NBA Game Recap: Philadelphia 76ers (123) vs. Phoenix Suns (110) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017 PHOENIX Dario Saric tied a season high with 27 points and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Phoenix Suns 123-110 on Sunday night after blowing an 18-point lead in one quarter.Joel Embiid added 22 points and nine rebounds, and Ben Simmons had 21 points to help Philadelphia win for third time in four games.Devin Booker scored 28 of his 32 points in the second half for the Suns, and T. J. Warren had 28.The Sixers came close to dropping their seventh game in which they have led by 11 points or more. But J. J. Redick made a 3-pointer with 1:31 to play for an insurmountable 119-108 lead. Redick had 22 points.Phoenix trailed 73-55 with 9:20 left in the third quarter and went on a 32-11 run to take the lead before the quarter ended.Booker scored 16 of his points in the third as the Suns fought back with energy on both ends. Philadelphia took a 92-89 lead into the fourth quarter after Phoenix took a three-point lead, its largest of the game.The Suns couldn't retake the lead throughout the entire fourth quarter, however, as the Sixers pulled away.Warren made all four of his shots and scored 11 points in the first quarter. Sports Picks. The Suns trailed by as many as 12 in the first 12 minutes, and 38-32 when it ended thanks to a 29-foot bank shot by Redick with a second to go.Redick scored 10 of his points in the first quarter. Simmons added nine rebounds and six assists for the 76ers.The Sixers hit their first four shots of the second quarter and took a 51-35 lead on a basket and free throw by Embiid with 8:14 to play. Sports Handicappers Rankings. The Suns went three minutes of the quarter without a point and Philadelphia took a 63-49 lead into halftime after going up by 18.Phoenix made on ly 6 of 21 second-quarter shots.The Suns made 5 of 10 3-point shots in the third quarter and scored 40 points. Forward Marquese Chris had nine points, five rebounds and a blocked shot in the quarter.RAISING THE ROOFThe Suns brought back a celebratory gesture from recent years when Chriss followed Booker's miss with a two-handed dunk with 4:39 left in the third. Players on the bench pumped both arms in the air, the jam cutting the Sixers' lead to two at 82-80.A PHILLY CHEERSixers fans sitting at midcourt began a cheer as the final second ticked off, chanting ''Trust the process'' with a hand clap in unison.TIP-INSSixers: Embiid returned after he sat out Saturday's game at Denver to rest his back. He hurt his right hand going for an inbounds pass late in the game but stayed in. ... Top Rated Sports Handicappers. The Sixers won consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 2 0-25.Suns: The Suns' 40 points in the third quarter was the second time they scored 40 or more in a quarter this season. ... F Jared Dudley saw action for the first time since Dec. 20, a stretch of four games.UP NEXTSixers: Host San Antonio Wednesday night.Suns: Host Atlanta Tuesday night.
Sunday, December 31, 2017
NCAAB Game Recap: Washington State (71) vs. USC (89) - Date: 12/31/2017 Elijah Stewart 17 scored and Bennie Boatwright added 13 points to lead Southern California to an 89-71 victory over Washington State in a Pac-12 game on Sunday night. After starting the season 6-0, WSU (8-6, 0-2) has lost six of its last eight games. Free MMA Picks. The Cougars have lost five straight to USC (10-5, 1-1). Nick Rakocevic scored 12 points and had nine rebounds, Jonah Mathews added 11 points and Jordan Usher scored 10 for the Trojans. Jordan McLaughlin, who came in averaging 7.8 assists per game (No. 5 in the nation), finished with 10 points and 11 assists on Sunday. Malachi Flynn led the Cougars with 21 points and Carter Skaggs had 18. USC never trailed, went on an 11-0 run that gave the Trojans a 13-point lead fewer than six minutes in and held the Cougars scoreless for a fiv e-plus minutes in the opening half. Stewart capped the surge by converting two free throws with 14:18 remaining and USC led 17-4. Chimezie Metz, USC's leading scorer, was disqualified from the game after committing a flagrant foul against Skaggs with 5:43 left in the first half. Metz, averaging 18.6 points per game, left the game after scoring 7 points and with USC leading 33-19. WSU immediately went on an 11-0 run and cut its deficit to three points following a basket by Flynn with 2:56 to go in the half. But the Trojans countered with an 8-2 run to end the half and built 41-31 lead at the break. Stewart led USC with 10 points in the first half as the Trojans shot 43.2 percent. Sports Handicapper Leaderboard. The Cougars shot 34.5 percent and were led by Robert Franks with 9 points. WSU trimmed the lead to 52-44 after a 3-pointer by Flynn early in the second half, but Shaqquan Aaron's 3-pointer highlight ed a Trojans 17-2 run, which propelled USC to a 69-46 lead with 10 minutes to play. USC cruised from that point. Sports Handicapping Software. The Trojans, who outrebounded WSU 39-26, are 74-48 all-time against WSU. BIG PICTUREWSU: ''USC is a veteran team and they are going to make us play possession by possession,'' Cougars coach Ernie Kent said. ''You can't duplicate that in practice, we just have to go through the experience.'' Skaggs has made 10 of 19 3's in the last two games. Freshman forward Drick Bernstine, WSU's leading rebounder this season, returned after missing one game due to an injury and grabbed 7 rebounds. USC: The Trojans completed a stretch of 8 games in the last 18 days, going 6-2. USC has scored 80 or more points in 8 of their last 9 games. Sophomore Derryck Thornton returned to action for the first time since he suffered a dislocated right s houlder in practice on Nov. 28 and scored two points. UP NEXTWSU: The Cougars open a three-game home stand beginning Saturday against Washington. USC: The Trojans travel to Berkley and take on Cal on Thursday.
NCAAB Game Recap: South Florida (39) vs. SMU (79) - Date: 12/31/2017 Shake Milton had 14 points, two steal and two blocks and Jarrey Foster scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help SMU beat South Florida 79-39 on Sunday night for its 33rd consecutive home win. Jahmal McMurray added 12 points and Jimmy Whitt had 11 points, on 5-of-6 shooting, and nine rebounds for SMU (12-3, 2-0 American Athletic Conference). Despite the fact that USF (7-7, 0-2) missed 10 of its first 11 shots, including seven in a row to open the game, it was tied at 11-all with six minutes left in the first half. McMurray had five points and Foster scored four during a 13-2 run that made it 24-13 before the Mustangs went into the break with a 12-point lead. Handicapping Sports. The Bulls made just 6 of 25 from the field - tying their season low for field goals in a half - and scored just 16 poi nts before the break, their lowest scoring half of the season. SMU made its first eight second-half shots, while USF missed its first 11, during a 26-1 run that gave the Mustangs a 54-17 lead with 12 minutes to go. It was USF's lowest scoring output since an 83-40 loss at Connecticut on Feb. 12, 2014.
NHL Game Recap: New York Islanders (1) vs. Colorado Avalanche (6) - Date: 12/31/2017 / DENVER Gabriel Landeskog scored twice in less than two minutes in the second period, and the Colorado Avalanche routed the New York Islanders 6-1 on Sunday night. Carl Soderberg and Erik Johnson had a goal and an assist each, and Matt Nieto and Patrik Nemeth also scored for Colorado, which blew open the game with four goals in the second. Jonathan Bernier stopped 27 shots, Nathan MacKinnon had three assists and Samuel Girard had two assists for Colorado. Sports Betting Leads. The Islanders lost the game and head coach Doug Weight, who was given a game misconduct after Landeskog's first goal. Josh Bailey scored for New York, which has lost six straight on the road. Jaroslav Halak had 30 saves, including 19 in the second period when Colorado put a season-high 23 shots on goal. He wa s replaced by Thomas Greiss after two periods. Greiss stopped 12 shots. Football Predictions. The Avalanche took a 3-0 lead on goals by Nemeth, Nieto and Soderberg, and then blew it open at the end of the second period. Landeskog scored on the power play with 3:25 left, and after the goal Weight was venting to the officials when he was ejected. Sports Handicapping Service Winning Streaks. That put Colorado back on the power play. After Scott Mayfield drew a crosschecking minor, Landeskog scored his second of the game and 16th of the season. Bailey scored late in the third period to extend his points streak to 11 games. NOTES: Colorado RW Sven Andrighetto left in the third period with a leg injury. ... There was a moment of silence before the national Anthem for the Douglas County (Colo.) sheriff's deputies who were shot in an ambush Sunda y morning, killing one and injuring four others. Douglas County deputies had been scheduled to present the colors for the anthem but were replaced. ... Avalanche C J. T. Compher is expected to miss at least a week with an upper-body injury suffered Friday night. ... Islanders C John Tavares had his nine-game points streak snapped. ... The Avalanche have killed off 33 straight penalties. UP NEXTIslanders: Host the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night. Avalanche: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.---More NHL hockey: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey
NHL Game Recap: San Jose Sharks (0) vs. Dallas Stars (6) - Date: 12/31/2017 / DALLAS Ben Bishop made 26 saves in his fourth shutout of the season, Tyler Pitlick scored twice and the Dallas Stars beat the San Jose Sharks 6-0 on Sunday night. Bishop's 23rd career shutout came in his seventh straight start. It was Dallas' fourth win in five games. Dallas scored two goals in each period - by John Klingberg and Pitlick in the first, Stephen Johns and Tyler Seguin in the second and Devin Shore and Pitlick 50 seconds apart in the third. San Jose starter Martin Jones had 18 saves in the first two periods before giving way to Aaron Dell. Best Sports Handicappers. The Sharks' three-game winning streak ended with their most lopsided loss this season. Klingberg added an assist on Seguin's 19th goal of the season, a power-play score. Radek Faksa had three assists and Mattias Janmark assisted twice. Football Picks. The Stars had the game's first six shots on goal and cashed in on their seventh. Janmark circled behind the net and passed to Klingberg near the right faceoff dot. He sent a shot past Jones at 6:19, and then Pitlick gave Dallas a 2-0 lead at 15:07. Leading Handicappers. The Stars had 17 shots, their most in the first period this season, to 5 for San Jose. The teams were skating 4-on-4 when Johns scored at 4:25 of the second. It was Dallas' first shot on goal in the period, after the Sharks had the first six. Included was a power play during which Logan Couture hit the right goalpost and had another shot stopped by Bishop's pads. Seguin skated in front to deflect Klingberg's shot into the top of the net on the power play. The Stars led 4-0 at 9:33 of the second. NOTES: Dallas RW Alexander Radulov left in the second period with an upper-body injury from a hit by Sharks D Justin Braun. ... The Stars have scored a power-play goal in six straight games, following a stretch of 14 games with only two goals with a man advantage. ... Benn has seven points (three goals, four assists) during a six-game point streak. ... Couture, who leads San Jose with 15 goals, returned after missing four games because of a concussion. ... The Sharks had not allowed more than five goals in a game before Sunday. ... The six-goal win was Dallas' largest margin of victory. UP NEXTSharks: Play the second game on a five-game trip on Tuesday night at Montreal. Thirteen of their next 17 games will be on the road. Stars: Face Columbus on Tuesday night in the third game of a six-game homestand.---More hockey: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey
NBA Game Recap: Los Angeles Lakers (142) vs. Houston Rockets (148) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017 HOUSTON James Harden scored 40 points before leaving with a hamstring injury late in the fourth quarter, and Chris Paul scored 15 of his 28 points in overtime as the Houston Rockets snapped a five-game skid with a 148-142 double-overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.Los Angeles led by as many as 17, but couldn't hold on as the team's season-long losing streak stretched to six games.Paul made a pair of free throws to tie it at 142 with about a minute left in the second overtime before Tarik Black blocked Kyle Kuzma's shot on the other end to give Houston the ball back. P. J. Free Sports Picks Today. Tucker grabbed a rebound on a miss by Paul and put it back up to put Houston on top.Tucker blocked a 3-point attempt by Kuzma, and Paul added tw o more free throws to make it 146-142 with three seconds left. Paul made two more free throws after that to secure the win.The Rockets had hoped to limit Paul's playing time in his second game back after missing three games with a groin injury. But with Harden out, he ended up playing 42 minutes.Julius Randle set season highs with 29 points and 15 rebounds, but fouled out with about three minutes left in overtime.Los Angeles was up by 4 in the second overtime before a dunk by Black followed by a 3-pointer from Trevor Ariza made it 140-139 with 2 1/2 minutes remaining. Sports Handicapper King. The Lakers scored the next three points before Paul's free throws tied it.Ariza finished with a season-high 26 points.Paul gave Houston its first lead of the second half with a 3-pointer that made it 127-125 with 2:40 remaining in the first overtime.The Lakers got two free throws from Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart added a basket on a goaltending call to make it 131-129 with about a minute to go in the first overtime.Black tied it up before Hart missed a 3-pointer to give Houston the ball back. Paul put Houston on top with a short jumper with four seconds remaining, but P. J. Sports Handicapping. Tucker fouled Ingram and he made both free throws with 0.8 seconds left in the first overtime to tie it at 133-133.Paul had a shot to win it, but he missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.Houston got a 3-pointer from Ariza followed by a 3-point play from Harden to tie it at 119-all with about a minute left in the fourth. But Kuzma, who scored a career-high 38 points in his last game against Houston, made a 3-pointer a few seconds later to put the Lakers back on top.Harden was injured when he missed a layup after that and was taken to the locker room.Gerald Green tied it again with a 3-pointer with 17.7 seconds remaining.Kuzma followed with a miss ed 3-pointer, and the Lakers got the ball back with 0.7 seconds left, but they didn't have time to get a shot off.Houston center Clint Capela had seven points and seven rebounds in his return after missing two games with an orbital fracture. He wore a mask in the first half to protect the injured area, but it seemed to be bothering him and he took it off at halftime.TIP-INSLakers: Rookie Lonzo Ball missed his fourth straight game because of a sprained left shoulder. He did not make the trip, remaining in California for treatment. ... The Lakers' 72 first-half points were a season high. ... Ennis had a season-high 20 points.Rockets: Capela, who is also dealing with a bruised heel, missed four of the previous five games. ... Gordon finished with 14 points. ... Harden strained his left hamstring.UP NEXTLakers: Visit Minnesota on Monday.Rockets: Visit the Magic on Wednesday.---More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
NBA Game Recap: Memphis Grizzlies (114) vs. Sacramento Kings (96) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017 SACRAMENTO, Calif. Tyreke Evans' decision to gamble and sign a one-year deal with Memphis this past offseason is looking increasingly more like a safe bet for the veteran guard.His troublesome right knee is no longer bothering him as much, either.Evans had 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists against his former team and the Grizzlies beat the Sacramento Kings 114-96 on Sunday.''I love playing against the team that drafted me,'' Evans said. ''Most of the time when I (come) back I've played well. It just gets me going.'' Evans shot 10 of 16 and had five 3-pointers. He spent two stints with Sacramento and was most recently with the team in 2016.The 2010 rookie of the year saw his stock drop after multiple knee surgeries that cost him 99 games over the past two seasons before he signed with Memphis. Healthy this season, Evans is looking more like his former self.Evans has scored 20 or more in 19 games this season and is shooting a career-high 42.6 percent on 3-pointers.''He's had that edge all year,'' Memphis center Marc Gasol said. ''He's had that same mentality so don't take it like he came in here and did something he hasn't done every game. He's come with that aggressiveness.'' Jarell Martin added 11 points and three others had 10 points apiece on a day all 13 players scored for the Grizzlies.One day after setting a season high for scoring in a 141-128 loss to the Golden State Warriors, Memphis had another big offensive game in a blowout of stumbling Sacramento.The Grizzlies scored 35 points in the first quarter and led by 14 or more at the end of every quarter. Wayne Selden punctuated the win with a dunk that put Memphis up 104-71 with 7:25 remaining.''That's the growth we've been looking for in our offense,'' Grizzlies coach J. B. Bickerstaff said. ''For our guys not to hang their head and continue to believe in what we're doing, it shows the steps that we're taking.'' The Kings trailed by as many as 33 and missed 11 of 24 free throws and trailed for the final 43 minutes.It's the second consecutive year that the two teams played on New Year's Eve. Winning Sports Gambling. The Grizzlies won both.Willie Cauley-Stein had 21 points and eight rebounds for the Kings. Buddy Hield added 15 points, and Garrett Temple had 13.Mario Chalmers made a pair of 3-pointers and had eight points in five minutes during Memphis' 36-point first quarter and was involved in a strange sequence of events at the end of the period.Frank Mason attempted a halfcourt shot at the buzzer and missed while being defended by Chalmers. After officials reviewed the play Mason, who was upset o ver not the call from the refs, was charged with a technical and Chalmers was called for a foul.The Grizzlies led by 24 before a late Sacramento surge cut the gap to 64-46 at halftime.''Lack of focus and lack of force,'' Kings coach Dave Joerger said. ''They looked at us and shot over us, and then looked us and drove around us. Each guy has to own their own stuff.'' OLD FRIENDSEvans wasn't the only player facing his former team.Zach Randolph, a two-time All-Star over eight seasons who helped Memphis reach the 2013 Western Conference finals before signing with Sacramento in the offseason, had four points and six rebounds. Randolph spent most of the game going against Gasol, his longtime teammate.''So many thing go through your head, so many emotions,'' Gasol said. ''Truly a brother. We made each other better when we were playing together, we made each other better in practice when we battled each other. I miss him ev ery day.'' TIP-INSGrizzlies: Gasol was called for a technical foul in the fourth quarter after arguing with an official. ... Memphis shot 60 percent (12 of 20) in the first quarter.Kings: Mason limped off the court with a bruised left heel after making two of three free throws on the foul by Chalmers. Mason, who appeared to get hurt a few plays earlier, did not return.UP NEXTGrizzlies: At Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.Kings: Host Charlotte on Tuesday night.
NCAAB Game Recap: Washington (53) vs. UCLA (74) - Date: 12/31/2017 Freshman Kris Wilkes scored a career-high 21 points and Aaron Holiday had 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists to lead UCLA to a 74-53 win over Washington on Sunday night. Sports Betting Profit. The Bruins (11-3, 2-0 Pac-12) have won four in a row and snapped Washington's four-game win streak. UCLA trailed 43-29 early in the second half but went on a 15-0 run over the next six-plus minutes. Prince Ali had six points and Wilkes scored five during that stretch. Noah Dickerson made back-to-back baskets to give the Huskies (11-4, 1-1) a four-point lead with 8:04 left, but Washington went 0 for 12 from the field, and was outscored 26-1, from there. Sports Handicappers. The Bruins shot 43 percent (22 of 51) from the field while the Huskies hi t 19 of 68 (27.9 percent), including 6 of 35 (17.1 percent) in the second half. Dickerson led Washington with 14 points and seven rebounds. UCLA came out sluggish, turning the ball over on offense and playing lax defense in the interior and Washington led 21-9 lead after Dickerson drove for layup in traffic. Washington took a 13-point lead when Matisse Thybulle hit a jumper with 8:07 left in the first half, but the Huskies missed their next eight field-goal attempts, allowing UCLA to whittle its deficit to 36-28 at halftime. BIG PICTUREWashington: The Huskies' four-game win streak came to an end due in large part to poor shooting. Washington beat Southern California on Dec. 22, shooting 67.3 percent (33 of 55) from the field, its highest shooting percentage since at least the 2002-03 season. UCLA: The Bruins have won three in a row over the Huskies. UCLA swept the series versus Washington last season and has won eight of the last 10 meetings. Sunday's game was the only regular-season meeting of the year between the schools. UP NEXTWashington finishes up a three-game road trip at Washington State on Saturday. UCLA plays at Stanford on Thursday to start a two-game road trip to the Bay Area.
