Sports News 141125
► NFL Game Result
(MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24)
Final Score: Buffalo 38, NY Jets 3
Kyle Orton passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns as the Buffalo Bills routed the New York Jets 38-3 Monday night at Detroit’s Ford Field. The game was moved from Ralph Wilson Stadium after the venue was deemed unplayable due to several feet of snow that fell last week, crippling Buffalo and neighboring areas. Boobie Dixon rushed for a touchdown and blocked a punt that was recovered in the end zone for another score, helping the Bills (6-5) keep their playoff hopes alive. Michael Vick struggled mightily against the Buffalo defense, completing only 7-of-19 passes for 76 yards. He limped off the field after a third-quarter interception and was replaced by Geno Smith, who saw his first action since he was intercepted three times on eight passes in the first quarter against the Bills on Oct. 26. Smith threw for 89 yards on 10-of-12 passing for the Jets (2-9).
Final Score: Baltimore 34, New Orleans 27
Justin Forsett’s career night helped propel the Baltimore Ravens to a 34-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday. Forsett finished with a career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries for the Ravens (7-4), who moved into a three-way tie for second place in the AFC North behind the Bengals (7-3-1). Joe Flacco threw for 243 yards and a touchdown on 18-of-24 passing, Steve Smith made four catches for 89 yards and a touchdown and Torrey Smith hauled in five passes for 98 yards in the win. Drew Brees completed 35 of his 45 passes for 420 yards with three scores and an interception, and Jimmy Graham had two touchdowns to go with 47 yards on six catches for the Saints (4-7), who went 0-3 on a homestand for just the third time in franchise history (1967, 1997). Despite the loss, New Orleans is tied for first with Atlanta in the underwhelming NFC South. It is the first time in NFL history that a division leader is three games under .500.
► Things we learned on Week 12
What do Tom Brady, Zach Mettenberger, Josh McCown, Brian Hoyer and Mark Sanchez have in common?
The answer is almost nothing. One is a future Hall of Fame quarterback and the other four are barely noteworthy.
Except in Week 12 where the five quarterbacks all threw for over 300 yards on Sunday.
Below are a few more things we observed:
Cleveland at Atlanta
Fantasy owners could care less that Cleveland Browns’ quarterback Hoyer led the team to a game-winning field goal as time expired. What they do care about, is the fact that he threw three interceptions, without tossing a touchdown pass. Even with his 322 passing yards and 12 rushing yards, Hoyer had a rough afternoon for owners, with arguably the only positive thing coming out of Week 12, was that he will continue to be Cleveland’s starting quarterback.
Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan does not have to worry about job security, but needs to cut down on his turnovers. He turned the ball over twice, throwing an interception and losing a fumble, yet Ryan was still able to put together a solid afternoon. He was 27-of-43 for 273 yards and two scores, marking just his second multi-touchdown performance over the past seven games.
At least Ryan was able to find some holes in the passing game, because Atlanta tailback Steven Jackson was unable to find any on the ground. Although he found the end zone for a change, Jackson rushed 13 times for only 34 yards (2.6 yards per carry). With Jackson not getting any younger and the Falcons having continuing issues along the offensive line, owners should not expect Atlanta to get their running game going anytime soon.
The Browns on the other hand performed very well on the ground. Rookie running backs Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West were both utilized, with Crowell having the bigger day (12 carries, 88 yards, 2 TD), and West leading the team in carries (14 carries, 62 yards). It seems like both halfbacks will be involved. Fantasy owners should like the sound of that.
Arguably, the most anticipated performance heading into Week 12, was the output of Cleveland receiver Josh Gordon, and he did not disappoint. Gordon recorded eight receptions for 120 yards, on 16 targets, making him an easy WR1 for the remaining games this season.
Atlanta receivers’ Roddy White and Julio Jones came to play on Sunday as well. White led the team with nine receptions for 96 yards, and Jones notched his first touchdown in eight games despite being sick all week. Both wideouts will continue to be solid options for Ryan, and more importantly, for fantasy owners.
Tampa Bay at Chicago
If you had Chicago Bears’ running back Matt Forte in your lineup, you should be pretty happy, as he was the one Chicago player who produced a solid day. Forte was our top-ranked tailback heading into Week 12. He made us look good with that decision, rushing for 89 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, along with chipping in five receptions for 23 yards. His two touchdowns were iconic, as he passed Bears legend Gale Sayers to become No. 4 on the Bears all-time in rushing touchdowns (40). Forte continues to be a dual-threat in both the running and passing games.
Surprisingly, quarterback Jay Cutler was not able to get going Sunday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were giving up the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks coming into Week 12 (according to Yahoo), allowing 18.9 points per game. Cutler threw for only 130 yards. He was able to notch one touchdown pass, but with owners expecting much more. It is time to realize that Cutler will consistently inconsistent, just as he has been throughout his career.
The guy who caught the touchdown pass was wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, yet, that was essentially the only highlight from Chicago’s pass-catching trio. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, Cutler’s inconsistency will continue to result in subpar games from Martellus Bennett, Brandon Marshall and Jeffery.
Cutler’s counterpart, Buccaneers’ signal-caller Josh McCown had a better afternoon finishing the day with 341 passing yards and one touchdown. However, McCown coughed the ball up three times (two interceptions, one lost fumble), significantly reducing his fantasy total.
On the other hand, since he was re-inserted as Tampa Bay’s starting quarterback in Week 10, McCown has not thrown for less than 288 yards, and has five total touchdowns during that span making him a solid QB2.
