From Comcast SportsNetCHICAGO (AP) -- Alex Rios went barreling into second base with a hard slide that teammate Gordon Beckham said might be the biggest play of the season for the White Sox as they try to win the AL Central.Rios was trying to break up a double play and when he went into Detroit second baseman Omar Infante, it caused an errant throw that allowed the tying and go-ahead runs to score Monday as the White Sox beat the Tigers 5-4 and went up three games in division."That's a situation where every second baseman knows we're coming in hard. And it was a clean slide, and we took advantage of that," Rios said. "We scored two runs on that play and ended up winning the game, so it was a big play."The game had been postponed by rain last Thursday and Monday's makeup was the final meeting of the season between the two front runners in the division.Detroit won the season series 12-6 and captured nine of the final 11 games between the teams, including two of three last week before the four-game series finale was postponed.Each team has 16 games remaining. Chicago heads to Kansas City and Anaheim to finish out this week while Detroit goes home to face the Athletics and Twins."There is still a lot of time left for both teams. ... We just got to continue to grind and hope that what we do every day, day in and day out, is enough," Beckham said. "This is probably still going to go down to the wire."Rios' fifth-inning slide was the talk of the locker room after the game as was Chicago's bullpen that pitched five scoreless innings after starter Jose Quintana struggled."That was a tough play for that second baseman to make that turn. I've been there before," Beckham said. "It's everything you can do to just get it off. What a great slide and I just told him (Rios) that might be the play of the year so far. Pretty special."When Dayan Viciedo hit a one-out grounder to short, the Tigers tried to turn the inning-ending double play, but Rios' slide forced an errant throw from Infante that got by Prince Fielder as two runs scored, giving Chicago the lead. And then the bullpen held it."Rios got down there pretty good, we just didn't get the turn. Maybe if (Infante) could have come across the bag more," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "It was a tough double play. Rios got down there. When he hit it, I thought it was a sure double play."Infante, who also made a costly error last Monday that helped the White Sox to a win, said he was spiked on the play by Rios, but offered no excuses."It's hard to do. It's hard to throw once he hit me," Infante said. "I have to make the throw. I feel bad because I've made a lot of errors knowing the team needed different."Nate Jones (8-0) pitched 2 2-3 innings of one-hit relief and the White Sox won their fourth straight. Addison Reed, the last of three relievers in the ninth, got the final out for his 27th save in 31 chances.Trailing 4-3, the White Sox loaded the bases for a third straight inning in the fifth, driving out Detroit starter Doug Fister (9-9).Delmon Young drove in three runs for the Tigers with a pair of singles, but Detroit couldn't hold on to an early 3-0 lead. Tigers pitchers walked six and hit two batters.Chicago loaded the bases again in the eighth and was on the verge of adding an insurance run when Adam Dunn hit a fly ball to left with one out. But before Beckham could cross the plate, Dewayne Wise was thrown out trying to go from second to third -- a double play that ended the inning. It ended up not costing the White Sox."I made a mistake there, I'll be the first guy to tell you. I almost blew it right there," Wise said. "I've been playing this game too long to make a mistake like. I'm just thankful that we pulled it out."Neither starter got out of the fifth. Quintana, who beat the Tigers a week ago in his previous start, gave up seven hits and four runs in four. And Fister, who defeated the White Sox last Tuesday, gave up eight hits and five runs -- four -- earned, also in four innings.Avisail Garcia, Gerald Laird and Austin Jackson hit consecutive singles to open the third for a 1-0 Detroit lead. After a sacrifice, Quintana intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera to load the bases. He then struck out Prince Fielder, but Young hit a two-run single to put the Tigers up three.The White Sox had three singles off Fister to load the bases in the bottom half but the 6-foot-8 right-hander struck out Kevin Youkilis and Dunn to end the threat. Chicago tied it in the fourth when Beckham was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Wise had a two-run single.Cabrera led off the fifth with a double and Fielder was ruled safe at first when Dunn fielded his grounder and flipped to Quintana covering. Chicago manager Robin Ventura came out for an explanation from first base umpire Mike Muchlinski and replays appeared to show that Quintana beat Fielder to the bag by a step.Young followed with another RBI single to put the Tigers ahead 4-3.Notes: Young, who had seven RBIs when the Tigers swept a series from the White Sox earlier this month in Detroit, has 28 RBIs in 40 games at U.S. Cellular Field. .. Tigers C Alex Avila was out of the starting lineup after colliding with Fielder on Sunday chasing a pop in Cleveland. He got a headache after batting practice. ... Wise was the White Sox's leadoff hitter a second straight game with Alejandro De Aza sitting out. Ventura said De Aza had been a bit out of sync.
