Capsules of Presidents Cup on the second day Friday
International team captain Ernie Els, left, Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and
Byeong Hun An of South Korea, right, walk off the 5th tee in their foursomes
match during the President's Cup golf tournament at Royal Melbourne Golf
Club in Melbourne, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Melbourne, Australia (AP) — Capsules from
Friday's foursomes matches at the President's Cup at Royal Melbourne:
Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott, International, def.
Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar, United States, 3 and 2.
Scott and Oosthuizen were 2-down after seven holes but
won five holes from the eighth through 14th. The Americans didn't win a hole
after the seventh. Scott's ninth appearance is the most of any player on the
International side in Presidents Cup history. Scott moves into a tie with
Vijay Singh for second-most career wins with 16, trailing only current
captain Ernie Els' 20th. Oosthuizen, Scott's 15th different playing partner
at the Presidents Cup, has nine wins in four Cup appearances.
U.S. team player Justin
Thomas, left, celebrates with his playing partner and captain, Tiger Woods,
on the 18th green in their foursomes match during the President's Cup golf
tournament at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019.
(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, United
States, def. Adam Hadwin and Joaquin Niemann, International, 1-up.
Cantlay's 14-foot birdie putt on the 18th gave the
Americans the win. Neither team held more than a 1-up lead in the match. The
Americans were 1-down but their late birdies on 15th and the last clinched
the win at a time when the Americans were 6-1 on the tournament scoreboard.
Hadwin gave the Internationals an early lead with an eight-foot birdie putt
on the first.
Marc Leishman and Abraham Ancer, International,
def. Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed, United States, 3 and 2.
Presidents Cup rookie Ancer improved to 2-0, a day
after winning his fourballs match on Thursday with Louis Oosterhuizen. The
teams went back and forth through the first four holes with the U.S. winning
the first and fourth holes and the Internationals the second and third. The
Internationals broke the tie with a birdie on the par-3 fifth hole and never
gave up the lead. Reed, penalized last week for trying to improve his lie in
sand in the Bahamas, continued to take heat from the Australians fans. After
they booed his birdie on the 11th, he encouraged them to boo louder and then
pretended his putter was a shovel and mockingly dug it into the green twice.
Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods, United States, def.
Byeong Hun An and Hideki Matsuyama, International, 1-up.
As drama goes, it didn't get any better than Thomas'
17-foot birdie putt on 18 to win the match for the Americans. With about a
foot to go, Woods realized it was going in and dropped his putter to give a
major league chest thump to a gesticulating Thomas. It was Woods' 26th win
at the Presidents Cup, tying him with Phil Mickelson for overall wins.
Thomas and Woods also won their opening fourballs on Thursday. They led
Friday 2-up after five holes before An and Matsuyama won the seventh. The
Internationals took the lead on the eighth and again on the 11th before the
Americans birdied the 13th to level. It stayed that way until Thomas'
clinching birdie on the last.
Sungjae Im and Cameron Smith, International, halved
with Gary Woodland and Rickie Fowler, United States
Fowler, who had the day off Thursday and celebrated his
31st birthday Friday, and Woodland quickly found themselves behind when
Australian Smith, who also didn't play on the opening day, chipped in from
about four feet off the green on the first hole and then used his putter to
do the same from just off the green on the second. They held either a 2-up
or 1-up lead through to the 15th hole, but birdies on 16 and 17 tied the
match before Fowler made a 5 1/2 foot putt on 18 to halve the match for the
Jackson, Ravens beat Jets 42-21 to clinch AFC North title
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) scrambles for yardage against the New
York Jets during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 12,
2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Baltimore (AP) — Only minutes removed from
watching his team roll to its 10th consecutive victory, coach John Harbaugh
showed up to the post-game news conference wearing a white hat proclaiming
Baltimore to be AFC North champions.
No small accomplishment, winning that tough division
two years in a row.
"We're very proud of that," Harbaugh said. "It's our
first goal. Not our top goal."
Indeed. After Lamar Jackson ran and passed the Ravens
past the New York Jets 42-21 on Thursday night, the shirt he wore reflected
the feeling of just about everyone associated with the team that owns the
best record in the NFL.
"THE NORTH IS NOT ENOUGH," yelled the sentiment in
Yes, the Ravens have another division title after they
clinched a playoff berth four days earlier in Buffalo. With a victory next
week in Cleveland, the Ravens will be assured the top seed in the AFC, a
distinction that comes with home-field advantage leading up to the Super
Super Bowl. That's the target. Victories in December
are merely steps in that direction.
"We just have to keep it going," Jackson said.
"The job is not over," safety Earl Thomas said. "We got
a couple more goals in front of us."
Jackson threw five touchdown passes and scurried into
the NFL record book. He's only started 21 games as a professional, yet
Jackson looks like he's been doing it forever.
"I'm thinking in the back of my mind sooner or later
he's going to have a young, second-year growing pains game," veteran guard
Marshal Yanda said. "And the kid keeps playing winning football."
Baltimore (12-2) took control with touchdowns on its
first three possessions and Jackson made it 28-7 in the third quarter with a
24-yard scoring pass to rookie Marquise Brown following a turnover by New
Jackson ran for 86 yards (on eight carries) to break
Michael Vick's single-season record for a quarterback (1,039 for Atlanta in
2006). Jackson has 1,108 yards rushing.
On this night, however, Jackson did most of the damage
with his right arm. He completed 15 of 23 passes for 212 yards and increased
his NFL-leading total of touchdown passes to 33, tying the franchise season
record set by Vinny Testaverde in 1996.
After Jackson's pass to Brown, many in the crowd of
70,545 chanted "MVP! MVP!" There was a reprise of the mantra late in the
third quarter when Jackson hit Seth Roberts for a 33-yard touchdown. The
score came after Jackson connected with tight end Mark Andrews for a 36-yard
completion on a fourth-and-1 from the Baltimore 29.
Jackson celebrated the first down by dancing downfield
with his arm pointing toward the New York goal line. Not once throughout his
exceptional performance did Jackson show any sign of being slowed by a
quadriceps injury that made headlines in the days leading up to the game.
The Jets, meanwhile, hardly looked like a team that had
won four of their previous five games. Sam Darnold threw two touchdown
passes to Jamison Crowder but the second-year quarterback also tossed an
interception and lost a fumble.
The first turnover ruined a potential scoring drive
near the end of the first half and the latter miscue immediately preceded
Jackson's TD pass to Brown.
"When we got our opportunities, we had to score
touchdowns. We just didn't do it," coach Adam Gase said. "We didn't finish
Darnold went 18 for 32 for 218 yards.
"Experience. It's coming," Gase said. "It's coming.
He's improving every week."
The Jets' other touchdown came on a blocked punt in the
New York's defense came in ranked second in the NFL
against the rush, but the unit was no match for the league's top running
game. The Ravens amassed 218 yards on the ground, including 76 by Mark
Jackson broke Vick's rushing mark on Baltimore's
opening possession while guiding the Ravens on an 84-yard march. The
dual-threat quarterback ran three times for 27 yards and completed all three
of his passes for 41 yards before Ingram ran in from the New York 6.
Jackson supplanted Vick in the record book with a
5-yard run from the Jets 11.
It was more of the same on Baltimore's second drive. A
29-yard run by Ingram and a 25-yard impromptu jaunt out of the pocket by
Jackson preceded a 5-yard touchdown pass to rookie Miles Boykin.
Darnold threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to get New York
to 13-7 before the Ravens rolled to their third TD in three possessions. A
43-yard pass interference penalty against the Jets set up a 1-yard touchdown
pass to Andrews, and Ingram tacked on a 2-point conversion.
Jets: Another game against an AFC North foe looms
Sunday for New York, at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ravens: The last team to beat Baltimore was the Browns,
40-25 on Sept. 29.
NFL This Week: Round 1 of Texans-Titans' AFC South showdown
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) is pressured by Denver Broncos
linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu (97) during the first half of an NFL football
game Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) is congratulated by teammates after
scoring against the Oakland Raiders during the first half of an NFL football
game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Teresa M. Walker, AP
The Houston Texans have won the AFC South three times
in coach Bill O'Brien's five seasons, and they have led or shared the
divisional lead all but three weeks this season.
Adding a fourth title to that list means going through
the franchise the Texans replaced in Houston.
The Tennessee Titans last won the AFC South back in
2008 and haven't swept the Houston Texans since 2007. But the Titans and
second-year coach Mike Vrabel, who got his NFL coaching start in Houston
working with linebackers for O'Brien in 2014, has won four straight and six
of seven since quarterback Marcus Mariota was benched for Ryan Tannehill.
That combination helped the Titans (8-5) climb from the
bottom of the AFC South midway through the season into a tie with the Texans
(8-5). Tennessee hosts Houston on Sunday in the first of two games between
the rivals in the final three weeks of the schedule.
"The challenge is getting ready for them the first
time," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. "The second one is not going to mean a
whole lot. We've got to get ready for the first one here."
Houston currently holds the No. 4 seed in the AFC
thanks to a better record against conference teams than Tennessee. A sweep
offers the Titans the safest bet to the division title and the franchise's
first home playoff game since January 2009.
With Tannehill at quarterback, Tennessee is scoring
31.4 points a game — second in the NFL in that time only to Baltimore.
Week 15 started Thursday night with Baltimore's 42-21
home victory over the New York Jets.
Lamar Jackson threw five touchdown passes, scurried
into the NFL record book and guided the Ravens to their second straight AFC
North title and 10th consecutive victory. Baltimore (12-2) took control with
touchdowns on its first three possessions and Jackson made it 28-7 in the
third quarter with a 24-yard scoring pass to rookie Marquise Brown following
a turnover by New York (5-9).
Jackson ran for 86 yards (on eight carries) to break
Michael Vick's single-season record for a quarterback. Jackson has 1,108
yards rushing. Vick had 1,039 for Atlanta in 2006. Jackson completed 15 of
23 passes for 212 yards and increased his NFL-leading total of touchdown
passes to 33, tying the franchise season record set by Vinny Testaverde in
Buffalo (9-4) at Pittsburgh (8-5)
These teams currently hold the wild-card spots in the
AFC, which helped this game move to prime time. Buffalo can clinch a playoff
berth with a victory, while the Steelers are trying to stay ahead of the
Titans. The Bills are 5-1 away from Buffalo this season, though it might be
tougher for Bills Mafia to find their way into Heinz Field.
A big chunk of the reason the Steelers are in the
playoff chase is how good they are at home, going 5-2. Pittsburgh also has
won the last six in this series.
QB Devlin Hodges can make a bit of history by becoming
the first undrafted rookie in the common draft era (since 1967) to win his
first four starts.
New England (10-3) at Cincinnati (1-12)
The Patriots' two-game skid has delayed New England's
annual clinching of its perfunctory playoff berth. Now the Pats go into
Cincinnati as heavy favorites to both snap that rare losing string and
secure that playoff berth with a victory.
Tom Brady needs three touchdown passes to tie Peyton
Manning (539) for most in NFL history, which will be watched much more
closely than anything happening on the Bengals' sideline. We think.
Chicago (7-6) at Green Bay (10-3)
The Bears need a fourth straight win to keep their
playoff hopes alive in the NFC, where the only teams without double-digit
victories assured of reaching the postseason play in the NFC East.
But this time, Chicago is playing Green Bay, which can
clinch an NFC playoff berth with a victory or a tie and a loss by the Rams.
Aaron Rodgers has thrown 17 TD passes with only one interception in his past
five games at home against Chicago.
Seattle (10-3) at Carolina (5-8)
The Seahawks can bounce back from their loss to the
Rams and possibly clinch a playoff berth with three different scenarios.
They also need a victory to keep a game back of San Francisco in the NFC
West if the Niners win.
Cam Newton's recovering from foot surgery, and the
Panthers have lost five straight. Christian McCaffrey has been very
successful against the NFC West — not to mention the entire league —
averaging 197.3 yards from scrimmage in his last four games against that
Denver (5-8) at Kansas City (9-4)
The Chiefs already have clinched their fourth straight
AFC West title, and the biggest question for Kansas City is the health of
Patrick Mahomes ' right hand. Kansas City has won eight straight in this
series between the division rivals.
Rookie Drew Lock won't catch the Chiefs by surprise
after he threw for 309 yards and three TDs last week in Denver’s rout of
Tampa Bay (6-7) at Detroit (3-9-1)
The Buccaneers are trying to finish the season strong
in coach Bruce Arians' first year, and Jameis Winston is trying to prove he
deserves a contract from someone this offseason. Not even a fracture in the
thumb of his right, throwing hand is keeping Winston out of the lineup after
he threw for a career-high 456 yards and four TDs last week.
Detroit rookie quarterback David Blough has to contend
with Shaquil Barrett, the NFL's sacks leader with 15 this season. The Lions
are trying to snap a six-game skid.
Miami (3-10) at N.Y. Giants (2-11)
The Dolphins have to return to the same stadium where a
rare pass interference penalty was called during review and helped cost them
a one-point loss to the Jets last week.
This is a prime opportunity for the Giants to snap a
nine-game losing streak after falling in overtime to Philadelphia on Monday
night. Another loss would mark the first 10-game skid in franchise history.
Philadelphia (6-7) at Washington (3-10)
The Eagles have a short week and need blinders to focus
only on the Redskins and not next week's home game against Dallas, which
could decide the struggling NFC East. Philadelphia only managed to hold off
Washington 32-27 in September and can look at the Redskins' close loss at
Lambeau Field to Green Bay last week as a reminder to stick to the task at
This will be Washington rookie quarterback Dwayne
Haskins' first career start against an NFC East opponent, and the Eagles
have won the last five in this series.
Cleveland (6-7) at Arizona (3-9-1)
A pair of rookie head coaches face off when Freddie
Kitchens takes his Browns to visit Kliff Kingsbury in the desert. The Browns
have won four of their last five to keep faint playoff hopes alive.
Unfortunately, top overall draft choice QB Kyler Murray
doesn't play defense, and Browns running back Nick Chubb is the NFL's
rushing leader with 1,281 yards. Arizona ranks 24th in the league giving up
120.5 yards rushing a game.
Jacksonville (4-9) at Oakland (6-7)
The final game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, at
least for the Raiders, who move to Las Vegas next season. The Raiders may
have lost three straight, routed in each loss, but in the last game at the
Black Hole, the Raiders will be determined to say goodbye in true Al Davis
style by trying to just win.
The Jaguars have lost five straight, and not even the
sequel of Minshew Mania has helped Jacksonville stop the struggles.
Minnesota (9-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-8)
The Vikings are trying to hold off Los Angeles' other
team, the Rams, for one of the NFC's wild-card berths. It should help that
Kirk Cousins is at his best against teams from the AFC West, having thrown
for 16 TDs and only two interceptions in his last seven against this
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers needs 252 yards to
give him seven straight seasons with 4,000 yards passing or more, the NFL's
longest active streak. He threw for 314 last week in posting a career-high
154.4 passer rating.
Atlanta (4-7) at San Francisco (11-2)
The 49ers need a win to clinch a playoff berth after
that big victory in New Orleans pushed them back atop the NFC in the chase
for the No. 1 seed. They still can clinch if the Rams or both Minnesota and
Green Bay lose.
The Falcons have won three of their last five, and Matt
Ryan topped 50,000 yards passing for his career last week.
Los Angeles Rams (8-5) at Dallas (6-7)
The Cowboys have lost three straight to turn their
chase of the NFC East title into a game of survivor trying to stay ahead of
Philadelphia. Being back home in Dallas couldn't hurt, but they're only 3-3
there this season.
The Rams are playing catch-up, trying to chase down
Minnesota for the NFC's last wild-card spot after playing in the Super Bowl
in February. It doesn't help that they visit San Francisco next week.
But the Rams have won two straight with Todd Gurley
managing 110 yards or more from scrimmage in each win.
Indianapolis (6-7) At New Orleans (10-3), Monday
The Colts are trying to keep their slim playoff hopes
alive after three straight losses.
Not only are the Saints still chasing a bye week in the
playoffs, Drew Brees needs only three TD passes to pass Manning (539) for
the most in NFL history — or Brady if the Patriots quarterback has already
reached that mark by Monday night.
Arsenal, Frankfurt, Roma, Rangers advance in Europa League
Basaksehir's Enzo Crivelli scores their decisive second goal against
Moenchengladbach's goalkeeper Yann Sommer during the Europa League Group J
soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Istanbul Basaksehir in
Moenchengladbach, Germany, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. Borussia was defeated by
Basaksehir with 1-2. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
United's Juan Mata scores his side's third goal of the game during the
Europa League group L soccer match between Manchester United and AZ Alkmaar
at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP
Karel Janicek, AP
Teenager Bukayo Saka scored one goal and set up another
to secure a 2-2 draw for Arsenal at Standard Liege on Thursday and lead the
Gunners into the next stage of the Europa League.
The result meant Arsenal finished top of Group F ahead
of Eintracht Frankfurt, which gave up a late lead to lose 3-2 at home to
However, Bundesliga leader Borussia Mönchengladbach
surprisingly went out after a 2-1 loss to Istanbul Basaksehir, with Enzo
Crivelli scoring in injury time to complete a comeback victory and send the
Turkish side into the knockout stages.
Porto, Rangers, Roma, Ludogorets, Malmo, Copenhagen,
Getafe and Cluj also qualified for the knockout rounds in Europe's
second-tier competition on the final night of group-stage matches.
Malmo won Group B with a 1-0 away victory at
Copenhagen, which still joined the Swedish side in the next round.
Getafe needed at least a draw from the last game
against Krasnodar to advance from Group C and cruised to a 3-0 victory. Cluj
advanced from Group E thanks to a 2-0 victory over group winner Celtic.
A 1-1 draw with Ferencvaros sent Ludogorets to the next
phase from Group H.
Manchester United and Sevilla were among 13 teams to
have already clinched a spot in the round of 32. The eight third-place
finishes in the Champions League — including Ajax, Benfica and Inter Milan —
will also enter the competition at that stage.
The draw for the round of 32 is scheduled for Monday.
Man United won Group L after a 4-0 rout of second-place
AZ Alkmaar, with all four goals coming in an 11-minute span. Mason Greenwood
scored twice after Ashley Young had given United the lead, and Juan Mata
converted a penalty.
Five-time champion Sevilla failed to maintain its
perfect record after losing the last game 1-0 to APOEL in Group A.
Austria's LASK defeated 10-man Sporting 3-0 to top
Arsenal coach Freddie Ljungberg made nine changes to
his lineup from a 3-1 win at West Ham United on Monday in the Premier
League. That victory ended a nine-match winless streak, the club's worst run
for 42 years.
After struggling in the first half, Arsenal was 1-0
down two minutes into the second half. Samuel Bastien's shot from outside
the area was deflected off defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos to beat
goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
Selim Amallah doubled the lead for the hosts in the
69th with another deflected shot as Arsenal looked vulnerable at the back
and lacked creativity in the middle.
But the second goal served as a wake-up call for
Arsenal with Saka leading the rally.
The forward produced a perfect cross for Alexandre
Lacazette in the 78th to head in from close range before curling in a shot
from the edge of the area three minutes later.
Arsenal won the group with 11 points, two more than
Italian club Lazio had to beat Rennes and hope Celtic
defeated Cluj to have a chance of advancing, but the opposite scenario
unfolded. Lazio lost 2-0 after Joris Gnagnon scored twice for Rennes, giving
the French team its first win of the campaign.
Borussia Mönchengladbach is the surprise leader in the
Bundesliga but had to settle for the third place in Group J. The German team
took the through Marcus Thuram, who tapped in from close range in the 33rd
minute for his 10th goal of the season.
But Istanbul Basaksehir equalized against the run of
play, capitalizing on a blunder by goalkeeper Yann Sommer who was taken by
surprise by a long-distance attempt by Irfan Can Kahveci a minute before
And Crivelli completed the upset from close range in
injury time, putting Istanbul in first place in Group J on 10 points. Roma
finished second, a point back after a 2-2 draw with Wolfsberg.
Mönchengladbach was another point behind.
Group G was the most tightly contested, with all four
teams in position to advance going into the final round. Two-time European
champion Porto clinched first place with a 3-2 win over Feyenoord. Rangers
finished second after being held to a 1-1 draw by Young Boys. Alfredo
Morelos scored in the first half at Ibrox Stadium before Borna Barisic
equalized with an own goal a minute from time.
Capsules from Presidents Cup matches in opening session
player and captain Tiger Woods, left, and teammate Justin Thomas celebrate
after Woods birdied the 5th during their fourball match at the Royal
Melbourne Golf Club in the opening rounds of the President's Cup golf
tournament in Melbourne, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
International team player Adam Hadwin of Canada plays his second shot on the
7th hole during their fourball match at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in the
opening rounds of the President's Cup golf tournament in Melbourne,
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
International team player Adam Scott of Australia celebrates a win over the
U.S. during their fourball match at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in the
opening rounds of the President's Cup golf tournament in Melbourne,
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
player Dustin Johnson tees off on the 9th hole during their fourball match
at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in the opening rounds of the President's
Cup golf tournament in Melbourne, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy
International team player Abraham Ancer of Mexico drops down after missing a
putt on the 8th green during their fourball match at the Royal Melbourne
Golf Club in the opening rounds of the President's Cup golf tournament in
Melbourne, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
International team player Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa tees off at the
9th hole during their fourball match at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in the
opening rounds of the President's Cup golf tournament in Melbourne,
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Melbourne, Australia (AP) — Justin Thomas and
Tiger Woods, United States, def. Marc Leishman and Joaquin Niemann,
Tiger Woods began his week as playing captain with an
exquisite short game that carried the U.S. team to the shortest match of the
opening session. Woods had two pitch-and-runs that led to birdies for a 2-up
lead through two holes, and he chipped in for birdie on the par-3 fifth.
This is the only match in which an International team never led. It still
took until the 14th hole for the Americans to take control. No hole was
halved until both teams made par on No. 8. Woods made an 8-foot birdie putt
on the 14th for a 3-up lead, and closed it out with an up-and-down short of
the green for birdie on the par-5 15th. Woods had never won a fourballs
match at Royal Melbourne.
Adam Hadwin and Sungjae Im, International, def.
Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, United States, 1 up.
