>>Illinois Rolls Rutgers
(Champaign, IL) — Kipper Nichols led all five starters in double-figures with 19 points as Illinois rolled Rutgers 91-60 at the State Farm Center. It was the second straight Big Ten win for the Fighting Illini after an 0-and-8 start. Illinois is 12-and-11 overall. The Illini play at 18th-ranked Ohio State on Sunday.
>>College Hoops Roundup
(Undated) — Elsewhere around college hoops, Central Michigan crushed Northern Illinois, 81-67. Tomorrow, Chicago State is at CSU Bakersfield, Northwestern visits Wisconsin, Eastern Illinois hits the road to face Jacksonville State and Western Illinois hosts South Dakota.
>>Missouri Valley Conference
(Undated) — Over in the Missouri Valley Conference, Illinois State bounces Missouri State, 76-60. Southern Illinois took down Drake, 78-67. Tonight, Bradley and Loyola-Chicago square off at Carver Arena.
>>Redskins Acquire Alex Smith From Chiefs
(Undated) — An expected wild NFL offseason is getting jump started. ESPN reports the Redskins acquired quarterback Alex Smith from the Chiefs for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a 2018 third-round pick. Smith agreed to a four-year contract extension worth 71-million guaranteed with Washington. Patrick Mahomes will take over as Kansas City’s starter. Kirk Cousins is now expected to hit the market as an unrestricted free agent.
>>UCF’s Griffin Invited To NFL Scouting Combine
(Indianapolis, IN) — One-handed UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin is going to next month’s NFL Scouting Combine. He posted on Twitter that he has been invited to the league’s annual workout showcase at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. A birth defect caused the fingers on Griffin’s left hand to not fully develop. He earned his Indy invitation after impressing scouts during practice leading up to this past weekend’s Senior Bowl in Alabama.
>>Blackhawks Sink Predators
(Nashville, TN) — David Kampf and Vinnie Hinostroza each lit the lamp in the Blackhawks’ 2-1 win over the Predators in Nashville. Anton Forsberg turned away 42 shots for Chicago, which has won two straight. The Blackhawks have 55 points, putting them in last in the Central Division. They’re at the Canucks tomorrow night.
>>Blues Beat Canadiens Behind Hutton
(St. Louis, MO) — Three Blues scored in support of 33 saves from Carter Hutton in a 3-1 win over the Canadiens at Scottrade Center. Ivan Barbashev scored in the second, and Patrik Berglund and Alexander Steen added goals in the third. The Blues will open a two-game road swing in Boston tomorrow.
>>Bulls Deal With Pelicans Falls Through
(Chicago, IL) — Nikola Mirotic was almost an ex-Bull yesterday but is still with the team. It was reported Chicago had agreed to deal Mirotic to the Pelicans for a first round pick and Omer Asik. According to ESPN, the deal fell through because Mirotic’s hasn’t approved the trade, which he needs to unless his 12.5-million-dollar option for next season is picked up. Mirotic can be dealt without approval if the options is exercised by Chicago.
>>Bulls At Blazers
(Portland, OR) — Back on the court, the Bulls begin a three-game road trip against the Trail Blazers tonight at the Moda Center. Chicago catches Portland on the second night of a back-to-back after the Blazers bounced the Clippers last night in LA. The Bulls have fallen to 18-and-32 by losing four straight. The Blazers sit at 28-and-22. Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen are out for Chicago.
>>Rockets’ Harden Has Record-Setting Triple Double
(Houston, TX) — Rockets star James Harden is making history. Harden tallied the first ever 60-point triple double in Houston’s 114-107 win over the Magic at the Toyota Center on Tuesday. He finished with 60 points on 19-of-30 shooting with 11 assists and 10 rebounds. His record-setting night started with 16 points in the first quarter before exploding for 36 in the second half — 18 apiece in each quarter.
>>Cavs’ Love Breaks Left Hand
(Detroit, MI) — More problems are arriving on the Cavaliers’ plate. Forward Kevin Love broke his left hand during Cleveland’s loss to the Pistons on Tuesday in Detroit. It’s a non-displaced fracture in his left hand fifth metacarpal. The Cavs said they’ll have more on Wednesday after the injury gets looked at further. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski expects Love to miss six-to-eight weeks.
>>John Wall To Undergo Knee Procedure
(Washington, DC) — The Wizards will have to get by without All-Star guard John Wall for the next six to eight weeks. The “Washington Post” reports Wall is scheduled to have a procedure today on his left knee following an injury he suffered earlier in the season. He was replaced for the All-Star Game by Pistons center Andre Drummond.