From Comcast SportsNetCORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- With a steady din coming from the sea of orange behind the visitors' basket, No. 1 Duke had a tough time making a shot.The Blue Devils went more than 8 minutes without a field goal in the first half Wednesday night, and a sellout became a blowout for No. 25 Miami, which delighted a boisterous crowd with a 90-63 victory.The defeat was the third-worst ever for a No. 1 team. The last time Duke lost a regular-season game by a bigger margin was in January 1984."It wasn't demoralizing; they played better," Blue Devils guard Rasheed Sulaimon said. "I believe we have them on the schedule again.""We expected them to be terrific, and we have to match terrific, and then you have a terrific game," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "What you had was a terrific win for them, but not a terrific game. We didn't hold our end of the bargain."Miami (14-3, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) beat a No. 1 team for the first time, taking control with a stunning 25-1 run midway through the opening half. The Blue Devils missed 13 consecutive shots despite numerous good looks, while four Hurricanes hit 3-pointers during the run that transformed a 14-13 deficit into a 38-15 lead.Duke (16-2, 3-2) fell to 0-2 when playing on an opponent's court. The Blue Devils' other loss came at North Carolina State, a defeat that cost them the No. 1 ranking.They regained the top spot this week but seemed rattled by the capacity crowd, only the 10th in 10 years at Miami's on-campus arena. Students began lining up for seats outside the arena almost 24 hours before tipoff, a rarity for the attendance-challenged Hurricanes."I don't know how you can sit outside for a basketball game for that long," Miami guard Durand Scott said. "That made me want to win for them even more."The Hurricanes, who are alone atop the league standings, won their sixth consecutive game. They beat Duke for the second straight time -- but only the fourth time in the 19-game series.Miami had been 0-6 against No. 1 teams. Coach Jim Larranaga also beat a No. 1 team for the first time."This is a great memory," Larranaga said.Scott scored a season-high 25 points for the Hurricanes, and Kenny Kadji added a season-high 22. Shane Larkin had 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, and Durham, N.C. native Julian Gamble had 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.Miami senior center Reggie Johnson came off the bench in his first action since being sidelined with a broken left thumb Dec. 18. He had two points and five rebounds in 16 minutes.The Hurricanes, ranked this week for the first time in three years, improved to 8-0 at home.Seth Curry, Tyler Thornton and Quinn Cook went a combined 1 for 29 for the Blue Devils, who shot a season-low 30 percent. Sulaimon led them with 16 points.Duke went 4 for 23 from 3-point range, while Miami went 9 for 19 and shot 57 percent overall."Especially in the first couple of minutes, we got a lot of great shots," Blue Devils forward Mason Plumlee said. "You're going to miss some, but you have to keep shooting. The biggest mistake you can make is questioning your shot because you're missing open shots."Kadji made two 3s during the Hurricanes' first-half spurt, then capped it with a three-point play. Duke shot 22 percent in the first half, including two for 11 on 3-pointers, and trailed 42-19 at halftime.There was no letup by the Hurricanes to start the second half. They scored the first seven points for a shocking 49-19 lead, and punctuated the drubbing with five dunks in the final 10 minutes."Some teams come out in the second half flat and think they have the game won," Larkin said, "but we stayed with it with the same energy in the second half. We played great the whole game."A Duke mistake -- one in a long series -- early in the second half had Krzyzewski red-faced and on the court, screaming at his team. But he couldn't inspire a turnaround."Over-rated," fans chanted with 3 minutes left. When the game ended, they poured onto the court and mobbed their team."The crowd I'm sure helped them some," Krzyzewski said. "But they didn't need much help."Back in North Carolina, fans of the Tar Heels savored the loss by their rivals. When the final score of the Duke game was posted on the video board at the North Carolina-Georgia Tech game, students chanted, "Go to hell, Duke!"
Anytime Nikola Mirotic is on an island defensively in a crucial moment of a game, there’s a general sense of nervousness and doubt that’s palpable inside the United Center.
So imagine everyone’s surprise when Mirotic defended Boston Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown well enough to force a travel in the final minute of the Bulls’ 105-99 win Thursday night.
With the Celtics down two, Brown started his drive from the top of the key and pivoted back to his right. When he rose up for a jumper or pass, Mirotic was right in his face and Brown, a talented rookie playing in his second NBA game, didn’t know where to go.
He came back down with the ball still in his hands for a traveling violation, and the stage was set for Dwyane Wade’s closing heroics.
