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NBA: On Michael Jordan's birthday, his former team honored him by racking up a big win thanks to Derrick Rose. Rose had a career-high 42 points on the night to help lead his Bulls past the Spurs 109-99. Chicago, who won 41 games all last season, improved to 38-16 after Thursday's win and will head into the All-Star break riding a four-game win streak. Rose will continue to honor Jordan this weekend, as Rose is the first Bull to start in the All-Star Game since MJ did so in 1998.
NHL: For the first time as Lightning GM, Steve Yzerman faced his former team, the Detroit Red Wings, on Thursday night. If Yzerman planned to impress his former organization, where he was both a player and a vice president, he failed to do so. Tampa Bay hadn't beaten Detroit since 2003, and that streak continued Thursday, as the Red Wings thrashed Tampa Bay 6-2.
Although the Los Angeles Kings were defeated in a shootout 4-3 by the New York Rangers on Thursday, the Kings were able to match a franchise record of gaining at least one point in 11 straight games (8-0-3). On the Rangers side of the puck, Henrik Lundqvist got his 200th career NHL victory in Thursday's win.
Men's college basketball: Derrick Williams, who leads the nation in field goal percentage (64.0) and free throw attempts (9.2), put up 26 points on Thursday to lead his No. 13 Arizona Wildcats past Washington State 79-70. The win helped Arizona extend its home record to 14-0.
Women's college basketball: In the only matchup that featured two Top 25 teams on Thursday, No. 17 Maryland upset No. 7 Duke 69-47. While the Blue Devils were in the driver's seat of the Atlantic Coast Conference heading into the game, Thursday's loss, coupled with victories by Miami and Florida State, put Duke in a three-way tie atop the conference standings with the Canes and Noles.
Two other women's ranked teams suffered upsets on Thursday. In an SEC matchup, Georgia beat No. 19 Kentucky 69-51. In the Big Ten, Ohio State took down No. 25 Penn State 89-67. The third highest scorer for the Buckeyes had five more points than the top scorer for the Lady Lions. Jantel Lavender led Ohio State with 23, Samantha Prahalis knocked in 21 and Tayler Hill added 19. Both Lavender and Prahalis finished with double-doubles. Zhaque Gray and Mia Nickson were the leading scorers for Penn State with 14 a piece.
NFL: Just two weeks shy of the expiration date for the current collective bargaining agreement, the NFL and its players' union agreed on Thursday to mediation in an attempt to work out their labor discrepancies. Negotiations will begin Friday in Washington D.C. and are scheduled to last for seven consecutive days. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), an independent government agency, will oversee the talks. It's important to note that FMCS director George H. Cohen can make recommendations but has no authority to enforce a settlement.