had 11 points. Dirk Nowitzki posted a double-double with 10 points and a game high 10 rebounds. J.J. Barea came off the Dallas bench to add 12 points.

Jimmy Butler was the Bulls and the games high scorer with 24 points. Butler also handed out a game high 12 assists and just missed a tripe-double as he grabbed a team high 9 rebounds. Robin Lopez had 21 points while Dwayne Wade scored 17 points. Michael Carter-Williams was the other Bulls starter in double figures with 10 points.

This was the Mavericks 3rd win in a row. Dallas (14-27) will stay on the road as they take there three game winning streak to Miami for a Thursday night match up against the 12-30 Heat. The loss drops the Bulls back under .500 at 21-22. Chicago gets a couple of days off before they travel to Atlanta to face the 24-17 Hawks on Friday night.

 

Over last weekend the NFL held it’s divisional round of the playoffs. The Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers all advanced to the Conference championship games this Sunday. Green Bay is at Atlanta for the first game on Sunday with a scheduled kickoff time of 2:05 p.m. Pittsburgh is at New England in the later game which has a scheduled 5:40 p.m. Of course the winners of these games will move on to face each other in the Super Bowl.

So how did we do with our picks in the divisional round. Well Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy went 3-1 while Dan the Man and I ended up 2-2. For the playoffs Schaumburg Stu is 7-1, Mr. Fantasy and I are 6-2 while Dan the Man is 5-3. Let’s see how we do with the Conference championship games.

It seems as though if you wanted to get to this point in the NFL playoffs you needed a top quarterback. Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady are the four quarterbacks who have led there teams this far and they could be the best four quarterbacks on the NFL right now. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if Rodgers, Ryan or Brady takes home the M.V.P. trophy and Roethlisberger wasn’t that far off. Rodgers led the NFL in passing touchdowns with 40. Matt Ryan was 2nd with 38 while Roethlisberger was 6th with 29 and Brady was 7th with 28. Don’t forget that Brady missed the first four games of this season while Roethlisberger missed two games with an injury this season. In total QBR Ryan is #1 at 83.3 with Brady right behind him at 83.1. Rodgers was 4th at 76.9 while Roethlisberger finished 10th at 66.2. There are some people out there who are trying to push this group as the best four quarterbacks to ever play in the Conference championship. While these four are all very good quarterbacks I’m not going that far as making them the best. You have to figure that Brady and Rodgers are future Hall of Fame inductees and Roethlisberger isn’t too far off from making it. Ryan is the quarterback with something to prove. Ryan is the only one of these four quarterbacks that hasn’t won a Super Bowl. Without going back and breaking down every group of quarterbacks that made the Conference championship I’ll say that this is a good group, but not the best.

QBR stands for Total Quarterback rating. This stat was actually invented by ESPN to measure quarterback performance and it’s suppose to be a more meaningful alternative to passer rating.

On Monday night the Golden State Warriors blew out the Cleveland Cavaliers 126-91. For some reason the experts started making excuses for the Cavaliers loss. It’s an NBA regular season game; why do we need an excuse for why one team lost. Apparently since this was the last game of the Cavaliers road trip they where tired or whatever other excuse they want to use for them getting beat. This was the 6th game of that road trip for Cleveland that they ended up going 3-3 on, but they did have two full days off before the game with Golden State. I think that every NBA fan knows that barring some major upset in the playoffs we’re going to see these two teams meet for the 3rd time in the NBA Finals.

Now there was a little bit of an incident in this game. LeBron James was headed up court with the basketball and it looked as he was trying to lead the break. Draymond Green came from James’ right and fouled him hard. There was no doubt that this was a foul, but Green was accessed a Flagrant 1 foul and I don’t think it was that bad of a foul. James had one of the all time flops in NBA history. If you’re a fan of professional wrestling picture James going down like one of your favorite or not so favorite wrestler getting clotheslined. James laid face down at center court for a few minutes like he had been knocked out. I know the NBA has a policy in effect for players that flop, but I have a feeling that James won’t be one of the guys who gets fined for his flop.

On Monday night Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul sprained his left thumb in the 2nd quarter of the Clippers game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. X-rays on the thumb were negative, but an MRI on Tuesday revealed the torn ligament. On Wednesday Paul will undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. He is expected to be sidelined six to eight weeks. Paul was defending Russell Westbrook and sprained the thumb fighting over a screen set by Joffrey Lauvergne. The Clippers called a timeout shortly after, and Paul immediately walked off the court, kicking the bench as he exited. Paul could be seen on the TNT broadcast shaking his head at Clippers team trainer Jasen Powell as they walked through the players tunnel to the locker room.This is not the first time Paul has undergone a procedure on his thumb. He underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb during the 2012 offseason. Paul played part of the 2011-12 season and the 2012 Summer Olympics with the thumb wrapped in tape. The Clippers have been beset by injuries this season. Star forward Blake Griffin missed his 13th game Monday night as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery. Sharpshooter J. J. Reddick missed two games because of a sore left hamstring. And Paul missed seven games in a two-week span because of a strained left hamstring. Since the start of last season, the Clippers are just 3-9 in games without both Paul and Griffin. The Clippers are 29-14 and currently in 4th place in the Western Conference. The Clipper will play there first full game without Paul on Thursday night when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Today is the day that the baseball Hall of Fane announces if they will have any new members inducted this summer. In early voting returns it looked good for Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez, but there where still votes to be counted. It looks as though they’ll be making the announcement around 5:00 p.m. That’s Central time.

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Now I understand that I’m a Bulls game recap behind and hopefully you’ll forgive me. I was lucky enough or I guess in this case unlucky enough to get the flu that has been going around my work. Since I am behind instead of doing the recap like I always do I’m just going to give the top players stats and since there’s a Bulls game tonight we’ll pick up where we left off tomorrow.

Doug McDermott came off the Bulls bench to play 33 minutes and post a career high 31 points. Taj Gibson had 18 points while Jimmy Butler added 16 points. Gibson and Butler also tied for the team lead in rebounds with 8 while Butler handed out a team high 6 assists. Michael Carter-Williams had 14 points and Robin Lopez scored 12 points for the Bulls.

Memphis was led by Mike Conley with 28 points. Conley also handed out a game high 8 assists. Marc Gasol posted a double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds while JaMychal Green was the other Memphis starter scoring in double figures with 14 points. Zach Randolph had a double-double off the Grizzlies bench scoring 15 points and grabbing a game high 16 rebounds. Vince Carter added 10 pints off the Memphis bench.

With the win the Bulls got back to .500 at 21-21. Chicago will take the court tonight as they host the 13-27 Dallas Mavericks. With the loss the Grizzlies are 25-18 on the season. There next game is Wednesday night on the road against the 21-19 Washington Wizards.

Jimmy Butler returned from illness and Dwayne Wade scored 17 points in the 4th quarter as the Chicago Bulls beat the New Orleans Pelicans 107-99. The win ended Chicago’s three game losing streak and improved there record to 20-21 on the season. The loss ended the Pelicans two game winning streak and dropped them to 16-25 for the season.

Chicago got out to an early eight point lead at 14-6. The Pelicans got the lead down to four points at one time, but with 2:45 left in the quarter they found themselves back down by eight points at 21-13. New Orleans went on a 9-0 run to end the 1st quarter and when Tyreke Evans hit a lay up with :12 seconds left the Pelicans had a 22-21 at the end of the quarter.

Chicago went right back to the lead in the 2nd quarter and then started to build one. After a 20 to 8 run to start the quarter the Bulls had a 11 point lead at 41-30. The Pelicans where only able to cut the lead to seven points and they did that on two different occasions, but the Bulls where able to push the lead right back to double digits. The Bulls took a 10 point lead at the half 55-45.

The Bulls built the lead to 15 points at 66-51 with 6:30 left in the quarter. The Pelicans went on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to six points at 66-60. The Bulls where able to push the lead back to double digits at 73-62 before New Orleans made another run. New Orleans finished the quarter on a 9 to 4 run to make it a 77-71 game heading into the final quarter.

New Orleans continued cutting into the Bulls lead at the start of the 4th quarter. By scoring seven of the first eight points in the quarter the Pelicans where down by  just one point at 79-78. The teams traded hoops before the Bulls went on a 11 to 2 run to take a 91-82 lead. The closet New Orleans got after that was five points as the Bulls where able to hold them off for a 107-99 win.

In his return Jimmy Butler led the Bulls in scoring with 28 points and assists with 6. Dwayne Wade had 22 points while Taj Gibson scored 15 points and grabbed a game high 16 rebounds. Michael Carter-Williams had 11 points and Robin Lopez also pitched in 10 rebounds.

Anthony Davis was the games high scorer with 36 points and also grabbed 14 rebounds for the Pelicans. Solomon Hill was the only other New Orleans starter to score in double figures with 10 points. Former Bull E’Twaun Moore scored 16 points off the New Orleans bench. Moore went 4 of 5 from behind the 3-point line in the game. Tyreke Evans also scored double figures off the Pelicans bench with 14 points.

