Taj Gibson led five players in double figures wit

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  • CHICAGO -- Taj Gibson led five players in double figures with 23 points and the Chicago Bulls brushed off a poor offensive first half to rally for an 89-77 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night. Kirk Hinrich had 18 points on 7-for-13 shooting, Mike Dunleavy scored 13, Jimmy Butler 12 and Joakim Noah added 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Gibson, who was 9 for 15 from the field, also had eight rebounds in 32 minutes off the bench. The Bulls (40-31) pulled within two percentage points of Toronto (39-30) for third place in the Eastern Conference. The win also prevented Indiana from clinching the Central Division title on Chicagos home court. The Pacers are looking to win consecutive division crowns for the second time since joining the NBA (1998-99 and 1999-2000). The Pacers, who were led by Paul Georges 21 points, have dropped three straight and six of eight on the road. Theyve lost four of five at the United Center, including both visits this season. The Pacers earned a 91-79 victory over the Bulls on Friday night at Indiana. With the NBAs top two defensive teams on the court, points figured to come at a premium, and that certainly was the case in the first half. Neither team managed to score 20 in either of the first two quarters, and the Pacers took a 34-33 halftime lead when George Hill (12 first-half points) hit a 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left. The Bulls were 14 of 44 (31.8 per cent) from the field in the first half, including 1 for 10 on 3-pointers. Perhaps the most entertaining portion of the half came when the crowd got on Pacers centre Roy Hibbert for an apparent flop, a hot topic between the teams in recent days. On the play, Hibbert was fouled by Noah as he was beginning to go up for a shot attempt. While there definitely was enough contact to warrant a foul, it appeared to be light. Hibbert, though, dropped to the court flailing as if he had been hit by a flagrant foul. After the replay was shown on the scoreboard, the crowd began to boo. Noah stood off to the side with a big grin on his face. Following Fridays game in Indiana, Gibson accused the Pacers of flopping, and it was still the topic of conversation at the morning shootaround for both teams. "I mean, I havent taken a charge in probably four years," Hibbert said at the shootaround. "Hes entitled to his opinion. Im just going to go out there and play hard." The Bulls finally got into an offensive rhythm in the third quarter, starting the second half with a 16-5 run to take a 49-39 lead. A few minutes later, Indiana had cut the lead to 55-49 and George had the ball on a fast break ahead of the field. Hinrich, though, caught him from behind and looked as if he was going to give an intentional foul. Instead, Hinrich stripped the ball and the Bulls headed in the opposite direction as George complained that he was fouled. The Bulls completed the four-point swing on Gibsons dunk to make it 57-49 with just more than 4 minutes left in the third quarter. The Bulls took a 64-56 lead into the fourth after scoring 31 points in the third. They had balanced scoring in the quarter with Dunleavy and Hinrich each tallying seven points. Carlos Boozer, Butler and Gibson added five apiece. The Bulls were never seriously threatened in the fourth and held on for a relatively comfortable win. NOTES: The Bulls posted a 110-94 victory in Indianas only previous visit to the United Center this season on Nov.16. Indiana won both games at home as the teams split the season series. ... Pacers coach Frank Vogel when asked if Hibbert was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year: "Hands down. Hes the best rim-protector on the best defence in the league. I think thats who the award should go to. Ill be very disappointed if he doesnt get the award this year." Hibberts main competition could be Noah, who received the endorsement of Rockets coach Kevin McHale a couple of weeks ago. . Former Bull C.J. Watson missed the game with a right hamstring strain. Dallas Cowboys Jerseys .com) - Joe Pavelski scored twice to lead the San Jose Sharks in a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers to split a home-and-home set. Mike White Jersey . The Redskins announced Monday that the quarterback who led the team to the Super Bowl championship in the 1987 season will serve as a personnel executive. http://www.cowboysrookieproshop.com/Cowboys-Dorance-Armstrong-Jr-Jersey/ . For the Athletics, hes extremely important at the top of the order, especially with Coco Crisp hurting. Jaso drove in three runs Sunday night, helping Scott Kazmir and Oakland beat the Texas Rangers 9-3. Jamize Olawale Jersey .com) - The Atlanta Hawks have stepped up to every challenge during their 14-game winning streak and will