Hawks season over, Coyotes advance


Mike Smith refused to budge. He protected the goal as if there was a “no pucks allowed” sign dangling from around his neck.And now, thanks to his first career postseason shutout, the Phoenix Coyotes are finally moving on to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.Smith made 39 saves, frustrating the Blackhawks by stopping shots from all angles and body positions — especially early in the game when he faced an onslaught — as the Coyotes won 4-0 Monday night to wrap up the first-round series in six games.

“He was unbelievable,” said Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who began his career in Winnipeg in 1995 and had waited a long time to celebrate a series victory.

The Coyotes captured a first-round series for the first time since moving to Phoenix for the 1996-97 season. It is the first series triumph for the franchise since 1987 when it was still in Winnipeg as the Jets.

Or as Phoenix coach Dave Tippett described it: “The hockey gods were probably looking down on us, giving us a chance, and Smith cleaned up the rest.”

Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored in the second and Gilbert Brule, Antoine Vermette and Kyle Chipchura had goals in the third.The Coyotes won all three games at the United Center — Monday night’s game was the first in the series not to be decided in overtime — and now move on to play Nashville in the conference semifinals.Smith had 229 saves in the six games.”I don’t know what to say right now. We worked so hard, we had so many chances, and every time we had a chance and it didn’t go in, we said, `Keep working, we’ll get another one. It’ll go in eventually,”‘ Jonathan Toews said.

“They play well around Mike Smith, his size especially. We got so many pucks through and they always found a way to hit him in the head, the pads or the shoulder. We didn’t get any lucky ones on him. He played great, but we didn’t find a way to beat him.”

The Hawks had a 39-20 shots advantage, but after winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, the Blackhawks have been ousted two straight years in the first round.Ekman-Larsson’s long slap shot from the top of the slot on a power play sailed by a screened Corey Crawford at 13:14 of the second period after the Hawks had forced the action most of the night.Martin Hanzal, who returned after missing three games, provided the screen for the Coyotes, who scored on their sixth shot of the game and went on the power play after an interference call against Jonathan Toews. The Blackhawks had 22 shots at the time of the Coyotes’ score, but Smith was too good to crack.And then Brule took Chipchura’s nice pass from behind the net early in the third and poked it past Crawford for a two-goal lead. The Blackhawks had rallied in the third-period four times during the series to the tie game, but not on this night with the 6-foot-4, 218-pound Smith stopping everything thrown his way.Jimmy Hayes was given a game misconduct and a 5-minute boarding penalty when he slammed Phoenix’s Michael Rozsival from behind and drove him face first into the glass. Rozsival stayed down on the ice for about a minute and then skated off with some assistance at 8:47 of the third.The Blackhawks nearly killed the 5-minute power play off before Vermette scored with 42 seconds remaining by tipping in a shot — his fourth goal of the series. Just less than two minutes later, Chipchura scored again.The Hawks came out and dominated play in the early going with an 11-1 shots-on-goal advantage in the opening nine minutes. Only two great stops by Smith on point-blank attempts by Andrew Shaw and Hayes kept the Blackhawks from taking an early lead. Another shot attempt by Johnny Oduya hit the side of the goal. The Hawks had eight shots in the first 3:14 of the game, peppering Smith, and finished the scoreless period with a 16-2 advantage.

“It was fun not to go to overtime. Mike Smith was awesome. … We expect him to play the way he has,” said Coyotes’ defenseman Keith Yandle, adding that the Coyotes were especially pleased to advance because of what it means for Doan.

“It’s a relief because you just want a chance to do something in the playoffs,” said the 35-year-old Doan.

” Everyone always talks about if you get out of the first round, anything can happen.”

After his stellar first period, Smith picked right up. He stopped Toews in the first minute of the second and then used his left pad to snuff Brendan Morrison after he moved into the slot for a pass from Toews. Minutes later a scrum in front of the goal resulted in Smith sitting on the puck with Patrick Kane and Andrew Brunette down on the ice with him following a hard shot from Niklas Hjalmarsson.

“The ice was tilted a little bit for the first couple of periods, but we gathered ourselves between the second and third and found a way to win a huge hockey game,” Smith said.