This was the first game of another back to back for the Bulls. They’re on the road tomorrow night against the 25-17 Memphis Grizzlies. New Orleans gets a day off before heading to Indiana to play the 20-19 Pacers in a Monday afternoon game.

 

The Divisional round of the NFL playoffs kicks off today with two games. The other two games are Sunday. Just like last week I’m going to put your Saturday picks in here to keep us honest. Mr. Fantasy and I will let you know who we’re all going with on Sunday’s podcast. The first game has the Seattle Seahawks at the Atlanta Falcons. We are split on this game as Mr. Fantasy and Schaumburg Stu are going with the Falcons and Dan the Man and I are taking the Seahawks. The second game today has the Houston Texans at the New England Patriots. This was the only game this weekend we all agreed on and no surprise we all picked the Patriots to win this one.

Because of the weather in the Kansas City area the NFL adjusted the Sunday schedule to try and make travel safer for everyone getting to and from the game. The Pittsburgh Steelers at the Kansas City Chiefs game was originally scheduled to kickoff at 12:05 p.m. but with the weather situation in the area the game has been moved to a 7:20 p.m. kickoff time. The other game on Sunday hasn’t been moved. It’s still a 3:40 p.m. kickoff time for the Green Bay Packers at the Dallas Cowboys.

Back in Week 6 the Seahawks beat the Falcons 26-24 in Seattle. Atlanta was driving at the end of the game and with the clock running down Matt Ryan tried to hit Julio Jones with a long pass down the middle of the field. It appeared as though Richard Sherman interfered with Jones on the play, but there was no penalty called. What I’m trying to figure out is why everyone thinks that if pass interference would’ve been called on that play that Atlanta would’ve won it. Even if the penalty had been called the football would’ve been at the Seattle 35 yard line. Now that means it would’ve been a 52 yard field goal that Matt Bryant would’ve needed to make for the Falcons to win the game. What I’m not understanding is why everyone thinks that a 52 yard field goal is a gimme and that Atlanta would win. Bryant is a very good kicker. He made 34 of 37 field goal attempts with a long of 59 yards, but two of his three misses on the season where from 50+ yards. Bryant also missed one extra point this season. Apparently the first game between these two teams featured the only missed call by a referee in the NFL this season and then a guarantee that a kicker would make a 52 yard field goal. I can’t be the only one who thinks this is ridiculous.

The Patriots/Texans game is also a rematch from the regular season. In Week 3 the Patriots beat the Texans 27-0 in New England. Since this game was back in Week 3 Tom Brady was suspended and Jimmy Garoppolo was injured; so that means Jacoby Brissett was the Patriots quarterback for the game. Now neither team is the same as they where back in Week 3, but New England is favorite by 15 1/2 to 17 points in the betting lines. That’s a very big point spread for a playoff game. Brock Osweiler started the game in Week 3 and he’ll be under center for Houston tonight. Osweiler went 24 of 41 for 196 yards with an interception in Week 3. Lamar Miller ran for 80 yards on 21 carries in that game and Ryan Griffin caught 8 passes for the Texans. Houston is also coming into this game with the #1 ranked defense in the NFL. Now back in Week 14 the Patriots faced the #1 defense of the Baltimore Ravens. Tom Brady threw for 406 yards against that defense as New England won 30-23. We’ll have to see if we get a good game or if we get the big win that the odds are predicting.

There was a marquee match up in the NHL last night as the Washington capitals hosted the Chicago Blackhawks. Both teams had 59 points coming into the game, but you wouldn’t know that by the way the game went. Washington totally embarrassed Chicago skating to a very easy 6-0 win. The Capitals put the game away very early as they scored three goals in the 1st period. Jay Beagle started the scoring for Washington with his 7th goal of the year. :13 seconds later Nicholas Backstrom made it 2-0 with his 12th goal of the season. Brett Connolly picked up his 6th goal of the season to make to score 3-0 with just under three minutes left in the 1st period. The Blackhawks managed to hold the Capitals to just one goal in the 2nd period. Tom Wilson scored for Washington with three minutes left in the period. It was Wilson 3rd goal of the season putting Washington up 4-0 after two periods. T.J. Oshie scored his 12th goal of the game just about eight minutes in to the 3rd period to make the score 5-0. Beagle then picked up his 2nd goal of the night and his 8th on the season with about 1:30 left to play.