The biggest cheer at the start was for Im chipping in
for eagle on the opening hole in what turned out to be the tightest match of
the day. Cantlay tied the match with a birdie on the sixth, and the
Americans took their only lead when the International team made bogey on the
next hole. Im won the ninth hole with a par, and it was all square the rest
of the way until Schauffele and Cantlay failed to make par on No. 16 to fall
behind, and not catch up over the final two holes.
Adam Scott and Byeong Hun An, International, def.
Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau, United States, 2 and 1.
Scott had been pointing to this opening session for two
months, and it showed. He snap-hooked his opening tee shot. The hole was
halved with pars. Scott and Finau traded birdies on the par 3s at Nos. 3 and
5, and An made birdie at No. 6 to give the International team the lead for
good. Scott made five birdies, none bigger than a 12-footer on the par-3
14th to halve the hole after Finau made birdie, keeping the lead at 2 up.
Scott closed it out with a 4-foot par putt on the 17th.
Hideki Matsuyama and C.T. Pan, International, def.
Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed, United States, 1 up.
Reed heard from the gallery on the opening hole, as
expected, for his rules violation in the sand in the Bahamas last week, and
there was more needling through the day. There just weren't many birdies —
three by Reed, two by Simpson. Matsuyama was making everything with birdies
on three straight holes early for a 2-up lead. The International team was in
charge the rest of the way until Reed hit it to 4 feet on No. 12 for birdie,
and made a 12-foot birdie on the 16th to square the match. Matsuyama, with
Pan in tight, holed a 25-foot birdie on the 17th for a 1-up lead that led to
Abraham Ancer and Louis Oosthuizen, International,
def. Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland, United States, 4 and 3.
Ancer and Oosthuizen had the powerful American duo on
the ropes early by winning four straight holes, all with birdies, to go 4 up
through five holes. Even for being early in the session, the big lead
reverberated around Royal Melbourne, with vice captains sharing the news
with the groups ahead. Johnson's birdie on No. 8 cut the deficit to 3 up,
but the Americans got no closer. The biggest moment was on the par-4 11th
when Johnson drove the green to just inside 4 feet. He missed the eagle
putt, and Ancer rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt to halve the hole and remain
3 up. Ancer's birdie on the 13th restored the lead to 4 up, and they closed
out the match two holes later.
Atalanta, Atlético complete Champions League lineup
Aleksei Miranchuk for the ball with Atletico Madrid's Renan Lodi during the
Champions League Group D soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Lokomotiv
Moscow at Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Dec. 11,
2019. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Leverkusen's goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky receives the second goal by Juventus'
Gonzalo Higuain during the Champions League Group D soccer match between
Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany,
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Milan (AP) — For the first time in history only
five countries will be represented in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Atalanta and Atlético Madrid became the last two teams
to qualify for the knockout stages on Wednesday, meaning all 16 teams are
from Europe's "big five" of Italy, Spain, Germany, England and France.
Champions League newcomer Atalanta advanced with a 3-0
win at 10-man Shakhtar Donetsk, completing an improbable turnaround after
losing its first three group matches.
"I can't find the words to describe this unique
feeling," Atalanta captain Alejandro "Papu" Gomez said. "This will remain in
the history of the club and in the history of football."
Atlético Madrid grabbed the final spot by beating
Lokomotiv Moscow 2-0.
Atalanta knew it needed a win to overtake Shakhtar and
took the lead through Timothy Castagne in the 66th minute. Mario Pašalić
doubled Atalanta's tally shortly after Shakhtar defender Dodô was sent off
for a slap on Remo Freuler.
Robin Gosens sealed the result in stoppage time.
Atalanta finished second in Group C with seven points
in its debut season in the competition. Group winner Manchester City beat
Dinamo Zagreb 4-1, which meant Shakthar finished third in the group and will
enter the Europa League knockout stage.
Teenage forward Joăo Félix and defender Felipe scored a
goal in each half to help Atlético clinch second place in Group D. Juventus
advanced as the group winner.
Atlético would have advanced even with a loss as Bayer
Leverkusen lost 2-0 to Juventus.
Juventus was already assured of topping Group D and
seemed sluggish at times in Germany, before Ronaldo scored from close range
off substitute Paulo Dybala's cross in the 75th minute. It was the
Portuguese star's second goal in the Champions League this season.
Bayern Munich finished the group stage as the only team
to win all its matches after beating Tottenham 3-1 in a game between two
Two-and-a-half months after getting thrashed 7-2 by
Bayern in London, Tottenham at least managed to keep the score line
respectable as recently hired manager Jose Mourinho fielded a weakened
lineup with his team guaranteed second place.
Kingsley Coman and Thomas Müller scored for Bayern in
the first half, either side of a first goal for Tottenham by offseason
signing Ryan Sessegnon.
Philippe Coutinho, who struck the crossbar with a
long-range effort in the first half, curled home a third goal in the 64th
minute to clinch a sixth straight win in Group B for Bayern, whose poor
recent form in the Bundesliga has seen Germany's biggest team slip to
Neymar scored one goal and helped create three more as
Paris Saint-Germain completed its group campaign with a 5-0 win over
Neymar even started the move which led to his goal just
after halftime, finding Kylian Mbappe with a pass and taking the France
star's back-heeled return before rifling the ball into the top corner from
inside the area.
PSG was already qualified before the game as group
winner and topped Group A with 16 points, five ahead of second-place Real
Madrid, which won 3-1 at Club Brugge.
Club Brugge finished above Galatasaray and in third
spot to qualify for the Europa League.
T.J. Oshie scores twice, Capitals beat Bruins - again
Washington Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen (3) and Boston Bruins
left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) battle for the puck during the first
period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, in
Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington (AP) — T.J. Oshie scored
twice in under four minutes and John Carlson got the go-ahead goal
to extend the Washington Capitals' longstanding domination of the
Boston Bruins with a 3-2 victory Wednesday night in a showdown
between the NHL's two best teams.
The Capitals have won 16 of their past 17 games
against the Bruins. Boston has lost four in a row.
Carlson's blast past Jaroslav Halak in the
third period fired up a crowd quieted by Sean Kuraly's deflection
goal minutes earlier. Earlier, fans in Capitals red and Bruins black
and gold all got into it when Boston captain Zdeno Chara and
Washington forward Tom Wilson threw down the gloves in a heavyweight
fight in the first.
Pastrnak ripped a perfect shot over Braden
Holtby's left shoulder midway through the first for his league-best
26th of the season. It looked as if the Bruins had a two-goal lead
on a Patrice Bergeron power-play goal, but Capitals coach Todd
Reirden challenged for offside and video review showed Jake DeBrusk
was into the zone just before the puck.
Oshie made the most of nothing but empty ice
around him to score off his own rebound on the power play early in
the second. Soon after, he turned defenseman Connor Clifton into a
human pylon and beat Jaroslav Halak with a backhander.
Kuraly and Carlson traded goals, and these two
rivals traded shoves and unpleasantries plenty before the final
Canadiens 3, Senators 2, OT
Montreal (AP) — Ben Chiarot scored in
overtime and Cayden Primeau made 35 saves for his first NHL victory
in Montreal's decision over Ottawa.
Chiarot scored 1:11 into the extra period on a
2-on-1 with Max Domi.
Nick Cousins and Tomas Tatar scored in
regulation for the Canadiens. They improved to 15-11-6, winning for
the third straight time after losing four of five.
Brady Tkachuk and Connor Brown scored for the
Avalanche 3, Flyers 1
Denver (AP) — Mikko Rantanen had two
goals and Pavel Francouz made 32 saves to lead Colorado over
Francouz, the 29-year-old first-year player,
did most of his work after the first period, stopping 27 shots in
the final 40 minutes. He came within 5:12 of his first career
shutout, but Claude Giroux scored on a rebound to spoil it.
It was Giroux's 10th of the season.
Matt Calvert also scored, and Nathan MacKinnon
had an assist for his 48th point of the season, good for third in
the NHL in scoring.
Carter Hart had 25 saves for Philadelphia.
India beats West Indies by 67 runs in 3rd T20 to win series
Indies' Kieron Pollard bats during the third Twenty20 international
cricket match between India and West Indies in Mumbai, India,
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
India's captain Virat Kohli bats during the third Twenty20
international cricket match between India and West Indies in Mumbai,
India, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Mumbai, India (AP) —
India beat West Indies by 67 runs in the third and final Twnty20 on
Wednesday after getting three half-centuries from Lokesh Rahul,
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
The three batsmen combined for 16 sixes and 19
fours as India notched up 240-3 after being put in to bat.
The result gives India a 2-1 victory in the
Rahul top-scored with 91 off 56 balls, while
Kohli added 70 not out off only 29 balls. Sharma scored 71 off 34
balls as India notched up their third-highest total in T20 cricket.
"Both Rohit and Virat were in a destructive
mood today," Rahul said. "Our record batting first hasn't been
great, so today was a great opportunity and I am happy that it came
In reply, West Indies could not keep up with
the asking rate and were restricted to 173-8. Skipper Kieron Pollard
hit 68 off 39 balls after the visitors were reduced to 17-3 in the
India won the first T20 in Hyderabad, while
West Indies won the second in Thiruvananthapuram.
Kohli was named man of the series for scoring
183 runs in three matches.
"I was in the zone and carried on (from the
first two games)," Kohli said. "It was one of the best innings I
have played. I just want to contribute across formats and it is
about putting my mind into it."
Sharma and Rahul set a blistering pace as they
notched up 50 off 25 deliveries and then 100 in only 48 balls. In
total they added 135 runs for the opening wicket off 70 balls before
West Indies broke through.
Sharma fell in the 14th over, caught off a
skier, and it resulted in a double blow. Rishabh Pant fell for a
two-ball duck, caught at long off.
Kohli then came to the crease and didn't let
India lose any momentum. He smacked a 21-ball half-century as India
raced to 200 in the 18th over.
It was the first time since 2007 that three
Indian batsmen scored half-centuries in the same T20 innings.
Chasing 241, West Indies missed opener Evin
Lewis who didn't bat because of an injury to his right knee.
The Indian pacers provided the optimal start
with in-form Lendl Simmons out for 7. Brandon King was out for 5
while big-hitting Nicholas Pooran was dismissed for a first-ball
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-41) and Deepak Chahar
(2-20) took two wickets apiece, as did Mohammed Shami (2-25),
playing in his first T20 since 2016.
Shimron Hetmyer rescued the innings with 41 off
24 balls, while Pollard scored a 33-ball half-century. They put on
74 runs for the fourth wicket.
Kuldeep Yadav dismissed Hetmyer while Kumar had
Pollard caught in the deep to end any hopes of a West Indies'
The two teams will play a three-match ODI
series next, with the first game in Chennai on Sunday.
Captain Woods sends himself out in 1st Presidents Cup match
International captain Ernie Els, left,
and USA captain Tiger Woods shake hands during a press conference
ahead of the President's Cup Golf tournament in Melbourne,
Australia, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Melbourne, Australia (AP) — Tiger Woods
deferred the first pick for pairings in the Presidents Cup, and then
made sure he was in the opening match Thursday against the
Australian who led qualifying for the International team at Royal
Woods is the first playing captain since Hale
Irwin in the inaugural Presidents Cup in 1994, and first captain to
be pick himself with a wild-card selection after winning in Japan
for his 82nd career PGA Tour victory.
Woods said Steve Stricker, one of his three
assistants, would serve as captain while he was playing. Stricker
was the U.S. captain at the 2017 Presidents Cup.
The Americans are defending champions and had
the first pick who they wanted for the first of five fourballs
matches. Instead, Woods let International captain Ernie Els start,
and Els sent out Marc Leishman with Joaquin Niemann of Chile, one of
a record-tying seven rookies on his team.
Patrick Reed, the subject of so much
conversation this week from his rules violation in the Bahamas last
week, is in the fourth spot with Webb Simpson. They play Hideki
Matsuyama and C.T. Pan.
All five of the U.S. partnerships are new for a
Presidents Cup or a Ryder Cup.
Dustin Johnson, who competes for the first time
since Aug. 25 at the Tour Championship, has played with Matt Kuchar
in various team events. This time he will have Presidents Cup
newcomer Gary Woodland, giving the U.S. a big-hitting team on the
short, fast track of Royal Melbourne. They will face Abraham Ancer
and Louis Oosthuizen.
In the other matches, Xander Schauffele and
Patrick Cantlay give the Americans an all-rookie team against Adam
Hadwin and Sungjae Im, while Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau face
Adam Scott and Byeong Hun An.
Woods opted to sit out Matt Kuchar and Rickie
Fowler, the last addition to the U.S. team when Brooks Koepka had to
withdraw with a knee injury. Els left out Li Haotong and Cameron
Smith, one of three Aussies on the International team.
Friday's second session features five foursomes
matches, with four matches of each format on Saturday and 12 singles
matches on Sunday.
Key for the International team is a strong
start. The Americans have dominated this event, winning 10 out of 12
times and tying one event in South Africa. More telling of the
one-sided nature of these matches is that the Americans have not
trailed after any session since the second day in 2005.
"Whoever is out there, it's the most important
match of the week for them," Scott said. "We have to get off to a
good start — as long as we can hang with them. Tomorrow is not super
important, but our team doesn't need to be chasing its tail out
here. We don't need to be mounting a huge comeback."
Scott optimistic about ending years of Presidents Cup losses
Australia's Adam Scott tees off on the 13th during the Australian
Open Golf Pro-AM in Sydney, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The Australian
Open begins Thursday. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Melbourne, Australia (AP) — No one at
Royal Melbourne has more playing experience in the Presidents Cup
than Adam Scott.
Not much of it is positive.
He was a rookie in 2003 and one of the
strongest voices arguing for Ernie Els and Tiger Woods to keep
playing in gathering darkness in South Africa until the matches were
declared a tie. Looking back, that would be a small victory for
Scott and the International team. It has experience nothing but
losing since then.
Even so, the optimism for the 39-year-old
Australian — the oldest player on the youngest International team
ever — has never been greater.
"This is a great opportunity for us, it really
is," Scott said Wednesday on the eve of matches that the Americans
have thoroughly dominated. "I've had a good feeling for the last
couple months about the way our team shaped up. I feel a very, very
strong energy, which certainly over some of the past Cups we've been
lacking. It's not a lot of fun getting beaten all the time."
Scott knows that all too well.
He already holds the record for most losses in
the Presidents Cup with a 14-20-5 record. By the end of the week, he
will trail only Phil Mickelson — whose streak of 12 appearances
ended this year — for most matches played.
But it has been hard to ignore the enthusiasm
of Scott and the rest of the International team, which faces a big
task against an American team that has never been stronger on paper
going into the matches.
The average world ranking of the U.S. team is
Scott has the highest ranking of any of the 12
players on his International team. He's at No. 18.
Els is the captain and is keeping his strategy
and how much he has relied on analytics to the team room. The Big
Easy played eight times in the Presidents Cup and was part of the
1998 team at Royal Melbourne that beat the Americans for its only
Scott is playing in his ninth Presidents Cup,
which breaks the International team record held by Els and Vijay
"Between me and Scotty, we've played the most
Cups on our side," Els said. "I've got a great, young team. Guys are
naturally just standing up, guys who are quite comfortable to speak.
And I like that. I like the spirit we have this week."
A large part of it starts with Scott, who has
much to gain this week. He is desperate to finally win a Presidents
Cup, and he can think of no better place than to hoist the trophy
with his young teammates in his home country.
He is in the third of five fourballs matches
that kicks off the Presidents Cup on Thursday, playing with Abraham
Ancer — one of seven rookies on this team — against Bryson
DeChambeau and Tony Finau.
Scott has implored the Australian crowd not to
forget who the home team is this week, even with Tiger Woods as the
first playing captain in 25 years. Even during two days of practice,
the crowd has been enthusiastic over what many believe will be the
last time seeing him Down Under.
Woods beat Greg Norman in singles during the
'98 loss. He beat Aaron Baddeley for the clinching point when the
Americans won at Royal Melbourne in 2011. Because the lineups for
each session are done one match at a time, captains can choose who
they want playing against which team.
Because of Woods' larger-than-life presence in
the game, he typically gets the biggest name from the host country —
Norman in 1998, Els in 2003 in South Africa, Mike Weir in Canada in
2007. The International team is so spunky that even some of the
rookies, whether it's Ancer or Cameron Smith of Australia, have said
they'd like a shot at him.
The most natural draw would be Woods against
Scott. Woods, as U.S. captain, can make that happen.
Scott is more interested in Thursday's opening
session than Sunday singles.
The International team had a one-point lead
after the second day in 2005 in Virginia. That was the last time it
led after any session in the Presidents Cup. Last time at Liberty
National was particularly brutal, with the Americans enjoying a
six-point lead going into the weekend, and they nearly clinched it
"A good start — that's all we're looking for
tomorrow," Scott said. "Whoever is out there, it's the most
important match of the week for them. Our team doesn't need to be
chasing its tail out here. We don't need to be mounting a huge
Scott has achieved plenty in his two decades in
golf, starting with his Masters victory in 2013 that made him the
first Australian with a green jacket from Augusta National. He was
the first Australian since Norman to reach No. 1 in the world. He
has 27 victories worldwide.
Missing is leaving the Presidents Cup on a
"I think it would probably mean a lot more to
me than I've ever thought," Scott said. "The last few years, I've
put more of myself out there for the team, and so far it hasn't
yielded much of a result. It's never fun leaving on Sunday with not
having won the trophy. This is a real opportunity for us and it will
be possibly a team that is remembered after such a long stretch. I'm
really keen to kind of take that chance this week."
Johnson hopeful of quick return at Presidents Cup
USA team poses for a photo ahead of the President's Cup Golf
tournament in Melbourne, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (AP Photo Andy
Melbourne, Australia (AP) — The No. 1
player in the world early in the year, Dustin Johnson didn't show up
on the leaderboard the last three months of the PGA Tour and hasn't
been seen at all since then.
Both can be attributed to an ailing knee.
It shouldn't take long to find out how quickly
Johnson is part of the opening session Thursday
in the Presidents Cup, his first competition since Aug. 25 at the
Tour Championship. He finished last in the 30-man field at East
Lake, and then had surgery on his left knee to repair cartilage
"Unless I didn't feel like I could come here
and help the team, then I wouldn't have come," Johnson said. "But I
feel like I definitely can help the team, and the game is in good
enough form to where I feel just fine."
Johnson nearly staged the biggest comeback in
major championship history at the PGA Championship until Brooks
Koepka held him off. Over his next eight events, he never finished
better than a tie for 20th.
He didn't want to use the knee as an excuse,
though it was hard to overlook. He had eight top 10s this year, his
fewest since he missed the last five months of 2014 while trying to
get his life back in order.
"I can't ever blame anything. It was me. I just
played poorly," he said. "But obviously, it had some kind of an
impact on it. Now, I mean I had a lot of time sitting on the couch,
just thinking back on the year. I was struggling, and what I was
struggling with in my golf swing, you definitely could relate it to
the knee with what I was doing, which was hanging back too much and
just not controlling the golf ball well enough."
U.S. captain Tiger Woods sent him out in the
anchor match of the opening fourballs session, playing with U.S.
Open champion Gary Woodland against the International side of Louis
Oosthuizen and Adam Scott.
Johnson raised some concerns when he decided at
the last minute to withdraw from the Hero World Challenge in the
Bahamas, saying he wanted one more week of rest and some practice to
make sure he was ready for Royal Melbourne.
Woodland said he expects nothing but the
typical game of Johnson, who has held the No. 1 ranking for more
weeks than any player over the last five years. With his slump at
the end of the PGA Tour season, and being off for the last three
months, he now is No. 5.
"DJ looks great," Woodland said. "Not many
people outside of Tiger Woods can take that kind of break off and
come back and look pretty good. Yesterday, you could maybe say he
was a little rusty early in the round, made some birdies late. Today
he played great. I expect him to be playing quite a bit this week."
Johnson returned from his six-month hiatus at
the end of 2014 by missing the cut at Torrey Pines. He finished
among the top six in five of his next six tournaments, including a
World Golf Championship title at Doral.
"You could see into the round his speed coming
back," Matt Kuchar said. "Same today. Man, he's such a talent. You'd
hardly noticed he's had time off for surgery."
Johnson has played all five matches in his last
Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup appearances, and he doesn't expect that
to change. He remains one of golf's biggest talents. Now it's a
matter of how he performs Thursday, and what Woods has in mind for
the rest of the week.
Johnson doesn't expect to play all five
"I'll play as many as Tiger wants me to play,"
he said. "I wouldn't be here if I wasn't ready to play."
English clubs on the march again in the Champions League
Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta celebrates scoring his side's 2nd goal
during the Champions League Group H soccer match between Chelsea and
Lille at Stamford Bridge stadium in London Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019.
(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Steve Douglas, AP
The English are on the march again in the
Liverpool and Chelsea completed a sweep of
Premier League clubs into the knockout stage of the Champions League
on Tuesday, a season after England had two of its representatives in
Liverpool, which beat Tottenham in the title
match in June to become European champion for a sixth time, toughed
out a 2-0 victory at Salzburg to advance as the winner of Group E
and stay on course in its defense of the trophy.
It's shaping up to be a huge second half of the
season for the Reds, who are also eight points clear in the Premier
League in their pursuit of a first English championship in 30 years.
Chelsea was one of the teams to qualify from
Group H after a 2-1 home victory over Lille under Frank Lampard, a
Champions League winner with the London team in 2012 and in his
first season as its manager.
Manchester City and Tottenham, the other
English clubs competing in the Champions League, advanced last month
with a game to spare.
It is the third straight season where England
has provided four of the 16 representatives in the knockout stage,
as teams in the lucrative Premier League start to show the benefit
of having the biggest broadcasting revenues in soccer and some of
the world's most highly rated coaches.
Napoli was one of four other teams to advance
on Tuesday — but it wasn't enough to keep Carlo Ancelotti in a job.
He was fired by the Italian team a few hours after its 4-0 win over
Genk which sealed second place in the group containing Liverpool.
Borussia Dortmund, Valencia and Lyon also
reached the last 16.
Ancelotti's final stand
Arkadiusz Milik did his best to save Ancelotti,
scoring a first-half hat trick for Napoli before Dries Mertens added
the fourth against a Genk team which fielded Maarten Vandevoordt —
the youngest goalkeeper ever in the competition at 17 years, nine
months and 10 days.
