MILWAUKEE—Derrick Rose hit three straight shots in the final two minutes, rallying the Bulls to a 95-87 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.Rose scored 30 points and had a career-high 17 assists, and nearly single-handedly brought the Bulls from behind with the clock winding down.With the Bulls trailing 87-83, Rose hit a pair of free throws, then fed Joakim Noah for a fast-break dunk to tie it. Rose then hit three straight shots for the Bulls, and handed off to Ronnie Brewer for a fast-break layup.Carlos Boozer had 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Noah scored 12 with 11 rebounds.John Salmons scored 25 and Carlos Delfino added 23 for the Bucks, who are scrambling to make the playoffs.Brandon Jennings scored 13 points on 5-for-15 shooting for Milwaukee.Michael Redd was back in uniform for the Bucks for the first time since sustaining a severe knee injury last January, but did not play.Leading 48-44 at halftime, the Bucks took control of the game with an 12-1 run to begin the third quarter — including 10 points from Salmons. But the Bulls closed the quarter on a 12-5 run, including a pair of spectacular assists by Rose, and Milwaukee went into the fourth quarter leading 74-69.The Bulls then closed the gap in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 76 on a 3-pointer by C.J. Watson with 7:12 left. With the game tied at 83 and less than four minutes left, fouls sent Delfino to the line twice — and he made all four free throws, giving the Bucks an 87-83 lead with 3:20 left.Rose answered with a pair of free throws, cutting the lead to three.Rose then set up Noah for a fast-break dunk to tie it. After a Milwaukee turnover, Rose drove to the basket to give the Bulls the lead. Rose then hit two more jumpers in front of a bewildered Bucks defense.After another Bucks turnover, Rose fed Ronnie Brewer for a layup to clinch the game.A loud contingent of traveling Bulls fans chanted “M-V-P!” as the final seconds ran out.It was a must-have home game for the Bucks — even if a heavily pro-Bulls crowd certainly didn’t make it sound that way for much of the night.With the Bulls vying for the No. 1 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference and tickets hard to come by at the United Center, a large horde of Bulls fans made the drive up I-94 to see their team play in Milwaukee.The traveling fans made their presence felt early, booing any Bucks fan shown in Green Bay Packers gear on the scoreboard video display before the game, then booing the Bucks during pregame introductions.More than anything, they went wild for the exploits of Rose; one woman held up a sign that read, “Future Mrs. D Rose.” A collective gasp filled the arena when Rose converted a pair of acrobatic layups in the first half and chanting “M-V-P! M-V-P!” every time he made a big play.And he made plenty of them, especially when it counted the most.The Bucks, meanwhile, had Redd back in uniform but he didn’t get in the game.Redd tore ligaments in his left knee each of the previous two seasons, most recently in January 2010 — just 18 games after he returned from his previous knee injury. Redd played a total of only 51 games in the previous two seasons.Redd said before the game that he’s excited and nervous about the possibility of returning to the court, and said he’s willing to play whatever role Bucks coach Scott Skiles wants him to in order to help the team make a push for the playoffs.Skiles said Redd is in excellent condition, but his timing is a little off after being out so long.
Corey Perry scored twice in third period and Anaheim’s surging top line powered the Ducks to a 2-1 victory over the Blackhawks on Saturday night.Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan assisted on each of Perry’s goals, continuing an amazing run by the unit. Perry has eight goals in his last five games, putting him one ahead of Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos for the NHL lead, and Getzlaf has 10 helpers in his last four. Ryan has five assists in his last three games.The Ducks closed a three-game trip with their seventh win in nine games, moving one point ahead of the Hawks for seventh in the Western Conference. Anaheim also earned a split in the season series with the Stanley Cup champions.Marian Hossa scored for the Hawks, who had won three of four. Corey Crawford made 23 saves, keeping the Blackhawks in the game when the Ducks dominated in the second and third period.The Hawks have eight games left in the regular season, starting with the opener of a three-game trip Monday night against Detroit. The Stanley Cup champions face the Central-leading Red Wings three more times, but have no games left against their main competitors for the final playoff spots in the crowded West.The Blackhawks led for most of the game, but couldn’t hold off Anaheim’s powerful trio. The three combined on a pretty sequence just 1:07 into the third that ended with Perry flipping the puck into the open right side.Perry struck again with 4:30 left, spinning around and knocking in a shot off Crawford’s right side.Ducks backup Ray Emery made 27 saves in place of All-Star Jonas Hiller, who missed 15 straight games with vertigo and struggled in his return Thursday night. Hiller was pulled after allowing three goals in the first period of Anaheim’s 5-4 loss at Nashville, but was active against the Blackhawks. Emery caught a bad break in the first when a lucky bounce set up the only goal of the period. Michael Frolik’s pass caromed off Erik Stalberg’s skate to teammate Hossa, who blasted it into the right side of the net with 6:46 left. It was Hossa’s 22nd goal of the season.The Ducks began turning up the pressure on Crawford in the second period, but the rookie responded. He denied Teemu Selanne during two different power plays, including a nice right pad save. He also turned away Ryan on a breakaway and was there to stop Perry’s quick rebound attempt.Crawford also got some help from defenseman Brent Seabrook, who broke up a 2-on-1 surge by Ryan and Perry.
NOTES—Brian Campbell was recognized for his charity work before the game, presented with the Blackhawks man of the year award. …Jake Dowell came back after leaving in the first period with a cut on his face.
SURPRISE—The last debris of the ill-fated signing of Milton Bradley is soon to be gone. Cubs right-hander Carlos Silva has been told he will not be on the team’s 25-man roster when the season starts Friday.Cubs general manager Jim Hendry announced Saturday that Andrew Cashner will be the club’s fifth starter, leaving Silva without a spot. Hendry said Silva would be offered a minor league assignment, but Silva said there was “no chance” he would report to Triple-A Iowa.If Silva opts to be released, the Cubs are on the hook for his $11.5 million salary this season.Silva was 1-2 with a 10.90 ERA in five appearances this spring after going 10-6 with a 4.22 ERA in 21 starts last year in his first season with the Cubs.He was traded to the Cubs prior to last season by Seattle for troubled Milton Bradley who also had a less than successful one season on the North side.Cashner started Saturday’s game against the Rangers.
Derrick Rose put together one brilliant flourish, and it was just enough to will the Bulls to another victory.And earn another MVP endorsement, too. Rose scored the Bulls last six points, including an acrobatic layup that led to a crucial three-point play, and the Bulls beat the rugged Memphis Grizzles 99-96 on Friday night.Rose made two free throws with 2:18 left to give the Bulls the lead, then drove past Tony Allen and converted over Marc Gasol with 10.8 seconds remaining to increase the advantage to 97-93. Once again hearing those “MVP!” chants, Rose made the resulting free throw.
“I tried to go hard. Try to get the foul,” Rose said. “People play me to my left hand, I’m pretty good going to my left. I was just trying to get contact and I did.”
