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Bobcats end 18-game skid with 91-81 win over Bulls

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Bobcats end 18-game skid with 91-81 win over Bulls

CHICAGO (AP) Kemba Walker had 18 points and eight rebounds, and the Charlotte Bobcats ended an 18-game losing streak with a 91-81 win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.

Gerald Henderson added 16 points and reserve Ben Gordon had 15 to help Charlotte snap the second-longest skid in team history. It was the Bobcats' first win in their last 10 road games.

Luol Deng scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Chicago. Carlos Boozer also had a double-double with 19 points and 14 boards.

Charlotte fended off several rallies by the Bulls, who never held a lead, to win for the first time since Nov. 24.

Tied at 65 heading into the fourth quarter, Charlotte went on a 10-0 run to pad its lead as boos began raining down from the irritated Bulls faithful, who have endured inconsistency as they await the return of former MVP Derrick Rose, who is recovering from knee surgery.

The Bulls chipped away at a 12-point deficit in the third quarter, eventually tying the game at 65 on Richard Hamilton's second-chance jumper with 39 seconds left, but Chicago went ice-cold from the field in the fourth.

Squandering an ample lead is nothing new to the Bobcats - hanging onto one is.

Charlotte led by as many as 21 in the first half Saturday against New Orleans, eventually losing 98-95.

It looked to be the same old story for the Bobcats heading into the fourth, but a 10-0 run to start the quarter gave the Bobcats enough momentum to stop a seemingly never-ending losing streak.

The new year couldn't come quick enough for Charlotte (8-23), which narrowly avoided posting a 0-16 calendar month for the second time in 2012. The Bobcats went 0-16 in April to end last season on a franchise-worst 23-game losing streak.

Ramon Sessions scored 11 first-half points to give Charlotte a five-point advantage at the break. He finished with 15.

The Bobcats shot over 50 percent from the field in the first half, but struggled from the free throw line, hitting just six of 15 attempts to keep Chicago in the game.

Chicago (16-13) shot 35.1 percent from the floor and hit just four of 16 3-point attempts.

Notes: Bulls G Kirk Hinrich was ruled out before the game due to ``a compilation of things,'' according to coach Tom Thibodeau. He is considered day-to-day. . Thibodeau said he was ``sad'' to hear about the firing of Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith. ``You hate to see anyone lose their job, but that's the nature of the beast,'' he said. . Bobcats F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (scratched right cornea) did not play after being poked in the eye during a 98-95 loss to New Orleans on Saturday.

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Bruins G Tuukka Rask opts out of NHL playoffs over COVID-19

Bruins G Tuukka Rask opts out of NHL playoffs over COVID-19

Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask has opted out of the team's playoff run.

The Vezina Trophy finalist -- and winner of the top goaltender award in 2014 -- said in a statement Saturday morning before Game 3 of Boston's playoff series against Carolina that "at this moment there are things more important than hockey in my life, and that is being with my family."

Rask led the NHL with a 2.12 goals-against average and was second in save percentage and shutouts. 

RELATED: WHY THIS YEAR IS DIFFERENT THAN 2018, OVECHKIN'S BIG GAME AND THE CAPS ARE IN TROUBLE

Boston and Carolina are tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven series. After a 3-2 loss on Thursday night, Rask said he complained that the NHL's fan-free playoffs lacked the usual intensity.

"It doesn't feel like playoff hockey out there. There's no fans, so it's kind of like an exhibition game," he said. "It just feels dull at times."

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Bryce Harper glad Phillies able to respond after 'embarrassing' Orioles series

Bryce Harper glad Phillies able to respond after 'embarrassing' Orioles series

When the Baltimore Orioles swept the Phillies in a midweek series, several Philadelphians were not pleased. 

One Phillies analyst called the performance "lifeless" and now Bryce Harper is referring to the whole team's effort as "embarrassing."

Much to Harper's and the Phillies' pleasure, the team was able to respond in the series opener against the Mets with a walk-off to get back in the win column. 

"That's a big win for us right there," Harper told reporters postgame. "We have to start out the series after the embarrassment we put up against the Baltimore Orioles, that was pretty terrible. To be able to start this series off on the right foot, that's huge for us."

RELATED: ORIOLES COMPLETE TWO SERIES SWEEPS IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS

In the three-game set, Baltimore scored 26 runs against Philadelphia. The first two games saw the Phillies starters post four earned runs each and the finale was a miraculous extra-inning comeback for Baltimore, where they scored 10 runs in the final five innings. It was more than an indictment of the team's pitching than anything else.

Many teams across the league believed the Orioles would be walkover team in a 60-game sprint to get the 2020 season complete. After one of the worst records in the sport's history over the past two seasons and no sign of things turning around, that was expected to carry over. An 11-8 record a third of the way through shows that is not the case. Baltimore has the fouth-best record in the American League. Even in a normal season, they would be in line for a Wild Card spot. 

Harper and the Phillies learned that the hard way. 

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