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1 hour ago

Russell Wilson bests Patrick Mahomes with record 14th TD in first three games

SEATTLE -- Another week, another record for Russell Wilson. And thanks to his five touchdown passes Sunday to overcome a near collapse by his defense, another nail-biting win for the 3-0 Seattle Seahawks, who beat the  Dallas Cowboys  38-31. Seattle prevailed at CenturyLink Field when defensive back Ryan Neal -- just elevated from the practice squad Saturday -- picked off Dak Prescott in the end zone with six seconds left. Wilson now has 14 touchdown passes this season, breaking the record Patrick Mahomes set in 2018 for the most in NFL history through a team's first three games. Wilson also became the fifth player in league history to throw at least four touchdown passes in three straight games, joining Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Mahomes and Drew Brees. With how poor the Seahawks' pass defense has been this season, the team might need Wilson to keep up that scorching pace. Seattle allowed Dallas to storm back...
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2 hours ago

New England Patriots rush for 250 yards, dedicate win to grieving RB James White

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots rushed for 250 yards in their 36-20 victory Sunday over the Las Vegas Raiders, an impressive performance that players said was dedicated to running back James White. White, a third-year captain in his seventh season with the Patriots, remains away from the club after his father, Tyrone, died in a car crash Sept. 20. White's mother, Lisa, was injured in the crash. "We just try to go out there and play for him," said running back Rex Burkhead, who scored three touchdowns for the first time in his eight-year NFL career. Burkhead had to compose himself as he spoke about White. "A lot of us, we think about him every single day and his situation. He's just an unbelievable person, player and leader of this team. So him being away -- and of course, the situation him and his family are going through -- it's sad," Burkhead said. "He's a brother to me. I really feel his pain in this whole situation. It's...
2 hours ago
2 hours ago

Los Angeles Angels fire general manager Billy Eppler in fifth year

The Los Angeles Angels fired general manager Billy Eppler on Sunday, announcing the decision moments after the team concluded its fifth consecutive losing season. The Angels will now search for the third full-time GM of Mike Trout's career with hopes that the latest can capitalize on the prime years of one of the greatest players in baseball history. Decorated executive Dave Dombrowski has been rumored inside and outside of baseball as a potential successor. Eppler's dismissal comes with one year remaining on his contract. The Angels quietly extended Eppler through the 2021 season over the summer, a source confirmed to ESPN. Eppler, who finished his fifth season with the organization after his hiring in October of 2015, was on an expiring contract when the year began. In a statement, Angels president John Carpino thanked Eppler "for his dedication and work ethic over the last five years." The decision, however, had long been anticipated. The pressure began to escalate...
2 hours ago
2 hours ago

Russell Wilson bests Patrick Mahomes with record 14th TD in first 3 games

SEATTLE -- Another week, another record for Russell Wilson. And thanks to his five touchdown passes Sunday to overcome a near collapse by his defense, another nail-biting win for the 3-0 Seattle Seahawks, who beat the  Dallas Cowboys, 38-31. Seattle prevailed at CenturyLink Field when defensive back Ryan Neal -- just elevated from the practice squad Saturday -- picked off Dak Prescott in the end zone with six seconds left. Wilson now has 14 touchdown passes this season, breaking the record Patrick Mahomes set in 2018 for the most in NFL history through a team's first three games. Wilson also became the fifth player in league history to throw at least four touchdown passes in three straight games, joining Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Mahomes and Drew Brees. With how poor the Seahawks' pass defense has been this season, it might need Wilson to keep up that scorching pace. Seattle allowed Dallas to storm back from a...
2 hours ago
3 hours ago