Wideout Vincent Jackson had his first 100-yard game since Week 5, as he recorded five catches for 117 yards, and rookie receiver Mike Evans found the end zone yet again, scoring for the sixth time over the past four games. While
Evans and Jackson are expected to produce, but receiver Louis Murphy Jr’s total came out of nowhere. Heading into the game, he was owned in just one% of Yahoo leagues, but hauled in six passes for 113 yards. Murphy’s totals were impressive, but with so many mouths to feed in Tampa Bay, owners should leave him on the waiver wire.
Hopefully fantasy owners did not start any of the Buccaneers’ running backs. Tailback Doug Martin led the “attack” with 11 carries for 27 yards.
Cincinnati at Houston
The biggest question for fantasy owners in regards to the Cincinnati Bengals, heading into Week 12, was how the team would manage the work load of running backs Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill.
Well…both halfbacks were heavily involved on Sunday, and each player touched the ball the same amount of times. Hill led the team in rushing with 18 carries for 87 yards, while Bernard totaled 17 rushing attempts for 45 yards and caught two passes for 22 yards.
Hill had the better fantasy afternoon, with a short touchdown run in the third quarter. Seeing both tailbacks get extensive playing time, makes them both solid plays for the duration of the season.
Another Bengal who has battled an injury throughout 2014, is wide receiver A.J. Green. However, he seems to be fully healed from his toe injury, and topped 100 yards for the second consecutive week, recording 121 total yards on 12 receptions. Moving forward, Green will easily be a solid WR1.
Quarterback Andy Dalton was not overly impressive, throwing for 233 yards and an interception, but did hit Mohamed Sanu for a score. Coming off a three- touchdown performance in Week 11, fantasy owners were hoping for a little more production.
After playing well in his first-career start during Week 11, Mallett was unable to build off that performance, going 21-of-45 for only 189 yards, one interception, and zero touchdowns, proving to be nothing more than a QB2.
Mallett’s rough afternoon directly affected the Texans’ receivers. No player was able to reach 50 receiving yards.
One player that looked destined for a big day, was Texans’ running back Alfred Blue, after totaling career-highs in carries (36) and rushing yards (156) last week. Halfback Arian Foster was officially declared inactive to start the day, but Blue was unable to capitalize, rushing for just 46 yards on 16 attempts, Foster is expected back next week so it is likely that we have already seen the best of Blue for 2014.
Jacksonville at Indianapolis
Many owners expected Indianapolis Colts’s quarterback Andrew Luck to have a big day against a bad Jacksonville Jaguars’ team. Although he played okay, throwing for 253 yards and a score, along with rushing for an additional 49 yards, Luck was not at his best, as he lost two fumbles. This was only the second game all season that Luck threw for less than 300 yards and fewer than two touchdown passes, Don’t worry, even the best quarterbacks have bad days once in a while.
Ahmad Bradshaw season-ending injury was expected to elevate tailback Trent Richardson’s workload and fantasy value. While he rushed 13 times for 42 yards and a touchdown, tailback Daniel Herron actually was credited for a start. Herron rushed 12 times for 65 yards and caught five passes for 31 yards. It appears to still be a shared backfield.
Colts’ receiver T.Y. Hilton had a memorable day on Sunday. His wife gave birth to a baby girl, causing him to state that he would score a touchdown for little Eugenia. Hilton came through, catching four passes for 122 yards and that special touchdown. He has gone over 1,000 yards for the second consecutive season.
Jaguars’ receiver Marqise Lee led the team with 52 receiving yards on three receptions. Quarterback Blake Bortles was the main reason why the team struggled, as he threw for only 146 yards and one interception. Owners need to leave Bortles on the bench, with him being a borderline QB2 ... at best.
Coming into Week 12, there was a ton of hype surrounding Jacksonville running back Denard Robinson, but unfortunately he disappointed. Robinson had 25 yards on 14 carries, and was even out gained by fellow halfback Toby Gerhart. Robinson did contribute four receptions for 47 yards, but he also lost a fumble.
Green Bay at Minnesota
Upset of the day - The Packers’ first score wasn’t via the pass. Instead they let Eddie Lacy score from one yard away.
Getting Lacy going turned out to be invaluable as he posted big numbers (138 yards from scrimmage, 2 TDs). He’s run for over 100-yards just twice this season and both games were against the Vikings.
Second biggest upset of the day - Aaron Rodgers’ two touchdown passes didn’t go to Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb or even Davante Adams. One was caught by Richard Rodgers (no relation) and the other by Lacy.
It was obviously a quiet day for the Packers’ big receivers. Hope that didn’t keep you from getting into the fantasy playoffs.
Teddy Bridgewater still has a long way to go to be an NFL quarterback and even further to be a fantasy-worthy starter. His second-quarter interception wasn’t even worthy of Miami Northwestern High School.
Ben Tate didn’t run the ball today. Not surprising considering he doesn’t know the plays.
Detroit at New England
I thought the return of Calvin Johnson to healthy status would be the end of Golden Tate, but Tate was solid with four receptions for 97 yards as Darrelle Revis held Megatron to 58 yards.
As suspected, the Patriots healthy respect for the Lions top-ranked run defense, led them to a very unbalanced offense almost exclusively featuring the pass. Nine passes in the first 10 plays and Brady ended up throwing a stunning 53 times for 349 yards.
So much for Jonas Gray. Newly-signed LeGarrette Blount scored twice from inside the 3-yard line. Final tally: Blount 12 rushes (78 yards), Shane Vereen eight rushes, Gray zero touches. The lesson here, boys and girls ... don’t miss practice.