NOTES—Smith had eight shutouts during the regular season….Phoenix was 5-0 at the United Center, including two regular-season wins…..The Blackhawks went 0-for-2 on the power play, leaving them 1-for-19 in the six games….Marian Hossa, knocked out of the series by a shoulder-to-head hit from Raffi Torres in Game 3, was at the United Center Monday morning. “I always look back at series. If there’s a point or situation you could say was the turning point, I think that was probably the one,” Joel Quenneville said of losing Hossa, the team’s points leader. Torres got a 25-game suspension for the hit. Shaw, suspended three games for running into Smith in Game 2, returned to the Blackhawks’ lineup…..Phoenix D Rostislav Klesla had to leave the ice 69 seconds into the game when he collided with Morrison. He returned in the second period with a red and puffy right eye and a protective cage on the front of his helmet.

Peavy blanks A’s, Dunn and Konerko go yard as Sox win fourth in a row.


OAKLAND—Jake Peavy pitched a three-hitter, Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko hit back-to-back homers and the White Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 4-0 on Monday night for their fourth straight victory.Two days after teammate Phil Humber pitched the 21st perfect game in major league history, Peavy allowed only a leadoff single to Jemile Weeks in the fourth inning, a double to Yoenis Cespedes in the seventh and a single to Coco Crisp in the ninth. The 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner walked two and faced only four batters more than the minimum.Alex Rios added three hits, while Brent Morel had two hits and scored a run.Oakland starter Bartolo Colon (3-2) scattered seven hits over seven innings and fell short in his bid to become the first four-game winner in the majors.Peavy (3-0) needed 107 pitches to handcuff the A’s, the lowest-scoring team in the American League, and help the White Sox extend their winning streak and also moved into a first-place tie with idle Detroit in the AL Central.It was the sixth shutout of Peavy’s career and his 10th complete game.Since drawing a no-decision against Texas in his first start this season, Peavy has a 1.19 ERA over his last 22 2-3 innings.The only time he ran into trouble came after Weeks’ single in the fourth. Peavy walked the next batter, Crisp, but got Josh Reddick to hit into a double play and then retired Cespedes on a foul pop to the catcher.Dunn homered on the first pitch from Colon leading off the fourth, a towering shot to left. Konerko followed with a drive to center, the 399th home run of his career.That ended Colon’s shutout streak of 18 1-3 innings and gave Peavy more than enough room to work with.Colon, who threw 38 consecutive strikes in his previous start against the Angels, put together another streak of 20 straight during one stretch and got the White Sox to ground into three double plays.With no run support, though, it didn’t matter.Oakland has scored just 52 runs through 18 games. That’s the second-fewest in the majors behind Pittsburgh, which has 30 runs in 15 games.The White Sox added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth on RBI singles by Gordon Beckham and A.J. Pierzynski.The loss spoiled the A’s debut of third baseman Luke Hughes.Hughes, claimed off waivers from Minnesota a day earlier, arrived in Oakland about two hours before the first pitch and was immediately put into the starting lineup. He got off to a shaky start with his new team, committing a pair of throwing errors.

NOTES—Konerko started at DH rather than first base because of the expansive foul ground in Oakland. He’s also still nursing a sore right foot after taking a foul ball off it during the Seattle series. … Oakland manager Bob Melvin said the A’s plan to call up Jarrod Parker from the minors to start Wednesday’s series finale. … To make room for Hughes, the A’s optioned INF Josh Donaldson to Triple-A Sacramento. Donaldson entered spring training as a backup catcher but was moved to third base after Scott Sizemore’s season-ending knee injury during the team’s first full-squad workout. … RHP Gavin Floyd (1-2), who has won three of his four starts against Oakland, pitches for the Sox on Tuesday. Tommy Milone (2-1) goes for the A’s.

Mather two out,two run hit gets Cubs past Cards 3-2



Joe Mather was just happy to help the Cubs get a win. Beating his former teammates was pretty sweet, too.Mather’s two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning rallied the Northsiders to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night.

“It just feels good,” Mather said. “The whole atmosphere in the stadium and in the clubhouse, in the dugout, everybody was just excited.”

Hard-throwing closer Jason Motte (1-1) had the Cubs down to their final strike when Mather, a former Cardinal, grounded a 2-2 slider up the middle, driving in Bryan LaHairand Geovany Soto.

