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23 minutes ago

Tom Brady says his thoughts are on Tampa Bay Buccaneers' playoff exit, not own future

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tom Brady said Sunday night that it was too soon for him to think about his future and that his emotions were still tied to the  Tampa Bay Buccaneers' heart-breaking, last-second playoff loss to the  Los Angeles Rams that had ended just minutes earlier.  "Truthfully guys, I'm thinking about this game," said Brady, who rallied the Bucs from a 27-3 second-half deficit only to watch them fall 30-27. "I'm not thinking about anything past five minutes from now."  Brady's comments came after ESPN reported earlier Sunday that the 44-year-old quarterback is undecided about his future, and that while he could return for another season, it is far from a given. Sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington that Brady plans to take time after the season ends -- a month or longer -- to assess how he feels physically and mentally while also gauging his family's desires.  Brady indicated as much after Sunday's loss.  "I haven't put a lot of...
23 minutes ago
1 hour ago

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James: Don't plan on stopping amid 'one of the best zones offensively' of career

MIAMI -- Anthony Davis' left knee injury coincided with an offensive explosion from LeBron James, as his 33 points in Sunday's 113-107 loss to the Miami Heat marked the 17th straight game that the Los Angeles Lakers star has scored 25 points or more. All with Davis out. With Davis potentially returning as soon as Tuesday from the sprained MCL in his left knee when L.A. plays the Brooklyn Nets, James made it sound like his offensive output could continue at a prolific pace. "I don't need to score 30 a night, but I'm in one of the best zones offensively I've been in, in my career," the 19-year veteran said. "And I don't plan on stopping. That's just how I feel. I feel fantastic. Shooting the ball extremely well. Didn't shoot the 3-ball well tonight, but all eight of them felt great. Shooting efficient from the free throw line, shooting efficient from the field. Very efficient at the rim. "So I don't go into the game saying you got to...
1 hour ago
1 hour ago

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs prevail against Buffalo Bills, win wild AFC divisional-round game in overtime

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen someday might beat Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs. But for now, Mahomes and the Chiefs have the solutions for Allen and the Bills in the postseason. The Chiefs beat the Bills 42-36 in overtime on Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium in the divisional round of the playoffs. Mahomes also outdueled Allen in last season's AFC Championship Game victory over the Bills, which sent the Chiefs to Super Bowl LV. Mahomes will face another young quarterback challenger, Joe Burrow, next Sunday when the Chiefs face the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game, also at Arrowhead. Mahomes' 8-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce on the first possession of overtime won the game. Mahomes beat the Bills using, in large part, Allen's game. Mahomes' running was as big a part of the Chiefs' victory as his passing. Mahomes rushed for 69 yards and scored the...
1 hour ago
2 hours ago

Danielle Collins defeats Elise Mertens to become third American woman in Australian Open quarterfinals

MELBOURNE, Australia --  Danielle Collins is back in the Australian Open quarterfinals after a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 comeback win over No. 19-seeded Elise Mertens in a match lasting almost three hours Monday in temperatures in the low 30s Celsius (90s Fahrenheit) on Rod Laver Arena. Collins joins two other Americans in the final eight at Melbourne Park. Jessica Pegula and Madison Keys are the other Americans in the quarterfinals and will play their matches on Tuesday. It is the second year in a row that three Americans have featured in the quarterfinals. It was the first time Collins has rallied from a set down to win back-to-back matches at a Grand Slam tournament. The 28-year-old American also dropped the first set in her third-round win over Clara Tauson. Collins has won now seven major matches when losing the first set (two this week) since 2019. That is tied with Kaia Kanepi for most of any woman in that span. The No. 27 seed was a...
2 hours ago
2 hours ago

Danielle Collins defeats Elise Mertens to become third American in Australian Open quarterfinals

MELBOURNE, Australia --  Danielle Collins took advantage of Elise Mertens' double fault on match point to advance to the quarterfinals and join two other Americans in the final eight at Melbourne Park. Collins advanced 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 and will play the winner of the following match on Rod Laver Arena between two-time major winner Simona Halep and Alize Cornet. Jessica Pegula and Madison Keys are the other Americans in the quarterfinals and will play their matches on Tuesday. It is the second year in a row that three Americans have featured in the quarterfinals. Collins has won now seven major matches when losing the first set (two this week) since 2019. That is tied with Kaia Kanepi for most of any woman in that span. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
2 hours ago
2 hours ago

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams outlast Tampa Bay Buccaneers in memorable playoff game that was 'a whole lot of fun'

TAMPA, Fla. -- When the Los Angeles Rams acquired Matthew Stafford in a blockbuster trade last winter, the veteran quarterback said he wanted to play in big games, an opportunity he seldom received during 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions. Stafford and the Rams -- fresh off a dramatic 30-27 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium -- are now one victory away from the biggest game of all. And they nearly blew their chance to get to the NFC Championship Game, losing four fumbles and a 27-3 third-quarter lead to Tom Brady and the defending champions before Stafford led a 63-yard drive in the closing seconds to set up the winning field goal. "In my mind, I live for those kind of moments," said Stafford, who pulled off the 43rd game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime of his career, the most of anyone since he entered the league in 2009. "I would have loved to have been taking a knee up three scores, but it's...
2 hours ago
2 hours ago

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs prevail against Buffalo Bills, win wild AFC divisional game in overtime

