Hawks, Darling blank Coyotes 4-0.

Marian Hossa was back on top of his game and the Blackhawks got back in control of theirs.Hossa had two goals, Scott Darling made 22 saves and the tight-checking Blackhawks beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-0 on Tuesday night to snap a two-game slide.Artem Anisimov and Dennis Rasmussen also scored to help the Hawks maintain a three-point lead over St. Louis in the Central Division.The 37-year-old Hossa scored his team-leading 13th and 14th goals in his 27th game – surpassing his total of 13 last season in 64 contests.

”I feel more recharged, and with the puck going in, you feel more confident,” Hossa said. ”But I try not to be just a goal scorer. I try to play both ways and even if I don’t score in a bunch of games, I try to make some plays for the team.”

And the Blackhawks turned in one of their better defensive and puck management efforts this season, according to coach Joel Quenneville.

”I like what we gave up tonight – not much,” Quenneville said. ”When we check well and don’t play much in our own end, we generally play well and we have the puck a lot more. Tonight was a good step.”

Darling made a handful of tough stops but wasn’t heavily tested in his first shutout this season and third of his career. He started his third straight game in place of No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford, who had an appendectomy in Philadelphia on Saturday.

”I can’t remember one extremely good Grade-A chance that we gave up,” Darling said. ”The guys were great, the D were great, the forwards were great on defense.It feels good, especially that one. It was a team shutout.”

Mike Smith blocked 23 shots as the Coyotes lost their fifth straight and completed a quick road trip, playing their second game in two nights. Arizona lost 4-1 on Monday night at Columbus with Louis Domingue in goal in the second contest of a home-and-home set with the Blue Jackets.

”Playing in back-to-back games, we did not have the energy we needed to get back into the game,” coach Dave Tippett said. ”We do not make enough plays to get anything done, whether it is defensively or offensively.”

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews sat out his seventh straight game with an upper-body injury. Quenneville said earlier on Tuesday he hopes Toews will rejoin the Blackhawks when they travel to New York next week to face the Rangers and Islanders.Brent Seabrook left with an injury with 6:38 left in the second period following a hit from Jordan Martinook that threw him awkwardly against the boards.

”We’ll see how is he is tomorrow,” Quenneville said.

Anisimov’s power-play tip-in from the edge of the crease with 4:23 left in the first period opened the scoring. He was set up by Patrick Kane’s pinpoint feed from the lower right corner and deflected the puck just under Smith’s pads.Barely a minute after Darling made a point-blank save on Tobias Rieder, Hossa and Rasmussen struck for goals 19 seconds apart early in the second to boost the lead to 3-0.

”It was the turning point of the game for sure,” Tippett said. ”As the game went on, our energy wasn’t there.”

Hossa flashed his skill to complete a 2-on-1 with Ryan Hartman at 6:26 that made it 2-0. Hossa controlled Hartman’s cross-ice pass with his right skate, kicked it to his stick and then stuffed a shot under Smith’s glove from the edge of the crease.Smith stopped Richard Panik from the doorstep moments later, but Panik jumped on the rebound behind the net and shoveled it in front to Rasmussen.Hossa completed the scoring by converting a breakaway with 3:16 left. He beat Smith with a wrist shot on the stick side after being sent in by Niklas Hjalmarsson’s pass.

NOTES—Referee Gord Dwyer left after the first period with an illness. … Crawford, expected to miss two to three weeks, has begun off-ice exercises. … Arizona entered having allowed a league-high 850 shots. … Trevor van Riemsdyk played in his second contest since being activated from IR last Friday and missing 20 games. He skated at Philadelphia on Saturday, but sat out Sunday against Winnipeg. … Michal Kempny and Michal Rozsival were healthy scratches, as were Arizona C Tyler Gaudet and D Kevin Connauton…..Blackhawks host the New York Rangers on Friday night.

Bulls troubles with Pistons continue.

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

AUBURN HILLS—In the long run, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson are going to be the most important players on the Detroit roster.Tuesday, though, they were spectators.Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy went with his bench in the fourth quarter against the Bulls, and they outscored the Visitors 31-19 to pull out a 102-91 victory.

”It’s tough for guys like Andre and Reggie to have to watch a close game down the stretch, because they want to be out there,” Van Gundy said. ”Marcus (Morris), too, but the bench guys were doing such a good job that I couldn’t take them off the floor.”