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t [extra satisfying],” Mather said. “I have a lot of good friends over there. It does feel good. When it comes down to it, ultimately we won a big-league game and the self-satisfaction is secondary.”

While Mather got the winning hit, LaHair’s 12-pitch battle with Motte may have been the game’s key at-bat. After the count went full, LaHair fouled off six straight pitches before Motte missed with a fastball.

“I just don’t have any fear,” LaHair said about his patient approach. “That kind of situation, you have to just kind of relax and just breathe. Let the anxiety go.”

Motte then walked Soto, but said it wasn’t a matter of LaHair wearing him down.

“No, I’m out there still trying to make pitches,” Motte said. “I made some really good pitches, he just did a good job of fouling them off and keeping himself in the at-bat.”

Steve Clevenger’s grounder moved the runners up to set the plate for Mather, who was drafted by the Cardinals in 2001 and spent 10 seasons in the organization.Mather fell behind 0-2 and angrily stalked out of the batter’s box after taking the second strike. He then took two pitches off the plate before lacing the game-ending single. The hit made a winner of reliever Rafael Dolis (1-1), though for seven-plus innings the starters were the story of the game.Jaime Garcia appeared to have outpitched Matt Garza as he threw just 85 pitches before departing with two outs in the eighth, striking out just four batters and walking one.

“That was one hell of a game,” Garza said. “We came up big at the end. That’s awesome.”

Garza held St. Louis to two runs in seven innings, and has allowed three earned runs or fewer in his last 14 home starts, the longest streak by a Cubs pitcher since Mark Prior had 16 in a row over the 2004 and 2005 seasons.St. Louis grabbed the lead in the fourth after Skip Schumaker led off with an infield single and went to third on Matt Holliday’s double down the left-field line. Schumaker scored on Carlos Beltran’s groundout, and Holliday scored on Yadier Molina’s sacrifice fly.Garcia gave up a first-inning run when Alfonso Soriano’s sacrifice fly scored Darwin Barney, but he limited Chicago to just four hits over his final 6 2-3 innings. He was aided by double plays in the fifth and sixth.

“[Garcia] was terrific,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “You look at the run early on, and that was from two infield hits. Whenever he did get in a little spot, he got that extra movement, double plays.”

Darwin Barney singled twice, walked, and scored the Cubs’ only run. Castro legged out an infield single in the first, increasing his hitting streak to 11 games. He’s reached base in 56 of his last 57 games.The Cubs went homerless for the ninth straight game, their longest drought since June 30 to July 13, 2007. Chicago is last in the majors with just five homers on the season, but on Monday, singles were enough.

NOTES—The Cubs added reliever Michael Bowden to the roster on Monday, two days after the righty was acquired with a player to be named later from the Red Sox for outfielder Marlon Byrd and cash…..An MRI on Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay’s right shoulder revealed no structural damage. Jay injured the shoulder when he crashed into the fence on Thursday in St. Louis. Matheny said Jay may pinch-run during the series against the Cubs.

Sox sweep M’s behind Danks

SEATTLE—Alex Rios has been putting in an effort to really concentrate on his approach at the plate and improve the quality of his at-bats.That work paid off Sunday when Rios got three hits and drove in three runs to help the White Sox completed a series sweep of the Seattle Mariners with a 7-4 victory. Rios hit a tying, two-run triple in the sixth and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Kosuke Fukudome to put the White Sox ahead for good. Rios and Fukudome added RBI singles in the eighth against Tom Wilhelmsen.Manager Robin Ventura has noticed over the attention to Rios’ approach paying off the last few games.The win polished off a rejuvenating series sweep of the Mariners after coming to Seattle as losers of four of their last five games. The White Sox have won 19 of their last 22 games against the Mariners including their second straight sweep in Seattle.A day after Phil Humber pitched a perfect game for the White Sox, John Danks (2-2) went six innings for the win. Hector Santiago pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth save of the season.Seattle starter Kevin Millwood (0-1) took a 4-2 lead into the sixth. Adam Dunn drew a leadoff walk, Paul Konerko singled and after a groundout, Rios cleared the bases with a triple to the wall in right-center field.The White Sox took a 2-0 lead in the third on a double by Alexei Ramirez that left fielder Casper Wells misplayed for an error, and an RBI single by Dunn.Seattle tied it in the bottom half. Chone Figgins led off with a walk and Ichiro Suzuki singled, setting up an RBI single by Jesus Montero and an RBI double by Alex Liddi.Fukudome walked in the fourth and moved up on a wild pitch, but was thrown out at the plate by Suzuki on Brent Morel’s single to right field. Miguel Olivo and Wells hit consecutive singles to lead off the fourth. With Brendan Ryan attempting to bunt, the infield was pulled up when Danks tried a pickoff throw at first that Dunn never saw coming. Danks’ error allowed Olivo to score and Dustin Ackley drove in a run with a grounder for a 4-2 lead. Danks managed to settle in after the fourth inning as Seattle only managed to draw two walks off Danks in the fifth and sixth innings.

