^Saturday's games<


Tribune News Service

Sports Budget for Saturday, February 9, 2019

Updated at 6 p.m. EST (2300 UTC)

This budget is now available at http://www.TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^2019 is an important year for Joe Maddon and Rick Renteria, Chicago's yin and yang of managers<

BBO-MADDON-RENTERIA-SPORTSPLUS:TB — As they dive headfirst into the 2019 season this week in Arizona, Cubs manager Joe Maddon and White Sox counterpart Rick Renteria are entering crossroads of sorts.

Maddon, coming off a 95-win season and four straight postseason appearances, needs to win to keep his job. Renteria, coming off 100 losses with most of the same nucleus returning, needs to stop losing to keep his sanity.

There may be vastly different expectations for the Cubs and Sox, but fans on both sides of town want to see one thing: improvement.

1350 by Paul Sullivan in Chicago. MOVED



^Peter Schmuck: Frank Robinson wasn't easy to get to know, but he was certainly worth the effort<

BBA-SCHMUCK-COLUMN:BZ — Frank Robinson was one of the toughest players in the history of baseball, but the hard shell you had to break through to get to know him was just a very effective disguise.

I found that out the hard way soon after I was hired by The Sun to take over the Orioles beat in January of 1990. The team was coming off its heart-warming "Why Not?" season and I was excited to get started. I was living in Southern California at the time, so I called Frank at his home in Los Angeles, introduced myself and asked him if I could take him to lunch and get acquainted.

1050 by Peter Schmuck in Baltimore. MOVED


^Bob Brookover: Phillies need Bryce Harper or Manny Machado to win the offseason and the NL East<

BBN-BROOKOVER-COLUMN:PHI — We learned long ago and many times over that the team that wins the offseason does not always win the actual season.

The Atlanta Braves, for example, spent less money during the offseason than any other team in baseball last year and still won the National League East.

That said, the Phillies headed into November as the major league favorite to win this offseason and they have not done it yet. They leaped into contention Thursday with the acquisition of All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, a move that should be considered among the top five in baseball this offseason.

900 by Bob Brookover in Philadelphia. MOVED


^Phil Miller: Bottom line: Twins didn't make any major offseason deals<

BBA-MILLER-COLUMN:MS — The Twins were the most active team in baseball at last year's trade deadline, pulling off five swaps in the final days of July and another in early August. And that was just a precursor, the team's front office hinted and the MLB community assumed, to a winter spent bartering for major league upgrades in Minnesota.

"We may actually shift our attention to the trade market," Twins general manager Thad Levine said, when asked at a public forum in August about the team's plans for pursuing free agents. "This might not be the perfect time for us to invest in a guy who's 30 years old and would need to perform today in order for us to realize his true potential."

750 by Phil Miller in Minneapolis. MOVED



^Ravens can't duplicate Patriots' dynasty, but here's how they can learn from it<

FBN-RAVENS-PATRIOTS-MODEL:BZ — If every Super Bowl offers insights about the NFL's past, present and future, the New England Patriots' sixth title typified the lesson that has become as dull and resounding as their 13-3 triumph Sunday over the Los Angeles Rams.

The Patriots still have Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, and no one else does, and that's usually enough.

A year after losing a shootout to the Philadelphia Eagles, New England won Super Bowl LIII with defense, a game that was half-slugfest, half-punting battle. Two years after running off a 25-point comeback against the Atlanta Falcons, the Patriots all but sat on the Rams and waited for the game to end and the confetti to fall.

1200 by Jonas Shaffer in Baltimore. MOVED



^Marcus Hayes: How Moses Malone led Allen Iverson from the wilderness<

BKN-HAYES-COLUMN:PHI — Far from lights and crowds, the Chairman of the Boards mentored The Answer in his darkest hours.

Allen Iverson was the unconventional centerpiece of the Sixers franchise from 1996-2006. He often was portrayed unfairly or unjustly. That enraged him.

Moses Malone soothed him like a big brother would.

"He was able to be that guy — when he knew I was going to explode — to say, 'Come on, young fella,' " Iverson said, putting his hand on my shoulder, the way Moses did with him. "And I'm, like, 'Well, Mo said calm down. So, I guess I should calm down.' "

900 by Marcus Hayes in Philadelphia. MOVED


^Steve Popper: Knicks' rebuild had a good week, at least on paper<

BKN-POPPER-COLUMN:ND — It was a good week for the Knicks. Not on the court, of course, where they have continued to chase the record for the worst season in franchise history. But if you are keeping score in the realm that the Knicks are counting on — the future of their rebuild — they went 3-0 recently.

First, Anthony Davis announced that he wanted out of New Orleans and placed the Knicks on a short list of teams he would consider signing with long-term. Then he was not dealt before the trade deadline, leaving the opening for the Knicks to chase him this summer.