Tobias Harris, who led Detroit with 22 points, was the only Pistons starter to get his usual playing time in the final 12 minutes. He was joined by Ish Smith, Darrun Hilliard, Aron Baynes and Jon Leuer.

”Tobias was scoring and Ish got us 10 assists, but it was mostly great defense,” Van Gundy said. ”That group took the game away from the Bulls.”

Drummond added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons, who won for the fourth time in five games.Jimmy Butler scored 32 points and Dwyane Wade added 19 points and seven assists for the Bulls, who lost their third straight. They were playing their fourth game in five nights and struggled in the fourth quarter.

”We battled back from a 17-point deficit and took the lead into the fourth,” Fred Hoiberg said. ”That just takes so much energy out of you. We have to stop digging holes for ourselves.”

Drummond dominated early, scoring 10 points on three dunks and two tips. Even when he went to the bench with foul trouble, the Pistons put together an 11-0 run to lead 36-21 early in the second quarter.Rajon Rondo had 10 points in his return to the lineup.Detroit maintained a double-digit lead for most of the second period, but the Bulls rallied after Jackson picked up his third foul. The Pistons were ahead 51-44 at the half, thanks to a 16-6 edge on points off turnovers. Drummond had 14 in the half, while Butler had 16 for the Bulls.The Bulls were within 51-50 in the first two minutes of the third, and took a 72-71 lead into the fourth. Butler and Taj Gibson both had eight points in the period, while Drummond didn’t score for Detroit.Hillard’s 3-pointer capped Detroit’s 12-3 run to start the fourth, giving the Pistons an 83-75 lead with 7:28 to play.

”We had things rolling and Coach let us keep going,” Leuer said. ”You appreciate that as a player, if you get it going and you are allowed to ride it out.”

The Pistons pulled away down the stretch against the weary Bulls.

”We’ve just got to win a couple games,” Butler said. ”When we do that, everything will be fine and dandy again.”

Rondo missed Monday’s loss to Portland due to a team suspension.Due to his foul problems, Jackson only played 10 minutes in the first half. He’s still on limited minutes after missing the season’s first 21 games with knee tendinitis, and played eight minutes in the second half. Ish Smith played the entire fourth quarter.Leuer, normally Detroit’s sixth man, only played seven minutes in the first half, and Van Gundy blamed himself. ”I was trying to keep Tobias away from Jimmy Butler and screwed up my rotation. As it turned out, it didn’t matter who guarded Jimmy, but we should never have a half where Jon only plays seven minutes.”

The Bulls visit the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.

Illini stay hot, with win over IUPUI

Illinois Fighting Illini (2004 - 2013)

CHAMPAIGN—Malcolm Hill made sure Illinois didn’t repeat past mistakes in the final minutes of the team’s 85-77 win over IUPUI on Tuesday night.When the Jaguars’ Darell Combs banked in a 3-point shot with 2:24 left in the game, Hill had a flashback to Illinois’ 84-80 loss to Winthrop. Hill took charge and scored 32 points – 23 in the second half – to help the Illini hold off the Jaguars.

”Put the ball in his hands,” Tracy Abrams said. ”He’s a great player, one of the best in the country, and we have to give him the ball.”

Illinois (7-3) shot 55 percent from the field and 7 of 16 from 3-point range.The Illini opened with a 10-0 run but committed eight turnovers, allowing IUPUI to rally to a 42-41 halftime lead.Mike Thorne Jr. hit a jumper, Hill dunked and Illinois pulled ahead in the second half by shooting 60 percent from the field.Leron Black scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds. He was a presence throughout the game, including a key rebound with 23 seconds left, despite battling foul trouble.Although Illinois won, coach John Groce said he wasn’t pleased with his team’s effort.

”I feel fortunate we were able to get out of there with a win,” Groce said. ”We didn’t have the same edge we have on Saturday . we made too many mistakes.”

Matt O’Leary led IUPUI (3-6) with 25 points, shooting 7 of 15 from the field and 4 of 9 from beyond the arc.The Jaguars also kept the battle at the board close, losing 29-28.CIUPUI coach Jason Gardner said he wasn’t happy with the end result but was proud of the way his team fought back after falling to a 10-0 Illini start.

”We gave ourselves a chance to be right there,” Gardner said. ”You never want to be excited about losses, but I think it’s one of those deals where I was pleased with their performance and how they played tonight.”

The Illini have rebounded well after a week where they went 0-3. If Illinois can win out the rest of its nonconference schedule – Central Michigan, BYU and Missouri – the team will be in good shape heading into Big Ten play.The Jaguars will try to salvage a difficult road trip. They face a few challenging games, including one against Northwestern, before returning to equal competition.D.J. Williams played eight minutes and scored five points off the bench. The sophomore has recently found it hard to get some playing time, but he provided some energy when the Illini lacked some.Mike Thorne brought in an offensive rebound and was fouled when he scored on a layup with 5:22 left in the game and the score tied at 68. He made the free throw and the Illini followed that up with a Hill breakaway layup to take a 73-68 lead.

”Every good team has that one crazy person and (Leron Black) is our crazy person.” Malcolm Hill.

The fighting Illini have the next few days off before entering the final stretch of their nonconference season when they play Central Michigan on Saturday afternoon.

Bulls go cold in fourth quarter, lose to Blazers 112-110, Rondo Suspended for this game

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

Damian Lillard had 30 points and seven assists, CJ McCollum scored 24 and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Bulls 112-110 on Monday night for their third consecutive victory.Allen Crabbe added 17 points for Portland, which opened a five-game trip with its fourth win in five games. Maurice Harkless had 11 and Evan Turner finished with 10, providing a nice boost in the fourth quarter.Dwyane Wade scored 34 points for the Bulls, and Jimmy Butler finished with 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Robin Lopez had seven points and 14 rebounds.TheBulls played without point guard Rajon Rondo, suspended one game for conduct detrimental to the team. There was no public indication from the Bulls on what triggered Rondo’s suspension. He is expected to return Tuesday night in Detroit.

”We’ve moved past it. It’s something where we’re not going to talk about the details of it,” coach Fred Hoiberg said.

Portland trailed 93-92 before Ed Davis converted a driving layup with 8:19 left, sparking an 11-0 run for the Trail Blazers. Turner made three straight jumpers and Lillard connected from long range to make it 103-93 with 5:55 left.The Bulls closed to 108-105 on Nikola Mirotic’s two foul shots with 1:56 remaining, but Lillard made four free throws in the final seconds to help Portland hold on.Mirotic finished with 18 points and seven rebounds for the Bulls, who have dropped three of four. Isaiah Canaan had 10 points.Lillard scored 17 to help Portland to a 65-57 halftime lead. The Trail Blazers shot 55 percent in the first half, but the Bulls turned it up on defense to get back in the game in the third quarter.Mirotic capped an 18-4 run with two foul shots, giving the Bulls a 75-70 lead with 5:44 left. The Bulls had an 87-83 advantage before McCollum made a 3-pointer in the final second of the period, trimming the lead to one heading into the final quarter.


NOTES—Wade got his fourth assist in the fourth quarter to reach 5,000 for his career. … F Doug McDermott practiced with the Windy City Bulls after he was assigned to the D-League for conditioning. McDermott hasn’t played since Nov. 11 due to a concussion. ”Hopefully he has another good day tomorrow and we’ll see what happens with Thursday,” Hoiberg said. … G Michael Carter-Williams, who has been sidelined since Oct. 31 with left wrist and left knee injuries, also could head to the D-League soon. Hoiberg said he thinks Carter-Williams is going to be re-evaluated Tuesday…..The Bulls visit Detroit on Tuesday night for their first game of the season against the Pistons. The Bulls dropped three of four to Detroit last season.

