MIAMI -- The Miami Heat have been in this less-than-ideal spot before. They trailed Indiana in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season, needed to win a pair of elimination games against Boston in the East finals and then dropped Game 1 of the NBA Finals to Oklahoma City. And when it was all said and done, the Heat walked away with the title. So that might explain why there was no sense of panic in Heat land on Tuesday, and not even much of a sense of anger. Dropping Game 1 of the East semifinals to the Chicago Bulls on Monday night was hardly what the Heat wanted, though could end up serving as a wake-up call for a team that made it through a 66-win regular season without many rough patches. "We havent lost in a while, so it was very different to come in here and deal with a loss and to deal with it in the playoffs at home," Heat guard Dwyane Wade said after a video-and-practice session. "It was different from the standpoint of what weve been used to lately, but not anything different from what weve been used to as a team. Weve been in tough moments. Weve lost games before." Chicagos 93-86 win in the series opener was filled with statistical anomalies, such as Miami shooting just under 40 per cent (its second-worst showing in 87 games overall this season) and the Bulls scoring 35 points in the fourth quarter -- matching the most the Heat allowed in the final 12 minutes of regulation all season. Still, the Heat know some things still need to change, and in a hurry, or else the reigning champions could be in a gigantic amount of trouble. "Playoffs are all about revealing who you are," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Its either a win or a loss, and so we lost the first game. We have to figure it out, somehow, some way, to win the next game. And thats all it is. "We have to fight for our playoff lives right now, to play a much harder and much more committed game together tomorrow night." Oddly, the same sentiments were being uttered a few miles south of where Spoelstra was standing, with the Bulls saying many of the same things after reviewing tape at their hotel. Chicagos lineup isnt expected to change for Game 2. Luol Deng, who needed a spinal tap to rule out meningitis last week, still is not with the team, and coach Tom Thibodeau said a decision about flying him to Miami likely wouldnt be made until Wednesday morning -- so, barring a seismic change in thinking, there is no way he would play Wednesday night. And guard Kirk Hinrich was limping when the team exited the conference room it used for meetings, suggesting that the calf injury hes dealing with could keep him out of a fifth straight game. Then again, the Bulls showed on Monday -- again -- that even their depleted crew is more than good enough to win. Nate Robinson scored 27 points in the opener, even after needing 10 stitches during the game to close a nasty cut on his chin. He came into Monday averaging 9.6 points in 25 previous appearances against Miami. Thats how good its going for Chicago right now. "Were not satisfied," Bulls centre Joakim Noah said. "Weve been getting some big victories the last couple games, but were not satisfied. Were going to stay hungry, make our adjustments and try to play even better." The Bulls havent won three straight road games since mid-January. They have a chance to pull that off Wednesday, coming off a Game 7 win in Brooklyn on Saturday and then stunning Miami in Game 1 two nights later. If this keeps up, Chicago might struggle to keep the underdog status that it somehow converts into fuel. "The outside shouldnt matter. It really shouldnt," Thibodeau said. "The only thing that matters, really, is what we think. So whether its praise or criticism from the outside, thats not important. Its what we think on the inside. So we know if we do the right things that go into winning, were going to have a chance to win and thats all we want to focus in on. All the other stuff, I think, just gets you distracted." Noah said he was planning to sit in the sunshine on Tuesday, sip water, maybe squeeze a nap or a massage into his afternoon agenda. In other words, he was basically going to have a mini-vacation. Make no mistake, though. The Bulls are taking this opportunity super-seriously. Thats why the theme of their meetings on Tuesday was about ways to get better. "Everything," guard Jimmy Butler -- who has played all 48 minutes in three straight games -- said when asked about which areas where Chicago needs to see improvement in Game 2. "We made a lot of mistakes in our offence, our defence. They missed a lot of open shots and we made some shots. I feel that we can execute better, and we will." Theres no arguing Miami can execute better. Or at least, shoot better. The tape confirmed what the stat sheet, their eyes, and the eyes of everyone else who watched Game 1 said: Miami missed tons of open shots on Monday night. So while there will be adjustments to make, the simplest way for the Heat to get back on track is just make more shots, easy as that sounds. "It aint about Xs and Os in this series," Heat forward and four-time NBA MVP LeBron James said. "Its about will and determination to win the series, for both teams. ... We want our shooters to shoot and they will continue to shoot because we will continue to find them. Weve got the utmost confidence in them." MLB
.J. - All the New Jersey Devils needed to win for the first time this season was a game against the rival and injury-depleted New York Rangers. NBA
. -- Adrian Peterson shouldnt have any reason to get "hot" at Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier this week. http://www.ourjerseysonline.com/. NBA executive vice-president for basketball operations Stu Jackson announced the fine Tuesday. The league also upgraded the flagrant foul 1 Ibakas was given for hitting Griffin as the two battled for position in the paint to a Flagrant Foul 2, meaning Ibaka should have been ejected from the game. NHL
