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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James upset about hard fouls after Heat’s streak ends vs. Bulls

03.28.13 at 7:57 am ET

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College basketball: NCAA tournament, Marquette vs. Miami, 7:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Arizona vs. Ohio State, 7:47 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Syracuse vs. Indiana, 9:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, La Salle vs. Wichita State, 10:17 p.m. (TBS)
NHL: Kings at Blues, 8 p.m. (NHL Network)
MLB preseason: Twins at Red Sox, 7 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB preseason: Mets at Nationals, 1 p.m. (ESPN)


‘™¦ The Heat’s 27-game winning streak, second-longest in NBA history, ended in Chicago on Wednesday night, and LeBron James is not happy with the physical treatment he received from the Bulls.

In the first quarter, Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich, defending one-on-one against James on a fast break, appeared to try to draw a charge, but he put both arms around James as they fell to the floor. (Hinrich actually looked to get the worst of the play, as the back of his head bounced off the court.)

In the fourth quarter, Taj Gibson stopped a layup by bringing his arm across James’ neck and shoulder. (Gibson then offered to help James off the floor.)

“Let me calculate my thoughts real fast before I say [what I want to say],” James said postgame. “I believe and I know that a lot of my fouls are not basketball plays. First of all, Kirk Hinrich in the first quarter basically grabbed me with two hands and brought me to the ground. The last one, Taj Gibson was able to collar me around my shoulder and bring me to the ground. Those are not defensive … those are not basketball plays.”

James, who finished with 32 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in his team’s 101-97 loss, took out his frustration with 3:52 left when he drove his shoulder into the chest of a screen-setting Carlos Boozer and followed through with his elbow, earning a flagrant foul.

James admitted afterward that the hard fouls have started to bother him.

“It’s been happening all year, and I’ve been able to keep my cool and try to tell [Erik Spoelstra], ‘Let’s not worry about it too much.’ But it is getting to me a little bit because every time I try to defend myself, I got to face the consequences of a flagrant for me or a technical foul, whatever the case may be,” James said. “It’s tough. It’s tough. It’s very tough, and I’m not sitting here crying about anything because I play the game at a high level. I play with a lot of aggression, and I understand that some of the plays are on the borderline of a basketball play or not, but sometimes you just got to … I don’t know. It’s frustrating.”

‘™¦ Former Red Sox star Manny Ramirez made his debut in Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League on Wednesday, going 2-for 6 in the EDA Rhinos’ 9-8 loss to the visiting Brother Elephants in 12 innings.

Ramirez, batting fourth, flew out to left off American Mike Ballard in the first inning. In the second inning, facing rookie right-hander Wu Ming-hsu, he singled to left field (video below) as part of his team’s five-run rally. Ramirez singled to right off Wu in the fourth.

Ramirez had a chance to be the hero twice, but in the eighth he stranded two runners with the game tied at 8, and in the 11th he couldn’t get the ball out of the infield.

The game reportedly was played in front of a capacity crowd of 20,000 fans.

‘™¦ Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 buzzer-beaters in NCAA tournament history. No. 1 is NC State’s Lorenzo Charles beating Houston in the 1983 championship game. No. 2 is Christian Laettner‘s jumper that gave Duke a win over Kentucky in the 1992 Elite Eight.

UConn makes two appearances on the list. No. 6 is Tate George‘s jumper that beat Clemson in 1990, and No. 8 is Richard Hamilton‘s fadeaway that beat Washington in 1998.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 28, 1986, the Red Sox made a trade with the Yankees to acquire designated hitter Don Baylor, who helped the Red Sox win the 1986 American League pennant. Which player did the Sox trade to New York?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I don’€™t really know the chances. I don’€™t really worry about it. I sleep well at night.” Jackie Bradley Jr., on the chances of being on the Red Sox roster for Opening Day

STAT OF THE DAY: 8 — Games in the last nine meetings between the Bruins and Canadiens that have been decided by one goal, including Wednesday night’s 6-5 shootout loss for the B’s

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): From Tuesday night, Hurricanes defenseman Jame McBain whiffs on a clear and knocks the puck into his own goal on the backswing.

Women’s tennis player Agnieszka Radawanska shows impressive reactions to hit this winner during the Sony Open.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Reba McEntire was born on this day in 1955.

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