Wade, the closer was set up by Mirotic, the stopper—well, let’s not go that far just yet.
“I tried just to play good defense, to make him drive the ball because we want him to shoot a contested shot,” Mirotic said. “It was big-time defense. We needed that one. After that, Dwyane Wade has huge stop and made that 3. It’s a team job, team defense. I was just trying to be a part of that. I’m very happy about the game.”
In all fairness, Brown is a rookie and the Bulls would rather not see Mirotic in a one-on-one situation late in games defensively. But it appears as if Fred Hoiberg will give him the opportunities to close games so Mirotic will find himself in instances where he’ll have to make plays on both ends.
Hoiberg called it the defensive play of the game, and agreed with the assessment of Mirotic being an underrated defensive rebounder despite his struggles on that end of the floor.
[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]
“It just goes to show you even when your shot isn’t falling, you can still have a positive impact,” Hoiberg said. “I loved his attack. He was getting in the paint and got some offensive rebound tip-ins as well so just overall solid game.”
Although Hoiberg had to make the decision to insert Taj Gibson as a starter at power forward over Mirotic, it’s not hard to see scenarios like Thursday where both are together to close games—Mirotic will be needed to spread the floor for Wade and Jimmy Butler to create shots in one-on-one situations.
Mirotic missed five of his six 3-point shots but was flawless inside the line, scoring 15 with nine rebounds.
“To be honest, I didn’t feel very comfortable with my 3-point shot,” said Mirotic, although Hoiberg said Mirotic’s attempts were good looks. “I tried to find a way to score, make an impact on the game---rebound the ball, play unselfish. My goal was to play good defense because I know that’s the next step.”
Getting over the idea of losing a starting job many believed would’ve been his given the composition of the roster seems to be behind Mirotic, who was a starter last season before acute appendicitis forced him out of action before the All-Star break.
“It doesn’t feel right to be honest. But no disappointment. It is what it is,” Mirotic said. “I want to not think and be focused and play my game. Now that I come from the bench, it’s like, ‘All right, figure out how you’re going to do that, how you’re going to help your team and play well.’”
Gibson and Mirotic were the only Bulls to shoot over 50 percent, as Gibson’s strong preseason play carried over to the opener. Make no mistake, if the Bulls are to exceed modest expectations, Mirotic will have to step up, as his production is no longer a luxury.
“It’s going to be a long season. But I told Fred it’s no problem,” Mirotic said. “I respect your decision. Taj is an amazing player. He’s playing so good. He’s in great shape. He deserves to be the starter. He has played a lot of years here. So I respect that. I’m cool with that. What I want to do is play my game, improve this year, make my team win more games. That’s all I can do.”
Pay attention to this; it will be the answer to a trivia question someday.
The Cubs released their lineup for Game 3 of the World Series Friday night, aka the first World Series game at Wrigley Field in 71 years.
So commit this to memory:
1. Dexter Fowler - CF
2. Kris Bryant - 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
4. Ben Zobrist - LF
5. Willson Contreras - C
6. Jorge Soler - RF
7. Javy Baez - 2B
8. Addison Russell - SS
9. Kyle Hendricks - P
With Kyle Schwarber unable to play the outfield, the Cubs lose his bat in the starting lineup, but he will be available off the bench as a pinch-hitter.
The wind is expected to be gusting out all night at Wrigley, so the Cubs are opting for some power potential early with Soler in right field.
This also represents the fourth straight game in which Jason Heyward is not in the starting lineup.
Indians Game 3 starter Josh Tomlin gave up 36 homers in the regular season, an average of 1.9 homers per nine innings.
Hendricks will go up against an Indians lineup that managed just one run off Jake Arrieta and the Cubs bullpen on a frigid, wet night in Cleveland in Game 2.
Hendricks is also coming off a stellar start at Wrigley last weekend when he absolutely dominated the Dodgers to clinch the National League pennant for the Cubs. In the postseason, Hendricks has a 1.65 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and .164 batting average against.
Playing at an NL park, the Indians are rolling with normal DH Carlos Santana in the outfield:
1. Carlos Santana - LF
2. Jason Kipnis - 2B
3. Francisco Lindor - SS
4. Mike Napoli - 1B
5. Jose Ramirez - 3B
6. Lonnie Chisenhall - RF
7. Roberto Perez - C
8. Tyler Naquin - CF
9. Josh Tomlin