CHICAGO (AP) Kirk Hinrich scored a season-high 22 points, Marco Belinelli (196-G-86) added 15 points, and the Chicago Bulls pulled away down the stretch to beat the struggling Los Angeles Lakers 95-83 on Monday night.
Belinelli came up big in the closing minutes, scoring eight points during an 18-4 run that broke a 75-75 tie and sent the Lakers to their ninth loss in 11 games.
He started it by hitting two free throws after getting fouled by Dwight Howard with 6:54 left in the game and wrapped two 3-pointers around a layup by Los Angeles Earl Clark, making it 89-79 with 2:27 remaining.
The Lakers have now dropped six straight on the road, and this one came after coach Mike DAntoni shook up the lineup. He moved forward Pau Gasol to a reserve role and replaced him with Clark, but the slide continued on a night when Kobe Bryant and Howard were mostly nonfactors.
Hinrich hit 9 of 11 shots and nailed three 3-pointers. Belinelli and Nate Robinson (11 points) also hit three, and the Bulls were 9 of 17 overall from long range.
Joakim Noah added 13 rebounds and a season-best six blocks after sitting out the final 22 minutes, 53 seconds of Saturdays loss to Memphis.
Carlos Boozer chipped in with 14 points and six rebounds. Richard Hamilton scored 13, although he shot just 6 of 18. Jimmy Butler, making his second straight start with Luol Deng (sore right hamstring) sidelined, scored 10. And Chicago won this one in regulation after playing three straight overtime games.
Steve Nash led the Lakers with 18 points, but Bryant finished with just 16 on 7-of-22 shooting. That ended a run of 24 games with 20 or more points.
Howard, meanwhile, had just eight points and nine rebounds while picking up five fouls. Clark and Metta World Peace scored 12 apiece, and Gasol added 15 points and 12 rebounds in his new reserve role.
DAntoni made the switch because he wanted a quicker lineup. Even so, it was an eye-opening move, considering Gasol scored 25 at Toronto on Sunday.
It isnt against him, its better for us right now, DAntoni said before the game. Were going to try to work through it and see what we can do. Things do change, things happen, I cant see the future but were ready to go forward.
NOTES: Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said star PG Derrick Rose is very close to starting full contact drills in practice, the next step in his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Could it happen this week? Yeah it could, Thibodeau said. Is it scheduled to happen this week? Thibodeau said, It could. He also said Rose will have to go through full-contact drills for an extended amount of time and that he wont be playing after one or two days of contact. Courtesy of: Associated Press
After the quarterfinals (and the playout) this is the situation, group by group, in the division just below the DNA:
Controlgom Monticelli Brusati vs Vivigas Costa Volpino 2-0 (80-60, 68-63)
ABC Utensili Varese vs Kopa Engineering Torino 2-1 (89-75, 63-78, 77-66)
S [read more]
After the quarterfinals (and the playout) this is the situation, group by group, in the division just below the DNA:
Montepaschi Siena claimed the second straight home win over Emporio Armani to level the series at 2-2. The game without a history. Montepaschi Siena led from the first minutes and controlled entire game increasing their lead in each quarter. 24 personal fouls committed by Armani Milano helped opponents get some easy free throw opportunities. Naturalized Nigerian power forward Benjamin Eze (207-81, college: S.Idaho JC) fired a double-double by scoring 14 points and 12 rebounds for the winners. American point guard Bobby Brown (188-84, college: CS Fullerton) chipped in 17 points. Four Montepaschi Siena players scored in double figures. American Keith Langford (193-83, college: Kansas) produced 21 points and British forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu (206-83, college: G.Washington, agency: SportsTalent) added 9 points and 13 rebounds (made all of his eleven free throws !!!) respectively for lost side. Both coaches used bench players which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Top scorers: Montepaschi: B.Brown 17+3reb+1ast, M.Carraretto 14+1reb+1ast, B.Eze 14+12reb+1ast, D.Hackett 10+4reb+5ast, D.Moss 6+2reb+4ast, M.Janning 5+1ast EA7 Armani: K.Langford 21+1reb+1ast, P.Mensah-Bonsu 9+13reb, M.Hairston 8+5reb+2ast, I.Bourousis 8+3reb, A.Gentile 8+4reb+1ast, M.Green 6+2ast
