Noah uses memory of playoff series as motivation against 76ers

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Noah uses memory of playoff series as motivation against 76ers

PHILADELPHIAFor once, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau is way off the mark when it comes to his players. Yes, Joakim Noah is a competitor and after a subpar outing Tuesday night in the Bulls home loss to the Clippers, but to think that his primary motivation coming into Wednesdays game against the 76ers was anything but remembering the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center cheer when he went down with a season-ending ankle injury in Game 3 of the two teams first-round playoff series is pure folly.

I think he responded well because of what happened last night. I didnt think he played his best last night, but I thought today, he had the energy and determination to play well again, so I think that was the big factor in the way he played, Thibodeau explained.

But the big thing for him is, I want him to be consistent with his approach. I dont want him to be relying on emotion or one game youre up, one game youre down. Just approach it the same way each and every day. Get ready for your next opponent. This ones over, get ready for Brooklyn. Thats the way it has to be.

Sounds great, Thibs. Heres what Noah had to say.

Yes, no question, he answered, when asked if he had May on his mind coming into this game, a 96-89 Bulls win, in which he contributed a team-high 21 points, along with seven rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots.

Ive been thinking about it all summer. All summer. I just couldnt wait to come back here. I just felt like when I went down last year, just people cheering and stuff. I just felt like that was a little disrespectful and it was definitely motivating for me to work even harder in the summer.

Im going to do it for the rest of my career, every time I come back.

So while Thibodeau would love for the charismatic centerwho was booed as he emphatically performed his finger guns routine after knocking down jumpersto be an even-keeled type, it just isnt happening. At least not in Philly.

Crippled Bears struggle in loss to Cowboys, remain winless on season

Crippled Bears struggle in loss to Cowboys, remain winless on season

ARLINGTON, Texas — Dak Prescott led scoring drives on all four Dallas possessions in the first half before throwing his first career touchdown pass, and the Cowboys beat the Chicago Bears 31-17 on Sunday night to snap an eight-game home losing streak.

With his second straight win, Prescott doubled the number of victories the Cowboys (2-1) had in 14 games without injured quarterback Tony Romo over three seasons before the rookie fourth-round pick showed up.

Prescott’s first TD pass was a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he’s up to 99 throws without an interception to start his career. Philadelphia rookie Carson Wentz has 102, and those are the two highest career-opening totals in NFL history.

Brian Hoyer had trouble moving the Chicago offence early with Jay Cutler sidelined by a sprained right thumb as the Bears fell behind 24-3 at halftime and dropped to 0-3 for the second time in two seasons under coach John Fox.

Making his 27th career start for his fourth different team, Hoyer was 30 of 49 for 317 yards -- a good portion of that with the game out of each late in the fourth quarter -- and threw for two scores to Zach Miller.

Rookie fourth overall pick Ezekiel Elliott had his first 100-yard game for Dallas, finishing with 140 yards on 30 carries and a 14-yard run when he hurdled safety Chris Prosinski.

It didn't even bother Prescott that Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith missed just the second game of his six-year career after his back tightened up during the week.

Prescott was 19 of 24 for 248 yards in Dallas' first home win since last year's opener, which was a week before the first of two broken left collarbones that kept Romo out of 12 games last season. Romo is expected to miss about another month after breaking a bone in his back in the preseason.

Prescott had one of three rushing touchdowns for the Cowboys, who have seven this season after getting eight all of last year, when they finished 4-12.

Because the Bears fell behind again, they couldn't do much with the running game. They had just 15 carries for 73 yards and lost leading rusher Jeremy Langford to an ankle injury in the second half.

MISSING PIECES

It was Chicago's first game without linebackers Danny Trevathan (sprain thumb) and Lamarr Houston (season-ending left ACL year). And the Bears struggled to slow the Cowboys, getting outgained 274-114 in the first half. Dallas had a 19-4 edge in first downs before halftime and finished with 447 yards, including 199 on the ground.

STAYING ALIVE

The Cowboys were on their way to a score on a fifth straight possession when Terrance Williams fumbled at the end of a 47-yard catch on the opening drive of the second half. The Bears turned that into the first of Hoyer's two TDs to Miller, a 2-yarder on fourth down to cut it to 24-10.

INJURIES

Chicago S Harold Jones-Quartey left with a concussion in the first half and didn't return. ... The Cowboys lost another lineman when LG La'el Collins missed the second half with a sprained foot. Ron Leary, the starter who lost his job to Collins this season, was his replacement.

David Ross helps Cubs edge Cardinals in regular season home finale

David Ross helps Cubs edge Cardinals in regular season home finale

CHICAGO (AP) -- David Ross homered and teamed with Jon Lester for another scoreless performance, and the Chicago Cubs hurt St. Louis' wild-card chances with 3-1 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday night.

Ben Zobrist had three hits and scored two runs as Chicago finished with a major league-best 57-24 home record. It's the most home wins for the Cubs since they went 58-19 at the West Side Grounds in 1910.

The Cardinals lost for the third time in four games, wasting a chance to improve their playoff positioning. They remain a half-game back of San Francisco for the second NL wild card.

Lester (19-4), one of the top candidates for the NL Cy Young Award, struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander allowed three hits and walked one while improving to 10-0 with 1.34 ERA in his last 13 starts.

Carlos Martinez (15-9) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings.