VANCOUVER—Alex Burrows scored his second goal 5:22 into overtime, Roberto Luongo made 31 saves and the Vancouver Canucks avoided a historic playoff collapse by knocking the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks out in the first round with a 2-1 victory in Game 7 on Tuesday night.Burrows, who took a penalty early in overtime, pounced on a Chris Campoli turnover and fired a slap shot over the right shoulder Corey Crawford.Burrows opened the scoring 2:43 in, but Jonathan Toews scored his first goal of the playoffs shorthanded with 1:56 left to force overtime.Vancouver won the first three games before the defending champions roared back with three consecutive victories, threatening to spoil the Canucks’ Presidents Trophy-winning season by becoming just the fourth team in NHL history to erase an 0-3 series deficit. After being eliminated from the previous two postseasons by the Blackhawks, the Canucks finally returned the favor and will play host to Nashville in the second round.Luongo was back in goal after being pulled from Games 4 and 5 and benched for rookie backup Cory Schneider to start Game 6. He made a great sliding save to take a backdoor empty net away from Patrick Sharp after Burrows took a penalty only 24 seconds into overtime. Crawford was even more outstanding at the other end, making 36 saves to keep the Hawks in the game.Burrows scored his first goal after some great work by Ryan Kesler, who skated around defenseman Duncan Keith before centering to Burrows cutting into the slot. Burrows snapped it into the empty net before Crawford had a chance to get across.But Crawford made several brilliant stops to keep the Blackhawks alive. He stopped a Burrows penalty shot 21 seconds into the third, and made three more great saves with five minutes left. Crawford denied Chris Higgins cutting in alone in tight, sprawling to stop Burrows on the rebound, and then diving from his stomach to glove Ryan Kesler’s sharp angle attempt.Toews tied it three minutes later while killing a penalty.With Vancouver on a power play with a chance to finally extend their early lead, Toews split the defense off a 2-on-4 rush to set up Marian Hossa for a chance in front. He was stopped, but Toews lifted the rebound over a sprawled Luongo.The Blackhawks, who were forced to shed several key players from the Cup-winning team to stay under the salary cap, barely got out of the regular season, losing their final game and needing help on the final day just to make the playoffs. They looked like a No. 8 seed at times while losing the first three games, but resembled the defending champions the last four.Against the Canucks it was hardly a surprise.The Blackhawks eliminated Vancouver in the second round the previous two seasons, lighting up Luongo in the final game both times. They did it again in Games 4 and 5, winning by a combined 12-2 score and chasing Luongo both times.That led the Canucks to start Schneider in Game 6 Sunday, but he cramped up in the third period, forcing Luongo to come in cold before losing in overtime.But there was no sign of an early carryover in Game 7. He made a good stop on Michael Frolik after a bad turnover 15 seconds in, and sprawled out with the right pad to rob Toews on a spinning, sweeping shot off a rebound in front of the net midway through the first period. Luongo made another great stop on a tough deflection eight minutes into the second, and got a break when the whistle was blown before Troy Brouwer banged the puck from between his pads and into the net. The Canucks got momentum from outshooting the Hawks 2-0 while killing off a power play midway through the period, but couldn’t put the puck past Crawford.
NOTES—Vancouver D Sami Salo didn’t play after getting hurt early in Game 6. Keith Ballard, a surprise scratch the last two games, took his spot alongside Andrew Alberts on a third pairing. … The Hawks moved Brouwer onto Dave Bolland’s checking line after Bryan Bickell had surgery to repair a sliced tendon Monday. … Fernando Pisani and Markus Kruger were back in the lineup, while 6-foot-8 John Scott, who played 59 seconds in Game 6, was scratched. … Vancouver had 12 players with prior Game 7 experience. The Hawks had five. … The Blackhawks are the seventh team in NHL history to force a Game 7 after falling behind 3-0.