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen someday might beat Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs. But for now, Mahomes and the Chiefs have the solutions for Allen and the Bills in the postseason. The Chiefs beat the Bills 42-36 in overtime on Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium in the divisional round of the playoffs. Mahomes also outdueled Allen in last season's AFC Championship Game victory over the Bills, which sent the Chiefs to Super Bowl LV. Mahomes will face another young quarterback challenger, Joe Burrow, next Sunday when the Chiefs face the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game, also at Arrowhead. Mahomes' 8-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce on the first possession of overtime won the game. Mahomes beat the Bills using, in large part, Allen's game. Mahomes' running was as big a part of the Chiefs' victory as his passing. Mahomes rushed for 69 yards and scored the...
2 hours ago
3 hours ago

UConn Huskies, South Carolina Gamecocks cancel women's basketball showdown

Thursday's much-anticipated women's basketball rematch between No. 1 South Carolina and No. 9 UConn has been canceled, as the Gamecocks chose to prioritize making up an SEC game that was postponed by COVID-19. South Carolina instead will host Ole Miss on Thursday. With its trip to Columbia, South Carolina, called off, UConn also will make up a postponed conference game this week, traveling to Big East foe DePaul on Wednesday. "I know our fans always enjoy the UConn game, and our team enjoys the rivalry," South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said in a statement. "But I have always said that our conference season, and especially our goal of another SEC championship, is more central to our program. "As we approach the second half of league play next month, it has become more important to complete our SEC schedule to keep ourselves in the running for a conference title. This Thursday is one of the few dates Ole Miss has open, so, with my team's best interest at heart, I...
3 hours ago
3 hours ago

Jacob Panetta released by ECHL team following suspension by league for alleged racist taunt at Jordan Subban

The ECHL has indefinitely suspended Jacksonville Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta, pending a hearing for what South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Jordan Subban said was a racist taunt Saturday night. The Icemen later announced that they are releasing Panetta. "To be clear, our core values as an ownership group include one love and zero tolerance for racism or any other forms of hate against any group whatsoever. The platform that is the Jacksonville Icemen is one that is more than just about hockey to us as a group. It is about using this platform to spread not only our love for hockey but our love for the community and for each other," team CEO Andy Kaufmann said in a statement. "Though the investigation and review is ongoing at the league level, the Jacksonville Icemen will be releasing the player involved effective immediately and will continue our mission of sharing our love of community and hockey. On behalf of the entire Icemen organization, we apologize to any one who was...
3 hours ago
January 23

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson to sit vs. Utah Jazz due to left knee soreness

SAN FRANCISCO --  Klay Thompson was a late scratch for the  Golden State Warriors' Sunday night game against the Utah Jazz after experiencing soreness in his left knee. Thompson had the knee surgically repaired in July 2019 after tearing his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals that year. "It's nothing serious," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "It's just part of cautiousness." According to Kerr, the original plan was to play Thompson. But during the team's walk-through, Rick Celebrini, the Warriors' director of sports medicine, informed Kerr that Thompson was feeling some discomfort in the left knee and should be held out. Thompson is considered day-to-day.
January 23
January 23

Former Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver Jermaine Burton transferring to Alabama Crimson Tide

Former Georgia wide receiver Jermaine Burton announced on Sunday that he will transfer to Alabama. The Dawgs just beat the Crimson Tide in the national championship game, but Burton is switching sides after entering the transfer portal on Wednesday. Burton was second on the team in receiving yards with 497 and tied for second on the team in receiving touchdowns with five. Burton was the No. 99 recruit in the 2020 class out of Calabasas High School in California, and chose Georgia over offers from LSU, Alabama, Arizona State, Oregon and others. He is one of eight players to transfer out of Georgia in January, along with quarterback JT Daniels, who also entered the transfer portal on Wednesday but has yet to decide on a destination. Cornerback Ameer Speed is transferring to Michigan State, corner Jalen Kimber is headed to Florida, Lovasea Carroll transferred to South Carolina, ...
January 23
January 23

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson to sit vs. Utah Jazz Sunday night due to left knee soreness

SAN FRANCISCO --  Klay Thompson was a late scratch for the  Golden State Warriors Sunday night game against the Utah Jazz after experiencing soreness in his left knee. Thompson had the knee surgically repaired in July 2019 after tearing his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals that year. "It's nothing serious," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "It's just part of cautiousness." According to Kerr, the original plan was to play Thompson. But during the team's walk-through, Rick Celebrini, the Warriors' director of sports medicine, informed Kerr that Thompson was feeling some discomfort in the left knee and should be held out. Thompson is considered day-to-day.
January 23
January 23

Los Angeles Rams outlast Tampa Bay Buccaneers, earn opportunity to host NFC championship game

TAMPA, Fla. -- When the Los Angeles Rams acquired Matthew Stafford in a blockbuster trade last winter, the veteran quarterback said he wanted to play in big games, an opportunity he seldom got during 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions. Stafford and the Rams -- fresh off a dramatic 30-27 win here -- are now one victory away from the biggest game of all. And they nearly blew their chance to get to the NFC Championship Game, losing four fumbles and a 27-3 third-quarter lead to Tom Brady and the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers before Stafford led a drive in the closing seconds to set up the winning field goal. Stafford hit All-Pro receiver Cooper Kupp for gains of 20 and 44 yards to set up Matt Gay's 30-yard game winner. What was nearly an epic collapse became an emotional victory and a date with the San Francisco 49ers next week at SoFi Stadium. Los Angeles will have the chance to do what Tampa Bay did...
January 23
January 23

Kansas State center Ayoka Lee sets NCAA Division I women's basketball record with 61-point game in win over No. 14 Oklahoma