Bears beat Foney Niners for third win

Jordan Howard ran for 117 yards and a career-high three touchdowns and the Bears handed San Francisco its 11th straight loss, beating the 49ers 26-6 on a snowy Sunday.The 49ers (1-11) extended their franchise-record losing streak and set a club low with 6 yards net passing on a day when Colin Kaepernick got lifted for Blaine Gabbert.The Bears (3-9) finished with a season high in points and picked up a rare win in a matchup between two of the NFL’s worst teams.Matt Barkley, making his second start with Jay Cutler sidelined by a season-ending shoulder injury, went nearly the entire first half without a completion.But he led a touchdown drive near the end of the second quarter and finished 11 of 18 for 192 yards.Howard, who came in with two rushing touchdowns, scored on a 1-yard run near the end of the first half.A fifth-round draft pick from Indiana, he added a 2-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the third and a 5-yard run midway through the quarter.Howard’s three rush TDs are tied for the second-most by a Bears rookie in a game.Kaepernick completed just 1 of 5 passes for 4 yards and was sacked five times. He also ran for 20 yards on six attempts before Gabbert replaced him in the fourth quarter.Gabbert was 4 of 10 for 35 yards and sacked for a safety near the end of the game.Carlos Hyde ran for 92 yards, but the 49ers remained winless since they shut out Los Angeles in the season opener.The Bears led 7-6 after a first half that was ugly.Neither team completed a pass in the first quarter – something that hadn’t happened in an NFL game since the Jets and Patriots did it on Nov. 13, 1988.San Francisco had minus-14 yards passing in the half and didn’t get a completion until Kaepernick connected with Vance McDonald on a 4-yarder midway through the second quarter.Barkley went almost the entire half without one before completing four for 64 yards on a touchdown drive that gave the Bears a 7-6 lead.He finally hit Deonte Thompson with a short pass with 1:43 remaining. Two completions to Cameron Meredith – a 28-yarder and 17-yarder – put the ball on the San Francisco 12. And Howard ran it in from the 1 to give Chicago a 7-6 lead with 31 seconds left after Tramaine Brock got flagged for pass interference against Daniel Brown in the end zone.

NOTES—Bears LB Leonard Floyd was back in the lineup after missing a game because of a concussion. the Bears first-round draft pick, Floyd left the field on a stretcher following a scary collision with teammate Akiem Hicks trying to make a tackle in a loss at the New York Giants two weeks ago. … LG Josh Sitton was active but did not start after missing a game because of a right ankle injury. … WR Alshon Jeffery served the third game of a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancers, while LB Jerrell Freeman served his second game….The Bears visit Detroit on Sunday.

Hawks scoring slump continues with 2-1 loss to Jets

Barely 2 minutes after narrowly missing a goal that could have put the game away, Andrew Copp came right back and scored an even bigger one.Copp got the tiebreaking goal with 4:45 left, Bryan Little scored his third in three games and the Winnipeg Jets edged the Blackhawks 2-1 on Sunday night.Copp beat Scott Darling stick side with a shot from the right circle that slipped just inside the left post and gave Winnipeg its second consecutive victory and fourth in five games.Artemi Panarin scored with 6:54 remaining to tie it at 1, moments after Copp hit the crossbar.

”I was lucky to redeem myself,” he said. ”It felt really good to respond in that manner.”

Panarin spoiled Connor Hellebuyck’s bid for a second shutout against the Hawks in less than a month when he completed a give-and-go with Patrick Kane and beat Hellebuyck on the glove side.Hellebuyck finished with 25 saves and outdueled Darling, who started his second straight game for the Blackhawks in place of No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford. Darling made 30 saves, including three on breakaways.Hellebuyck preserved the lead at the end with six saves during a final Hawk flurry. That included a point-blank stop on Marian Hossa with seconds left after Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba got a double-minor for high-sticking with 2:49 remaining and the Blackhawks pulled Darling for an extra skater.Hellebuyck made 27 saves in the Jets’ 4-0 win over the Blackhawks on Nov. 15 in Winnipeg.Little’s power-play goal with 43.4 seconds left in the second period was his fourth point in four games since missing 23 with an injury.Crawford underwent an emergency appendectomy in Philadelphia on Saturday and is expected to miss two to three weeks. Lars Johansson, recalled earlier Sunday from Rockford of the American Hockey League, was Darling’s backup.

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews sat out his sixth straight game with an upper-body injury that coach Joel Quenneville said is ”not getting better.” Quenneville said Toews skated briefly Sunday morning, but he plans to ”keep him off the ice for a few days and get a better assessment in the middle of the week or so.”

The Hawks offense is sputtering without Toews. The team has totaled two goals while losing back-to-back games.

”You lose a key guy who does so much for you,” Quenneville said. ”We didn’t generate much tonight. It was just one of those games where they came in our building … and shut us down.”

Darling was solid, just not good enough.

”We’re definitely not generating the chance we want to be,” he said. ”Getting inside, making it tough on the other goalies. So we’ve got to figure out a way to do that.”

