It might have been only for a night, but boy was this night a good one. After years and years of hardship and injury, former NBA MVP Derrick Rose returned to the form we all remember him by on Wednesday night to drop 50 points down upon the Utah Jazz to help his Minnesota Timberwolves win 128-125 at home. With less than a minute left, Rose had 44 points and they trailed 122-121. With 55 seconds left, he made a lay-up to give them the lead. With 30 seconds left, he made another big shot to give them another lead. With 13.8 seconds on the clock, he made two clutch free throws that gave them the 128-125 lead. But that was just the start of it. Rose would also make the telling defensive play of the game as he blocked Dante Exum’s three-point attempt to seal the win. This truly was a throwback to a previous day, one in which Rose was one of the best players in the league. His team needed every single point he gave them, and they also needed his defense. It’s wholly ridiculous to believe he can do this night-in and night-out, but this just shows why it’s smart to have a guy like him around!
We don’t usually talk about off-field stories here unless they relate to either rankings or acquisitions, but today is an exception after the news that Maryland football head coach DJ Durkin has been relieved of his duties. Durkin, who had been placed on suspension while the school investigated the death of Jordan McNair over the summer, had been shockingly reinstated, on Tuesday. The school, though, who felt a backlash from the parents of the fallen, players, media, and politicians alike, acquiesced on Wednesday and did the right thing. Durkin didn’t murder the kid, but he was the man in charge, and he should have had a better eye on his program.
MLS Cup Playoffs began last night, and that means the Wild Card round, which is just one match to determine who moves to the Conference Semis. The early match saw Maxi Moralez pull the strings at Yankee Stadium as New York City FC dominated the Philadelphia Union 3-1 to set up a two-legged tie against Atlanta United. Moralez scored twice and also helped set up David Villa’s goal in the victory. In Dallas, the Portland Timbers were able to hold off FC Dallas to win 2-1 on the road and move on to Sunday now despite having been a man down for over 30 minutes in the second half. Two goals from Diego Valeri, one before and one after Larrys Mabiala’s red card, gave them something to hold onto. FC Dallas got one back, but it was too late as Matt Hedges’ goal came in the dying moments, and it meant the Timbers moved on to the Conference Semis.