The Bulls have parter with Jabari Parker & Bobby Portis plus a 2nd round fraft pick in 2023,while they get former #E3 overall pick Otto Porter Jr. This Bulls season has been even more bizarre and demoralizing than usual. They’ve dealt with major injuries all season long, starting before they even played a game, the players nearly staged a mutiny on replacement head coach Jim Boylen just a week after he took over for Fred Hoiberg and their lack of talent has resulted in a pitiful record. There was little reason to expect any sort of turnaround, but they’ve swooped in out of nowhere to make a move that finally brings some good news — a rare thing around the Bulls lately.In short, this is a great trade by the Bulls. Signing Parker was a shortsighted move and one that may not have even happened if he wasn’t from Chicago. He’s spent parts of the season out of the rotation, and still doesn’t play any defense. With a team option for next season, there was no chance he would be back. Thus, you can really think of this move as Portis for Porter, and that’s one the Bulls should make every day of the week.Portis is a solid player, and is coming off of his best game of the season, a 33-point, nine-rebound performance over the Hornets. He is set to be a restricted free agent this summer, however, and should be looking for a decent amount of money. With Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. set as the team’s frontcourt of the future, there was no reason for them to spend on Portis to be their third big man. Porter’s versatility on the wing is a much smoother fit, and he can slide right into the starting lineup. He’s also locked in for next season, and has a player option he’s likely to take for 2020-21. That gives them a very good young player for a few years — something they were unlikely to find in free agency given their team’s current status. While they started out with much higher expectations than the Bulls, the Wizards have had a similarly disappointing season. They started out just 1-7, and weren’t able to get back on track. And that was before John Wall was ruled out for the season due to heel surgery — news which became even worse earlier this week when the team announced Wall suffered a torn Achilles at his home and will likely miss next season as well. On the court, the Bulls lost to New Orleans 125-120 with Chicago native and soon to be traded Anthony Davis being held out–to prevent any injury.
The Philadelphia Eagles kept messing up. They’re simply a team that doesn’t give up.Nick Foles hit Golden Tate with a 2-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 56 seconds remaining against the NFL’s stingiest defense, lifting the Philadelphia Eagles past the the Bears 16-15 on Sunday in the final wild-card game.Former Eagles kicker Cody Parkey hit the left upright and then the crossbar with a field-goal attempt from 43 yards with 10 seconds remaining, silencing the raucous crowd.
”I think the big thing is, we saw some adversity tonight in the first half (and) I had a couple of turnovers,” Foles said. ”I think the big thing is that no one loses faith, no one stops believing, everyone just keeps talking, keeps believing in one another, and we just rallied. Our defense really kept us in this game.”
The defending league champion Eagles (10-7) squeezed into the playoffs by beating Washington and having the Bears (12-5) help them by knocking off Minnesota in the season finale. Philadelphia thanked its benefactor with a 12-play, 60-yard drive on which Foles, the Super Bowl MVP last February, hit six passes.Tate made a reaching grab in the right side of the end zone near the goal line.
”We found a way,” Tate said.
Philly plays at New Orleans (13-3) next Sunday. The Bears sensational turnaround season from last place to the NFC North title is over.No team has repeated as Super Bowl champion since New England in 2004, and the Eagles are a sixth seed. The last sixth seed to win the NFL title was Green Bay in the 2010 season; the Packers won the NFC championship at Soldier Field that season.These Eagles, led by Foles once again replacing an injured Carson Wentz, and a defense down to backups at several positions, seem to have that magical touch like last season.It was a sizzling ending to a game marked by superior defense and several critical mistakes by the Eagles. They had to survive after Tarik Cohen, an All-Pro punt returner, took back the kickoff following Philly’s go-ahead score 35 yards. Mitchell Trubisky completed two passes to get the Bears close enough for Parkey. But his kick took a double deflection and fell harmlessly into the end zone.He was 11 of 12 in the fourth-quarter on field goals before missing the biggest kick of his career.