NEW YORK—Late substitute Brent Lillibridge made two spectacular catches in a row to save the White Sox in the ninth inning, and Gavin Floyd pitched his team to a 3-2 victory Tuesday night over the suddenly slumping New York Yankees.Lillibridge entered as a pinch-runner in the eighth and scored on Paul Konerko’s go-ahead homer off struggling setup man Rafael Soriano (1-1). Lillibridge stayed in the game in right field and, with two on in the ninth, raced back to the wall to make a terrific catch of Alex Rodriguez’s opposite-field drive for the second out, robbing the slugger of a game-tying hit and keeping the runners at first and second. Robinson Cano then hit a line drive to right and Lillibridge charged in, making an all-out dive to snag the ball for the final out.Floyd took a three-hitter into the ninth but was pulled after Derek Jeter led off with an infield single. Curtis Granderson sacrificed against Matt Thornton, and Mark Teixeira worked a walk.White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, still looking for a reliable closer in his shaky bullpen, called on Sergio Santos for the second consecutive night. He got two outs – thanks to Lillibridge – for his second straight save and the Sox third in nine chances this season. The last visiting pitcher to win at the old Yankee Stadium in 2008, Floyd (3-1) struck out a season-high 10 to win his second straight start. He walked one and threw 102 pitches, sending the White Sox to consecutive victories in New York for the first time since August 2005.Before arriving at Yankee Stadium, they had lost 10 of 11 overall. Cano and Brett Gardner homered for the Yankees, held to three singles by journeyman Phil Humber and two relievers during a 2-0 loss in the series opener Monday night. This time, they wasted a strong start by rookie Ivan Nova, who left with a 2-1 lead after a career-high 6 1-3 innings.New York, now 18-5 following shutout losses since the start of the 2008 season, has lost two in a row for the first time this year.David Robertson preserved New York’s narrow lead in the seventh, but Soriano hit Carlos Quentin with a one-out pitch in the eighth and Konerko sent his 371st career home run rocketing to left.After saving an AL-best 45 games for Tampa Bay last year, Soriano signed a $35 million, three-year contract with the Yankees in January to be the bullpen bridge – and possible successor – to star closer Mariano Rivera.But the right-hander has a 7.84 ERA in 11 appearances and was booed Tuesday night by the crowd of 40,785. He has given up nine earned runs in 10 1-3 innings after yielding only 12 all last season.New York had three chances to retire Alex Rios in the fifth and never did it.Granderson was unable to make a shoestring catch on Rios’ line-drive single to center. Rios then stole second, catching a break when Cano dropped a strong throw that could have been in time. Finally, Rios slid home ahead of the throw from right fielder Nick Swisher on Gordon Beckham’s RBI single. Nova then retired Brent Morel and Juan Pierre to minimize the damage. The right-hander, who beat Floyd 2-1 last August for his first career win, allowed five hits in his first start since April 15. It was the longest of his 11 major league starts.
NOTES—Before winning the first two games of the series, the White Sox were 0-11 when scoring three runs or fewer. … White Sox LHP Mark Buehrle makes his fifth attempt at career win No. 150 on Wednesday night. RHP Bartolo Colon pitches for the Yankees. He beat Toronto 6-2 last Wednesday in his first big league start since 2009. … Guillen said DH Adam Dunn could begin seeing time at first base on the team’s next homestand. … Yankees C Russell Martin was rested for only the second time this season. His replacement, Gustavo Molina, made an outstanding throw to cut down Alexei Ramirez trying to steal second base in the first inning. With regular backup Francisco Cervelli close to coming off the DL, Molina’s time on the big league roster is probably running short. Martin grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and remained in the game. … Slumping DH Jorge Posada also was rested, with Rodriguez starting at DH and Eric Chavez playing 3B. … An MRI on New York catching prospect Jesus Montero, hit in the groin by a foul ball during a Triple-A game last weekend, was negative.