LoLos Angeles Angels fire general manager Billy Eppler in fifth year

The Los Angeles Angels fired general manager Billy Eppler on Sunday, moments after the team concluded its fifth consecutive losing season. The firing surprisingly comes with one year left on Eppler's deal; the Angels quietly extended Eppler through the 2021 season over the summer, a source confirmed to ESPN. Eppler, who finished his fifth season with the organization after joining in 2015, was on an expiring contract when the year began. In a statement, Angels president John Carpino said: "The Angels organization would like to thank Billy for his dedication and work ethic over the last five years. We wish him and his family all the best." The Angels finished the shortened 2020 season with a 26-34 record, a major disappointment for a team that carried a lot of hype after the hiring of manager Joe Maddon and the signing of third baseman Anthony Rendon. "Billy and I really, I thought, were great together," Maddon said after the Angels ended their season with ...
3 hours ago
3 hours ago

Rams decry costly pass interference call that led to Bills' go-ahead TD: 'Wasn't even a catchable ball'

The Los Angeles Rams were one play away from completing a historic come-from-behind victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in Orchard Park, New York. Instead, despite overcoming a 25-point deficit, the Rams suffered their first loss of the season  35-32 after a controversial, fourth-down pass interference penalty resulted in the Bills' go-ahead touchdown. "It was the wrong call," Rams safety John Johnson III said after the game. "We can't narrow it down to that one play, but I don't think it was a PI." Facing fourth-and-8 from the Rams 13-yard line, with 25 seconds remaining and Los Angeles ahead 32-28, Bills quarterback Josh Allen attempted a pass to receiver Gabriel Davis, who was playing in place of  John Brown after the receiver injured his calf earlier in the game. The pass fell incomplete, but cornerback Darious Williams drew a penalty for pass interference, giving the Bills a fresh set of downs and moving them...
3 hours ago
4 hours ago

Rams decry costly pass interference call that led to Bills go-ahead TD: 'Wasn't even a catchable ball'

The Los Angeles Rams were one play away from completing a historic come-from-behind victory over the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium on Sunday. Instead, despite overcoming a 25-point deficit, the Rams suffered their first loss of the season, 35-32, after a controversial fourth-down pass interference penalty resulted in a Bills go-ahead touchdown. "It was the wrong call," Rams safety John Johnson III said after the game. "We can't narrow it down to that one play, but I don't think it was a PI." Facing fourth-and-8 from the Rams' 13-yard line, with 25 seconds remaining and the Rams ahead 32-28, Bills quarterback Josh Allen attempted a pass to receiver Gabriel Davis, who was playing in place of  John Brown after Brown injured his calf earlier in the game. The pass fell incomplete, but cornerback Darious Williams drew a penalty for pass interference, giving the Bills a fresh set of downs and moving them to the 3-yard line....
4 hours ago
September 27

Los Angeles Angels moving on from general manager Billy Eppler

The Los Angeles Angels fired general manager Billy Eppler on Sunday, moments after the team concluded its fifth consecutive losing season. The firing surprisingly comes with one year left on Eppler's deal; the Angels quietly extended Eppler through the 2021 season over the summer, a source confirmed to ESPN. Eppler, who finished his fifth season with the organization after joining in 2015, was on an expiring contract when the year began. In a statement, Angels president John Carpino said: "The Angels organization would like to thank Billy for his dedication and work ethic over the last five years. We wish him and his family all the best." The Angels finished the shortened 2020 season with a 26-34 record, a major disappointment for a team that carried a lot of hype after the hiring of manager Joe Maddon and the signing of third baseman Anthony Rendon. Eppler played a lead role in recruiting Shohei Ohtani, was a big reason Mike Trout decided to...
September 27
September 27