Tim Wright is the Patriots No. 2 tight end, but he caught his fifth and sixth touchdown passes of the season and only five others TEs have more, including his teammate Rob Gronkowski.
Wright was the only receiver to score, though the yards were pretty evenly distributed between Brandon LaFell, Julian Edelman and “Gronk.“
Tennessee at Philadelphia
Justin Hunter (knee) was a question mark heading into the game, but caught a nice 40-yard touchdown pass and run. In his second season, Hunter only has 45 career catches, but seven are scores.
Rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger found a friend in tight end Delanie Walker (5-155-0).
If you were hoping that Bishop Sankey’s touchdown run last week was the start of him getting red zone carries, think again. It was Shonn Greene getting the red zone work.
Eagles special teams did it again. They started the game with a 107-yard kickoff return. It was their four kick return for a score this season and 10th score for fantasy owners who have started the Philadelphia defense.
Finally, LeSean McCoy looked as elusive as last season. Don’t know why, but it’s been a while. He rushed for 130 yards and a score on 21 carries.
Mark Sanchez wasn’t very good throwing a pair of bad interceptions, but in the “Chip Kelly” up-tempo offense he still threw for 307 yards.
Arizona at Seattle
Andre Ellington continued to struggle running the ball, rushing 10 times for just 24 yards and leaving fantasy owners wondering what to do.
Ok, now we know why Drew Stanton is an NFL backup and not a starter.
The Seattle offense was determined to make Steven Hauschka the fantasy place- kicker of the week. In the first half they couldn’t finish any of their drives and Hauschka hit from 27, 32 and 52 yards. They “field-goal fest” continued after the break as he hit a 40-yarder early in the third quarter.
Part of the reason they didn’t get in the end zone more than once all day was Russell Wilson getting sacked seven times.
After consecutive 100-plus yard rushing games, Marshawn Lynch was a non-factor in this one. Wilson rushed for almost twice as many yards as Lynch (74-39).
St. Louis at San Diego
After beating Peyton Manning and the Broncos, the Rams defense tried to continue to show off their upgraded defense against Philip Rivers. It worked for a half as Janoris Jenkins intercepted a pass and ran in back 99 yards to put the Rams on top.
Rivers threw for just 106 yards in the first half, but was much more efficient after the break. He finished with 291 yards and a touchdown to Keenan Allen.
Allen had a very nice day and with a late reception as the Chargers tried to run out the clock earned his fantasy owners the 100-yard bonus.
Ryan Mathews was back and healthy. It was particularly evident on his 32-yard touchdown run that also put him over the century mark. Then he hurt his shoulder, didn’t play again, and fantasy owners are left wondering about next weekend. Deja vu?
Miami at Denver
Miami built a 14-3 lead on their running game. Lamar Miller rushed five times for 49 yards and both Ryan Tannehill and Daniel Thomas posted short touchdown runs.
Unfortunately, in the second half when the Broncos offense opened up, the Dolphins couldn’t match the firepower.
Ten of the Broncos first 14 plays were running plays and fantasy owners were wondering what team was inside the Denver uniforms?
When they finally decided to pass, however, they got three scores from the combination of Peyton Manning-to-Demaryius Thomas.
C.J. Anderson posted another big fantasy total rushing 27 times for 167 yards and the go-ahead score. It doesn’t seem to matter what running back is behind Manning, the threat of his passing game makes them all fantasy stars.
Wes Welker scored in Week 12. Normally that isn’t significant, but it was his first one since Week 7 and just the second one all season. He’s still not fantasy worthy these days.
Washington at San Francisco
Saying Robert Griffin III didn’t do much would be an understatement. He was 11-of-19 for 106 yards, got sacked five times, and lost a fumble in the fourth quarter.
Alfred Morris was the only viable offensive weapon, rushing for 125 yards and a touchdown.
In case you have not been paying attention, Colin Kaepernick’s favorite receiver isn’t Vernon Davis or Michael Crabtree, it’s Anquan Boldin. Today he caught nine balls for 137 yards and a touchdown.
► Morales Named MEC Player Of The Week
Glenville State’s Donte Morales has been named the Mountain East Conference Player of the Week after helping the Pioneers to a pair of wins.
Morales, a senior from Virginia Beach, Va., averaged 26.5 points and five rebounds on the week for GSC. He scored 16 points in a non-conference win against Ohio Valley before exploding for 37 points on 11-of-13 shooting in a win over Shepherd top open MEC play.
Other Top Performances
Devin Hoehn (West Liberty) averged 28.5 points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds in a 2-0 week for the top-ranked ‘Toppers…
Carlas Jackson (Urbana) had a game-high 26 points in just 28 minutes of work to give the Blue Knights their first MEC win in program history…
Nick Harney (FSU) had 21 points to lead the Falcons to win in their only game of the week…
Morgan McDonald (Shepherd) averaged 26.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in a 1-1 week for the Rams…
Tyree Gaiter (Notre Dame) had back-to-back 30-point games as the Falcons went 1-1…
Tanner McGrew (West Virginia Wesleyan) averaged a double-double with 10.5 points and 13.5 rebounds for the Bobcats.