NOTES—Seattle 1B Justin Smoak got a scheduled day off and Liddi started in his place. …Robin Ventura gave CF Alejandro De Aza the day off with Fukudome starting in his place. De Aza had played every inning of the first 14 games of the year in center. De Aza pinch-ran for DH Konerko in the eighth. … White Sox reliever Addison Reed pitched a scoreless seventh, striking out the side.

Reds take two of three from sloppy Cubs

On a cold blustery day, Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker was happy to be able to walk away with a victory.Johnny Cueto threw 6 1/3 strong innings to lead Cincinnati to a 4-3 win over the Cubs on Sunday in a ragged performance by both teams in tough playing conditions.Cueto (2-0) allowed one earned run, scattering five hits. He struck out seven and lowered his ERA to 1.78 for the season.Cueto worked around a single, walk and his own error in the third inning, and gave up both of his runs in the fifth, a Cubs rally that included another error and a hit batter.That inning was the seventh, when he walked a batter and hit another with a pitch before giving way to Logan Ondrusek, who walked Steve Clevenger to load the bases. Ondrusek recovered to strike out Alfonso Soriano.Aroldis Chapman came on to strike out Ian Stewart looking with a fastball that registered 99 miles per hour on the stadium scoreboard, preserving the lead. Chapman also worked a scoreless eighth, though he did walk his first two batters this season. In 10 1-3 scoreless innings, Chapman has 18 strikeouts while allowing just three hits. Former Cub Sean Marshall pitched the ninth, picking up his third save.The Reds capitalized on Cub mistakes to break a 2-2 tie in the sixth. Randy Wells and reliever Scott Maine combined to walk two batters and hit another, while Geovany Soto made two throwing errors on sacrifice bunt attempts.All told, the Reds sent eight batters to the plate in the sixth, scoring two unearned runs without the benefit of a hit.Wells was making his first start of the season in place of Ryan Dempster, who was put on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a right quad strain. Wells struggled with his command, walking five batters in five innings and throwing just 52 of his 93 pitches for strikes.Wells managed to keep the damage to a minimum, limiting the Reds to two runs and leaving with a no-decision. Rodrigo Lopez (0-1) took the loss in relief.Cincinnati left 13 runners on base, while the Cubs stranded 12. The teams combined to leave the bases full five times.Joey Votto doubled twice, walked twice, scored a run and drove in another to pace the Reds’ offense. The slugging first baseman went his 14th straight game without a home run. Castro singled, tripled and scored two runs for the Cubs, extending his hitting streak to 10 games, the sixth streak at least that long in his young career. He has reached base in 55 of his last 56 games.The Reds improved to 7-0 this season when scoring more than three runs. Cincinnati is 0-9 when scoring less than four runs. Runs were hard to come by all weekend, with the temperature in the low 40s and the wind blowing in from the north.

NOTES—Wells was recalled before the game from Triple-A Iowa, taking the roster spot of Marlon Byrd. The Cubs’ starting center fielder was traded to Boston on Saturday for reliever Michael Bowden and a player to be named later…..Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips missed the game because of the lingering left hamstring injury that has caused him to miss six of Cincinnati’s last 12 games.

Rush get game winner with :04 left to edge Milwaukee

ROSEMONT—It was Rush wide receiver Terrance Turner’s turn to shine in the spotlight as his 10 catch, 112 yards and 4 touchdown night powered the Rush to a 62-61 win over the Milwaukee Mustangs.