Chicago Bears bench Mitchell Trubisky for Nick Foles against Atlanta Falcons

Bears veteran quarterback Nick Foles came off the bench to replace Mitchell Trubisky and guided Chicago (3-0) to a dramatic come-from-behind 30-26 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.  Bears coach Matt Nagy benched Trubisky in favor of Foles with Chicago trailing by 16 points in the third quarter. Foles responded by throwing three second-half touchdown passes, including the game-winning 28-yard strike to Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller just after the two-minute warning. Foles also had touchdown passes to Allen Robinson and Jimmy Graham. He finished the game 16-for-29 for 188 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Foles had two additional touchdown passes overturned by the officials. "I just wasn't expecting this today," Foles said after the game. "Obviously we went out there today and got a win as a team. I felt good out there. Not perfect. But I felt good." Trubisky went 13-for-22 for 128 yards, one...
September 27
September 27

Cleveland Browns have first winning record in six years

CLEVELAND -- Finally, the Cleveland Browns have a winning record again. With a 34-20 victory over Washington on Sunday, the Browns moved to 2-1, giving them a record above .500 for the first time in six years. Cleveland had gone 90 consecutive weeks without a winning record, which was by far the longest active streak in the NFL. The Browns were last above .500 going into Week 15 of the 2014 season, when they were 7-6, then lost their final three games. Over the next three seasons, Cleveland would win just four games combined. "First and foremost, this is a football town," Baker Mayfield said. "They deserve to have a great franchise and a great team, but we are worried about right now. Like I said before the season started, it is about building that culture, bringing the right guys in and pushing this thing in the right direction, which is what we have been doing and we are trying to do. We have to build on this momentum and keep going one game at a...
September 27
September 27

Tampa Bay Lightning won't have Steven Stamkos rest of Stanley Cup Final

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos will not play again in the Stanley Cup Final, coach Jon Cooper told reporters Sunday. "Hopefully the next time we see him on the ice is for a trophy presentation," the coach said. "He did everything he could to get back. And he did get back, and unfortunately he couldn't go any further. I'm sure this will all be addressed after the series is over. He gamed it out." The Lightning lead the Stars 3-2, with Game 6 on Monday in Edmonton. The news ends a summerlong saga for the Lightning, who are one win from raising the franchise's second Stanley Cup. Stamkos has missed the entire postseason while being deemed "unfit to play" except for one brief appearance in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. Stamkos got five shifts, totaling less than three minutes, and scored a goal on the first shot he took. He became the first player in 80 years to score while playing his first postseason game of the year in the Stanley Cup Final. However, Stamkos...
September 27
September 27

Chicago Bears bench Mitch Trubisky for Nick Foles against Falcons

Chicago Bears veteran quarterback Nick Foles came off the bench to replace Mitchell Trubisky and guided Chicago (3-0) to a dramatic come-from-behind 30-26 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Bears coach Matt Nagy benched Trubisky in favor of Foles with Chicago trailing by 16 points in the third quarter. Foles responded by throwing three second-half touchdown passes, including the game-winning 28-yard strike to Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller just after the two-minute warning. Foles also had touchdown passes to Allen Robinson and Jimmy Graham. Foles finished the game 16-for-29 for 188 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Foles had two additional touchdown passes overturned by the officials. Trubisky went 13-for-22 for 128 yards, one touchdown and one interception (71.8 passer rating). The Bears were an ineffective 1-of-8 on third down, with several of Trubisky's downfield passes being off the mark. Trubisky overthrew a...
September 27
September 27

Tampa Bay Lightning won't have Steven Stamkos rest of series

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos will not play again in the Stanley Cup Final, coach Jon Cooper told reporters Sunday. "Hopefully the next time we see him on the ice is for a trophy presentation," the coach said. "He did everything he could to get back. And he did get back, and unfortunately he couldn't go any further. I'm sure this will all be addressed after the series is over. He gamed it out." The Lightning lead the Stars 3-2, with Game 6 on Monday in Edmonton. The news ends a summerlong saga for the Lightning, who are one win away from winning the franchise's second Stanley Cup. Stamkos has missed the entire postseason while being deemed "unfit to play" -- except for one brief appearance in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. Stamkos got five shifts, totaling less than three minutes, and scored a goal on the first shot he took. He became the first player in 80 years to score while playing his first postseason game of the year in the Stanley Cup Final. However...
September 27
September 27

Washington Football Team rookie Chase Young ruled out with groin injury

Washington rookie defensive end Chase Young was ruled out with a groin injury suffered in the second quarter of the team's game at Cleveland. Young rushed quarterback Baker Mayfield on a third-down play early in the second quarter. At the end of the play, Young appeared to be slightly affected by his leg. He walked to the locker room, where, according to the Fox broadcast, it got worse and he was quickly ruled out. Young returned to the Washington sideline later in the quarter with his upper right thigh wrapped. Young, the No. 2 overall pick, had 2.5 sacks in Washington's first two games. Washington does have veteran Ryan Kerrigan to replace Young. Young missed time in camp with a hip flexor. It doesn't help Washington's line that Matt Ioannidis also was ruled out in the first half because of an arm injury. Washington has depth inside, but Ioannidis is one of its better pass-rushers. He has 1.5 sacks this season after recording 8.5 last...
September 27
September 27

Ron Roenicke won't be Boston Red Sox manager next season

The Boston Red Sox announced Sunday that Ron Roenicke will not return as the team's manager for the 2021 season, with a search for a new skipper beginning immediately. Roenicke took over as interim manager in February following the parting of ways with Alex Cora during the fallout from the Astros sign-stealing investigation. The team removed the interim label from Roenicke's title after Major League Baseball cleared him of any wrongdoing in Boston's own sign-stealing investigation in April. "Throughout this difficult season, Ron's consistency and professionalism kept the environment in our clubhouse productive and gave all of our players room to grow and develop," chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said in a news release. "While we believe that, moving forward, we will benefit from new leadership and new energy, that does not diminish how strongly we feel about Ron. He is a man of the highest character who cares about our players and the Red Sox organization." The 2020...
September 27
September 27

NFL Week 3 betting nuggets: Time to bet 0-2 teams ATS?

In the past 10 seasons, teams that are 0-2 against the spread are 46-28 ATS in Week 3 (62.1%). In the past five seasons, they are 25-12 ATS (67.5%). Overs are 20-12 this season. That is the third-highest over rate in the first two weeks since 1986 when we have data (highest since 2011). Last week, favorites went 14-2 outright (entering Monday), with seven favorites winning but not covering. The seven favorites winning but not covering ties the most in a single week in the Super Bowl era (since 1966). Here are more notable odds and ends for Week 3 NFL betting. Odds listed are from Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill and are subject to change. Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots (-6 47.5), Sunday, 1 p.m. ET New England is 51-26 ATS after a loss in the Bill Belichick era, including 40-15 ATS since 2003. Since 2007, New England is 30-11 ATS at home when favored by less than seven points. Each of the past eight...
September 27
September 27

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley facing felony weapons, drug charges

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley was arrested Saturday and is facing felony weapons and drug charges in Minneapolis, according to police records. Beasley, who averaged 20.7 points in 14 games with the Timberwolves after being traded by the Denver Nuggets in February, is facing felony controlled substance/narcotics and felony receiving/concealing stolen property charges, according to Hennepin County Jail records. But he was released Sunday without being charged, his attorney, Steve Haney, told ESPN. "We are aware of the situation involving Malik Beasley and are in the process of gathering information at this time," the Timberwolves said in a statement. In a statement on Sunday, the Plymouth Police Department said its officers were called to Beasley's residence a day earlier on a reported weapons offense. The reporting individuals told officers they had stopped their car in front of the house, and a "suspect walked up to their vehicle, tapped on the...
September 27
September 27

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones inactive due to hamstring injury