► Top-25 College Basketball Game Results
(Monday, November 24)
Final Score: (2) Arizona 72, Missouri 53
Brandon Ashley and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson each had 15 points as second-ranked Arizona won its Maui Invitational opener with a 72-53 decision over Missouri. Hollis-Jefferson went 5-for-6 from the field and added six rebounds, while Stanley Jefferson contributed 14 points for the Wildcats, who used their trademark tough defense to dominate the game’s final 24 minutes and advance to Tuesday’s winner’s bracket matchup with Kansas State. Arizona (4-0) scored 24 points off 17 Missouri turnovers and held the Tigers to 36.4 percent shooting to overcome a slow offensive start. Montaque Gill-Caesar paced Missouri (2-2) with 13 points and Johnathan Williams III and Keith Shamburger each finished with 11 in the loss. The Tigers will next take on Purdue, which fell to Kansas State in Monday’s first game, in the consolation round.
Final Score: (6) Louisville 87, Savannah State 26
Montrezl Harrell put up 15 points and nine rebounds, and sixth-ranked Louisville put on a defensive clinic in an 87-26 domination of Savannah State at the KFC Yum! Center. The Cardinals scored the game’s first 29 points, led 41-7 at halftime and rendered Savannah State into a 10-of-51 shooting night while forcing 26 turnovers and owning a lopsided 54-28 rebounding advantage. Chinanu Onuaku led Louisville’s smothering defensive display with six blocks in addition to tallying 10 points and nine rebounds. Wayne Blackshear added 13 points and Terry Rozier finished with 11 in 16 minutes for the Cardinals (4-0). Savannah State (2-3), which also misfired on all 16 of its 3-point attempts, was paced by Alante Fenner’s eight points. Rick Pitino’s 699th career win was in the books early as Louisville completely imposed its will on the grossly overmatched Tigers, who missed their initial 23 shots from the floor and didn’t record their first point until Saadiq Muhammad hit 1-of-2 free throws with 4:02 remaining in the opening half.
Final Score: (11) Kansas 87, Rider 60
Perry Ellis scored 17 points to lead No. 11 Kansas to an 87-60 win over Rider in a non-bracketed game of the Orlando Classic. Brannen Green deposited 17 points off the bench and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk supplied 10 points for the Jayhawks (2-1), who rebounded from a blowout loss to No. 1 Kentucky their last time out. Xavier Lundy paced the Broncs (2-2) with 15 points and Teddy Okereafor added 10 in the setback. Kansas will open the tournament Thursday in Orlando with a matchup against Rhode Island, while Rider will take on No. 20 Michigan State in its opener.
Final Score: (12) Villanova 77, (14) VCU 53
JayVaughn Pinkston scored 15 points with seven rebounds to help No. 12 Villanova to a 77-53 win over 14th-ranked VCU in the Legends Classic at Barclays Center. Darrun Hilliard II netted 14 points and Kris Jenkins supplied 13 points off the bench for the Wildcats (4-0), who played their first game away from home. Briante Weber and Melvin Johnson each totaled 13 points for the Rams (3-1). Treveon Graham, VCU’s second-leading scorer who entered the game averaging 18 points per game, had just four points on 2-of-9 shooting. The Rams’ patented “Havoc” defense couldn’t stop Villanova on Monday, allowing the Wildcats to make 50 percent of their shots while only mustering a 37.3 percent success rate on the offensive end.
Final Score: (13) Iowa State 84, Alabama 74
Georges Niang had a game-high 28 points along with six rebounds to help No. 13 Iowa State post an 84-74 victory over Alabama in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. Dustin Hogue had 17 points, Naz Long scored 15 and Matt Thomas supplied 13 and eight rebounds for the Cyclones (3-0), who will take on Maryland in the championship round on Tuesday. Rodney Cooper had 27 points and five rebounds, while Levi Randolph totaled 18 points and five boards for the Crimson Tide (3-1), who will play Arizona State in the consolation game on Tuesday.
Final Score: (15) San Diego State 92, BYU 87 (2-OT)
Aqeel Quinn finished with a career-high 22 points and came up big down the stretch as No. 15 San Diego State beat BYU 92-87 in double overtime in a quarterfinal game of the Maui Invitational on Monday. Trey Kell made two foul shots, stole the ball from Tyler Haws and sent it down the court to Dwayne Polee II, who went in for an uncontested dunk and an 80-76 lead. Haws briefly tied the game with a jumper, but Quinn knocked down a three at the other end. Quinn’s layup and Polee’s free throw made it an 86-82 game. BYU missed three shots from beyond on its next trip down the floor and Kell made two at the line to seal the win. Winston Shepard had 18 points and eight rebounds, Kell chipped in 14 and JJ O’Brien finished with 13, nine rebounds and six assists for the Aztecs (4-0), who will play Pittsburgh in a semifinal game on Tuesday. Haws scored a game-high 26 points and Kyle Collinsworth supplied 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Cougars (3-1).
Final Score: (19) Michigan 70, Oregon 63
Zak Irvin scored 19 points to help No. 19 Michigan defeat Oregon, 70-63, in the Progressive Legends Classic on Monday. Caris LeVert tallied 18 points and Ricky Doyle registered 10 points off the bench for the Wolverines (4-0), who will play No. 12 Villanova in the final on Tuesday. LeVert went just 3-of-13 from the floor, but he managed to make 11 of his 13 shots from the foul line. The Wildcats defeated No. 14 VCU, 77-53, earlier in the night to punch their ticket to the championship game. Joseph Young netted 20 points for the Ducks (3-1), while Dillon Brooks and Elgin Cook supplied 14 and 13, respectively.