”Obviously, we’re just hoping for a miss,” Foles said. ”This was a hard-fought game. That’s an amazing team we just played against and it came down to the wire.”
The Bears are 1-15 all-time in playoffs when trailing after three quarters. They fell behind when Foles connected with rookie Dallas Goedert for a 10-yard touchdown in the third period that was set up by a 33-yard pass interference call on cornerback Prince Amukamara.Although the Eagles outplayed the Bears in the first half, errors left them behind 6-3. A 15-yard personal penalty on Michael Bennett aided a Bear drive to a 36-yard field goal by Parkey, and a dropped potential interception in the end zone by Tre Sullivan allowed Parkey to make a 29-yarder as the half concluded.Philadelphia also had an interception by Avonte Maddox deep in Bear territory overturned by video replay.Philly did score on its opening series of the game, a 50-yard drive to Jake Elliott’s 43-yard field goal. And again on its first possession in the third quarter as Goedert got wide open on a short post pattern behind Adrian Amos, who had an end-zone interception of Foles’ ill-advised throw in the second quarter.Parkey also made 34-yarder early in the manic final quarter.
”We had a lot of fun and I love our guys to death,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said.
Both head coaches, Nagy and Doug Pederson in Philadelphia, are Andy Reid proteges. That usually means lots of passing, and each team didn’t do much on the ground, combining for 107 yards rushing.But Trubisky threw for 303 yards, going 26 of 43. Foles was 25 of 40 for 266 yards.Teams rarely win when they are minus in turnover differential. The Eagles did, having two giveaways and no takeaways. The Bears led the NFL this season with 36 takeaways.The bear mascot had the perfect reaction to Parkey’s miss, falling flat on his back as he was kneeling behind the goalpost where Parkey’s kick failed.
EVANSTON—A.J. Turner hit a 3-pointer with 10.1 seconds left to give Northwestern a 68-66 victory over rival Illinois on Sunday, the Wildcats’ first Big Ten win of the season.Vic Law had 13 points and 10 rebounds, Turner and Ryan Taylor had 12 points apiece and Anthony Gaines added 11 for Northwestern (10-5, 1-3).Ayo Dosunmu had 18 points and Adonis De La Rosa added 12 for Illinois (4-11, 0-4), which has lost four straight.Northwestern won last season’s meeting 72-68 in overtime. Illinois leads the all-time series 134-42.Giorgi Bezhanishvili gave Illinois a 66-65 lead on a follow basket with 1:31 to play. After each team had a scoreless possession, Northwestern got the ball back with 34.5 seconds to go. Turner missed a wild 3-point attempt with just under 20 seconds left, but Dererk Pardon grabbed the rebound and threw it back out to Turner for the game-winning basket.Trent Frazier missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer for the Illini.Following a slow start offensively, Northwestern received a lift when freshman Ryan Greer entered the game at point guard seven minutes into the game. The Wildcats rallied for a 24-16 lead with five minutes left before halftime and seemingly had taken control.But Illinois, after going scoreless for more than four minutes, closed the first half with a 15-1 run to take a 31-25 lead at the intermission.Law had just two points on 1-for-6 shooting in the first half. He finished 4 for 12 from the field with six turnovers.Illinois stretched its lead to eight points early in the second half before Northwestern rallied to tie the score at 42 on a 3-point play by Anthony Gaines with 13 minutes to go. Two minutes later, Law hit a pair of free throws to put the Wildcats back on top, 45-43.The game stayed tight the rest of the way.The Illini are solid defensively, but must develop more consistency on offense to win in the Big Ten.To be competitive in the Big Ten and have a shot at an NCAA tournament bid, the Wildcats need more consistent play out of Law. Also, the lack of a true point guard in the starting lineup is more apparent against quality opponents.NU hosts No. 25 Iowa on Wednesday night.Illinois is home to No. 2 Michigan on Thursday night