That secured the team second place behind
Liverpool, which denied Napoli a place in the last 16 in the final
group game of last season's competition. But it wasn't enough for
Ancelotti, who had previously failed to lead Napoli to victory in
any of its last nine games in his second season as its coach.
Like Napoli, Liverpool knew a win would see
them progress but found things much tougher against Salzburg. Jurgen
Klopp's team survived some early scares before scoring two goals in
as many minutes from the 57th, through Naby Keita — who played for
Salzburg from 2014-16 — and Mohamed Salah.
Salah's goal was exquisite, the Egypt forward
breaking the offside trap to round the goalkeeper and score from an
acute on the right with his weaker right foot.
Ajax came within a last-gasp Tottenham goal of
reaching the final last season. It won't even be playing in the
knockout stage this time around.
The Dutch club lost 1-0 at home to Valencia to
drop from first place to third in Group H and fall into the Europa
Rodrigo scored the 24th-minute winner for
Valencia, which is through to the last 16 for the first time since
Tammy Abraham, with a deft backheeled flick,
and Cesar Azpilicueta scored Chelsea's first-half goals against
already-eliminated Lille, which pulled one back late on through Loic
Remy — a former Chelsea player.
For the second straight season, Inter Milan was
eliminated after failing to pick up a home win in the final round of
the group stage.
A year after only drawing 1-1 to PSV Eindhoven
to exit the competition, Inter lost 2-1 to an already-qualified
Barcelona — which was without Lionel Messi and a number of other
rested players. Ansu Fati scored Barca's winner and became, at 17,
the youngest scorer in Champions League history.
Borussia Dortmund capitalized, eking out a 2-1
win over Slavia Prague to qualify ahead of Inter.
Jadon Sancho scored one goal and set up another
for Borussia Dortmund, which had Julian Weigl sent off in the 77th
and was thankful to goalkeeper Roman Bürki for a string of saves.
Lyon came from two goals down at home to
Leipzig to draw 2-2 and win a three-way fight with Zenit St.
Petersburg and Benfica to advance from Group G
Memphis Depay's equalizer saw Lyon climb above
Zenit, which lost 3-0 at Benfica and slipped to fourth — not even
getting a consolation prize of a Europa League berth.
Leipzig had already qualified.
Column: Russian doping would have made El Chapo envious
Wires go to microphones above a logo of
the Russian Olympic Committee during President of the Russian
Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov's news conference in Moscow,
Russia, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. The World Anti-Doping Agency has
banned Russia from the Olympics and other major sporting events for
four years, though many athletes will likely be allowed to compete
as neutral athletes. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Jim Litke, AP
Russia cranked up a state-sponsored,
industrial-scale doping operation ahead of the 2014 Sochi Games that
would have turned El Chapo green with envy.
It swept up more than 1,000 athletes and
stretched from lowly lab technicians to the highest reaches of the
nation's sports ministries. And despite getting busted twice since,
it was never really shut down. What's clear is that someone, or
several people very near the top of the sporting pyramid there,
believes winning is a lot more important than "clean" sport.
The first time they caught on, Olympic
officials ordered the Russians to keep their flag, anthem and
junket-loving officials — but not necessarily their athletes — out
of the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang. Here's how lasting an
impression that made: another one of their labs got busted not long
after, this time for tampering with the very data that was supposed
to prove things had changed.
Handed a do-over, the pooh-bahs in charge of
the Olympics proved they hadn't changed much, either. Instead of
telling Russian athletes not to bother showing up, something that
might spark real outrage there, they opted for tough love again.
Based on the recommendation of the World
Anti-Doping Agency, Russia's flag and anthem — but again, not its
athletes — will be barred from international sports' biggest arenas
for the next four years. The ban begins with next summer's Tokyo
Olympics and extends through the 2022 World Cup and Winter Games in
Beijing — assuming the Russians don't get busted between now and
You could almost hear glasses clinking at the
Kremlin during Monday's announcement.
"While being tough on the authorities, this
recommendation avoids punishing the innocent and instead stands up
for the rights of clean athletes everywhere," said Jonathan Taylor,
the British lawyer who headed the WADA committee that set the
Not really. But if that rationale sounds
familiar, it should. It's essentially the same one International
Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach trotted out when he let
Russia off the hook ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Instead of a blanket ban, he handed off the
tough decisions on which Russian athletes should be allowed to
compete to individual sports federations. Many of those
organizations rely on rubles to pay the rent and had a million more
reasons to worry about reprisals than the independently wealth
swells at the IOC ever did.
Not surprising, Russia sent a nearly full team
to Rio, and even stripped of its flag and anthem, still mustered the
third-biggest delegation in Pyeongchang. Even less surprising, the
first Russian athlete to compete in those 2018 Winter Games, mixed
doubles curler Alexander Krushelnitsky, failed a doping test, got
disqualified and had to hand back his bronze medal.
One problem is that dopers, like burglars,
rarely get caught in real time. Just last month, four U.S. sledders
got their medals from Sochi upgraded retroactively. Unless something
changes, those medals won't be worth the metal they're stamped on.
To be fair, every member nation of the Olympic
"family" has some dopers on its team, or at least the ones serious
about winning something do. But no nation this side of the old East
Germany has tried to do it on the same scale as the Russians.
There's no reason to believe that will change until the punishment
fits the crime.
But the Russians are not the only ones who have
to decide whether to really buy into "clean" sports — though
"cleaner" sports would be a more accurate description for these
times. It's the folks who are selling it and supposed to be
enforcing it, even while getting rich in the bargain. That happens
to be the IOC at the moment, because they're in the spotlight.
But you don't have enough fingers on both hands
to count the number of big-time sports wrestling with the same
problem. Science has made it a fact of life at the top. They all
have similar rules against and no shortage of rules-breakers, too.
And so somewhere down the road, the people in
charge of the rest of the alphabet soup that governs international
sports — the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, FIFA and even FIDE, the
international chess federation — will get more than enough chances
to make a stand for clean sport.
Here's hoping they show more backbone than the
Pakistan: No more international cricket at neutral venues
Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani speaks during an
interview with The Associated Press in Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday,
Dec. 10, 2019. Pakistan will no longer look for neutral venues to
stage home international cricket matches. "The onus will be on the
other teams to tell us why they can't play in Pakistan," Mani said.
(AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
Rawalpindi, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan
will no longer look for neutral venues to stage home international
"The onus will be on the other teams to tell us
why they can't play in Pakistan," Pakistan Cricket Board chairman
Ehsan Mani told the Associated Press on Tuesday.
"Our default position will remain that Pakistan
is safe. We play cricket in Pakistan (and if) you want to play
against Pakistan you have to come to Pakistan."
Pakistan's decade-long isolation from hosting
test cricket ends on Wednesday when Sri Lanka will play at Pindi
Cricket Stadium. The second test will be in Karachi from Dec. 19-23.
The series is part of the world test championship.
Sri Lanka was the last team to play a test in
Pakistan in 2009. Terrorists attacked the team's bus in Lahore and
eight people were killed. Several Sri Lanka players and team
officials were injured. The ambush shut the door on international
cricket in Pakistan. The PCB organized almost all of its home
matches in the United Arab Emirates.
In the last four years, the PCB staged short
limited-overs tours against the likes of Zimbabwe, the West Indies,
Sri Lanka and a World XI to show the cricket world it could host
tours safely. Sri Lanka agreed to play two test matches in Pakistan
only after it visited Karachi and Lahore three months ago and played
an incident-free series of one-day internationals and Twenty20s.
"It's only logical that cricket comes home,"
Mani said. "People have a perception of Pakistan which is very, very
different to the reality of what is happening on the ground in
"The concerns that people had about Pakistan,
certainly for the last year or two, were not what the ground reality
Top cricketing officials from Australia,
England, Ireland, and the international players' association have
visited Pakistan in the last six months.
"When they see the ground reality, it's a
different attitude," Mani said. "In fact, it was very nicely put by
the chief executive of Cricket Ireland. He said, "I have to think of
a reason why we shouldn't be coming to Pakistan.'"
Mani said he's had discussions with officials
from Cricket Australia and England and Wales Cricket Board and he
hoped that both countries will tour Pakistan in the next three
"I am absolutely confident that in 2021 we'll
have England and in 2022 we'll have Australia," he said.
"We're not due to play New Zealand now till
about 2023-24, but our default position is that Pakistan will play
all its home matches in Pakistan."
Despite the impending return of test cricket,
Mani conceded there might not be a capacity crowd for the test, in
stark contrast to the packed stadiums in Lahore in October when Sri
Lanka whitewashed Pakistan 3-0 in the T20 series.
"Look, test cricket had been losing (crowd)
support in the subcontinent, in fact around the world apart from
England and Australia," he said.
"People prefer to go and watch the white-ball
cricket (T20s and ODIs) but it doesn't mean that people don't follow
test cricket. You'll probably find that people watch test cricket at
home on television and through the telephone or whatever these days
as much as they've ever done.
"We haven't had much time to do the marketing
for this (Rawalpindi test) but going forward we're going to be
working very hard to ensure that we can get young people in with the
schools and college students, support them to come at little or no
cost, give them exposure to cricket."
Eagles rally past Manning, Giants 23-17 in OT
York Giants' Saquon Barkley (26) leaps over Philadelphia Eagles'
Daeshon Hall (74) during the first half of an NFL football game,
Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Philadelphia (AP) — Carson Wentz relied
on a bunch of guys off the practice squad and his go-to guy Zach
Ertz to rally the Philadelphia Eagles.
After Eli Manning led the New York Giants to a
14-point lead, Wentz brought the injury-depleted Eagles back and
tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Ertz in overtime to give
Philadelphia a 23-17 win on Monday night.
The Eagles (6-7) snapped a three-game losing
streak and moved into a tie with Dallas (6-7) for first place in the
NFC East. Philadelphia takes the division title if it wins its final
three games. The Eagles meet the Cowboys in Week 16.
"Guys stepped up and made plays," Wentz said.
"We had guys moving around and I had no choice but to trust these
The Eagles were down to one healthy wide
receiver by the end of the game and were using inexperienced guys
and players out of position. Ertz, a Pro Bowl tight end, had to line
up at wide receiver.
"We understood as a team that we had to find a
way," Ertz said.
Manning, the two-time Super Bowl MVP, threw a
pair of TD passes to Darius Slayton in his first game since Week 2.
Filling in for injured rookie Daniel Jones, Manning was 15 of 30 for
203 yards. But he couldn't prevent New York (2-11) from losing its
ninth straight game, tying a franchise record set in 1976, when the
team opened 0-9.
"I've played a lot of football games," Manning
said. "I know the offense and know what I'm supposed to do. I made
some good throws and didn't make some plays that I needed to."
Wentz threw for 325 yards and a pair of TDs,
including a 5-yard toss to Ertz to tie it at 17 with 1:53 left.
Already missing three starters on offense, the
Eagles lost wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and right tackle Lane
Johnson in the first half and were booed off the field trailing 17-3
They went three-and-out on five straight
possessions before Boston Scott caught a 10-yard pass on third-and-5
in the third quarter. Scott then ran 4 yards to the 2 on third-and-3
and scored on the next play to cut it to 17-10.
Scott, one of the former practice squad
players, provided a big spark. He had 59 yards rushing and 69 yards
"Just do my job. You never know when your
opportunity might come," Scott said.
Wentz drove Philadelphia to the Giants 29 with
just under 10 minutes left but Greg Ward dropped what should've been
a 29-yard TD pass on third-and-11. Jake Elliott then missed a
47-yard field goal wide left.
But the defense held and Wentz drove the Eagles
85 yards and connected with Ertz to tie it.
The Eagles won the toss in overtime and went 75
Ertz had nine catches for 91 yards.
Manning connected with Slayton for a 35-yard TD
on a third-and-13 to give the Giants a 7-0 lead on the first play of
the second quarter. Ronald Darby missed a tackle that would've
stopped Slayton short of a first down.
Manning hit Slayton for a 55-yard TD on
third-and-8 with 27 seconds left in the first half to give the
Giants a 17-3 lead.
"I thought he battled. He did a lot of good
things," Giants coach Pat Shurmur said of Manning.
Down 7-0, the Eagles got going when Wentz
connected with Ertz on consecutive passes of 24 and 30 yards. Wentz
then hit Ward for a 9-yard TD that was negated by a holding call on
Brandon Brooks. The Eagles settled for Elliott's 34-yard field goal.
Aldrick Rosas hit a 34-yarder to make it 10-3.
Giants: Host Miami (3-10) next Sunday.
Eagles: Play at Washington (3-10) next
Varlamov shuts down Lightning in Islanders' 5-1 win
York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his goal against
the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period of an NHL hockey
game Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa, Fla. (AP) — Semyon Varlamov
stopped 31 shots, Brock Nelson scored twice in the third period, and
the New York Islanders beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 on Monday
Ross Johnston, Josh Bailey and Anders Lee also
scored for the Islanders, who are 18-0-1 when scoring three or more
Tampa Bay got a goal from Steven Stamkos.
Curtis McElhinney stopped 19 shots.
Varlamlov made an in-close rebound save on
Stamkos and a diving glove grab on Pat Maroon early in the third.
In addition to Nelson's goals at 7:31 and
14:41, Lee added a power-play goal with 3:55 remaining.
Blue Jackets 5, Capitals 2
Washington (AP) — Cam Atkinson scored
twice, including a late empty-netter, and Joonas Korpisalo stopped
37 shots to help Columbus beat Washington.
Ryan Murray, Riley Nash and Oliver Bjorkstrand
also scored for the Blue Jackets, who snapped their four-game skid.
Columbus won for just the third time in nine games.
Goaltender Braden Holtby made 19 first-period
saves but allowed four goals on 37 shots. Alex Ovechkin scored his
21st of the season early in the third period, and Nicklas Backstrom
added a 6-on-5 goal in the waning minutes.
Washington snapped a six-game winning streak
with their first regulation loss since Nov. 20. The Capitals had
their seven-game point streak end two days before facing the Boston
Bruins in a showdown of the league's top two teams.
Senators 5, Bruins 2
Ottawa, Ontario (AP) — Anthony Duclair
had two goals and an assist and Ottawa beat Boston.
Chris Tierney, Artem Anisimov and Jean-Gabriel
Pageau also scored for the Senators, who were playing their first
home game following a five-game trip (1-4-0). Anders Nilsson made 38
saves in Ottawa's first win over the Bruins (20-5-6) since April 6,
Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk scored for
the Bruins, who were playing the first of four road games. Tuukka
Rask made 23 saves in his first loss in regulation since Nov. 8.
Flames 5, Avalanche 4, OT
Denver (AP) — Sean Monahan scored 2:09
into overtime to lift Calgary past Colorado.
Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist, Derek
Ryan also scored and David Rittich made 28 saves for the Flames, who
have won five in a row under interim coach Geoff Ward and finally
broke through against Colorado this season.
Andrew Mangiapane and Michael Frolik scored
1:27 apart to start the third period for Calgary.
The Flames have struggled against the Avalanche
of late, starting with the first round of the 2019 playoffs when
eighth-seeded Colorado won in five games. The Avs won the first two
meetings this season as well.
Nathan MacKinnon, Valeri Nichushkin, Ryan
Graves and Joonas Donskoi scored for the Avalanche. Pavel Francouz
finished with 28 saves.
Leicester makes another title bid with 8th straight EPL win
Leicester's Jamie Vardy smiles after scoring his side's fourth goal
during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa
and Leicester City at Villa Park in Birmingham, England, Sunday,
Dec. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
London (AP) — A
club-record eighth successive Premier League victory for Leicester.
An eighth straight game scoring for Jamie Vardy.
Leicester has rolled the clock back four years
with another title challenge that gathered more momentum with Vardy
netting twice in a 4-1 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday.
The problem for Leicester manager Brendan
Rodgers is that Liverpool is eight points in front. There is still
more than half the season remaining and a meeting between the top
two on Dec. 26.
"I don't think anyone expects us to be near the
top," Rodgers said. "After Manchester United won at Manchester City
on Saturday, the caption came up about how far City are away from
Liverpool (14 points). We respect that, we get on with our work and
keep developing as a team."
Rodgers knows all about title challenges,
winning the Scottish top flight twice with Celtic after falling just
short of City in the 2014 title race while managing Liverpool.
He watched from afar as Claudio Ranieri defied
5,000-1 odds to win the Premier League for Leicester in 2016.
"We have finished ninth in the last two seasons
but today we looked like a top team," Rodgers said. "It was a real
historic day, to surpass the club record of straight wins in the top
flight was fantastic for us."
Vardy opened the scoring in the 20th minute and
Kelechi Iheanacho doubled the lead four minutes before halftime.
Jack Grealish pulled a goal back in first-half
stoppage time but Jonny Evans' header after the break restored
Leicester's two-goal advantage. Vardy wrapped the game up with 15
minutes left and the striker is three games from matching his record
of scoring in 11 straight Premier League games in the title-winning
"Jamie is such a top-level player, he is always
ready when the chances come," Rodgers said. "I don't think there's
any doubt he isn't going to score."
Wolverhampton matched a 57-year-old club record
by going an 11th top-flight game unbeaten by drawing 2-2 with
Brighton to rise to sixth place.
Diogo Jota exchanged passes with Raul Jimenez
to send Wolves in front but they were 2-1 down within eight minutes.
Neal Maupay drilled home a left-footed strike
after getting on the end of a long ball from Dale Stephens before
Davy Propper headed Brighton into the lead from Leandro Trossard's
Wolves were back on level terms by the 44th
after Jota got his second goal. He received the ball from Jonny
before sending a strike beyond goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
Villa is only out of the relegation zone due to
having a better goal difference than Southampton and Norwich, who
both lost 2-1 on Sunday.
Sheffield United came from behind to overcome
Norwich to move into eighth place. Enda Stevens' header and George
Baldock's strike inside three second-half minutes wiped out
Alexander Tettey's opener for Norwich.
Newcastle jumped to 10th place thanks to
Federico Fernandez's 87th-minute winner at home to Southampton.
Jonjo Shelvey had canceled out Danny Ings'
opener for Southampton with his third goal in as many games as he
headed in substitute Andy Carroll's cross in the 68th.
Chiefs clinch AFC West; Ravens clinch playoffs
Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes in the first
half an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New
Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry runs for the goal line
after catching a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs in the second
half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Foxborough,
Mass. The play was not ruled a touchdown although it clearly should
have been. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, center, has the ball knocked
loose as he is hit by Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Matt Judon
(99), right, during the first half of an NFL football game in
Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. The fumble was recovered
by Ravens defensive end Jihad Ward. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Buffalo, N.Y. (AP) — Lamar Jackson threw
three touchdown passes and the Baltimore Ravens became the AFC's
first team to clinch a playoff berth following a 24-17 win over the
Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Baltimore extended its franchise-best winning
streak to nine and improved to 11-2, its best record through 13
games in team history.
Jackson finished 16 of 25 for 145 yards and
appeared to blow open the game by putting the Ravens up 24-9
following a 4-yard touchdown pass to Willie Snead with 9:49 left.
Buffalo's Josh Allen responded with a
seven-play, 78-yard touchdown drive capped by his 3-yard pass to
Cole Beasley, who dived inside the left pylon. The same two then
hooked up on a 2-point conversion.
The outcome wasn't decided until there were 63
seconds remaining. Facing fourth-and-8 at the Baltimore 16, Allen's
pass over the middle intended for John Brown was broken up by Marcus
Peters at the goal line.
Jackson upped his record to 17-3 since being
selected with the final pick of the first round in the 2018 draft.
Allen, drafted with the seventh pick overall, dropped to 14-10.
Buffalo (9-4) had a three-game winning streak
snapped, and fell short 10 days since grabbing national attention
following a 26-15 win at Dallas on Thanksgiving Day.
Chiefs 23, Patriots 16
Foxborough, Mass. (AP) — Kansas City
clinched the AFC West when Bashaud Breeland knocked away Tom Brady's
fourth-down pass attempt to Julian Edelman in the end zone.
The Chiefs survived a series of mistakes and
questionable calls by the officials to hold off the Patriots.
Combined with Oakland's loss to Tennessee, the Chiefs (9-4) took
their division. And the loss ended the Patriots' 21-game home win
streak in the regular season and playoffs, which was tied for the
longest in team history. It also was the third-longest string in NFL
New England (10-3) has lost two in a row.
Patrick Mahomes was 26 of 40 for 283 yards, a
touchdown and interception. Travis Kelce added a 10-yard TD run.
Brady was under pressure all night and finished 19 of 36 for 169
yards, a touchdown and interception.
Trailing 23-16, New England got the ball back
on their 32 with 5:04 to play. The Patriots immediately gained 35
yards on a pass from halfback James White to Jakobi Meyers to get
into Kansas City territory. Officials appeared to miss a clear pass
interference call on a deep pass to Phillip Dorsett and the Chiefs
forced a fourth-and-6 at the 29.
But the 42-year-old Brady got free and
scrambled 17 yards for a first down.
The Patriots couldn't get into the end zone,
however, losing the rematch of January's AFC title game.
49ers 48, Saints 46
New Orleans (AP) — Jimmy Garoppolo
passed for 349 yards and four touchdowns, Robbie Gould kicked a
30-yard field goal as time expired. Garoppolo's clutch completion to
tight end George Kittle for a 39-yard gain — plus a defensive
facemask penalty — on fourth-and-2 from the San Francisco 33 helped
set up Gould's winning kick.
The Saints took their last lead on Drew Brees'
fifth touchdown pass of the game — an 18-yarder to Tre'Quan Smith
with 53 seconds left. But Brees' pass on an attempted 2-point
conversion fell incomplete, leaving New Orleans' lead at one point.
The victory kept San Francisco (11-2) in strong
position to capture the top seed in the NFC playoffs. The Niners can
clinch a playoff berth if Seattle loses to the Rams in a night game.
Niners receiver Emmanuel Sanders had a 75-yard
touchdown and added his second-career touchdown pass after taking a
handoff on a reverse.
Two of Garoppolo's touchdown passes went to
Kendrick Bourne. Kittle also had a touchdown catch. Sanders finished
with seven catches for 157 yards.
Brees finished 29 of 40 for 349 yards and also
dived across the goal line for a touchdown. Michael Thomas caught 11
passes for 134 yards and a score, but the Saints, 10-3 and already
the NFC South champions, were done in by a few critical failures.
Rams 28, Seahawks 12
Los Angeles (AP) — Jared Goff passed for
293 yards and two touchdowns, Todd Gurley ran for 79 yards and a
fourth-quarter TD and Los Angeles prevented Seattle from clinching a
Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp caught TD passes
while the Rams (8-5) kept their playoff hopes burning and ended the
Seahawks' five-game winning streak.
With an aggressive, inventive game plan on both
sides of the ball, Los Angeles recaptured a measure of the
excitement from its previous two seasons on offense while also
playing superb defense against Russell Wilson, who was sacked five
The Rams won for the fifth time in seven games,
while the Seahawks (10-3) fell out of first place in the NFC West
with just their second loss since Sept. 22 and their first road
defeat of the season.
Wilson passed for 245 yards amid constant
pressure from the Rams. Quandre Diggs returned an interception 55
yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter, but it was the
Seahawks' only touchdown.
Woods had seven catches for 98 yards and his
first touchdown of the season, and tight end Tyler Higbee had seven
catches for a career-high 116 yards as the Rams looked like the
thrilling offensive unit that dazzled the NFL during coach Sean
McVay's first two seasons.
Titans 42, Raiders 21
Oakland, Calif. (AP) — Ryan Tannehill
threw for 391 yards and three touchdowns, Derrick Henry ran for two
scores and the Titans won their fourth straight game.
The Titans (8-5) bounced back from a deflected
interception on the opening drive to score TDs on five of their next
seven possessions to improve to 6-1 with Tannehill as the starting
quarterback. The win moved them into a tie for first place in the
AFC South with Houston, with the teams set to meet twice in the
final three weeks.
Tennessee broke open a tight game with a
three-touchdown barrage in a span of just over seven minutes of the
second half that all but ended the playoff hopes for the Raiders
(6-7) in their final season in Oakland.
Henry, who rushed for 103 yards, broke a 21-21
tie with a 10-yard TD run midway through the third quarter to cap an
What had been a promising season for the
Raiders with a three-game win streak in November that improved them
to 6-4 has gone off the rails the past three weeks. They lost by 31
points in successive road games against the Jets and Chiefs and then
fell apart in the second half against Tennessee.
Steelers 23, Cardinals 17
Glendale, Ariz. (AP) — Diontae Johnson returned
a punt 85 yards for a touchdown and caught a pass for another score.
Pittsburgh's defense had three crucial
interceptions in the second half — two by Joe Haden and another by
T.J. Watt —- to end Arizona drives, including two that had ventured
into Steelers' territory.
Pittsburgh (8-5) won for the seventh time in
eight games to stay in the AFC playoff race. Rookie free agent
quarterback Devlin Hodges made his third career start, completing 16
of 19 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown.
Hodges didn't need to make many tough throws
but came through with a good one in the third quarter, hitting
Johnson in the front corner of the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown
that gave the Steelers a 20-10 lead.
Hodges also finished with 34 yards rushing.
Arizona's Kyler Murray completed 20 of 30
passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns, but his three interceptions
were very costly.
The Cardinals (3-9-1) lost their sixth
Chargers 45, Jaguars 10
Jacksonville, Fla. (AP) — Philip Rivers
threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns, including an 84-yarder to
Austin Ekeler that was the longest completion of the quarterback's
16-year NFL career.
It was Jacksonville's fifth consecutive
lopsided loss, all by at least 17 points. The 1986 Tampa Bay
Buccaneers were the last NFL team to drop five straight by at least
Jacksonville's last two have been
embarrassments at home — both essentially settled before halftime.
The Chargers (5-8) scored on four of five
possessions in the first half, picking apart Jacksonville's
beleaguered defense and taking a 24-3 into the locker room. It was a
welcome cushion for a team whose eight losses each came by seven
points or fewer.
It was more of the same for the Jaguars (4-9),
who trailed by as many as 25, 32, 24 and 23 in their previous four
Packers 20, Redskins 15
Green Bay, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Jones
rushed for a season-high 134 yards and a touchdown on just 16
carries. Jones had his third 100-yard rushing game of the season and
hauled in six catches for 58 yards. With fewer than three minutes
left in the game, the third-year running back had more total yards
(192) than the Redskins (187).
Dwayne Haskins completed 16 of 27 passes for
170 yards and a touchdown with an interception for Washington
(3-10), which was officially eliminated from playoff contention. The
rookie quarterback was sacked four times.
Adrian Peterson became the sixth back in NFL
history to reach the 14,000-yard mark, running for 76 yards and a
score. He now has 14,036 yards in a 13-year career. Curtis Martin is
fifth all-time with 14,101 yards.
Derrius Guice exited after only five carries
with a knee injury.
Green Bay (10-3) leads the NFC North.
Buccaneers 38, Colts 35
Tampa, Fla (AP) — Jameis Winston threw
for 456 yards and four touchdowns, helping the Buccaneers rally to
beat the reeling Colts.
Winston overcame throwing three more
interceptions and having one returned for a TD for the fifth time
season to wipe out a 14-point second-half deficit. He led the Bucs
(6-7) to their third straight win and fourth in five games.
The Colts (6-7) have dropped five of six
following a 5-2 start, falling from first place to third in the AFC
Winston threw for TDs of 61 yards to Mike
Evans, 3 yards to Cameron Brate and 17 yards to Justin Watson before
putting the Bucs ahead for good with a 12-yarder to Breshad Perriman
with 3:51 remaining.
Jacoby Brissett completed 19 of 36 passes for
251 yards, two TDs and no interceptions for Indianapolis. Darius
Leonard returned one of his two interceptions 80 yards for a
second-quarter TD, and Marcus Johnson had a 46-yard scoring
reception and finished with 105 yards on three catches for the
Falcons 40, Panthers 200
Atlanta (AP) — Matt Ryan threw the
longest touchdown pass of his career and became the 10th quarterback
in NFL history to reach 50,000 yards.
The Panthers (5-8) were officially eliminated
from playoff contention with their fifth straight loss, which ruined
the debut of interim coach Perry Fewell. He took over at the
beginning of the week after longtime coach Ron Rivera was fired.
Atlanta (4-9) snapped a two-game losing streak
and swept the season series with its I-85 rival. The Falcons won the
first meeting 29-3 at Charlotte on Nov. 17.
Throwing from his end zone, Ryan finished off
the Panthers with a 93-yard touchdown pass to little-used Olamide
Zaccheaus in the third quarter. It was a milestone play for both:
the longest TD of Ryan's 12-year career, and the first career
reception for Zaccheaus, an undrafted rookie.
Fewell and the Panthers endured a thoroughly
miserable game. Kyle Allen was picked off twice and lost a fumble.
Carolina fumbled another one away on a kickoff return, the ball
deflecting into the arms of kicker Younghoe Koo, setting off a wild
celebration as Koo bounced toward the sideline.
Koo also booted four field goals.
Ryan increased his passing total to 50,279
yards. His next target on the career list is John Elway, the NFL's
ninth-leading passer with 51,475 yards.
Broncos 38, Texans 24
Houston (AP) — Rookie Drew Lock threw
for 309 yards and three touchdowns, Kareem Jackson had an
interception and returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown against
his former team.
Lock, who made his NFL debut in a win over the
Chargers last week, threw for 235 yards with three TDs in the first
half. It was the most yards passing in a first half by the Broncos
since Peyton Manning had 282 in Week 5 of 2014.
The Broncos (5-8) scored on their first five
possessions to build a 38-3 lead early in the third quarter. They
scored more than 24 points for the first time since Oct. 19, 2018..
Houston's hold on the AFC South took a hit as
the Texans (8-5) came out flat in a terrible first half a week after
downing the Patriots 28-22 for their first win in the series since
2010. The Texans are one-half game ahead of the Titans (7-5), who
play in Oakland later Sunday.
Deshaun Watson threw for 292 yards with one TD
pass and two interceptions after throwing three touchdown passes and
grabbing his first career TD reception in a stellar performance
against New England.
Browns 27, Bengals 19
Cleveland (AP) — Nick Chubb ran for 106 yards —
99 after halftime — and Baker Mayfield and Kareem Hunt had rushing
The Bengals have lost 10 straight AFC North
Denzel Ward returned an interception 61 yards
for Cleveland's first score and the Browns (6-7) got a huge late
break. Mayfield's third interception was reversed with a rare
interference call to bounce back after a discouraging loss at
Pittsburgh last week.
Cleveland needs to run the table to have any
chance of ending its 17-year postseason drought, the NFL's current
The Bengals (1-12) couldn't build on their win
last week over the Jets and have dropped 19 of 21 over the past two
seasons. Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon rushed for a career-high
146 yards and scored a TD. Bengals kicker Randy Bullock had field
goals of 34, 44, 28 and 46 yards, the last with 12 seconds to go.
Jets 22, Dolphins 21
East Rutherford, N.J. (AP) — Sam Ficken
kicked a 44-yard field goal as time expired after New York benefited
from a pass interference call determined by the league's officiating
Sam Darnold got the winning drive going with a
short pass to Vyncint Smith, who turned it into a 37-yard gain that
included a high-step over a would-be tackler. After a sack two plays
later put the ball at the Dolphins 46, Darnold threw an incomplete
pass to Smith — but the Jets argued that Nik Needham interfered with
the receiver by wrapping his right arm around Smith's right
Officials overturned the incompletion after a
video review — giving the Jets a first down and new life. A 12-yard
catch by Ty Montgomery got the ball to the 26. Two plays later,
Ficken won it, helping the Jets (5-8) avoid a season sweep by the
lowly Dolphins (3-10).
The Jets — who lost to the previously winless
Cincinnati Bengals last week — overcame a Dolphins franchise-record
seven field goals by Jason Sanders, including a 37-yarder that gave
Miami the lead with 1:33 left.
Vikings 20, Lions 7
Minneapolis (AP) — Danielle Hunter had
three of Minnesota's five sacks to spearhead a resurgence by the
defense to stick the Lions with their sixth straight loss.
Kirk Cousins passed for 242 yards and a
touchdown in an efficient if unspectacular performance. Dalvin Cook
had 75 yards from scrimmage and a rushing score on 20 touches over
three quarters as the Vikings (9-4) took it easy on their star
tailback after an injury to his collarbone area forced him out of
the previous game.
The defense stole the show, even though the
opponent was undrafted rookie quarterback David Blough. Detroit's
Matthew Stafford was sidelined by hip and back injuries for the
fifth straight game.
Blough went 24 for 40 for 205 yards, one
touchdown and two interceptions in the second half, and the Vikings
yielded their lowest score in 31 regular-season games since a 16-0
win at Green Bay on Dec. 23, 2017.
For the first time this season, the Lions
(3-9-1) never held a lead.
Ford cruises in giant slalom for 1st career World Cup win
United States' Tommy Ford reacts after his run during a men's World
Cup giant slalom skiing race Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Beaver Creek,
Colo. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen skis during a men's World Cup giant
slalom skiing race Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Beaver Creek, Colo. (AP
Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Beaver Creek, Colo. (AP) — Tommy Ford didn't
even set an alarm Sunday morning. He never does. He's so easygoing
that oversleeping for a race doesn't even enter his mind.
That's the way he feels about pressure, too. He
doesn't let it get to him.
Finding himself in new territory — leading
after the first run — Ford simply did what he always does and
charged. Ford cruised across the finish line, glanced up at the
scoreboard and immediately pumped his right glove after earning his
first career World Cup win.
The American racer glided through the fog and
the falling snow to finish the Birds of Prey giant slalom in a
combined time of 2 minutes, 31.25 seconds Sunday. Henrik
Kristoffersen of Norway was second, 0.80 seconds back, while fellow
Norwegian Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen took third.
"I've been skiing well and on this path for a
long time," Ford said. "It's led to this moment and more moments to
come. I just don't know what they are.";
Ford's career path was interrupted in 2013 when
he broke his femur during a free-skiing mishap. It caused him to
miss the entire 2014 Olympic season.
Ever so steadily, he's gotten back on course.
Ford found himself on unfamiliar ground — with
the lead after run No. 1. He didn't show any hint of nerves before
pushing out of the start gate for his final pass. He simply gazed
down at the awaiting course for a moment.
"There are all sorts of thoughts going through
the mind," Ford said. "Some nerves coming up. Just working with
them. Clearing them. Working with them. Clearing them. A continual
process all the way to the start. Once things get going, it just
He flowed through the gates with the home crowd
urging him to the finish line. Then, the celebration was on as he
was greeted by rambunctious teammates. They were stoked for the
30-year-old from Oregon.
"Not many words, honestly, smiling and hugs,"
Ford said. "It's been really cool to be with this group."
It's been quite a start to the season for Ford.
He finished fourth at the season-opening GS race in Soelden,
Austria, in late October. That also happened to be his best finish —
Ford became the first U.S. racer to capture a
World Cup men's giant slalom race on home snow since Ted Ligety won
"Congrats to Tommy — amazing job in the second
run," said Kristoffersen, who claimed his 18th career World Cup
podium in the GS. "It's not easy to beat the U.S. guys on home soil,
on this type of snow. You see it with Leif, too."
Nestvold-Haugen spent years in Colorado as he
competed for the University of Denver ski team. He feels at home on
what's referred to as "hero snow" because racers don't have to worry
about it being unstable underneath their skis.
"You get a lot back from the snow," Nestvold-Haugen
Before his second run, the 32-year-old Nestvold-Haugen
called home to say goodnight to his young kids.
"That put things in perspective — they're
sleeping while I'm racing," Nestvold-Haugen said. "The second run
was a little bit more of a wild run. When I get nervous, I try to
compensate by being more aggressive."
Ligety, who was fourth after the first run,
struggled on his final pass and was 11th. The 35-year-old Ligety is
predominantly focusing on the giant slalom this season.
"It's been nice, just doing GS really," said
Ligety, who has captured 24 World Cup giant slalom races. "It's a
nice gear shift."
The conditions were hardly favorable with the
snow falling and fog rolling in throughout the day.
Defending Birds of Prey GS champion Stefan
Luitz of Germany made a mistake in the foggy conditions and didn't
finish his first run.
He won his first World Cup race in Beaver Creek
last December amid some controversy. Racing at an elevation of
around 10,340 feet (3,152 meters), Luitz inhaled from an oxygen tank
before his winning race. The International Ski Federation later
disqualified him because its rules prohibit using supplemental
oxygen even though the World Anti-Doping Agency does not.
But the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld
Luitz's appeal against disqualification in March and awarded him his
first World Cup win.
Luitz said he never really got the chance to
celebrate his achievement. That's why he's eager for another.
"Not only for the victory, but there is so much
around it — for my head and my skiing," Luitz said. "That's why I'm
trying so hard to get back on top."
Celtic beats Rangers 1-0 in Scottish League Cup finall
Celtic celebrate with the trophy after the Scottish Cup soccer Final
between Celtic and Rangers at Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland,
Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. (Jeff Holmes/PA via AP)
Glasgow, Scotland (AP) —
Celtic extended its domination of Scottish football by beating
Glasgow rival Rangers 1-0 in the League Cup final on Sunday to seal
a 10th consecutive domestic trophy.
Steven Gerrard's Rangers was punished for
spurning scoring chances when Celtic defender Christopher Jullien
knocked in a free kick from Ryan Christie in the 59th minute.
Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster then saved a
penalty from Alfredo Morelos, after defender Jeremie Frimpong had
been sent off for fouling the striker.
Rangers has now gone eight years without a
major title, which covers a spell when the team was forced to start
again in the bottom tier in 2012 for financial mismanagement.
Henrik Stenson delivers big moment to win in Bahamas
Henrik Stenson, left, poses with Tiger Woods, after winning the Hero
World Challenge at the Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas,
Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Dante Carrer)
Henrik Stenson aligns his ball at the third green during the final
round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club in Nassau,
Bahamas, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Dante Carrer)
Nassau, Bahamas (AP) — Winless in more
than two years, Henrik Stenson found himself in the middle of a wild
chase to the finish Saturday with Tiger Woods and the elite in golf
all around him.
Five players had a chance to win in the final
hour. Four had at least a share of the lead at one point.
One swing changed everything.
"The shot of the day," Stenson said.
He drilled a 5-wood from 259 yards to within
inches of the hole for a tap-in eagle on the par-5 15th, going from
a one-shot deficit to a one-shot lead. Three pars gave him a 6-under
66 and a victory in the Hero World Challenge he might not have seen
Stenson tied for 44th two weeks ago in Dubai
and spent a few hours on the range that afternoon with swing coach
Pete Cowen. He carried some of that to the Bahamas, and his nerves
held up at Albany Golf Club.
"Sometimes, just keep on working hard and
grinding it out," Stenson said. "Confidence can still be a little
higher, but I'm really happy with the way I hung in there."
Woods fell out with a chip that didn't make it
up the slope on the 14th hole, and he had to scramble for bogey.
Justin Thomas had a pair of 12-foot birdie putts burn the edge.
Defending champion Jon Rahm, in his final event before getting
married in Spain, appeared to seize control with a
birdie-eagle-birdie stretch to take the lead on the 16th hole.
And then Stenson struck the decisive blow with
his 5-wood. He knew it was good. He couldn't see beyond a dune as it
bounced onto the green, tracked toward the hole and settled about 8
inches away for eagle.
That took him from one shot behind to one shot
ahead, and he closed with three pars.
Rahm had to settle for two pars to close out
Stenson won for the first time in 50
tournaments worldwide, a drought dating to the Wyndham Championship
in August 2017. His world ranking plunged from No. 6 to No. 40.
"It's down, but it's not a disaster," Stenson
said of his ranking. "I can compete with the best, and I guess I
Patrick Reed, under scrutiny for improving his
line of play in a waste area Friday that led to a two-shot penalty,
shook that off for a 66 to finish alone in third..
Woods hasn't won his holiday event since 2011,
and he put himself in position with timely birdies while playing
alongside Thomas. It looked like quite a battle with Woods setting
the pace early, and Thomas catching and passing him with an 8-foot
eagle putt on the 11th hole.
But that was as good as it got for both of
Woods tried to drive the par-4 14th hole and
wound up in the waste area with a bad lie. He sent that over the
green, and his chip up the slope wasn't hard enough and came back
down the hill. His fourth shot barely made it onto the green and he
holed a 15-foot putt to escape with bogey.
But he spent more time in the waste area on the
par-5 15th and had to scramble for par, and that was the end of his
chances. Woods closed with a 69.
The only victory — a hollow one — was finishing
with a lower score than Thomas for the first time in some 15
pairings together. Even that required a double bogey by Thomas on
the last hole, giving him a 70.
"I don't think that's how we wanted it to end
up," Woods said with a laugh. "If I was going to get him, it would
have been nice for either of us to have a chance to win the
U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland, who started
the final round with a one-shot lead, ran into trouble chipping up
the slope on the par-5 third hole and made double bogey. He never
recovered, shot 73 and tied for seventh.
The World Challenge was just the first stop for
11 of the Americans in the field.
They had a few hours to get changed for a
charter flight from the Bahamas to Australia for the Presidents Cup,
which starts Thursday with Woods as the first playing captain in 25
Stenson and Rahm finished 1-2 with no interest
in the matches between Americans and players from countries outside
Stenson wants to patch back his game, and this
was a big step. After five straight years in the top 10, the
43-year-old Swede is eager to get back.
Man City defense implodes with Liverpool on title charge
Manchester, England (AP) — Manchester
City's title defense is imploding in a way Pep Guardiola has never
Losing 2-1 to Manchester United left City with
32 points in the Premier League — Guardiola's lowest haul after 16
matches in 11 years in top-flight management.
Any fading prospect of a hat trick of titles
looks to have been extinguished by City's fiercest foe in a game
marred by United players being targeted with racist abuse and
objects thrown by home fans..
Manchester United's Fred reacts after objects are thrown at him
during the English Premier League soccer match at the Etihad
Stadium, Manchester, England Saturday Dec. 7, 2019. (Mike Egerton/PA
The derby defeat left City 14 points behind
Liverpool after the leaders won 3-0 at Bournemouth to nudge toward
ending a 30-year championship drought.
"It is not realistic to think about catching
up," Guardiola said.
Second-place Leicester is now the team to catch
for City, but the 2016 champions can move six points ahead with a
victory at Aston Villa on Sunday..
Chelsea's grip on fourth place weakened with a
3-1 loss at struggling Everton as Duncan Ferguson started his
caretaker command with a signature success.
But the goal of the day came at Tottenham where
Son Heung-min ran scored a dazzling solo goal after running from one
of the field to the other in a 5-0 victory over Burnley for Jose
Mourinho's sixth-place team.
Chelsea's collapse helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
cap a transformative week with United up to fifth place and only
five points from the Champions League spots.
Being held at home by Aston Villa last Sunday
raised further doubts about Solskjaer's job prospects, especially
with Mauricio Pochettino on the market after being fired by
But since then Solskjaer has masterminded
victories over two of the biggest names in management: Mourinho —
Pochettino's successor at Tottenham — and Guardiola.
"There's more hard times for the doubters out
there," Solskjaer said, "because we'll keep on working the way we're
doing and we believe in what we're doing."
United tore apart City in the first half at the
Marcus Rashford put United ahead from the
penalty spot in the 23rd minute after being bundled over by Bernardo
The second goal inside six minutes was created
by a slick exchange of passes between Daniel James and Anthony
Martial, who applied the final touch past goalkeeper Ederson.
City didn't even manage a shot on target until
the 34th when United goalkeeper David de Gea denied David Silva.
Although Nicolas Otamendi's header reduced the
deficit in the 85th, City couldn't prevent United from claiming only
a second away win of the season.
City's priority after the game was working with
police to identity the fans who racially abused United duo Fred and
Jesse Lingard and hurled objects at them as a corner was able to be
taken during the second half.
"Thank God I have a lot of friends here in the
locker room who hugged me, like Lingard," Fred told ESPN. "I don't
want to think about it. I just want to move on."
Liverpool on march
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino shoots but fails to score during the
English Premier League soccer match between Bournemouth and
Liverpool at the Vitality stadium in Bournemouth, England, Saturday,
Dec. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Liverpool's goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain,
Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah came in a devastating 19-minute spell
either side of halftime to make it 33 league games unbeaten for
Juergen Klopp's side stretching back into last season.
"The team performance was just really mature
and professional," Klopp said. "Just what we needed."
Son's mazy run before scoring Tottenham's third
goal against Burnley reminded Mourinho of a goal scored by Brazil
"Even before this goal my son calls him 'Sonaldo,'
and today he was Sonaldo Nazario," Mourinho said. "The only thing
that came to my mind was a goal where I had the honor to be sat next
to Sir Bobby Robson, in 1996, and Ronaldo Nazario scored a goal
against Compostela from behind the halfway line and scored a very
Harry Kane also scored twice and Lucas Moura
and Moussa Sissoko were on target as Tottenham recovered from losing
to United on Wednesday.
Ferguson, a former Everton striker, already has
the team out of the relegation zone after Marco Silva's firing.
Ferguson was charging down the touchline at
Goodison Park celebrating with ball boys after Richarlison's header
after five minutes against Frank Lampard's Chelsea.
"It was just relief, excitement," Ferguson
said. "But you still know there is a long way to go in the game so
you're not getting too carried away, although it didn't feel like
that at the time. I'd have hugged the linesman if he was there. It
is just emotion.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin extended Everton's lead
four minutes into the second half but Mateo Kovacic's first Premier
League goal reduced the deficit.
Those early wild celebrations by Ferguson were
replicated in the 84th when Calvert-Lewin found the target again.
Watford halts slumpp
New manager Nigel Pearson watched from the
stands as Watford halted a three-game losing run by drawing 0-0 with
Watford has won only once in the league this
season and sits at the bottom of the standings, while Palace is in
Oklahoma wide receiver Nick Basquine (83) hauls in a touchdown catch
in front of Baylor safety JT Woods (22) during the second half of an
NCAA college football game for the Big 12 Conference championship,
Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. Oklahoma won 30-23. (AP
align="justify">Ralph D. Russoo
Picking the four teams to play in the College
Football Playoff will be easy for the selection committee.
LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma all took
care of business in their conference championships Saturday — with
varying degrees of difficulty.
Who is No. 1?
There could be a lot of discussion about that
at the resort hotel in Grapevine, Texas, where the 13-member
committee meets and will reveal the semifinal field Sunday at noon
Two pieces of the playoff puzzle, the two that
seemed most likely to cause problems, fell nicely into place on
championship weekend, starting with an upset in the Pac-12 on Friday
and the favorites winning in the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference
Later, Ohio State looked in the first half like
a team determined to test whether it could, indeed, lose its
conference championship game and still make the playoff. Then the
Buckeyes went on a 27-point second-half run and buried Wisconsin.
And Clemson? Well, let's just say the Tigers
are ready to defend their national championship.
After Oregon won the Pac-12 title and
eliminated Utah, the only question Saturday was: Could Georgia beat
LSU and force the selection committee to put two Southeastern
Conference teams in the semifinals, or would the Big 12 champion
take the last spot?
Oklahoma beat Baylor in an overtime thriller to
start championship Saturday and LSU was too much for Georgia. We
will never get back that week spent debating whether Utah or
Oklahoma (or Baylor) should make the playoff.
The Buckeyes were No. 1 in the committee's last
rankings, ahead of LSU and Clemson. Georgia was fourth, but Oklahoma
will take that slot.
To stay No. 1, Ohio State was going to need to
make a statement against Wisconsin — because LSU finished the season
with a flourish.
The Tigers pounded Texas A&M and Georgia by a
combined 87-17 in their final two games. The iffy defense that was
supposedly holding the Tigers back looked much tighter down the
stretch. And Joe Burrow, well, let's just say there will be even
less drama at the Heisman Trophy ceremony next week than there was
The victory against Georgia gives LSU four
victories against teams that will assuredly be in the committee's
final top 25. Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Georgia should all be in
Ohio State came into the Big Ten championship
with four victories against committee ranked teams (Cincinnati,
Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin) and then fell behind by two
touchdowns to the Badgers in Indianapolis before winning by 13.
"I don't know who's got a better resume, from
front to bottom," Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. "I think we
deserve to be No. 1 in the country.''
Ohio State has for most of the season been more
dominant and more balanced than LSU. A more complete team to use the
selection committee's lingo. LSU is looking pretty complete these
"Look, we'll play anybody anywhere," said
Burrow, who passed for 349 yards and four touchdowns against
Georgia. "You can take us to Canada, and we'll play on a gravel lot.
It doesn't matter where or who we play.";
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney will continue to
complain that his team is being overlooked. He probably has a point,
but the Tigers will likely finish the regular-season with no
victories against ranked team. That should relegate Clemson to No. 3
in the committee's eyes, which is bad news for No. 2. That early
season slump by Trevor Lawrence is long over. Since a shaky first
quarter against Louisville on Oct. 19, Lawrence has completed 75% of
his passes and accounted for 25 touchdowns and no turnovers.
The coaches and players will say they are just
happy to be in, and Oklahoma will certainly be no walkover, but
being No. 1 is a big deal. The top three teams, all unbeaten, are in
different class than the rest of the country..
Projecting the New Year's Six
Peach Bowl (semifinal) — No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4
Fiesta Bowl (semifinal) — No. 2 Ohio State vs.
No. 3 Clemson.
Rose Bowl — Wisconsin vs. Oregon.
Sugar Bowl — Georgia vs. Baylor.
Orange Bowl — Florida vs. Virginia.
Cotton Bowl — Memphis vs. Penn State.
The tweets came about 20 minutes apart.
First FAU proclaimed itself champion of
Conference USA, having blasted UAB at home in Boca Raton, Florida.
Then FAU announced a national search had begun for a new head
Lane Kiffin is headed to back to the
Southeastern Conference as head coach of Mississippi. The former
USC coach (and Tennessee coach. And Raiders coach. And Alabama
offensive coordinator) spent three seasons at FAU and guided the
Owls to two C-USA titles. None of this was surprising. News broke
about Kiffin and Ole Miss on Friday night.
Memphis was in the third quarter of its
American Athletic Conference championship game against Cincinnati
when the announcement was made by Florida State of a news conference
at noon Sunday to formally introduce its next head coach. That will
be Memphis' Mike Norvell. That news also started to leak Friday
Florida State refrained for making it official
while Norvell was still celebrating.
This is becoming a thing now.
Two seasons ago, news broke (though, again, it
was not particularly surprising news) at the very end of UCF's AAC
title game victory that then-coach Scott Frost was leaving the
Knights and headed to Nebraska.
With the signing period for high school
prospects just a few weeks after conference championship weekend,
schools making coaching changes can waste little time getting their
new guy in place..
The result is coaches barely have a chance to
take a picture with their championship trophies before being whisked
away to their new lives.
This does not seem ideal for anyone involved,
but unless the NCAA wants to ditch the early signing period —
something many coaches wanted (though maybe not in late December) —
there is really nothing that can be done to fix it.
Around the country: Expect the coaching
searches elsewhere to accelerate. Arkansas and Missouri are still
open in the SEC and there has been speculation that a few more
coaches whose teams played Saturday could get involved with those
jobs, specifically Boise State's Bryan Harsin and Appalachian
State's Eliah Drinkwitz. Maybe even Jim McElwain, the former Florida
coach who led a huge turnaround in his first season at Central
Michigan, though came up short in MAC title game. ... Boston College
could also fill up quickly after Ohio State gets past the Big Ten
championship. BC athletic director Martin Jarmond came from Ohio
State and could look to coach Ryan Day's staff to fill the Eagles'
vacancy. ... Jalen Hurts did not exactly make a Heisman statement in
the Big 12 championship game, though his numbers for the season
terrific. Receiver CeeDee Lamb is OU's best Heisman contender.
'Simplicity is genius': Joshua boxes smart to reclaim titless
Defending champion Andy Ruiz Jr., left, during his fight against
Britain's Anthony Joshua in their World Heavyweight Championship
contest at the Diriyah Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Nick Potts/PA
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Anthony
Joshua jumped up and down in the ring with his massive entourage,
celebrating being around $70 million richer and having three world
heavyweight belts back in his possession.
For the British boxing superstar, it was well
worth this controversial trip to Saudi Arabia.
In the first heavyweight title fight to be held
in the Middle East, Joshua toyed with an out-of-shape Andy Ruiz Jr.
over 12 unspectacular rounds to win a unanimous points decision,
reclaim the WBA, WBO and IBF belts, and avenge a stunning upset by
his Mexican-American opponent six months ago.
Joshua got his game plan spot on, using his
lighter frame to outmaneuver Ruiz, relying on his longer reach to
stay clear of trouble, and selecting his moments to go on the
In the final seconds of a bout fought in the
early hours of Sunday in a relatively cool 19 Celsius (66 F) for
this part of the world, Joshua was almost running around the ring
and Ruiz — exhausted and outfought — was planted in the middle,
urging him to come closer.
"Sometimes simplicity is genius. I was
outclassing the champion," Joshua said.
"I am used to knocking people out, but last
time I got hurt so I gave the man his credit. I said I would correct
Two judges gave the fight to the Briton
119-110, and the other awarded it to him 119-109.
Ruiz put on 15 pounds since the first fight to
weigh in at 283 pounds (128 kilograms), making him the second
heaviest boxer to fight for a world heavyweight title. He said he
hadn't prepared hard enough for the rematch and got "boxed around."
"The partying got the best of me," Ruiz said of
his brief time as champion, during which he also went on talk shows,
had an audience with the Mexican president and bought new cars for
himself and his parents.
"I didn't prepare how I should have. I gained
too much weight. I don't want to give excuses, he won ... If we do a
third fight, you best believe I'm going to get in shape. I'll be in
the best shape of my life."
Whether Joshua agrees to that remains to be
seen. There is no rematch clause this time round and Ruiz, short
with quick hands, is an awkward opponent.
Joshua proved he had another side to his boxing
skills other than a big punch. His career is back on track, for
sure, but his reputation might be sullied for other reasons.
The fight was played out to a backdrop of
concerns that Saudi Arabia was using this and other big sporting
events to divert attention from its human-rights violations. They
include the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year in the
Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Joshua has shrugged off concerns that he was
being used in what some, like human rights organization Amnesty
International, called a "sportswashing" exercise, and he thanked
Saudi Arabia for hosting the fight afterward.
Women who attended the fight at the outdoor,
purpose-built, 15,000-capacity Diriyah Arena did not appear to be
segregated, as they have been in sports stadiums in Saudi Arabia
since being allowed into them for the first time last year.
Indeed, it felt just like any other venue once
the action got underway, with a pro-Joshua crowd chanting the usual
repertoire of songs about their fighter and jeering Ruiz. To make
Joshua feel even more at home, there was a rare downpour of rain in
the desert just before the fight and at times during the afternoon..
Ruiz knocked down Joshua four times on the way
to a seventh-round win in New York in June that was regarded as one
of the biggest upsets in the history of heavyweight boxing.
There was none of that drama in the rematch,
with Ruiz rarely connecting cleanly with Joshua. When he did, it was
with punches to the back of the head that earned him a ticking-off
from the referee.
Ruiz finished the fight with blood across his
face, having been caught with a right hook by Joshua in the first
There were straight lefts from Joshua in the
fourth and ninth that rocked Ruiz back, and a right hook in the
fifth that also hurt the deposed champion.
"I just wanted to put on a great boxing
masterclass and also show the sweet science of this lovely sport.
It's about hitting and not getting hit," Joshua said.
"Sometimes with certain fighters you have to
box smarter. I understand what Andy brought to the table so I had to
decapitate him in a different way.";
Mourinho loses in Old Trafford return; Liverpool wins derby
Tottenham's manager Jose Mourinho, left, reacts as Manchester
United's Marcus Rashford, centre, and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez
challenge for the ball during the English Premier League soccer
match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old
Trafford in Manchester, England, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rui
Steve Douglas, AP
Jose Mourinho was standing on the edge of his
technical area near the halfway line when Manchester United
midfielder Daniel James came sliding off the field and clattered
head-first into the right knee of the Portuguese coach.
Mourinho just about stayed on his feet but
grimaced as he clutched his knee before hobbling away.
It was a rough return to Old Trafford for the
former United manager on Wednesday..
Two weeks into his time at Tottenham and
Mourinho has finally lost a game — and it just had to be against the
club that fired him a year ago.
United won 2-1 to end Tottenham's run of three
wins since the arrival of Mourinho, with Marcus Rashford scoring
both of the home team's goals and celebrating them maybe with a
little dig at his old manager.
"Doubters just spur me on," Rashford wrote on
Twitter after the match, potentially a reference to Mourinho who, in
one standout incident during his time at United, turned his back to
Rashford and folded his arms in disgust after the striker missed an
easy chance in a Champions League match against Young Boys in
November last year. Less than a month later, Mourinho was fired.
Tottenham, which slipped to eighth place and
behind United in the standings, has now conceded two goals in each
of the four games Mourinho has been in charge — a statistic that
must concern a coach who usually sets his teams up to defend
If Tottenham can't stop allowing goals,
Liverpool can't stop scoring them.
The unbeaten leaders netted four goals in the
first half and added a fifth late on in a 5-2 thrashing of Everton
in the Merseyside derby to stay eight points clear of Leicester,
which beat last-place Watford 2-0.
Liverpool scored five in a league game against
Everton at home for the first time since 1965, despite leaving out
two of the team's formidable attacking trio — Mohamed Salah and
Roberto Firmino — as well as captain Jordan Henderson.
Everton couldn't take advantage and slipped
into the relegation zone on another dark day for its under-pressure
manager Marco Silva, who might not stay in the job after this latest
loss given the manner of his team's defending at Anfield.
There were also wins for Chelsea and Wolves —
the teams in fourth and fifth place, respectively — while
Southampton beat Norwich in a match between relegation contenders.
Jürgen Klopp claimed his 100th Premier League
win in style on a night his decision to rotate his team was utterly
The first three goals were scored by Divock
Origi (2) and Xherdan Shaqiri, the players who replaced Firmino and
Salah in the starting lineup.
Sadio Mane added the fourth just before
halftime and Georginio Wijnaldum scored the fifth in the 90th minute
to pile more pressure on Silva, whose Everton team has lost nine of
its 15 league games.
"The type of mistakes we are making is because
the players are playing under big pressure because of the position
in the table," Silva said. "They are making some mistakes that are
not normal for the level we are."
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy scored for the
seventh straight game in the Premier League and is closing in on his
record of netting in 11 in a row, set in the team's improbable
title-winning season in 2015-16.
He set Leicester on its way against Watford by
converting a 55th-minute penalty before James Maddison added the
second goal in injury time.
With a club record-tying seventh straight
league win, Leicester climbed back in front of Manchester City,
which briefly moved into second with a 4-1 win at Burnley on
Abraham' scoring return
Tammy Abraham scored one goal and set up
another for Chelsea in a 2-1 win over Aston Villa on his return to
the team after a hip injury.
Without Abraham, Chelsea surprisingly lost 1-0
to home to West Ham at the weekend but it looked a more dangerous
team with the England striker.
Having headed Chelsea in front with his 11th
goal of the season, Abraham laid the ball off for Mason Mount to
power home a finish high into the net from the edge of the area to
give the hosts the lead again after Villa equalized through
Chelsea is fourth, three points behind Man
Wins for Wolves, Southampton
Wolverhampton Wanderers consolidated fifth
place and extended its unbeaten run in the Premier League to 10
matches with a 2-0 win over West Ham, whose manager Manuel
Pellegrini is back under pressure for his job. Leander Dendoncker
and Patrick Cutrone were the scorers for Wolves.
Southampton moved out of the relegation zone by
beating next-to-last Norwich 2-1. Danny Ings gave Southampton the
lead with his eighth goal of the season and Ryan Bertrand also
scored before Teemu Pukki's second-half reply for Norwich.
Nichushkin, Avalanche beat Maple Leafs 3-1
Colorado Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin (13) celebrates his
goal on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) during
the third period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 in
Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto (AP) — Valeri Nichushkin scored
a short-handed goal in the third period, lifting the Colorado
Avalanche to a 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday
Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist,
Joonas Donskoi also scored and Philipp Grubauer stopped 38 shots for
Zach Hyman scored for Toronto and Frederik
Andersen, starting on consecutive nights for the first time since
January 2017, had 27 saves.
With his team on the power play, Toronto center
Jason Spezza's stick shattered on a shot and as he tried to keep the
puck in with his feet at the blue line, he got caught up with
teammate Morgan Rielly. That allowed Nichushkin to move in all alone
and bury his third goal of the season upstairs at 6:40 to put
Colorado up 2-1.
Toronto, which had Mitch Marner back after he
missed 11 games with a high ankle sprain, pushed as the period wore
on and pressed late, but couldn't get anything past Grubauer with
Andersen on the bench before Donskoi iced it into an empty net with
79 seconds left.
Penguins 3, Blues 0
Pittsburgh (AP) — Stefan Noesen
celebrated his return to the NHL with his first goal of the season
and banged=up Pittsburgh handed St. Louis its first regulation loss
on the road since before Halloween.
Noesen, a five-year veteran who signed a
minor-league deal with the Penguins in the offseason, pounded home a
rebound off Jared McCann's shot with 39 seconds left in the second
period for his first goal since last March when he played for New
Teddy Blueger scored 39 seconds into the game
to give the Penguins the early lead and Alex Galchenyuk got his
second of the season early in the third period. Tristan Jarry
stopped 28 shots to post his third career shutout as.
Jordan Binnington finished with 30 saves for
St. Louis, but the Blues saw their 10-game road point streak end.
Senators 5, Oilers 2
Edmonton, Alberta (AP) — Tyler Ennis had
a goal and two assists to help Ottawa snap a five-game skid.
Artem Anisimov, Connor Brown, Anthony Duclair
and Vladislav Namestnikov also scored for the Senators. Craig
Anderson, returning from a lower-body injury, stopped 24 shots.
Jujhar Khaira and Oscar Klefbom had goals for
the Oilers, losers of three of their last four. Mikko Koskinen gave
up three goals on 12 shots before leaving in the second period. Mike
Smith finished with 11 saves.
Capitals 3, Kings 1
Los Angeles (AP) — John Carlson scored
twice, Ilya Samsonov stopped 22 shots and Washington beat Los
Tom Wilson also had a goal as the Capitals have
won five in a row for the second time this season. They won six
straight Oct. 25-Nov. 9.
Blake Lizotte had a goal and Jonathan Quick
made 19 saves for the Kings, who lost for the third time in their
past 10 home games.
Cochran-Siegle posts fastest time in super-G training runn
Cochran-Siegle, of the United States, moves down the course during
the men's World Cup super-G ski race in Lake Louise, Alberta,
Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
Beaver Creek, Colo. (AP) —
Ryan Cochran-Siegle of the United States posted the fastest time in
a super-G training run along the challenging Birds of Prey course.
Cochran-Siegle said he flowed with the terrain
as he finished in a time of 1 minute, 41.37 seconds Wednesday. He
led Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde by 0.24 seconds. Austrian
Matthias Mayer, who won a super-G race last weekend in Lake Louise,
Alberta, finished third in the training session.
The 27-year-old Cochran-Siegle is looking for
his first World Cup podium finish this weekend. It was the first
time he was credited with the top time in a World Cup training run.
He finished third during downhill training in Bormio, Italy, last
season, but on race day he didn't finish.
That's why he's not reading too much into being
on top of the leaderboard now.
"I just skied well today," Cochran-Siegle said.
"That's about it. Race day is a totally different ball game."
The super-G will be held Friday, downhill on
Saturday and giant slalom Sunday. Cochran-Siegle is slated to
compete in all three.
Cochran-Siegle hails from Vermont and is the
latest member of the "Skiing Cochrans" family to shine on the
slopes. His mother, Barbara Ann, won the slalom at the 1972
Antetokounmpo scores 35 points, Bucks win 13th straight
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis
Antetokounmpo (34) attempts a layup as Detroit Pistons guard Tony
Snell (17) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game,
Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Detroit (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo
scored 35 points to lift the Milwaukee Bucks to their 13th
consecutive victory, 127-103 over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday
The last time the Bucks had a longer winning
streak than this was when they won 16 in a row spanning the end of
the 1972-73 season and the beginning of 1973-74. They also had a
13-game run shortly after that 16-game streak ended.
Milwaukee had won its previous two games by 41
and 44 points, and the Pistons had won their previous two by 34 and
33. This one wasn't close, either. The Bucks have dominated Detroit
Milwaukee won all eight matchups with the
Pistons last season — four in the regular season and four in the
first round of the playoffs. The Bucks also beat Detroit last month
in their first meeting of 2019-20.
Andre Drummond had 23 points and 14 rebounds
Lakers 121, Jazz 96
Salt Lake City (AP) — Anthony Davis
scored 26 points, LeBron James had 20 points and 12 assists and Los
Angeles routed Utah.
Rajon Rondo added 14 points and a season-high
12 assists and season-high nine rebounds. Los Angeles cruised to an
easy victory, outscoring Utah 32-5 in fast-break points and totaling
21 points off 19 Jazz turnovers.
Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points and Bojan
Bogdanovic added 23 to lead Utah. The Jazz lost for the fifth time
in six games.
Mavericks 121, Timberwolves 114
Dallas (AP) — Dwight Powell had 24
points on 9-for-9 shooting from the field, Jalen Brunson ignited a
fourth-quarter rally with 14 of his 16 points in the period and
Dallas beat Minnesota.
Powell and Brunson both had season highs as the
Mavericks overcame a subpar outing by Luka Doncic to win for the
ninth time in 10 games. Doncic finished with 22 points, seven
rebounds and six assists after picking up a technical foul in the
third quarter and seeing his team rally with most of its starters on
Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins had 26
points apiece for Minnesota.
Celtics 112, Heat 93
Boston (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored a
season-high 31 points, Kemba Walker had 28 and Boston beat Miami to
improve to 8-0 at home.
Brown connected on a season-high five
3-pointers, and Walker had seven assists and four rebounds. Jayson
Tatum added 19 points
Jimmy Butler led Miami with a season-high 37
points and had six rebounds and four assists. Heat coach Erik
Spoelstra left the team in the morning, flying home to be with wife
Nikki for the birth of their second son. Assistant coach Dan Craig
ran the team.
Hornets 106, Warriors 91
Charlotte, N.C. (AP) — Devonte Graham
made 10 3-pointers and scored 33 points and Charlotte beat Golden
State to spoil D'Angelo Russell's return to the court.
Graham was 10 of 16 from beyond the arc and
also had nine assists and had seven rebounds. Backcourt mate Terry
Rozier added 25 points, seven assists and seven rebounds.
Russell finished with 18 points on 7-of-13
shooting in 25 minutes after missing the last nine games with a
right thumb sprain.
Nets 130, Hawks 118
Atlanta (AP) — Garrett Temple scored a
season-high 27 points, Spencer Dinwiddie had 18 of his 24 in the
second half and Brooklyn beat Atlanta.
Taurean Prince finished with 23 points against
his former team, and Jarrett Allen had 20 for the Nets, who were
coming off a three-point home loss Sunday to Miami but have won six
Kyrie Irving missed his 10th straight game with
a right shoulder impingement and did not make the two-game trip to
stay home and rehab.
Trae Young scored 39 points and rookie Cam
Reddish had a career-high 25 for Atlanta. The Hawks have lost 11 of
Trail Blazers 127, Kings 116
Portland, Ore. (AP) — CJ McCollum scored
33 points and Portland Trail Blazers pulled away in the final
quarter to beat the Sacramento Kings 127-116 on Wednesday night.
Hassan Whiteside added 22 points and 16
rebounds, as well as a career-high seven assists. Damian Lillard had
24 points and 10 assists in Portland's third straight home victory.
Carmelo Anthony finished with 20 points, his fourth game with 20 or
more in seven games with the Blazers.
Richaun Holmes had 28 points and 10 rebounds
for the Kings.
Magic 128, Suns 114
Orlando, Fla. (AP) — Aaron Gordon scored
a season-high 32 points, Terrence Ross had 22 and Orlando beat
Evan Fournier added 21 points, and Markelle
Fultz had 13 points, five assists and four rebounds for the Magic.
Frank Kaminsky led the Suns with 23 points and five rebounds, and
Devin Booker had 17 points and five assists.
Pacers 107, Thunder 100
Oklahoma City (AP) — T.J. Warren scored
24 points to help Indiana beat Oklahoma City.
Domantas Sabonis added 17 points and 13
rebounds for the Pacers. They have won seven of eight.
Steven Adams scored 20 points on 8-for-8
shooting and Danilo Gallinari and Dennis Schroder each added 18
points for the Thunder.
Bulls 106, Grizzlies 99
Chicago (AP) — Zach LaVine scored 25
points, Wendell Carter Jr. had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Chicago
held of Memphis.
Lauri Markkanen added 15 points for the Bulls.
Jonas Valanciunas had 32 points and 13 rebounds
Smoke haze provides added hazard at Australian Open
Australia's Adam Scott tees off on the
13th during the Australian Open Golf Pro-AM in Sydney, Wednesday,
Dec. 4, 2019. The Australian Open begins Thursday. (AP Photo/Rick
Sydney (AP) —
Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els and other players at this
week's Australian Open could have another course hazard to contend
with: smoke from nearby bushfires.
A temperature inversion which formed over
Sydney on Monday night trapped smoke in the region on Tuesday and
caused considerable haze during a practice round. Golf Australia
said it plans to increase on-site medical staff if the fire-driven
smog disrupts the tournament.
With a wind shift on Wednesday, the situation
had improved during the pro-am, but Golf Australia chief executive
Stephen Pitt said he was concerned with the potential for smoke
affecting the health of players.
"It was pretty bad yesterday, stinging eyes and
all that," Scott said after his pro-am round on Wednesday.
There were about 25 bush and grass fires
burning across New South Wales state, including a large one in the
Blue Mountains west of Sydney. A westerly wind on Tuesday moved a
lot of the smoke from that fire over Sydney.
While Pitt said he was confident the tournament
would proceed without any smoke delays, he said officials will
closely monitor the weather with children and elderly spectators
most susceptible to the threatening air quality.
"Firstly our issues with smoke at a golf
tournament pale into insignificance with the things that home owners
and property owners and people right around the country have dealt
with," Pitt said of the fires which have killed six people and
destroyed dozens of homes.
"So we're very aware of that fact and all our
sympathies and thoughts go to them because that's the real issue."
Pitt said it was a new type of threat for the
"It's something we've never had to give
consideration to before," he said. "We've had storms and rain and
hail and heat and cold and all those sort of things that are your
typical golf tournament issues. But this one is new and we have been
in constant contact with the Bureau of Meteorology."
Scott is among the International players for
next week's Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne playing this week in
Sydney for team captain Els. Also in Sydney for the first time in
his career is Louis Oosthuizen, the only South African player on the
Other International team players at The
Australian Golf Club this week are Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith,
defending champion Abraham Ancer and Taiwan's C.T. Pan.
The International team's only win over the
United States team was in 1998 when it was first held at Royal
"I think we all sort of feel Royal Melbourne is
the place we've got probably the best shot," Oosthuizen said. "We've
got a team that's really in form. We've got a young side coming
through. I think having an Aussie crowd behind us, playing Royal
Melbourne especially, I think it will be the best home course
advantage we can have."
Marchessault's hat trick leads Golden Knights past Devils
Newark, N.J. (AP) — Jonathan Marchessault
scored three straight goals in the third period to rally the Vegas
Golden Knights over New Jersey 4-3 Tuesday night, hours after the Devils
fired coach John Hynes.
Marchessault scored twice in the first 5:04 of the
third to give the Golden Knights a 3-2 lead. He added a power-play goal
midway through the period, and Vegas held on even after New Jersey's
Nico Hischier scored 20 seconds later.
Golden Knights center William Karlsson (71) congratulates center
Jonathan Marchessault (81) as goaltender Malcolm Subban (30) and right
wing Reilly Smith (19) try to avoid skating over hats thrown onto the
ice after Marchessault scored the third of his three goals during the
third period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils,
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, in Newark, N.J. The Golden Knights defeated the
Devils 4-3. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
The Golden Knights have won four straight to
improve to 15-11-4. Malcolm Subban had 32 saves, and Chandler Stephenson
scored in his first game since being acquired Monday from the Washington
Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 26 shots for the
Devils. Kyle Palmieri and Jesper Bratt also scored.
Hynes was fired Tuesday after a 9-13-4 start that
left the team in last place in the Metropolitan Division and with the
NHL's second worst record.
Flyers 6, Maple Leafs 1
Philadelphia (AP) — Claude Giroux scored the
go-ahead goal midway through the third period and Philadelphia had three
goals in the final 2:06 to get their fifth straight win.
Travis Konecny had a goal and an assist for
Philadelphia, which has earned points in seven straight games (6-0-1).
The Flyers had an NHL-best 24 points in November, going 10-2-4 to tie a
franchise record for most points in a month. Carter Hart finished with
Scott Laughton, Joel Farabee, Shayne Gostisbehere
and James van Riemsdyk also scored.
Travis Dermott scored for Toronto, which lost for
just the second time in six games since Sheldon Keefe replaced the fired
Mike Babcock as head coach on Nov. 20.
Canadiens 4, Islanders 2
Montreal (AP) — Phillip Danault, Brendan
Gallagher and Shea Weber each had a goal and an assist, and Montreal
beat New York to snap an eight-game losing streak.
Jeff Petry also scored and Carey Price stopped 21
shots to earn his 11th win of the season for Montreal, which ended an
Scott Mayfield and Matthew Barzal scored in the
third period for the Islanders, and Thomas Greiss finished with 36
Lightning 3, Predators 2, OT
Nashville, Tenn. (AP) — Nikita Kucherov
scored at 2:35 of overtime to give Tampa Bay a victory over Nashville.
Victor Hedman and Ondrej Palat also scored and
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 30 shots as the Lightning snapped a
Calle Jarnkrok and Kyle Turris had the goals for
Nashville, which has lost three of its last four. Pekka Rinne finished
with 28 saves.
Bruins 2, Hurricanes 0
Hurricanes' Brett Pesce (22) sends the puck past Boston Bruins' Anders
Bjork (10) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston,
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Boston (AP) — Charlie Coyle scored late in
the third period, Jaroslav Halak stopped 24 shots for his second shutout
of the season, and Boston beat Carolina for its eighth straight win.
David Krejci also scored for Boston, just 1:08
after Coyle got the Bruins on the scoreboard.
James Reimer finished with 32 saves for the
Jets 5, Stars 1
Winnipeg, Manitoba (AP) — Kyle Connor had a
goal and two assists, and Winnipeg handed Dallas its fourth straight
Nikolaj Ehlers, Josh Morrissey, Patrik Laine and
Mark Scheifele each had a goal and assist for Winnipeg, which is 4-1-0
in its past five games. Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves.
Miro Heiskanen scored for the Stars, who are 0-3-1
since ending a seven-game winning streak. Anton Khudobin stopped 25
Coyotes 4, Blue Jackets 2
Columbus, Ohio (AP) — Darcy Kuemper stopped
33 shots and Arizona beat Columbus behind goals by Clayton Keller,
Christian Fischer and Lawson Crouse.
Carl Soderberg had an empty-net goal and assisted
on two of the earlier goals.
Dean Kukan and Alexandre Texier scored and Joonas
Korpisalo had 24 saves for the Blue Jackets
Wild 4, Panthers 2
Sunrise, Fla. (AP) — Carson Soucy scored the
go-ahead goal early in the third period to lift Minnesota over Florida.
Luke Kunin, Mats Zuccarello and Jason Zucker also
scored as the Wild won their fourth straight game and earned a point for
the 10th straight game (7-0-3). Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 44 shots in his
second NHL start.
Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau scored for
the Panthers, who have lost four of their past five games. Chris
Driedger made 22 saves in his second straight start.
Capitals 5, Sharks 2
San Jose, Calif. (AP) — John Carlson had a
goal and two assists in the opening period to reach 40 points for the
season, Nick Hathaway and Jakub Vrana each scored twice and Washington
beat San Jose.
Carlson had a hand in all three Washington goals
during a span of 3:01 in the first period that put the Capitals in
control in the opener of their three-game California swing. He assisted
on the first goal of the game for both Hathaway and Vrana and then
scored his own, giving him nine goals and 31 assists through 29 games
Carlson joined Bobby Orr and Al MacInnis as the
only defensemen in the expansion era to reach 40 points in the first 30
games of a season.
Braden Holtby made 23 saves for Washington.
Melker Karlsson and Evander Kane scored for San
Jose. Martin Jones allowed five goals on 22 shots before being replaced
by Aaron Dell after two periods. San Jose lost for just the third time
in 14 games.
Canucks 5, Senators 2
Vancouver, British Columbia (AP) — Antoine
Roussel scored in his first game back after being sidelined for eight
months with an injury, and Vancouver beat Ottawa.
Zack MacEwen got his first NHL goal, and Tanner
Pearson, Elias Pettersson and Oscar Fantenberg also scored for
Vancouver, which won for just the fifth time in 15 games (5-8-2). Chris
Tanev and Adam Gaudette each had two assists and Thatcher Demko stopped
Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Tyler Ennis scored for the
Senators, who lost their fifth straight. Anders Nilsson gave up four
goals on 15 shots in the first period, and Marcus Hogberg finished with
13 saves the rest of the way.
Pats, Ravens, Seahawks simply need win to reach playoffs
England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, center, questions a call
during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in
Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
New England, Baltimore and Seattle have the
simplest NFL playoff scenarios going into Week 14: Win on Sunday and
The Patriots (10-2) can clinch their 11th straight
trip to the playoffs with a victory at home against AFC West-leading
Kansas City. The Chiefs (8-4) are in with a win and an Oakland loss.
New England reached the postseason in 16 of coach
Bill Belichick's first 19 seasons. The Patriots, a game ahead of Buffalo
in the AFC East, have several ways to get in with a tie this week.
The Ravens (10-2) have the edge on New England for
the AFC's top seed because of a win over the Patriots. Baltimore
clinches a playoff spot with a victory at Buffalo and wraps up the AFC
North with a win and a Pittsburgh loss or tie.
Baltimore and New England each have a far-fetched
scenario to get in with a loss.
The Bills (9-3), who have won three straight games,
need help to get in this week if they win.
The Seahawks and San Francisco are tied for the NFC
West lead at 10-2. Both will qualify with victories because Seattle is
playing the two-time defending division champion Los Angeles Rams. If
the Rams lose, the 49ers are in with a win or tie at New Orleans.
The NFC South champion Saints (10-2) are the only
team to clinch so far.
Butler, Heat win in OT to hand Raptors first home loss
forward Jimmy Butler (22) drives past Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell
during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, in
Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto (AP) — Jimmy Butler had 22 points, 13
rebounds and 12 assists, Duncan Robinson scored 22 points and the Miami Heat
spoiled Kyle Lowry's return to Toronto's lineup by beating the Raptors
121-110 in overtime Tuesday.
Butler scored eight consecutive points in 55 seconds to
begin the extra session as the Heat recovered after blowing a seven-point
lead in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter.
Bam Adebayo scored 18 points, Justise Winslow had 17
and Kelly Olynyk 16 as the Heat snapped the Raptors' season-high winning
streak at seven games, and became the first visitor to win north of the
border this season.
Pascal Siakam had 15 points and 12 rebounds, Norman
Powell scored 23 points and Fred VanVleet had 19 for Toronto, which had won
a franchise-record nine straight home games to begin the season.
The Raptors missed all nine of their field goal
attempts in overtime.
Spurs 135, Rockets 133, 2 OT
San Antonio (AP) — Lonnie Walker IV had a
career-high 28 points and San Antonio overcame James Harden's 50 points by
rallying from a late 10-point deficit to beat Houston.
DeMar DeRozan added 23 points, nine assists and five
rebounds as the Spurs won their second straight at home and snapped the
Rockets' two-game winning streak.
Harden played a season-high 49 minutes coming off a
60-point outing Saturday over three quarters against Atlanta. He was
whistled for two charges in the second overtime. The second came against
DeRozan with 0.8 seconds remaining, sealing San Antonio's victory.
Lakers 105, Nuggets 96
Denver (AP) — LeBron James had 25 points, nine
assists and a crucial dunk off a miss late in the fourth quarter to lead Los
Angeles over Denver.
Anthony Davis shook off flu-like symptoms to score 25
points and add 10 rebounds for the Lakers.
Both teams were coming off losses that ended long
winning streaks, but it was Los Angeles that bounced back behind James and
Davis missed the morning film session and his status
for the game was questionable until before tip. He showed no effects of
illness, scoring 13 points in the third while shooting 5 of 7 in the period.
Jamal Murray scored 22 points and Paul Millsap had 21
points and eight rebounds. Nikola Jokic was held to 13 points but added
Clippers 117, Trail Blazers 97
Los Angeles (AP) — Montrezl Harrell scored 26
points, Paul George added 25 and Los Angeles pulled away in the second half
to beat Portland.
Kawhi Leonard added 11 points in helping extend the
Clippers' franchise-best start at home to 13-1.
The game was tied 10 times in the first half before the
Clippers eked out a 62-59 lead at halftime.
George and Leonard took over to start the third. They
each hit 3-pointers and George had a steal and a dunk to go with a free
throw from Leonard as part of a 14-3 run that gave the Clippers a 76-62
CJ McCollum scored 20 points, Hassan Whiteside had 18
points and 13 rebounds, and Damian Lillard added 16 points on 5-of-15
shooting for the Blazers, whose three-game winning streak ended. Carmelo
Anthony had nine points and six rebounds.
Mavericks 118, Pelicans 97
New Orleans (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 15 of his
33 points in the third quarter and grabbed 18 rebounds in just 28 minutes to
power Dallas over New Orleans.
Doncic shot 9 of 18 from the field, making five
3-pointers, and hit 10 of 13 free throws to lead the Mavericks to their
eighth victory in the last nine games.
Doncic had 12 points the first quarter and then broke
open a three-point game by scoring 15 of the Mavericks' 25 points in the
final 9:18 of the third, when Dallas built a 84-75 lead. Two of Doncic's
jumpers came from at least 25 feet with no defender in his face.
Dallas led by as many as 18 points in the fourth
quarter and coasted home.
Seth Curry added 19 points off the bench for the
Mavericks, and Tim Hardaway Jr. and Maxi Kleber each had 12.
Brandon Ingram scored 24 points and Jrue Holiday had 18
for New Orleans, which lost its sixth consecutive game.
Magic 127, Wizards 120
Washington (AP) — Evan Fournier scored 31
points, D.J. Augustin added 16 of his 24 in the fourth quarter and Orlando
Bradley Beal scored 42 points for the Wizards, who have
lost five of six.
Markelle Fultz added a career-high 20 points for the
Magic, who have won three of four after earning just their second road
victory of the season.
Davis Bertans added 21 points and Isaiah Thomas scored
20 for Washington. The Wizards were without starting center Thomas Bryant,
who was diagnosed with a stress reaction in his right foot Tuesday and will
be re-evaluated in three weeks.
Pistons 127, Cavaliers 94
Cleveland (AP) — Blake Griffin scored 24 points,
Andre Drummond had 17 points and 14 rebounds, and Detroit routed Cleveland
to win consecutive games for the first time this season.
Griffin played just 24 minutes and was 8 of 13 from the
field, including 6 of 7 from deep. Drummond played 31 minutes as Detroit's
starters were on the bench for the fourth quarter.
Griffin scored 16 points in the first quarter with four
3-pointers. Detroit hit 10 3-pointers in the first half and built a 57-38
lead, a margin that steadily grew throughout the game and reached 35 in the
Cleveland has lost 10 of 11. Collin Sexton scored 22
points, and Tristan Thompson had 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Seahawks take over 1st place in NFC West, beat Vikings 37-30
Minnesota Vikings' Kyle Rudolph reaches to catch a pass for a touchdown
as Seattle Seahawks' K.J. Wright (50) reaches toward him during the
second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, in Seattle.
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Minnesota Vikings' Kyle Rudolph reaches to catch a pass for a touchdown
as Seattle Seahawks' K.J. Wright (50) reaches toward him during the
second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, in Seattle.
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seattle (AP) — By the time the playoffs
arrive, the Seattle Seahawks are going to feel just fine in a close,
Even when they're comfortably ahead, the Seahawks
have a way of making the final minutes more than a little unnerving.
"Close games are cool, aren't they? I like them,"
Seattle coach Pete Carroll joked. "Maybe the 17 points was too much.
Maybe we shouldn't have been ahead by that much."
Thanks to the combo of Rashaad Penny and Chris
Carson, and one big strike from Russell Wilson, the Seahawks built a big
second-half lead before holding off the Minnesota Vikings for a 37-30
win Monday night.
Penny scored one touchdown rushing and one
receiving, and Wilson hit David Moore on a 60-yard touchdown pass as the
Seahawks scored 24 straight points to take control before needing to
hold on late as the Vikings tried to rally.
Seattle (10-2) moved into a tie with San Francisco
atop of the NFC West but holds the tiebreaker. The Seahawks have the
inside track to the division title with four games left.
"Just couldn't be more excited to have that kind of
win and put us at 10 wins, that's a nice spot for this time," Carroll
said. "We kick it into the fourth quarter and now it's finish time."
Minnesota (8-4) fell a game behind Green Bay in the
NFC North and is only one game ahead of the Los Angeles Rams in the
wild-card race. They lost star running back Dalvin Cook to a shoulder
injury when he fumbled midway through the third quarter in what became a
major turning point.
Cook said he believes he should be able to play
next week and took responsibility for the fumble.
"Everybody acts like this is the end of the world,
we lost one game tonight," Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said. "We're 8-4
we have four games left, three division games. This isn't the end of the
world, we still have a lot of good football left to play."
Wilson wasn't great, but he came up with key plays
as Seattle won its fifth straight. He had a forgettable first-half
moment trying to bat down a deflected pass only to watch Anthony Harris
intercept the ball and return it for a touchdown. Wilson was 21 of 31
for 240 yards.
The key was the running of Penny and Chris Carson.
Seattle rushed for 218 yards, the most allowed by Minnesota this season.
Carson had 102, including a 1-yard TD. Penny added 74. The Vikings were
giving up just 94 yards per game rushing.
"Our running game has been a staple of our offense.
That's our foundation and both of those guys are amazing backs. They're
really coming on," Seattle offensive lineman Duane Brown said.
Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins was 22 of 38 for
276 yards but couldn't connect with Irv Smith Jr. on fourth-and-3 at the
Vikings 42 with 2:31 left. Jason Myers' 36-yard field goal with 21
seconds left provided the final margin for Seattle.
"I think we have a football team that can go on the
road in a tough environment and get a win. I think this is an
opportunity we missed. It's disappointing," Cousins said.
It was a wild second half featuring 40 combined
points and four key turnovers — three by Minnesota.
Seattle pulled even at 17 on Penny's 1-yard TD run.
On Minnesota's first play of the next possession, Cook was stripped by
Rasheem Green, and Bradley McDougald recovered. It was the first of two
critical turnovers that led to 10 points for Seattle.
The Seahawks were held to a field goal following
Cook's fumble but took a 27-17 lead on their next possession when Moore
ran free through the Vikings secondary and Wilson hit him in stride.
Minnesota cornerback Xavier Rhodes appeared to think he had safety help
over the top, but no one was there as Moore sprinted for his second TD
catch of the season on the next-to-last play of the third quarter.
The first play of the fourth quarter was
forgettable for the Vikings as well. Cousins' pass for Stefon Diggs was
intercepted by Tre Flowers, who may have gotten away with pass
interference, but deflected the pass and made a juggling interception at
the Minnesota 25. Three plays later, Wilson found Penny on a screen pass
and Seattle had a 17-point lead.
Minnesota's rally started with Seattle's own blown
coverage as Cousins hit Laquon Treadwell for a 58-yard TD. Seattle
seemed poised to add on, helped by a fake punt that Travis Homer took
for 29 yards, but DK Metcalf fumbled and the Vikings recovered at their
28 with 9:34 left.
It took barely 2 minutes for Minnesota to pull
within 34-30 as Cousins connected with Kyle Rudolph for a 3-yard
touchdown and another brilliant one-handed catch by the Vikings' tight
end. But that was as close as Minnesota would get.
"We're in control and that's a great thing. We like
having that," Wilson said.
Vikings: Return home to host Detroit on Sunday.