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is inactive for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears while recovering from a hamstring injury. Jones injured his left hamstring before the season then strained it again during last week's 40-39 loss at Dallas. He did not practice all week leading up to the Bears game, but Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Jones would be a game-time decision. With Jones out of the lineup, the Falcons will look to Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage as the primary receivers with tight end Hayden Hurst another top option for quarterback Matt Ryan. Christian Blake is likely to see more snaps at receiver with Jones out. Through two games, Jones is the Falcons' third-leading receiver with 11 catches for 181 yards and no touchdowns. He is one catch away from surpassing Roddy White as the franchise's all-time leader in receptions (they are tied at 808). Jones missed one game last season because of a...
September 27
September 27

Victoria Azarenka walks off during rain delay, easily advances at French Open

Victoria Azarenka and her opponent Danka Kovinic briefly walked off the court during a rain delay in their opening-round match at the French Open on Sunday. Play was stopped after three games on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, and the players were instructed to stay on court. However, they both were unhappy with temperatures in the low 50s and made it clear they would rather wait indoors. "I'm down to play whatever," Azarenka said to an official while sitting under an umbrella on her chair. "You know I'm not complaining here, but this is getting a little bit ridiculous." The official then asked if she would be willing to wait for a few minutes, and the No. 10 seed was clear with what she wanted to do. "No, I'm not waiting here a couple minutes because I'm cold. It's 8 degrees. I live in Florida, I'm used to hot weather." She then walked over to Kovinic, and asked what she wanted to do. "Do you want to wait on court?" she asked. "No? It's ridiculous. It's too cold. What's the...
September 27
September 27

Sources: Las Vegas Raiders under investigation over unauthorized locker room access

After a week in which Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders received heavy fines for violating sideline coronavirus protocols, the team is now under an NFL investigation for another protocol-related violation -- allowing unauthorized locker room access, league sources told ESPN. The alleged violation occurred after Monday night's win over the New Orleans Saints, when an unauthorized team employee entered the Raiders' locker room without the credentials to do so, according to sources. The league, with the help of state and federal committees as well as the NFLPA, has established strict thresholds regarding access -- meant to curb and prevent the spread of COVID-19. This season, only 40 employees in each organization are allowed to be in the locker room, based on the NFL policy distributed to all teams. Employees allowed in the locker room, aside from the players, are the coaching staff, the athletic training staff, the equipment staff, the general manager,...
September 27
September 27

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James shrugs at making 10th NBA Finals

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Standing off to the side as his teammate Anthony Davis spoke to reporters about how his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers delivered him the first NBA Finals berth of his career, LeBron James was asked what the 10th Finals appearance of his career means to him. "Right now, it don't mean s--- unless I get it done," James told ESPN following the Lakers' 117-107 Game 5 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday to win the Western Conference crown. "I got to get it done." He certainly finished off the Nuggets. James scored 16 of his game-high 38 points in the fourth quarter, going 7-for-10 from the field in the final frame. He showcased the rest of his skills throughout the game, with 16 rebounds and 10 assists to record his 27th career playoff triple-double, second only to Magic Johnson's 30. But James, the NBA's No. 1 all-time postseason scoring leader, put the ball in the bucket. His final six made field...
September 27
September 27

Israel Adesanya retains UFC middleweight title with TKO of Paulo Costa

Look out, Conor McGregor. The UFC might have its next big breakout star. In a bout billed as one of the biggest in recent middleweight history, the charismatic Israel Adesanya made it look easy. Adesanya dominated Paulo Costa, culminating in a TKO at 2 minutes, 59 seconds of the second round in the main event of UFC 253 on Saturday night in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. With the victory, Adesanya notched his second successful UFC middleweight title defense.  "I told you he's dumb. I'm smart. I understand this f---ing game," said Adesanya, who competed in kickboxing and boxing before coming to the UFC. "This was my 100th win in combat sports all around. ... I'm not a f---ing baby in this game. I've been in this s--- for a long time." Adesanya is now tied with former middleweight champion Chris Weidman for the second-longest win streak in division history (nine), according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Anderson Silva is...
September 27
September 27

Corey Perry, Dallas Stars prevail in double overtime, push Stanley Cup Final to Game 6

Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry don't want to leave the bubble just yet. Pavelski, the 36-year-old veteran, tied it with 6 minutes, 45 seconds left in regulation and then laid out to block a shot in the first overtime before Perry scored the winner in double OT, and the Dallas Stars avoided elimination Saturday night by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 to force a Game 6 in the Stanley Cup Final. It was one of two goals on the night for Perry, the 35-year-old veteran, and the victory prevented -- at least for a couple of nights -- Tampa Bay from securing its second Stanley Cup title in franchise history. "Get one, keep going," Perry said. "We start building here and I think we're starting to do something special." Anton Khudobin made 39 saves, and Perry prolonged the series by scoring 9:23 into the second overtime. It was a manner of redemption for the Stars a night after they lost in OT on a questionable penalty call when Tampa Bay scored...
September 27
September 27

Jan Blachowicz stops Dominick Reyes to win vacant UFC crown

The UFC's light heavyweight division might not have Jon Jones -- but perhaps it might still have a dominant champ. Jan Blachowicz (27-8), an overlooked slugger from Poland, defeated Dominick Reyes (12-2) via TKO at 4 minutes, 36 seconds of the second round of their light heavyweight title fight on Saturday at UFC 253 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In doing so, Blachowicz became the first man other than Jones and former champ Daniel Cormier to hold the 205-pound title since 2011. The championship fight, which served as the co-main event of UFC 253, came a little more than one month after Jones willingly vacated the title in anticipation of a move to heavyweight. Blachowicz, 37, has a long way to go to come anywhere close to matching Jones' accolades in the division, but he certainly got his title reign off to a good start. Immediately after, Jones was the first thing on his mind. "The only thing in my mind is, Jon Jones, where are...
September 27
September 27

Corey Perry, Dallas Stars prevail in double overtime, push Stanley Cup Finals to Game 6

Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry don't want to leave the bubble just yet. Pavelski tied it 6:45 left in the regulation, laid out to block a shot in the first overtime before Perry scored the winner in double OT and the Dallas Stars avoided elimination Saturday night by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 to force a Game 6 in the Stanley Cup Final. It was one of two goals on the night for Perry, and the win prevented -- at least for a few nights -- Tampa Bay from securing the second Stanley Cup title in its franchise history. "Get one, keep going," Perry said. "We start building here and I think we're starting to do something special." Anton Khudobin made 39 saves, and Perry prolonged the series by scoring 9:23 into the second overtime. It was a manner of redemption for the Stars a night after they lost in OT on a questionable penalty call when Tampa Bay scored on the ensuing power play. Game 6 is Monday night. The Stars did it despite going down to five...
September 27
September 27

Corey Perry, Dallas Stars win in double overtime, push Stanley Cup Finals to Game 6

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Corey Perry scored in double overtime Saturday night, and the Dallas Stars outlasted the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2, to force a Game 6 in the Stanley Cup Final. The win prevented -- at least for a few nights -- Tampa Bay from securing the second Stanley Cup title in its franchise history. Joe Pavelski scored his 13th goal of the playoffs with 6:45 left in the third period as Dallas forced overtime. The two teams traded opportunities in the first extra session, before Perry ended it in the second. Pavelski, in the final for the second time in his career after losing in 2016 with San Jose, tied Tampa Bay's Brayden Point for the most goals this postseason. He also moved into sole possession of first among Americans with 61 career playoff goals. He wasn't alone in getting Dallas to overtime. Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin stopped Point on a shot in the final seconds of the second period. Khudobin made six more saves in the...
September 27
September 27

