CSN celebrates the holidays with a full line-up of classic games & special shows!

CSN celebrates the holidays with a full line-up of classic games & special shows!

COMCAST SPORTSNET CELEBRATES THE HOLIDAY SEASON

WITH A FULL LINE-UP OF CLASSIC GAMES & SPECIAL SHOWS ON DEC. 24 & 25!
Chicago, IL (December 20, 2011) -- Comcast SportsNet, the television home of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, is celebrating the holiday season in a big way with two, full daysnights of thrilling Classic game telecasts, brand new specials, live post-game programming, up-to-the-minute local sports news & highlights and much more on Christmas Eve (Sat, Dec. 24) and Christmas Day (Sun, Dec. 25). Check out the following action-packed line-uponly on Comcast SportsNet!

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24

3:00 PM White Sox Classics (from July 31, 1991) Down 8-6 with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, new White Sox manager Robin Ventura blasted a walk-off grand slam against the visiting Texas Rangers in one his finest on-field performances; Ventura went 4-6 w5 RBI.
6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse (L) The latest news, interviews and highlights from the Chicago sports scene and from around the nation.
7:00 PM Blackhawks TV Brand new episode of this Emmy award-winning series featuring the latest behind-the-scenes coverage of the NHLs hottest team!

7:30 PM Bulls Classics presented by Honda (NBA Playoffs - E. Conf. FinalsGm. 4 from May 31, 1993) Michael Jordan shined brightly once again with a dominant 54-point performance against the NY Knicks that tied this series at 2-2.

10:00 & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central (L) Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports.

11:00 PM The Making of the Luvabulls Re-airing of the final two episodes from Comcast SportsNets acclaimed behind-the-scenes look at one of the NBAs most talented dance teams.

12:00 AM SportsNet Central (L) Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25

1:00 PM Cubs Classics (from Apr. 23, 2011) Cubs storm back to score five runs in the bottom of the 8th to post a solid 10-8 victory against the visiting LA Dodgers.

4:30 PM Inside Look: Tom Ricketts presented by Cadillac Premiere airing featuring the exclusive one-on-one interview with Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, conducted by Cubs PrePost Game Live host David Kaplan.
5:00 PM Kendall vs. Kustok presented by Chicago Home Fitness Its former NBA standoutcurrent Comcast SportsNet Bulls PrePost Game Live studio analyst Kendall Gill vs. former prepscollegiate star athlete, now current SportsNet Central reporteranchor Sarah Kustok, along with their respective teams, taking on the Chicago Fitness Challenge. Tune in to see whose team wins!

6:00 PM Blackhawks TV (see Dec. 24 at 7:00 PM)

6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse (L) The latest news, interviews and highlights from the Chicago sports scene and from around the nation.
7:00 PM White Sox Classics (from June 3, 2011) The White Sox battled the visiting Detroit Tigers and pulled off a thrilling 6-4 win, thanks in part to homers from Quentin, Lillibridge & Pierre, along with a pair of defensive gems from Pierre and Morel.

10:00 PM GMC SportsNet Central (L) Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports.

10:30 PM Bears Post Game Live presented by Illinois Back Institute (L) Immediately following the Bears-Packers game, be sure to tune into this 90-minute, live post-game show, featuring analysis from host Pat Boyle and a team of experts including Jim Miller, Dan Jiggetts and Howard Griffith. Bears Post Game Live also features live post-game press conferences with coaches and players from both teams with SportsNet Centrals Bears beat reporter Kip Lewis and CSNChicago.com Bears Insider John Moon Mullin providing immediate post-game interviews with Bears players inside & outside the locker room.

12:00 AM SportsNet Central: Sunday Night Slant (L) Complete game recaphighlights from the weekends NFL match-ups, along with a complete wrap-up of the entire day in sports.

PLUS Coming up on Comcast SportsNet next week

CHICAGO BULLS REGULAR SEASON OPENER on Thu, Dec. 29 as the Bulls face the host Sacramento Kings in Comcast SportsNets first regular season Bulls telecast of the season (McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live begins at 8:30 PM, tip-off at 9:00 PM)

CHICAGO BULLS HOME OPENER is on Comcast SportsNet on New Years DaySun, Jan. 1 as the Bulls face the Memphis Grizzlies (special one-hour edition of McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live will take place from the United Center beginning at 6:00 PM, tip-off at 7:00 PM)

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS action, featuring three live match-ups from the United Center: Mon, Dec. 26 vs. Columbus Wed, Dec. 28 vs. Los Angeles Fri, Dec. 30 vs. Detroit (Chevy Blackhawks Pre-Game Live coverage begins at 7:00 PM each night)

In addition, viewers are also urged to visit Comcast SportsNets newly-enhanced website, CSNChicago.com, for the very latest BullsBlackhawksCubsWhite SoxBears news, game previewsrecaps, Insider reports, talent blogs, videos and much more, available 247.