NBA Game Recap: Charlotte Hornets (98) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (106) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017 LOS ANGELES Clippers guard Lou Williams was trouble for the Charlotte Hornets from the moment he left the bench, making his first four shots, including three 3-pointers, and scoring 11 points before he was on the floor four minutes.Williams went on to score 40 points to lead Los Angeles to a 106-98 victory Sunday.''I always feel like I can get it going, but to see it early, it puts me in a different mindset, in an attack mode,'' Williams said. ''Once I get two or three early, that way I can just get everybody else involved.'' In an offensive struggle for both teams, the Clippers outshot the Hornets 47 percent to 39 percent to win for the fifth time in six games.''We've gone through a lot this season with injuries,'' Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. ''I just love coachin g this team, though. Winning Sports Picks Who You Should Follow. This team is a resilient team, they're tough-minded, they're very close and they grind out games.'' Blake Griffin added 25 points in his second game back after missing 14 with a left MCL strain.''I play pretty well with Blake, especially in the two-man game, closing out quarters, closing out games,'' Williams said. ''We have good chemistry together.'' DeAndre Jordan grabbed 15 rebounds to help the Clippers win their fifth in a row at home. Sports Handicapping Software. The biggest surprise was Jordan, a career 44 percent free throw shooter, going 6 for 6 from the foul line.''I've really been working on the shot, obviously,'' Jordan said. ''And tonight I was just trying to shoot the ball the same way. My teammates gave me a lot of confidence.'Kemba Walker scored 30 points for the Hornets. Free Picks Against the Spread. They fell to 3-13 on the road.''Kemba was ready,'' Hornets Coach Steve Clifford said. ''That happens in these four o'clock games. It's out of their routine and sometimes they come out flat. Not Kemba. He was Mister Reliable.'' Frank Kaminsky added 16 points and Dwight Howard had 10 rebounds for Charlotte, but was 1 for 9 from the field and had only four points.The Clippers led 100-92 before Walker made back-to-back 3-pointers to pull Charlotte ton 102-98 with 49 seconds left. Griffin made two free throws with 43 seconds remaining, and Nicolas Batum missed a 3-pointer.Williams clinched the victory with a driving layup for the final margin.''I was just playing with confidence,'' said Williams. ''I was able to get off to a good start, make your first few shots, and it just goes up from there.'' Down by 14 points in the second quarter, the Clippers regained control by outscoring Charlotte 27-9, taking a 69-61 lead on a driving layup by Juwan Evans with 1:30 left in the third quarter. Griffin scored 12 points during the stretch.RIVERS ON THE MENDAustin Rivers, who left Friday night's game against the Lakers on crutches, sat out against the Hornets with a sore right Achilles tendon. Results of an MRI taken Saturday revealed no soft tissue injury or structural damage. Coach Doc Rivers said Austin ''could play'' in the Clippers' next game Tuesday night against Memphis.''He's good,'' Doc Rivers said about son Austin. ''When you hear the word `Achilles' you never think anything positive, especially the way it looked. I thought (the injury) scared him, and that probably scared us.'' WARRIORS WHIPLASHThe Hornets went against the Clippers coming off their bes t performance of the season, a surprise 111-100 road victory two nights earlier over the Golden State Warriors, only their third road victory of the season.''We talked about the fact it was Golden State. They're the best team, and it's easy to get up for them,'' Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. ''But we have to be in that mindset every game, especially in the position we're in. Not just having a Golden State attitude, we're looking to have an attitude about the way we play on the road.'' TIP-INSHornets: With the second unit leading the way, Charlotte outscored the Clippers 28-7 over the first 10 minutes of the second quarter, turning a 29-22 first-quarter deficit into a 50-36 lead on Walker's 15-footer with 1:56 left in the half. 42 halftime lead. The Hornets held the Clippers to 2-of-15 from the field during the stretch.''We really moved the ball well, and defensively they were flying around,'' Clifford said. ''It wasn't exactly perfect, as far as how we walked through it, but they gave such a good effort.'' Clippers: After a dismal second quarter, the Clippers got back in the game by holding Charlotte to a single field goal over the first 6:18 of the third quarter, and continuing on a 27-9 run for a 69-61 lead. Their offensive highlight came with 6:40 left in the third quarter when Blake Griffin broke free for a driving, right-handed dunk that brought the crowd to its feet.UP NEXTHornets: At Sacramento on Tuesday night.Clippers: Host Memphis on Tuesday night.
NBA Game Recap: Dallas Mavericks (116) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (113) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017 OKLAHOMA CITY Harrison Barnes scored 24 points, Dennis Smith Jr. got 11 of his 19 points in the final 1:39 and the Dallas Mavericks closed 2017 with their season-best fourth straight win, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 116-113 on Sunday night.Dirk Nowitzki added 13 points for Dallas, which had lost four straight in Oklahoma City and seven of nine overall against the Thunder.Dallas won despite Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook recording his 12th triple-double of the season with 38 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists. Leading Handicappers. The Thunder had been 11-3 in December before consecutive home losses to Milwaukee and Dallas to end the month.Paul George scored 25 points and Carmelo Anthony had 21 for Oklahoma City, combining to go 8 of 14 from 3-point range . Despite their hot shooting, Westbrook took the big shots late for OKC and missed a trio of 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds. He was 0 for 4 from deep for the game.The teams matched each other shot for shot during a first half in which the Thunder hit 8 of 17 3-pointers while the Mavericks made 8 of 18. Oklahoma City emerged with a 63-57 lead. Westbrook fed rookie Terrance Ferguson for a buzzer-beating layup in the third quarter to put the Thunder up 85-84.Consecutive 3-pointers by Smith - the second one banked in - put the Mavericks up 111-108 with 1:17 left. Smith hit a driving layup with 30.4 seconds left to give Dallas a 113-110 lead, then rebounded a 3-point miss by Westbrook at the other end and made two free throws with 15.8 seconds left.George made three free throws with 12.7 seconds left to pull the Thunder within 115-113, and then Smith made 1 of 2 free throws with 11.8 seconds left. Westbrook missed two more 3-point attempts in the final seconds.TIP-INS:Maveric ks: Josh McRoberts was in uniform for the first time this season but didn't play. Sports Handicap. The veteran forward-center hasn't appeared in a NBA game since Dec. 23, 2016 for Miami, after which he dealt with a stress fracture in his left foot. ... Coach Rick Carlisle moved into a tie with John MacLeod for 17th on the NBA coaching wins list with his 707th career victory. ... Dallas has made at least 10 3-pointers in 27 of its first 38 games. ... Yogi Ferrell was called for a technical foul by official Marc Davis between the third and fourth quarters.Thunder: Starting guard and defensive ace Andre Roberson sat out with patellar tendonitis. Josh Huestis made his first career start in Roberson's place. ... Oklahoma City is 8-2 in New Year's Eve games. Fox Sports Picks. The Thunder have hosted a Dec. 31 game in all 10 seasons the franchise h as been in Oklahoma City. ... Westbrook has 91 career triple-doubles, fourth-best in NBA history.UP NEXTMavericks: Begin a four-game homestand Wednesday night against Golden State.Thunder: Face back-to-back games in Los Angeles, against the Lakers on Wednesday night and the Clippers on Thursday night.---More basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
NHL Game Recap: Pittsburgh Penguins (1) vs. Detroit Red Wings (4) - Date: 12/31/2017 / DETROIT Gustav Nyquist scored twice, Jimmy Howard made 37 saves and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Sunday night. Dylan Larkin and Frans Nielsen also scored for Detroit. Evgeni Malkin got his fifth goal in seven games for the Penguins. Free Sports Picks of the Day. The Wings took the lead 11:31 into the opening period. Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg fed a cross-ice pass to Nyquist in the middle of the Pittsburgh zone. Nyquist skated out between the hash marks and used Pittsburgh defenseman Frank Corrado as a screen to fire a high shot past Matt Murray on the glove side. Larkin added to Detroit's advantage just 59 seconds into the second. He burst down the right wing past Malkin and tucked the puck past Murray as he cut across the front of the net. Make Money Betting Sports. The Penguins got on the board with a power-play goal at 8:04 of the second. Howard made a spectacular glove stop Malkin's shot, but a video review determined that his glove was across the goal line when he caught the puck. Detroit went up 3-1 at 15:18 of the second. Nielsen skated down the left wing and faked a slap shot. When Murray bit on the fake, Nielsen slid the puck along the ice under Murray's right pad. Nyquist added his second at 16:34 of the third period. Murray stopped Tyler Bertuzzi's shot, but Nyquist was on the doorstep to slide in the rebound. Murray finished with 19 saves. NOTES: Former Red Wings C Riley Sheahan played his first game in Detroit since he was traded to the Penguins on Oct. 21. ''They've been great to me, everybody in the organization has been great to me,'' Sheahan said of his time with the Wings. ''It's g ood seeing some old faces and catching up with them.'' ... RW Anthony Mantha (groin), who leads the Wings with 13 goals, participated in the morning skate but missed his second straight game. UP NEXTPenguins: Conclude a three-game trip at Philadelphia on Tuesday night. Red Wings: Host Ottawa on Wednesday night in the third game of a five-game homestand.---More hockey: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey
NHL Game Recap: Winnipeg Jets (5) vs. Edmonton Oilers (0) - Date: 12/31/2017 / EDMONTON, Alberta Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves for his third shutout of the season and Kyle Connor and Bryan Little each had a goal and an assist in the Winnipeg Jets' 5-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. Marko Dano, Blake Wheeler and Mathieu Perreault also scored. Picks and Parlays. The Jets have won three in a row and are 5-1-1 in their last seven games. Cam Talbot made 33 saves for Edmonton. Make Money Betting Sports. The Oilers have dropped three straight. Winnipeg scored on its first shot of the game - at 2:34 of the first period. Matt Hendricks set up Dano at the side of the net for a tap-in. Dano had been a healthy scratch for the previous 30 games. Winnipeg made it 2-0 with seven minutes remaining in the opening period when Connor stripped the puck deep in Oilers' territory and sent it out front to Wheeler for his 11th goal of the season. Las Vegas Handicappers. The Jets padded their lead 11 minutes into the middle period when Connor tipped in Patrik Laine's power-play shot. Winnipeg added another with 2.5 seconds left in the second when a giveaway led to a goal by Little. Perreault made it 5-0 in the third on a power play. NOTES: The Jets swept the three-game season series. ... The Oilers are 0-11-4 on New Year's Eve since 1985. UP NEXT:Jets: At Colorado on Tuesday night. Oilers: Host Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
NFL Game Recap: Cincinnati Bengals (31) vs. Baltimore Ravens (27) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017BALTIMORE The crowd was yelling as the clock was winding down. The Baltimore Ravens and their fans were poised for a New Year's Eve celebration, long before the clock struck midnight. And then, an instant later, silence. Sports Handicappers. There would be no football in January for the Ravens, who were ousted from the playoff hunt in stunning fashion Sunday when Andy Dalton threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd with 44 seconds left to give the Cincinnati Bengals a 31-27 victory. Needing a win to advance to the postseason, Baltimore (9-7) rallied from a 14-point deficit to take its first lead with 8:48 left. But Dalton put together a magnificent 90-yard drive in the closing minutes before hitting Boyd over the middle on a fourth-and-12 play. ''To battle o ur way back the way we did, and then not to be able to finish and win the game is about as tough as it can be,'' coach John Harbaugh said. Boyd avoided a tackle by Maurice Canady and raced to the end zone to give Cincinnati (7-9) the victory in what might have been its final game under coach Marvin Lewis. Baltimore entered knowing it could have also gotten into the postseason if either Tennessee or Buffalo tied or lost. Both those teams won, leaving the Ravens with no margin for error on a frigid and windy day. ''Nobody's happy,'' safety Eric Weddle said. ''We didn't make the plays. We weren't good enough. '' After getting off to a horrid start, the Ravens appeared in position to end their two-year hiatus from the postseason. Plenty of players stepped up in their time of need: Chris Moore had a pivotal kickoff return, Alex Collins delivered a huge fourth-down touchdown run and quarterback Joe Flacco bounced back from a horrible 4-for-18 start. Flacco's 6-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace made it 27-24, but all of that was rendered meaningless after Dalton put an appropriate finish on a game filled with huge plays. Dalton also threw a pair of touchdown passes to Tyler Kroft. Whether it was Lewis' last game on the sideline after a 15-year run with the Bengals will likely be determined on Monday. If it was the finale, it was a heck of a finish to a tenure in which Lewis went 125-112-3 in the regular season and 0-7 in the playoffs. Asked if he would like a shot at Year 16, Lewis replied, ''Yes, I want to coach this team. '' But he added: ''It's more complicated than that. '' He is expected to meet with owner Mike Brown on Monday. Free Picks for Today. The Ravens were down 17-3 late in the first half when Moore rambled 87 yards with a kickoff before being stopped near the left sideline wi th 8 seconds left. He finished what he started on the next play, catching a 6-yard touchdown pass. Sports Handicappers Rankings. Thus, Baltimore trailed by only 17-10 at the break despite a 268-61 deficit in yardage and 16-2 disparity in first downs. The Ravens took that momentum into the third quarter, moving deftly downfield before Moore juggled a pass that ended up in the hands of Cincinnati's Darqueze Dennard, who sprinted down the left sideline 89 yards for a touchdown . Trailing again by two TDs, Baltimore faced a fourth-and-3 from the Cincinnati 17. Collins took a pitchout designed to go around left end, reversed his field and ran around a block by Flacco to get into the right corner of the end zone. That set the stage for a tense fourth quarter in a game Cincinnati dominated at the outset. The Bengals moved 78 yards on eight plays following the opening kickoff and took a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Dalton to Kroft. That represented more points than Cincinnati scored in the first game between the teams, a 20-0 Baltimore victory in the season opener. The Ravens' first five possessions produced several dropped passes, one first down and five punts. CHILLIN' TO THE MAXXRavens tight end Maxx Williams went through preliminary warmups without a shirt, even though the temperature was 19 degrees. He did, however, wear a knit hat and sweat pants. INJURY UPDATEBengals: LB Jordan Evans (head, shoulder) left in the third quarter. . . . WR Josh Malone (ankle) did not play in the second half. . . . S Shawn Williams (back) left in the third quarter. Ravens: Moore sustained a concussion in the third quarter and did not return. . . . WR Jeremy Maclin (knee) was inactive for a second straight week. . . . Ravens DB Anthony Levine (foot) left in the second quarter. ---For more NFL coverage: http://pro32. ap. org and http://twitter. com/-NFL
NFL Game Recap: Jacksonville Jaguars (10) vs. Tennessee Titans (15) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017NASHVILLE, Tenn. Titans linebackers Brian Orakpo and Wesley Woodyard had a little talk with Marcus Mariota, encouraging their quarterback to run whenever he had a chance. Mariota did just that Sunday. Mariota had his best game running since a broken right leg ended his season a year ago, and he helped the Titans end an eight-season playoff drought by beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 15-10 Sunday to clinch the AFC's first wild-card berth. Orakpo called it an unbelievable feeling as the nine-year pro finally is headed to his first NFL postseason. ''I didn't want to be on a Southwest flight back to Texas tomorrow wondering, `what if,''' Orakpo said. Free Sports Picks. The Titans (9-7) snapped a three-game skid needing a win or losses elsewhere to advance. When Cincinnati beat Baltimore 31-27, that locked up the No. 5 seed for Tennessee and a wild-card game Saturday at Kansas City. Mariota ran a season-high 10 times for 60 yards, the biggest a 13-yard scramble on third-and-5 at the 2:00 mark that included a big stiff arm. Mariota also threw for 134 yards, including a TD pass on a screen that Derrick Henry took 66 yards for a TD. ''When I looked into his eyes, he had those Oregon eyes like he did back in college, running around making plays,'' Orakpo said of Mariota. ''I think me and Wood got in his head a little bit - in a positive way. We talked to him like, `If you see something, take off, man. ' We had a nice little talk, and it just paid off the way he was digging down deep. '' The Titans didn't call many designed runs for Mariota. ''For them to bring me aside and talk to me about just playing my game meant a lot to me,'' Mariota said of Orakpo and Wood yard. Ryan Succop also kicked three field goals. Money Cappers. The Titans sacked Blake Bortles twice and forced four turnovers, two interceptions by Kevin Byard. Sports Handicapper Leads. The Jaguars (10-6) clinched their first AFC South title a week ago when Tennessee lost to San Francisco. Coach Doug Marrone promised they came to win. Only left tackle Cam Robinson and wide receiver Marqise Lee were scratched - both were on the injury report this week. Yet they head into the postseason having lost two straight in their first such skid this season. ''The good part about this is we're going home,'' Marrone said. ''Whenever you have adversity in life and what you do, there's always that comfort of going home. We've earned the opportunity to play a home playoff game. '' The Jaguars had a chance to win after Mari ota lost his first fumble this season in the fourth quarter. Henry ran the wrong direction and collided with Mariota on a handoff, popping the ball in the air. Yannick Ngakoue picked it up and ran 67 yards for a TD, pulling the Jaguars within 15-10 with 10:48 left. But Byard got his second pick with 10 seconds remaining to seal the win. The Titans led 6-3 when they forced two turnovers 42 seconds apart just before halftime. Jaguars returner Jaydon Mickens signaled for a fair catch, then went to block as the ball came down close to him, and Phillip Supernaw recovered the bobble for Tennessee. On the next drive, Titans rookie cornerback Adoree Jackson punched the ball loose from Keelan Cole and Jayon Brown recovered. Succop capped each drive with a field goal, his second a 39-yarder as time expired for a 12-3 halftime lead. HENRY'S CHANCEThe 2015 Heisman Trophy winner got his fourth start and first this season with DeMarco Murray scratched with an injured right knee. H enry struggled in the first quarter and was tackled for too many losses. But Henry gave the Titans' their lone TD when he took a screen on the second play of the second quarter for a 6-0 lead. It was Henry's first TD catch of his career. It was his third TD of 60 yards or longer this season, second in the NFL to Kansas City's Tyreek Hill who has five. SCUFFLEAfter the game, Jaguars linebackers Donald Payne and Blair Brown argued with Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey. Brown appeared to throw a punch at Casey, though it didn't connect with Titans safety Brynden Trawick between the men. Casey wouldn't comment in the locker room about what happened. But he did note the Titans swept the division champs. INJURIESJaguars safety Barry Church hurt a hamstring, but he returned. Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan left for a play when officials stopped action in the fourth quarter for an injury. He also returned and finished the game. UP NEXTJaguars: Host Bu ffalo in their first playoff game in Jacksonville since the AFC championship game in January 2000. Titans: Visiting Kansas City on Saturday for their first playoff game since January 2009. ---For more NFL coverage: http://www. pro32. ap. org and http://www. twitter. com/-NFL . ---Follow Teresa M. Walker at www. twitter. com/teresamwalker
NFL Game Recap: San Francisco 49ers (34) vs. Los Angeles Rams (13) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017 LOS ANGELES Jimmy Garoppolo went out with a flourish, leading the suddenly exciting San Francisco 49ers to their fifth straight win to end the season. Now he heads into the offseason while Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and the rest of the Los Angeles Rams head into the franchise's first playoff appearance since the 2004 season. Garoppolo threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns to lead the 49ers to a 34-13 victory Sunday against a Rams team that chose to rest its big stars for the playoffs, including Goff, Gurley and Aaron Donald. Hot Sports Handicappers. The Rams (11-5), who clinched the NFC West last weekend, got everything they hoped for: healthy players and the NFC's No. 3 seed. They'll host the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday night. First-year coach Sean McVay cal led the loss ''humbling'' but didn't second-guess the decision to rest the stars. ''You certainly try to win the game,'' he said, ''but when you look at the way we approached it, we feel good about being able to allow some of players to get some rest, some recovery time that I think is much needed for those guys, and then you keep a couple of guys out of harm's way. '' McVay welcomed the challenge of playing the Falcons, adding: ''Our players will be juiced up to be able to get this preparation going and I know our coaches certainly feel that way, too. '' The 49ers (6-10) finished last in the division, but have hope with Garoppolo, who was Tom Brady's backup with New England before being acquired on Oct. 31. He threw touchdown passes of 8 yards to Marquise Goodwin - who later left with a concussion after a brutal hit by Blake Countess - and 12 yards to Aldrick Robinson. Both receivers were wide op en. Garoppolo completed 20 of 33 passes, looking confident and making some brilliant throws. He also was intercepted twice. Of course, it helped not having to face Donald and the Rams' four starting linebackers. ''We could keep going,'' Garoppolo said. ''It's unfortunate that our season comes to an end like this, but hopefully for next year we keep this good thing going. . . . Next year's team will have a different identity than this one did, but I think ending the season how we did definitely helped us. '' Carlos Hyde, who predicted last week that the Niners will win next season's Super Bowl, ran 15 times for 90 yards, scoring on runs of 8 and 5 yards. Sports Tipsters. THE INJURYThe game was marred when Goodwin was laid out with a shot to the left side of the helmet by Countess after an incomplete pass late in the first half. Goodwin flailed on the field for a mo ment before going still. He was tended to for several minutes before being helped to his feet and gingerly placed on a seat in the back of a cart. He motioned to fans with both hands and took off his helmet as he was driven up the tunnel at the LA Coliseum. He was ruled out with a concussion and taken to a hospital for evaluation. Coach Kyle Shanahan said tests were positive and that Goodwin would return to the Bay Area with the team. ''It was really good news. His scan passed fine,'' Shanahan said. ''It wasn't as scary as it seemed. He's going to be all right. '' Countess was flagged for unnecessary roughness for hitting a defenseless player. He was being evaluated for a concussion. ''Unbelievable the safety did that,'' Garoppolo said. ''It's not good for our sport, it's not good for anybody. It's just a dirty play. Marquise is as tough as they come and he bounces back from just about eve rything, so hopefully he'll be all right. '' Hyde scored on an 8-yard run on the next play. ''The O-line wanted to make a statement,'' Garoppolo said. ''We did that one for `Quise, I think. '' GAROPPOLO'S TOUCHThe catalyst for the 49ers' late-season run, Garoppolo showed a nice touch in finding open receivers. Working from the Rams 8 late in the first quarter, Garoppolo's primary receiver was covered, so the QB found Goodwin in the right flat for the easy score. Early in the fourth, Robinson was wide open up the middle for his 12-yard scoring catch. Robbie Gould capped the 49ers' first drive with a 33-yard field goal. The big play on that drive was Garoppolo's 44-yard pass to tight end George Kittle on third down. Kittle caught a short pass over the middle and broke it for a big gain. GURLEY SITSThe star running back was inactive, costing him the NFL rushing title. Gurley came into Sunday leading the NFL wi th 1,305 yards, followed by Kansas City's Kareem Hunt with 1,292 and Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell with 1,291. Bell also sat out Sunday. Hunt's first carry Sunday was for 35 yards and a touchdown, moving him past Gurley. UP NEXTRams: Will host Falcons at 5:15 p. m. Saturday. ---For more NFL coverage: http://www. pro32. ap. org and http://www. twitter. com/-NFL
NCAAB Game Recap: South Carolina (69) vs. Mississippi (74) - Date: 12/31/2017 Deandre Burnett scored 18 points and Mississippi converted eight consecutive free throws in the final 90 seconds to defeat South Carolina 74-69 in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams Sunday. Markel Crawford and Bruce Stevens added 17 and 10 points, respectively, for the Rebels (8-5). Burnett hit consecutive three-point shots to highlight a 16-6 run and build a 61-55 lead with 6:23 left. Ole Miss closed it at the free throw line, hitting 20 of 23 (87 percent) in the second half. Chris Silva had 21 points and 13 rebounds for South Carolina (9-4), but was hampered by foul trouble during the decisive Ole Miss surge. Frank Booker added 21 points, hitting 6 of 10 from the 3-point line. Ole Miss was 20 of 49 (41 percent) from the field, 8 of 21 (38 percent) from 3-point range and 26 of 33 (78 percent) from the free throw line. Sports Handicapping Monitor. The Rebels forced 14 turnovers and blocked seven shots. South Carolina finished 22 of 58 (38 percent) from the field, but managed only 10 of 34 apart from Silva and Booker. Picks and Parlays. The Gamecocks were 8 of 20 (40 percent) from the 3-point line and 17 of 26 (65 percent) from the free throw line. Sports Handicapper King. The Gamecocks won the rebound battle, 43-30, including 14 offensive boards. BIG PICTURESouth Carolina: The Gamecocks were in position to win an SEC road opener, heading into the final 10 minutes, but could not slow down the Ole Miss guards in the stretch run. The Gamecocks had consecutive turnovers in the final two minutes and were unable to get closer than three points. Wesley Myers had a team-high five assists. Ole Miss: The Rebels proved they could win without a strong performance from leading scorer Terence Davis, who played only 19 minutes and finished with four points. Marcanvis Hymon had a blocked shot and Crawford added a crucial steal on consecutive possessions inside the final 90 seconds to preserve the win. The Rebels have won four of the last five games. UP NEXTSouth Carolina: The Gamecocks open a two-game SEC home stand by hosting Missouri on Wednesday. Ole Miss: The Rebels visit Georgia on Wednesday.
NFL Game Recap: Arizona Cardinals (26) vs. Seattle Seahawks (24) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017 SEATTLE Phil Dawson kicked four field goals, the last from 42 yards with 2:21 left, Blair Walsh missed a 48-yard attempt with 32 seconds left and the Arizona Cardinals beat the Seattle Seahawks 26-24 on Sunday to close the season. Seattle's playoff hopes were dashed when Atlanta beat Carolina to earn the final wild-card spot in the NFC. Dawson's four field goals and Arizona (8-8) winning its third straight in Seattle was the final blow to an underwhelming season by the Seahawks. Arizona's game-winning drive was helped by a careless third down roughing penalty on Seattle's Bobby Wagner when it appeared the Seahawks would get off the field. Arizona later converted third-and-2 with a 17-yard pass to D. J. Foster and Dawson connected after hitting earlier in the game from 46, 49 and 53 yards. Seattle (9-7) got into po sition for a game-winning attempt from Walsh, but his kick stayed out to the right and the Seahawks were left to lament missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2011 season. It was also the first time Seattle failed to win 10 games since Russell Wilson's arrival in 2012. Drew Stanton threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Brown on Arizona's opening drive and Elijhaa Penny had a 4-yard TD run as the Cardinals jumped to a big early lead but stumbled offensively in the second half. Stanton finished 15 of 34 for 145 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Winning Picks. The Seahawks needed to beat the Cardinals and get a Carolina victory over Atlanta in order to make the postseason as a wild-card team. But the Panthers did Seattle no favors, losing 22-10 minutes before the Seahawks game went final. Seattle will be cleaning out its lockers on the day after the season ends for the first time since 2011. Wilson overcame an awful first half to put Seattle in position for the victory after the Seahawks trailed 20-7 at halftime and were deservedly booed off the field. Wilson finished 18 of 29 for 221 yards after completing just 4 of 8 passes for 36 yards in the first half. Seattle had just 24 yards in the first 30 minutes and Wilson was sacked twice. Wilson threw touchdown passes to Doug Baldwin of 18 and 29 yards in the second half. He connected with Baldwin for 23 yards and Jimmy Graham 21 yards to get Seattle into field-goal range on the final possession. But Walsh missed for the eighth time this season. Make Money Betting Sports. TOUCHDOWN LEADERWilson ended up leading the NFL in touchdown passes with 34 this season. Most of them came in the fourth quarter when Wilson threw an NFL-record 19 TDs. SACK ATTACKArizona's Chandler Jones finished with two sacks, surpassing Simeon Rice and setting a franchis e record. Jones finished the season with 17 sacks. KICKING ITDawson's 53-yarder was his 42nd field goal of 50 or more yards. It tied him with John Kasey for fourth most in league history. ---More NFL: https://pro32. ap. org and https://twitter. com/-NFL
NBA Game Recap: Minnesota Timberwolves (107) vs. Indiana Pacers (90) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017 INDIANOLIS The Minnesota Timberwolves never forgot about their loss to the Pacers early in the season. And it was all the motivation they needed to come out strong in Sunday's rematch.''We watched film the last two days of their win earlier in the year and it definitely wakes you up,'' forward Jimmy Butler said. ''It was good to get back at them.'' Butler had 26 points, six rebounds and five assists, and the Timberwolves never trailed this time around in a 107-90 victory.Karl-Anthony Towns had 18 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks, and Taj Gibson added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Timberwolves (23-14), who have won nine of their last 12.Joe Young scored a career-high 20 points off the bench and Bojan Bogdanovic scored all of his 13 points in the third quarter as the Pacers (19-18) dropp ed their fourth straight, equaling their worst skid of the season. Indiana also lost four in a row in early November.This time, the Pacers have been without guard Victor Oladipo, who averages a team-leading 24.9 points per game. He missed a third straight game with an injured right knee.Young is taking advantage of the chance to help fill the void.''It's about being ready, and when your time comes, you have to be ready,'' he said. ''Like (teammate) Al Jefferson told me, you just have to be ready at all times. Your name could be called any second. I took that motivation and just stayed ready and my time has come.'' It wasn't enough to help the Pacers put together a rally.After taking a 49-38 lead into halftime, the Timberwolves scored eight straight to open the second half. Gibson's 3-pointer at the end of an 11-2 run gave Minnesota a 73-53 lead with 4:40 left in the third quarter.''Our starters got us off to a great start,& #39;' Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. ''We're still striving to be a 48-minutes team. I thought what Jimmy did to get us going at the beginning (was big). I really liked the way he played.'' Butler had 16 points by halftime and didn't play in the fourth quarter.ROUGH STARTIndiana missed 12 shots, turned it over five times, fell behind 17-0 to start the game, and didn't score until Domantas Sabonis' hook shoot at the 5:15 mark in the first quarter. Sports Cappers. The Pacers scored just 13 points in the opening period - their season low for points in a quarter - and all 13 points came off the bench.OPPOSITE NIGHTWhen the teams first met early in the season, the Pacers shot a franchise-record 66.7 percent from the field. On Sunday, Indiana shot 38.8 percent, its worst since shooting 33.7 percent in a 114-96 loss to Oklahoma City on Oct. 25.TIP-INS:Timberwolves: Butler was 10-o f-11 from the free-throw line. ... Minnesota turned it over just eight times. ... Sports Handicapper Picks. Towns' six blocks tied his career high. ... Winning Sports Gambling. The team finished with a 58-36 advantage in points in the paint.Pacers: Indiana's 90 points was its lowest scoring total at home this season. ... Indiana committed 17 turnovers. ... The 58 points off the bench was a season high.UP NEXTTimberwolves: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday in the second game of a back-to-back.Pacers: At Milwaukee on Wednesday.---More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
NBA Game Recap: Brooklyn Nets (105) vs. Boston Celtics (108) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017 BOSTON Kyrie Irving scored 28 points, Al Horford had 10 points and 10 rebounds and the Boston Celtics held off the Brooklyn Nets 108-105 on Sunday.Marcus Morris added 15 points, Terry Rozier scored 14 and Jaylen Brown finished with 13 points as Boston closed 2017 by winning three straight and four of five.Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 22 points and 12 rebounds and Caris LeVert scored 16 for the Nets, who could not overcome 10 turnovers in the second half.The Celtics won their seventh straight against the Nets, although Boston didn't have the game in hand until Irving made a pair of free throws with 7.7 seconds remaining. Boston went the final 4:27 without a field goal and struggled from the foul line, going 13 of 21 in the second half and missing several opportunities to put Brooklyn away.Hollis-Jefferson pulled the Nets within 103-95 on a dunk, and then converted a three-point play with 2:05 left to cut the margin to 103-98. Quincy Acy hit a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left after the Nets grabbed two offensive rebounds and Brooklyn was within 105-103.Marcus Smart made 1 of 2 free throws with 15.2 seconds left, and then Irving - who went 4-for-4 from the foul line - added two more to seal it.Acy scored 14 for the Nets, DeMarre Carrol and Allen Crabbe scored 12 points apiece and Spencer Dinwiddie had 10 points and nine assists.TIP-INSNets: Brooklyn outscored the Celtics 31-23 in the second quarter and had one turnover in the first half. ... Brooklyn won consecutive games only once in December. ... Sports Betting Leads. The Nets oustcored the Celtics in the paint 50-34.Celtics: Irving scored at least 20 points for the 11th straight game. ... Boston took a 38-28 lead on Terry Rozier's 3-pointer just before the buzzer at the end of the first period . ... Boston shot 69.6 percent (16 for 23) in the first quarter. ... Todays Free Sports Picks. The Celtics outrebounded the Nets 22-14 in the first half.UP NEXTNets: Are back at home Monday night hosting Orlando after a five-game trip.Celtics: Host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night in an Eastern Conference Finals rematch.---More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
NHL Game Recap: Tampa Bay Lightning (5) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (0) - Date: 12/31/2017 / COLUMBUS, Ohio Tyler Johnson scored twice, Andre Vasilevskiy stopped 21 shots for his ninth career shutout and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-0 on Sunday night. Johnson's second-period goals extended his point streak to 12 games, tied for the longest in the league this season. He's got eight goals and 10 assists in that stretch. After a slow start, Tampa Bay scored four times in a span of 7:23 in the second period, sucking the energy out of the sellout crowd at Nationwide Arena on New Year's Eve. Nikita Kucherov got his league-leading 25th goal of the season, and Steven Stamkos and Cory Conacher also scored for the Lightning. Brayden Point, Mikhail Sergachev and Victor Hedman had two assists apiece. Vasilevskiy didn't have to work particularly hard in recording his league-leading fifth shutout of the season for the Lightning, who lead the NHL in wins and sit atop the Atlantic Division at 28-8-2. Joonas Korpisalo had 30 saves for Columbus. He started in place of Sergei Bobrovsky, who has struggled lately and was rested by coach John Tortorella. Free Pick. The Blue Jackets were 6-6-2 in December and have slipped to third in the Metropolitan Division. Columbus outshot the Lightning 12-5 in the opening period. Sports Handicapper Records. They had two power plays and played much of the frame in Tampa Bay's zone but couldn't capitalize. Football Handicappers. The best chance was a clean breakaway by Nick Foligno with 1:35 left, but his shot was knocked down by Vasilevskiy. Tampa Bay broke through in the second. Johnson scored his 11th goal of the season with a wrist shot from the ri ght circle, set up nicely by Point. Johnson put in his second goal of the night from the other circle 4:49 into the second, assisted again by Point and Sergachev. Tampa Bay kept up the flurry at 7:53 when Kucherov buried a wrist shot from the slot. Just short of a minute later, Conacher unloaded a one-timer from the left circle that beat Korpisalo. The Lightning outshot the Blue Jackets 23-6 in the period. Stamkos added the fifth goal 10:36 into the third on a power play, while the Blue Jackets managed just three on-target shots in the entire period. NOTES: Kucherov has 16 points in the last 10 games. ... Columbus F Boone Jenner played in his 300th career NHL game. ... Tampa Bay D Anton Stralman returned after missing two games with a lower body injury. ... Lightning G Louis Domingue was recalled from Syracuse (AHL) after Peter Budaj left Friday night's loss to Philadelphia with a leg injury after a collision. ... D Slater Koekkoek was scratched by Tampa Bay. ... D Dean Kukan was a scratch for Columbus. UP NEXT:Tampa Bay: Plays at Toronto on Tuesday night. Columbus: Plays at Dallas on Tuesday night.---More NHL hockey at https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey---Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy
NFL Game Recap: New Orleans Saints (24) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (31) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017 TAMPA, Fla. Jameis Winston threw for 363 yards, including a 39-yard scoring pass to Chris Godwin with nine seconds remaining, to help the Tampa Bay Buccaneers snap a five-game losing streak with a 31-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Handicapper Directory. The playoff-bound Saints (11-5) entered the day hoping to clinch their first NFC South championship in six years. They wound up winning the title anyway, with Carolina (11-5) losing its regular season finale at Atlanta. Free Winning Sports Picks. Trailing 24-23 with 1:58 remaining, Winston moved the Bucs (5-11) 95 yards in 11 plays for the winning TD. He converted a fourth-and-10 from his own 5 yard line with a 12-yard completion to Cameron Brate and threw 9 yards to Mike Evans on third-and-1 to keep the drive going at the Tampa Bay 35. Winning Sports Gambling. The fourth-year pro, who was intercepted three times, found Godwin racing up the right sideline just ahead of Saints cornerback Ken Crawley to put the Bucs ahead for good. Alvin Kamara scored on a 106-yard kickoff return and had a second touchdown rushing for the Saints, who took a 24-20 lead midway through the fourth quarter when Zach Line caught a 3-yard TD pass from Drew Brees. Patrick Murray, whose missed an extra point in the second quarter was the difference on the scoreboard when Winston launched the winning drive, made a 42-yard field goal to help the Bucs pull within 24-23 with four minutes left. Kamara, who's teamed with Mark Ingram to give New Orleans the only tandem in NFL history 1,500-plus scrimmage yards and more than 10 TDs in the same season, wiped out an early 7-0 deficit with his kickoff return. The rookie's 7-yard TD run on the Saints' first offensive possession made it 14-7. The touchdowns were the 13th and 14th of the season for Kamara, who has eight rushing and five receiving in addition to the second 100 yard-plus kickoff return for a TD allowed by Tampa Bay in two weeks. Winston led a pair of 75-yard scoring drives in the opening half, but was also intercepted twice before halftime. Brees turned one of the mistakes into the Saints' first touchdown, throwing 43 yards to Michael Thomas to set up Kamara's TD run that finished a 65-yard drive. The New Orleans finished 22 of 30 for 245 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Godwin has seven receptions for 111 yards. Adam Humphries had seven catches for 102 yards. INJURIESSaints: None reported during the game. Buccaneers: S T. J. Ward left with a knee injury and did not play in the second half. . . . T Caleb Benenoch injured an ankle during the first half but returned. He l imped off for good a sore knee in the second half. UP NEXTSaints: First playoff appearance since 2013. Buccaneers: Coach Dirk Koetter, who's 13-18, was told before the finale that he will return for a third season. ---For more NFL coverage: http://www. pro32. ap. org and http://www. twitter. com/-NFL
NFL Game Recap: Buffalo Bills (22) vs. Miami Dolphins (16) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. The Buffalo Bills snapped the longest current non-playoff drought in North American pro sports with a 22-16 victory Sunday at Miami and Cincinnati's victory at Baltimore. The Bills hadn't made the postseason since 1999. Buffalo (9-7) will travel to Jacksonville next weekend in a wild-card game. Profitable Sports Handicappers. The Bills' anxiety was compounded by the loss of 1,000-yard rusher LeSean McCoy with a right ankle injury. He was carted off the field in the third quarter. Sports Cappers. The frustration of a disappointing season got the best of the Dolphins (6-10) with 6:21 left, when receiver Jarvis Landry, running back Kenyan Drake and offensive lineman Jake Brendel were ejected following a fight. Landry was cited for disrespecting an official, and Drake for throwing his helmet 20 yards in anger. Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties were called against both teams. Sports Handicapper Picks. The undisciplined Dolphins, who came into the game with the second-most penalties in the NFL, had 14 for 145 yards. Buffalo punctuated the victory with a 1-yard touchdown run by defensive tackle Kyle Williams, who is in his 12th and perhaps final season with the Bills. Williams and his teammates celebrated the first score of his career with choreographed back flops in the end zone. Golf great Jack Nicklaus wore Bills gear and a smile watching from the stands as his grandson, tight end Nick O'Leary, caught Tyrod Taylor's 26-yard touchdown pass. The Dolphins scored a touchdown with 1:56 left and recovered the ensuing onside kick, but Jordan Poyer's interception sealed the win for Buffalo. Tayl or went 19 for 27 for 204 yards and one score. In six games against Miami, he has 10 touchdown passes and no interceptions. For the Dolphins, the season finale had the feel of an exhibition game, with thousands of empty seats and David Fales giving a lengthy, unimpressive audition as a potential backup quarterback in 2018. Miami was eliminated a week ago and will sit out the playoffs for the eighth time in the past nine years. Miami lost to Buffalo for the seventh time in their past 10 meetings. REVERSALA 98-yard fumble return for a touchdown by the Bills' Preston Brown was negated by a replay review. Instead, the Dolphins kept possession, and Landry scored on a 1-yard reception on the next play, when the fight broke out. MIAMI QBSMiami starter Jay Cutler took three snaps before he was replaced by Fales, a sixth-round draft pick by the Bears in 2014. Fales, who came into the game with only two career completions, went 29 for 42 for 265 yards with one score and one in terception. Cutler, 34, ended a brief retirement to join the Dolphins this year and has said he has not decided whether he wants to play in 2018. Ryan Tannehill is expected to start next year in a comeback from knee surgery that wiped out his 2017 season. INJURY REPORTBills: McCoy was hurt when he carried up the middle. After being tackled, he pounded the turf with his fist as trainers attended to him. He had 10 yards on 11 carries to finish with 1,138 yards rushing, and added 448 receiving on a team-high 59 catches. . . . RT Jordan Mills (ankle) was helped off the field late in the second quarter. Dolphins: LB Kiko Alonso suffered a neck injury. UP NEXT: Buffalo will play a postseason game for the first time since losing at Tennessee in the Music City Miracle game in January 2000. The Bills travel to Jacksonville. ---More NFL: http://pro32. ap. org and https://twitter. com/-NFL---Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: http://twitter. com/Steve-Wine.