600 by Steve Popper in Detroit. MOVED

^Kevin Durant expected LeBron James to pick him first in All-Star draft<

BKN-WARRIORS-DURANT-ALLSTAR:SJ — Kevin Durant did not sound grateful for the honor. It sounded like he expected it.

As the captain for his respective All-Star team for the second consecutive season, LeBron James selected Durant first for his team. To which Durant says .

"What else is he supposed to do?" Durant asked, rhetorically.

Fair enough. Durant has won two NBA championships and two Finals MVPs in consecutive seasons. In his 12th NBA season, the 30-year-old Durant is ranked No. 36 on the league's all-time scoring list and counting (22,366 points).

500 by Mark Medina in Phoenix. MOVED

Saturday's games

TNS expects coverage from the following games:

Toronto at New York, 7:30 p.m. EST

LA Clippers at Boston, 8 p.m.

Washington at Chicago, 8 p.m.

Orlando at Milwaukee, 9 p.m.


^5 things that must happen for the Blackhawks to make the playoffs<

HKN-BLACKHAWKS-PLAYOFFS:TB — Didn't think the Blackhawks had it in them, did you? Of course you didn't, and for good reason.

Everything the Hawks had shown before their current six-game winning streak indicated this was a lost season. After falling to the Rangers on Jan. 17, they were tied with the Senators for the fewest points in the NHL.

Now they're a mere two points out of a wild-card spot — albeit with four teams to pass — and are miraculously gearing up to make a bid for the postseason.

Here are five things that must happen for the Hawks to make the playoffs.

950 by Jimmy Greenfield in Chicago. MOVED


^Red Wings flop at Sabres, lose matinee, 3-1<

HKN-REDWINGS-SABRES:DE — The Detroit Red Wings began their fathers trip with a dud.

After largely playing well for more than a month, their excursion Saturday at KeyBank Center disappointed. They started decently but couldn't find the back of the net, and the last two periods they looked sloppy. It ended with a 3-1 loss.

The Sabres came into the game having lost three of their previous four games. They are 9-14-5 since winning 10 straight games in November.

The game was the first on a three-stop trip during which the Wings have brought along their fathers or other male family members, or in a few cases, a friend.

450 by Helene St. James in Buffalo, N.Y. MOVED

^Wild snap four-game losing streak with 4-2 win over Devils<

HKN-WILD-DEVILS:MS — After scrambling its lines in search of a solution for a four-game slide, the Wild concentrated their offensive leaders on the first two units.

But it was the third trio featuring center Joel Eriksson Ek and wingers Marcus Foligno and Luke Kunin that was the Wild's most effective, scoring three times to set up a 4-2 slump-busting win over the Devils Saturday afternoon in front of 15,783 at Prudential Center.

The result improved the team to 6-0 in afternoon games on the road.

400 by Sarah McLellan in Newark, N.J. MOVED


^Ryan Pulock's OT goal lifts Islanders over Avalanche, 4-3<

HKN-AVALANCHE-ISLANDERS:ND — Defenseman Ryan Pulock scored two go-ahead goals for the Islanders. The second one was a winner.

His goal at 2:23 of overtime gave the Islanders a 4-3 win over the Avalanche on Saturday afternoon before a crowd of 14,216 at Barclays Center.

Pulock had given the Islanders, who rallied from a two-goal deficit, a 3-2 lead on a four-on-three power play at 13:57 of the third period. Mathew Barzal and the Avalanche's Carl Soderberg were called for roughing minors after a nasty tussle near the Colorado crease and the Avalanche's Gabriel Landeskog hooked Brock Nelson off the ensuing faceoff.

300 by Andrew Gross in New York. MOVED

^Hart picks up another win as Flyers down Ducks, 6-2<

HKN-FLYERS-DUCKS:PHI — As winning recipes go, scoring four goals in a single period is a potent one.

But the Flyers found even that toxic during the barren earth portion of their season that has caused such team upheaval. The only other time they did so before Saturday's first period at the Wells Fargo Center, they finished on the losing end of the score.

That was in Calgary on Dec. 12, a debilitating loss in which the Flames scored twice in the final 66 seconds of regulation, then won it 36 seconds into overtime.

600 by Sam Donnellon in Philadelphia. MOVED


^Blues win fifth straight, 3-2 over Predators<

HKN-PREDATORS-BLUES:SL — Goalie sensation Jordan Binnington won again and so did the Blues, getting goals from Vince Dunn, Vladimir Tarasenko and Mackenzie MacEachern in a 3-2 victory over the rival Nashville Predators on Saturday afternoon at Enterprise Center.

It was the Blues' fifth victory in a row, their longest winning streak since a six-game streak from March 17 through March 27 of last season, when they desperately — and unsuccessfully — were trying to work their way into the playoffs.