Elena Delle Donne scores 18, leads Sky over Wings

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Elena Delle Donne scores 18, leads Sky over Wings

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Elena Delle Donne had 18 points and eight rebounds to help the Chicago Sky beat the Dallas Wings 92-85 on Sunday.

Courtney Vandersloot added 15 points and nine assists, Cappie Pondexter scored 14 and Erika de Souza had 12 for Chicago, which is sixth in the AP power poll.

The Sky (13-13) had an 18-1 run spanning the first and second quarters to make it 40-16 on de Souza's basket with 6:09 left in the first half.

The 10th-ranked Wings (9-18) cut the deficit to 60-54 in the third quarter but Chicago answered with a 12-3 run. From there, the Wings trailed by double-digits until a late 13-2 run brought them within 90-85 with 15 seconds left.

Odyssey Sims scored 22 points and Skylar Diggins added 16 to lead Dallas, which dropped its eighth in a row.

Cubs close out road trip with narrow loss to Dodgers

Cubs close out road trip with narrow loss to Dodgers

LOS ANGELES – Joe Maddon watched John Lackey board the team bus on Sunday morning wearing a Team USA onesie. The Cubs manager later noticed Aroldis Chapman in pajamas in the clubhouse on his way out to the dugout for his pregame media session at Dodger Stadium.

“We’ve created our own little culture, our own little identity,” Maddon said. “I just love the fact that they buy into those moments. Your stars are buying into it.”

The Cubs are in their own world, followed like rock stars on the road, freed from baseball’s unwritten rules and checked out from the daily anxiety and scoreboard-watching stress during a normal pennant race. 

But this afternoon still had a playoff-type atmosphere, with a crowd of 44,745 watching a scoreless game finally pivot in the eighth inning. Cubs reliever Trevor Cahill hit Andrew Toles with a pitch, jammed Howie Kendrick and threw the soft groundball into right field. An intentional walk to Corey Seager loaded the bases, setting up a matchup between Carl Edwards Jr. and the heart of the Los Angeles lineup.

[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

The rookie unleashed a 97-mph fastball and struck out Justin Turner on a foul tip. Edwards then went right back at Adrian Gonzalez, inducing a chopper toward third baseman Javier Baez, who threw the ball to second base. The Cubs missed escaping the jam by a split second, with Seager’s right foot sliding into second just before Ben Zobrist’s left foot touched the bag.

That would be the difference in a 1-0 loss that again showed the narrow margin between these two big-market, first-place teams. The Cubs needed 10 innings to secure a comeback win on Friday night before Los Angeles won one-run games on Saturday and Sunday at Dodger Stadium.  

The Cubs would still leave Los Angeles with a 14-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals, their magic number to clinch the division now 20, ending a West Coast trip with a onesies theme almost exactly one year after Jake Arrieta threw a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium, showing this team would be a force in October.

With John Lackey ramping up for return, could Cubs go to six-man rotation?

With John Lackey ramping up for return, could Cubs go to six-man rotation?

LOS ANGELES – John Lackey is ramping up for a return to the rotation and all those “Big Boy Games” the Cubs are supposed to play in October.

The Cubs expect Lackey to test his strained right shoulder and throw two bullpen sessions this week, manager Joe Maddon said Sunday at Dodger Stadium. If everything goes smoothly for the two-time World Series champion, the Cubs will tentatively schedule Lackey’s next start for either the Labor Day weekend showdown against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field, or near the beginning of a three-city road trip in early September.     

Lackey (9-7, 3.41 ERA) has accounted for 158-plus innings, making 24 starts and stabilizing the rotation before going on the disabled list on Aug. 15. Jason Hammel should eventually cool off and will be “well-rested” after Maddon’s quick hook on Saturday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. The Cubs also like what they’ve seen from Mike Montgomery, believing the lefty can develop into a solid big-league starter.

[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

Could the Cubs go to a six-man rotation down the stretch?

“We haven’t planned that specifically yet,” Maddon said. “I’m not opposed, let me put it that way. We’ll see how it all plays out with Mikey the next time through. Again, to do anything we possibly can to conserve our arms for the end of the year is important. 

“It’s being proven throughout the industry right now. Moving forward, the biggest trick there is to get the sixth guy that you like. Most teams are clamoring to get (No.) 4 and 5. We got five that we like. Now we’re working on 6.”

It’s not like the Cubs are fighting for a wild-card spot or clinging to a one-game lead in the division. The best record in baseball allows them to look at the big picture and get creative in September. The counterargument to keeping starters fresh for October would be keeping creatures of habit like Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta in a rhythm. 

“Starting pitchers have always rallied to say that they need to stay on that particular plan,” Maddon said. “But I think it’s kind of been proven – just give them that extra day or two on occasion and it really benefits them. So I just think you’re fighting this old view of specifically how it needs to be done."