Braden Holtby made 24 saves to post his league leading 6th shutout. With the shoutout Holtby’s Goals Against Average dropped to 1.85 for the season. All-Star Corey Crawford was a joke in goal for the Blackhawks as he allowed 5 goals on 30 shots. Even the Blackhawks back up goaltender Scott Darling found a way to give up a goal as he was beaten 1 time out of the 4 shots he faced.

It would be great if Blackhawks fans could say that the team was just looking ahead to there game against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, but I don’t think that was the case. Now Minnesota is just two points behind the Blackhawks in the Central division standings of the Western Conference and if Minnesota wins there game tonight against the Dallas Stars the teams each have 59 points when they met on Sunday.

The NBA regular season is just about halfway over and Russell Westbrook just picked up his 19th triple-double of the season. Westbrook had 21 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds, but also had 10 turnovers as the Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves 96-86 last night. Westbrook had a rough shooting night going 7 of 23 in the game and just 1 of 10 from behind the 3-point line.

According to records; Westbrook is the only player since 1973-74 to record multiple triple-doubles with at least 10 turnovers in a single season.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com but you can also listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

While Dwayne Wade did return to the Chicago Bulls for Thursday nights game against the New York Knicks the Bulls where still very short handed. Leading scorer Jimmy Butler and top bench player or 6th man Nikola Mirotic missed there 2nd game in a row due to illness. Neither Butler or Mirotic is traveling with the team. With a couple of there top players out the Bulls suffered another double digit 104-89 to the Knicks. This was the Bulls 3rd loss in a row and dropped there record to 19-21 on the season. With the win the Knicks ended there three game losing streak and improved there record to 18-22 this season.

The Knicks scored the first eight points of the game; taking an 8-0 lead. The Bulls came back to cut the lead to one point at 13-12, but the Knicks scored the next seven points to push the lead back to seven points at 19-12. The Bulls cut the lead to one point again at 22-21 with 1:02 left in the quarter, but the Knicks scored the last two of the last three points in the quarter to take a 24-22 lead after one quarter.

Cristiano Felicio started the 2nd quarter with a dunk for the Bulls to tie the game at 24 all. The Knicks then went on a 10-2 run to take an eight point lead at 34-26. The short handed Bulls responded and when Paul Zipser made two free throws to complete a 10-0 Bulls run; Chicago had there first lead of the game at 36-34. The game was tied two more times in the quarter at 36 all and 42 all. The teams traded the lead seven times in the final 3:40 of the quarter, but going into the halftime it was the Knicks that took a 54-51 lead headed into the locker room.

With this being the second game of a back to back for New York and Chicago being short handed the teams struggled to score in the 3rd quarter. The Bulls managed just 14 points. While New York didn’t do much better just scoring 22 points in the quarter. Of course by outscoring the Bulls in the quarter the Knicks where able to add to there lead and at the end of three quarters New York was ahead by 12 points 76-65.

The closet the Bulls could get in the 4th quarter was 10 points and they did that five different times. The last time the Bulls cut the lead to 10 points was with 1:36 left in the game. The Knicks outscored the Bulls in the 4th quarter as well 28 to 24. The Knicks scored the final five points of the game capped off by a Mindaugas Kuzminskas 3-pointer with :20 seconds left in the game. That final 3-pointer got the game to it’s 104-89 final score.

Carmelo Anthony was the Knicks and the games high scorer with 23 points. Anthony also handed out a team high 6 assists. Mindaugas Kuzminskas came of the New York bench to score 19 points while Derrick Rose had 17 points against his former team. Kyle O’Quinn (off the bench) and another former Bull Joakim Noah each scored 12 points while Noah grabbed a game high 15 rebounds while O’Quinn grabbed 11 rebounds.

Dwayne Wade was the Bulls leading scorer with 22 points. Jerian Grant had 14 points off the Bulls bench while Cristiano Felicio also hit double digits off the Bulls bench with 13 points. Taj Gibson had 12 points and a team high 9 rebounds while Robin Lopez added 10 points. Rajon Rondo was the games leader in assists with 8.

The Bulls return home to try and break there three game losing streak Saturday afternoon against the 16-24 New Orleans Pelicans. Anthony Davis missed Thursday nights Pelicans game with a hip injury. Davis’s status for Saturday’s game is still unknown. After back to back games the Knicks get a couple of days off. They head to Toronto on Sunday afternoon to face the Atlantic leading 25-13 Raptors.