BOSTON – There were a bunch of numbers from Boston’s 121-114 loss to Detroit on Wednesday that stood out.
Among the eye-grabbing stats was the fact that the Celtics had taken 42 3s (with 15 makes), an unusually high number of attempts that we may see matched or even surpassed tonight against the Sacramento Kings.
Don’t count head coach Brad Stevens among those surprised to see the Celtics attempt a lot of three-pointers.
Last season the Celtics took 26.1 three-pointers per game which ranked 11th in the NBA.
This season they’re up to 31.2 three-pointers attempted and 11.3 made which both rank fifth in the NBA.
You can count Kelly Olynyk among the Celtics pleased with the team's increased emphasis on shooting 3s.
The 7-foot led the NBA in shooting percentage (.405) on 3s taken last season.
"We play a lot of spread offense with four shooters, four perimeter guys," Olynyk, who is shooting 38.1 percent on 3s this season, told CSNNE.com. "We're trying to make teams shrink their defense and spray out and hopefully make shots. You're making extra passes, giving up good ones for great ones. And we have some pretty good shooters on our team. That's the way we're trying to play. It's just a matter of us making shots."
And the Celtics face a Kings team ranks among the NBA’s worst at limiting 3-point attempts with Sacramento opponents averaging 28.4 three-pointers taken per game which ranks 25th in the league.
One of Stevens’ main points about three-pointers is while it’s an important shot for them, they need to be the right shot, the right basketball play at the right time.
And when asked about the 42 attempts against the Pistons, he was quick to acknowledge those were for the most part the right shots to be taken.
“They are,” Stevens said. “At the end of the day we want lay-ups. And if we don’t get layups, we want the floor to be shrunk. If the defense shrinks in, you’re able to touch the paint and kick out. Two of our last three games, maybe three of the last four, two-thirds of our possessions we touched the paint or shrunk the defense with a roll. That’s our objective. We’re not a team that gets to the foul line a lot. We’re not a team that rebounds at a high rate. And we haven’t scored in transition. To be able to be sitting where we are offensively, a big reason is because we space the floor.”
BOSTON – No one is proclaiming DeMarcus Cousins’ demeanor is all that radically different than past seasons.
But the volatile nature that has often overshadowed his on-the-court-brilliance, doesn’t seem to shine as brightly as it used to.
Maybe he’s growing up.
Maybe he’s finally comfortable with his team.
And then there’s the almighty dollar which was the incentive for one of his teammates, Matt Barnes, to clean up his act as far as racking up technical fouls and being fined by the league.
I asked Barnes whether there was a light bulb moment or a teammate or player that helped him get on track and not draw so much attention from officials and the league office.
“It was all the money I was being fined,” he said. “I think I lost like $600,000 over my career for fines. It was time to kind of wake and say ‘hey, they don’t like you so you have to stick to the book.’”
With Barnes returning to Sacramento (he played for the Kings during the 2004-2005 season), he finds an intense, kindred spirit of sorts in Cousins who like Barnes has had his share of technical and fines handed down by the league office.
This season, Cousins is the NBA’s leader in technical fouls with six.
“I’ve always had a good head on my shoulders,” Barnes said. “I’m just a passionate player. I play with my emotion on my sleeve. I think DeMarcus does the same thing. What I’m trying to show him now, we have to keep our emotions and energy focused towards the right things. That could be detrimental to the team if it gets out of hand.”
First-year coach Dave Joerger has been pleased to see how different Cousins is to be around on a daily basis as opposed to how he’s perceived.
“He gets credit for his talent. He gets credit that he’s improved in the league,” Joerger said. “I think he doesn’t get enough credit for the way that his approach to the game and the way that he’s carrying himself and conducting himself has greatly improved. He’s a good person. Now being with him, I see improvement over the last three years, the way that he goes about his business. I think that’s very positive.”