Kansas State junior center Ayoka Lee said she thought it would be just another Sunday. Instead, she put herself into the NCAA Division I women's basketball record book for the most points ever scored in a game: 61. Lee scored almost as many points herself as foe Oklahoma did as a team, with the unranked Wildcats beating the No. 14 Sooners 94-65 at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas. Oklahoma (16-3 overall, 5-2 Big 12) entered the game second in Division I in scoring at 88.3 points per game. But Kansas State's 15-0 run to start the game -- with 12 points by Lee -- showed this one would be all Wildcats. Lee entered Sunday tied for third in Division I in scoring at 23.6 points per game. She had games of 43 and 38 points (twice) earlier this season. This was the perfect setup for her and Kansas State, as guard-heavy Oklahoma had no one who could really match up with the 6-foot-6 Lee. "I didn't come in expecting to break a record," Lee said. "I think [it was] just...
January 23
January 23

Milwaukee Bucks' Grayson Allen suspended one game for foul on Chicago Bulls' Alex Caruso

The NBA on Sunday suspended the Milwaukee Bucks' Grayson Allen for one game for his flagrant 2 foul on Alex Caruso that caused a fractured wrist for the Chicago Bulls guard. The league punished Allen, who was ejected from the Bucks' 94-90 victory over the Bulls on Friday night after receiving the flagrant 2 foul, for what it deemed was "unnecessary and excessive contact," according to a news release. Allen will serve his suspension during the Bucks' next game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. The Bucks said in a statement that they "disagree" with the suspension. "We disagree with the suspension. We support Grayson and look forward to him rejoining our team for Friday's game vs. New York," the team said. Caruso is scheduled to have wrist surgery Monday that will sideline him for six to eight weeks. "Nothing is changing from what happened the other night to where we are now, and the best thing we can do as a team is just move...
January 23
January 23

Kansas State center Ayoka Lee sets NCAA women's basketball record with 61-point game in win over No. 14 Oklahoma

Kansas State junior center Ayoka Lee said she thought it would be just another Sunday. Instead, she put herself into the NCAA Division I women's basketball record book for the most points ever scored in a game: 61. Lee scored almost as many points herself as foe Oklahoma did as a team, with the unranked Wildcats beating the No. 14 Sooners 94-65 at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas. Oklahoma (16-3 overall, 5-2 Big 12) entered the game second in Division I in scoring at 88.3 points per game. But Kansas State's 15-0 run to start the game -- with 12 points by Lee -- showed this one would be all Wildcats. Lee entered Sunday tied for third in Division I in scoring at 23.6 points per game. She had games of 43 and 38 points (twice) earlier this season. This was the perfect setup for her and Kansas State, as guard-heavy Oklahoma had no one who could really match up with the 6-foot-6 Lee. "I didn't come in expecting to break a record," Lee said. "I think [it was] just...
January 23
January 23

Jacob Panetta released by ECHL team following suspension by league for racist taunt at Jordan Subban

The ECHL has indefinitely suspended Jacksonville Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta, pending a hearing for what South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Jordan Subban said was a racist taunt Saturday night. The Icemen later announced that they are releasing Panetta. "To be clear, our core values as an ownership group include one love and zero tolerance for racism or any other forms of hate against any group whatsoever. The platform that is the Jacksonville Icemen is one that is more than just about hockey to us as a group. It is about using this platform to spread not only our love for hockey but our love for the community and for each other," team CEO Andy Kaufmann said in a statement. "Though the investigation and review is ongoing at the league level, the Jacksonville Icemen will be releasing the player involved effective immediately and will continue our mission of sharing our love of community and hockey. On behalf of the entire Icemen organization, we apologize to any one who was...
January 23
January 23

Gonzaga suspends John Stockton's men's basketball tickets for failure to follow COVID-19 mask mandate

Gonzaga has suspended John Stockton's men's basketball season tickets because of the Hall of Famer's failure to follow the school's mask mandate, he confirmed to The Spokesman-Review. Stockton, whose No. 12 jersey is retired by the school, told the newspaper that he was informed of the decision by Gonzaga athletic director Chris Standiford. Stockton described the conversation as "congenial" but "not pleasant." "Basically, it came down to, they were asking me to wear a mask to the games and being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit," Stockton told the newspaper. "And therefore they received complaints and felt like from whatever the higher-ups -- those weren't discussed, but from whatever it was higher up -- they were going to have to either ask me to wear a mask or they were going to suspend my tickets." Stockton made public his views on the COVID-19 vaccine in a film that was released in June. Standiford declined to...
January 23
January 23

ECHL suspends Jacob Panetta indefinitely, pending hearing, for racist taunt at Jordan Subban

The ECHL has indefinitely suspended Jacksonville Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta, pending a hearing for what South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Jordan Subban said was a racist taunt Saturday night. "The South Carolina Stingrays are disgusted and appalled by last night's incident involving Jordan Subban," Stingrays team president Rob Concannon said in a statement. "Our organization stands in support of our friend and teammate, Jordan, as well as all other players who continue to deal with racism and discrimination. This behavior is unacceptable and has to stop." The Jacksonville Icemen said in a statement that the organization is cooperating with the ECHL's review of the incident. "As an organization, our fans, partners and sponsors know our core values and intend to make comments and decisions after completion of league review," the team said. The game was in overtime when South Carolina's Andrew Cherniwchan collided with Jacksonville goalie Justin Kapelmaster, sparking a...
January 23
January 23

Tom Brady to take time after season before committing to return to Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2022, sources say

As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers enter the reality that their season is, at most, three weeks from its conclusion, there is another reality lingering over the organization: the possibility of Tom Brady's retirement. Sources with the Bucs and close to Brady all recognize the star quarterback remains noncommittal to playing beyond this season. Although Brady could decide to play again -- he has talked about playing until he was 45, and even beyond -- it is far from a given, sources told ESPN. Brady's departure is a topic that quietly has come up within the Tampa Bay organization for weeks now, and there has been internal uncertainty about what the future holds for the seven-time Super Bowl champion and all-time NFL passing leader. Brady, 44, plans to take time after the season ends -- a month or longer -- to assess how he feels physically and mentally while also gauging his family's desires, sources told ESPN. For Brady, who has one year remaining on his contract, the...
January 23
January 23

Strong fourth quarter carries San Francisco 49ers past Green Bay Packers, into NFC Championship Game

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The San Francisco 49ers simply will not go away. The same Niners that were once 3-5 and headed for a long offseason full of questions are now headed to the NFC Championship Game for the second time in three seasons. To get there, San Francisco had to pull out the type of late-game magic that has been a hallmark of its late-season surge to the playoffs. The result was a wild 13-10 win over the Green Bay Packers on Saturday night at Lambeau Field. The 49ers await the winner of Sunday's NFC divisional game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams. After a disappointing offensive performance, the Niners pieced together the drive they needed at the biggest moment, with wide receiver Deebo Samuel taking a handoff nine yards for a first down on third-and-7 at Green Bay's 38. Samuel's run set up place-kicker  Robbie Gould's winning 45-yard field goal as time expired. "This team has been through a...
January 23
January 23

Francis Ngannou unifies UFC heavyweight title with unanimous decision over Ciryl Gane

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Francis Ngannou is perhaps the most frightening power-puncher in UFC history. But he reminded everyone Saturday night that he is not only that. Ngannou showed off a well-rounded game -- and immeasurable heart -- befitting the champion he is. Down on the cards early and dealing with a knee injury, the hardest-hitting man maybe ever in MMA went to his wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu to gut out a unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) win over Ciryl Gane in the main event of UFC 270 at Honda Center. With the victory, Ngannou unifies the UFC undisputed heavyweight title. Gane came in as the interim champ. "My ground game is evolving," Ngannou said in his postfight interview. The fight had a rich back story, outside of the high stakes. Ngannou and Gane were sparring partners at MMA Factory until Ngannou had a public falling-out with their coach, Fernand Lopez. The two overlapped on and off at the Paris gym from 2017 to 2019, when Ngannou moved...
January 23
January 23

Deiveson Figueiredo edges past rival Brandon Moreno to reclaim featherweight title in trilogy bout

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mexican fans showed up in droves on Saturday to witness the UFC's first Mexican-born champion,  Brandon Moreno, defend his title for the first time. But by the slimmest of margins, Deiveson Figueiredo spoiled the party. Figueiredo (21-2-1) reclaimed the 125-pound title he lost to Moreno (19-6-2) in August by defeating his rival in a unanimous decision. All three judges scored the flyweight title fight, which co-headlined UFC 270 inside the Honda Center, in favor of Figueiredo, 48-47.   Saturday's result brings the rivalry to an even record of 1-1-1. The two fought to a draw in December 2020, before Moreno dominated Figueiredo in their second meeting. After losing by submission in the rematch, however, Figueiredo looked like a completely different fighter in the trilogy, as his cardio and mental preparation was obvious. "Today is my day," Figueiredo said. "For this moment, for Brandon, for us to give you the gift of a fight of the night, for...
January 23
January 23

Madison Keys, Barbara Krejcikova breeze to victories, set up clash in Australian Open quarterfinals

MELBOURNE, Australia -- French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova breezed to a 6-2, 6-2 win over two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka on Sunday to reach the quarterfinals for the third time in four Grand Slam events. The fourth-seeded Krejcikova was ousted in the second round of her two previous trips to Melbourne Park and is into the last eight at the Australian Open for the first time. She'll next play Madison Keys, who reached the semifinals in Australia in 2015 and was runner-up at the 2017 US Open. Keys overpowered eighth-seeded Paula Badosa 6-3, 6-1 in the first of the fourth-round matches on Day 7 at Rod Laver Arena. The 26-year-old American, who beat 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in the first round, hit 26 winners and made only 18 unforced errors against Badosa to continue her unbeaten start to 2022. She claimed her sixth career title at a tuneup tournament in Adelaide last week. Krejcikova went into her...
January 23
January 23

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to mull 'tough decision' about future

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- There's one thing that will make  Aaron Rodgers' decision about whether to return to the Green Bay Packers next season much easier. "I don't want to be part of a rebuild if I'm going to keep playing," Rodgers said. Absent that, the 38-year-old quarterback believes he has a difficult decision to make about his football future. He just didn't think he would have to start contemplating it so soon. But when the San Francisco 49ers upset the top-seeded Packers in the NFC divisional playoff round Saturday, it meant the hourglass flipped for Rodgers, who took his share of the blame for the offensive ineptitude in the 13-10 loss at Lambeau Field.   "I'm still supercompetitive, still know I can play at a high level, so it's going to be a tough decision," Rodgers said during a 17-minute session with reporters after the game. "I have a lot of things to weigh in the coming weeks. But man, just so much gratitude for this city and this...
January 23
January 23

Mark Magsayo pulls upset to halt Gary Russell Jr.'s long WBC featherweight title reign

The longest active run by a male titleholder in boxing is over. Mark Magsayo upset Gary Russell Jr. by majority decision on Saturday night -- 114-114, 115-113 and 115-113 -- to claim the WBC featherweight title in Atlantic City, New Jersey, taking away Russell's title after almost seven years with the WBC belt. "This is my dream come true," Magsayo said on Showtime following the fight. "This is my dream since I was a kid." The 33-year-old Russell (31-2, 18 KO) entered Saturday as the longest-reigning current male champion in boxing at six years, 10 months -- holding the title since March 28, 2015, when he recorded a technical knockout of Jhonny Gonzalez in the fourth round. But Russell's reign had not been incredibly active. He fought five times between winning the title and then when he lost it Saturday -- including a break of almost two years from his win over Tugstsogt Nyambayar on Feb. 8, 2020, until Saturday. Russell hasn't fought more than once in a calendar year since...
January 23
January 23

Strong fourth quarter carries San Francisco 49ers past Green Bay Packers, into NFC championship

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The San Francisco 49ers simply will not go away. The same Niners that were once 3-5 and headed for a long offseason full of questions are now headed to the NFC Championship Game for the second time in three seasons. To get there, San Francisco had to pull out the type of late-game magic that has been a hallmark of its late-season surge to the playoffs. The result was a wild 13-10 win over the Green Bay Packers on Saturday night at Lambeau Field. The 49ers await the winner of Sunday's NFC divisional game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams. After a disappointing offensive performance, the Niners pieced together the drive they needed at the biggest moment with receiver Deebo Samuel taking a handoff 9 yards for a first down on third-and-7 at Green Bay's 38. Samuel's run set up kicker Robbie Gould's game-winning 45-yard field goal as time expired. "This team has been through a lot," tight end ...
January 23
January 22

Australian Open officials ask fans to remove T-shirts with slogan 'Where is Peng Shuai?'

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Fans at the Australian Open were asked by security to remove T-shirts featuring the slogan "Where is Peng Shuai?" which references the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Chinese former tennis player's well-being and whereabouts. In November, Peng, the former world No. 14 singles player and part of a No. 1 doubles tandem, took to social media platform Weibo and accused Chinese Communist Party member Zhang Gaoli of pressuring her into sex. In the weeks following the post, Peng disappeared from social media, sparking concerns over her safety and ability to communicate freely with the rest of the world. On Saturday, a TikTok user uploaded a video in which fans at the Australian Open were approached by security and asked to remove the shirts with the slogan on them. A banner was also seen in the hands of a member of security. In the video, police later arrived at the scene and confirmed the security crew's position. An officer is heard saying: "The...
January 22
January 22

Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors hire Timmy Chang as next head football coach

The University of Hawai'i is turning to one of its own for its next head football coach. The school announced on Saturday night that former star quarterback Timmy Chang is returning to be the Rainbow Warriors' coach. Chang, 40, was previously the wide receivers coach at  Colorado State. But at Hawai'i, he is remembered as the quarterback who rewrote the NCAA record book while in school and helped usher in a pass-happy era of college football. "I'm back. I'm home. In my heart, I've never left," Chang said in a statement. "Like I've always done, I'm ready to give my all for Hawai'i. The highest privilege in coaching is the right to represent an institution as a head coach. This is beyond indescribable. I get to do it here in Hawai'i, where I am from. I am so proud to represent MY school and state. I'm honored to lead the BRADDAHHOOD." Chang arrives at a fraught time for the Rainbow Warriors, as former coach Todd Graham resigned earlier this month in the wake of...
January 22
January 22

Cincinnati Bengals surge into AFC championship game after statement win vs. Tennessee Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Cincinnati Bengals wanted to send a message after their dramatic playoff win Saturday over the Titans. They're not underdogs anymore. Cincinnati emphatically delivered that message with a 19-16 victory against the top-seeded Titans. Rookie  Evan McPherson's 52-yard field goal as time expired sent the Bengals to their first AFC Championship Game since 1988. Throughout the team's best postseason run in more than 30 years, the theme of "Why not us?" has been a common refrain for this season's Bengals team. Cincinnati wants that retired. Immediately. "I'm tired of the underdog narrative," Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow said after the game. "We're a really, really good team. We're here to make noise."   The Bengals delivered that statement with an improbable finish that produced the first playoff road win in franchise history. After the Titans scored 10 straight points in the second half to tie the score at 16, Tennessee...
January 22
January 22

Madison Keys routs No. 8 Paula Badosa to advance to Australian Open quarterfinals

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Former U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys became the first woman to reach this year's Australian Open quarterfinals with a dominant 6-3, 6-1 victory over eighth-seeded Spanish player  Paula Badosa on Sunday at Rod Laver Arena. Keys, a 26-year-old American player who defeated 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in the first round, never looked troubled against the higher-ranked Badosa in their first career meeting, racking up 26 winners as Keys continued her unbeaten start to the year. Keys, who claimed her sixth career title last week in Adelaide, raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first set before consolidating her advantage to close out the first set in 32 minutes. The second set was even more one-sided for the unseeded Keys, breaking Badosa in the first, third, fifth and seventh games to wrap up the win in 1 hour, 9 minutes and earn her first quarterfinal berth in Australia since 2018. The 24-year-old Badosa, who also was...
January 22
January 22

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis a game-time decision vs. Miami Heat on Sunday after 16-game absence

MIAMI -- Anthony Davis, out for the past five weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee, has been upgraded to questionable for the Los Angeles Lakers' game against the Heat on Sunday and is considered a game-time decision, according to the team. Davis missed the past 16 games since the Minnesota Timberwolves' Jaden McDaniels collided with the Lakers All-Star's knee. L.A. went 7-9 without him. "Whenever AD is ready, we're going to love that, that's for sure," LeBron James said of Davis on Friday. "I mean he's one of our biggest guns that we have, and having him on the floor, it just creates so much for us offensively and defensively, able to do so much more. But his health is what's most important, and once we know that he's healthy, he knows that he's healthy, we get him back on the floor and then we start getting his wind and his rhythm." Davis was averaging 23.3 points on 52.1% shooting, 9.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.0 blocks and...
January 22
January 22