At 26-22-5, good for 57 points, the Blues stayed in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

450 by Jim Thomas in St. Louis. MOVED

Saturday's games

TNS expects coverage from the following games:

Los Angeles at Boston, 1 p.m. EST

Dallas at Arizona, 4 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.

San Jose at Edmonton, 7 p.m.


^Matthews comes up clutch as Michigan beats Wisconsin, 61-52<


But games between these teams often seem to be.

No. 7 Michigan survived a hard-fought battle against No. 19 Wisconsin, winning, 61-52 at Crisler Center on Saturday afternoon.

Charles Matthews finished with a team-high 18 points and hit a bevy of difficult jumpers in the second half, including two late in the game.

The Wolverines (22-2, 11-2 Big Ten) held onto first place in the Big Ten, and earned a split against the Badgers (17-7, 9-4).

The second half was all Matthews.

500 by Orion Sang in Ann Arbor, Mich. MOVED

^No. 8 North Carolina avoids upset, outlasts Miami in overtime<

BKC-MIAMI-UNC:RA — Chris Lykes and the Miami Hurricanes did not care that North Carolina was at home, or that it was one of the top teams in the country.

Regardless of how good the Tar Heels were — and they have been good recently — the Hurricanes were going to try to beat them. And they nearly did. The Hurricanes took a three-point lead after Miami senior guard Zach Johnson hit a baseline jumper with 21 seconds remaining.

But UNC coach Roy Williams called a timeout and drew up a play that found senior forward Luke Maye open for a 3-pointer. He knocked it down, sending the game to overtime. In overtime, the Tar Heels outplayed the Hurricanes and won, 88-85 at the Dean Smith Center.

700 by Jonathan M. Alexander in Chapel Hill, N.C. MOVED


^Lawson, Agbaji help Kansas pull away for 84-72 win over Oklahoma State<

BKC-OKLAHOMASTATE-KANSAS:KC — A short-handed Kansas basketball team, playing without injured Marcus Garrett and Udoka Azubuike and ineligible Silvio De Sousa, won its first game without senior guard Lagerald Vick on Saturday.

The Jayhawks, who learned on Thursday that Vick was headed home to Memphis for personal reasons while on an indefinite leave of absence, upended an equally depleted Oklahoma State squad, 84-72 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Taking the court without veteran Vick against an OSU team that has lost four players since the start of the new year, the Jayhawks — who Saturday were led by Dedric Lawson's 25 points and Ochai Agbaji's 23 points — welcomed a new starter into the lineup.

450 by Gary Bedore in Lawrence, Kan. MOVED


^No. 5 Kentucky holds off Mississippi State, 71-67<

BKC-KENTUCKY-MISSISSIPPISTATE:LX — Maybe not with such wild swings of momentum, but Kentucky coach John Calipari expected a challenge at Mississippi State on Saturday afternoon.

That's why he took an usual, if not unprecedented step in preparing his team at dawn.

"We came over at 7:30, and we did a shootaround," Calipari said. "I never do that. I knew how tough this game was going to be. We may have run out of gas because I did that."

Calipari cited the reason he broke from custom. "We had two other games at noon," he said of matchups with Seton Hall and Alabama. "We lost both."

800 by Jerry Tipton in Starkville, Miss. MOVED


^Nick Ward, Michigan State snap out of funk with rout of Minnesota<

BKC-MINNESOTA-MICHIGANSTATE:DE — Nick Ward said earlier in the week he had spoken with Magic Johnson recently and received advice.

Michigan State's junior forward put on a performance to make the basketball legend proud.

On a day the Spartans celebrated Magic and the 1979 national championship team, Ward shook off a recent funk and Matt McQuaid had a career game to help No. 9 MSU end its three-game losing streak with a 79-55 victory over Minnesota on Saturday afternoon at Breslin Center.

500 by Chris Solari in East Lansing, Mich. MOVED

^Villanova rallies from 15-point deficit, but final shot falls short in 66-65 loss to Marquette<

BKC-VILLANOVA-MARQUETTE:PHI — It was a matchup of the Big East's two heavyweights Saturday at Fiserv Forum and both 14th-ranked Villanova and No. 10 Marquette showed why each was deserving of its lofty standing.

After the Wildcats rallied from a 15-point deficit to take the lead, and after the Golden Eagles answered by regaining the advantage, the contest came down to a last possession for the visitors with a chance to win. But Phil Booth got jammed inside and Jermaine Samuels rushed a shot that fell short at the buzzer, and Marquette captured a 66-65 victory

550 by Joe Juliano in Milwaukee. MOVED


Saturday's games

TNS expects coverage from the following games featuring teams in the AP top 25:

No. 16 Louisville at No. 22 Florida State, 4 p.m.

No. 2 Duke at No. 3 Virginia, 6 p.m.


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