Seahawks: Travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams on
New Zealand draws 2nd test vs. England, wins series 1-0
Zealand's Kane Williamson bats during play on the final day of the
second cricket test between England and New Zealand at Seddon Park in
Hamilton, New Zealand, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Zealand players pose for a team photo with the trophy following play on
the final day of the second cricket test between England and New Zealand
at Seddon Park in Hamilton, New Zealand, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. New
Zealand won the series one nil after rain ended the game early. (AP
Hamilton, New Zealand (AP) —
Kane Williamson posted his 21st test century and Ross Taylor his 19th in
a record partnership which ensured New Zealand drew the second cricket
test against England and secured a 1-0 win in the two-match series.
New Zealand's most successful test batting stymied
the tourists attack until shortly after lunch Tuesday when rain began to
fall and washed out the last two sessions.
By that stage Williamson, who was 104 not out, and
Taylor, 105 not out, likely had already done enough to save the match.
Their unbroken 213-run partnership — New Zealand's best for the third
wicket against England — had steered the home team to 241-2, a lead of
140 after it had started its second innings 101 runs behind England.
Both reached their centuries in the short passage
of play — about 17 minutes — between lunch and the rain.
Williamson brought up his from 230 balls in just
over five hours and with 11 boundaries.
Taylor did so, more spectacularly, with a six off
the bowling of England captain Joe Root, from 184 balls, in 274 minutes
with 11 fours and two sixes. At 83 he became, in his 96th test, only the
second New Zealander after Stephen Fleming (7,172) to surpass 7,000 runs
"It was a great fighting effort over the last
couple of weeks," Williamson said. "We know what a great unit the
England side is and to lose both tosses and show that fight that we
demand of ourselves as a unit was really pleasing."
Root must have known at the start of the day that
his team's chances of achieving a win to tie the series was slight at
best. New Zealand was already 96-2, just six runs behind, and the real
threat of rain that hung over the day meant time wasn't on his side.
England needed early wickets and a vital break
through literally slipped through its hands when Joe Denly dropped
Williamson from the bowling of Jofra Archer when the New Zealand captain
was 64 and the score was 154, a lead of 53.
Williamson ballooned a catch to Denly at short
mid-wicket, probably the easiest chance he will ever receive, and the
fieldsman had two grabs at the ball before putting it down.
As Taylor and Williamson ground on relentlessly
through the lunch break and as storm clouds crept up on Seddon Park,
Root saw his team's chances dissolve.
"It was a shame about the rain today," Root said.
"It was a shame about losing sessions earlier in the match. We felt if
we didn't lose those the pitch might deteriorate slightly quicker and
might have done a little more for us coming into this last day."
Root had done everything in his power to give his
team a winning chance. His 226 in England's only innings, his third
double-century in tests and his first as captain, lifted his team, along
with Rory Burns' 101 and Ollie Pope's 75, to 476 in reply to New
With New Zealand 28-2 in its second innings late on
the fourth day, Root must have felt some confidence in England's
But Williamson and Taylor stood in his way and
proved an impassable roadblock.
England now heads to South Africa for a challenging
four-test series. With its performance in Hamilton its confidence will
be higher than after its first test defeat which came hard on the heels
of is Ashes defeat at home.
"I think we've learned a lot as a group," Root
said. "We learned about people in these conditions, how they go about
different situations, how they react to it and what their characters
"There's been a lot of information and we need to
take that forward, carry the lessons we learned here into South Africa."
New Zealand also will take some confidence into its
impending three-test series against Australia, though it meets an
Australian team in exceptional form after its recent 2-0 series win over
The New Zealanders have no warm-up games before
their first test against Australia, a day-night match at Perth, starting
Dec. 12 and have to overcome the fact that none of its current 15-strong
squad has played a test in Perth, Melbourne or Sydney.
Hawks top Warriors in matchup of teams with worst records
Hawks guard DeAndre' Bembry (95) shoots as Golden State Warriors forward
Kevon Looney (5) defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday,
Dec. 2, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Atlanta (AP) — Trae Young scored 24 points,
rookie De'Andre Hunter added 18 and the Atlanta Hawks snapped a 10-game
losing streak with a 104-79 win over the Golden State Warriors on Monday
night in a matchup of teams with the worst records in the NBA.
The Warriors (4-18) finished with a season low in
points (4-18). It was the lowest point total allowed by the Hawks (5-16).
Golden State dressed just nine players, even with
center Kevon Looney returning to action after missing 19 games with a nerve
Rookie Eric Paschall led Golden State with 24 points,
but his teammates combined to shoot 24 of 72, and the Warriors were slowed
by 25 turnovers, which the Hawks converted into 25 points. The Warriors were
missing Draymond Green, DeAngelo Russell and Stephen Curry, among others.
Hunter scored 13 of his 18 points in the first half. He
left the game midway through the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a
76ers 103, Jazz 94
Philadelphia (AP) — Tobias Harris scored 26
points and Philadelphia beat Utah for its eighth win in nine games and 10th
straight at home.
Al Horford had five baskets in the first quarter for 12
of his 17 points. James Ennis III finished with eight points.
Rudy Gobert scored 27 points for the Jazz, who trailed
by 40 points to Toronto a night earlier and faced an 18-point deficit
against Philadelphia at the break.
Philadelphia's Joel Embiid had another off night,
scoring 16 points on 5-for-13 shooting.
Suns 109, Hornets 104
Charlotte, N.C. (AP) — Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 23
points, including two clutch 3-pointers in the final minute that lifted
Phoenix over Charlotte.
Devin Booker added 23 points and Dario Saric had 16
points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who snapped a three-game skid.
Marvin Williams led the Hornets with a season-high 22
points and Devonte Graham had 15 points and 12 assists.
The Suns led by 20 at the break, but squandered that
lead and trailed by five in the final minute. That's when Oubre knocked down
back-to-back 3s to put the Suns ahead with 19.8 seconds left.
Bucks 132, Knicks 88
Milwaukee (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo needed
only 14 minutes to record another double-double, finishing with 29 points
and 15 rebounds as Milwaukee won its 12th straight game.
The Bucks (18-3) led by as many as 47 and cruised
The reigning MVP shot 10 of 14 from the field,
including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, while playing 22 minutes.
Milwaukee's winning streak is the longest in the NBA
this season and the franchise's longest since the 1981-82 season.
D.J. Wilson added a career-high 19 points, Khris
Middleton had 16 and George Hill 14 for the Bucks, who improved to 9-1 at
Julius Randle paced New York with 19 points and Damyean
Dotson had 15.
Pacers 117, Grizzlies 104
Memphis, Tenn. (AP) — Malcolm Brogdon scored 19
points, Domantas Sabonis added 18 and Indiana beat depleted Memphis.
Seven players scored in double figures for the balanced
Pacers, including Myles Turner with 17 points. Jeremy Lamb and Justin
Holiday had 15 apiece, with Holiday missing only one of his six 3-point
Jaren Jackson Jr. led Memphis with a season-high 31
points. Solomon Hill moved into the starting lineup and added 22, also a
season best. Dillon Brooks finished with 19 on 7-of-16 shooting.
The Grizzlies were short-handed as five players — all
key parts of the rotation — sat out with various ailments. That left
reserves to try and play with any kind of rhythm.
Bulls 113, Kings 106
Sacramento, Calif. (AP) — Zach LaVine scored 28
points and made four free throws in the final 11 seconds, and Chicago
overcame a sloppy fourth quarter to beat Sacramento.
Lauri Markkanen had 20 points and seven rebounds,
Wendell Carter added 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Tomas Satoransky scored
14 points as Chicago snapped a three-game losing streak.
Buddy Hield finished with 26 points for Sacramento.
Richaun Holmes added 20 points and nine rebounds.
Allen gets shutout, Blues blank short-handed Blackhawks 4-0
Louis Blues' Mackenzie MacEachern (28) watches his shot score past
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford as Calvin de Haan watches
during the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, in
Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Chicago (AP) — Jake Allen made 38 saves,
Brayden Schenn scored his team-leading 14th goal and the St. Louis Blues
beat the short-handed Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 on Monday night for their
fourth consecutive victory.
Jaden Schwartz, Tyler Bozak and Mackenzie
MacEachern also scored for St. Louis, which improved to 13-3-3 since
star forward Vladimir Tarasenko was sidelined by a left shoulder injury
that required surgery.
It was Allen's first shutout of the season and No.
20 for his career, matching Jaroslav Halak for second on the franchise
list. Brian Elliott leads the way with 25.
Chicago lost for the sixth time in seven games
since a four-game win streak.
The last-place Blackhawks played a man short
because of injuries and the salary cap, going with 11 forwards and six
Islanders 4, Red Wings 1
Detroit (AP) — Jordan Eberle scored two
goals and Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves as New York handed Detroit its
10th straight defeat.
Anders Lee and Anthony Beauvillier also scored for
the Islanders, who were outshot 31-25 but never trailed.
Dylan Larkin had the only goal for the Red Wings.
Golden Knights 4, Rangers 1
New York (AP) — Alex Tuch scored twice in
the first four minutes and Vegas went on to a win over New York.
Reilly Smith and Max Pacioretty also scored to help
the Golden Knights get their first three-game winning streak of the
season. Malcolm Subban stopped 29 shots as Vegas improved to 5-2-1 after
a season-high five-game skid (0-4-1).
Brendan Lemieux scored and Henrik Lundqvist
finished with 28 saves for the Rangers, who were 4-0-1 in their previous
The Rangers went 0 for 6 on the power play against
a Vegas team that came in tied for fifth in penalty-killing.
Subban got the start while Marc-Andre Fleury is
away from the team following his father's death.
Sabres 7, Devils 1
Buffalo, N.Y. (AP) — Jack Eichel had a goal
and two assists, and Buffalo used a five-goal first period to beat New
Eichel scored 2:46 into the game, and Conor Sheary
scored twice during the first 20 minutes. Jeff Skinner and Rasmus
Asplund also had goals in the first, and Victor Olofsson and Henri
Jokiharju scored in the second. Linus Ullmark made 44 saves for the
Louis Domingue was pulled after allowing five goals
on 15 shots. He was replaced by Mackenzie Blackwood, who made 15 saves.
The Sabres blew out New Jersey while celebrating
the 50th anniversary of the birth of the franchise. Buffalo was awarded
an expansion team on Dec. 2, 1969.
Ducks 4, Kings 2
Anaheim, Calif. (AP) — Derek Grant scored
two goals, Ryan Miller made 34 saves and Anaheim beat Los Angeles in the
first Freeway Faceoff rivalry game of the season.
Jakob Silfverberg scored his team-leading 10th
goal, Hampus Lindholm had three assists, and Carter Rowney had a goal
and an assist as the Ducks won for just the third time in 13 games.
Anaheim hung on through a tense third period with a
few big saves from Miller, who filled in for the ailing John Gibson,
before Grant scored an empty-net goal from center ice with 38 seconds
Kurtis MacDermid and rookie Nikolai Prokhorkin
scored for the last-place Kings, who have lost four of six after a
previous run of solid play. Jack Campbell stopped 16 shots.
Leicester late winner vs Everton; Ljungberg starts with draw
London (AP) — Leicester continued another
improbable Premier League title run with a last-gasp 2-1 win over
Everton on Sunday, while Arsenal great Freddie Ljungberg couldn't end
the Gunners' winless streak in his first game as interim manager.
Kelechi Iheanacho's 94th-minute winner completed a
comeback victory for second-place Leicester, which is eight points off
league leader Liverpool and three ahead of Manchester City.
Leicester fans got another boost as manager Brendan
Rodgers appeared to brush off speculation linking him to the vacant
"Yes, very much so," he told BBC radio when asked
if he wanted to stay. "I'm at a great club. I absolutely love it here."
Earlier, Ljungberg got off to a rocky start as a
double from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang salvaged a 2-2 draw for Arsenal at
Arsenal's first game since the firing of Unai Emery
as coach extended its winless run to an eighth match in all
Manchester United is another big club struggling
this season, and that continued in a home 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.
Foxes on prowl
Leicester City players celebrate after Leicester's Kelechi Iheanacho
scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer
match between Leicester City and Everton at the King Power Stadium in
Leicester, England, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Leicester didn't play like title contenders for
most of its game against Everton, but got the result when it mattered.
Everton led until the 68th minute thanks to
Richarlison's goal, before Jamie Vardy — part of Leicester's 2016
title-winning team — leveled for the hosts with help from Iheanacho.
Iheanacho scored deep into added time off a pass by
Ricardo Pereira. Offside was given, but the video assistant referee
system allowed the goal.
"I've been waiting for this opportunity and I knew
one day it was going to come so I've been working hard in training every
day to make sure I keep up to this standard," Iheanacho said. "So I'm
happy today - getting a goal and assisting Jamie."
Instead of a morale-boosting win over a team second
from last in the Premier League, Arsenal had to come from behind twice
just to draw.
Norwich snatched the lead in the 21st minute with
Teemu Pukki's deflected shot.
Arsenal seemed to have wasted a chance to level
when Aubameyang's penalty — awarded for handball by Norwich's Christoph
Zimmermann — was saved by Tim Krul. But VAR caught Max Aarons
encroaching on the penalty area as the kick was taken, and Aubameyang
scored at the second attempt.
Arsenal went into the interval 2-1 down when Todd
Cantwell scored in first-half stoppage time off a pass from Onel
Hernandez. Cantwell has made a habit of scoring against bigger clubs,
with three of his four Premier League goals this season coming against
Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City.
Aubameyang leveled the game for a second time when
he scored on a rebound in the 57th. Norwich nearly took the lead again
soon after but Cantwell hit the post.
Manchester United's Juan Mata, right, in action during the English
Premier League soccer match against Aston Villa at Old Trafford,
Manchester, England, Sunday Dec. 1, 2019. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)
Even by the standards of recent Manchester United
seasons, this one is looking disappointing.
United failed to find a cutting edge in its draw
with Aston Villa, whose defender Tyrone Mings played a vital role with a
Villa also displayed a style United lacked,
typified by Jack Grealish's excellent top-corner finish for the opening
goal and Mings' volley to make it 2-2.
United's first goal was a header from Marcus
Rashford that went in off the post and goalkeeper Tom Heaton, who was
unfortunate to be credited with the own goal.
United is ninth and has won just two of its last
nine games in the Premier League.
"We have had the lead in so many games and we
haven't been able to win those games. Six or seven times we've been 1-0
up, or 2-1 or 3-2 like last week," was United manager Ole Gunnar
"We should be better at seeing those games into
Lys Mousset continued his run of good form with his
fourth goal in six Premier League games but it wasn't enough to give
Sheffield United the win in a 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
French forward Mousset needed just two minutes to
score from a cross by George Baldock, but Wolves leveled through Matt
Doherty in the 64th.
Wolves are unbeaten in six games in all
competitions and nine in the Premier League, while Sheffield United
hasn't lost in seven games in all competitions and remains unbeaten on
the road. Both teams have impressed this season with sixth-place Wolves
immediately above Sheffield United.
United's Jack O'Connell, left, and Wolverhampton Wanderers's Raul
Jimenez battle for the ball during the English Premier League soccer
match at Molineux, Wolverhampton, England, Sunday Dec. 1, 2019. (Bradley
Collyer/PA via AP)
Hamilton seals easy 11th victory of F1 championship season
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (AP) — World
champion Lewis Hamilton's 11th victory of another dominant season proved
so easy that the driver who finished way back in second place at the Abu
Dhabi Grand Prix joked that he should have eased up a bit.
Hamilton's 84th career win saw him finishing around
17 seconds clear of Max Verstappen. The Red Bull driver had started from
second place behind Hamilton.
"I wasn't expecting to have the pace advantage to
that extent," Hamilton said.
After Hamilton pulled clear from pole, he was five
seconds ahead within 10 laps and Verstappen never got remotely close to
catching his Mercedes in a season-finale resembling more of a coronation
procession for the six-time Formula One champion.
"I do wish we had some battles," Hamilton said to
Verstappen, sitting alongside him in the post-race news conference.
"You could have slowed down," Verstappen joked,
after his ninth podium of the season saw him consolidate third place in
the standings behind the Mercedes pair of Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates on the podium after
wining the Emirates Formula One Grand Prix, at the Yas Marina racetrack
in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Dec.1, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca
Although Verstappen had reliability issues
approaching the midway point of the 55-lap race, the 22-year-old
Dutchman conceded it had little impact on who won.
"We drove around the problem," he said. "But it
wouldn't have made any difference today (in terms) of winning the race."
Hamilton is now just seven wins behind seven-time
F1 champion Michael Schumacher's all-time record of 91, and could
realistically overtake the F1 great next season.
After clinching a record-extending 88th career
pole, Hamilton won on the Yas Marina circuit for the fifth time in his
career— four with Mercedes and once when driving for McLaren in 2011.
This was the opposite of the season-ending thriller
in 2016, when former Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg beat Hamilton to the
title in dramatic fashion.
The fans watching as the sky darkened and the
floodlights flickered on saw no overtaking, except for Verstappen's
clean move on Charles Leclerc's Ferrari on Lap 33. It was typical
Verstappen, already a young master at overtaking and arguably the best
Leclerc finished third for a 10th podium in a
strong first season with Ferrari, which included an F1-leading seven
poles — two more than Hamilton and Bottas — and two wins.
However, Ferrari was summoned for a post-race
investigation because there was a difference between the amount of fuel
in the car declared by the team and the amount inside the car.
Ferrari was found to have inaccurately declared the
amount and fined 50,000 euros ($55,000), but no action was taken against
Leclerc only just held off Bottas, who climbed 16
places to fourth after starting last.
Sebastian Vettel started fourth and finished fifth
in a disappointing end to a season where the four-time F1 champion won
only once — in Singapore — out of 21 races.
Hamilton finished with 413 points with Bottas on
326, followed by Verstappen (278), Leclerc (264) and Vettel (240).
After Hamilton's clean getaway, Verstappen was
overtaken by Leclerc and just held off Vettel on the first lap, which
saw Pierre Gasly's Toro Rosso sandwiched between both Racing Point cars
and forced to pit for a new front wing.
Ferrari pitted both drivers for new tires on the
13th lap, but while Leclerc's tire switch was relatively good, Vettel's
took several seconds too long because the mechanics struggled to fit his
front left tire on.
It was the latest basic mistake from Ferrari in yet
another season marred by errors following similar blunders in the past
Ferrari replaced Maurizio Arrivabene with Mattia
Binotto as team principal, but Binotto has not managed to stem the flow
Leclerc finished fourth in the standings and Vettel
was a lowly fifth.
"We didn't have the year we were hoping for, full
stop. The reasons are clear, the lessons are clear and it's up to us to
take them on board," said Vettel. "As a team we must perform stronger,
and as an individual I can do better."
Although dull, Sunday's race underlined the
superiority shown by Hamilton for much of the year.
When he pitted about halfway through the race, such
was his comfort zone that he still came out six seconds clear of Leclerc,
while an anxious Verstappen complained about engine, braking and
Still, the audacious Dutchman found some extra
speed to overtake Leclerc and assuredly held the Monegasque driver off
as he tried to overtake him back down the right.
Ferrari pitted both drivers simultaneously again on
Lap 39, and this time the tire changes were both fairly smooth.
Leclerc finished a massive 43 seconds behind
Hamilton but had built up just enough of a lead to hold off Bottas by .9
"Valtteri was very quick towards the end," Leclerc
said. "I was pretty worried at one point."
driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain leads on Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc
of Monaco during the Emirates Formula One Grand Prix, at the Yas Marina
racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Dec.1, 2019. (AP
Jackson, Ravens beat 49ers 20-17 to extend win streak to 8
Baltimore (AP) — Neither rain, wind nor the
San Francisco 49ers' top-ranked defense could prevent Lamar Jackson from
guiding the Baltimore Ravens to their franchise-record eighth straight
Jackson weathered miserable conditions to run for
101 yards and Justin Tucker kicked a tiebreaking 49-yard field goal as
time expired to give the Ravens a 20-17 victory Sunday in a possible
Super Bowl preview.
The combination of driving rain, a stiff wind and
San Francisco's rugged defense was difficult for Jackson to handle. He
completed only 14 of 23 passes for 105 yards and lost a fumble.
Asked afterward to describe the weather, Jackson
bowed his head, lifted it slowly and peeked over the podium to declare,
Certainly, not the kind of weather that benefited
the passing game.
"Oh, man. I was throwing passes behind my
receivers. It was ticking me off," Jackson said. "A lot of passes
getting away from me. The weather, it messed with me a lot."
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) flips after being tripped
by San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (23) in the first
half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Baltimore, Md.
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
But the double-threat quarterback was solid when it
counted. Not only did Jackson fuel the NFL's top-ranked rushing attack,
but he directed a clutch drive that lasted nearly 6˝ minutes before
Tucker ended it with a kick that tore through the raindrops and between
Jackson knew that after he had done his job, Tucker
would do his part.
"That golden leg. I got all the faith in him,"
Jackson said. "I'm on the sideline praying, but at the same time I know
Tucker can do it."
Tucker, the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL
history, now has 15 game-winners over an eight-year career.
"That's the guy you want in that situation," coach
John Harbaugh said.
Baltimore (10-2) improved to 16-3 with Jackson as a
starter and 12-0 when he rushes for at least 70 yards. In addition,
Jackson became the first quarterback in NFL history to have four
100-yard rushing games in a season.
Raheem Mostert ran for a career-high 146 yards and
a touchdown for the 49ers (10-2), now tied with New Orleans for the best
record in the NFC.
"We had every chance to win that game. Came up a
little bit short there at the end," coach Kyle Shanahan said. "Credit to
them. Hopefully, we can earn an opportunity to maybe get the chance to
play them some other time again."
Jimmy Garoppolo went 15 of 21 for 165 yards for San
Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looks to pass the ball
during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore
Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Baltimore, Md. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Jackson lost a fumble for the first time this
season when Marcell Harris yanked the wet ball from his grasp at the San
Francisco 20 in the third quarter.
The 49ers subsequently got a game-tying 32-yard
field goal from Robbie Gould, who missed the previous three games with a
In the fourth quarter, both teams failed to convert
on fourth down before the Ravens faced a fourth-and-1 from their 44 with
4:39 left. Jackson ran off right guard for 3 yards to extend the drive.
A 12-yard pass to tight end Mark Andrews gave
Baltimore a first down at the San Francisco 39, and the Ravens soon
summoned Tucker to end it.