Umana Venezia opened the win count in the series against Varese. The hosts escaped elimination with a home victory in the fourth game. The game was mostly controlled by Umana Venezia. Cimberio Varese managed to win fourth quarter 19-11. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Umana Venezia made 19-of-23 free shots (82.6 percent) during the game. Worth to mention a great performance of American-Bulgarian point guard Kee Kee Clark (180-84, college: St.Peter's) who helped to win the game recording 18 points and 8 assists. French forward Yakhouba Diawara (201-82, college: Pepperdine) contributed with 14 points and 5 rebounds for the winners. American power forward Bryant Dunston (202-86) replied with 14 points and 9 rebounds and his fellow American import point guard Mike Green (185-85, college: Butler) added 11 points and 5 assists in the effort for Cimberio Varese. Both teams had four players each who scored in double figures. Cimberio Varese's coach rotated ten players in this game, but that didn't help. Top scorers: Umana VE: K.Kee Clark 18+4reb+8ast, A.Young 16+2reb, Y.Diawara 14+5reb+2ast, S.Szewczyk 11+9reb, T.Bowers 8+1reb, G.Rosselli 6+2reb+2ast Cimberio VA: D.Sakota 15+4reb, B.Dunston 14+9reb, A.Banks 12+4reb+1ast, M.Green 11+3reb+5ast, E.Ere 8+1reb, J.Talts 5+2reb+1ast
Acea Virtus Roma snatched a narrow road win in Reggio Emilia to even the series at 2-2. Trenkwalder RE was trailing by 10 points at halftime but managed to get 4-point lead after three quarters before a 25-18 charge of Lottomatica Roma, which allowed them to win the game. They made 26-of-31 free shots (83.9 percent) during the game. Lottomatica Roma outrebounded Trenkwalder RE 39-27 including 30 on the defensive glass. The winners were led by American point guard Jordan Taylor (185-89, college: Wisconsin) who scored that evening 18 points and 8 rebounds and international forward Luigi Datome (203-87) supported him with 20 points and 6 rebounds (made all of his eleven free throws !!!). Four Lottomatica Roma players scored in double figures. Even 19 points and 7 rebounds by American guard Donnel Taylor (198-82, college: UAB) did not help to save the game for Trenkwalder RE. International point guard Andrea Cinciarini (190-86) added 10 points and 6 assists for lost side. Trenkwalder RE's coach Massimiliano Menetti tested ten players, but that didn't help to avoid defeat in this game. Top scorers: Acea Virtus RM: L.Datome 20+6reb+1ast, J.Taylor 18+8reb+2ast, B.Jones 12+5reb, G.Lawal 10+5reb, P.Lorant 9+9reb, O.Czyz 2 Trenkwalder RE: D.Taylor 19+7reb+1ast, T.Bell 13+3reb, A.Cinciarini 10+4reb+6ast, G.Brunner 8+6reb+1ast, D.Slanina 7+1reb, M.Jeremic 5
Cantu posted the second straight narrow win over Sassari to make it 2-2. Banco di Sard. cut a 16-point halftime deficit to two at the end of the game. Cantu brought some defensive toughness making 7 blocks. Worth to mention a great performance of American guard Joe Ragland (182-89, college: Wichita St.) who helped to win the game recording 23 points and 5 assists and American-Israeli center Alex Tyus (205-88, college: Florida) who added 16 points and 9 rebounds (on 7-of-9 shooting from the field) during the contest. Cantu's coach Andrea Trinchieri allowed to play the deep bench players in such tough game. At the losing side naturalized Slovenian guard Sani Becirovic (196-81) responded with 19 points (made all of his seven free throws) and American forward Drew Gordon (205-90, college: N.Mexico) scored 13 points and 9 rebounds. Top scorers: Cantu: J.Ragland 23+1reb+5ast, A.Tyus 16+9reb, P.Aradori 11+4reb+2ast, J.Brooks 7+2reb+1ast, N.Mazzarino 5+1ast, M.Leunen 5+6reb+3ast Banco di Sard.: S.Becirovic 19+2reb+1ast, M.Thornton 16+2reb+1ast, D.Gordon 13+9reb, B.Sacchetti 9+3reb, T.Diener 8+2reb+9ast, D.Diener 6+4reb+1ast
