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Jan 22, 2013 2:09am
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

CHICAGO —Marco Belinelli showed he can also be a force off the bench for the
Chicago Bulls. Joe Montana Jersey . Belinelli returned to
his role as a reserve and led the Bulls with 17 points in an 87-77 victory over
the Washington Wizards on Saturday night. Carlos Boozer added 15 points and 12
rebounds for the Bulls (16-12), who snapped a two-game losing streak. Luol Deng
scored 11 points after injuring his right ankle Tuesday in a loss to Houston.
Bradley Beal led the NBA-worst Wizards (4-24) with 14 points. Belinelli made 7
of 16 shots in a reserve role as Richard Hamilton returned to the starting
lineup. Hamilton had missed 12 games because of a torn plantar fascia in his
left foot. “Marco was terrific,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He has been
playing well for a long time. He hit big shots and made big plays.” When
Hamilton was sidelined, Belinelli averaged 15.3 points per game in 12 starts,
compared to just five points in 14 games as a reserve. Belinelli, who signed as
a free agent with the Bulls in July, said his confidence has risen as he has
adjusted to his team. “The first couple weeks of the season, I was a little bit
nervous, (did not have) too much confidence in myself,” Belinelli said.
Kevin Seraphin had 12 points, and Emeka Okafor added 11 points and 18 rebounds
for Washington, which has lost nine of 10. The Wizards held a 56-49 rebounding
edge. “I just turned around, and the ball was in my hands,” Okafor said. “It
seemed like perfect timing a lot of times. It didnt start off that way.
Actually, at the beginning, I couldnt grab one at all, but as the game went on,
I found my flow.” Wizards leading scorer Jordan Crawford, averaging 16 points
per game, sat out because of a left ankle injury. The Wizards pulled to within
three with 5:19 left after Okafor put back Shelvin Macks missed free throw. But
Belinelli answered with a 3-pointer, and Boozer hit a jumper for an 84-77 lead.
“It definitely wasnt pretty,” the Bulls Joakim Noah said. “Both teams shot
pretty low percentages. We still have to play better and we still have to talk
more on transition. Were a work in progress. Were happy we got back on the
winning track.” Both teams struggled from the field as Chicago shot 39 per cent,
and the Wizards connected on 37 per cent. Washington scored 51 points in the
final three quarters after putting up 26 points in the first period. “We didnt
shoot the ball again very well,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. “Theyre a
good defensive team. Theyre going to make those things tough.” The Bulls hadnt
played since Tuesday because their Wednesday night game against the Pacers was
postponed due to snow in Indianapolis. Chicago led 45-39 at halftime after
shooting 39 per cent. Deng led the Bulls with nine points. Seraphin had 10
points for the Wizards. The Bulls opened the third quarter on an 11-4 run to
take a 56-43 lead. The Wizards responded with a 15-4 spurt to pull within two
with 3:35 left in the period. Chicago quickly pushed its advantage back to nine
after a tip-in by Noah, a 3-pointer by Kirk Hinrich, and Belinellis dunk.
Washington got back within three points early in the final quarter, but Chicago
again had an answer. Nate Robinson made a layup, and Belinelli sank another
3-pointer to push the Bulls back in front by eight. Thibodeau said Belinelli has
gained confidence as the season has gone on. “When you are new to a team, he was
trying to fit in,” Thibodeau said. “He was trying to learn the system. He has
already proven to be a good player in this league, so it was a matter of time.
“Once he had a better understanding of his teammates, and they had a better
understanding of him, he is good. He can score a lot of different ways.” The
Wizards got off to a strong start, leading by as many as eight in the first
quarter and taking a 26-22 lead at the end of the period. Washington went cold
in the second quarter, shooting 4 of 21. Garrett Temple started at guard for the
Wizards in place of Mack. Temple, signed by Washington on Tuesday, had 13 points
Friday in a win over Orlando that snapped an eight-game losing streak. Hamilton
had nine points in 15 minutes Saturday. Thibodeau said he liked what he saw from
Hamilton, especially when the veteran found a rhythm in the second half. “We
need his minutes. We need his shots. We need his points,” Thibodeau said.
Belinelli replaced Hamilton with 4:38 left in the first quarter after Hamilton
got off to a 2-for-5 start. Belinelli scored six points in the first half. “In
the first quarter, I tried to bring a little energy on defence and offence,”
Belinelli said. “Tonight was good.” NOTES: Washington is 1-13 on the road this
season. ... The Wizards have lost 12 times in their past 15 trips to Chicago but
they beat the Bulls 87-84 last April in their previous trip. Super Bowl
49ers Jersey
. On Tuesday, both sides finally got their wish. After
a 5 1/2-week absence from the Colts off-season workouts, the No. 1 overall draft
pick showed up in a red No. Steve Young Womens Jersey . Homers by
Rodriguez, Russell Martin and Steve Pearce provided New York with a seven-run
cushion in the fifth inning, and the Yankees held on to beat the Baltimore
Orioles 8-5 on Friday night. New York had lost eight of 11 to the Orioles,
including the opener of this four-game series between division rivals that runs
through Sunday. http://www.the49ersfootballshop.com/colin-kaepernick-super-bowl-jersey/
. The Wildcats beat one of the newcomers in their conference. Only a few minutes
after No. 1 Alabama lost, Klein threw a 62-yard pass to set up the first of his
two touchdown runs and the Wildcats went on to a 23-10 victory Saturday night at
TCU. Joe Staley Jersey . The Portuguese, however,
almost let victory escape their grasp as Cristiano Ronaldo squandered two
chances that could have put the result beyond doubt in another miserable
international game. Jerry Rice Jersey . B.C.s 34-29 loss to the
Calgary Stampeders in the Western Final did not sit well with the Lions middle
linebacker.Did you know that Ed Davis was leading the Toronto Raptors in PER?
After spending two seasons hovering around the league average, Davis has jumped
up to a 20.8 rating early this season, and that has put him in the top-ten
amongst NBA power forwards. That means that Davis has a higher Player Efficiency
Rating than Kevin Garnett, Zach Randolph, Paul Millsap, Kevin Love and
Serge Ibaka – the next five guys on the list. Of course, Davis achievement
requires a big ol helping of context, because hes been posting that career-high
rating on a career-low 17.2 minutes per game. While its all well and good to
make the most of limited minutes, Davis needs to prove that he can maintain that
production when hes gifted with a larger dose of playing time, because hes going
to be getting it with Andrea Bargnani out for the foreseeable future.
Fortunately for the Raptors, Davis showed Wednesday night that he might be up
for the challenge. While the Raptors lost (try and contain your surprise), Davis
was borderline dominant, posting 24 points on 11-for-13 shooting and pulling in
12 rebounds in a team-high 45 minutes against Brooklyn. He teamed effectively
with Jonas Valanciunas in the frontcourt (the pair combined for 39 points on
17-for-19 shooting), scored in a variety of ways from the field and gave the
Raptors an unexpected go-to weapon in a game where DeMar DeRozan was struggling
to make an impact. In a way, Davis is having the sort of season this year that
many had predicted hed have last year, and had the lockout not thrown a wrench
into his developmental time with the team he may have lived up to those
expectations instead of wasting the year like he did. It can be hard to remember
coming off of a season of such mediocrity, but Davis actually had a pretty solid
rookie year. He was a dominant rebounder, a solid energy player and he shot a
truly impressive .576 from the field. The expectation was that he would supplant
Amir Johnson in Torontos rotation because of his more refined game and join
DeRozan and Valanciunas as core pieces for the club going forward. Instead,
Davis regressed across the board. His scoring, rebounding and shooting all
declined, and he didnt play with nearly the effort or intensity that was
becoming a trademark for the 11-12 iteration of the club. He fell well behind
Johnson in the teams pecking order and he came into this season in a dog fight
not only for minutes but for a role of any kind on the squad. Justin Smith Super Bowl Jersey. Dwane Casey
was not shy about calling him out in the press and Davis began to look like a
rare miss in Bryan Colangelos draft history. This year, though, things have been
quite different. While his minutes have been slashed, his play has been markedly
better. He had a breakout game against San Antonio back on November 25, and his
play was so thoroughly impressive that many chastised Casey for taking him out
of the game late for an ice-cold Andrea Bargnani. With Bargnani now out
indefinitely with a ligament tear in his right elbow and a strained right wrist,
the Raptors are going to get an elongated look at what they have in Davis and
whether or not his production in limited minutes can survive a massive jump in
playing time. Doing it on Wednesday is one thing, doing it consistently for the
next few weeks is another. Now that hes in his third NBA season this could serve
as something of a career-defining stretch for the former North Carolina forward.
If he excels then he could accelerate Bargnanis departure from the club and
inherit his place in the starting lineup on a permanent basis. If he fails he
could be relegated back to spot bench duty and lose his place in Torontos future
plans altogether. Its not an exaggeration to say that careers have been made out
of opportunities like this, and now its on Davis to capitalize. To do that he
needs to keep taking smart shots that he can hit efficiently, he needs to keep
his rebounding rate sky-high (thats still his money-making asset), he needs to
get way better at reading and reacting on defence and he needs to be a part of a
team-wide re-dedication to out-hustling the opposition. He and Valanciunas
should be a headache for opposing frontcourts from an energy and effort
standpoint given their relative strengths, and while they wont be enough to save
Torontos season, at least they can be a part of restoring what this teams
identity was supposed to look like before the wheels fell off in November. Davis
probably hasnt done enough to warrant outright optimism that hes about to break
through as an NBA player, but an opportunity has been lain at his feet to define
his future on his own terms. No longer can he hide behind inconsistent minutes
or a fluctuating role – everything he needs is sitting right there for him to
take the next step as a player and all he has to do is take it. ’ ’ ’ 

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