Final Score: (20) Michigan State 79, Santa Clara 52
Travis Trice made five 3-pointers en route to 19 points and the 20th-ranked Michigan State Spartans handled the Santa Clara Broncos, 79-52, in a non-bracketed game of the Orlando Classic. Marvin Clark Jr. added 15 points and four blocks for the Spartans (3-1), who have won two in a row since a loss to Duke. Gavin Schilling tallied 14 points and 11 boards. Jared Brownridge ended with 12 points for the Broncos (2-2), who have lost two straight.
► College Basketball Rankings
Associated Press Top 25
5. North Carolina
9. Wichita State
13. Iowa State
14. Virginia Commonwealth
15. San Diego State
16. Ohio State
17. Miami (FL)
20. Michigan State
21. West Virginia
6. North Carolina
10. Wichita State
13. Iowa State
14. Virginia Commonwealth
15. San Diego State
17. Ohio State
19. Michigan State
20. Miami (Fla.)
24. West Virginia
► NBA Game Results
(Monday, November 24)
Final Score: LA Clippers 113, Charlotte 92
Blake Griffin amassed 22 points in a near triple-double, and five other Los Angeles players scored in double figures as the Clippers pulled away for a 113-92 win over the Charlotte Hornets. Griffin grabbed 16 rebounds and added nine assists to lead a Clippers’ attack that shot 52.4 percent in the second half. Chris Paul turned in a monster game as well for Los Angeles, with the North Carolina native tallying 22 points along with 15 assists. Jamal Crawford chipped in 21 points off the bench and JJ Redick recorded 17 points for the Clippers, with DeAndre Jordan contributing a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds in the victory. Cody Zeller finished with a career-high 17 points in the loss, the sixth in a row and eighth in nine games for the struggling Hornets.
Final Score: Cleveland 106, Orlando 74
LeBron James had 29 points and 11 assists playing just three quarters and the Cleveland Cavaliers rolled to a 106-74 win over the Orlando Magic on Monday night to snap a four-game losing streak. James had 22 points in the first half to help the Cavaliers take an 18-point lead into the break and they went up by as many as 33 in the fourth quarter. Anderson Varejao added 14 points and Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving each scored 12 for Cleveland, which also snapped a three-game home losing streak. Victor Oladipo had 22 points and Nikola Vucevic scored 18 with 13 rebounds to lead the Magic, who have dropped eight in a row to the Cavs and four of their last six games overall. It was a season low in points for the Magic.
Final Score: Portland 114, Philadelphia 104
LaMarcus Aldridge had 33 points and 11 rebounds to help the red-hot Portland Trail Blazers beat the winless Philadelphia 76ers 114-104 on Monday. Wesley Matthews added 17 points for the Blazers, who have won eight in a row. Damian Lillard tallied 16 points. Michael Carter-Williams ended with 24 points and seven rebounds for the Sixers (0-14), who are now four losses away from matching the NBA record for the worst start to a season, which was set by the Nets in 2009-10. Henry Sims and Tony Wroten had 22 and 20 points, respectively.
Final Score: Toronto 104, Phoenix 100
Jonas Valanciunas had 27 points and 11 rebounds, DeMar DeRozan scored 23 and the Toronto Raptors survived for a 104-100 win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. The Raptors led by as many as 17 early in the fourth quarter before Isaiah Thomas made three consecutive 3-pointers to punctuate a quick 14-0 run by the Suns, who later took their first lead since the first quarter on two Eric Bledsoe free throws with 3:04 remaining. But Phoenix scored just five more points and DeRozan made four straight free throws in the last 14.7 seconds to put Toronto over the top. Lou Williams was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday and scored 17 points off the bench for the Raptors, who have won five in a row. The Eastern Conference leaders ran their record to 4-0 this season against Western Conference teams. Bledsoe scored 25 points to lead the Suns, who had a four- game losing streak stopped and finished 4-2 on a six-game road trip. Markieff Morris added 17 points in the loss.
Final Score: Houston 91, New York 86
James Harden scored Houston’s final 12 points of the game, leading the Rockets to a 91-86 victory over the New York Knicks. Harden went 7-of-12 from beyond the arc and ended with 36 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals for the Rockets, who have won 10 straight against the Knicks. Donatas Motiejunas added 13 points and eight boards for Houston, which has won two in a row overall. Trevor Ariza tallied 10 points and three steals. New York forward Carmelo Anthony had 14 points and seven rebounds before leaving in the second quarter with back spasms. He did not return to the game.
Final Score: Indiana 111, Dallas 100
Donald Sloan scored 29 points and the Indiana Pacers never trailed in the second half on the way to a 111-100 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night. The already banged-up Pacers played without center Roy Hibbert, who sprained his left ankle in Saturday’s loss to Phoenix. They made half of their 3-point attempts and took the lead for good on Sloan’s 3 with 1:44 remaining in the second quarter. Luis Scola added 14 points in the win and Solomon Hill, Rodney Stuckey, Chris Copeland, Damjan Rudez and Ian Mahinmi all scored at least 10. Monta Ellis had 24 points and Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 with 11 rebounds for the Mavericks, who have dropped two in a row following a six-game winning streak.
Final Score: Chicago 97, Utah 95
Two key players returned to the Chicago starting lineup Monday night, but the Bulls had to hold on for a 97-95 win over the Utah Jazz. Derrick Rose was back after missing four games with a strained left hamstring and scored 18 points. Pau Gasol totaled 23 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals after missing three games with a strained left calf. Gasol was fouled after Chicago won a jump ball and made 1- of-2 free throws to give the Bulls a two-point lead with 3.2 seconds remaining. The Bulls, who led by as many as 21, escaped EnergySolutions Arena with a win when Gordon Hayward missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer. Jimmy butler scored 25 points to lead the Bulls, who snapped a two-game skid and improved to 2-2 on their seven-game road trip. Derrick Favors had 21 points and a season-high 15 rebounds for Utah, which has dropped three games in a row. Trey Burke also posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists.
► Red Sox closing in on deals for Ramirez, Sandoval
The Boston Red Sox are apparently set to make a big splash in free agency, as reports indicate that both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval have agreed to multi-million dollar contracts.
Numerous media outlets, including Fox Sports, said Ramirez will sign a deal worth $90 million over five years, while CBSSports.com has reported that Sandoval will earn close to $100 million over five years.
Ramirez will return to the team that originally signed him as a 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic. The shortstop played just two games for the Red Sox in 2005 before he was shipped to the Marlins as part of the package that sent pitcher Josh Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell to Boston.
In 6 1/2 seasons with the Marlins, Ramirez developed into a star. He was the National League’s top rookie in 2006 and earned three All-Star selections with the Marlins, who traded him to the Dodgers in 2012.
Ramirez is a career .300 hitter, but has battled injuries in the past two seasons in Los Angeles. He played just 86 games in 2013 and batted .345, then in 128 games last year hit only .283 with 13 homers and 71 runs batted in.
Where the soon-to-be 31-year-old Ramirez will play in Boston is still a question with Xander Bogaerts currently slated to be the club’s shortstop.
Sandoval would likely be Boston’s new third baseman after spending six full seasons manning the position for the San Francisco Giants. He was part of three World Series championship teams for the Giants, and was the MVP of the 2012 Fall Classic.
In 869 games for the Giants since 2008, Sandoval is a .294 hitter with 192 doubles, 106 homers and 462 runs batted in. He batted .279 with 16 homers and 73 RBI in 157 games this past season.
Sandoval, a two-time All-Star, has been a clutch performer in postseason play with a .344 career average in 39 playoff games. He hit .366 for the Giants in the 2014 postseason, including .429 in the World Series victory over Kansas City last month.
The Red Sox are trying to revamp an offense that tied for the second-worst batting average in the American League last season at .244, had the second- worst slugging percentage at .369 and scored just 634 runs, better than only three other teams.
► 2015 Hall ballot includes Big Unit, Pedro, Smoltz
The 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot includes 17 new additions, including Cy Young Award winning pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz.
Also new to the ballot for 2015 are sluggers Gary Sheffield and Carlos Delgado and shortstop Nomar Garciaparra.
Rounding out the 17 first-time candidates are infielders Rich Aurilia, Aaron Boone and Tony Clark, outfielders Jermaine Dye, Darin Erstad, Cliff Floyd and Brian Giles, and pitchers Troy Percival, Tom Gordon, Eddie Guardado and Jason Schmidt.
The 17 candidates returning to the BBWAA ballot (with their 2014 election percentages) are: Craig Biggio (74.8%), Mike Piazza (62.2%), Jeff Bagwell (54.3%), Tim Raines (46.1%), Roger Clemens (35.4%), Barry Bonds (34.7%), Lee Smith (29.9%), Curt Schilling (29.2%), Edgar Martinez (25.2%), Alan Trammell (20.8%), Mike Mussina (20.3%), Jeff Kent (15.2%), Fred McGriff (11.7%), Mark McGwire (11.0%), Larry Walker (10.2%), Don Mattingly (8.2%) and Sammy Sosa (7.2%).
Mattingly is eligible for the ballot for the 15th and final time. If he is not elected in January, he will become eligible for consideration by the Expansion Era Committee beginning in the fall of 2016.
Candidates need 75% of the vote to earn induction into the Hall of Fame. Results will be announced on January 6, 2015.
When including the returners to the ballot, it’s interesting to note that only once in the history of voting have as many as five candidates earned the 75% in the same voting year. That was in 1936, the first year of voting, when Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner became the First Five.
Since then, the BBWAA has elected four candidates in one year only twice: 1947, when Mickey Cochrane, Frankie Frisch, Lefty Grove and Carl Hubbell were elected; and 1955, when Joe DiMaggio, Gabby Hartnett, Ted Lyons and Dazzy Vance earned election.
The three candidates who at first glance deserve first-ballot Hall of Fame consideration are Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz.
Johnson pitched 22 seasons for Expos, Mariners, Astros, Diamondbacks, Yankees and Giants, posting three 20-win seasons (1997, 2001-02) and winning five Cy Young Awards. The hard-throwing left-hander ended his career with a 303-166 mark with a 3.29 ERA, finishing in top 10 of his league’s Most Valuable Player Award voting twice: 1995 (6th) and 2002 (7th) and was named to 10 All-Star Games, starting four times. Known as a strikeout pitcher, Johnson led his league in strikeouts nine times (1992-95, 1999-2002, 2004) and is second on the all-time strikeout list with 4,875.
Martinez played 18 seasons for Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, Mets and Phillies, going 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA. He had two 20-win seasons (1999, 2002) and captured three Cy Young Awards (1997, 1999-2000). An eight-time All-Star, the right-hander finished in Top 10 of his league’s Most Valuable Player Award voting twice: 1999 (2nd) and 2000 (5th). He won 1999 American League Pitching Triple Crown after leading the league in wins (23), earned run average (2.07) and strikeouts (313).
