Boozer leads Bulls to 107-87 win over Heat
CHICAGO (AP) - Carlos Boozer scored 27 points, and the Chicago Bulls beat LeBron James and the Miami Heat 107-87 on Thursday night.
Luol Deng had 20 points, Taj Gibson chipped in with 19, and Joakim Noah added 17 points and 15 rebounds as the Bulls had no trouble knocking off the defending champions.
Chicago took control early on and hung on down the stretch after watching a 25-point lead in the third quarter dwindle to 12 late in the game.
It was an impressive showing by a team that had dropped six of seven and is once again trying to get by without the injured Derrick Rose.
The Bulls shot 50 percent and were 10 for 19 on 3-pointers. They also outrebounded Miami 49-27.
James scored 21 points for Miami, but the Heat shot a season low for the second straight game, converting 41.6 percent from the field.
Rose not quite ruling out return this season
CHICAGO (AP) - Derrick Rose isn't quite ruling out a return to the Chicago Bulls this season.
The superstar point guard left the door slightly open for a comeback in the playoffs if his surgically repaired right knee is healed - even though the team has said he will miss the rest of the year.
Rose suffered a medial meniscus tear in his right knee in a game at Portland on Nov. 22. He had surgery in Chicago three days later, cutting short his long awaited return after he sat out last season recuperating from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
He said Thursday that he would come back for the playoffs "If I'm healthy and my meniscus is fully healed."
Scandella gives Wild 4-3 win over Blackhawks
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Marco Scandella's slap shot with 1:48 left, the defenseman's first goal this season, lifted the Minnesota Wild to a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
Jonas Brodin scored on a power play with 5:39 remaining to tie the game for the Wild, who raised their home record to 12-3-2 and handed the Blackhawks their first loss in their past seven road games.
With Charlie Coyle partially screening Corey Crawford at the edge of the crease, Brodin wound up and sent the puck ricocheting off Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya and past the goalie's outstretched glove.
Crawford made 19 saves.
Blues hand Islanders 8th straight loss, 5-1
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Derek Roy and David Backes scored power-play goals 2:31 apart in the second period to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 5-1 win over the struggling New York Islanders on Thursday night.
St. Louis won for the sixth time in eight games. The Islanders have lost eight straight overall (0-6-2) and eight in a row on the road.
Jay Bouwmeester, Magnus Paajarvi and Brenden Morrow also scored for the Blues, who improved to 12-1-2 at home and tied Boston (12-3-2) for the most home wins in the NHL. Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves and upped his record to 15-4-2.
Andrew MacDonald scored for the Islanders, who are 2-11-2 in their last 15 games.
Northern Illinois defeats Dartmouth 64-57
DEKALB, Ill. (AP) - Darrell Bowie scored six of his 12 points in the final four minutes and Northern Illinois held on to defeat Dartmouth 64-57 Thursday night.
Bowie hit a layup to tie the game at 54, then made a layup to stretch the lead to three, 58-55 with 1:28 remaining. Bowie capped his scoring with a layup, giving NIU (3-4) a 62-57 lead with eight second to play.
Jordan Threloff, coming off a career-best 18-point effort against Nebraska, scored 11 points. Pete Rakocevic added 10 for the Huskies.
Down 35-24 at half, Dartmouth (3-2) tied the game on a 24-13 run. Gabas Maldunas lead Dartmouth, shooting 8 of 14 from the field for a game-high 18 points. Maldunas also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Alex Mitola scored 13 points, and John Golden added 12 for the Big Green.
Cook leads Rams receivers in catches, yards
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis Rams expected big things this season from free agent tight end Jared Cook.
And for the most part, he has delivered.
The 26-year-old Cook is leading the Rams this season in both catches (40) and yards receiving (557).
The 6-foot-5, 254-pound Cook has plenty of speed. He's been timed at 4.49 in the 40 and he can leap like a hurdler. The versatile Cook can line up at tight end, in the slot, at wide receiver and in the backfield as an H-back.
The Rams coveted that ability when they signed him as a free agent from Tennessee. St. Louis gave Cook a $35.1 million deal for five years to be another option for an offense that was lacking big plays in 2012.
St. Louis wanted him to be used in the offense similar to some of the talented tight ends in the league such as Tony Gonzalez and Vernon Davis.
New Cubs manager gets official welcome to Chicago
CHICAGO (AP) - Rick Renteria stood next to Chicago Cubs executives Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein and pulled on a No. 16 jersey in a lounge at Wrigley Field.
Yup, it's official. There's a new man in the dugout for the downtrodden Cubs.
Renteria got his official welcome Thursday for his first job as a major league manager about a month after he was hired to replace Dale Sveum. The appearance at the Cubs' iconic neighborhood ballpark was delayed by Renteria's recovery from October hip surgery.
Renteria is promising a positive approach for the rebuilding Cubs. But he also says he goes into next season expecting to succeed.
Chicago went 66-96 in 2013 and finished last in the competitive NL Central. It's working on a streak of four consecutive losing seasons.
BEARS-CUTLER & BRIGGS
Bears' Cutler, Briggs out vs Cowboys
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and linebacker Lance Briggs will miss Monday night's home game against Dallas.
Cutler has been out since suffering a high ankle sprain Nov. 10 and practiced on a limited basis Thursday. He has been ruled out for the game by coach Marc Trestman.
Briggs suffered a shoulder fracture Oct. 20 and remains out. He did not practice Thursday, but did run on the sidelines.
Josh McCown will make his fifth start of the season in Cutler's place for the Bears.
Chicago Fire's Mike Magee wins MLS MVP
CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee has been selected Major League Soccer's Most Valuable Player, capping a career season with the top individual prize.
He beat out Los Angeles' Robbie Keane, Montreal's Marco Di Vaio and New York's Tim Cahill in a vote by media, players and club management. The results were announced Thursday.
Acquired by the Fire from Los Angeles on May 25, Magee scored 15 goals and had four assists in 22 games for Chicago. He had six goals before the trade, bringing his seasaon total to 21 and easily eclipsing his previous high of seven as a rookie with the MetroStars in 2003.
E MICHIGAN PLAYER-SLAIN
Key hearing postponed in football player's death
PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A key hearing has been postponed for two men charged with killing an Eastern Michigan University football player.
The preliminary examinations for 20-year-old Ed J. Thomas and 19-year-old Kristopher K. Pratt now are scheduled for Jan. 17. They appeared Thursday in Pittsfield Township District Court.
The Detroit News reports Pratt's lawyer, Stephanie Carson, asked for the postponement so she could do more discovery in the case.
Both men remain jailed. They face murder charges in the fatal shooting of Demarius Reed.
The wide receiver's roommate discovered his body at the bottom of a stairwell at an off-campus apartment complex on Oct. 18.
Reed was a 20-year-old communications major from Chicago and played six games this season, catching 15 passes for 185 yards.
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