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|Today - 8:00PM - Smart Araneta Coliseum|
CHICAGO -- The way everything was crumbling, the Chicago Bulls sure needed a reprieve. Knocking off the defending champions was a nice one.
Carlos Boozer scored 27 points, and the Bulls pounded LeBron James and the Miami Heat 107-87 on Thursday night.
Luol Deng had 20 points, Taj Gibson chipped in with 19, and Joakim Noah added 17 points and 15 rebounds as the Bulls had no trouble taking out the Southeast Division leaders.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Los Angeles Clippers tightened their defense waiting for the offense to come around.
The result was a second-half burst with a strong push from the reserves to lead Los Angeles to a 101-81 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night.
"I looked up at one point, and we were shooting like 28 percent," Clippers forward Blake Griffin said. "Our defense was keeping us there, then we finally took the game over when we started hitting shots. That's a good lesson for us."
NEW YORK -- The "laughingstocks" won in a laugher.
The Knicks resembled the division champions of a season ago rather than the biggest losers in New York, outplaying and even out-talking the Brooklyn Nets, who look like the real Big Apple busts.
Carmelo Anthony had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Iman Shumpert scored a season-high 17 points, and the Knicks ended a nine-game losing streak with 113-83 romp Thursday night in the first meeting of the season between the city rivals.
In an interview last week, general manager Gar Forman said the Bulls would support Derrick Rose if he pursues landing a spot on Team USA for the 2014 FIBA World Cup as part of his rehabilitation from right knee surgery.
Rose, who opts for offseason drills and workouts over games, said Thursday he doesn't know if he will try out for the team.
"I haven't really thought about it," Rose said. "That would be a good idea, but if I'm not ready, there's no need."
NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams is likely to return Tuesday against the Boston Celtics, a team official confirmed Thursday night.
Williams has missed the last eight straight games due to a sprained left ankle -- 10 overall with the injury. The Nets are 2-8 without Williams in the lineup.
He originally hurt his ankle Nov. 15 in Phoenix, which caused him to miss two games. He returned Nov. 20 in Charlotte, aggravated the injury, and hasn't played since.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Kobe Bryant continues to hone in his aim toward a return date after spending nearly eight months sidelined following Achilles surgery.
The Los Angeles Lakers' home game against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday is his latest target.
"I'm trying," Bryant said after practice Thursday when asked specifically about the Toronto game. "We got to see how it feels tonight. I'm going to try to get another hard session in and then [Friday] morning try to push it again and the same thing tomorrow evening. Continue to just keep on measuring it."
MANILA – San Mig Coffee is seeking its second straight victory when it takes on Rain or Shine (RoS) on Friday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Mixers are hoping that their recent victory against Air21 will help build their momentum in the tournament.
“We don’t care whether it’s an ugly win or a beautiful win, we just need to come out with a win,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone in the league’s official website after seeing his team drop three straight games before nailing its first win.
CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose said Thursday he won't close the door on returning for the playoffs if his surgically repaired knee is up to it.
"If I'm healthy and the situation is right, I'm going to be back playing," Rose said Thursday during a news conference in his first public comments since tearing the meniscus in his right knee Nov. 22. "If I'm healthy and my meniscus is fully healed, of course I'll be out there playing. But if it's something totally different and the outcome is not how I would want it to be, there's no need."
The Bulls declared Rose out for the season after he had surgery on the meniscus Nov. 25. General manager Gar Forman told ESPNChicago.com last week that Rose is "really out" for the season regardless of the Bulls' potential for a postseason berth.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Well, this wasn't the debate anyone expected the Knicks and Nets to have heading into their first showdown of the season. Rather than all of that offseason chest-pounding about who's going to own the city, and in place of each team's bombastic owner preening he was rolling out a championship-caliber team before either squad had even proven it could defend a pick-and-roll, there's new infighting.
"Who stinks worse?"
"We're the laughingstock of the league," Carmelo Anthony admitted Wednesday about his 3-13 Knicks, who are riding a nine-game losing streak.
MANILA – The Meralco Bolts are bent on stopping GlobalPort Batang Pier’s top gunners when they collide in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Bolts, who are riding on a two game-win streak, knows how potent the Batang Pier’s offensive arsenal is.
“We are up against the best offensive team in the league. They are overflowing with individual talent. They can flat-out score,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio in PBA.ph.