Smoltz, who could be the first Hall of Fame member to have the famed “Tommy John” surgery, made a name for himself as a starter and closer, pitching 21 seasons for Braves, Red Sox and Cardinals. Smoltz had a career record of 213-155 with a 3.33 ERA with 154 saves. He won 1996 National League Cy Young Award and was named to eight All-Star Games (1989, 1992-93, 1996, 2002-03, 2005, 2007). As a reliever, the right-hander topped the 40-save mark three times (2002-04), the only three full seasons he served as his team’s closer. His 3,084 strikeouts rank 16th all-time. Smoltz appeared in 25 postseason series over 14 seasons with Braves and Cardinals, posting 15-4 record in 41 appearances (27 starts) with 2.67 earned run average and four saves, striking out 199 batters in 209 innings.
If the BBWAA elects at least two candidates in January, it will mark the first time since 2004-05 that the writers have elected multiple candidates in back- to-back years. Dennis Eckersley and Paul Molitor were elected in 2004, followed by Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg in 2005. The last time three-or-more BBWAA candidates were elected in successive years was 1954-55, when the DiMaggio-Hartnett-Lyons-Vance group followed the 1954 class of Bill Dickey, Rabbit Maranville and Bill Terry.
The Class of 2015, and any candidates elected by the Golden Era Committee on December 8, will be inducted on July 26 in Cooperstown.
► NHL Game Results
(Monday, November 24)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 3, Boston 2 (OT)
Evgeni Malkin scored 32 seconds into overtime to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Monday. Malkin skated to the top of the right circle and one-timed a feed from Sidney Crosby through the pads of Tuukka Rask for his second goal of the game. Crosby had the other Pittsburgh goal and finished with two assists, while Marc- Andre Fleury earned his 300th career win with a 27-save performance. Milan Lucic and Joe Morrow scored 28 seconds apart in the second period for Boston. Rask stopped 30 shots in defeat.
Final Score: NY Islanders 1, Philadelphia 0 (SO)
Frans Nielsen’s shootout goal led the New York Islanders to a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in a goaltenders duel on Monday. Philly’s Steve Mason made a season-high 46 saves through regulation and overtime, while Jaroslav Halak stopped 21 shots. Nielsen put the first puck past either goaltender with New York’s second chance, as he buried a wrister past Mason. Claude Giroux then beat Halak back to the forehand and his low shot appeared to have an open path to the net, but Halak slammed the glove arm down and kept it out. Jonathan Tavares then sealed the victory as he went back and forth before lifting a backhand into the right corner of the net. Both goaltenders were given a shutout in the game, as Mason notched his first of the year and 24th of his career, while Halak nabbed his third of the season and 33rd of his career.
Final Score: Detroit 4, Ottawa 3
Stephen Weiss scored a pair of goals as the Detroit Red Wings held on for a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Monday. Gustav Nyquist and Riley Sheahan each had a goal for the Red Wings, who have won three of their last four. Jimmy Howard stopped 23 shots in the win. Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson each posted a goal and an assist while Mike Hoffman scored late for the Senators, who have lost three of four. Craig Anderson allowed all four goals on 43 shots in the loss.
Final Score: Minnesota 4, Florida 1
Jason Zucker’s seventh and eighth goals of the season powered the Minnesota Wild to a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday. Nino Niederreiter and Zach Parise also scored and Mikko Koivu supplied two assists for Minnesota, which bounced back from Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay and has won five of its last six games. Niklas Backstrom turned aside 29 shots in his first start since Nov. 16. Shawn Thornton netted Florida’s lone goal and Roberto Luongo made 34 stops in defeat.
► Arrivabene replaces Mattiacci as Ferrari’s team principal
Ferrari announced on Monday that Maurizio Arrivabene is replacing Marco Mattiacci as team principal of its Formula One team.
Arrivabene comes to Ferrari from Philip Morris, which he joined in 1997 after a 20-year career in marketing and promotions in Italy and abroad. He was appointed Vice President of Marlboro Global Communication and Promotions for Philip Morris International in 2007 and then promoted to Vice President of Consumer Channel Strategy and Event Marketing in 2011. Arrivabene has been closely involved in the company’s partnership with Ferrari. He has also represented all Formula One sponsors on the F1 Commission since 2010.
In addition to his team principal role, Arrivabene will serve as Managing Director of Gestione Sportiva (Scuderia Ferrari), the racing team division of the Ferrari automobile company.
“We decided to appoint Maurizio Arrivabene because, at this historic moment in time for the Scuderia and for Formula 1, we need a person with a thorough understanding not just of Ferrari but also of the governance mechanisms and requirements of the sport,“ Ferrari Chairman Sergio Marchionne said in a statement. “Maurizio has a unique wealth of knowledge.
“He has been extremely close to the Scuderia for years and, as a member of the F1 Commission, is also keenly aware of the challenges we are facing. He has been a constant source of innovative ideas focused on revitalization of Formula One. His managerial experience on a highly complex and closely regulated market is also of great importance, and will help him manage and motivate the team. I am delighted to have been able to secure his leadership for our racing activities.
There have been many changes at Ferrari this year. In April, Stefano Domenicali stepped down as team principal, with Mattiacci replacing him. Then in September, Luca di Montezemolo resigned as Ferrari chairman, as Marchionne took over that position.
Last week, Ferrari revealed that four-time and outgoing F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel will join the Italian team for the 2015 season, replacing Fernando Alonso, who had been with the organization since the start of the 2010 season. Kimi Raikkonen will remain with Ferrari next season.
Mattiacci had previously served as President and CEO of Ferrari North America.
“We would also like to thank Marco Mattiacci for his service to Ferrari in the last 15 years, and we wish him well in his future endeavors, Marchionne added in his statement.
