Rose bounces back in a big way for Bulls

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Rose bounces back in a big way for Bulls

AUBURN HILLS, MIch.At least we know Derrick Rose doesnt have selective amnesia, forgetting the games he wants to forget.

Following his nightmarish 1-for-13 performance in the Bulls overtime win against the Heat Thursday at the United Center, Rose told the media after Saturdays practice that he had amnesia and already put that game behind him.

After Sundays win at Detroit, in which he scored 24 points, dished out nine assists and saved the Bulls from an upset loss by hitting a game-tying three-pointer with 6.4 seconds left in regulation to send the contest into the extra session, Rose proved that it was true with a strong individual outing and afterwards, he credited both his teammates and his own work ethic for the bounce-back game.

Were learning from it. Were finding ways to win. I dont know how, but were finding ways. We have a good team, man. Im trying to catch up with my teammates. Im trying to play as hard as them and Im trying to get my rhythm back, but theyre allowing me to. They give me the ball in situations where I was in before the injury. Im just trying to learn my way through it, the reigning MVP explained afterwards.

It was a brawl. Theyre a good team. Theyre still trying to win and they played hard. We had the game. We were up by 12 in the third, we let the game slip and fought our way back.

Its coming along, man. Ive still got to get used to the tape, but driving, I think its coming along. Just shooting, just my rhythm is coming along, he continued. Just working on my game, man. Every off day, just in the gym, just shooting shots. Driving, doing Mikan drills, just trying to get the feel for the ball and the basket.

Uncharacteristically, Rose shot four airballs in the gameIm shooting them. Im shooting airballs, he admitted. Thats not stopping me. If I get an open shot, Im shooting it. but he came up big when it counted most Sunday.

I just saw I had an open shot. I thought they were going to foul. Right when I saw BG Gordon didnt foul me and Monroe was kind of back some, I just shot the ball, he said, describing the shot that sent the game into overtime. Freelancing. Pick-and-roll, see what we can get in transition. They backed up and I shot the ball.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was pleased with Roses progress since Thursday.

I thought he was very explosive today. I thought he was terrific. He was in the lane. He still had some bobbles, but I thought his pick-and-roll offense was unbelievable. Changing direction was great and I thought he was getting to the rim, and he didnt get the calls, but he was getting hit, so hes got to keep going, he said.

Every time hes come back, its never more than a game with him. The other night, he struggled a little bit, but he had eight or nine assists and hes into the game, and hes a great leader, great leadership. The next day, hes in the gym, in a full lather from just working on his game and you just knew the next game, he was going to be ready to go and to me, you cant ask for more leadership than that. Thats the best type of leadership. Its not somebody just saying things and doing none of them, but somebody whos doing things and setting a great example, and setting the tone for the team. To me, thats the best type of leadership you can have and thats what hes doing.

Added teammate Joakim Noah: Its just great to have him out there. He puts so much pressure on the defense and that just makes easy opportunitiesDerricks a tough guy, so he knows that we need him and it was a good win for us.

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."