NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Luol Deng scored 20 points and the Chicago Bulls snapped a two-game skid with a 96-87 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday night. The Bulls took the lead for good late in the first quarter, but didn't put the Hornets away until Deng's clutch jumper from the top of the key with 44.8 seconds left put Chicago up 94-87 after the Hornets had pulled within five points.
METAIRIE, La. (AP) -- New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says the club has cut veteran tight end David Thomas and third-year cornerback Johnny Patrick. Loomis says releasing Thomas on Tuesday was an "extremely difficult decision," given seven-year veteran's leadership and versatility.
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Coach Rick Ray's first season at Mississippi State keeps getting worse. Not only are the Bulldogs mired in a 10-game losing streak that's lasted more than a month, but Ray suspended sophomore forward Roquez Johnson indefinitely on Monday for breaking team rules. That leaves just five scholarship players and two walk-ons remaining.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Teams in the struggling Southeastern Conference are bracing for potential Marginal Madness in March. With only one team ranked in the Top 25, the No. 5 Florida Gators, the SEC could have three or fewer teams in the NCAA tournament for only the second time in 23 years.