CHICAGO – The Bulls suspended forward Bobby Portis for the first eight games of the season Wednesday for injuring teammate Nikola Mirotic during a fight at practice.
Mirotic suffered broken bones in his face as well as a concussion Tuesday and likely will need surgery. Vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said Mirotic is expected to miss four to six weeks, and that he needs to clear the concussion protocol before the facial injuries can be resolved.
Paxson acknowledged fault on both sides while calling the incident “inexcusable.” He also called Portis “a good kid” who “made a mistake.”
It certainly was not what the rebuilding Bulls wanted heading into the season opener at Toronto on Thursday night. The incident takes two more players out of their rotation, with newcomer Zach LaVine also missing the start of the season as he works his way back from a torn ACL he suffered with Minnesota.
Portis will be allowed to practice with the team while he is suspended.
Tanaka, Yankees top Keuchel, Astros for 3-2 lead in ALCS
NEW YORK – Masahiro Tanaka pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, and the New York Yankees finally solved Houston Astros nemesis Dallas Keuchel, beating the ace lefty, 5-0, on Wednesday for a 3-2 lead in the American League Championship Series.
Gary Sanchez hit an RBI single off Keuchel and later homered to help the wild-card Yankees win for the third straight day at home and move within one victory of their first trip to the World Series since 2009.
The teams head back to Houston for Game 6 on Friday night, when Justin Verlander and the reeling Astros will try to regain their footing following an off day and force a decisive Game 7. Luis Severino is scheduled to start for New York.
Just days ago, Houston was up, 2-0, and appeared to be closing in on its second World Series appearance. But the Astros, like defending AL champion Cleveland before them, have been unable to put away these poised Yankees, who improved to 6-0 at home in this postseason in front of their cheering, chanting fans.