Todd Helton hit two home runs and the Colorado Rockies beat the Cubs 4-3 Tuesday night.Jorge De La Rosa (4-0) allowed one earned run in seven innings and Huston Street gave up a solo homer to Alfonso Soriano leading off the ninth before closing out the Cubs for his ninth straight save to start the season.James Russell (1-3) gave up four runs, five hits and four walks in four innings.Ty Wigginton had three hits for Colorado, including a homer and a double. Troy Tulowitzki added two hits and an RBI double in the third.At 16-7, the Rockies have the best 23-game start in team history.Helton’s homer to right field in the first inning landed only a few rows behind the ivy, aided by the wind. In the fifth, though, he hit a long no-doubter out to center.It was the 27th career multihomer game for Helton and his first since Aug. 7, 2007. against Milwaukee.Tulowitzki let a grounder by Geovany Soto skip under his glove, letting the Cubs take a 2-1 lead in the first. Earlier, Jeff Baker hit a two-out single to tie it.
NOTES—One night after his first career five-hit game, Kosuke Fukudome was out of the starting lineup with the Cubs facing LHP De La Rosa. Manager Mike Quade said Fukudome would be seeing plenty of action in the days ahead with the Cubs facing a string of right-handed starters at Arizona and Los Angeles. Fukudome grounded out twice after entering as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, snapping his hitting streak at eight games. … Rockies starter Aaron Cook is getting closer to returning to the rotation. Cook threw 60 pitches during a bullpen session on Monday, reporting no problems. Manager Jim Tracy said the broken finger on Cook’s right hand is “no longer an issue” and that he is now in a spring training mode. Cook will throw again on Saturday and if all goes well, he’ll rejoin the Rockies next week in Arizona to continue his throwing program. … Tracy gave OF Carlos Gonzalez the night off on Tuesday to “let him clear his head.” Gonzalez, who is hitting .217 and is just 1 of 20 against lefthanders this season, finished third in the NL MVP voting last season. Gonzalez entered the game as a defensive replacement in the eighth and grounded out in the ninth. … Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta stole his second base in 363 career games in the fourth inning.
Starlin Castro’s three errors in the second inning didn’t even quite cost the Cubs the game.It was that fourth one, by pitcher Matt Garza, that was really costly. His errant throw opened the door for the Rockies to score the go-ahead run and Colorado won 5-3 on a misty and windy Monday night at Wrigley Field.Dexter Fowler hit a triple, walk and scored a run for Colorado. Huston Street pitched the ninth for his eighth save in eight chances.Rockies starter Esmil Rogers gave up eight hits and four walks, but just three runs in 5 1/3 innings. Matt Lindstrom and Rafael Betancourt combined for 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.Only one of the five runs scored against Garza were earned. He gave up three hits and a walk in six innings.Troy Tulowitzki hit a grounder to Castro leading off the second, reaching base when he bobbled the ball while trying to transfer it to his throwing hand.Todd Helton struck out and Seth Smith singled before Jose Lopez’s grounder popped out of Castro’s glove, letting Tulowitzki score.Now with Smith on second and Lopez on first, Chris Iannetta hit a grounder that Castro fielded cleanly.His throw, though, sailed past Barney at second base and into the Cubs’ bullpen along the right field line.Smith and Lopez came all the way home to tie the game at 3.When Castro finally fielded a grounder and threw out Rogers at first, he got a sarcastic cheer. Fowler struck out to end the inning.One more mistake let the Rockies take the lead.In the fifth inning, with men on first and second, Jonathan Herrera laid down a bunt. Garza’s throw to Barney at first was wide and up the right-field line, allowing Rogers to score. Fowler reached third and later came home on Carlos Gonzalez’s groundout.Castro was the first Cubs player to have three errors in an inning since Jaime Navarro did it on Aug. 18, 1996, against Houston.The major league record for errors in an inning by a shortstop is four. It has happened three times, though not since Lennie Merullo did it Sept. 13, 1942. He later played on the last Cubs team to make the World Series, in 1945.
