NBA player grabs career-high 30 rebounds

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NBA player grabs career-high 30 rebounds

From Comcast SportsNetSAN ANTONIO (AP) -- While Kobe Bryant again sat out, Andrew Bynum cleaned up.Pulling down the first 30-rebound game in the NBA in more than two years, Bynum made Bryant's third missed game in a row an afterthought by the time the Los Angeles Lakers finished off the San Antonio Spurs 98-84 on Wednesday night.The 7-footer became the first player with 30 rebounds in a game since Minnesota's Kevin Love corralled 31 against the New York Knicks in 2010. Bynum also had 16 points while joining Love as the only two players in the last 12 years to hit the 30-rebound mark."It's great to have 30 boards, but my shots not working and I'm little upset about that," said Bynum, who was 7 of 20 from the field. "For me, I'll remember shooting poorly."That's not what anyone else will recall.Metta World Peace scored a second-high 26 points, and Pau Gasol added 21 points and 11 rebounds. The Lakers improved to 2-1 without Bryant, who is still letting his sore left shin heal. Lakers coach Mike Brown said there is still no timetable for when the NBA's leading scorer might return, but added that Bryant isn't nagging him to play.Brown said Bryant, who is averaging 28.1 points, wants to be cautious and not exacerbate the injury that halted his streak of consecutive starts at 138 last week. And two nights after barely squeaking past lowly New Orleans, the Lakers played far livelier this time without their superstar.The previous single-game mark for rebounds in the NBA this season was 25, set twice by Orlando's Dwight Howard and Milwaukee's Ersan Ilyasova. Bynum had already matched that by the end of the third quarter."They had some air balls that fell right to me," Bynum said. "So I just had my hands ready."It was that kind of night for the Spurs, who've now followed an 11-game winning streak by losing two in a row for the first time since January. Falling in Utah on Monday night was hardly shocking: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili didn't even make the trip that night in coach Gregg Popovich's pursuit to keep his stars fresh as possible for the playoffs.But the Big Three were back for the Lakers, and few saw this coming -- especially with Bryant sidelined in a suit.Parker and Ginobili might as well have taken another night off. Parker scored four on 2 of 12 shooting and Ginobili scored 9. Duncan had 14 points and just two rebounds.Danny Green led the Spurs with 22 points."They played great and beat us to death," Popovich said. "There's nothing else you can say about it."San Antonio trailed by as much as 26 and grabbed just one offensive rebound.Los Angeles has seven games left and are in third place in the West, 4 games behind the Spurs for second place. San Antonio remained just a game out of first despite the loss since Oklahoma City also lost Wednesday night.Bynum tapped missed shots to himself with ease over the undersized Spurs frontcourt, and nearly single-handedly outrebounded the entire Spurs lineup combined. San Antonio finished with 32 rebounds. It's the second time the Spurs have been beaten up on the boards: One of Howard's 25-rebound nights was also against San Antonio."He got a lot of position rebounds tonight," Duncan said. "He obviously is a big body and he had eight offensive rebounds, which really hurt us. All in all, we just did not play well."Bynum is the fifth Lakers player to grab 30 rebounds in a game, and the first since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1978."One of the ways we can control the tempo is by trying to rebound," Brown said. "And Drew took it upon himself. Obviously, the 30 rebounds is amazing."NOTES:Spurs G Gary Neal (gastroenteritis) did not play. ... Ginobili surpassed 10,000 career points, joining Duncan, Parker, David Robinson and George Gervin as the only other players in Spurs history to reach the milestone.

Relentless Cubs offense knocks out Gerrit Cole in win over Pirates

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Relentless Cubs offense knocks out Gerrit Cole in win over Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Relentless is the word the Cubs keep using to describe a lineup that knocked out Gerrit Cole on Monday night with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates already trailing by two runs at PNC Park.

Relentless could also be a label for Theo Epstein’s front office, even after spending almost $290 million on free agents and even with an 18-6 record that’s the best in baseball following a 7-2 win over the Pirates.

Because the Cubs want nothing to do with the randomness of another one-game playoff and can’t take anything for granted with 85 percent of the schedule still remaining.

Not that Epstein needed a reminder, but the president of baseball operations flashed back to last year’s National League wild-card game when he flew into Pittsburgh, checked into the team’s downtown hotel across the Roberto Clemente Bridge and went running along the Allegheny River.

From his hotel room, Epstein could sort of see where Kyle Schwarber’s two-run homer off Cole flew out of PNC Park last October. Even with Schwarber recovering from season-ending knee surgery, the Cubs still roughed up Cole for six runs.

“We’ve played really well,” Epstein said, “but I don’t think we’ve completely locked in yet or clicked in all facets of the game. Our pitching staff’s really been carrying us. It’s been the most consistent part of our team yet. As it warms up here, I think the bats will get going and they’ll probably carry us for a while.

“But as far as needs that we might have, or ways that we can get better, we’re always assessing that. I think there’s lots of different ways we could potentially improve the club before the end of the season.”

The Cubs will watch Tim Lincecum’s upcoming showcase in Arizona because they always check in on potential impact players at that level. Lincecum — a two-time Cy Young Award winner who helped the San Francisco Giants win three World Series titles — is making a comeback after hip surgery.

While the Cubs should have big-picture concerns about their rotation and a farm system that hasn’t developed the arms yet, Jason Hammel is making his own comeback. Hammel (4-0, 1.24 ERA) gave up two runs across five innings before four relievers combined to shut down the Pirates (15-11) the rest of the night.