NFL Game Recap: Carolina Panthers (10) vs. Atlanta Falcons (22) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017 ATLANTA Matt Bryant kicked five field goals, including a 56-yarder, for all of Atlanta's second-half points and the Falcons clinched a playoff spot by beating the Carolina Panthers 22-10 on Sunday. After the teams played to a 7-7 halftime tie, the 42-year-old Bryant kicked field goals of 30, 42, 30, 56 and 33 yards without a miss. Atlanta (10-6) clinched the No. 6 seed in the NFC and will play at the Los Angeles Rams next week in the first round of the playoffs. On a day when Cam Newton and the Panthers' offense struggled, Bryant's 15 points provided a margin too great for Carolina to overcome. Sports Handicapper Tracker. The Panthers (11-5) had a playoff spot secured entering the weekend, but they couldn't improve their position. Minnesota's 23-10 win over Chicago earlier Sunday ended the Panthers' hopes of a first-round bye. The loss to the Falcons ended Carolina's goal of winning the NFC South, and the Panthers will open the playoffs at New Orleans. Matt Ryan completed 28 of 45 passes for 317 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to Devonta Freeman on Atlanta's opening drive, and no interceptions. NBA Handicappers. The Panthers pulled even on Newton's 4-yard scoring pass to Devin Funchess late in the first half. Newton threw three second-half interceptions. The third interception, by Robert Alford in the end zone with 8 seconds remaining, ended the Panthers' final drive. Newton completed 14 of 34 passes for 180 yards and one touchdown. With the game tied in the third quarter, the Falcons had an apparent touchdown taken off the board when a review showed Mohamed Sanu didn't maintain control of a 12-yard catch in the end zone. The b all hit the ground after Sanu collided with Julio Jones, who also was crossing to the middle of the end zone. Baseball Predictions. The Falcons settled for Bryant's first 30-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead. Newton led the Panthers on a 16-play touchdown drive that consumed more than half of the second quarter and tied the game at 7. Newton gained the needed yard on a fourth-down keeper, but the true back-breaking play for Atlanta's defense was his 27-yard pass to Brenton Bersin on a third-and-23 play. The pass set up Newton's 4-yard scoring pass to Funchess. SLOW STARTNewton was 0 for 9 before finally completing his final seven passes of the first half. Newton completed his first pass to McCaffrey - for a loss of 3 yards - midway through the second quarter. MILESTONE FOR JULIOJones caught a 14-yard pass midway through the third quarter to reach 9,000 career yards faster than any receiver si nce the 1970 merger. The two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection last month set the league mark with the most catches and yards receiving in a receiver's first 90 games. Jones finished with five catches for 80 yards. He survived an injury scare after he took a big hit from Carolina strong safety Mike Adams on the opening drive. He returned to the field on the same drive, which ended with Ryan's touchdown pass to Freeman. NO STEWARTRunning back Jonathan Stewart was due to back tightness. The Panthers also were without two more starters: safety Kurt Coleman (ankle), and right guard Trai Turner (concussion). UP NEXTPanthers: Carolina will play at New Orleans next week in the first round of the NFC playoffs. Falcons: Atlanta will visit the Rams next week in the first round of the playoffs. ---For more NFL coverage: http://www. pro32. ap. org and http://www. twitter. com/-NFL
NCAAB Game Recap: Virginia Tech (56) vs. Syracuse (68) - Date: 12/31/2017 Oshae Brissett had 19 points, Matthew Moyer had with 11 points and 13 rebounds, a career high, and Syracuse held Virginia Tech to its lowest scoring output of the season to defeat the Hokies 68-56 Sunday in the ACC conference opener for both teams. Syracuse (12-2) held Virginia Tech (11-3) to just 10-of-30 shooting from 3-point range. Best Sports Handicappers. The Hokies entered the game as the ACC's leading 3-point team, hitting at a 44 percent clip from beyond the arc. Brissett, who also pulled nine rebounds, had 12 of his points in the second half. Free Sport Pick. Tyus Battle and Frank Howard had 17 points apiece for Syracuse. Nickeil Alexander-Walker led Virginia Tech with 19 points. Justin Robinson and Justin Bibbs had 10 each. < a href="https://www.cappertek.com/leaderboard.asp">Sports Handicapper Records. The Hokies, trailing 32-19 at the break, started the second half on a 12-2 run on two 3s by Bibbs and one 3 each by Alexander-Walker and Robinson to narrow the Orange lead to 34-31 with 14:34 left. But Syracuse withstood the rally and went on an 11-0 run of its own, capped by a 3-pointer by Battle, to extend its margin to 45-31 with 11:29 remaining. Syracuse extended to its largest lead, 66-46, on a put-back by Moyer with 2:23 to go. The first half was a nip and tuck affair when the Orange went on a 15-3 run and closed the half with a 13-point. Howard had eight points and Battle seven during the run. The 19 points marked the fewest for Hokies this season. The Hokies hit just 3 of 13 from beyond the arc, and just 6 of-23 overall in the first half. The Orange was 4 of 11 from 3 and 11 of 24 overall. Howard led the Orange with 11 points before intermission and Battle chipped in with nine. Ah med Hill had six for the Hokies. Justin Robinson had five. BIG PICTURE:Virginia Tech runs into another tough defensive matchup against Virginia. Syracuse rides high heading into its first ACC road game of the season. While you could have seen a Syracuse win Sunday, the margin was surprising. If Matthew Moyer can be a factor, the Orange will surprise. UP NEXT:Virginia Tech hosts in-state and ACC rival No. 9 Virginia Wednesday. Syracuse has its first ACC road test Wednesday against Wake Forest.
NCAAB Game Recap: Georgia (61) vs. Kentucky (66) - Date: 12/31/2017 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored five of his 21 points down the stretch, and No. 16 Kentucky added several clutch late baskets to rally past Georgia 66-61on Sunday night in its Southeastern Conference opener. Sports Handicappers Rankings. The Wildcats (11-2, 1-0) shot a season-low 17 of 54 from the field (32 percent) but got needed baskets to overcome an eight-point deficit. Gilgeous-Alexander's go-ahead 3-pointer with 4:39 remaining set the tone for big shots that Kevin Knox, Hamidou Diallo and then Gilgeous-Alexander followed with layups before Wenyen Gabriel's 3 with 1:08 left provided a six-point cushion. Gilgeous-Alexander and Quade Green (15 points) combined for three late free throws to seal the tight win that followed Friday's 29-point shellacking of archrival Louisville. Diallo fini shed with 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds as Kentucky won the boards 42-38. Yante Maten had 17 points, Derek Ogbeide 13 and Rayshaun Hammonds 12 for the Bulldogs (9-3, 0-1), who entered having won five of six this month. Sports Betting Handicapping. They seemed to be able to answer several Kentucky charges in the second half before fading to finish 40 percent from the field. BIG PICTUREGeorgia: The Bulldogs missed their first 11 3-point shots and finished just 2 of 21 from behind the arc, but consecutive makes by Maten and William Jackson II coming out of the break proved critical. Besides providing a 33-26 lead, the shots set an assertive yet patient tone that paid off on both ends. But those timely shots, rebounds and steals disappeared in the final five minutes. Kentucky: After playing arguably their best game this season against Louisville, the Wildcats struggled from the field throughout before succeedin g late. Gilgeous-Alexander followed up his career-best 24-point effort against Louisville with another 20-point game, hitting 12 of 13 from the line. Free Picks for Today. The `Cats made 27 of 38 overall. UP NEXTGeorgia: Hosts Mississippi on Wednesday night. Kentucky: At LSU on Wednesday night.---For more college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/-Top25
NCAAB Game Recap: Utah (66) vs. Oregon State (64) - Date: 12/31/2017 Justin Bibbins scored 18 points with four 3-pointers and six assists as Utah held on late to beat Oregon State 66-64 on Sunday. David Collette added 12 points for the Utes (10-3, 2-0 Pac-12), who took a game-saving final possession after an Oregon State turnover with 1.4 seconds on the clock. Sports Handicapping Monitor. Tres Tinkle had 14 points, five rebounds and five assists and Stephen Thompson Jr. added 13 points for the Beavers (9-5, 1-1). MLB Handicappers. The Beavers led by six in the second half when Utah went on a 16-2 run, capped by a Sedrick Barefield free throw with 3:37 left, to go ahead 63-55. Fixed Games. The swarming Utes defense held the Beavers without a field goal f or eight minutes. Oregon State promptly responded with a 7-0 surge, capped by an Alfred Hollins dunk, to trail 63-62 with a minute remaining. Bibbins was fouled in the lane on Utah's next possession and sank both free throws. With 27.5 seconds left, Tinkle was fouled and made two free throws to make the score 65-64. Barefield was fouled, but made only one. The Beavers had the ball with 20 seconds left, but Hollins and Tinkle missed 3-pointers and a put-back by Thompson bounced off the rim, resulting in a jump ball, with the possession arrow going to Oregon State with 1.4 seconds remaining. The baseline official ruled that Ethan Thompson moved along the baseline and awarded possession to Utah. Hollins intercepted the Utah pass but his half court heave was off the mark. Utah shot 48 percent for the game - and on 3-pointers, going 11-for-23. Oregon State shot 42 percent. The Utes led 38-32 at the half. Oregon State went on a 11-3 surge to open the second half, propelled by two Thompson 3-pointers, to take a 43-41 lead. BIG PICTUREUtah: The Utes first six shots of the game were 3-pointers, and they made four of them. The first two-point field goal attempt for Utah came near the 14:30 mark. . The Utes came into the game averaging 8.9 3-pointers made per game. At halftime on Sunday , the team had made 10. Oregon State: Thompson's last-second heroics helped the Beavers to wins against the Utes in 2015 and 2016. The 2016 win was Oregon State's lone Pac-12 victory. NEXT UPUtah hosts Arizona on Thursday. Oregon State hosts Oregon on Friday.