NOTES—The last player to make three errors in an inning was 3B Andy Marte of Cleveland on June 10 last year. The last SS to do it was Aaron Miles of St. Louis, on July 7, 2007…..Castro also went 0 for 5….Kosuke Fukudome set a career high with five hits, all singles and Darwin Barney hit a two-run homer in the first inning. “It is actually my birthday in Japan with the time difference, so it’s my day,” Fukudome said through an interpreter….Quade gave third baseman Aramis Ramirez the night off, starting Jeff Baker in his place….Mike Quade said that injured starting pitchers Randy Wells (forearm strain) and Andrew Cashner (rotator cuff strain) were both progressing well, though no timetable has been established for their return to the Cubs’ rotation. Both pitchers, who were placed on the disabled list on April 7, are slated to be re-examined on Wednesday…..Fowler’s seventh-inning triple gave him 25 in his career, moving him past Ellis Burks for fifth on Colorado’s career list.
NEW YORK—Phil Humber held the Yankees hitless until Alex Rodriguez grounded a single up the middle with one out in the seventh inning Monday night and the White Sox made the effort stand up with a 2-0 victory over New York.The White Sox won for only the second time in 12 games, and they snapped a 23-inning scoreless drought in the fourth when Carlos Quentin doubled and scored on Adam Dunn’s grounder.They added a run in the ninth after a popup fell behind the mound, in front of charging shortstop Derek Jeter.Sergio Santos got the final four outs for his first save and the Sox second in eight chances this season.
After a wild and eventful night at the United Center, the Blackhawks have pulled off the improbable.They’ve drawn even after losing the first three games to the Vancouver Canucks, the team with the best record in the NHL this season.Now, do the defending Stanley Cup champions have one more left? Ben Smith scored at 15:30 of overtime Sunday night, giving the Hawks a 4-3 victory and sending the spirited and physical opening-round series back to Vancouver for Game 7 on Tuesday night.The Canucks played what coach Alain Vigneault characterized as their best game of the series. They made a goalie switch, turning to Cory Schneider in place of Roberto Luongo, who was pulled in the two previous games when he gave up 10 goals on 40 shots. They still couldn’t win. And Schneider couldn’t finish. When Michael Frolik tied it on a penalty shot in the third, Schneider was injured while trying to make the save and it was Luongo on in relief. The Hawks are attempting to become the fourth team in NHL history to win a seven-game series after falling behind 3-0. Philadelphia did it last year against Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals.Smith followed Niklas Hjalmarsson’s shot from point that bounced off Luongo.Daniel Sedin, Alexandre Burrows and Kevin Bieska scored for the Canucks. Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland added goals for the Blackhawks.Corey Crawford made 32 saves, including 12 in overtime. Schneider was hurt trying to stop Frolik’s goal at 2:31 of the final period and had to be helped off the ice after making 17 saves.Luongo faced only two shots on goal over the remainder of the third period, including one in a final frantic rush by the Blackhawks. Even though the Hawks had the Canucks scrambling, they couldn’t set up or find the go-ahead score and the game eventually headed to overtime.With the teams playing 4-on-4 to start the third period, the Canucks took the lead on Bieksa’s rebound goal 58 seconds in. He followed the puck in after a hard wrist shot from the right circle by Mason Raymond went off Crawford.About a minute and a half later, Frolik was awarded the penalty shot when Dan Hamhuis took him down on a breakaway. Frolik skated in, faked one way and went the other to beat Schneider, who was got twisted on the play.After Luongo replaced Schneider, the Canucks dominated play and had a chance to take the lead again, but Chris Higgins’ attempt hit the post with just more than 5 minutes to go.Chris Campoli nearly whiffed on a clearing pass and Burrows was right there to convert from the slot, giving the Canucks a 2-1 lead with just over a minute remaining in the opening period.After being foiled by Schneider on a power play in which they had a two-man advantage for 1:43, the Blackhawks tied it when Kane picked up a clearing attempt by Schneider and fed Bolland in the slot.Vigneault said after the Hawks 5-0 win in Game 5 that Luongo was still the guy, but that changed. Luongo has, at times, has struggled against the Blackhawks in the playoffs over the last three years. But in others he was brilliant, like his 32-save shutout in the opener.Schneider was making his first playoff start and just his third ever postseason appearance — he relieved Luongo in Games 4 and 5.The Canucks scored first. After Hjalmarsson failed to clear a puck, the Canucks kept it in the zone and Daniel Sedin took a pass off the boards from twin brother Henrik Sedin and wrapped it around the goal and past Crawford just more than 2 minutes into the game. It was Daniel Sedin’s fifth goal of the series. Bolland’s crushing hit behind the net on Vancouver’s Hamhuis forced a weak pass and Bickell picked it off and beat Schneider – who seconds earlier had ventured out of the net to clear a loose puck. That tied it at 1.Brent Seabrook, out for two games following a hard shoulder-to-head hit from Raffi Torres in Game 3, returned to the Blackhawks’ lineup and withstood a hard check from Victor Oreskovich in the opening period. Moments after Burrows hit the post on a power-play attempt, Torres was called for goalie interference. Mason Raymond was assessed a hooking penalty, giving the Blackhawks a 5-on-3 for 1:43. The Blackhawks called timeout during the power play, but Schneider responded, turning away five shots.
