Shorthanded Bulls impress in victory over Hawks
Shorthanded Bulls impress in victory over Hawks
Luol Deng had 25 points and 14 rebounds for the Bulls, who opened a one-game lead atop the Central Division.
In other key games, Portland beat Utah to move within 1-1/2 games of its Northwest rival, Cleveland pulled off a shock result by beating high-flying Oklahoma City, San Antonio lost Tim Duncan to a knee injury during the win over Washington, and New York routed Sacramento, going on a 38-4 run at one point.
Chicago played without injured starters Kirk Hinrich, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, but dominated near the basket and got a lift from the frenetic play of Nate Robinson (20 points). The Bulls used only eight players for the second straight night, but it was more than enough for an impressive road win.
Josh Smith led Atlanta with 19 points and 13 rebounds but he scored only three points in the second half.
The Portland Trail Blazers had a 105-99 home win over Utah Jazz, reversing the result of Friday’s game in Salt Lake City.
Damian Lillard had 23 points and J.J. Hickson added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers.
Randy Foye scored 23 points for the Jazz, who led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter.
Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving put in a spectacular performance that led the Cavaliers to an unlikely 115-110 win over Oklahoma City Thunder.
One night after saying he was “disinterested” during a loss in Detroit, Irving scored 35 points, including 13 in the final 2:52 to seal the win.
Marreese Speights scored 21 points, including eight straight in the fourth when Cleveland’s reserves opened a lead. Kevin Durant scored 32 points for the Thunder, but left briefly in the third quarter with an apparent back injury.
San Antonio’s Tim Duncan sprained his left knee and right ankle as the Spurs beat the Washington Wizards 96-86.
Washington’s Martell Webster rolled into the back of Duncan’s legs while fighting for a rebound in the second quarter, and there were audible gasps in the crowd while the All-Star was on the floor holding his left knee for several minutes.
The severity of the injuries is not known, but Duncan did not return to the bench after being helped off the court by teammates.
Tony Parker scored 19 points and Danny Green added 15 for San Antonio, which has won 18 straight at home. John Wall scored 21 points for Washington, which has lost 13 straight to San Antonio.
The New York Knicks crushed the Sacramento Kings 120-81, with even that big margin disguising the home team’s dominance, because Sacramento actually led by 10 points early.
New York’s Amare Stoudemire was 10 for 10 from the field for 21 points, entering the game when the Knicks were trailing.
The Knicks didn’t even need much from Carmelo Anthony, who tied a season low with nine points and had his run of 20-point games snapped at 31, the longest single-season streak in franchise history.
DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points and nine rebounds for the Kings.
Golden State’s Stephen Curry returned in style from an ankle injury, scoring 19 of his 29 points in the second half to steer the Warriors to a 113-93 win over the Phoenix Suns.
Harrison Barnes matched his season high with 21 points for the Warriors, who have won four straight to close within 3-1/2 games of the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Clippers.
Michael Beasley scored 24 points for the Suns.
Elsewhere, the Milwaukee Bucks beat Orlando 107-98 to inflict a ninth straight loss on the Magic, the Minnesota Timberwolves ended a six-game losing skid by downing the New Orleans Hornets 115-86, while Houston’s James Harden recorded his first career triple-double — 21 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists — as the Rockets beat the Charlotte Bobcats 109-95.
Profligate Arsenal punished by 10-man Atletico Madrid
- The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes
- Arsenal now need to become the first away team to score in 12 matches at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium next week
LONDON: Arsenal’s hopes of sending outgoing manager Arsene Wenger off with a trophy suffered a major blow as they could only draw 1-1 with 10-man Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Europa League semifinal on Thursday.
The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes at the Emirates Stadium, with Sime Vrsaljko’s early red card handing them the initiative.
However, they were made to rue a host of missed chances before and after Alexandre Lacazette headed them in front on the hour mark.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone was also sent to the stands shortly after Vrsaljko’s dismissal, but the Spaniards resisted manfully and pounced when their chance came as Antoine Griezmann prodded home a vital away goal eight minutes from time.
Arsenal now need to become the first away team to score in 12 matches at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium next week if Wenger’s last game in charge is to be the final in his homeland in Lyon on May 16.
Moreover, Arsenal’s hopes of Champions League football next season also hang on becoming the first side other than Real Madrid to eliminate Atletico from Europe for five seasons.
There was a far more highly-charged atmosphere for Wenger’s penultimate home game in charge than there had been for last weekend’s game against West Ham United.
And the hosts were given plenty of encouragement early on, even when still up against Atletico’s full complement.
Lacazette volleyed off the outside of the post and forced Jan Oblak into the first of a series of fine saves with a header from close range.
Vrsaljko had been booked within two minutes for bringing down Jack Wilshere.
"Absolutely criminal."— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 26, 2018
Arsenal dominate for 81 minutes, and then... Antoine Griezmann comes up with a huge away goal for Atleti.
A sucker-punch for Arsene Wenger :facepunch: pic.twitter.com/z24UgZE60j
And the Croatian left his side a man light after just 10 minutes when French referee Clement Turpin showed no leniency for another late challenge on Lacazette.
Moments later, Simeone was also dismissed by the officious referee for taking his protests too far when an Arsenal player wasn’t booked for what he thought was a similar foul.
Atletico’s excellent defensive record is what has carried them to five European semifinals in seven seasons under Simeone.
The visitors battened down the hatches with 10 men, but were reliant on Oblak to keep them in the tie.
Wilshere headed straight at Oblak when unmarked at the back post at the end of a flowing Arsenal move.
And the Slovenian then spread himself well with an outstretched leg to deny Danny Welbeck.
Having weathered the Gunners’ early storm, Atletico only began to threaten themselves late in the first half and David Ospina had to be alert to parry a fiercely struck Griezmann shot following a fine run from Thomas Partey.
Atletico retreated ever deeper toward their own goal after the break and were finally punished on the hour mark when Wilshere’s deep cross found Lacazette rising above Lucas Hernandez to head in his seventh goal in seven games.
However, the French international and Arsenal could have had more.
Laczette’s dangerous ball across goal found no takers before he headed another good opportunity wide.
And Arsenal paid heavily for their profligacy, and some comical defending, when Atletico grabbed a vital away goal on 82 minutes.
Griezmann outmuscled French international team-mate Laurent Koscielny and then benefited from a slip by Shkodran Mustafi after his initial effort had been saved by Ospina to prod his 27th goal of the season into the roof of the net.
There was still time for Oblak to show why Griezmann isn’t the only Atletico player wanted by Europe’s elite with a spectacular one-handed save to turn Aaron Ramsey’s header behind and keep Los Rojiblancos on course for another European final.