NOTES—Winnipeg’s leading scorer, center Mark Scheifele, missed his second consecutive game with a lower-body injury. Scheifele has 13 goals and 13 assists in 26 games. … Crawford returned with the Blackhawks following their 3-1 loss at Philadelphia on Saturday after his appendectomy earlier in the day. … The 29-year-old Johansson backstopped Frolunda HC to a Swedish championship in 2016 and is playing his first season in North America. To make roster room for him, the Blackhawks assigned 20-year-old rookie forward Nick Schmaltz to Rockford. … Blackhawks D Trevor van Riemsdyk, activated from injured reserve on Friday, didn’t dress. Fellow defenseman Michal Rozsival was a healthy scratch. …The Blackhawks host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.

Cats clobber Demons, Lindsey Waldo Fisher-Frank McGrath MVP

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

Image may contain: 2 people , basketball court and stadium

EVANSTON—Northwestern coach Chris Collins loved the way his team played in the first half Saturday against DePaul.The Wildcats were efficient on offense as they raced out to a big lead.He wasn’t so fond of the ending.Northwestern built a 36-point halftime lead before DePaul outscored the Wildcats 46-26 in a foul-ridden second half as reserves took the court.

”The ball was moving. We were sharing it. With the score, we did not play as well in the second half,” Collins said. ”Give DePaul credit. A lot of it had to do with them. They kept fighting.”

Scottie Lindsey scored 19 points and Vic Law had 16 as Northwestern beat DePaul 80-64.Gavin Skelly added 15 points and Sanjay Lumpkin had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats (6-2), who have won three straight.Derrick Wood scored 15 points and Joe Hanel and Billy Garrett Jr. added 11 apiece for DePaul, which saw its three-game winning streak end. The Blue Demons (4-2) shot just 33 percent from the field and went 2 for 20 from beyond the arc.

”Severe disappointment,” DePaul coach Dave Leitao said. ”Our performance today, I have to go back a long way to be a part of a first half like that.”

The Wildcats had little trouble despite losing their starting center earlier in the week. Freshman Barret Benson started in place of Dererk Pardon, who is expected to be sidelined for the rest of the non-conference schedule after undergoing surgery on his non-shooting hand. Pardon, who averages 6.9 points and 7.0 rebounds, was injured Monday in a victory over Wake Forest.Benson had five points in foul trouble in his first career start.

”He did a great job. Dererk’s going to be out for a while,” Collins said. ”We’re going to need him to continue to progress in his role.”

Skelly also helped inside and was 5 of 7 from the field.Northwestern led 54-18 at halftime after shooting 54 percent from the field to DePaul’s 24 percent. Lindsey led all scorers with 16 points and was 4 of 5 from beyond the arc for the Wildcats, who led by as much as 39.The Wildcats opened the game with a 32-8 lead before Hanel’s layup ended a 25-2 Wildcats run.Lindsey won the WALDO FISHER-FRANK MCGRATH AWARD as the game’s MVP.

”They’re only a couple plays away from being undefeated, and they play like that,” Leitao said.

NU continues solid non-conference play as it aims for its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament after winning a school-record 20 games last season. The Wildcats upset then-No. 22 Texas on Nov. 21, and their two losses were by a combined six points to No. 18 Butler and Notre Dame.DePaul, which went 9-22 last season, lost its first road game after edging Missouri State and Drake by two points apiece.

”It makes us harder to guard because we have so many different guys that can put the ball in the hoop,” Lindsey said of Northwestern’s balanced offense.

Northwestern made 19 baskets and had 18 assists in the first half.DePaul hosts Lamar on Tuesday,Northwestern faces New Orleans on Dec. 11.

Illini start slow, then dominate VCU in Miami

Illinois Fighting Illini (2004 - 2013)Image result for HoopHall Miami Invitational logo

MIAMI—Thanks to a dose of defense, Illinois’ recent turnaround gained momentum Saturday.The Illini held Virginia Commonwealth to 30-percent shooting and won 64-46 in the HoopHall Miami Invitational.The win was the second in a row for Illinois (6-3) after a pair of losses to ranked teams, including a thumping by 32 points from West Virginia.