NOTES—Canucks defenseman Sami Salo played only four shifts. He had an undisclosed injury….The successful Penalty Shot by Frolik was the Hawks first in the Playoffs ever.It was just the fourth Penalty Shot ever awarded to the Blackhawks in Stanley Cup play and the first since 1995(Patrick Poulin).
DETROIT—Even after his team shut down the White Sox for the first two games of the series, Detroit’s Max Scherzer took nothing for granted.Scherzer was focused and prepared, allowing four hits in eight outstanding innings, and the Tigers beat the Sox 3-0 on Sunday to finish a three-game sweep of the struggling White Sox.Scherzer (4-0) struck out seven and walked three, helping the Tigers shut out the Sox for a second straight day. The White Sox were outscored 21-3 in the series and looked overmatched against Detroit starters Justin Verlander, Brad Penny and Scherzer.After Penny took a no-hitter into the sixth inning Saturday, Scherzer made it to the fifth with one before allowing A.J. Pierzynski’s leadoff single. Mark Teahen, the next batter, grounded into a double play.The White Sox have lost 10 of 11 and now must head to New York for a four-game series against the Yankees.John Danks (0-3) allowed three runs on nine hits in six innings. He struck out eight and walked two. Danks has a 3.27 ERA, but the White Sox haven’t won any of his five starts.Detroit has won nine straight over the White Sox.The Tigers opened the scoring in the fourth after loading the bases with nobody out. Danks struck out Casper Wells, but Avila hit a broken-bat groundball to drive in a run.Brandon Inge and Austin Jackson each hit RBI doubles with two outs in the sixth. Detroit has bounced back nicely from a 3-7 start. The Tigers are now 12-10, while the Sox and Minnesota — the other expected contenders in the American League Central — are below .500.Detroit’s starting pitchers have led the way with 14 quality starts in the last 18 games. The Tigers allowed three solo homers Friday night, but that was all of the Sox scoring in the series.Scherzer left after 104 pitches, and Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his fifth save. The White Sox finished with five hits, and two of them didn’t leave the infield.Pierzynski and Juan Pierre had two hits each, but the White Sox didn’t get a runner past second base.Jackson and Brennan Boesch had two hits each for the Tigers.
NOTES—Jake Peavy threw a side session Sunday of at least 40 pitches and reported no issues. The Chicago right-hander has been bothered by muscle tenderness and irritation in his surgically repaired throwing shoulder. “It’s hard to be talking about this when the team is struggling like this,” Peavy said. “I let it go today and everything checked out. I’m excited about the progress.”….Omar Vizquel started at 2B on his 44th birthday. “I don’t think too many people think at the age of 44 they’ll still be playing baseball,” he said before the game. “I’m still having fun. That’s the main thing.”….Detroit DH Magglio Ordonez singled in the fifth and is now 15 for 26 against Danks….Adam Dunn drew his 1,000th walk in the fourth…..The time of game was 2 hours, 19 minutes.