. Cozart sustained a concussion after being hit in the helmet by a pitch from Chad Billingsley in the fifth inning. The rookie shortstop held his head with both hands while lying on his stomach for several anxious moments before walking off under his own power.LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Magic Johnson is about to learn $2 billion only buys you so much. Now hell need to bring the Los Angeles Dodgers the same success he brought the Lakers. News that Johnson and his partners agreed to purchase the team sparked a groundswell of excited chatter and optimism Wednesday that the man who ran "Showtime" could restore lustre to the once-proud franchise. The amount Johnson and his partners are paying would be mind-blowing if it was just for the team itself. But it also gives Johnsons group the right to reel in future riches from TV and real estate associated with the Dodgers. "A big part of the purchase price is all those other things," said David Carter, executive director of USC Sports Business Institute. "Youve got a great piece of property you can develop and make a game-day experience around Chavez Ravine. A likely billion-dollar cable (television) rights deal that will come out of it makes it a very unique sale." Current owner Frank McCourt hand-picked Johnsons group to buy the Dodgers on Tuesday, just five hours after Major League Baseball approved three finalists in a bankruptcy auction. The deal is one of several steps toward a sale of the team by the end of April. It is subject to approval by a federal bankruptcy judge. "The interest in this franchise and its historic sale price are profound illustrations of the great overall health of our industry," baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said. "This has been a long, difficult process, and I once again want to thank the great Dodger fans for their loyalty and patience." Selig has the right to review the final agreement. If MLB has any objections, it would bring them up with mediator Joseph Farnan Jr. Johnsons group would gain the ability to sell the Dodgers local broadcasting rights starting with games in 2014. It likely would use money gained from the rights sale -- or from the teams own network with outside investment -- and use those funds to pay down the acquisition debt. The teams debt stood at $579 million as of January, according to a court filing. Johnson is seemingly a perfect fit. He lives locally, he already knows what it takes to win championships, and hes proven he can succeed in real estate, retail and entertainment -- keys to helping the team bolster its coffers in pursuit of big-money free agents. "Hes well-grounded and well-respected," Carter said. "You have a strong presence in the community, hes connected to city hall, and has a good relationship with the media. All these things are important and will help the community get over Frank." And Johnson still has the dazzling smile that will make him a great public face for what once was -- and could be again -- one of baseballs marquee franchises. "Great day for the Dodgers," slugger Matt Kemp said from spring training in Glendale, Ariz. "As Magic used to say, the Dodgers were the team that used to run L.A. Definitely we were going to have more fans out there this year. Now theres another reason to have the fans turn out." Retired Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda has known Johnson since he first came to play for the Lakers. "The most important part is hell talk to some of the players individually about how to win. Thats what we got to do right now is win again and bring our fans back," he said. "He knows how to talk to people, he knows how to impress people and how to build people up." Hours after the announcement that Johnsons group was the winning bidder, the Dodgers said their April 10 home opener was sold out. "As soon as you hear the name Magic Johnson, it turns into a positive," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Theres positive energy around the ball club, around the city.dddddddddddd" Johnsons group didnt comment Wednesday, but he said after their winning bid was announced that he was thrilled to be part of the franchise "as we drive the Dodgers back to the front page of the sports section in our wonderful community of Los Angeles." Johnsons business acumen is equal to his success on the court. The 52-year-old Hall of Fame guard won championships at Everett High in Lansing, Mich., at Michigan State and five NBA titles with the Lakers. After being forced to retire suddenly in 1991 with HIV, Johnson remade himself into a successful entrepreneur and became a respected voice as an HIV activist and campaigned to educate people about the disease. Johnson is well-known for his self-named nationwide chain of movie theatres, movie studio, and promotion company. He previously owned more than 100 Starbucks franchises and had a minority ownership in the Lakers. His other ventures include commercial real estate and health clubs. "Magic Johnson is probably the most beloved sports figure in Los Angeles history," Lakers owner Jerry Buss said. "He has been a success in everything else hes become involved with, most notably his spectacular business career and also his educational campaign on behalf of HIV awareness." Johnsons reputation as a winner in sports and business lends a new air of credibility to the Dodgers, who saw attendance plummet below 3 million in McCourts final season when fans bashed his stewardship of the team. "I think theyll be able to fill the stadium just because of Magic," said Mike Baldwin, a longtime fan who quit going to games after McCourt bought the team in 2003. "I dont think baseball could have done a better job than to pull him in." Johnsons partners in buying the Dodgers include Stan Kasten, former president of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals; and Peter Guber, a longtime Hollywood executive and co-owner of the NBAs Golden State Warriors. Mark Walter, chief executive officer of the Chicago-based financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, would be the controlling owner. Kasten would be the top day-to-day executive. The groups other investors include Guggenheim Partners President Todd Boehly and Bobby Patton, whose investments include oil and gas properties. When baseballs ownership committee considered the bids, there initially were four votes against Johnsons group, a person familiar with baseballs deliberations said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the details were not made public. Those owners were concerned about the financing of the group, with money coming from insurance funds at Guggenheim. During the conference call of all teams Tuesday, there was concern expressed about whether the auction process was being run properly. Farnan got on that call and persuaded them to approve all three finalists, saying he would be at the final auction and make sure it was run correctly. Following that, all three groups were approved unanimously. The process never reached a Wednesday auction, given the Johnson groups bid. Other finalists were groups headed by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke and Steven Cohen of the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors. Cohens bid at the time of the MLB teleconference Tuesday was $1.3 billion, the person familiar with baseballs deliberations said. Kroenke was at $1.5 billion. While others are putting far more money into the winning group, Johnsons name and smile are what lit up fans moods in the city where he remains the most enduring and beloved sports superstar. "Theres a lot of euphoria about the fact that its Magic and its no longer Frank," Carter said. "Hell have a honeymoon period and I think most people in Southern California hope he doesnt need it." ' ' '