Max Strus sank five 3-pointers and scored 21 points and DePaul hung on to beat Seton Hall 75-74 on Sunday, ending a six-game losing streak in the series.Strus now has 125 career 3-pointers, moving into 11th on DePaul’s all-time list. Jaylen Butz and Paul Reed both finished with 12 points and nine rebounds for the Blue Demons (9-5, 1-2 Big East Conference). Devin Gage pitched in with 11 points and six assists to help DePaul coach Dave Leitao pick up his second win in 10 tries against the Pirates (11-4, 2-1).Reed tallied all 12 of his points in the first half and Strus scored 10 to guide DePaul to a 38-33 halftime lead. Strus hit a 3-pointer and 1 of 2 free throws to give the Blue Demons a 58-44 lead with 12:26 left to play. Femi Olujobi’s layup with 2:43 remaining gave the Blue Demons a 75-69 lead. DePaul failed to score from there and Jared Rhoden’s dunk and Myles Powell’s 3-pointer pulled the Pirates within a point with 1:02 left. Seton Hall forced a turnover, but Powell missed a 3-pointer with 38 seconds remaining. Powell had a steal with 10 seconds to go, but Shavar Reynolds missed from deep with two ticks left.Powell scored 16 to top the Pirates. He hit all six of his free throws and is shooting 97 percent (30 of 31) this season.
SOUTH BEND—David Pastrnak delivered once again. Patrice Bergeron showed off his all-around game, and Tuukka Rask made a couple of big stops.Pastrnak had a goal and an assist, Rask made 36 saves and the Boston Bruins beat the Blackhawks 4-2 on Tuesday in the Winter Classic at Notre Dame.
”You want to win those games when you’re on the big stage like that,” Bergeron said. ”I know it’s a regular-season game, but still you know the meaning’s different when you’re playing in front of 76,000 people and on national TV. So we know what’s at stake with those games and we want to make the most of it.”
Bergeron, Sean Kuraly and Brad Marchand also scored as Boston won for the second time in three appearances in the NHL’s annual outdoor game on New Year’s Day. The Bruins went 2 for 5 with the man advantage and killed off each of the Blackhawks’ four power plays.The game was tied at 2 when Boston (22-14-4) caught a break in the third period – a little luck at the home of the Fighting Irish. Matt Grzelcyk’s big slap shot went off teammate Chris Wagner in front, but Kuraly beat Blackhawks defenseman Gustav Forsling to the rebound and backhanded the puck past Cam Ward at 10:20.
”Big goal,” coach Bruce Cassidy said.
Backed by most of the sellout crowd of 76,126 in perfect conditions for outdoor hockey – the game-time temperature was 35.5 degrees, and a gray, overcast sky took the sun out of the equation – the Hawks pushed hard for the tying score in the closing minutes, but came up empty.Jonathan Toews sent a shot off the post after the Blackhawks pulled Ward for an extra attacker with about 1:30 left. Marchand then added an empty-netter for his 13th of the season.
”We had a little lull there in the third and ended up going down,” Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. ”It’s hard when we were chasing them from then on. Disappointing that we did enough and probably deserved more.”
The Hawks (15-21-6) had won five of six, but it remained winless in an NHL-high fourth appearance in the Winter Classic, 1-5 overall in Outfoor games. – also tops in the league.Brendan Perlini and Dominik Kahun scored for the Blackhawks, and Ward made 32 stops in his first outdoor NHL game.
”Just an unbelievable experience,” Ward said. ”I’m really thankful I got the opportunity to do it and you’re just disappointed that you don’t come away with the win.”
The Blackhawks jumped in front when it scored first for the sixth straight game. David Kampf dug the puck out from behind the net and found a wide-open Perlini in the slot 8:30 into the first.Pastrnak responded with his team-best 24th goal. With Artem Anisimov in the penalty box for tripping, Pastrnak got free in front and slid the puck past Ward at 12:38. He then celebrated by flapping his arms like a bird.The teams exchanged goals again in the second. Kahun scored his fifth of the season when he redirected Erik Gustafsson’s shot by Rask, but Bergeron broke up a potential short-handed breakaway for Kampf before tying it at 2 when he scored another power-play goal with 1:12 left in the period.