Andre Ethier had an RBI single in the first inning off Carlos Zambrano to extend his hitting-streak to 21 games and lead Los Angeles to a 7-3 victory over the Cubs on Sunday.Ethier is one of only three players in baseball history with hits in 21 or more consecutive games in April. Ethier’s former manager Joe Torre had a 22-game streak in 1972 and Arizona’s Danny Bautista hit in 21 straight in 2004.Former Cub buster Aaron Miles led off the game with a triple into the right field corner to set up the easy RBI opportunity for Ethier, who finished with two hits.Miles had three hits.The Dodgers, who have won four of five, tagged Zambrano with his first loss since June 25.Zambrano (2-1) settled after a rocky opening and gave up only one more run through five innings of work.Zambrano won eight straight from Aug. 14 through the end of the 2010 season — he was suspended after a June 25 dugout tirade and didn’t return until late July. And he was 2-0 through four starts entering Sunday’s game. The streak was the Cubs’ longest since Rick Sutcliffe won 16 straight between 1984-85.Dodgers right hander Hiroki Kuroda (3-2) gave up three hits and two first-inning runs, then settled down and scattered six hits the rest of the way. He surrendered three runs – two earned – struck out seven and walked none.Miles led a succession of first-inning base runners when he opened with a triple down the right field line. No. 2 batter Casey Blake was hit by a Zambrano pitch and Ethier followed with an infield single that scored Miles.Matt Kemp drove home Blake with an infield single while Jerry Sands’ double scored Ethier. James Loney hit into a fielder’s choice that brought home Kemp, while Sands closed the scoring on a Rob Barajas sacrifice fly.The Cubs scored twice in the bottom of the first while Kuroda struck out three.Starlin Castro and Carlos Pena had RBI.After seeing seven runs scored in the first, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had felt he might be in for another wild ride, similar to the 10-8 loss just a day earlier.The Dodgers added a solo run in the third when Kemp doubled with one out and came home on Loney’s two-out single to left.In the sixth, Barajas singled and scored off left-handed reliever John Grabow. Miles’ single to left brought Barajas home for a 7-2 Dodger lead.
NOTES—Dodgers infielder Juan Uribe missed his second straight game with a sore thigh. He was hitting .435 (10 for 23) with two homers, nine RBI and five runs scored during a recent six-game hitting streak….Castro was hitting .500 in 46 at-bats when leading off entering Sunday’s series finale, including four hits on Saturday. He moved down to third on Sunday with Kosuke Fukudome leading off ….The Cubs host their first official night night game Monday against Colorado…..Exactly 49 years ago, Dodger lefty Sandy Koufax tied his own team record by striking out 18 Cubs at Wrigley Field in a 10-2 victory….The Cubs and Yankees are the only teams in baseball with winning or losing streaks no longer than two games…..Fukudome is off to his best March/April big league start with a .417 average entering Sunday. He has a .346 career average (93 for 269) in March/April games through four seasons.
INDIANAPOLIS—Bulls fans traveled to Indiana by the thousands, planning to celebrate a first-round playoff sweep.The Pacers sent the red and black-clad swarm back home disappointed. After fourth-quarter collapses in each of the first three games, Indiana avoided elimination by holding off a furious rally to beat the Bulls 89-84 in Game 4 of the first-round Eastern Conference series on Saturday afternoon.The Pacers not only faced superstar guard Derrick Rose and the pressure of a 3-0 deficit in the series, they dealt with an unexpected roadblock — a hostile environment on its home floor at Conseco Fieldhouse. The crowd shocked Pacers center Jeff Foster, who has played for the Pacers for his entire 12-year NBA career.The Bulls still lead the series 3-1 and will have a chance to close it out at home Tuesday.Danny Granger led the Pacers with 24 points, including four free throws in the final 14.1 seconds while being booed. He said the team remembered its earlier failures in the series.Carlos Boozer missed a 3-pointer that could have tied the game in the closing seconds. The Bulls were looking to set up Luol Deng for the final shot.The Pacers never trailed and broke through after losing the first three games by a combined 15 points. The Pacers squandered double-digit leads in the first two games and a five-point lead in the fourth quarter of Game 3.It was Indiana’s first playoff win since 2006.Rose, who averaged 32.7 points in the first three games, finished with 15 points and 10 assists. He sprained his left ankle late in the first quarter and scored eight points on 3-for-16 shooting the rest of the way. The Bulls trailed 84-71 with 2:17 remaining before making a final rally.A three-point play by Deng cut Indiana’s lead to 84-77 with 1:36 to go. A goaltending call against Roy Hibbert on a shot by Boozer sliced the deficit to 84-79 with 46.5 seconds remaining, and a steal and dunk by Rose pulled the Bulls within 84-81.Mike Dunleavy hit the second of two free throws with 17.9 seconds left to make it 85-81.Noah made a layup with 15.3 seconds remaining, and Foster fouled him while trying to take a charge. Noah made the free throw to cut Indiana’s lead to 85-84.The Pacers barely got the ball inbounds, but Granger was fouled with 14.1 seconds left. Through a booing crowd on his home court, Granger made both free throws to make it 87-84.Boozer’s 3-point try from the left corner was short, and Granger rebounded. Granger made two free throws with a second remaining to close the deal. The Bulls shot just 38 percent. Rose came up hobbling after going for a layup against Darren Collison. Rose went to the locker room briefly before returning to the bench. He re-entered the game with 10:29 left in the second quarter.Indiana closed the first half on a 17-3 run to take a 49-33 lead at the break. Ten different Pacers scored before halftime.Early in the third quarter, Hibbert blocked Rose on a layup attempt. Granger collected the rebound then dribbled nearly the length of the floor for a layup to give the Pacers a 55-37 lead.Things nearly fell apart for Indiana again, but the Pacers had just enough.The Bulls now have to regroup for the first time this postseason.
NOTES—The league upgraded two of Foster’s hits from Thursday’s game to flagrant 1 fouls. Pacers coach Frank Vogel said before the game he had no reaction to it….All four games at Conseco Fieldhouse between the Bulls and Pacers this season were sellouts. The Pacers, including the playoffs, had only eight sellouts all year…..The Pacers wore gold jerseys instead of their usual home whites.
The Rush (4-2) fell to the Kansas City Command (2-4) in front of 7,310 fans on Friday night at the Allstate Arena.Despite gaining momentum early in the first quarter when QB Russ Michna and Reggie Gray connected on a 10 yard touchdown pass, costly turnovers caused the Rush to suffer their first divisional loss of the season.
“With five turnovers, three fumbled snaps and two fumbled kicks on special teams you cannot win games,” said Head Coach Bob McMillen. “I love our team and their passion but you cannot win with that level of inconsistency.”
The Command, led by former Rush QB JJ Raterink and WR Steven Savoy, scored 17 unanswered points to end the first half and never looked back. Raterink threw for five touchdowns and was 27 for 36 with 286 yards in the game.The Rush offense recorded a season-low 191 yards, and struggled to maintain consistency throughout the game. Michna was 15 for 26 and totaled 163 yards with four touchdowns. Reggie Gray, took over kick return duties in the second half and recorded a 55 yard kick return for his 16th touchdown of the season.Johnie Kirton recorded 59 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns while continuing to maintain his dominating presence on the offense this season.Rush DB Jason Simpson again led the defense. He recorded 9.5 tackles and two interceptions during the game and was named Defensive Player of the Game. Simpson now leads the team with six interceptions this season. Defensive lineman, Joe Clermond contributed to the score with a 43 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the second quarter.The Rush are set to retire Head Coach Bob McMillen’s jersey and take on the New Orleans VooDoo (1-5) at the Allstate Arena next Saturday, April 30th at 7:05 p.m.