Wade, Butler(surprise)lead Bulls past Magic

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ORLANDO—Dwyane Wade trusts his natural feel for the game when it’s time to defer and allow Jimmy Butler to take over down the stretch.The 14-year veteran guard also knows when his new team needs more of him late in the games. He sensed it Tuesday night, scoring seven of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to propel the Bulls to 100-92 road win over the struggling Orlando Magic.It was the second straight game that Wade took over in the fourth quarter to lead Chicago to victory.

“Each game is different and it calls for something different,” Wade said of how he and Butler play off each other. “Like I said earlier in the year, I think we are both more dynamic when we are both able to score.”

Both took turns in the fourth as the Bulls pulled away in otherwise close game. Butler scored six of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as they took turns pulling up for jumpers and driving to the basket against a Magic team that was playing without three of its top four guards.But Wade just seemed to have a little more energy as he played the role of scorer and facilitator in setting up his teammates for easy baskets throughout the fourth quarter.

“He’s been huge lately,” Butler said. “He’s taking and making shots, tough ones at that, passing the ball to the open guy. Me and him both decided to miss a couple of wide-open layups tonight, that’s part of it. But he has been huge.”

His performance took a little pressure off Jerian Grant, who was inserted back into the starting lineup at point guard before the game. Wade’s vision also played a part in backup center Cristiano Felicio’s 12-point, 10-rebound performance.

“He is obviously a guy who can get it going at any time,” Fred Hoiberg said of Wade. “He had three big buckets going into halftime to get him some confidence and little rhythm and then was awesome in the fourth quarter to close the game.”

The Bulls shook up its point guard position before Tuesday night’s game. Grant replaced Carter-Williams in the starting lineup. Hoiberg said Carter-Williams, who didn’t play, has been demoted and will come off the bench and did not immediately name a backup, although Rajon Rondo was the first off the bench.Injuries caused the Magic to shuffle their starting lineup for the second game in a row. With Augustin out with an ankle injury from Sunday’s loss to Golden State, Vogel shifted C.J. Watson, who started at shooting guard Sunday, to backup point guard and coming off the bench. Jeff Green and Aaron Gordon both started at the wings to match up better against Butler and Wade, Vogel said. Fournier, the starting shooting guard, missed his sixth straight game with a sore right foot. …The MRI on Augustin’s sprained ankle came back negative but he is listed as day-to-day. … Meeks had surgery on his right thumb Tuesday morning and is out indefinitely.That was most evident in the 19 turnovers the team committed. Point guard Elfrid Payton, who had to play 38 minutes because of the lack at the position, committed eight of the costly turnovers.Felicio, who struggled with catching the ball in the paint early in the season, thrived underneath most of the night when the Bulls went to a smaller lineup.He defended Nikola Vucevic decently in the paint and when Butler and Wade found him for lobs inside he made good, converting four of six.The Bulls return home to take on the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

Toews bails out Hawks with 1:18 to play.

Jonathan Toews’ offensive numbers have been subpar this season, but the Blackhawks’ captain came through with a huge performance Sunday night.Toews scored the tiebreaking goal with 1:18 remaining and the Blackhawks beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 for their third straight victory(and 7 of last 9).Toews, who also had three assists, connected from the left circle after Richard Panik’s shot from right wing hit Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler’s leg, went wide and caromed off the back boards. Toews fired the puck in before Canucks goalie Ryan Miller could move across the crease.

”The goals I’ve scored lately are just getting those bounces, being in the right spot at the right time,” said Toews, who now has eight goals and 18 assists in 40 games. ”It was nice to get that one on my stick.”

Toews snapped a six-game drought with the goal. He had just two assists during that span.Panik had a goal and an assist and Patrick Kane also scored for the Blackhawks, who have won seven of their last nine. Marian Hossa added an empty-netter with 24 seconds left for his 18th goal and 400th point with the Blackhawks.All the offensive kudos were directed toward Toews, however.

”It’s a huge night for him,” Panik said. ”Hopefully he’ll jump on that and go from here.”

Corey Crawford made 26 saves to earn his 200th win after Troy Stecher and Bo Horvat scored 46 seconds apart early in the third period to tie it for Vancouver.

”It’s always nice to reach those milestones.” Crawford said. ”It’s tough to give up that lead, too.We didn’t get down, didn’t get frustrated. Came back with a big goal. Nice to see `Tazer’ get that one too.”