NOTES—It was Perlini’s third goal in his past eight games. He had two goals in 22 games with Arizona before he was traded to the Hawks on Nov. 25. …Patrick Kane lost his seven-game point streak.
MINNEAPOLIS—While taking the NFC North champion Bears to the playoffs for the first time in eight years, coach Matt Nagy has displayed an energetic personality and aggressive mindset throughout his debut.Even with their postseason position all but set, the Bears refused to let up. They kept the rival Minnesota Vikings out of the playoffs in the process.Fueled by that relentless defense and 109 rushing yards and two touchdowns by Jordan Howard, the Bears beat the Vikings 24-10 on Sunday for their first sweep of Minnesota since 2011.
”I love winning. I think it’s fun to win,” Nagy said. ”So when you win, whoever it is, who cares? Let’s just play ball.”
With the 24-0 win by Philadelphia at Washington, the Vikings (8-7-1) watched the Eagles claim the last wild-card spot and went home wondering what happened to their offense after signing Kirk Cousins for $84 million guaranteed to be the franchise quarterback.Tarik Cohen scored the last touchdown on a short run with 7:46 left to cap a 16-play drive for the Bears (12-4), who posted their best regular-season record since the 2006 team finished 13-3 and reached the Super Bowl. They’ve won nine of their last 10 games and, instead of the Vikings will host the Eagles in the first round.
”We’re growing. We’re getting stronger by the week,” Nagy said. ”This will be a new challenge for us, but we’re excited. We’ll be ready.”
The Bears began the afternoon with an opportunity, albeit unlikely, to get a first-round bye with a victory and a loss by the Los Angeles Rams, who wound up beating San Francisco 48-32. Nagy was unmoved by the big early lead taken by the Rams, though, keeping quarterback Mitch Trubisky in the entire game and only holding out the starters who were already previously injured.
”Every time we step on the field we want to win,” Trubisky said. ”I think it just shows the maturity of this team that we weren’t looking ahead. We weren’t thinking about sitting out. We just do exactly what’s asked.”
After spending the majority of the last two decades trying to keep up with Green Bay, the Vikings have overtaken the Packers only to have their other primary rival, the Bears, surge to the top of the division. Most problematic since coach Mike Zimmer took over has been the struggle to move and protect the ball against Akiem Hicks, Khalil Mack, Kyle Fuller and the rest of that Bears defense, which established a franchise record for fewest rushing yards allowed in a season.Done in by three-and-outs on their first four possessions, the Vikings finished with only 164 total yards.
”They’re pretty good,” Zimmer said, ”so give them credit.”
Trubisky moved the chains four times on third down during the game-sealing scoring drive, completing three passes and running once for a first down. He took a sack by Anthony Barr that would’ve forced a punt from the Minnesota 45, but a holding penalty on Vikings safety Jayron Kearse gave the Bears a fresh set of downs.
”The way we played, we don’t deserve to be in the playoffs,” Barr said.
Cousins and Pro Bowl wide receiver Adam Thielen were in a heated argument on the sideline after the Vikings had to settle for a field goal at the end of the second quarter. Zimmer almost cost the Vikings a touchdown when he challenged the spot of a reception by Dalvin Cook, who stepped out of bounds right at the marker.Cousins sneaked for the first down on fourth-and-1, only to have the play blown dead by the red flag. Cook was able to get the first down on the next play.
”They knew what the implications were from this game,” Hicks said, ”and we took it from them.”
With WR Allen Robinson (ribs) already held out of the game, WR Anthony Miller (shoulder) was hurt on the first drive and didn’t return. WR Taylor Gabriel (ribs) was injured a little later, leaving the Bears with only three WRs.The Bears host the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles in the NFC wild-card round of the playoffs next Sunday, 30 years after the ”Fog Bowl” game at Soldier Field. The Bears beat the Eagles 20-12 to advance to the NFC championship game that day with little to no visibility.
