Garnetts big dunk was followed by Pierces

  • CHICAGO -- Derrick Roses comeback turned out to be a cameo, and the Chicago Bulls worst nightmare became a reality again. Fernando Torres Jersey . The Bulls hopes about contending for a championship this season took a serious hit. Their long-term plans appear to be up in the air, too. The team said Rose will miss the remainder of the season after having surgery Monday morning in Chicago to repair a torn medial meniscus in his right knee. For the Bulls and their point guard, its an all-too-familiar spot. "I felt for him. He is a great person, first and foremost," coach Tom Thibodeau said before Chicago played at Utah. Rose was injured Friday night at Portland, a huge setback for him and the organization. The 2011 NBA MVP missed all of last season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Chicagos 2012 playoff opener against Philadelphia. He has played in just 50 NBA games -- 49 in the regular season and that lone playoff game -- since the Bulls run to the Eastern Conference finals during his MVP season. The latest injury occurred in the third quarter against the Trail Blazers. He lost his footing while trying to change direction to get back on defence when Nicolas Batum stole a pass from Joakim Noah and started the other way. Rose limped across the court and couldnt put any weight on his knee. After the Blazers scored, he came out of the game during a timeout. It didnt appear there was any contact on the play. Rose was unable to return and was on crutches afterward. With Rose back, the Bulls were expected to challenge LeBron James and the Miami Heat for supremacy in the Eastern Conference and contend for their first championship since the Michael Jordan-Scottie Pippen era. Instead, theyre in a familiar spot -- trying to get by without their cornerstone player. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement he was "heartbroken" when he heard about Roses injury. "Everyone at the Bulls knows firsthand how extremely hard Derrick worked to return to the court this year, and I have no doubt he will do the same with regards to his recovery from this injury," Reinsdorf added. "Despite Derricks absence, this is still a good team. I know from last year, this team and coaching staff will continue to make our fans proud." He added that doctors expect Rose to make a full recovery. But the latest injury raises big questions about whether they should continue to build around him as their cornerstone player and how this will impact the rest of the roster. "Its obviously too soon to go down that road," general manager Gar Forman told the teams website. "Derrick had surgery this morning. Look, we are always evaluating our team, just like everyone else does. "We felt good about this season, but we were hardly perfect. So we always are looking to get better. Everything we do is geared toward winning a championship and we will continue to evaluate any moves that will help us in attaining that goal." Asked if the Bulls can trust Rose after two season-ending knee injuries, Forman said. "We see no reason not to. Thats what the best doctors in the world tell us." Rose had insisted he could regain the form that made him the leagues youngest MVP, that he was coming back as good as ever, but he was off to a shaky start. Rose was averaging 15.9 points and was shooting just over 35 per cent, although he looked a little better in his final two games with 19 points in a loss at Denver and 20 against Portland. The Bulls were built to win this season with Rose. Hes their lone superstar, the only player who can consistently create his own shot, and its hard to envision them hanging with the Heat or Indiana without him. "You feel for him," the Pacers Paul George said. "No matter what our rivalry is or the dislike in teams in being in the same division, you never want to see guys go down. Especially a season-ending injury." Roses injury could send ripples through the roster. Luol Deng has an expiring contract. Do the Bulls try to trade him with the idea that the championship window for this team is shut or risk letting him leave at the end of the season without getting anything in return? Then, theres Carlos Boozer. A candidate to be amnestied, the Bulls might try to trade him. For now, hes their No. 1 scoring option. Without Rose, the Bulls figure to be a middle-of-the-road team. His torn ACL in 2012 sent top-seeded Chicago to a first-round exit against Philadelphia, capping a season in which he was in and out of the lineup due to injuries. Last season, while Roses recovery became a running soap opera, the Bulls clawed their way to 45 wins and the second round of the playoffs even though players kept going down because they were hurt or sick. But several key contributors are gone. The Bulls let Nate Robinson leave because they had Rose coming back, meaning that veteran Kirk Hinrich is now the starter with third-year pro Marquis Teague backing him up. They also decided not to re-sign swingman Marco Belinelli and brought in Mike Dunleavy Jr., instead. "Its tough for everybody," Dunleavy said. "I certainly feel for (Rose). Ironically, one of the reasons I came here is because of the way this team performed under adversity. Now, here we are again in the same boat." Jan Oblak Jersey . Returning to Davis Cup tennis, Federer cruised past Ilija Bozoljac, winning 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in less than two hours. Federer faced little challenge from Bozoljac, who served well but still was no match for his Swiss opponent. Guilherme Siqueira Jersey . On the eve of the 2013-14 NBA season, he can finally take a step back and allow his team to do the talking.PHILADELPHIA -- Kevin Garnett scored 10 points in his first game in more than five weeks to help the Brooklyn Nets beat the Philadelphia 76ers 105-101 Saturday night. The 37-year-old Garnett missed 19 straight games since Feb. 27 because of back spasms. The Nets went 14-5 over that span. Garnett was back in the starting lineup and was sharp from the start. He scored on an alley-oop in the first quarter, made his first four shots, and had a nasty block on Michael Carter-Williams layup attempt that knocked the rookie guard to the ground. Garnett also passed Alex English to move into 14th on the NBAs career scoring list. Coach Jason Kidd limited Garnetts minutes and the veteran centre did not play in the fourth quarter. Deron Williams had 19 points and Mason Plumlee 16 for the Nets. Thaddeus Young led the Sixers with 20 points. The Sixers, who had won two of four after losing 26 straight games, sliced a 21-point hole down to two after Henry Sims put back Carter-Williams miss on his second free-throw attempt. With a chance to tie the game at 96-all on the next possession, Carter-Williams made 1 of 2 with 1:05 left. Mirza Teletovics first bucket of the game was a 3-pointer with 48.4 seconds left that gave the Nets some breathing room. With starters Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Garnett on the bench, Williams helped the Nets seal the win from the line Garnett was loose and all ssmiles in the pregame layup line, slapping hands and offering encouragement to his teammates. Luciano Vietto Jersey. Pierce took on Garnett in a brief 1-on-1 battle, and yelled "Welcome back!" as he blew by him to toward the basket. Garnett is the no longer the dominant All-Star of his Minnesota and Boston days, averaging 6.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 21 minutes in 49 games this season. But the layoff may help boost the life left in his legs that will be needed if the Nets are going to make any type of playoff run. Garnett and Pierce turned back the clock on consecutive scores in the second -- Garnetts big dunk was followed by Pierces 3-pointer for a 13-point lead. The Nets led by as many as 21 before the Sixers made their run late in the fourth. Garnett and Pierce had a seat on the bench during crunch time. That allowed the Sixers to pounce. Carter-Williams went rim-to-rim off his own defensive rebound and finished with a one-handed dunk over Andrei Kirlenko. He helped the Sixers stay within 10 points of the Nets. The Sixers closed within three when Williams was fouled on a 3-pointer with 3:08 left. He made the free throw for a 94-87 lead. Williams made all six of his free-throw attempts in the game. Holis Thompson scored 18 points for the Sixers and Sims had 11 points and 11 rebounds. NOTES: 76ers C Byron Mullens (sprained left ankle) was inactive. ... 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