Duke men's basketball, showing signs of shedding team's 'tough time,' breezes past Syracuse

Mike Krzyzewski isn't ready to say his team is back to top form, but if Saturday's 79-59 win over Syracuse is any indication, Duke might finally be in the cusp of reaching its enormous potential. Krzyzewski lamented the frustrating month that preceded Saturday's blowout victory in which the No. 6 Blue Devils were beset by COVID-19 cancellations, late-game flubs and an injury to starting guard Trevor Keels. But Saturday felt like old times. With Keels sidelined with a leg injury, the Blue Devils still set a season high with 25 assists and 14 3-pointers and had five players in double-digits in scoring en route to the biggest blowout in their history against Syracuse. "It's been a tough time since Christmas," said Krzyzewski, whose team saw games against Clemson and Notre Dame postponed this month before losing late to both Miami and Florida State. "They're hanging in there, and they're getting better. For a few minutes in the second half today, I thought it was the best we...
January 22
January 22

Cincinnati Bengals into AFC championship game after game-winning FG sinks Tennessee Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- For 31 years, the Cincinnati Bengals had no playoff victory. Now, they are one game away from playing in a Super Bowl. Cincinnati defeated the Tennessee Titans 19-16 in Saturday's divisional round of the playoffs to advance to its first AFC Championship Game since 1988. Bengals rookie place-kicker Evan McPherson hit a 52-yard winning field goal as time expired, his fourth successful kick of the game and his eighth this postseason. With at least one game left to play, McPherson has already matched Stephen Gostkowski (2006) for the most field goals by a rookie kicker in NFL postseason history. The Bengals intercepted Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill three times, setting up two of McPherson's field goals. Logan Wilson picked off Tannehill with 20 seconds left at the Cincinnati 47. Joe Burrow hit Pro Bowl rookie receiver Ja'Marr Chase with a 19-yard pass then the Bengals ran twice to set up McPherson...
January 22
January 22

Leading scorer Brad Marchand, intent not 'to let the guys down,' returns for Boston Bruins in win

BOSTON -- David Pastrnak scored a tiebreaking power-play goal early in the third period to give the surging Boston Bruins a 3-2 win over the travel-weary Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. Boston's leading scorer, Brad Marchand, surprisingly returned to the lineup Saturday after leaving Thursday with an apparent right shoulder injury, and assisted on the game-winning goal. Marchand had been hit from behind into boards by Washington's Garnet Hathaway, a check that Boston coach Bruce Cassidy called a "cheap" play. Cassidy said Friday that Marchand would be out at least one game. Less than a day later, before the game, Cassidy said Marchand "was feeling better," adding that he was to take part in pregame warmups. Just before the puck dropped, the winger received a huge ovation when he was announced in the starting lineup, and all was back to normal in Boston. "I didn't expect to play today," he said after the win. "I've got to give a ton of credit to...
January 22
January 22

Damian Lillard, content to 'make decisions that suit you for the long haul,' slowly works his way back to Portland Trail Blazers' lineup

During the Tokyo Olympics last summer, when Damian Lillard's abdominal injury flared up, Jrue Holiday suggested it was time for surgery. Lillard finally took his fellow Olympian's advice and had the procedure Jan. 13. The  Portland Trail Blazers' star point guard spoke to reporters Saturday for the first time since the injury sidelined him on Jan. 3. Holiday, who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, had similar core surgery during the 2018-19 NBA season when he was with New Orleans. He and Lillard were teammates in Japan last summer on the gold-medal-winning U.S. team. "He was the first person that pretty much confirmed that I needed to have surgery, because I sat out of practice one day and I was like, 'I can't move,' and I was kind of just holding it. And he just started describing every single symptom," Lillard said. "And he was like, 'I had it.'" Lillard, a six-time All-Star, averaged 24 points and 7.3 assists in 29 games this season for the Blazers....
January 22
January 22

Keith Butler retiring after seven seasons as Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive coordinator

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler has informed the team he is retiring, the Steelers announced Saturday evening. "It is an emotional day as I announce I am retiring from my football coaching career," Butler said in a statement. "I have spent every year since 1990 as a coach in the NFL and the NCAA, but the time is right for me to walk away after a successful career both playing and coaching the game I love." Butler, 65, has been with the Steelers organization for 19 years and took over for Dick LeBeau as defensive coordinator in 2015 after 12 seasons as the linebackers coach. Butler also spent four seasons as the Cleveland Browns' linebackers coach, and he and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin worked together on the Memphis defensive staff in 1996. Before his coaching career, Butler played linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks for 10 years from 1978 to '87. As defensive coordinator, Butler continued the organization's...
January 22
January 22

Kansas City Chiefs' Tyreek Hill fined $12,875 for celebrating touchdown with pompoms

Do a little dance ... pay a little fine. Welcome to the world of Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The NFL has fined Hill $12,875 for unsportsmanlike conduct, according to Spotrac, following his impromptu celebration during last week's wild-card playoff victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hill, after grabbing a 31-yard touchdown pass from  Patrick Mahomes to give the Chiefs a 35-7 lead with 9 minutes, 14 seconds remaining in the third quarter, found himself on the sideline next to a group of Chiefs cheerleaders. So he grabbed some pompoms from one and did a little dance for fans -- and national television cameras -- until Mahomes came to pull him away. Hill was not penalized after the incident, but the NFL still enforced its taunting and celebration rules after the fact by hitting him in the wallet. "I didn't see a no letter in my locker doesn't count," Hill posted to Twitter on Saturday about the fine.
January 22
January 22

Kansas City Chiefs' Tyreek Hill fined $12,875 for celebrating touchdown with pom-poms

Do a little dance, pay a little fine. Welcome to the world of Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The NFL has fined Hill $12,875 for unsportsmanlike conduct, according to Spotrac, following his impromptu celebration during last week's wild-card victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hill, after grabbing a 31-yard touchdown pass from  Patrick Mahomes to give the Chiefs a 35-7 lead with 9:14 remaining in the third quarter, found himself on the sideline next to a group of Chiefs cheerleaders. So he grabbed some pom-poms from one and did a little dance for fans -- and national television cameras -- until Mahomes came to pull him away.. Hill was not penalized after the incident, but the NFL still enforced its taunting and celebration rules after the fact by hitting Hill in the wallet. "I didn't see a no letter in my locker doesn't count," Hill posted to Twitter on Saturday about the fine.
January 22
January 22

Duke men's basketball, showing signs of shedding team's 'tough time,' breezes by Syracuse

Mike Krzyzewski isn't ready to say his team is back to top form, but if Saturday's 79-59 win over Syracuse is any indication, Duke might finally be in the cusp of reaching its enormous potential. Krzyzewski lamented the frustrating month that preceded Saturday's blowout victory in which the No. 6 Blue Devils were beset by COVID-19 cancellations, late-game flubs and an injury to starting guard Trevor Keels. But Saturday felt like old times. With Keels sidelined with a leg injury, the Blue Devils still set a season high with 25 assists and 14 3-pointers and had five players in double-digits in scoring en route to the biggest blowout in their history against Syracuse. "It's been a tough time since Christmas," said Krzyzewski, whose team saw games against Clemson and Notre Dame postponed this month before losing late to both Miami and Florida State. "They're hanging in there, and they're getting better. For a few minutes in the second half today, I thought it was the best we...
January 22
January 22

Tampa Bay Buccaneers activate Leonard Fournette off injured reserve prior to NFL divisional playoff game

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday activated starting running back Leonard Fournette from injured reserve, making him eligible to play in Sunday's divisional playoff against the Los Angeles Rams. To make room on the roster, the Bucs waived running back  Le'Veon Bell. Fournette, who suffered a hamstring strain in Week 15, began his 21-day practice window last week to return from IR. While initially there was confidence that Fournette could return for last week's wild-card game, he felt discomfort when he attempted to reach top speed and wasn't activated, coach Bruce Arians said. "He looks fine. He looks good," Arians said Friday. "He didn't have the setback he had last week, so we'll wait and see." Fournette earned the nickname "Playoff Lenny" and later "Lombardi Lenny" last postseason, when he had a league-high 448 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns despite not being the starter during the regular season. It earned him a...
January 22
January 22

Tampa Bay Buccaneers to activate Leonard Fournette off injured reserve prior to NFL divisional playoff game, source says

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will activate starting running back Leonard Fournette off injured reserve, making him eligible to play in Sunday's divisional playoff against the Los Angeles Rams, a source told ESPN on Saturday. To make room on the roster, the Bucs are waiving running back  Le'Veon Bell, a source told ESPN. Fournette, who suffered a hamstring strain in Week 15, began his 21-day practice window last week to return from IR. While there initially was confidence that Fournette could return for last week's wild-card game, he felt discomfort when he attempted to reach top speed and wasn't activated, coach Bruce Arians said. "He looks fine. He looks good," Arians said Friday. "He didn't have the setback he had last week, so we'll wait and see." Fournette earned the nickname "Playoff Lenny" and later "Lombardi Lenny" last postseason, when he had a league-high 448 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns, despite not being the...
January 22
January 22

Duke men's basketball, showing signs of shedding team's 'tough time,' breezes on by Syracuse

Mike Krzyzewski isn't ready to say his team is back to top form, but if Saturday's 79-59 win over Syracuse is any indication, Duke might finally be in the cusp of reaching its enormous potential. Krzyzewski lamented the frustrating month that preceded Saturday's blowout victory in which the No. 6 Blue Devils were beset by COVID-19 cancellations, late-game flubs and an injury to starting guard Trevor Keels. But Saturday felt like old times. With Keels sidelined with a leg injury, the Blue Devils still set a season high with 25 assists and 14 3-pointers and had five players in double-digits in scoring en route to the biggest blowout in their history against Syracuse. "It's been a tough time since Christmas," said Krzyzewski, whose team saw games against Clemson and Notre Dame postponed earlier this month before losing late to both Miami and Florida State. "They're hanging in there, and they're getting better. For a few minutes in the second half today, I thought it was the...
January 22
January 22

Chicago Bulls G Alex Caruso to have surgery for fractured wrist, out 6 to 8 weeks, says team

Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso will undergo surgery early next week for a fractured right wrist, the team announced Saturday. Caruso suffered the injury during the Bulls loss to the Bucks on Friday night in Milwaukee. Caruso was fouled hard by the Bucks' Grayson Allen, who was assessed a flagrant 2 foul and ejected from the game. Caruso will miss six to eight weeks, the team announced. Caruso went up for a layup on a fast break with 5:45 remaining in the third quarter, but Allen hooked Caruso's right arm, turning Caruso in the air and sending him hard to the floor on his right wrist. Caruso said his wrist was "a little banged up" after the game, but X-rays came back negative at that time. Caruso's agent, Greg Lawrence, called the foul by Allen a "cheap shot" in a statement to ESPN on Saturday. "I expect the league will take into consideration not only what was a dangerous, unnecessary, and dirty play on Alex Caruso that caused this significant injury, but also...
January 22
January 22