Miller stopped 31 shots as the Canucks lost in regulation for just the second time in their last 13.And Vancouver’s veteran goalie lost in regulation for the first time since Dec. 22 to Winnipeg. He’s 7-1-2 since that 4-1 defeat.

”It’s really a kick in the teeth to come all the way back and lose on a fairly fluky kind of play,” Miller said. ”We got ourselves back in the game in the second and I think we carried it into the third.Just really disappointed to not get a point at least out of here, especially with that effort.”

Panik and Kane scored 3:03 apart late in the first to stake the Blackhawks to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. The Hawks dominated the period, outshooting Vancouver 18-9.Set up by Campbell, Panik ripped a one-timer from the slot that clinked off the crossbar and past Miller for his 11th with 5:33 left in the first.Kane got his 15th with 2:30 to go after Vancouver’s Luca Sbisa lost the puck in the right corner. Kane’s shot from the circle hit the stick blade of the Canucks’ Henrik Sedin and deflected over Miller’s shoulder.Crawford had to be sharp at times, including stopping Daniel Sedin on a breakaway 7:41 in.The Blackhawks’ goalie was tested several times in the scoreless second, but kept Vancouver off the board. He stopped Brandon Sutter and Sven Baertschi on point-blank attempts during the Canucks first two power plays.After Michal Kempny was called for holding, Stecher broke through on the Canucks’ third man advantage at 5:03 of the third. Stecher’s high shot from the slot flipped past Crawford’s glove with Daniel Sedin screening in front.Horvat tied it 2-all 46 seconds later to cap a nifty set of moves.He beat Kempny in the left circle and plowed to the net. Crawford stopped Horvat’s first shot, but he followed through and buried the rebound.

NOTES—The crowd of 21,689 was the Blackhawks’ 400th straight sellout. … The Blackhawks honored former star C Jeremy Roenick before the game in a ”One More Shift” ceremony. Roenick, dressed in his gear and No. 27 jersey, skated on to the ice to a standing ovation. He then waved his stick, kissed the ice and stood at the blue line with Blackhawks starters during the national anthems. … Panik’s goal was just his second in 14 games. …The Blackhawks host Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.

Valpo crushes UIC 96-65

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VALPARAISO—Alec Peters scored 30 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and became Valparaiso’s all-time leading scorer in a 96-65 victory over UIC Sunday.Peters entered needing just seven points to break Bryce Drew’s 19-year-old program record. Last time out, Peters grabbed a career-best 16 rebounds to break Valpo’s career rebounding record.After a timeout, he was given the game ball and was greeted by Valparaiso president Mark Heckler, director of athletics Mark LaBarbera and coach Matt Lottich.Peters needed 125 games to break the record, which was set in 121 games, but he has played 300 fewer minutes than Drew.Shane Hammink added 24 points with five assists for Valparaiso (16-4, 6-1 Horizon League). Jaume Sorolla scored 12 points and Max Joseph 10.The Crusaders went on a 22-2 run over six-plus minutes to take a 44-18 lead and it was 50-26 at halftime.Tarkus Ferguson and Dominique Matthews each scored 12 points for UIC (11-9, 4-3). Ferguson also had five rebounds and six assists. Matthews was 4 of 12 from the field as UIC went 19-for-58 shooting (32.8 percent).

Cats get first win in Columbus since 1977

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

COLUMBUS—Scottie Lindsey said the fact that Northwestern won in Columbus for the first time in 40 years on Sunday was not a huge deal to him. What is huge is another important Big Ten win for the Wildcats, who are pushing for an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time in school history.Lindsey scored 21 points and Bryant McIntosh had 17 as Northwestern (16-4, 5-2 Big Ten) beat Ohio State 74-72 for a fourth straight win.

”This team, history doesn’t define us,” Lindsey said. ”The past things that have happened with this program, it doesn’t really matter to this team. We push through that type of stuff. We’ve been through a lot of tough games, a lot of close games. We’ve learned so much that we can go into hostile arenas and environments and pull out a win.”

Ohio State was within two points three times in the final minute of the game but weren’t able to overcome the Wildcats’ lead after being forced to start fouling.The Buckeyes cut the lead to two points on a Micah Potter 3-pointer with 24 seconds left. But C.J. Jackson had to foul Vic Law, who sank both foul shots to make it 72-68. Marc Loving got it back to two with a layup with 10 seconds on the clock, but a pair of foul shots by Lindsey put Northwestern ahead by four. Potter got the final points for Ohio State with a dunk with one second left.Law scored 10 points and Sanjay Lumpkin grabbed 11 rebounds as Northwestern won despite shooting just 37.5 percent. Ohio State committed 13 turnovers leading to 17 Northwestern points.

”It’s no secret, this has kind of been a house of horrors for us for a long time, especially since I’ve been here,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. ”We haven’t had a lot of success in this building. Our guys were really determined today to try to come out and make the plays necessary to get a win.”

Jae’Sean Tate led Ohio State (12-8, 2-5) with 14 points, JaQuan Lyle added 13 and Trevor Thompson had 11 points and 15 rebounds. The Buckeyes shot 52.2 percent and outrebounded the Wildcats 40-39.Northwestern took a 36-31 lead at the half after Ohio State had led by as many as six. A Lindsey layup tied it at 23 with 6:46 remaining, and Northwestern went on a 13-8 run from there to take the five-point lead.Ohio State climbed back and took a 55-52 lead on a 3-pointer from Jackson with 8:41 left but couldn’t maintain it. After a foul shot from Thompson tied it at 56, NU took the lead for good on a Lindsey 3-pointer with 4:32 to go.Northwestern won a tough game on the road despite not shooting well. Still on track for first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.

Questionable call gives Bulls win over Kings

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Dwyane Wade had 30 points and two key steals in the final minute, Jimmy Butler added 23 points and the Bulls overcame a 42-point performance by DeMarcus Cousins for a 102-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.Wade, who had 13 points in the fourth quarter, snapped a 99-all tie by making a free throw with 14 seconds left. He had missed a breakaway dunk after making a steal, but Cousins was called for a foul for putting his hand on Wade’s hip as he tried to dunk the ball.On the next Kings possession, Wade came up with another steal and fed Michael Carter-Williams for a breakaway basket to seal the win.Cousins was 16 for 28 from the field, including 2 for 7 on 3-pointers, and added 14 rebounds.The Bulls took a 55-52 halftime lead, but Sacramento started quickly in the third quarter and took a 61-59 lead on a Cousins’ three-point play. The Kings led by as many as seven points before the Bulls closed with a 12-3 run to take a 75-73 lead into the fourth.The score was tight throughout much of the final quarter before the Bulls rallied for a 95-91 lead with three minutes to go on a three-point play by Wade. Cousins, though, answered with back-to-back 3-pointers to put Sacramento back on top, 97-95, with just over two minutes left. Wade hit a jumper on the next possession to tie the score with 1:53 to play.Following a scoreless possession by each team, Cousins gave the Kings a 99-97 edge with 52 seconds remaining. The Bulls tied it again on Robin Lopez’s follow of Butler’s miss with 36 seconds to play, setting the stage for Wade.

NOTES—They have dropped seven straight in Chicago. Sacramento’s last win was a 102-98 victory on Dec. 21, 2009 – a game in which the Kings trailed 79-44 for the largest comeback in franchise history.Doug McDermott appeared to break out of slump with a 31-point effort (in 33 minutes) against Memphis on Jan. 15, but had a combined nine points on 4-for-13 shooting in the next two games before Saturday. He had three points on 1-for-5 shooting on Saturday….Bulls are at Orlando on Tuesday night.

Butler escapes with OT win over DePaul

ROSEMONT—Butler continued its habit of struggling early in games.This time, the issue nearly resulted in a loss to a last-place team.The 13th-ranked Bulldogs trailed by as many as 20 points in the first half before rallying to hold off DePaul 70-69 in overtime on Saturday.Kethan Savage scored 20 points, Kamar Baldwin added 18 and Kelan Martin had 12 for the Bulldogs (17-3, 6-2 Big East), who improved to 3-3 in road games after trailing at halftime in six straight conference games.

”There are some significant areas that we have to make major strides in, major strides,” Butler coach Chris Holtmann said. ”We are not nearly tough enough and we have to play much smarter as well so perhaps that has something to do with it.”

Eli Cain scored a career-high 32 points for DePaul, which has lost eight of nine. Billy Garrett Jr. added 16 points and Tre’Darius McCallum had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Blue Demons (8-12, 1-6).Baldwin’s 3-pointer put Butler ahead 68-66 with 24.9 seconds left before Garrett’s three-point play gave DePaul the lead with 10.1 seconds left in overtime. Baldwin took the ball nearly the length of the court and was fouled in the lane with 3.7 seconds left. He made both free throws for a 70-69 lead. Garrett missed a 3 at the buzzer.Butler has won three straight and six of seven.

”They have big, strong, older guards that quite honestly we struggled with,” Holtmann said. ”We knew we would struggle with their guards, but when you have Eli Cain and Billy Garrett playing like that … those two played like all-conference players today.”

DePaul most recently beat a ranked team when it upset No. 11 Providence last February.

”We came up a few plays short,” coach Dave Leitao said. ”You’d like to have a couple of those back on both ends.”

Butler had been holding opponents to 30.6 percent shooting from 3-point range. DePaul made 11 of 24 3s.

”Guys think this stuff is easy coming on the road. Although we had unbelievable fan support, coming into a different environment and playing a team that is hungry for a win, it’s not,” Holtmann said. ”We have to do a lot of things better, but I have to give DePaul a lot of credit.”

Avery Woodson’s 3 gave Butler its second lead of the game with 2:14 remaining in regulation to complete a 17-7 run. Savage was called for a reach-in foul with 2.1 seconds left. Cain made one free throw but missed the second to send the game to overtime.DePaul was ahead 33-31 at halftime. Butler has led at the half in just one of eight conference games.Butler is 3-3 on the road but 14-0 at home and on neutral courts. The Bulldogs will have a chance to regroup against opponents at the bottom of the Big East: they next face Seton Hall and Georgetown.DePaul fell to 8-4 at home. The Blue Demons have gone 1-5 since nearly upsetting top-ranked Villanova on Dec. 28.They almost got another upset Saturday.

”Our resilience in both games goes to show the type of guys we have, the high-character guys we have,” Garrett said.

Last week, the Bulldogs dropped one spot after losing 75-64 to No. 7 Creighton. They bounced back to beat No. 15 Xavier, Marquette and DePaul.Butler is off to its best start in four seasons in the Big East at 6-2. .The Bulldogs’ bench outscored DePaul’s reserves 32-4. . Holtmann improved to 6-0 in his career against DePaul, including one victory while he was the coach at Gardner-Webb. . Leitao is 0-3 all-time against Butler.DePaul plays at No. 7 Creighton next Saturday.

Hossa late goal, Darling give Hawks 1-0 win in Boston

BOSTON—Blackhawks backup Scott Darling insists he isn’t trying to take playing time away from No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford.

”I don’t know if you guys know who my goalie partner is,” Darling said with a smile after beating the Boston Bruins 1-0 on Friday night. ”He’s one of the best goalies in the world, hands down, no arguments. So I’m just pretty happy to get any games I can.”

Marian Hossa scored with 1:26 left to break a scoreless tie, and Darling stopped 30 shots to post his second shutout of the season. Darling is 12-4 and he brought a 2.34 goals-against average into the game, even better than Crawford’s 2.54.

”He seems huge there; he’s always making key saves,” Hossa said. ”It’s unreal just the way he’s always been ready when he hasn’t played for a long time. And when he got the chance, he wasn’t afraid of it.”

A three-time All-Star and two-time Stanley Cup champion, Crawford had started five straight games before taking a night off as the Blackhawks prepare for a six-game road trip that will start at the end of the month.Joel Quenneville wouldn’t commit to a starter for the Blackhawks’ next game but said of Darling, ”He certainly helped himself.”

Tuukka Rask made 21 saves for Boston, which has lost three straight games and four of its last five. The Bruins were shut out at home for the second game in a row.

”The winning goal goes through three of our guys and it’s in our net with a minute and a half left,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. ”We have to stand there, take the responsibility for our own actions. It’s unfortunate because that minute and a half that was left in the game kind of tarnished everything we had done for the first 58 minutes.”

It was a rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup finals, when the Hawks scored twice in the final 76 seconds(in a :17 span) of the third period in Game 6 to overcome a one-goal deficit and claim the NHL title.This time, the game was scoreless before the Blackhawks made their final charge.Vinnie Hinostroza picked up the puck at the red line and skated it in, sliding to his right to avoid traffic as he crossed into the Boston zone. He pushed it up to Tanner Kero on Rask’s left, and he backhanded it across the crease for Hossa.

