Hinrich out vs. 76ers with knee injury

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Hinrich out vs. 76ers with knee injury

PHILADELPHIABulls starting point guard Kirk Hinrich will miss Wednesday nights game against the 76ers with a knee injury. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said Hinrich was injured during Tuesday nights home loss to the Clippers.

Hes out, Thibodeau said prior to the game at the Wells Fargo Center. Hinrich banged up his knee.

I believe its his left, he continued, noting that the veteran suffered the injury at some point Tuesday evening. Hinrich is just day-to-day moving forward.

Nate Robinson will start in Hinrichs place, with rookie Marquis Teague backing him up, according to Thibodeau. Including the preseason, this is Hinrichs fifth injuryhe previously hurt his hip, thumb, groin and elbow, though he didnt miss any time due to the latter injury, his most recent prior to hurting his kneein his second stint with the Bulls.

Hes not a big minutes guy right now, said Thibodeau, when asked if hed limit Hinrichs minutes in the future. Its part of the league. Youre going to get banged up and when one guy goes down, the next guy has to step up and get the job done.

Weve been in this situation before. The Boston game a November home loss to the Celtics, Nate started, he added. Marquis came in and did a very good job, so we have a lot of confidence in his ability. Hell be ready to go.

Thibodeau said that Hinrich didnt have an MRI Wednesday, indicating that it might not be a long-term absence. In fact, Hinrichwho wasnt available to the media before the contest, as he was receiving treatment from the teams training staffattempted to warm up with hopes of playing.

He was giving it a shot tonight to see if he warmed up, if it was any better, Thibodeau, who added that theres nothing showing right now, explained. It wasnt, so Im just going to hold him out.

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

PHOENIX -- The red-hot White Sox ran into Zack Greinke on Monday night.

He cooled them off in a hurry.

Greinke struck out 12 hitters and Daniel Descalso blasted a three-run home run off Miguel Gonzalez as the Arizona Diamondbacks sent the White Sox to a 5-1 loss in front of 18,333 at Chase Field. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the White Sox, who had scored 24 runs in their final two games against the Seattle Mariners.

Descalso’s three-run shot off Gonzalez followed a two-out walk of Chris Owings in the bottom of the fourth inning. It broke a scoreless tie and gave Greinke all the breathing room he needed.

Not only did Greinke strike out a dozen hitters, he limited the White Sox to four hits in 8 2/3 innings.

Omar Narvaez had two hits, the first coming after Greinke opened the game by retiring seven straight batters. Leury Garcia homered off Greinke with one out in the fifth inning to break up his bid for a shutout.

It was quite the turnaround from when the White Sox bashed Yovani Gallardo and Chris Heston on consecutive days in Seattle. The White Sox scored a combined nine first-inning runs in winning three of four against the Mariners.

Gonzalez was sharp for three innings as he faced one over the minimum. After he walked nine batters in his previous two starts, Gonzalez walked only one on Monday. The right-hander also yielded a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt. Gonzalez allowed five runs (four earned) and seven hits in five innings. 

For Joe Maddon, Cubs winning World Series came down to Giant comeback in SF and avoiding Johnny Cueto in elimination game

For Joe Maddon, Cubs winning World Series came down to Giant comeback in SF and avoiding Johnny Cueto in elimination game

Jon Lester vs. Johnny Cueto at Wrigley Field – the playoff matchup the Cubs dreaded in an elimination game – will happen more than seven months later under far different circumstances.

The Cubs have a 2016 championship banner flying next to the iconic center-field scoreboard – the ultimate response to any questions about their slow start to this season. The San Francisco Giants can’t have Madison Bumgarner saunter out of the bullpen when he’s recovering from a dirt-bike accident, another reason why an odd-year team is much closer to last place than first in an improved National League West.

The Giants don’t have the same aura, because the Cubs staged an epic comeback to end a best-of-five division series last October, scoring four runs again five different relievers in the ninth inning at AT&T Park.

“I’m telling you, man, Game 4 pretty much won the World Series,” Joe Maddon said. “I did not want to see Mr. Cueto pitching back here again. I’ll get to see him (Tuesday night), but that’s OK, compared to whatever that day would’ve been.”

Maddon has admitted this already, but it is still telling from a manager who always tries to stay in the moment and ignore the negativity. It says something about a Giant franchise that had won 10 straight postseason elimination games and World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014 – and a fan base that used to expect things to go wrong in Wrigleyville after more than a century of losing.

“That whole Game 4 in San Francisco, I did focus on that a lot,” Maddon said. “Just trying to understand Game 5 back at home – how this is going to play out – and do whatever we possibly can to win that game there that night in San Francisco.

“That was the game for me – out of the entire postseason. To have to play the Giants where they were battle-tested – Game 5, back here with (Cueto) pitching – I did not like that at all. I thought that pretty much the postseason hinged on that one game in San Francisco.”

Even though the Cubs still had to survive a 21-inning scoreless streak against the Los Angeles Dodgers before winning their first NL pennant in 71 years. And come back from a 3-1 deficit in the World Series and beat the Cleveland Indians on the road in a 10-inning Game 7 for the ages.

[RELATED: Cubs can't complete another miracle comeback against Giants bullpen]

“That’s what good teams do,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “They’re a very talented club, very solid all around. You don’t win the World Series unless you are.

“Look back at our success, how many times were we looking at elimination? No, you’re never surprised in the postseason. Anything those teams do, it’s because they’re there for a reason. They’re very good.”

Lester beat Cueto in a 1-0 instant classic when Javier Baez lifted a 3-2 quick pitch into the basket beneath the video ribbon in the left-field bleachers. Cueto kept the Cubs so off-balance in Game 1 that Baez actually walked up to home plate in the eighth inning thinking bunt.

The Giants reacted to that Game 4 meltdown by giving All-Star closer Mark Melancon a four-year, $62 million contract at the winter meetings, trying to fix a bullpen that led the majors with 30 blown saves last season.

“It was close,” Bochy said. “Three outs from taking it to Game 5 with a pretty good pitcher going. We can speculate all we want. There’s no point in that. It didn’t happen.

“But, sure, you look back. That’s how tight that series was. Unfortunately, we couldn’t hold on. Give them credit – great job coming back. We’re a team that plays very well under pressure, and we did there. Just couldn’t hold on to that ninth inning.”