Sources: Glover Teixeira-Jiri Prochazka light heavyweight title bout set for UFC 274 in May

UFC light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira will defend his title against Jiri Prochazka on May 7, multiple sources have told ESPN. Both Teixeira and Prochazka have committed to the date and opponent. The 205-pound title fight will take place on a UFC 274 pay-per-view event. The UFC has not announced an official venue for the event. Teixeira (33-7) capped off an improbable run to the UFC title in October, when he submitted Jan Blachowicz at UFC 267 to capture a belt at age 42. The victory came more than seven years after Teixeira came up short in his first title bid against Jon Jones in 2014. Originally from Brazil, now fighting out of Connecticut, Teixeira has won six in a row, including finishes of Blachowicz, Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith. Prochazka (28-3-1) has been a dark horse in the 205-pound division ever since signing with the UFC in 2020. He's fought only twice inside the Octagon, but he's been supremely impressive...
January 22
January 22

Chicago Bulls' Billy Donovan blasts Milwaukee Bucks' Grayson Allen for 'dangerous' foul on Alex Caruso

MILWAUKEE -- Chicago Bulls coach Billy Donovan wants the NBA to consider further discipline for Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen after he was ejected in the third quarter of Milwaukee's 94-90 victory for a flagrant foul 2 on Bulls guard Alex Caruso. Caruso went up for a layup on a fast break with 5:45 remaining in the third quarter, but Allen hooked Caruso's right arm, turning Caruso in the air and sending him hard to the floor on his right wrist. Caruso said his wrist was "a little banged up" after the game, but X-rays came back negative. "Dude just grabbed me out of the air," Caruso said after Friday's game. "It's kind of bulls---. I don't know what else you can do about it. I'm just glad that I didn't have any major scary injuries right away." Caruso said his wrist continued to bother him in the second half, especially while shooting. He finished 1-of-6 from the field for 3 points in the second half, but said he did not think...
January 22
January 22

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry hits winner at buzzer, admits shot needs to improve

SAN FRANCISCO -- As the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets sat with a tied score with just over five seconds left Friday night, Steve Kerr had a clear play in mind for their final offensive possession: "Get the ball to Steph and get out of the way." They executed it to a tee, as  Stephen Curry drained the winning shot from 2 feet inside the 3-point arc as the buzzer went off. It was the first walk-off bucket of Curry's professional career. The celebration ensued as Golden State beat Houston 105-103. Multiple people within the Warriors organization called the moment a release of emotions that had built up over the past 24 hours following a disappointing loss to the shorthanded Indiana Pacers. But despite the glorious moment, the team wasn't ignorant to the fact that it still has a lot of work to do -- Curry included. Despite his heroics, he said he knows he has a long way to go individually. "I know I got to shoot the ball better," Curry...
January 22
January 22

Brooklyn Nets' James Harden, Kyrie Irving combine for 26 points in 'breakthrough' 4th quarter vs. Spurs

SAN ANTONIO -- Fresh off dominating the third quarter, James Harden engaged in a constructive confrontation with his backcourt mate Kyrie Irving on the Brooklyn Nets' bench. "James kind of yelled at me," Irving said. "It's not a negative yell, but he yelled at me, 'Kai, get the f'ing ball!' in the third quarter after he scored [12 points] in the quarter. I kind of took that personal. I just wanted to come out in the fourth quarter in an aggressive mindset and just play within the flow of the offense." Irving, who was scoreless in the third quarter, responded to his co-star's challenge by scoring 15 of his 24 points in the fourth as the Nets cruised to a 117-102 win Friday night over the San Antonio Spurs. Harden had 11 points in the final quarter, as the Nets' superstar guards were only two points shy of matching the Spurs' scoring total in the frame. It was only the fifth game that Harden and Irving have played together this season, as...
January 22
January 22

Los Angeles Lakers' Russell Westbrook 'turned page' after benching with strong game in win

ORLANDO -- Russell Westbrook made up for his unceremonious exit from Wednesday's loss to Indiana by showing up ready to play in the Los Angeles Lakers' 116-105 win over the Magic on Friday, starting their six-game road trip off right. "My job as a player, as a professional, is to do my job, continue to find ways to be able to help impact winning," Westbrook said after finishing with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals. "That's all I was thinking about and turned the page to do and that's what I tried to do tonight." Lakers coach Frank Vogel, who made the decision to sit Westbrook for the last four minutes of the loss to the Pacers as the point guard was struggling through a 5-for-17 shooting night and failing to execute defensively, was effusive in his praise Friday.   "Russ played a really good basketball game," Vogel said. "He came in very focused and played efficient offensively and brought a pure energy to the game. He...
January 22
January 21

June Jones: 'No coach in their right mind' would accept conditions Hawai'i offered

June Jones turned down an opportunity to return as Hawai'i's head football coach after meeting with school officials Friday. Jones, 68, expressed interest in the job shortly after coach Todd Graham resigned under pressure Jan. 14. Although Jones hasn't coached in college since 2014, he lives in Hawai'i and remains the school's winningest coach, with a 76-41 record and a Sugar Bowl appearance following the 2007 season. "I understand that there has been a lot of support for Coach Jones this past week, but he has declined our offer," athletic director David Matlin said in a statement Friday night. "I respect his decision and we need to move forward in our search. At the end of the day, we couldn't agree on a succession plan that I felt was important for our student-athletes and supporters of Rainbow Warrior football." Jones took to Twitter later Friday to explain why he declined Hawai'i's offer. "I am still interested in this job for the people of Hawaii but the job offered...
January 21

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