”If we keep doing what we’re doing,” Trubisky said, ”hopefully we can do something special.”
SANTA CLARA—With a dominant defense behind him, Mitchell Trubisky knows the Bears’ offense doesn’t have to do too much to keep winning.That formula has the Bears heading into the season finale with a chance to earn a first-round playoff bye.Trubisky threw one TD pass and the Bears defense used a couple of key late stops to keep San Francisco out of the end zone, leading the Bears to their eighth win in nine games, 14-9 over the 49ers on Sunday.
”For us as an offense, we have to do our part as well,” Trubisky said. ”Because we’re a family and we want to take care of those guys and take a lot of pressure off them and score a lot of points so they don’t have to play all-world every single week. That’s the standard that they’ve come to hold themselves to.”
Khalil Mack and Co. delivered again. Danny Trevathan made a key interception with San Francisco (4-11) driving in the fourth quarter, and then the defense made one more stop to clinch at least the third seed in the NFC playoffs. The Bears (11-4) can earn a first-round bye with a win in the season finale and a loss by the Rams.
”We’ve been in this situation so many times and have come up big. It’s almost expected of us,” cornerback Prince Amukamara said. ”Like when we had to go back on the field to help win it for our team. Everyone was poised and no one was shaking. We expected great things to come out of it and we’re glad we stood up for our team.”
The game turned feisty in the fourth quarter, when San Francisco safety Marcell Harris hit Trubisky after he started sliding on a scramble near the Bears’ bench. Trubisky’s teammates took exception to what they considered a ”dirty” hit and a scuffle ensued with punches being thrown and San Francisco cornerback Richard Sherman and Bears receivers Joshua Bellamy and Anthony Miller all getting ejected.
”As a leader, you can’t let them get your teammate like that, regardless of the circumstances, regardless of what’s going down,” Sherman said. ”I felt like they went over the top, and I responded over the top.”
Shortly after the melee, the Bears converted a fourth-and-1 sneak by Trubisky from their own 35 with 4:19 to go. After the 2-minute warning, the Bears appeared ready to ice the game on a third-down completion to Allen Robinson. But instead of going down to allow the Bears to run out the clock, Robinson kept running and had the ball knocked out of his hands by Tarvarius Moore.Greg Mabin recovered at the San Francisco 24 with 1:52 to play, but the Niners were unable to convert when Nick Mullens threw a deep incompletion to Marquise Goodwin on fourth-and-4 from the Bears 45 instead of scrambling for the first down.The Bears struggled to do much offensively all game but managed a TD drive on their final possession of the second quarter and first of the third quarter.Trubisky capped the first with a 4-yard pass to Miller and then completed all seven passes on a 90-yard drive that took 7:43 and ended when Howard scored on a 2-yard run that made it 14-9. He finished 25 of 29 for 246 yards, with his 86.2 completion percentage the best mark for the franchise since at least 1950 with a minimum of 16 attempts.
”We figured out we had to dink and dunk a little bit,” Trubisky said. ”They played more zone shell than they had played all year. That’s fine. We just had to make that adjustment and make them tackle in space.”
Former Bears kicker Robbie Gould kicked three field goals in the first half against his former team after making all five in a 15-14 win at Soldier Field last year. Gould was cut by the Bears before the 2016 season. Cody Parkey missed a 37-yard field goal in the first quarter.The 49ers finally got a takeaway. Trubisky threw a lateral to Tarik Cohen in the second quarter that ended up in a fumble recovery by DeForest Buckner. The Niners had gone a record six full games and 399 defensive plays without a takeaway since last recording one Oct. 28 at Arizona. San Francisco added the second fumble recovery and has just seven takeaways on the year, on pace for its fewest in a season.Robinson left the game after making a diving 43-yard catch in the first quarter before returning.