LeBron James leads Los Angeles Lakers to first NBA Finals in 10 years

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- LeBron James is going to a 10th NBA Finals -- and for the first time in a decade, so are the Los Angeles Lakers. James punctuated his 27th postseason triple-double with a big fourth quarter, powering the Lakers to a 117-107 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night to win the Western Conference finals in five games. James finished with 38 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists to become the fourth player to reach 10 NBA Finals. It took him two seasons to make it with the Lakers, after falling short of the playoffs in an injury-plagued first season following eight consecutive trips with Miami and Cleveland. "My teammates said bring us home and it was my responsibility to try to make the right plays and do the right things on the floor to help us win ballgames," James said during a trophy presentation in a mostly empty arena at Walt Disney World Resort, instead of in front of the Lakers' fans at Staples...
September 27
September 27

Los Angeles Lakers reach NBA Finals for first time in decade

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- LeBron James is going to a 10th NBA Finals -- and for the first time in a decade, so are the Los Angeles Lakers. James punctuated his 27th postseason triple-double with a big fourth quarter, powering the Lakers to a 117-107 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night to win the Western Conference finals in five games. James finished with 38 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists to become the fourth player to reach 10 NBA Finals. It took him two seasons to make it with the Lakers, after falling short of the playoffs in an injury-plagued first season following eight consecutive trips with Miami and Cleveland. "My teammates said bring us home and it was my responsibility to try to make the right plays and do the right things on the floor to help us win ballgames," James said during a trophy presentation in mostly empty arena at Disney World, instead of in front of their fans at Staples Center. The Lakers will face either Miami or...
September 27
September 26

Georgia Bulldogs' Stetson Bennett provides spark after replacing quarterback D'Wan Mathis

Georgia's quarterback competition will continue after former walk-on Stetson Bennett replaced starter D'Wan Mathis in Saturday's season-opening win at Arkansas. Bennett entered the game in the second quarter, on the offense's seventh possession. He completed 20 of 29 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions in Georgia's 37-10 victory. Mathis completed 8 of 17 passes for 55 yards and an interception, mostly during a sluggish first half in which Georgia ran 49 offensive plays but did not record an offensive score until a field goal as time expired. "We thought it would give us some energy," coach Kirby Smart said of the quarterback switch. "[Bennett is] different than D'Wan in some of his experience. He's very decisive with the ball and makes good decisions. Getting to watch them defensively a little bit helped him. We'll decide this week how we're going to go forward. Not all those things that went wrong were D'Wan's fault. Not...
September 26
September 26

Sam Ehlinger rallies No. 8 Texas past Texas Tech in overtime

After Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger took stock of a stunning 63-56 comeback victory over Texas Tech in Lubbock on Saturday, he figured out the perfect way to neatly summarize it. "It'll be mentioned as 2020 in a nutshell," he said. The senior rallied the No. 8 Longhorns from a 56-41 deficit with just over 3 minutes remaining. He threw two touchdown passes and completed another pass for a two-point conversion at the end of regulation. Then he added one more TD pass in overtime to finish off the Red Raiders. Ehlinger became the first player in Texas history with multiple five-touchdown games in a season, and just the second to do it in his career along with Colt McCoy. Texas coach Tom Herman, who started 2-0 for the first time with the Longhorns, said Ehlinger gave him a similar pep talk after SaRodorick Thompson's 75-yard touchdown run with 3:13 remaining put the Red Raiders (1-1, 0-1 Big 12) up 56-41. "The running back for Texas Tech ran...
September 26
September 26

Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout: 'We gotta get to the playoffs'

The Los Angeles Angels were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention at Dodger Stadium on Friday night, which means that in nine full seasons in the major leagues, Mike Trout -- considered by many the game's greatest player for most, if not all, of those seasons -- has made the playoffs only once. "The biggest thing is getting to the playoffs," Trout said Saturday, moments before the second game of a three-game series against the crosstown Los Angeles Dodgers. "You guys all see it. I see it. It sucks being out of it. It's time. We gotta get to the playoffs." Trout made the playoffs in 2014, when the Angels suffered a first-round sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals. The 2020 season will now mark the fifth consecutive time his Angels have finished with a losing record, even though the offseason additions of manager Joe Maddon and third baseman Anthony Rendon had many believing the team might contend for a...
September 26
September 26

