Without Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, Spurs still win

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Without Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, Spurs still win

From Comcast SportsNetCHICAGO (AP) -- Tim Duncan was dressed in street clothes, with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili joining him on the bench. San Antonio's three biggest stars got up occasionally to cheer on their teammates, but that was the extent of their contribution on Monday.On this night, the NBA-best Spurs did just fine without them.Kawhi Leonard had a career-high 26 points and Danny Green scored 18, leading short-handed San Antonio to an impressive 103-89 victory against the Chicago Bulls."One would hope that you could play with anybody in your system, but it was a tough challenge for them tonight," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "And I couldn't be more proud of what they did."Parker, Duncan and Ginobili were all out with injuries, and swingman Stephen Jackson also missed the game due to "personal business," according to the team. With Duncan on the sideline, the Spurs were outrebounded 49-26, including a whopping 17-2 deficit on the offensive glass.And San Antonio still managed to win, due in large part to 19 Chicago turnovers that the Spurs turned into 29 points."The approach is still the same, you know, every game," Green said. "It starts with Pop. He does a great job of preparing us, tells us what we need to do. We listen to him."Nate Robinson scored 20 points and Richard Hamilton had 16 for the Bulls, who were coming off a 3-3 road trip -- their longest of the season. Carlos Boozer added 14 points and All-Star Joakim Noah pulled down 15 rebounds despite a nagging right foot injury."When you outrebound somebody like we did and to be in the position we were in, we beat ourselves," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said, lamenting all the turnovers. "They are terrific. They are going to make you pay for your mistakes."San Antonio led by 14 at three different points in the third quarter, but Robinson led the Bulls right back. The streaky point guard converted a twisting reverse layup to trim the Spurs' lead to 73-69 with 56 seconds left in the period.Chicago pulled within one in the fourth before the Spurs began to pull away. Boris Diaw had a three-point play and Leonard converted a layup in a 7-0 surge that made it 89-78 with 5:55 to go.Parker had 29 points and 11 assists in the Spurs' 111-86 victory at Brooklyn on Sunday night, but Popovich said his star's right knee became swollen during the game. Parker is having an MVP-type of season, averaging 20.7 points and 7.7 assists per game.Duncan missed his fourth straight game due to a sore left knee. Ginobili was out for the fifth consecutive game with tightness in his left hamstring."For sure it was a great win for us," said center Tiago Splitter, who had 16 points in 33 minutes despite an awkward fall in the first quarter. "We hope all the guys get better and healthy again soon and ready to help us."The injuries for All-Stars Parker and Duncan, plus key scorer Ginobili, meant San Antonio's three best players were reduced to a cheerleading role for the night, and their teammates gave them plenty of reasons to stand and applaud.Gary Neal also had 16 points for San Antonio (41-12), which improved the league's best road record to 19-10. Nando De Colo, subbing for Parker, had nine points and seven assists in his second career start.Luol Deng finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds for Chicago (30-21), which dropped to 15-12 at home this season."We didn't make shots down the stretch and we couldn't get stops for some reason," Robinson said. "They have the best record in the NBA for a reason."NOTES:Thibodeau said he thinks G Kirk Hinrich (right elbow) will travel with the team to Boston for Wednesday's game against the Celtics. Hinrich hasn't appeared in a game since Jan. 30 at Milwaukee. ... Splitter had a big bag of ice on his left ankle after the game. "It's painful right now, but we'll see tomorrow how it feels," he said. ... Deng addressed the crowd before the game and said he is looking forward to representing the Bulls at Sunday's All-Star game in Houston. ... Diaw and Splitter are the only players to appear in all 53 games for the Spurs this season.

At the half: Sixers applying pressure early and often against the Celtics

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At the half: Sixers applying pressure early and often against the Celtics

The Celtics are getting more than they bargained for against the Philadelphia 76ers who are once again, record-wise, among the worst teams in the NBA.

They didn’t look like it in the first half which ended with the Celtics trailing the Sixers 53-45.

Boston came into the game having won its last four road games. And they did so by playing solid defense, something that has been noticeably absent in the first half.

Philadelphia came into the game as one of the NBA’s better 3-point shooting teams and has lived up to the lofty ranking.

In the first half Philadelphia made nine of its 18 three-point attempts while the Celtics are way, way, way at the other end of the 3-point shooting spectrum while missing eight of their 11 3s with Isaiah Thomas making a pair with the lone other made 3-pointer coming from Marcus Smart.

The defense struggled, the offense never had any kind of flow and not surprisingly, the Celtics found themselves playing from behind most of the first half.

Here are the first half stars from Saturday’s game.

STARS

Sergio Rodriguez: His playmaking was solid as usual, but it was Rodriguez getting it going with his jumper that really produced surprisingly strong results for the Sixers. He had 11 points, four assists and a steal in the first half.

Isaiah Thomas: Playing his game which is shooting and attacking the rim, Thomas was Boston’s lone double-digit scorer in the first half with 15 points which is tops among all players.

STUDS

Dario Saric: It was a solid first half as Saric contributed both on the boards and the scoreboard. He had 10 points in the first half along with five rebounds.

Gerald Henderson: Henderson had one of those high efficiency-type games with 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting.

DUDS

Celtics 3-point shooting: It was a miserable first half for a team that has been among the NBA’s leaders in 3-pointers made and taken this season. At the half, Boston has shot 2-for-10 on 3's.

Celtics defense: Boston has shown little to no signs of providing the kind of push-back they’ll need in order to leave Philly with a win. In addition to allowing Philadelphia to shoot 47.4 percent from the field, Boston also allowed the Sixers to knock down nine 3's.

Red Sox outfield "Win, Dance, Repeat" celebration finds its way on MLB the Show 17

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Red Sox outfield "Win, Dance, Repeat" celebration finds its way on MLB the Show 17

Mooke Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and a mix of Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt, Blake Swihart and Chris Young brought postgame celebrations to a new level last season.

Most Sox fans are familiar with the outfield victory "Win, Dance, Repeat" where the trio would dance and pretend to photograph the game's best player between them. The celebration ended with a pose at first, but as seen the MLB the Show 17's freshly released trailer, a few more wrinkes were added in.

In fact, here's a taste of the celebrations and what else to expect from Playstation's 2017 MLB game: