Latest Illinois sports


Bulls beat Raptors for fifth straight time, 116-103

TORONTO (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, Pau Gasol had 18 and the Chicago Bulls beat Toronto 116-103 on Wednesday night for their fifth consecutive victory against the Raptors.

Tony Snell scored 17 points as the Bulls moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the Raptors for third in the Eastern Conference. Aaron Brooks had 16 points, and Nikola Mirotic finished with 15.

Toronto has dropped three of four. It hasn't defeated Chicago since Dec. 31, 2013.

Greivis Vasquez had 22 points for the Raptors, and DeMar DeRozan scored 20. Vasquez also matched a career high with six 3-pointers.


Flyers roll past Blackhawks 4-1 in Timonen's return

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Ryan White and Michael Raffl scored goals to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

Giroux had his 22nd goal for his first even-strength score at home this season. Steve Mason was stout again for the Flyers, finishing with 34 saves.

Andrew Shaw scored for the Blackhawks.

Flyers fans gave Blackhawks defenseman Kimmo Timonen a standing ovation during a video tribute for the returning defenseman who helped lead Philadelphia to the 2010 Stanley Cup final.

Timonen returned to Philadelphia for the first time since he was traded to Chicago in February for two draft picks.


Loyola Chicago wins CBI semifinal

CHICAGO (AP) — Earl Peterson and Devon Turk both scored 15 points and Loyola Chicago beat Seattle University 63-48 on Wednesday night in the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational.

Loyola (22-13) hosts Louisiana-Monroe in Game 1 of the CBI's best-of-3 championship series on Monday.

Peterson's running one-hander from the right baseline tied the game 42-all with 5:46 remaining and triggered a 14-0 run for Loyola over the next 3:43. Peterson had six points in the run.

Seattle, which led 34-29 with 12:10 to play, was outscored 34-14 down the stretch.

William Powell had 12 points for the Redhawks (18-16) and Jadon Cohee added 10.

The Ramblers haven't been in any postseason tournament since the 1985 NCAA Tournament. It was Seattle's first postseason appearance of any kind since 1969.


Walker runs shutout streak to 18 innings, Mariners top Cubs

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Taijuan Walker extended his flawless spring to 18 scoreless innings, and Mike Zunino homered for the Seattle Mariners in a 3-2 victory Wednesday night over the Chicago Cubs.

The 22-year-old Walker, looking to lock up a rotation spot, struck out six and walked one in six more shutout innings. He gave up two hits.

Zunino launched his team-leading fourth home run and Robinson Cano had two hits for Seattle, including an RBI double.

Chicago left-hander Travis Wood, also competing for a starting slot, allowed three runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked two.

Walker, who has made 11 major league starts, put two runners on in the sixth but escaped the jam by getting Dexter Fowler to bounce into a double play.


Rodon dominates with 9 Ks, White Sox blank Royals 6-0

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Carlos Rodon struck out nine in four dazzling innings Wednesday night, making his latest impressive bid to join the White Sox rotation, and Chicago cruised to a 6-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Rodon, the third player selected in last year's draft, walked none and allowed four singles, throwing 47 strikes in 67 pitches. Rodon has fanned 19 batters this spring, tying for the Cactus League lead, in 12 1-3 innings.

The left-hander faced a lineup that included eight regular starters for the AL champion Royals, no doubt making it difficult for Chicago to send him back to the minors.

Avisail Garcia, J.B. Shuck and Keon Barnum homered for the White Sox.

Royals lefty Jason Vargas held Chicago to one run and three hits over six innings. Vargas yielded nine runs and nine hits — including three homers — over 1 1-3 innings in his previous start.