Bulls’ Portis Suspended 8 Games for Punch – The Chicago Bulls have suspended forward Bobby Portis for eight games for punching teammate Nikola Mirotic during an altercation that left Mirotic with facial fractures and a concussion. Mirotic is expected to miss at least four to six weeks. John Paxson, the Bulls’ vice president of basketball operations, acknowledged that both players’ tempers escalated during practice Tuesday. “Both players owned responsibility in the incident itself,” Paxson said Wednesday. “But only one player threw a punch. And that punch connected and for us that is inexcusable. It’s not who we are. It disappoints us in terms of what happened, and because of that we’ve determined that we’re going to suspend Bobby for eight games.”
Paul Sits Out End of Rockets’ Win With Sore Knee – Chris Paul was a crunchtime spectator during his Houston Rockets debut, cheering on his teammates from the bench for the final 4 minutes, 47 seconds of Tuesday’s 122-121 comeback win over the Golden State Warriors, a decision coach Mike D’Antoni attributed to lingering soreness in the star point guard’s left knee. “Dragging his leg a little bit; I had to get him out of there,” D’Antoni said. Paul, the nine-time All-Star who pushed for the offseason trade from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Rockets, went to the end of the bench after subbing out but showed no sign of displeasure with D’Antoni’s decision. Paul was on his feet for most of the final 4:47, smiling and rooting for his teammates, while waving a towel in celebration on several occasions.
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green told ESPN’s The Undefeated that his knee is “very sore” and he will get it looked at on Wednesday. Good news was he walked out on his own power and said he doesn’t think the injury was major. UPDATE: Draymond Green to undergo an MRI on his left knee today, a league source tells ESPN.
NFL Picks Dallas to Host 2018 Draft – Dallas has been chosen as the host of the 2018 NFL draft, with all three days taking place at AT&T Stadium, sources confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday. Philadelphia had also been in contention to host the draft. Green Bay and Kansas City were considered long shots. The event will be held April 26-28 at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys had earlier pushed for the draft to be held at both AT&T Stadium and The Star, the team’s new training facility in Frisco.
Eagles’ Long to Donate Rest of 2017 Salary – Chris Long is donating the rest of his year’s salary to increase educational equality. The Philadelphia Eagles defensive end already gave up his first six game checks to provide two scholarships for students in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia. Now, he’s using the next 10 to launch the Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign. “My wife and I have been passionate about education being a gateway for upward mobility and equality,” Long told the Associated Press. “I think we can all agree that equity in education can help effect change that we all want to see in this country.”
Chicago Cubs 1 – Los Angeles Dodgers 6 (LAD leads 3-0)
Highlights: Yu Darvish pitched sparkling ball into the seventh inning, Chris Taylor homered again and the Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday night to open a 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series. Andre Ethier also went deep and Taylor added an RBI triple in the fifth as Los Angeles improved to 6-0 in this postseason, setting a franchise record for consecutive playoff wins. Yasiel Puig had two more hits in another entertaining performance that included an impressive bat flip, on a long foul ball in the first inning. Making their third straight appearance in the NLCS, the weary Cubs also hurt themselves with a couple of big mistakes. Carl Edwards Jr. walked Darvish on four pitches with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, continuing a rocky postseason for the reliever and leading to a round of boos from a frustrated crowd of 41,871. A passed ball brought home another run in the eighth, and pinch hitter Kyle Farmer hit a sacrifice fly to make it 6-1.
Bulls’ Mirotic Breaks Jaw in Fight With Teammate – Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic is out indefinitely after suffering fractures to his upper jaw and a concussion in an altercation with teammate Bobby Portis at practice Tuesday. The players had been talking trash to one another in practice, going back and forth before those exchanges escalated into a physical encounter, league sources told ESPN. Mirotic charged at Portis twice before Portis threw a punch and connected with Mirotic’s face, league sources said. Mirotic dropped to the floor and lay there for a short time before getting up, league sources said. Mirotic was taken to the hospital and released later Tuesday, sources said. The Bulls announced that surgery is likely for Mirotic. In a statement, the Bulls said they are evaluating disciplinary action.
- Boston Celtics 99 – Cleveland Cavaliers 102
Highlights: Gordon Hayward (see NBA News), one of the new Celtics who was going to help them close the gap on Cleveland, broke his left ankle just five minutes into his debut, and Boston was beaten 102-99 on Tuesday night by LeBron James and the Cavaliers. James scored 29 points, 14 in the fourth quarter, in his most extensive action in three weeks because of a sprained left ankle. The superstar also fed Kevin Love for a critical 3-pointer with 46.3 seconds left to put the Cavs up 102-98. Irving, who asked to be traded this summer after six seasons in Cleveland, had a chance to tie it with a 3-pointer at the horn but his shot was short. Jaylen Brown scored 25 and Irving 22 and 10 assists for the Celtics, who overcame an 18-point deficit in the third and led with 2:04 left.
- Houston Rockets 122 – Golden State Warriors 121
Highlights: Confetti began to fall and the Golden State Warriors thought they had pulled off a wild opening-night win. The Houston Rockets emphatically signaled otherwise, insisting that Kevin Durant‘s baseline jumper had swished through the net after the buzzer. After one official got hurt, two remaining referees reviewed the play and ruled the Rockets had escaped with a 122-121 victory Tuesday on the night the Warriors received their championship rings. Trevor Ariza‘s 3-pointer with 2:09 remaining pulled Houston within 119-118 then Patrick McCaw hit a baseline jumper immediately after Golden State’s timeout. James Harden made a layup and PJ Tucker hit two free throws with 44.1 to make it 122-121. Nick Young came off the bench to hit six 3-pointers and score 23 points in a brilliant Warriors debut, Curry scored 22 points and Durant had 20 after a slow start. Klay Thompson added 16 points. Chris Paul had four points on 2-for-9 shooting in his Rockets debut, while Harden scored 27 points, Eric Gordon 24 and Tucker 20 for the Rockets. Houston opened the fourth with a 9-0 run to get back in it.
- Tampa Bay Lightning 4 – New Jersey Devils 5
- Toronto Maple Leafs 2 – Washington Capitals 0
- Florida Panthers 1 – Philadelphia Flyers 5
- Pittsburgh Penguins 5 – New York Rangers 4
- Vancouver Canucks 3 – Ottawa Senators 0
- Columbus Blue Jackets 5 – Winnipeg Jets 2
- Arizona Coyotes 1 – Dallas Stars 3
- Carolina Hurricanes 5 – Edmonton Oilers 3
- Buffalo Sabres 4 – Vegas Golden Knights 5
- Montreal Canadiens 2 – San Jose Sharks 5
- Colorado Avalanche 1 – Nashville Predators 4
American League Championship Series:
- Houston Astros 4 – New York Yankees 6 (Series tied 2-2)
Highlights: Aaron Judge ignited a rousing rally with a home run, then doubled during a four-run eighth inning to spur the unflappable New York Yankees over the Houston Astros 6-4 Tuesday night and tie the AL Championship Series 2-2. The Baby Bombers trailed 4-0 against starter Lance McCullers Jr. until Judge homered leading off the seventh. He tied it with a line drive that nearly left the park in the eighth and scored when Gary Sanchez hit a go-ahead two-run double off loser Ken Giles. Aroldis Chapman struck out two in a perfect ninth to cap a three-hitter. New York improved to 5-0 at home in the playoffs and won for the 18th time in their last 21 home games.
National League Championship Series:
- Los Angeles Dodgers 6 – Chicago Cubs 1 (LAD leads 3-0)
Highlights: See Chicago Sports News