Ferrari ended the 2014 F1 season fourth in the constructors’ championship and failed to win a race this year. It was the first time the team was winless in a season since 1993. Ferrari’s last grand prix victory occurred in May 2013, with Alonso winning the Spanish Grand Prix.
Alonso concluded his last season with Ferrari sixth in the drivers’ championship standings, and Raikkonen, in his first season back with the team, placed 12th.
Mercedes captured this year’s F1 constructors’ title, and Lewis Hamilton won Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to claim his second world championship. Hamilton finished 67 points ahead of his Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg.
|ABC - American Broadcasting Company|
|CBS - Columbia Broadcast System|
|FOX - Fox Entertainment Group|
|NBC - National Broadcasting Company|
|JIP - Joined in Progress|
|DSS - DIRECTV|
|TSN - Sports Network (Canada)|
|SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)|
|RDS - Reseau des sports|
|MSG - Madison Square Garden Network|
|TNT - Turner Network Television|
|TBS - Turner Broadcasting System|
|SNY - SportsNet New York|
|CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network|
|CSN - Comcast SportsNet|
|TCN - The Comcast Network|
|NBCSN - NBC Sports Network|
|NESN - New England Sports Network|
|MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network|
|ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)|
|CST - Cox Sports Television|
|FCS - FOX College Sports|
|FS - FOX Sports Regional|
|RSN - Regional Sports Networks|
|CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting|
|TVG - Horse Racing Channel|
|FS1 - FOX Sports 1|
|TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel|
|* - If Necessary|
|TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2014|
|National Basketball Association|
|Atlanta at Washington, 7:00 PM - SportSouth, CSN-DC, DSS|
|Golden State at Miami, 7:30 PM - CSN-Bay, SunSports, DSS|
|Detroit at Milwaukee, 8:00 PM - FS-Detroit, Wisconsin, DSS|
|Sacramento at New Orleans, 8:00 PM - CSN-California, FS-New Orleans, DSS|
|Chicago at Denver, 9:00 PM - CSN-Chicago, Altitude, DSS|
|National Hockey League|
|Winnipeg at Columbus, 7:00 PM - TSN3, FS-Ohio, DSS|
|Ottawa at St. Louis, 8:00 PM - RDS, TSN5, FS-Midwest, DSS|
|Los Angeles at Nashville, 8:00 PM - FS-West, Tennessee, DSS|
|Edmonton at Dallas, 8:30 PM - SNET-West, FS-Southwest, DSS|
|Colorado at Arizona, 9:00 PM - TVA, Altitude2, FS-Arizona, DSS|
|New Jersey at Vancouver, 10:00 PM - MSG+, SNET-Pacific, DSS|
|Calgary at Anaheim, 10:00 PM - SNET-West, Flames, FS-Prime Ticket, DSS|
|Maui Invitational, 2:00 PM - ESPN 2|
|Maui Invitational, 4:30 PM - ESPN 2|
|NC Central at Cincinnati, 7:00 PM - FS-Ohio, ESPN3.com|
|Citadel at Florida State, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com|
|Texas-Arlington at Kentucky, 7:00 PM - SEC Network|
|Saint Peters at Rutgers, 7:00 PM - Big Ten Network|
|Hofstra at South Florida, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com|
|Loyola-Maryland at Syracuse, 7:00 PM - RSN|
|Penn at Temple, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com|
|Tennessee State at Virginia, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com|
|Northern Iowa vs. Virginia Tech, 7:00 PM - CBSSN|
|Maui Invitational, 7:30 PM - ESPN|
|Arkansas at SMU, 7:30 PM - ESPNews|
|Legends Classic, 7:30 PM - ESPN U|
|Eastern Ill at Creighton, 8:00 PM - FS1|
|St Xavier at Ill-Chicago, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com|
|Nebraska Omaha at Nebraska, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com|
|NC A&T at Saint Louis, 8:00 PM - FS-Midwest+|
|St. Francis-PA at Texas, 8:00 PM - Longhorn Network|
|Northwestern State at Texas Tech, 8:00 PM - FS-Sothwest+, FCS-Pacific|
|Southern at Tulane, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com|
|Loyola-Chicago at Texas-San Antonio, 8:00 PM - American Sports Net, MASN|
|Norfolk State at Vanderbilt, 8:00 PM - SEC Network+|
|Miami-Florida at Charlotte, 9:00 PM - FSN, MASN2|
|Air Force at Colorado, 9:00 PM - Pac-12 Network|
|Northwestern vs. Miami-Ohio, 9:30 PM - CBSSN|
|CBE Hall of Fame Classic, 9:30 PM - ESPN U|
|Maui Invitational, 10:00 PM - ESPN|
|Legends Classic, 10:00 PM - ESPN 2|
|Delaware at Stanford, 11:00 PM - Pac-12 Network|
|Cal State Fullerton at USC, 11:00 PM - Pac-12 Network|
|Women’s College Basketball|
|SE Missouri State at Ole Miss, 4:00 PM - SEC Network+|
|Charleston Southern at Florida, 7:00 PM - SEC Network+|
|Western Kentucky at Louisville, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com|
|Georgia Southern at Georgia, 7:00 PM - SEC Network+|
|Northern Iowa at Iowa, 8:00 PM - Mediacom, Big Ten Network+|
|ULM at Miss State, 8:00 PM - SEC Network+|
|Ohio U at Miami-Ohio, 7:00 PM - ESPN 2|
|Manchester City vs. Bayern Munich, 2:30 PM - FS1|