”I’m proud of our guys for the way they responded from where we were at last week,” coach John Groce said. ”I love the fact that our staff, our support staff, our players said, `Let’s get this stuff fixed. Let’s come up with solutions.’ We fixed a couple of things and we played better this week. We took steps in the right direction.”

Illinois sophomore Leron Black tied a career-high with 18 points, added eight rebounds and was chosen the game’s most valuable player. Malcolm Hill had 16 points, five assists and two steals, and Jalen Coleman-Lands scored 12 points.VCU (6-2), which was off to its best start since 1993, had a three-game winning streak snapped.

”We just got hammered,” coach Will Wade said. ”We weren’t ready to play. We got beat in every hustle category. It’s on me. I didn’t have us prepared to play. It’s embarrassing as I’ve ever been in four years coaching a team.

”We were crying and moaning. … We were just awful.”

The Rams shot a season-low 16 for 53, including 2 for 18 (11 percent) from 3-point range. Things got worse at the end, when Illinois outscored VCU 14-3 in the final 4:20.

”We finished so well because we defended so well,” Black said. ”As our defense goes, so does our offense. We wanted to keep them uncomfortable.”

JeQuan Lewis, averaging a team-high 15.7 points, was held to three points and shot 1 for 7 from 3-point range. He limped out of the game with a right ankle injury, and although he returned, he played only 21 minutes.

”I don’t think it certainly helped when he hurt his ankle,” Wade said.

Mo Alie-Cox led the Rams with 10 points. They came in shooting 50 percent this season and had scored at least 63 points in every game.The Illini missed 10 of their first 11 shots while falling behind 11-4.

”We weren’t making shots at the beginning, but we were aggressive,” Black said. ”We kept competing. We knew we couldn’t put our heads down. We kept fighting.”

A 9-0 run put them ahead 22-14, and they led the rest of the way, although VCU scored 11 consecutive points to cut the margin to 35-34 early in the second half.

”I like the response we had to the second-half run by VCU,” Groce said. ”They really popped us in the mouth. We just had a great response by the team. Our guys exhibited some of the toughness that we want.”

Hill, who came into the game shooting 43 percent from 3-point range, improved that by going 2 for 3.The Illini won with defense for a change. They scored at least 79 points in their five previous wins, and had allowed at least 62 points in every game.

”This win shows what kind of team we are,” Hill said.

The Illini return home to play IUPUI on Tuesday.

Wade rests, Bulls crushed by lowly Mavs

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

DALLAS—Wesley Matthews has taken greater responsibility with Dirk Nowitzki out of the Dallas Mavericks’ lineup much of this season.Matthews scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half of Dallas’ 107-82 victory over the Bulls on Saturday night.

”Matthews was the star of the game, obviously,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. ”He is our leader right now with Dirk out. He really sets the tone for us in the locker room and on the floor. He is just the vocal guy.”

Matthews has accepted the expanded role as Nowitzki has been limited to five games by a strained right Achilles tendon.

”I feel like that’s one of the reasons why they brought me over here (from Portland). Through this rough patch, injuries and everything, everybody had to mold together. It’s almost like we had to restructure ourselves. I think everybody has embraced that.”

Harrison Barnes scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half to help Dallas improve to 4-15.The Bulls were coming off a 111-105 victory over defending champion Cleveland on Friday night.Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 26 points.

”I don’t think anybody played well tonight,” Butler said. ”We didn’t play with energy on either end of the floor.”

Barnes powered the Mavericks to a 17-point first-quarter lead with eight points.

”They came out and threw the first punch and kept throwing, and we could just never recover from that,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. ”We did expend a lot of energy (Friday) night.”