At least one Grizzlies player agreed with the delirious crowd. “MVP. He’s my MVP,” said Zach Randolph, who led Memphis with 16 points.The Grizzlies had one last chance after O.J. Mayo connected from long range and Rose had a 1-for-2 trip at the line, but Mike Conley missed from 3-point range over Joakim Noah as time expired.Rose finished with 24 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Bulls, who has won 11 of 12 and 18 of 21. Luol Deng scored 23 and Carlos Boozer added 12 points and nine boards.The Bulls extended their home winning streak to 14 games and increased their lead in the Eastern Conference to two over Boston, which lost 83-81 to Charlotte. Gasol had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who were coming off a 90-87 win at the Celtics on Wednesday. Allen scored 13 — all in the first half — and Conley finished with 11.Memphis, which normally enjoys an edge inside, was outscored 46-44 in the paint and outrebounded 45-32, including an 18-8 edge on the offensive glass for the Bulls.Conley’s drive with about 6 minutes left gave Memphis an 88-84 lead, but the Grizzlies couldn’t hold on. Kyle Korver set up Boozer for a dunk and Deng’s rebound tip-in quickly tied it up.Leon Powe had 11 points and fellow reserve Darrell Arthur finished with 10 for Memphis, which dropped to 22-10 in its last 32 games. The long and athletic Grizzlies are currently in the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.Allen helped Memphis get off to a nice start, slicing through Chicago’s defense for a couple of easy baskets and frustrating the Bulls with his active arms and intensity on defense. He also played to the hostile crowd, yelling after a Grizzlies run and galloping down the court after another basket.Allen’s long jumper with 3:12 left in the second quarter capped a 14-2 run and gave Memphis a 45-37 lead. He went 6 for 7 from the field in the first half.The Bulls responded with a 12-1 spurt to close the period. Deng had eight points, including two 3-pointers, and Rose threw up a fallaway jumper with 1.4 seconds left to make it 49-46 Chicago at the break.
NOTES—Grizzlies F Rudy Gay had season-ending surgery on his partially dislocated left shoulder in Pensacola, Fla. He was hurt Feb. 15 against Philadelphia….. Rose had his right hand in a bag covered in wax in the locker room before the game, a treatment designed to help loosen his joints. He said he’s fine — he saw teammate C.J. Watson try it a couple months ago and wanted to give it a shot……Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher and defensive end Julius Peppers each got a warm ovation when they were shown on the videoboard on separate occasions.
ROSEMONT—The Rush (3-0) defeated the San Jose SaberCats (2-1) by a score of 54-41 in the return of one of the greatest rivalries in the Arena Football League.The Rush team was led by a dominating performance by QB Russ Michna in which he passed for 229 yards with five touchdowns. Michna also rushed for 38 yards and two of Chicago’s three rushing touchdowns.
“We are really proud of the way our team performed tonight,” said Head Coach Bob McMillen. “The first half both teams played pretty sloppy but our players came out in the second half with a lot of intensity. They fought back and came away with a huge win against San Jose.”
Rush WR Reggie Gray again proved to be a familiar target for Michna. He started the game quickly for the Rush with a 46 yard touchdown reception. Gray led the team with 149 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
“Russ places the ball really well and I just did my job,” said Gray. “I feel great about the 3-0 start, and I plan on continuing to work hard, executing and improving.”
The Rush defense also had a strong performance on the night holding the SaberCats offense to just seven points in the third quarter. Despite veteran SaberCat QB, Mark Grieb’s, 279 yard passing performance, the Rush defense found a way to stop San Jose in the second half. Defensive Backs Vic Hall and Jason Simpson led the defense throughout the night. Hall ended the night with nine tackles, a tackle for a loss and an interception, while Simpson totaled eight tackles, two interceptions and took home Ironman of the Game honors.
“Jason has been a key element on our defense,” said McMillen. “His intensity is unmatched. He works hard and he consistently finds a way to deliver.”
The Rush travel to Cleveland to take on the Gladiators (1-0) next Saturday, April 2nd.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Russ Michna-CHI
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Gabe Nyenhuis-SJ
JLS IRONMAN: Jason Simpson-CHI
NIFTY PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME: Reggie Gray-CHI
CUTTER CATCH OF THE GAME: Reggie Gray- CHI 39 yard touchdown reception
SPALDING HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME: Michna 2nd touchdown run
MESA—The Cubs and the White Sox both took steps toward completing their Opening Day rosters on Thursday.The Cubs cut four infielders and an outfielder. Rookie Darwin Barney has made the club as an infielder and possible starting second baseman, as well as veteran non-roster man Reed Johnson.The White Sox named rookie Brent Morel their starting third baseman and reaffirmed that Phil Humber would be their fifth starter.Barney had a big day, hitting a two-run triple and a single in the Cubs’ 8-7 victory over their crosstown rivals. He also had a hand in turning two double plays.The Cubs opened camp with a platoon at second of Jeff Baker and Blake DeWitt. However, DeWitt has struggled this spring, batting .167, and will now take grounders at third base in addition to second in preparation for a possible backup role at both spots.The Cubs jumped on Humber for two runs in the first inning and one in the second. Humber (0-2) worked 4 1-3 innings, giving up five hits and seven runs. He also walked four and struck out four.Ozzie Guillen said he was not disappointed in Humber’s performance and that he’d likely start April 6 against the Royals.Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza (1-3) worked five innings, giving up eight hits and three runs. He walked two and struck out four.The Cubs got a fourth-inning solo homer from Alfonso Soriano, his third of the spring. The White Sox got homers from Omar Vizquel (No. 2), Alexei Ramirez (No. 4) and Donny Lucy (No. 1).
