National Sports

NFL ICYMI: As of now, Brady, Patriots not what they’ve been

By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Pro Football Writer Tom Brady scrambled and heaved up a wobbly pass off his back foot, the sort of thing a less-experienced, less-accomplished and, well, less-cool QB might do. The ball was picked off, and the New England Patriots were on their way to a second ...

3 English teams face German opposition in Champions League

By GRAHAM DUNBAR, AP Sports Writer NYON, Switzerland (AP) — One of the fiercest international rivalries in soccer will play out three times in the last 16 of the Champions League when a trio English teams take on German opposition. Five-time European champions Liverpool and Bayern Munich ...

Column: Maybe the key word in NFL stretch drive is balance

By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer Football purists are smiling. For one week, the video game nature of the NFL hit pause. Only one quarterback on Saturday or Sunday threw for 300 yards, let alone 400. No pinball shootouts. Ten players rushed for at least 100 yards, and Ravens ...

East features MVP candidates even with LeBron in the West

By SCHUYLER DIXON, AP Sports Writer With eight shopping days to Christmas, the NBA's decision to have Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo and Philadelphia's Joel Embiid in its holiday lineup is more than just sides in another hoop smorgasbord. It puts the spotlight on — and raises a question ...

LeBron’s season-low 13 in blowout caps Lakers’ eventful week

By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Sports Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — This was hardly the ideal way for LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers to cap what amounted to an eventful week of highs and lows. And arriving one night after what seemed to be a breakthrough performance, this dud demonstrated just ...

Back in the game: Foles leads Eagles past Rams 30-23

By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles already knew Nick Foles could do it. After all, it was only last December when the veteran quarterback replaced an injured Carson Wentz and upset the Los Angeles Rams at the Coliseum. Less than two months after ...

Bears clinch NFC North with 24-17 victory over Packers

By ANDREW SELIGMAN, AP Sports Writer CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears clinched the NFC North and helped knock Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers out of playoff contention. They could not have asked for a sweeter scenario. Mitchell Trubisky threw for two touchdowns, Eddie Jackson ended ...

Bengals end 5-game losing streak, beat Raiders 30-16

By JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer CINCINNATI (AP) — An entire month had come and gone without even one win, leaving the Bengals in their deepest drought since 2010. Joe Mixon provided just enough to give the sparse crowd a reason to cheer at the end of their final home game. Mixon ran for 129 ...

Steelers ride rookie Samuels past Patriots 17-10

By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger didn't want to use the word "crossroads." He did anyway. His team mired in a three-game losing streak and with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on the other sideline Sunday — a sight that typically signals doom ...

Colts use Mack attack, defense to shut down Cowboys 23-0

By MICHAEL MAROT, AP Sports Writer INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack kept his eyes down the field and his legs churning Sunday. His teammates took the cue. The offensive line created enough space for Mack to run for a career-high 139 yards and two scores, an ...

Celtics rout Hawks 129-108 for 8th straight victory

BOSTON (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 24 points in three quarters and the Boston Celtics beat the Atlanta Hawks 129-108 on Friday night for their eighth straight victory. Irving also had five assists, five rebounds and four steals. He scored 12 points in the first quarter and helped Boston race ...

Business as usual in Champions League? Maybe not this season

By GRAHAM DUNBAR and STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports Writers The usual pretenders topped their groups. Nearly all of the top teams advanced. Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski are the leading scorers. Is it a case of business as usual in this Champions League? Maybe not. While there seems to be ...

Morton to Rays and a Tanner-for-Tanner trade at meetings

By BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer LAS VEGAS (AP) — An All-Star starter to the relief-reliant Rays, a Tanner-for-Tanner trade and a Scott Boras sighting. Intrigue at the winter meetings, but not much impact. Not yet, anyway. Charlie Morton was the top name to switch teams Wednesday, joining ...

Kase gets 1st NHL hat trick as Ducks rally past Stars 6-3

By JOE REEDY, AP Sports Writer ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Ducks coach Randy Carlyle has called Ondrej Kase the "Energizer Bunny" of his team. Kase certainly had plenty of jump Wednesday night, rallying Anaheim to its seventh victory in eight games. The 23-year-old forward from the Czech ...

Gaudreau’s overtime goal rallies Flames past Flyers 6-5

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Johnny Gaudreau and the Calgary Flames showed off their resilience in another impressive win. Gaudreau scored 35 seconds into overtime, and the Flames rallied to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-5 on Wednesday night. Calgary trailed 5-3 before Sean Monahan and Rasmus ...

Blackhawks end 8-game slide with 6-3 win over Penguins

By MATT CARLSON, Associated Press CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks finally got to celebrate Wednesday night. It had been a while. Jonathan Toews had a goal and two assists, and Chicago stopped an eight-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. "I think we ...

No. 11 Texas Tech routs Northwestern State 79-44

By The Associated Press LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Jarrett Culver scored 15 points, Tariq Owens had 14 points and eight rebounds and No. 11 Texas Tech ran out to a 43-point halftime lead in a 79-44 victory over Northwestern State on Wednesday night. The Red Raiders (9-0) matched their best start ...

Dinwiddie scores career-best 39, Nets top 76ers 127-124

By ROB MAADDI, AP Sports Writer PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Spencer Dinwiddie put on his best Stephen Curry impersonation. Dinwiddie scored a career-high 39 points off the bench and Allen Crabbe had 20 to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 127-124 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday ...

Irving scores Boston’s last 12 in 130-125 OT win at Wizards

By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Sports Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — To Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens, Kyrie Irving's pair of 3-pointers in the final 40 seconds of overtime — the first from in front of his team's bench; the second from straightaway, 31 feet out — were "amazing." To the man ...

Nosek’s goal in 3rd helps Golden Knights beat Islanders 3-2

By VIN A. CHERWOO, AP Sports Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Tomas Nosek jumped on a loose puck to help the Vegas Golden Knights' open their trip with a victory. Nosek scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period and the surging Golden Knights beat the New York Islanders 3-2 on Wednesday ...