Mostert ran for 89 yards before halftime —
surpassing his previous career high in a game — but Gould missed a
51-yard field-goal attempt as time expired in a second quarter that
ended with the Ravens ahead 17-14.
A 33-yard touchdown pass from Garoppolo to Deebo
Samuel concluded San Francisco's first drive and made the 49ers the
first team to score in the first quarter against Baltimore since the
Bengals on Oct. 13.
It was also the first time the Ravens trailed since
the second quarter of their game at Seattle on Oct. 20.
Baltimore tied it with a 20-yard pass from Jackson
to Andrews after Garoppolo lost the ball while being sacked. It was the
Ravens' 48th touchdown of the season, breaking the franchise mark set by
the 2009 team.
Jackson scored on a 1-yard run before the 49ers
pulled even on Mostert's 40-yard sprint to the end zone.
But San Francisco managed only 119 yards and three
points after halftime.
"On offense, we were beating ourselves," Mostert
insisted. "It's not like they were beating us down. … We just got to
keep our heads up."
San Francisco faces New Orleans on the road, the
49ers' third straight game against a first-place team.
Baltimore travels to Buffalo for a matchup with the
Bills, who beat Dallas on Thanksgiving and have the inside track on an
AFC wild-card berth with a 9-3 record.
Backes, Pastrnak lead Bruins past Canadiens 3-1
Boston (AP) — David Backes scored the
deciding goal in his first game in nearly a month, David Pastrnak added
his league-leading 25th goal, and the Boston Bruins won their seventh
straight game, beating the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 Sunday night.
Backes' first goal of the season came off a feed
from David Krejci through the right circle, with 9:31 remaining in the
Bruins' David Pastrnak goes around Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea
Weber during the second period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Dec. 1,
2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Backes was in the lineup for the first time since
being injured during a scary collision with Ottawa's Scott Sabourin on
Jake DeBrusk added his sixth goal of the year on a
give-and-go with Charlie Coyle two minutes later.
Tuukka Rask made 28 saves for the Bruins.
Boston extended its point streak to 11 games
(8-0-3) and entered the third month of the season as the only team
without a home regulation loss (11-0-4).
Joel Armia scored, and Carey Price had 31 saves for
Montreal. The Canadiens extended their season-high losing streak to
Wild 3, Stars 2, SO
St. Paul, Minn. (AP) — Mikko Koivu scored
the shootout winner in his 1,000th career game and reached 700th career
points with a second-period assist in Minnesota's win over Dallas.
Koivu, playing his 15th season with the Wild, beat
Ben Bishop with his trademark move, a backhand over the goalie's left
shoulder. Then Alex Stalock, who made 26 saves, stuffed Corey Perry to
seal the victory.
Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist and Zach
Parise also scored for the Wild. Both also scored in the first three
rounds of the shootout, but Joe Pavelski and Tyler Seguin countered for
Blake Comeau and John Klingberg scored for Dallas
and Bishop stopped 27 shots. The Stars have lost three in a row after a
Oilers 3, Canucks 2
Vancouver, British Columbia (AP) — Leon
Draisaitl scored two power-play goals and Edmonton snapped a two-game
losing streak with a win over Vancouver.
Josh Archibald also scored for the Oilers (17-9-3).
Connor McDavid and Alex Chiasson each had two assists. Mikko Koskinen
stopped 30 shots.
Josh Leivo and Brock Boeser scored the Canucks
(13-11-4), who are 3-3-0 in their last six games.
Goaltender Jacob Markstrom, making his first
back-to-back start of the season, stopped 26 shots for Vancouver.
Liverpool opens up 11-point lead over Man City in EPL
Liverpool's march to a first English league
championship in 30 years is turning into a procession.
Manchester City certainly looks in no state to stop
The gap between the two main title contenders in
the Premier League grew to a remarkable 11 points on Saturday, with a
match-winning performance by Liverpool's commanding center back, Virgil
van Dijk, highlighting the difference between the teams.
Hours after City's shaky defense conceded an
88th-minute equalizer in a 2-2 draw at Newcastle, Van Dijk ventured
forward to power home two headed goals from set-pieces and lead
Liverpool to a 2-1 win over Brighton at Anfield.
Liverpool finished the match with 10 men after
goalkeeper Alisson Becker was sent off in the 76th for handball outside
the area, from which Brighton scored its goal at a free kick.
If third-placed Leicester, which was tied on points
with Man City, fails to beat Everton on Sunday, Liverpool will own a
double-figure lead after just 14 of the 38 rounds.
Liverpool's Virgil van
Dijk celebrates after scoring during the English Premier League soccer
match between Liverpool and Brighton at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool,
England, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
"We don't think about these things," Liverpool
manager Jurgen Klopp said. "It was just to win this game."
Even with their recent history of agonizing misses
in Premier League title races, the Reds would be hard-pushed to mess
this one up — especially with their class of 2019-20 still unbeaten and
having dropped only two points all season.
Kevin De Bruyne's rasping strike that flew in off
the crossbar gave City a 2-1 lead at Newcastle in the 82nd but it proved
to be in vain as Jonjo Shelvey, a former Liverpool player, equalized
after makeshift City center back Fernandinho conceded a sloppy free
How City, deprived of star center back Aymeric
Laporte because of a long-term knee injury, would love a defender like
Van Dijk to shore up its creaky backline that's also missing Vincent
Kompany after the long-time captain's departure at the end of last
"To concede the goals we did today was
frustrating," City defender John Stones said. "It's something that is
hard for me to explain."
City failed to win at St. James' Park for the
second straight season. Pep Guardiola's side lost 2-1 in January, which
sparked a 14-match winning run that took City to the title — a point
ahead of Liverpool.
City might have to go unbeaten for the rest of this
season to even get close to threatening Liverpool this time round.
Mourinho wins again
It's three straight wins for Jose Mourinho as
Tottenham manager — and much of that is down to Dele Alli.
The midfielder has been revitalized since Mourinho
replaced Mauricio Pochettino last week, playing in a more attacking role
close to striker Harry Kane. He starred in the 3-2 win at West Ham in
Mourinho's first game in charge, scored the goal that started Spurs'
recovery from 2-0 down in the 4-2 win over Olympiakos in the Champions
League, and on Saturday scored twice in a 3-2 win over Bournemouth.
"He plays in a position where he feels happy and
comfortable," Mourinho said of Alli. "We give him space for his
creativity which he always has."
Alli scored the opening two goals before Moussa
Sissoko volleyed in a third.
Harry Wilson netted twice late on but Spurs held on
for a win that lifted them to fifth place, having been in 14th place
when Mourinho took over.
The Champions League qualification positions are
suddenly in sight for Tottenham after a surprise loss for Chelsea.
West Ham's Aaron
Cresswell celebrates scoring West Hams first goal during the English
Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Ham at Stamford
Bridge Stadium in Lonodn, England, in London, England, Saturday, Nov.
30, 2019. (AP Photo/Leila Coker)
Knowing he was in line to make his Premier League
debut at age 33 for the club where his father was a great, David Martin
struggled to eat for the past two days.
Martin didn't show any nerves in goal for West Ham
on Saturday, keeping a clean sheet as the team upset London rival
Chelsea in a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
Aaron Cresswell scored West Ham's winner in the
47th to leave fourth-placed Chelsea six points ahead of Tottenham.
Martin, whose father Alvin played 20 straight years
for West Ham from 1976, replaced Roberto after a series of woeful
performances by the Spanish goalkeeper, and said he was just glad "I
didn't let anyone down."
The victory ended West Ham's streak of eight
matches without a win in all competitions, stretching back more than two
Wins for Palace, Southampton
Wilfried Zaha scored for the second straight game
as Crystal Palace won at Burnley 2-0 to climb into the top half.
Southampton rallied to beat Watford 2-1 at home and
move four points clear of the last-place visitor in a match between
teams in the relegation zone. James Ward-Prowse curled in the
83rd-minute winner from a free kick.
England 269-5 at stumps on day 3, 2nd tests vs. New Zealand
England's Joe Root hits the ball past New Zealand's Tom Latham during
play on day three of the second cricket test between England and New
Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton, New Zealand, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019.
(AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Zealand's Kane Williamson is airborne as he throws the ball at the
stumps during play on day three of the second cricket test between
England and New Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton, New Zealand, Sunday,
Dec. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Zealand (AP) — With a streaky shot England captain Joe Root brought
up his first test century in more than nine months Sunday, just when it
was most needed on the third day of the second test against New Zealand.
When stumps were drawn due to rain 10 minutes
before scheduled stumps, Root was 114 not out and England was 269-5,
still trailing New Zealand by 106 runs on the first innings. Ollie Pope
was four not out.
Root's broad grin when he reached his milestone —
his 17th test century — showed his mixed relief and elation that his
inside edge from the bowling of Neil Wagner missed the stumps and broke
his long drought after a day of hard labor on his team's behalf.
Runs haven't come easily for Root since his last
century, 122 against the West Indies at Gros Inlet in February. In his
14 innings since, encompassing the home Ashes series against Australia,
Root has made four half-centuries and three ducks and has averaged 26.5.
He has seen his average as England captain drop
below 40 and has fallen out of the top 10 of the batting world rankings
for the first time since 2014.
Root made two and 11 in the first test against New
Zealand at Mount Maunganui where England was mauled by an innings and 65
runs. On Sunday, by sheer force of will, the England captain battled his
way back into form just as his team needed him most.
Needing to win the match to share the two-test
series, England started the third day in a desperate position at 39-2 in
reply to New Zealand's first innings of 375.
With the support of opener Rory Burns, who posted
his second test century and was out immediately afterwards for 101 to a
hairline run out call, Root put on 118 for the third wicket and gave
backbone to England's reply.
Root started the day six not out, with Burns on 24,
and batted throughout the day, sometimes fluently but mostly with care
and watchfulness to protect his wicket and give his team a faint hope of
winning the match and saving the series.
Burns reached his half-century from 97 balls,
taking advantage of a docile pitch. He curbed the instinct to drive
which caused him problems before stumps on the second day when he was
dropped at slip on 11, then at mid-wicket on 20. Burns worked shorter
balls into the on-side for boundaries while Root preferred to drive on
the few occasions the New Zealand bowlers erred and gave him that
Root needed 145 balls and almost three hours to
reach his fifty. He had a fright at 47 when he was given out caught by
wicketkeeper B.J. Watling from the bowling of Daryl Mitchell but
successfully challenged the decision and replays showed the ball missed
the bat and grazed the pad.
Burns reached a tidy century from 208 balls, in 317
minutes with 15 fours. He had a reprieve at 87 when a New Zealand
fielding error spared him from an almost certain run out.
He wasn't granted a second chance and was run out
for 101 when he was beaten by Jeet Raval's throw from the outfield.
Television umpire Bruce Oxenford from Australia needed several minutes
and many replays to decide the stumps had been broken, a bail dislodged
a split-second before Burns gained his ground.
"Obviously pleased to get a hundred, obviously I'd
like to still be out there and obviously a disappointing end to it,"
Burns said. "I felt like I played very nicely today.
"I got my tempo back to how I wanted to bat and my
rhythm to how I wanted to bat."
Root was stuck on 87 for several minutes then moved
toward his century with authority. He went from 87 to 91 with a
cover-driven four off Wagner, then 91 to 95 with a boundary off Tim
Southee through third man. A further boundary took him to 99 before an
inside edge off Wagner narrowly missed his off stumps and sped to the
fine leg boundary for four.
Root lost two partners before stumps. Ben Stokes
was out for 26, caught by Taylor off Southee, and Zak Crawley fell for
one in his first test innings.
Hamilton says he's flattered by Ferrari's praise
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during the
qualifying session at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab
Emirates, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Abu Dhabi, United Arab
Emirates (AP) — A laughing Lewis Hamilton did little to quash rumors
of a potential move from Mercedes to Ferrari by acknowledging he was
flattered by comments from the Italian team principal.
Mattia Binotto called the six-time world champion
"an outstanding driver" on Friday and then added "knowing that he's
available in 2021 can make us only happy."
Hamilton is one of several F1 drivers, including
both current Ferrari drivers, whose contracts expire at the end of next
year. This has only fueled speculation that there could be a significant
"I think it's the first compliment I've had from
Ferrari in 13 years ... Thank you. I'll take it," Hamilton said,
laughing, when responding to Binotto's open flattery. "It's taken all
these years for them to recognize me. I'm grateful ... It's positive. I
think it's never a waste of time to ever be nice to someone."
The 34-year-old British driver, who reportedly
earns more than $50 million a year at Mercedes, was pressed further as
to whether he would be interested in moving to the famed Italian team.
"(Ferrari is) a team I've always appreciated. To
earn the respect from them is obviously very high up, is not a bad
thing," Hamilton said after taking a record-extending 88th career pole
position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday. "Who knows what the
driver market's going to be doing over the next year? (But) if I'm
really honest, I'm not really focused on that right at this second."
Binotto also said "honestly it's too early for any
Hamilton added that Ferrari already has "two great
drivers" in four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel and the highly
promising 22-year-old Charles Leclerc.
But Vettel, who joined in 2015, has so far failed
to deliver Ferrari its first drivers' title since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007
and the famed Prancing Horse team has not worn the constructors' crown
By contrast, Mercedes has won six straight doubles
since team principal Toto Wolff and Hamilton joined the Silver Arrows
together in 2013 — an inspired move which has helped Hamilton add five
F1 titles to his first with McLaren in 2008.
"I am totally relaxed about the situation," Wolff
said when asked about the speculation linking his star driver to
Ferrari. "I am absolutely open to everybody exploring options. If the
relationship ends one day, I would be the first one to cheer (wish him
Wolff added that "conversations are going to begin"
with Hamilton over a potential new contract, without giving details as
He would not be drawn into whether Red Bull driver
Max Verstappen — who has won three races this season and eight overall —
would be a suitable replacement if Hamilton does join Ferrari.
"We will not embark on a potential fishing mission
before Lewis and I have a discussion," Wolff said.
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who has won four
races and taken five pole positions this season, and the 22-year-old
Verstappen are also yet to sign contracts beyond 2020.
Georgiev makes 33 saves, Rangers shut out Devils 4-0
New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev, right, celebrates with
teammates after defeating the New Jersey Devils 4-0 during an NHL hockey
game Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
Newark, N.J. (AP) — Alexandar Georgiev stopped
33 shots for his third career shutout, leading the surging New York Rangers
to a 4-0 win over the short-handed New Jersey Devils on Saturday.
New York improved to 4-0-1 in its last five games. Mika
Zibanejad had a goal and an assist, and Jesper Fast, Adam Fox and Brady
Skjei also scored.
Georgiev had 11 saves in the first, 10 in the second
and 12 in the third to get New York's first shutout of the season.
Mackenzie Blackwood had 19 saves for New Jersey, which
went 0 for 8 on the power play while giving up two short-handed goals. It
lost for the fourth time in six games.
Flyers 4, Canadiens 3, OT
Montreal (AP) — Ivan Provorov scored 31 seconds
into overtime, and Philadelphia earned its fourth straight victory.
Oskar Lindblom, Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny also
scored for the Flyers (15-7-5), who were coming off a 6-1 win over Detroit
on Friday. Brian Elliott made 39 saves.
The Canadiens (11-9-6) dropped their seventh
consecutive game. Tomas Tatar had two goals, and Joel Armia also scored.
Keith Kinkaid stopped 25 shots.
Provorov used a nifty move to get around Max Domi
before beating Kinkaid for his sixth of the season.
Maple Leafs 2, Sabres 1, OT
Toronto (AP) — John Tavares scored at 1:45 of
overtime and picked up his 400th NHL assist as Toronto split a home-andhome
series with Buffalo.
Tavares' 10th goal of the season helped Toronto improve
to 4-1-0 in its last five games. William Nylander also scored for the Maple
Leafs (13-11-4). Frederik Andersen made 29 saves in victory.
Rasmus Ristolainen scored for Buffalo (12-10-5). Carter
Hutton made 41 saves in defeat and fell to 0-5-3 in his last eight games.
The game marked the home-coaching debut for Sheldon
Keefe. The former NHLer from Brampton was named head coach of the Maple
Leafs on Nov. 20 after the team dismissed Mike Babcock.
Flames 3, Senators 1
Calgary, Alberta (AP) — Elias Lindholm scored
the deciding goal late in the third period and added an empty-netter,
leading Calgary past Ottawa.
New Flames coach Geoff Ward won for the second time in
as many games. He was also a winner on Wednesday night, when Calgary beat
Buffalo 3-2 in overtime.
Calgary head coach Bill Peters resigned on Friday amid
allegations of racial slurs and physical abuse of players in previous jobs.
Peters' resignation came after a lengthy process that included
investigations by the Flames and the NHL.
Dillon Dube also scored for Calgary (13-12-4). The
Flames improved to 3-0-1 in their last four games.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau had his team-leading 14th goal for
Ottawa (11-15-1), which lost its fourth straight. David Rittich made 26
saves and improved to 12-7-4.
Marcus Hogberg had 24 saves for Ottawa in his first
start of the season and the fifth of his career.
Hurricanes 3, Lightning 2
Tampa, Fla. (AP) — James Reimer made 36 saves,
Sebastian Aho and Jaccob Slavin each had a goal and an assist, and Carolina
beat Tampa Bay.
Carolina also got a goal from Jordan Martinook. Dougie
Hamilton had two assists.
Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson scored for the
Lightning, who have lost three straight (0-2-1). Curtis McElhinney stopped
Islanders 2, Blue Jackets 0
New York (AP) — Mathew Barzal had a goal and an
assist, Semyon Varlamov got his second shutout of the season, and New York
Anders Lee also scored to help the Islanders get a win
in the return from an 0-2-1 California trip that ended their
franchise-record 17-game point streak. Thomas Greiss started and made nine
saves before leaving with 5:54 left in the first period. Varlamov came on
and stopped all 30 shots he faced to earn his 27th career shutout.
Elvis Merzlikins finished with 25 saves as the
25-year-old Latvian fell to 0-3-3 in his rookie season for the Blue Jackets.
Panthers 3, Predators 0
Sunrise, Fla. (AP) — Chris Driedger posted a
shutout in his first career start, Anton Stralman scored his first two goals
of the season and Florida beat Nashville.
Driedger stopped 27 shots in his first appearance with
Florida. The 25-year-old appeared in three games for Ottawa between 2014-17
but had never started in the NHL.
Aleksander Barkov added his eighth goal as the Panthers
won for the first time in four games. It was the Predators' first loss in
regulation in the past five games.
Juuse Saros stopped 24 shots for Nashville.
Capitals 5, Red Wings 2
Detroit (AP) — Alex Ovechkin completed a hat
trick with two empty-net goals and Washington dealt Detroit its ninth
Ovechkin reached 20 goals for the 15th consecutive
season to start his career, a feat previously achieved by Marcel Dionne,
Mike Gartner, Jaromir Jagr and Mats Sundin. The 34-year-old Ovechkin also
had an assist.
T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist, Tom Wilson also
scored and Evgeny Kuznetsov had three assists for the Capitals. Ilya
Samsonov stopped 25 shots.
Robby Fabbri and Luke Glendening scored for Detroit,
which has been outscored 24-4 in its last five games. Jonathan Bernier made
Blues 4, Penguins 1
St. Louis (AP) — Justin Faulk and Nathan Walker
each scored for the first time with the Blues, and St. Louis beat
Jaden Schwartz had a goal and an assist and Ivan
Barbashev and Mackenzie MacEachern also scored for the Blues, who won their
third straight game and have points in their last four. Jordan Binnington
made 28 saves and improved to 13-4-4.
Sam Lafferty and Kris Letang scored for the Penguins,
who lost their second straight game. Matt Murray, playing for the first time
since Nov. 7, made 22 saves.
Sharks 4, Coyotes 2
Glendale, Ariz. (AP) — Logan Couture scored
twice and San Jose got four unanswered goals to rally past Arizona for ITS
11th win in 13 games.
Couture bookended San Jose's comeback, starting it
midway through the first period and completing it with an empty-netter. He
has five goals and 14 points in his past 10 games.
Dylan Gambrell and Timo Meier also scored for San Jose.
The Sharks extended their NHL record by winning their
45th consecutive game in which they have allowed fewer than three goals.
They broke the mark in a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday.
Nick Schmaltz and Derek Stepan scored on the Coyotes'
first two shots, but Martin Jones stymied the Coyotes the rest of the way.
Jones made 21 saves while starting on back-to-back days for the first time
Avalanche 7, Blackhawks 3
Denver (AP) — Mikko Rantanen had a goal and
three assists in his return to Colorado's lineup after missing 16 games due
to injury, and Nazem Kadri and Joonas Donskoi each scored twice in the win
Nathan MacKinnon added a goal and two assists and Tyson
Jost also scored to help Colorado sweep the two-game set.
Robin Lehner had nine saves before being replaced by
Corey Crawford, who didn't do much better.
Patrick Kane scored his 14th goal late in the third to
extend his points streak to 15 games, the longest of the season in the NHL.
Brandon Saab and Dominik Kubalik also scored. Crawford stopped 13 shots.
Kings 2, Jets 1
Los Angeles (AP) — Joakim Ryan and Nikolai
Prokhorkin each scored and Los Angeles beat Winnipeg.
Jack Campbell made 33 saves for the Kings, who have won
six of their past eight home games.
Jack Roslovic scored but the Jets were unable to pick
up an 11th win in their record-setting November. Winnipeg went 10-3-1, the
most wins this month in franchise history. Laurent Brossoit made 32 saves.
Dustin Brown got his fourth point in the past four
games with an assist.
Canucks 5, Oilers 2
Edmonton, Alberta (AP) — Tanner Pearson recorded
the first four-point game of his career, leading Vancouver over Edmonton.
Pearson had two goals and two assists, and Tyler
Graovac, Loui Eriksson and Josh Leivo also scored for the Canucks. Bo Horvat
also chipped in with three assists to help Vancouver snap its three-game
Connor McDavid and Zack Kassian scored for Edmonton,
which dropped its second straight.
Edmonton slipped to 16-9-3, and holds the Pacific
Division lead. The Canucks are five points back at 13-10-4.
Jacob Markstrom (8-6-3) made 27 saves in the victory,
while Mike Smith (7-7-1) turned aside 33 of 38 shots for Edmonton.