NOTES—The Cubs optioned OF Fernando Perez to Class AAA Iowa. They also assigned non-roster infielders Matt Camp, Scott Moore, Augie Ojeda and Bobby Scales to their minor-league complex. … White Sox OF Juan Pierre fouled a ball off his right shin in his third plate appearance and left the game after finishing the at-bat. The White Sox said the move was precautionary and that Pierre’s injury is not serious.
PULLMAN—Klay Thompson hit a key jumper, made two free throws and got two important rebounds in overtime to help Washington State beat Northwestern 69-66 on Wednesday night to advance to the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden.Thompson scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half, include getting four of the Cougars’ five in the overtime. Washington State (22-12) had five players finish in double figures.The Cougars will play Wichita State, which beat College of Charleston on Wednesday, in the semifinals in New York on Tuesday.Brock Motum added 13 points and six rebounds for the Cougars, while DeAngelo Casto, Reggie Moore Faisal Aden had 11 points each. Juice Thompson scored 20 points for Northwestern (20-14) and Alex Marcotullio added 16 points. The Wildcats were 10 of 38 from 3-point range.Washington State led 64-62 with 4 seconds remaining in regulation. Casto was called for goaltending a drive by John Shurna to tie the game.NU fouled Washington State’s Abe Lodwick with .2 seconds remaining but he missed both free throws.Klay Thompson hit the first shot in overtime and made two free throws to give the Cougars a 68-66 lead with just over a minute to play. Reggie Moore would make one of two from the line to give the Cougars a 69-66 lead. Juice Thompson had two good looks at a 3-pointer but could not convert.Casto was reinstated to play in the game. Athletic director Bill Moos said new information prompted him to lift the suspension that was imposed on Casto on Tuesday after he was cited for marijuana possession.
Corey Crawford made 23 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, and Brent Seabrook and Patrick Kane had a goal and assist each to lead the Blackhawks to a 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers on Wednesday.Viktor Stalberg and Tomas Kopecky also scored for yhe Hawks, who got two assists each from Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith. Crawford, who made his 18th straight start, had to block only a few tough chances to post his fifth NHL shutout.Tomas Vokoun stopped 27 shots, but the Panthers were shut out for the second straight night. Florida opened a season-high, five-game road trip with a 1-0 loss at New York to the Rangers on Tuesday.The Blackhawks played their first game without leading goal-scorer Patrick Sharp, who is expected to be sidelined at least two weeks with an injured left knee. Sharp, injured in a collision at Phoenix on Sunday, has 34 goals and 34 assists in 71 games.Stephen Weiss, who leads the Panthers with 49 points, sat out his second game with an injured leg.The Hawks outshot Florida 12-8 in the scoreless first period.Troy Brouwer had the Blackhawks’ best chance when he jumped on a rebound of Seabrook’s shot, but lofted the puck on top of the net.Aided by three power plays, the Blackhawks picked up the pressure in the second and outshot Florida 12-5. Early in the period, Vokoun made several close-in saves, including two against former Panthers forward Michael Frolik and one on Marian Hossa.Seabrook opened the scoring with 5:19 left in the second during a third advantage of the period. He fired a low, one-timed shot past Vokoun from the left circle after taking a feed from Keith.The Blackhawks broke it open with three goals in the third.Stalberg made it 2-0 just 46 seconds into the period. Left open at the right edge of the crease, he took Toews’ cross-crease feed and fired a shot that struck Vokoun and continued past him.Kane extended the Hawks lead to 3-0 with 7:56 remaining. He partially fanned on a shot from the right circle, but the attempt fooled Vokoun and slipped between his pads. Kopecky completed the scoring from the slot with 2:55 left.
