Knicks face Bulls without services of All-Star Anthony

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Knicks face Bulls without services of All-Star Anthony

It isnt a long-term injury on the level of the Bulls Derrick Rose or even Knicks teammates Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert, a Chicago-area native, but New Yorks Carmelo Anthony missed his second consecutive game Saturday night with a middle-finger injury.

The superstar scorer and early-season MVP candidate was also sidelined for the Knicks blowout road win over defending-champion Miami after suffering a cut to the finger while diving into the crowd for a loose ball and while he had a day off in Chicago before facing the Bulls, after warming up prior to Saturdays contest, Anthony determined hed sit out another game to get healthy, perhaps in time for his first matchup in Denver against the Nuggets, his former team, Sunday.

Right now its just the comfort level of being able to just go out there and dribble, just getting through the first time you get hit, the first time I get a hard pass, just getting past that, Anthony said before the game. You just get caught up in the moment. When the momentum is going, youre not really thinking about your hand. I went out there and tried it, and knowing I still would force myself to go through it, youve got to be smart. Weve played 20 games at this point in the season and I didnt want to have another setback.

I think it was just me being able to catch passes, especially from Raymond. He fires them, so Ive got to get myself mentally prepared for that. But thats the only thing, being able to control the ball, catch the ball. Today, I worked out. It felt pretty good. Im pretty sure a couple more hours wont do anything but help it, continued the All-Star, who noted the advice given to him by teammate Tyson Chandler, a former Bull. Chandler told me not to, him and Jason Kidd. They pulled me up, told me that was the best thing for me to do. But they know how bad I want to play. I actually came early on the bus. Jason Kidd told me hes never seen me on the first bus. I was bored. But for me, to say to myself that Im going to sit out that Miami game and then tonights game, I really trust my teammates and feel as though they can take care of business.

Even with Anthony missing Thursdays prime-time showdown against the Heat and last seasons starters Stoudemire and Shumpert, an explosive second-year guard from suburban Oak Park, Ill.ironically, former Bulls Ronnie Brewer and Kurt Thomas are their temporary replacementsthe Knicks are currently atop the Eastern Conference, propelled by a combination of potent three-point shooting and a much-improved defense.

Blackhawks blow three-goal lead, fall in OT at Lightning

Blackhawks blow three-goal lead, fall in OT at Lightning

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Yanni Gourde had a breakaway goal 4:25 into overtime and the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 on Monday night.

Victor Hedman set up the winner with his third assist of the game.

Tampa Bay, which trails Boston by a point for the second Eastern Conference wild card, also got two goals from Jonathan Drouin. Ondrej Palat and Anton Stralman also scored, and Andrei Vasilevskiy, who got pulled 14 minutes into the first after allowing three goals on eight shots, returned to the start the second and finished with 25 saves.

Artemi Panarin, Patrick Kane, Tomas Jurco and Richard Panik scored for the Western Conference-leading Blackhawks, who were coming off a 7-0 loss Saturday night at Florida. Scott Darling stopped 25 shots.

Cubs will have Ian Happ one phone call away at Triple-A Iowa

Cubs will have Ian Happ one phone call away at Triple-A Iowa

MESA, Ariz. – After an impressive camp where he looked like the next homegrown Cubs hitter to roll off the assembly line, Ian Happ will go to Triple-A Iowa and get ready to make his big-league debut, or perhaps build his value for a trade-deadline deal.

Along with Happ, the Cubs assigned outfielder John Andreoli and catcher Taylor Davis to minor-league camp on Monday while optioning pitchers Eddie Butler and Rob Zastryzny to Iowa, cutting their roster to 31 as the Opening Night picture comes into focus.

Happ – the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft out of the University of Cincinnati – batted .417 with five homers, four doubles and 17 RBI in 24 Cactus League games.

"Offensively, what was there not to like?" general manager Jed Hoyer said. "I feel like he hit the ball hard every at-bat for six weeks. It's always fun to see a young guy like that come in and open a lot of eyes."

Happ, 22, is a switch-hitter who can play second base and the outfield, skills that could help him escape from Des Moines once the need arises on the major-league level.

[MORE CUBS: How Cubs came to fully believe in the legend of Kyle Schwarber]

Though there are questions about Happ's defense, Theo Epstein's front office and Joe Maddon's coaching staff clearly value versatility and trust young talent, moving Addison Russell to shortstop in 2015 and elevating rookie catcher Willson Contreras last season.

Stay tuned to see when/if the Cubs will have a spot at Wrigley Field, but Happ looks like he will be on a fast track.

"Whenever you're in Triple-A, you're always a call away," Hoyer said. "Sometimes it happens quicker than you think. We never expected Addie would be up in April of that year, and he was. I feel like with Willson last year, if you had asked me in spring training – would he be up in June? – I probably would have thought it would be more like a September call-up or something like that.

"You never know. Things happen. When you have good players in the minor leagues, sometimes it speeds up on you a little bit."