“My output is just a product of this offense and I capitalized on the opportunities given to me,” exclaimed WR Terrance Turner.The defense would take hits on the scoreboard all night, but took its biggest one at defensive back with Vic Hall leaving the game due to injury on first Milwaukee offensive possession. His absence left the Rush cycling wide receivers Marquis Hamilton and Reggie Gray into the secondary as well as rotating other defensive players to positions they previously hadn’t played. The void allowed Milwaukee QB Gino Guidugli (28-35, 330 yards, 8 touchdowns, 1 rushing touchdown) to accumulate touchdowns on all nine offensive possessions, four of which found WR Jonathan Wilson and WR Jared Jenkins in the first half.

With the Rush defense down its best defensive playmaker, the pressure turned to the Rush offense to keep pace with the Mustangs. Early on it was the rushing attack that brought three touchdowns as Kelvin Morris, Marquis Hamilton and Russ Michna fought their way into the end zone. Quarterback Russ Michna provided the last second elation to close out the second quarter by taking the snap, surveying covered receivers and tucking the ball to run along the left side boards and sneak in for a touchdown to tie the game at 28.

The back and forth nature continued into the second half, but a missed extra point and two failed two-point conversions by the Mustangs were small mistakes they wouldn’t overcome. Third quarter touchdown passes to Rush WR Terrance Turner brought the first lead of the night for the Rush, who would never lead by more than two points.

For every Rush touchdown, there was an answer by the Mustangs. Milwaukee QB Gino Guidulgi threw for 330 yards and eight touchdowns, while adding a rushing touchdown with 52 seconds left in the game to give the Mustangs a 61-55 advantage.

Nevertheless, 52 seconds were too long for the Rush offense. Game MVP QB Russ Michna (26-34, 306 yards, 6 touchdowns) engineered the team with under a minute left to the Milwaukee 22-yard line with four seconds remaining.

“(Russ) had bullets fired at him all night…the last play was 100% his call and he told us he wanted to run something,” said Head Coach Bob McMillen.

The trust in Michna paid off, as Jared Perry would secure a 5-1 start with his 22-yard touchdown grab with four seconds to go to put the cap on a 62-61 victory.

The Milwaukee Mustangs were active on defense despite the loss, piling up four quarterback sacks from the trio of Quartez Vickerson, Dwayne Lefall and Luis Vasquez.

NOTES—Rush wide receiver Reggie Gray was denied a receiving touchdown for the first time in his career…..Mustang wide receivers Jonathan Wilson and Jared Jenkins combined for 20 catches, 239 yards and 6 touchdowns…..Rush defensive back Brandon Freeman totaled 9 tackles, leading the team…..Next week, the Rush travel to San Antonio to take on quarterback Aaron Garcia and the Talons in a divisional match up…..

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game – MIL Gino Guidugli

Riddell Defensive Player of the Game – MIL Luis Vasquez

JLS Ironman of the Game – CHI Marquis Hamilton

AFL Playmaker of the Game – CHI Terrance Turner

Cutters Catch of the Game – CHI Jared Perry’s game winning touchdown catch

Spalding Highlight of the Game – CHI Marquis Hamilton over the wall touchdown catch

National Guard MVP – CHI Russ Michna

Attendance- 7,955

Toews OT Goal keeps Hawks alive


GLENDALE—Jonathan Toews scored 2:44 into overtime and Blackhawks staved off elimination with a 2-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night.

The Blackhawks came up with a tying goal in the third period for the fourth time in the series, though this one came a little earlier than the others with Nick Leddy scoring midway through the period.

That led to the fifth straight overtime game — a first since 1951 — and Toews ended it, beating Mike Smith stick side to pull the Blackhawks to 3-2 in the series.

The Hawks rallied from a 3-0 deficit to force Game 7 against Vancouver in the second round last season and will have a chance to even the series in Game 6 on Monday night in the United Center.

Gilbert Brule scored his first career playoff goal in the second period, with an assist from Smith, and the Coyotes again gave up a tying goal in the third period. Unlike the two previous games, Phoenix couldn’t come through in overtime, failing to wrap up its first playoff series victory in 25 years.The Coyotes, who blew a 3-1 lead to St. Louis in 1999, played without forward Raffi Torres after he was suspended for 25 games earlier in the day for his Game 3 hit on Marian Hossa,

A tight and testy series has come down to a few big plays at just the right times for Phoenix.

