Without Rose, Bulls could be in some trouble

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Without Rose, Bulls could be in some trouble

From Comcast SportsNet
CHICAGO (AP) -- The fans gave Derrick Rose a standing ovation before the game. There wasn't much for them to cheer about in the end. Jrue Holiday scored 26 points, Lou Williams added 20 and the Philadelphia 76ers beat Chicago 109-92 on Tuesday night to even their first-round series in the Bulls' first game since Rose's season-ending knee injury. The superstar point guard received a standing ovation and waved to the crowd as he limped onto the court to present the game ball, then watched from a suite as the 76ers simply blitzed the Bulls in the third quarter. They outscored Chicago 36-14 in the period, turning an eight-point deficit into an 83-69 lead, and pulled even with the league's top-seeded team. Game 3 is Friday in Philadelphia. "This game we caught fire and it was pretty hard to put it out," Holiday said. All the Bulls could do was shake their heads and vow to do better. "Disappointed," Chicago's Joakim Noah said. "Disappointing effort overall. We didn't play well defensively. We didn't play well offensively." Holiday was 11 of 15 from the field, and the Sixers shot 59 percent overall. Williams came up big, going 8 of 13 after hitting just 1 of 6 shots in the opener, and Chicago product Evan Turner chipped in with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Noah led the Bulls with 21 points and eight rebounds. John Lucas III scored 15 points, but Carlos Boozer scored just nine and Luol Deng finished with eight. More alarming, the Bulls simply couldn't stop the Sixers, particularly in the third quarter. Turner scored 11 points in the period, and Philadelphia wiped out a 55-47 deficit. "That third quarter we played tonight was as good a quarter as I ever seen our team play as long as I've been with them," Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said. "We were active." For the Bulls, that was about as bad as it gets. They were unable to make any stops, and they couldn't find a rhythm on offense, either. "We kind of let our offense affect our defense," Richard Hamilton said. The Sixers were leading 68-61 midway through the quarter after a 12-0 run that Elton Brand started with a foul-line jumper. Then, after a basket by C.J. Watson, Andre Iguodala threw down a thunderous one-handed dunk over Deng for a three-point play that drew plenty of oohs, aahs and groans from a crowd that felt this one slipping away. Things didn't get much better for Chicago after that. The 76ers continued to pour it on, with Iguodala delivering another vicious dunk late in the quarter and then hitting Williams with an alley-oop pass that made it 83-69 heading into the fourth. "For the first time in a long time our defense dictated our offense," Iguodala said. "We rebounded the ball. Evan and myself pushed it out on the break and we finished pretty well. It started with that in the third quarter." It added up to a rough night for the Bulls, who were in a familiar spot with Rose sidelined again -- this time after tearing the ACL in his left knee late in Game 1. He missed 27 games during the regular season because of a variety of ailments, and the Bulls did just fine, going 18-9. Throw in injuries to Hamilton and Deng, and they were able to go with their projected starting five just 15 times, yet they still captured homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs for the second straight season. That's why they insist they can still make a run, even with Rose out. They won without him before. They insist their championship hopes didn't die when he went down. "It's different (without Rose)," Noah said. "There's no excuses, though. We know we can play better. It's disappointing, but you know what? We live to fight another day. There's a lot of basketball to play." Notes: The Sixers shuffled their lineup from Game 1, with Turner starting for Jodie Meeks and C Spencer Hawes for Lavoy Allen. ... Scottie Pippen says the Bulls still are the team to beat even without Rose. In an open letter to the team posted Tuesday on the Bulls' website, Pippen wrote, "You're still the best team in the NBA until an opponent proves otherwise." The Hall of Famer also compared the loss of Rose to Michael Jordan's first retirement and pointed out the 1993-94 team won 55 games. Pippen said the Bulls "believed in ourselves" and never "felt sorry for ourselves." ... Chicago's Tom Thibodeau finished second in the Coach of the Year voting to San Antonio's Gregg Popovich after winning the award last season.

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Game 75: Capitals at Wild date, time, how to watch, game thread

Game 75: Capitals at Wild date, time, how to watch, game thread

The Capitals head out on a season-long five-game road trip looking their best. But how will they handle the road? Things do not go well on their last extended road trip as they were handed three regulation losses in California. Washington hopes to handle this road swing a bit better. While the Caps look like they have recovered from a four-game losing streak, their first game will be a tough one as they face their former coach Bruce Boudreau and a Minnesota Wild team in desperate need of a win.

What: Washington Capitals vs. Minnesota Wild

Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minn.

When: 8:00 p.m. ET. (Capitals GameTime gets things started at 7:30 p.m. ET)

How to Watch: Capitals at Wild will be broadcast on CSN. (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals at Wild game on CSN's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-WILD GAME?

The Capitals (49-17-8) take on the Wild (44-24-7) Tuesday, March 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET at Xcel Energy Center.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-WILD GAME ON?

The Capitals-Wild game will be broadcast on CSN Mid-Atlantic. Capitals GameTime gets things started at 7:30 p.m. ET with Capitals Extra recapping the all the action following the game. (CSN channel Finder)

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-WILD GAME?

The Capitals-Wild game, as well as the pre and postgame shows, is available to stream live here through CSN's live stream page and is available to authenticated CSN Mid-Atlantic subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

WHAT ARE THE LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-WILD GAME?

Here are the projected lines based on Monday's practice:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson

Defense

Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Kevin Shattenkirk

Goalies
Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches
Paul Carey, Nate Schmidt, Taylor Chorney

CAPITALS-WILD OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals Digital Producer JJ Regan and the CSN Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and CSN's Facebook page.

Keep up with all the action here with Capitals GameZone and join in on the conversation here with Capitals Pulse.

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Cavs loss to Spurs shakes up NBA's Eastern Conference for Wizards, Celtics and others

Cavs loss to Spurs shakes up NBA's Eastern Conference for Wizards, Celtics and others

Usually it's a good thing for the Wizards and their fans when the Cavaliers lose, but Cleveland's 103-74 defeat to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night had quite the domino effect in the Eastern Conference standings.

By losing, the Cavs dropped from the No. 1 seed to the No. 2 seed, allowing the Boston Celtics to take over the top spot with eight games left for them to play and nine games for Cleveland. Why should the Wizards care? Well, if the playoffs began today the Wizards would be third in the East, meaning if they advanced to the second round they would likely face the defending-champion Cavaliers, instead of the Celtics.

[RELATED: Report: Heat holding onto slim hopes they can trade Bosh]

To get out of the East and reach the Finals, the Wizards - or any other team for that matter - would almost certainly have to get through Cleveland on the way. And no matter what the standings say, or how vulnerable the Cavaliers look right now, they remain the team to beat. They have LeBron James, the best player in basketball, two other stars in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, and of course the championship pedigree. Without injuries in the Finals two years ago, they could be two-time defending champs at this point.

Just because the Cavs look shaky right now, doesn't mean they will be in a month when the second round of the playoffs takes place. There are still two weeks left in the regular season and the first round takes almost two weeks to decide. The Cavaliers have plenty of time.

If the Cavs remain in the second spot, it's an easy argument to make that the Wizards could prefer slipping to the fourth seed instead of staying in third. That way they could take their chances against the Celtics or Raptors in the second round rather than the Cavs. Both of those teams are good, but they aren't anything close to the Cavs when it comes to a playoff series.

The Wizards have nine games left themselves and are just a half-game up on the Raptors in third. A lot can happen from here on out, but the prospects of seeing the Cavs earlier than the Wizards need to is already a scary proposition.

[RELATED: Wizards on cusp of breaking U.S.'s longest division drought]