NOTES—Brian Campbell returned to the lineup. He had skated just a few shifts of one game after injuring his foot on March 8….. Blackhawks Dave Bolland missed his fifth game because of a concussion and is out indefinitely. … With Sharp out, Stalberg joined Toews and Patrick Kane on the top line. …Marcus Kruger, 20, made his NHL debut. Kruger, the Hawks’ fifth-round draft pick (149th overall) in 2009, joined the Blackhawks from Djurgardens of the Swedish League. … The Panthers made their first visit to Chicago since Dec. 16, 2007.
MESA—Carlos Silva had something to prove, and time was running out.Having a terrible spring training so far, it was essential he impressed his manager Wednesday. After giving up a leadoff hit and a one-out RBI double to Josh Willingham, Silva did just that. He turned it around, retiring 17 of 18 and leading the Cubs over the Oakland Athletics 3-1.The right-hander came in with a 15.88 ERA, but allowed one run and three hits in six innings. He also had three strikeouts in what should be his last appearance before manager Mike Quade finalizes his pitching staff.Silva had allowed 20 earned runs in his previous 11 1-3 innings.Silva, who is 62-69 in his career as a starter, was grateful for another chance knowing that he could have been taken out of the competition based on his previous results.Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez went 5 2-3 innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out six. Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano had RBI singles in the first inning.
NOTES—Aramis Ramirez played for the first time since coming down with a 102 degree fever over the weekend and went 0 for 1 with a walk….The Cubs cut four players from camp as right-handed reliever Justin Berg and left-handed reliever Scott Maine were optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Non-roster invitees right-handed reliever Angel Guzman and right-handed starter Todd Wellemeyer were sent to minor league camp. Starter Carlos Zambrano started against Arizona’s Triple-A team and threw 82 pitches in four innings.
GLENDALE—Former Cub Ted Lilly is coming around after an irregular spring schedule.The Dodgers left-hander allowed two runs while striking out six without issuing a walk, and Los Angeles beat the White Sox 6-2 on Wednesday.Lilly gave up six hits in a solid bounce-back performance after a shaky outing March 12, when he allowed six runs in 2 2-3 innings to the Kansas City Royals.Lilly skipped his start March 18 so the San Francisco Giants wouldn’t get an early look at him, tossing six innings against Texas Rangers minor leaguers instead. Lilly also missed his first start of the spring due to the flu. This was just his third Cactus League appearance.Matt Kemp hit a three-run homer off of John Danks in the fourth to give Los Angeles a 3-1 lead. It was Kemp’s fifth home run of the spring. He also hit a two run shot on Sunday against the White Sox.Juan Uribe, who spent five seasons with the White Sox, had two hits against his former club. He singled and scored in the fourth inning, and singled in another run in the fifth, receiving friendly jeers from the opposing dugout.Danks took the loss, working 5 1-3 innings and giving up four runs, three of which were earned. He walked three and struck out four.Danks’ 2.49 ERA still leads all White Sox starters this spring.Carlos Quentin hit his fourth home run of the spring off Lilly to lead off the second inning. He has 10 hits in his last 13 at-bats.Gordon Beckham and Brent Morel each added two hits.
NOTES—The Dodgers won three of four games against the White Sox this spring. The teams share a facility. …Jake Peavy (rotator cuff tendinitis) said there was no structural damage when he met with doctors Wednesday. GM Ken Williams called it “encouraging news.” … Dodgers 3B Casey Blake (ribs) took grounders and batting practice Wednesday.