Montepaschi cruised past Emporio Armani to narrow the deficit in the series. The game without a history. Montepaschi Siena led from the first minutes and controlled entire game increasing their lead in each quarter. They made 18-of-20 charity shots (90.0 percent) during the game. Montepaschi Siena forced 19 Armani Milano turnovers. The best player for the winners was the former international point guard Daniel Hackett (200-87, college: USC, agency: Two Points) who had a double-double by scoring 20 points and 11 assists. American forward David Moss (196-83, college: Indiana St., agency: SportsTalent) chipped in 26 points (on 10-of-13 shooting from the field). At the other side the best for losing team was American swingman Malik Hairston (198-87, college: Oregon) who recorded 18 points and swingman Alessandro Gentile (198-92) added 17 points respectively. Four Armani Milano players scored in double figures. Both coaches tested many bench players and allowed the starting five to rest. Top scorers: Montepaschi: D.Moss 26+4reb+1ast, D.Hackett 20+4reb+11ast, B.Brown 20+1ast, B.Eze 9+3reb, V.Sanikidze 7+5reb+1ast, M.Carraretto 7+3reb+1ast EA7 Armani: M.Hairston 18+4reb+1ast, A.Gentile 17+2reb+2ast, N.Melli 11+4reb+1ast, P.Mensah-Bonsu 10+3reb+1ast, A.Fotsis 7+3reb+1ast, M.Green 3+2reb+3ast
Varese knocked down Umana Venezia to gain comfortable 3-0 lead in the quarterfinal series. It was a quality performance for American guard Adrian Banks (191-86, college: NW Mississippi CC) who led the winners and scored 23 points and 6 rebounds. His fellow American import power forward Bryant Dunston (202-86) accounted for 19 points and 7 rebounds (on 8-of-9 shooting from the field) for the winning side. American point guard Alvin Young (188-75, college: Niagara) came up with 29 points and Polish center Szymon Szewczyk (209-82) added 15 points and 6 rebounds respectively for Umana Venezia in the defeat. Both coaches used bench players which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Top scorers: Cimberio VA: A.Banks 23+6reb+3ast, B.Dunston 19+7reb, A.Polonara 14+3reb, E.Ere 8+1reb, E.Rush 7+7reb, M.Green 7+5reb+10ast Umana VE: A.Young 29+4reb+1ast, S.Szewczyk 15+6reb+1ast, G.Rosselli 12+4reb+1ast, Y.Diawara 8+10reb+2ast, D.Marconato 5, K.Kee Clark 5+1reb+2ast
Cantu trimmed the deficit beating Banco di Sardegna at home court after a close battle. The hosts took control from the first minutes by winning first half. But Banco di Sard. won third quarter 21-13. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. The game was decided in the last minutes when Cantu won last quarter 18-18. It was a good game for American forward Maarten Leunen (206-85, college: Oregon) who led his team to a victory with 17 points. American-Israeli center Alex Tyus (205-88, college: Florida) contributed with 8 points and 14 rebounds for the winners. American guard Drake Diener (196-81, college: De Paul, agency: Priority Sports) answered with 13 points and 5 assists and the other American import point guard Travis Diener (184-82, college: Marquette) added 19 points in the effort for Banco di Sard. Top scorers: Cantu: M.Leunen 17+3reb+3ast, J.Ragland 11+2reb+3ast, S.Mancinelli 10+2ast, N.Mazzarino 9+5reb+1ast, J.Tabu 9+2reb+1ast, A.Tyus 8+14reb Banco di Sard.: T.Diener 19+1reb+1ast, D.Diener 13+4reb+5ast, M.Thornton 12+7reb+1ast, T.Easley 9+6reb+1ast, S.Becirovic 9+2reb+2ast, B.Sacchetti 5+2reb
Trenkwalder coasted past Acea Virtus Roma to open win count. The game without a history. Trenkwalder RE led from the first minutes and controlled entire game increasing their lead in each quarter. Trenkwalder RE forced 23 Lottomatica Roma turnovers. Strangely Lottomatica Roma outrebounded Trenkwalder RE 32-18. It was a great evening for American guard Donnel Taylor (198-82, college: UAB) who led his team to a victory scoring 20 points and 4 assists. International point guard Andrea Cinciarini (190-86) helped adding 16 points and 4 assists. Four Trenkwalder RE players scored in double figures. Trenkwalder RE's coach Massimiliano Menetti allowed to play the deep bench players saving starting five for next games. The best for the losing side was international forward Luigi Datome (203-87) with 20 points and 6 rebounds and American guard Phil Goss (186-83, college: Drexel) scored 11 points and 5 rebounds. Top scorers: Trenkwalder RE: D.Taylor 20+4reb+4ast, M.Antonutti 17+2reb+1ast, A.Cinciarini 16+4reb+4ast, G.Brunner 10+3reb+5ast, M.Jeremic 8+2reb, T.Bell 8+1reb+1ast Acea Virtus RM: L.Datome 20+6reb+2ast, P.Goss 11+5reb+3ast, B.Bailey 11+4reb+3ast, P.Lorant 9+6reb, O.Czyz 8+7reb+1ast, L.D'Ercole 6+1reb+4ast
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