NFL Game Recap: Kansas City Chiefs (27) vs. Denver Broncos (24) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017 DENVER Patrick Mahomes II made both his first NFL start and his first NFL relief appearance a success Sunday, leading the Kansas City Chiefs past the Denver Broncos 27-24 on Harrison Butker's 30-yard field goal as time expired. Starting in place of Alex Smith, Mahomes handed off a 24-10 lead to No. 3 QB Tyler Bray midway through the fourth quarter but came back with the score tied at 24 and less than three minutes left. He drove the Chiefs 67 yards in 11 plays for the game-winning field goal that sent the Chiefs (10-6) to their fifth straight win over the Broncos (5-11). Mahomes became the first quarterback drafted by the Chiefs to win a game for them since Todd Blackledge in 1987. He threw for 284 yards on 24-of-35 passing with no touchdowns and an interception. Broncos QB Paxton Lynch was 21 of 31 for 254 yards with two TDs, two interceptions and was sacked five times. Rookie Kareem Hunt scored on a 35-yard run on his only carry, securing the NFL rushing title over Todd Gurley II and Le'Veon Bell, both of whom were inactive Sunday. And C. J. Anderson gained 61 yards to top 1,000 for the first time in his five-year with the Broncos. Game Fixing. The Chiefs rested QB Smith and several other starters because they were locked into the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoffs, allowing coach Andy Reid and his staff to essentially use this regular season finale as their playoff bye. Bray handed off late to fullback Anthony Sherman - who carried 14 times for 40 yards after coming into the game with six career carries in seven NFL seasons - and linebacker Zaire Anderson scooped up the loose ball and scored from 38 yards out. Lynch added a 6-yard TD pass to Demaryius Thomas with 2:53 left, and Brandon McManus' extra point tied it at 24. Mahom es returned to the game with 2:45 left and was promptly sacked by DeMarcus Walker but recovered nicely to drive K. C. to victory. Lynch threw an interception late in the first half and was sacked three times in a five-snap span in the third quarter, losing the ball on one of them with linebacker Ramik Wilson scooping it up and scoring from 11 yards out. Mahomes made a good first impression, connecting with tight end Demetrius Harris for 51 yards on third-and-10 from his own 14 on Kansas City's opening drive. Then, he handed off to Hunt, who dashed for a 35-yard touchdown less than a minute into the game. Kansas City moved up 17 spots to take the Texas Tech standout quarterback last April, ending three decades of avoiding quarterbacks in the first round. He watched all year as Smith had the best season of his 13-year career, throwing for 4,042 yards to go with 26 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Mahomes was intercepted by Darian Stewart on his second drive but engineered a 73-yard TD drive that Sherman capped with a 1-yard run to give Kansas City a 14-10 halftime lead. It was 17 degrees at kickoff, the fifth-coldest home start in Broncos history and the coldest temperature for any of Lynch's starts, in the pros or at Memphis. Just like he did at Oakland a month earlier, Lynch struggled after throwing an interception. But before that, he threw a screen pass that rookie running back De'Angelo Henderson turned into a 29-yard score . CLADY HONOR: The Broncos honored retired tackle Ryan Clady during the game. The 12th overall selection out of Boise State in 2008, Clady was one of the best linemen in team history but he was often injured in his career, missing both of Denver's Super Bowl appearances during his playing career. INJURIES: Chiefs backup punt returner De'Anthony Thomas was carted off after injuring his right leg on the final play of the first quarter. He was dragged down by Marcus Rios after backtracking t o field Riley Dixon's punt at his 5. CB Phillip Gaines was knocked out with an elbow injury just before halftime. Broncos S Will Parks went out in the fourth quarter with a neck injury. UP NEXT: The Chiefs turn their attention to the wild-card round of the AFC playoffs, where the Chiefs are seeking their first playoff win at Arrowhead Stadium in their history. Sports Monitor. The Broncos head into another offseason where the only certainty is change. ---For more NFL coverage: http://www. pro32. ap. org and http://www. twitter. com/-NFL---Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter. com/arniestapleton
NCAAB Game Recap: UL Lafayette (88) vs. Arkansas State (78) - Date: 12/31/2017 Frank Bartley IV scored 23 points and Bryce Washington added 12 points with 11 rebounds and Louisiana beat Arkansas State 88-78 on Sunday. Johnathan Stove's 3-pointer with 3:57 to go broke a 74-all tie, started a 9-0 run and Arkansas State missed 10 of its final 12 shots the rest of the way. Best Sports Picks Service. The game was tied at 40 at intermission with Arkansas State shooting 68 percent before falling off to 37 percent (15 of 41) in the second half. Marcus Stroman scored 14 points and passed out 10 assists and JaKeenan Gant and Stove each scored 10. Louisiana (12-3, 2-0 Sun Belt) shot 31 of 56 (55 percent) and had a 37-28 rebounding edge. Handicapping Sports. The Ragin' Cajuns scored 48 points inside to Arkansas Sta te's 34. Rashad Lindsey led Arkansas State (6-9, 1-1) with 18 points, Tamas Bruce and Deven Simms each scored 14 and Ty Cockfield added 13.
NFL Game Recap: Oakland Raiders (10) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (30) - Date: 12/31/2017 Dec 31, 2017 CARSON, Calif. Philip Rivers passed for 387 yards and three touchdowns, but the Los Angeles Chargers missed out on a playoff berth despite their 30-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Keenan Allen scored on a 27-yard fumble recovery and a 6-yard TD catch for the Chargers (9-7), who won six of their final seven games in their relocation season. Winning Sports Handicappers. The Bolts needed help from losses by two other AFC teams to become the second team in NFL history to make the playoffs after an 0-4 start, and they were eliminated when Tennessee beat Jacksonville moments after the final gun in Carson. Sports Handicapping Software. Tyrell Williams caught a 56-yard TD pass and Travis Benjamin caught a 62-yard scoring pass for the Chargers, who won nine of their final 12 games. They fought fiercely to overcome their 0-4 start, which included two losses decided by missed field goals on the final snap, but the Bolts couldn't quite do it. Free Picks for Today. The Chargers swept their season series with their fiercest rivals and earned their fifth straight win at StubHub Center despite a crowd cheering loudly for the Raiders, who played in Los Angeles County for the first time since moving back to Oakland after the 1994 season. Those fans had little to celebrate as the Chargers beat down the Raiders, and a handful of silver-and-black fans threw bottles at the Chargers' defense while it celebrated a fourth-quarter turnover in the end zone. Amari Cooper caught an 87-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr, but the Raiders (6-10) gave their faithful LA fans little else to cheer. Carr passed for 243 yards as the Raiders wrapped up their 14th non-winning season in the past 15 years amid loud speculation about coach Jack Del Rio's future. Rivers became the ninth quarterback in NFL history to surpass 50,000 yards passing, and he tied Fran Tarkenton for sixth place in league history with 342 touchdown passes. The 36-year-old passer left little doubt he's still on top of his game with a series of fine long passes, shredding the Raiders' beleaguered secondary. After a scoreless first quarter, Allen finished a 99-yard drive for the Chargers by being in the right place when running back Melvin Gordon fumbled for the first time all season. The ball popped in the air and straight to Allen, who took it in for the sixth TD of his Pro Bowl season. The Raiders answered with a beautiful, long strike down the middle from Carr to Cooper, who took it in untouched. Williams scored untouched on another long strike down the middle of the Raiders' defense later in the quarter. Allen the n capped the half with an exceptional TD grab on a pinpoint fade pass from Rivers. Gordon rushed for 93 yards for the Chargers, who finished the scoring in the third quarter when Benjamin went in untouched on another long throw by Rivers. KEENAN'S HISTORYAllen finished with nine catches for 133 yards in the latest spectacular game in his Pro Bowl season. He broke LaDainian Tomlinson's single-season Chargers record on his 101st catch of the season in the fourth quarter. GET THAT MONEYMarshawn Lynch finished strong in his first season with his hometown team, getting 101 yards rushing and earning a $600,000 bonus for surpassing 800 yards on the season. He also surpassed 10,000 yards rushing for his career with an 11-yard gain late in the fourth quarter. INJURIESRaiders: S Karl Joseph injured his hamstring in the first half. . . . DL Eddie Vanderdoes had to be helped off the field in the fourth quarter. Chargers: Backup S Adrian Phillips missed his first game of the season after injuring his ankle last week. ---For more NFL coverage: www. pro32. ap. org and www. twitter. com/-NFL
NCAAB Game Recap: Eastern Washington (77) vs. North Dakota (64) - Date: 12/31/2017 Bogdan Bliznyuk went on a tear in the second half, scored 29 points on 12-for-18 shooting and Eastern Washington defeated North Dakota 77-64 on Sunday. Sports Handicapper Leads. The win was the first time Eastern Washington (6-9, 1-1 Big Sky Conference) has won in Grand Forks. Free Picks and Parlays. The Eagles led 42-26 at halftime but North Dakota (4-9, 0-2) steadily worked the lead down to 50-47 when Tray Buchanan hit from 3 with 10:38 remaining. Sports Handicappers Rankings. Then came a Bliznyuk blitz. He scored the next eight points in about two minutes with a 3, a 3-point play and a jump shot, driving the lead back to 11 points and forcing a North Dakota timeout at 6:59. After the timeout, Bliznyuk scored six more for a 14-point one-man outburst before Cody Benzel launched a 3-pointer that gave Eastern a 67-49 lead with 3:20 to play. Jesse Hunt scored 16 points and Sir Washington 12 for EWU. Dale Jones led North Dakota with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
NCAAB Game Recap: Missouri State (67) vs. Valparaiso (50) - Date: 12/31/2017 Jarrid Rhodes made five 3-pointers for 15 points, Alize Johnson had 11 points, 12 rebounds and four assists for his ninth double-double, and Missouri State beat Valparaiso 67-50 on Sunday. Valpo had its 13-game home winning streak snapped, the first home loss as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. Missouri State went on a 13-0 run in the first half and led 37-21 at halftime, then extended it to 58-37 after Valpo only made two field goals through the first 14-plus minutes of the second half. Obediah Church and Jarred Dixon each scored 10 points for Missouri State (12-3, 2-0 MVC). Church added four blocks. Max Joseph led Valparaiso (9-6, 0-2) with 13 points, including a 3-pointer just before the final buzzer, and Tevonn Walker added 11. Free Sports Picks of the Day. The Crusaders had as ma ny field goals (16) as turnovers.
NCAAB Game Recap: Indiana State (81) vs. Illinois State (84) - Date: 12/31/2017 Milik Yarbrough scored 29 points and tied a career-high with 10 rebounds, Phil Fayne scored 17 with 11 rebounds and Illinois State beat Indiana State 84-81 in overtime on Sunday. Yarbrough's jumper to start overtime put Illinois State (8-6, 2-0 Missouri Valley) ahead. Indiana State's Brenton Scott made a pair of free throws to tie it at 73 before Taylor Bruninga nailed a 3 with 3:32 to play. Indiana State (6-8, 1-1) missed four of its final five shots, one on a Yarbrough block of Scott, who drove for a layup with three seconds left and the Sycamores trailing 84-81. Fayne grabbed the rebound, was immediately fouled and went to the free-throw line and missed both. Clayton Hughes grabbed the second miss but missed a last-second heave. Fayne's tipin with 31 seconds left in regulation tied it at 70. Illinois State's Madison Williams bloc ked Jordan Barnes' 3-point attempt, and Hughes missed a jumper after gathering the offensive rebound. Barnes led Indiana State with 17 points and Scott scored 15.
NCAAB Game Recap: St Johns (70) vs. Seton Hall (75) - Date: 12/31/2017 Khadeen Carrington scored 24 points to help No. 23 Seton Hall beat St. John's 75-70 on Sunday at the Prudential Center. Desi Rodriguez added 23 points and nine rebounds for the Pirates (13-2, 2-0 Big East). Myles Powell had 16 points, and Angel Delgado finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Seton Hall has won four straight and nine of 10. Sports Handicapping Service Leads. The Red Storm (10-4, 0-2) played without scoring leader Shamorie Ponds. Expert Sports Picks. The Big East's No. 3 scorer at 20.1 points per game, he injured a knee Thursday night in a loss to Providence. Top Rated Sports Handicappers. Tariq Owens led the Red Storm with 19 points. Marvin Clark II added 1 8 points before fouling out, Bashir Ahmed had 16, and Justin Simon 16. The Pirates were 10 of 18 from 3-point range in the first half and 13 of 29 overall. UP NEXT:St. John's: At Creighton on Wednesday night. Seton Hall: At Butler on Saturday.