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Pau Gasol leads Bulls past Lakers, 113-93 Dec 26, 2014 4:03 AM
Gasol comes up big against former team with 23 points, 13 rebounds, Bulls beat Lakers 113-93
Lakers’ Bryant talks up Jordan, Gasol Dec 25, 2014 9:50 PM
Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan for No. 3 on the NBA's all-time scoring list recently. He said Thursday he got encouragment from Jordan when it happened and admitted to borrowing a few things from His Airness.
Illini to open Big Ten bowl slate Friday Dec 25, 2014 6:26 PM
Illinois (6-6) and Louisiana Tech (8-5) will meet Friday in the Heart of Dallas Bowl that is played at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium. It’s the first of 10 bowl games involving a Big Ten team, and the last of five for Conference USA. “You want to go into your winter workouts with success and you want your seniors to leave with success,” third-year Illinois coach Tim Beckman said.
Bulls’ bench brigade keys victory over Lakers Dec 25, 2014 11:22 PM
Pau Gasol piled up 23 points and 13 rebounds against his former team as the Bulls cruised past the Los Angeles Lakers 113-93 on Thursday for their fifth straight victory. The Bulls (20-9) led by 6 heading into the fourth quarter, but the second stringers quickly put the game away.
Bears rookie Jones an oasis of optimism Dec 25, 2014 8:58 PM
No player on the Bears' roster has come further faster in this disappointing 5-10 season than undrafted rookie linebacker Christian Jones, who had 18 tackles last week against the Lions. His perpetual smile and upbeat attitude quickly earned him the nickname “Cheese,” because, according to teammates and coaches, Jones always looks as if he’s just been instructed to smile for the camera.
Wisconsin hopes program is back on steady ground Dec 25, 2014 9:00 PM
The Wisconsin Badgers have received a crash course in just how much of a business college sports can be. The hiring of new coach Paul Chryst has them hoping the program is back on solid footing — again.
Nebraska beats Ohio 71-58 for 5th place Dec 25, 2014 6:22 PM
Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields each scored 22 points as Nebraska beat Ohio 72-58 on Thursday to claim fifth place in the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii.
Rutgers to face UNC in Detroit’s 1st Quick Lane Bowl Dec 25, 2014 6:28 PM
Newcomer Rutgers is representing the Big Ten in the inaugural Quick Lane Bowl on Friday against one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s anchor schools, North Carolina.
Perreault scores 2, Jets ease past Blackhawks 5-1 Dec 24, 2014 4:36 AM
Mathieu Perreault scores twice as Winnipeg Jets beat Chicago Blackhawks 5-1
Cutler realizes Bears could be in for changes Dec 24, 2014 9:38 PM
Cutler realizes Bears could be in for changes after dismal season wraps up
Imrem: How about a day of peace for Bears? Dec 24, 2014 4:45 PM
If a Christmas ceasefire could be observed for a day during World War I in 1914, so can be the public outcry against the Bears in 2014.
Cutler ready to step right back in for Bears Dec 24, 2014 5:31 PM
Not much has gone according to plan this season for the 5-10 Bears or quarterback Jay Cutler who, after a one-week benching, finds himself back in the starting lineup for Sunday's season finale at Minnesota against the 6-9 Vikings.
Trestman’s focus on game, not on going home Dec 24, 2014 5:30 PM
Bears coach Marc Trestman has strong ties to his home state of Minnesota, to the University of Minnesota, where he played quarterback and to the Vikings, where he had two stints as an assistant coach.
Hawks Talk: 3 solid goalies and a first-place team Dec 24, 2014 4:49 PM
For the past half-dozen years or so, the Blackhawks have been the gift that keeps on giving. So what better day to have a little crosstalk about the first-place Hawks then Christmas?
Boozer pays a visit to appreciative Bulls Dec 24, 2014 4:47 PM
The Bulls have beaten some of the NBA's best teams in recent days. Now they'll try to extend a four-game winning streak Thursday against former teammate Carlos Boozer, No. 3 all-time leading scorer Kobe Bryant and the struggling Los Angeles Lakers at the United Center.
Rozner: A wish for those suffering domestic violence Dec 24, 2014 4:54 PM
Domestic violence was the talk of the NFL a few months ago, with so many stories written, so many conversations taking place about it on radio, TV and in millions of American homes. And it has gone away with the same speed at which it arrived.