”The clock starts ticking down and you think, OK, maybe we are going to play some extra hockey,” Darling said. ”But, I mean, what a goal.”

Bulls embarrassed in Atlanta

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ATLANTA—Dennis Schroder scored 23 points, Paul Millsap added 14 and the Atlanta Hawks held back a late scare to beat the Bulls 102-93 on Friday night.The Bulls put up little resistance all night until their reserves went on a 33-4 run in the fourth quarter to pull within five on Bobby Portis’ dunk with 1:08 remaining.The Bulls trailed by 22 at the end of the first, by 29 at the end of the second and 30 at the end of the third.Atlanta’s lead was tenuous enough that Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer brought back Schroder and Millsap, who had rested the entire fourth quarter, for the last 2 minutes.Dwight Howard and Thabo Sefolosha combined by 24 points for Atlanta, which has won 10 of 12.Jimmy Butler finished with 19 points for the Bulls, who looked uninspired most of the night. They have dropped five of seven.For the Hawks, the outcome was the exact opposite from Wednesday’s blowout loss at Detroit. The Hawks trailed by 24 in the first and never recovered.Leading 22-10 in the first quarter Friday, the Hawks went on a 16-3 run that ended with Malcolm Delaney’s 3 early in the second. The lead swelled to 32 on Schroder’s 3 early in the third.The Bulls missed its first 11 attempts beyond the arc before Butler’s 3 cut the lead to 49-26 with 5 minutes left in the second.Atlanta has won six straight in the series.Howard and Bulls C Robin Lopez each received a technical foul late in the third.Lopez laid a hard foul on Howard, who took exception and used his shoulder to lean into Lopez’s shoulder and push Lopez back as he walked slowly to the free throw line. Lopez stood on the side of the lane for the first foul shot and was whistled for the technical as he and Howard kept jabbering at each other.Lopez left the game and sat on the floor near the Bulls’ bench. Howard left the game a minute later. Neither played in the fourth. There were a few thousand Bulls fans among the announced crowd of 16,328. One of the few chances they had to cheer was on Butler’s alley-oop feed to Dwyane Wade for a third-quarter dunk. That was as good as it got until Portis jammed late in the game. Wade, a 12-time All-Star in his first season with Chicago, scored four points on 2-for-10 shooting. … Portis and Paul Zipser each scored 10 points. Jerian Grant had 12.The Bulls host Sacramento on Saturday and have won eight of nine against the Kings.

Illinois State wins this latest War on I-74 from Bradley

PEORIA—This chapter of the “War on I-74” goes to Illinois State.Deontae Hawkins scored 20 points and ISU won its eighth straight game 69-49 over Bradley on Wednesday night.Hawkins hit four 3-pointers and added 10 rebounds. Paris Lee finished with 14 points for the Redbirds (15-4, 7-0 Missouri Valley), who sit alone atop the Missouri Valley standings for the first time since 1997-98. It is just the second time in school history the Redbirds have opened 7-0 in conference play since going 9-0 during the 1982-83 season.Antoine Pittman led Bradley (8-12, 3-4) with 11 points. The Braves, who have lost six straight to Illinois State, shot had just 15 field goals on 31.9 percent shooting.The Redbirds opened up a 20-8 lead and limited Bradley to only 17 first half points. Two MiKyle McIntosh free throws to open the second half pushed the Illinois State lead past 20, 38-17, and the Redbirds cruised the rest of the way

Northern Iowa outlasts Loyola in 2OT

CEDAR FALLS—Bennett Koch scored 21 points as Northern Iowa upended Loyola 72-69 in double overtime on Wednesday night.Jeremy Morgan added 17 points for the Panthers (7-11, 2-5 MVC) including a pair of free throws with eight seconds left in regulation that sent the game into the first overtime. Jordan Ashton and Luke McDonnell had 13 points apiece.A Koch three-point play put the Panthers on top for good, 67-63, with 1:29 remaining in the second overtime period and he sank two more foul shots to stretch it to 70-63 with 30 seconds left.UNI trailed by one, 58-57, with 1:09 to play in the first overtime when Ashton went to the line for two, making the first but missing the second, tying the game 58-58 and sending it into double overtime.Donte Ingram led the Ramblers (13-7, 3-4) with 19 points and nine boards.