Dwight Powell (17) and rookie Dorian Finney-Smith (11) had career highs in scoring, and Deron Williams had a season-high 15 assists with only one turnover.Neither team scored in the first 2:15, but Dallas went on a 7-0 run over the next 1:20. The Mavericks led 23-6 with 3:17 left. The quarter ended with Dallas leading 29-18. Bogut had six points and eight rebounds.The Bulls pulled within six points three times in the second quarter, but Dallas finished the first half with a 57-45 lead. In the third quarter, Matthews had 14 points, and the Maverick led by as many as 21 points.Robin Lopez has a career-high 11 straight games with 10 or more points. He scored 15 against Dallas. … F Jimmy Butler has reached 20 points in 17 of 19 games. He scored on a drive with 1:00 left in the third quarter, but was charged with a technical foul for arguing that he had been fouled.Wesley Matthews made 7 of 11 3-point attempts. … Bogut fouled out, but had 11 rebounds and a season-high eight points. … The Mavericks’ 29 first-quarter points were a season high. … Their largest margin of victory before Saturday was 12 points.Dwyane Wade missed his second game this season, both to rest. He stayed in Chicago after Friday’s win over Cleveland. Their flight landed in the DFW Metroplex at 2:30 a.m. for the second game in a stretch of four games in five days. Nikola Mirotic started in Wade’s place and was scoreless in 13 minutes played.The Mavericks said that they no longer will keep a timetable for when F Dirk Nowitzki (strained right Achilles tendon) would play. Instead, his return will be listed as ”indefinite.” He has played in only five games this season.

”We said I’m still a few games away, but luck can change, so I just have to go day by day,” Nowitzki said.At this stage in my career, I don’t move well anyways, so if I’m out there at like 80, 90 percent, I don’t think I’m a big help, so I want to make sure my body’s responding the right way and we’ll go from there.”

The Bulls return home to play Portland on Monday night, they won at Portland 113-88 behind Jimmy Butler’s 27 points on Nov. 15.

Crawford out with emergency appendectomy–Hawks lose(as usual)in Philly.

PHILADELPHIA—Ivan Provorov admitted he was motivated to make his second career game against the Blackhawks a lot better than his first.The 19-year-old rookie defenseman did just that, scoring twice and prevented one by the Blackhawks to help the Philadelphia Flyers win 3-1 on Saturday.Provorov was on the ice for five Blackhawks goals in their 7-4 at home over the Flyers on Oct. 18.

”I didn’t play my best in that game, but I put it behind me, learned from it and it was a better result tonight,” Provorov said ”I tried to use it as a positive thing and prove that’s not me.”

Provorov scored 31 seconds apart early in the second period to help the Flyers get their fourth straight win. Brayden Schenn also scored and Steve Mason stopped 26 shots.Artemi Panarin scored his ninth of the season for the Blackhawks, who lost in regulation for the first time in five games, snapping a 3-0-1 streak. Scott Darling had 27 saves in his eighth appearance of the season.Darling was pressed into action after starter Corey Crawford underwent an emergency appendectomy.9

”His procedure went pretty well today, he’s probably going to be out two to three weeks,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ”Thanks to our medical staff and the Flyers’ medical staff today. They did a great job of helping us out.”

The Hawks were also without captain Jonathan Toews for the fourth straight game. Sidelined with a back injury,or concussion. Toews remained in Chicago and is questionable for Sunday’s home game against his hometown Winnipeg Jets.The Blackhawks opened the scoring 3:44 in when Panarin took a pass from Artem Anisimov and one-timed a shot past Mason for his ninth of the season and his first in five games.Provorov took over from there. The Flyers’ top pick in the 2015 NHL draft (seventh overall) tied the score 3:02 into the second period when he blasted a shot past Darling for his second career NHL goal.Provorov gave the Flyers the lead 31 seconds later when he wristed a shot that fluttered past Darling’s blocker for the first two-goal game of his career.Schenn gave the Flyers a 3-1 lead at the 8:37 of the second, taking a nice feed from rookie Travis Konecny and beating Darling from close range for his fourth.The Flyers’ biggest save of the night might have come from Provorov, who swatted a bouncing puck out of the goal crease with 3:22 remaining in the second period to preserve a two-goal lead.The Blackhawks thought they scored when Richard Panik jabbed a loose puck under Mason’s legs. But Provorov reached behind the goalie and swatted the puck off the goal line. After a video review, the officials ruled the replay inconclusive, denying Panik the goal.

”They obviously look at it real closely,” Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said. ”Of course we wanted the goal but you just have to trust that they are doing everything they can and I do think they look at is as much as they can, so they know more than I do, but obviously we wanted to have that goal, but it happens.”

NOTES—Flyers D Radko Gudas was a healthy scratch for the first time this season and was replaced with D Brandon Manning, who missed the previous two games with a concussion. … Blackhawks D Trevor van Riemsdyk returned to the lineup after missing 23 games with an upper body injury…..The Blackhawks host Winnipeg on Sunday.