After beating up on the division’s have-nots and going 8-1 against the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers, the Cubs should have a better idea of where they stand after Joe Maddon’s “Minimalist Zany” road trip to Pittsburgh and a four-game series against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field.

“There’s always the threat of somehow playing to the level of your competition in a negative way,” Maddon said. “I’m not denigrating any team that we’ve played to this point. That is not my point. But if you play teams with less-than (.500) records and maybe they’re not playing as well, you don’t turn that dimmer switch up to the full velocity. But when you’re playing really good teams, I think that naturally brings out the best in you.”

Jake Arrieta is the wild card in budding Cubs-Pirates rivalry

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Jake Arrieta is the wild card in budding Cubs-Pirates rivalry

PITTSBURGH — Jake Arrieta felt so locked in, so prepared for the biggest start of his life that he trolled the Pittsburgh Pirates on Twitter, telling their fans that the blackout atmosphere at PNC Park wouldn’t matter.

The Cubs will never forget that epic performance during last year’s National League wild-card game, how Arrieta walked the walk in a complete-game shutout. His young son, Cooper, even helped pour champagne into his mouth during that wild postgame celebration, creating another memorable snapshot.

If Arrieta is going to become a true villain in Pittsburgh — and the Cubs and Pirates are going to reach another boiling point and turn this into a great rivalry — then it probably won’t happen during the first week of May while the Penguins are still alive in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

But Arrieta’s starts have already become must-see TV, and the Pirates will get another up-close look on Tuesday night at this beautiful waterfront ballpark.

"Their fans are good," Arrieta said. "They’re passionate about their team and their guys, so it’s something that I enjoy. I don’t expect them to be my biggest fan — or a fan of me at all — but that’s the nature of fans and the fans that really support their team.

"That’s the whole point of social media — to interact. Sometimes it’s well received. Sometimes it’s not. But that was the intention there — to fire people up — and I think that’s exactly what I did."

Arrieta looked a little drained during the next two rounds of the playoffs, beating the St. Louis Cardinals (while seeming to lose his air of invincibility) before the New York Mets swept the Cubs out of the NLCS.

There hasn’t been any sort of hangover for Arrieta, the first NL Pitcher of the Month for three consecutive months after a dominant April that saw him go 5-0 with a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds and only two runs allowed across 36 innings.

As manager Joe Maddon likes to say, the reigning Cy Young Award winner is embracing the target.

"When you’re at the top of your game, when you’re one of the teams to beat, it’s just something that comes with the territory," Arrieta said.

Arrieta’s meticulous routine and laser focus mean he doesn’t experience a flood of special memories as soon as he sees the bridges, the black and gold and the Pittsburgh skyline. Or at least he won’t admit that now.

"Well, when you bring it up, yeah," Arrieta said. "That was a neat experience, something that was huge for us as a team and for the organization. But it was short-lived.

"We moved on and had to play the Cardinals and the Mets and our season was cut a little bit short. But we’re in a better spot now this early in the season. We like where we are."

That would be in first place in the Central, with the best record in the league and no interest in dealing with the coin-flip nature of the wild card.

"When you play 162, and then you have to fight it out in one game to move on or go home, it’s a situation that nobody really wants to be in," Arrieta said. "The goal is obviously to win the division. And getting off to a hot start is the way you go about doing that. We’re where we intended to be at this point in the season."

Antrel Rolle blames Bears practice field for knee injury

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Antrel Rolle blames Bears practice field for knee injury

Antrel Rolle has been around the NFL long enough to know this is sometimes how it goes.

The Bears released the 33-year-old Rolle one day after selecting three defensive backs in the 2016 NFL Draft. Rolle played just seven games in the first season of his three-year deal, while dealing with ankle and knee injuries.

He joined 670 The Score on Monday to discuss a number of topics surrounding his release. Among his comments, Rolle blamed the playing surface at Halas Hall, the Bears' practice facility, for the knee injury that ultimately ended his season.

Rolle, still dealing with an injured ankle that had limited him early in the season, injured the knee on the final play of practice on the Friday before the Bears' game against the Denver Broncos.

As he explains:

"I was pretty much shuffling...and I tried to change direction and I slipped on the surface, and because of my ankle and because of the tape the only thing that was able to give was my knee. So my knee had to take a lot of the force and the impact, and even the doctor said it was very unsual to find a tear that I had with a non-contact injury. But it was because of all the pressure and force on my knee because my ankle couldn't really give.

"I think the surface had a whole lot to do with it. It happens.

"The facilities are good in Chicago. The fields are just not as good. I don't know the reason behind it. I don't know how the maintenance and upkeep works in Chicago. But it's real hard to maintain and just be stable under those conditions. But I'm sure they'll try to work and fix it. I always knew Soldier Field (playing surface) was bad. I just never knew that the facitlities were just as bad."

Rolle plans on playing in his 12th NFL season, and believe he's capable of much more than he showed in his limited time with the Bears. Now a free agent, Rolle said he has a chip on his shoulder and is hoping whichever team he signs with plays the Bears in 2016.

"I know who I am as a player. I know who I still am as a player and what I can contribute. It's just unfortunate that it won't be (in Chicago).

"It's all good. I'll find a way and I'll make the best of it. And whatever team i play (for), I hope chicago's on the schedule."