face another daunting task Friday with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder in town. Jamize Olawale Cowboys Jersey . A spokeswoman for the NLRB says its "a very incremental move" and does not necessarily indicate the board is close to a finding in the case. NFL owners filed an unfair labour charge against the players union in February, arguing that the union was not negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement in good faith.BALTIMORE -- Dustin McGowan has endured injuries and operations, long stints on the disabled list and countless rehab assignments to keep his baseball career afloat. It all paid off Friday night, when the Toronto right-hander earned his first victory since 2008 with an effective and emotional effort at Baltimore. McGowan allowed five hits over 6 1-3 innings, and the Blue Jays used two unearned runs to beat Chris Tillman and the Orioles 2-0. Making his second start since September 2011, McGowan (1-1) walked one, hit two batters and struck out two. He had faced the Orioles 13 times previously -- going 0-3 with a 6.99 ERA and allowing 50 hits in 37 1-3 innings. McGowan spent time on the disabled list in each of the last six seasons. He had shoulder surgery in 2008 and 2010 and missed the entire 2012 season. In his debut this year, he didnt make it out of the third inning in a loss to the New York Yankees. Against Baltimore, however, McGowan allowed only one runner past second base. "Its kind of a sentimental night, you know, one of those deals," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Hes come a long way and he answered the bell. He had a rough one, his first one, and he bounced back tonight against a good-hitting ballclub. Yeah, its very rewarding for not only him but for everybody that knows him." The 32-year-old McGowan couldnt have been much happier. "I think the most important thing is just feeling good," he said. "I got the opportunity to pitch again and thats all I could ask for. Just trying to make the best of it." After McGowan left, Brett Cecil got five straight outs and Sergio Santos worked a perfect ninth for his fourth save. It all added up to McGowans first win since June 22, 2008. "Hes always been one of the top guys here since he got drafted by the Blue Jays," Gibbons said. "The organization has expected big things out of him. Hes had some tough luck along the way. Who knows how the season will finish out? But hes off to a good start, thats for sure." Tillman (1-1) allowed three hits over eight innings, lowering his ERA to 0.84. But the right-hander received no offensive support from his teammates, who were coming off a three-game series against the Yankees iin which they collected 40 hits.dddddddddddd Two throwing errors by third baseman Jonathan Schoop provided Toronto with a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Jose Bautista reached on Schoops first errant toss and came around to score on the rookies second misfire. Dioner Navarro followed with a potential double-play grounder, but the relay to first base from shortstop Ryan Flaherty skipped past Tillman, allowing another run to score. "Its baseball. It could have happened early on in the game when I was missing (pitches) and we wouldnt even be talking about it," Tillman said. Schoop made no excuses. "I just like threw it away," he said. "I wish I played better defence for Tillman. He pitched a great game. Ill learn from it, be better tomorrow." In the fifth, Baltimore hit three straight two-out singles to load the bases for cleanup hitter Adam Jones, who flied out to centre. "A lot of guys hit balls right at guys. Its just how it is with this game," Jones said. "There will be days when we bloop them and they all find a home, but tonight, nothing. Crickets out there." McGowan had a lot to do with it. "You tip your cap," Jones said. "They pitched a good game." NOTES: Baltimore SS J.J. Hardy missed a fifth consecutive game with back spasms but expects to return Saturday. He received a cortisone shot Thursday and practiced Friday. ... Right-hander Bud Norris returns from a six-day layoff to start for Baltimore on Saturday against Toronto RHP Drew Hutchison. ... Ravens CB Lardarius Webb threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... Toronto SS Jose Reyes (hamstring) participated in running drills prior to the game. Hes expected to run the bases Saturday and then could "head out in the next few days" for a rehab assignment, according to Gibbons. ... Bautista has reached base in all 11 games (13 walks, seven hits). ... Orioles 3B Manny Machado (knee) will get two at-bats in a simulated game Saturday but will not run the bases. ... Toronto leadoff hitter Melky Cabrera singled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Orioles LHP Brian Matusz was absent with an illness and did not show up at the ballpark. 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