The clog-the-lanes Coyotes bogged down the fleet Blackhawks through the first four games, giving Chicago’s skill players little room to maneuver while getting superb goaltending from Smith.

The Blackhawks have had trouble getting traffic in front of Smith, their best chances coming in the closing seconds of regulation, when they’ve used frenetic flurries to score in the closing seconds.

Once the games got to overtime, the Coyotes had dominated. Mikkel Boedker had extra-period goals in the two games in Chicago to put Phoenix up 3-1.

The series also has been brutally physical, filled with big hits and numerous scrums between players.

Along with dozens of bone-rattling hits, Andrew Shaw was suspended three games for upending Smith in Game 2, and Torres received the second-longest suspension in NHL history for an on-ice action with his hit on Hossa, who didn’t make the trip to Arizona.

The barbarity has hit the Coyotes the hardest.

Forwards Martin Hanzal and Lauri Korpikoski missed both games in Chicago and leading goal-scorer Radim Vrbata played just one shift in the opening game. The everyone-chips-in Coyotes haven’t flinched when players have gone out, using their depth and diversity to grind out victories.

Phoenix opened Game 5 just as it did in all the others, allowing Blackhawks plenty of scoring chances. Smith, as he has all series, wouldn’t let them in, turning away 12 shots in a first period that included consecutive power plays by the Hawks late.

The Coyotes were at their counterattacking best early in the second quarter, with Smith getting the puck out quickly to pick up an assist on Brule’s breakaway goal.

The Blackhawks have been resilient all series, though, and kept clawing until Leddy scored from the right point midway through the third period on a shot Smith had trouble seeing after being clipped on the mask by Chicago center Dave Bolland.

This time the Hawks were the team to come through in overtime, thanks to Toews’ scramble and shot after a faceoff, and will head back to Chicago with momentum on their side.

NOTES—Viktor Stalberg was called for all four Hawk penalties. … The Blackhawks are 0-10 when trailing a series 3-1. … Brule’s goal came in his fourth playoff game.

Bulls beat Mavs, zero in on #1 seed in East

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

Derrick Rose could feel some pain in the area of his right ankle and foot, the site of his most recent injury during a season in which he has missed 26 games.

It was OK, though. All worth it. The fans were cheering for him, he was back on the court and the Bulls got another victory that moved them closer to clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

“It was throbbing a little, but the great thing about it is we got the win and we get a couple of days off to get treatment and I’m going to stay off my feet and hopefully it’s going to get better,” Rose said after the Bulls beat the Dallas Mavericks 93-83 on Saturday night.

Rose’s return after missing three straight games wasn’t spectacular, but it was still a 32-minute effort that saw him get 11 points and eight assists.

The Bulls, able to use their starting five for just the 14th time this season, got 22 points from Luol Deng and 19 from Richard Hamilton in beating a Mavericks team that had already clinched a playoff berth two nights earlier, played at home Friday night and rested guards Jason Kidd and Jason Terry.

The victory by the Bulls (48-16) gave them a 2½ game lead over Miami for the top seed in the East after the Heat lost at home to Washington. The Bulls have two regular-season games left, against Indiana and Cleveland.

“We still have to win out,” said Rose, who acknowledged he didn’t have his usual confidence driving the lane and was content to pass the ball to Deng and Hamilton.

“We’re not worried about other teams, just what we are trying to do here and we’re trying to win every game,” he said.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 17 points and Rodrigue Beaubois, starting in place of Kidd, added 16 — 10 in the final quarter — despite playing the second half with a dislocated finger. After leaving with about 7½ minutes to go in the first half after hurting his finger guarding Ronnie Brewer, he returned minutes later to the game with his fingers taped.

“Once they put the fingers together I said it’s good enough to play,” Beaubois said.

“He held up to the physicality of it and came back to play. … I thought it was great how he got a dislocated finger popped back in and then came back,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.

Deng’s 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer capped an 11-0 run and gave the Bulls a 66-56 lead. But Dallas rallied as Vince Carter had nine points and Brandan Wright’s follow-up basket cut the lead to 75-72 with just under 6 minutes remaining.

Joakim Noah and Rose scored for the Bulls before Kyle Korver hit his third 3-pointer of the game to restore the lead to nine points. Deng then hit a 3-pointer from the corner with just under two minutes left and the Bulls had a 90-79 lead.

“They did a good job of finding the shooters. They have a bunch of guys that can get the ball off quickly,” Carlisle said. “Deng and Korver hit big ones for them.”

Nowitzki’s eight second-quarter points helped the Mavs close a 13-point deficit down to six by halftime.

Hamilton had 10 points and Carlos Boozer eight as the Bulls opened a 21-8 lead after one quarter — the Mavericks’ lowest scoring quarter of the season.

NOTES—The Bulls are 17-9 in the 26 games Rose has missed.   Fans cheered loudly when the public address announcer congratulated White Sox pitcher Phil Humber on his perfect game in Seattle on Saturday. The final pitch was shown on the video screen above the court.

Humber third Sox pitcher to toss Perfect Game.

SEATTLE—Phil Humber threw the first perfect game in the majors in almost two years, leading the White Sox to a 4-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.It was baseball’s 21st perfect game and first since Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay threw one against the Florida Marlins on May 29, 2010. It was the third in White Sox’s history, joining Mark Buehrle against Tampa Bay on July 23, 2009, and Charles Robertson against Detroit on April 30, 1922.With the White Sox lined up on the top step of the dugout, Humber fell behind 3-0 to Michael Saunders leading off the ninth. But he rebounded to strike him out. John Jaso then flied out before Brendan Ryan, another pinch-hitter, struck out to end the game.Ryan took a checked swing and missed at a full-count pitch, but the ball got away from catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Ryan lingered outside the batter’s box for a minute, unsure of umpire Brian Runge’s call, and Pierzynski fired to first to complete the play.Humber, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2005, fell to his knees went it was over, and his teammates rushed to the mound to congratulate him.

“This is awesome,” Humber said. “I’m so thankful.”

Humber struck out nine and had a three-ball count only three times.It was the first no-hitter of the season. There were three last season: Francisco Liriano of Minnesota, Justin Verlander of Detroit, and Ervin Santana of the Los Angeles Angels.It was the third no-hitter thrown against Seattle. Mark Langston and Mike Witt of California combined on one on April 11, 1990, and Dwight Gooden of the Yankees threw one on May 14, 1996.It was the second start of the season for Humber (1-0), who went 5 1-3 innings, allowing one run and six hits against Baltimore on Monday night.

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Goon Torres gets 20 games from NHL

Raffi Torres of the Phoenix Coyotes, suspended indefinitely for his hit on Marian Hossa in Game 3 of their playoff series with the Blackhawks, has been now suspended 25 games by the NHL.The head of discipline in the NHL, Brendan Shanahan, explains the longest suspension of his tenure.

Torres released a statement later on Saturday, here it is in its entirety.

“My main concern is for the healthy recovery of Marian Hossa, and I hope that he will be able to get back on the ice to compete again soon. I sincerely regret injuring Marian.Regarding the severity of the suspension issued, I will take the next few days to decide whether or not to appeal the decision.”

If he does appeal, it’s a complete farce!

That wasn’t Shanahan just throwing the book at him, that was throwing half of his personal library at Torres.Shanahan explains that Torres broke not one but three rules on this one play, making it thrice as egregious. First, it was interference, the hit came well after Hossa had the puck and Torres obviously knew that as Shanny points out he tried to play the puck with one hand. Secondly, it was charging as he elevated in his skates before making contact. And third, obviously, it was a hit directly to the head.At that point it came to the sentencing and when Shanahan added in the fact that Hossa was seriously injured on the play — he missed Game 4 and won’t play in Game 5 either. Then Shanahan got into Torres’ extensive history with the department of player safety, including two incidents this season. He takes the time to break down each of the illegal hits that Torres has been punished for in the past in the video.Eventually you end up with the recipe for a 25-game suspension.This is more than double the longest suspension handed down by Shanahan in his first year on the job. You’ll remember in the preseason he suspended former Hawk James Wisniewski what amounted to 10 games (whth the remainder of the preseason factored in). Now, this guarantees that Torres won’t play again this season for the Coyotes, even if they played seven-games series all the way through the Stanley Cup Final.Whatever is not served in these playoffs — one game is already down — will carry over into the preseason and next season.