Illini QB O’Toole learned from his mistakes Dec 24, 2014 4:52 PM
You might think the Nebraska game back in late September is a memory Illinois quarterback Reilly O’Toole would like to forget. The Illini lost 45-14. O’Toole, starting for the injured Wes Lunt, finished with 3 interceptions. But as O’Toole, a former star quarterback at Wheaton Warrenville South, gets ready to lead Illinois (6-6) at the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl on Friday, he says there was a moment in that lopsided loss that made the team’s 3-2 finish — most of it with O’Toole under center — possible. Tied at 7-7 in the first quarter of a game they believed they would have to score a lot to stay in, the Illini had a third-and-goal at the Nebraska 4. O’Toole tried to force the ball to a receiver in the end zone but found Cornhuskers cornerback Daniel Davie instead. The interception swung momentum Nebraska’s way, for good. “I was trying to do too much,” O’Toole said. “We got to the red zone and you can’t turn the ball over down there — be OK with a field goal.” “I hadn’t played a full game in a really long time,” he added, “so I think that helped a lot.” After playing in 10 games his freshman season, O’Toole’s time at Illinois looked promising. Sure, he had well-respected sophomore Nathan Scheelhaase ahead of him on the depth chart. But the mobile O’Toole figured to sub a good bit for Scheelhaase when injuries happened while he waited for a senior season that would be his. It didn’t work out that way. O’Toole played seven times as a sophomore, six as a junior and, this season found himself behind Wes Lunt. Few thought O’Toole would see much playing time behind the transfer from Oklahoma State, a player whose arm has NFL potential. “I think he was just kind of content,” offensive coordinator Bill Cubit said of O’Toole. “I think there were some confidence issues.” O’Toole came to Illinois with a handful of state player-of-the-year awards from newspapers, fresh off two state championships at WWS. But at a Big Ten program, even a middle-of-the-pack school like Illinois, just about everyone who sees the field was all-this or all-that — accustomed to winning. So O’Toole played and practiced mostly in the shadows. A great teammate and great guy, his coaches and the other Illini say. “He’s just a likable (guy),” Illinois coach Tim Beckman said — just not the guy. But Lunt’s injuries, including a broken leg, opened the door for O’Toole. Like a good relief pitcher, four years of playing regularly off the bench has taught him to always be ready, he said. “You owe it to your teammates,” O’Toole said. “You’re one play away from playing.” And even after Lunt returned late in the season, the team found that O’Toole’s ability to run — something Lunt lacks — kept defenses honest and gave the Illini a spark they’d been missing. O’Toole ran and passed for just enough to get Illinois past Minnesota when the season looked like it was about to implode. Then he led the Illini past Penn State and Northwestern to get to 6 wins and bowl eligibility. The last two were high-pressure games for O’Toole, freshman receiver Mike Dudek said. “(He) knew that if he didn’t win, his career, his season, would be over,” said Dudek, a Neuqua Valley High School grad. Illinois faces Louisiana Tech (8-5) on Friday (11 a.m., ESPN), a team O’Toole has played before. It was in 2012, in the mop-up role he knows too well. He relieved Scheelhaase in a 52-24 loss that started a nine-game losing streak for the Illini. This time he will be the starter, the kind of career finish that a football coach finds hard to resist. “I think he deserves it,” Cubit said. “I think it’s kind of what college football is all about.”
Baby on board: NASCAR driver Kyle Larson a father Dec 23, 2014 5:48 PM
Baby on board: NASCAR driver Kyle Larson revs up for fatherhood with a boy
Bears place Young on IR, sign Lane Dec 23, 2014 10:42 PM
Bears place Young on IR with torn Achilles' tendon, sign Lane
Blackhawks suffer lopsided loss at home Dec 23, 2014 10:53 PM
Mathieu Perrault scored two goals while extending his point streak to eight games, and the Winnipeg Jets routed the listless Chicago Blackhawks 5-1 on Tuesday night. Bryan Little also had his team-best 13th goal as Winnipeg stopped Chicago’s eight-game home winning streak. The Jets are responsible for two of the Blackhawks’ four regulation home losses, also winning 1-0 at the United Center on Nov. 2 in their first meeting of the season. Winnipeg (18-10-7), one of the NHL’s biggest surprises, won for the third time in four games, bouncing back from a 4-3 overtime loss to Philadelphia on Sunday. The Jets led the Flyers 3-1 after two periods, but were unable to close it out. It was the Blackhawks’ worst loss of the season; they have only three losses by more than one goal. Chicago (23-10-2) had won 14 of 17 overall. Marian Hossa scored his seventh goal in the second period, but the Blackhawks struggled to generate quality chances. Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson, who began the day with an NHL-best .940 save percentage and 1.73 goals-against average, finished with 38 saves. Winnipeg jumped on Chicago for three goals in the first, chasing Corey Crawford while outshooting the Blackhawks 15-7 in the period. Perreault started the flurry with a wrist shot that went over Crawford’s glove at 9:04. Little took a pass from former Blackhawks forward Andrew Ladd to make it 2-0 at 13:18, and Anthony Peluso slammed home a loose puck for his first goal since Dec. 31, 2013. Peluso’s third career goal put an end to Crawford’s night after 13 shots, with Antti Raanta coming in with 4 1/2 minutes left in the period. Perreault added a power-play goal in the second for his eighth of the season. He has five goals and four assists in the NHL’s longest active point streak. Chicago got on the board when Brandon Saad set up Hossa for a breakaway, and the veteran forward beat Hutchinson into the upper left corner at 12:05. The Blackhawks then turned up the pressure, but Hutchinson made a couple of nice stops on Patrick Kane in the final minute of the second. Blake Wheeler added an empty-net goal for Winnipeg, which dropped three of four against Chicago last season. Ladd finished with two assists.
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