K.J. Costello throws for SEC-record 623 yards as Mississippi State Bulldogs upset LSU Tigers

Mike Leach's Air Raid offense didn't disappoint in its SEC debut on Saturday as visiting Mississippi State upset defending champion LSU 44-34 in Baton Rouge, and quarterback K.J. Costello set a conference record for passing yards in a single game with 623. The previous record was held by Eric Zeier of Georgia, who threw for 544 yards against Southern Miss in 1993. "I'm speechless about everything that happened today," Costello said. "If you were to tell me a year ago today that I'd be sitting here, it's crazy." Costello came to Mississippi State this offseason as a graduate transfer after starting 25 games in three seasons at Stanford. His previous high for passing yards in a game was 381. Costello's 623 passing yards against the No. 6 Tigers was the 11th most in FBS history, and the most in a player's debut. His 60 pass attempts is the most by a Bulldogs quarterback. "I thought it was a really good debut," Leach...
September 26
September 26

Anton Khudobin back in goal as Dallas Stars look to stay alive in Game 5

The Dallas Stars started  Anton Khudobin in goal for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night, as they faced elimination against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Khudobin has now played in 24 games for the Stars this postseason. That includes their Game 4 loss on Friday night, 5-4 in overtime to the Lightning, in which Khudobin faced 35 shots. Dallas coach Rick Bowness had kept his goaltending plans for Game 5 under wraps, leading to speculation that the Stars might not start Khudobin in back-to-back games. But regular-season starter Ben Bishop remains "unfit to play" according to the coach. The last time Bishop appeared for Dallas was Game 5 of the conference semifinal against Colorado, which was the back end of back-to-back games. He was pulled in the first period after giving up four goals, and Khudobin finished the game. In his career, Khudobin is 5-6-0 with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage on zero days of rest. In this...
September 26
September 26

K.J. Costello throws for SEC record 623 yards as Mississippi State Bulldogs upset LSU Tigers

Mike Leach's Air Raid offense didn't disappoint in its SEC debut on Saturday as Mississippi State upset defending champion LSU 44-34, and quarterback K.J. Costello set a conference record for passing yards in a  game with 623. The previous record was held by Eric Zeier of Georgia, who threw for 544 yards against Southern Miss in 1993. Costello came to Mississippi State this offseason as a graduate transfer after starting 25 games in three seasons at Stanford. His previous career high for passing yards in a game was 381. Costello's 623 passing yards against LSU were the 11th most in FBS history, and the most in a player's debut. His 60 pass attempts are the most by a Mississippi State quarterback. LSU, which lost 17 starters from the team that went undefeated last season, became the first defending national champion to lose its season opener since Michigan in 1998.
September 26
September 26

Virginia Tech's Hendon Hooker among 23 players out Saturday due to virus

Virginia Tech is without its starting quarterback, defensive coordinator and more than two dozen others for Saturday's home game against NC State as a result of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing, among other reasons, the school announced. Starting quarterback Hendon Hooker will not play despite being on the field for warm-ups and on the sideline before the game. Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton will miss his first game after taking over for longtime assistant Bud Foster. The Hokies will also be without starting cornerback Jermaine Waller. Caleb Farley, last season's other star corner, opted out early in fall camp. In all, Virginia Tech will play down 23 players as well as three other coaches -- defensive assistant and former Minnesota head coach Tracy Claeys, along with a quality-control coach and a graduate assistant. Saturday's game was supposed to be played two weeks ago, but NC State postponed it because of its own...
September 26
September 26

Florida Gators QB Kyle Trask throws for 6 TDs in win over Ole Miss Rebels

Florida had high expectations for its offense with Kyle Trask returning at quarterback. He showed why in the season-opening 51-35 win against Ole Miss on Saturday. Trask threw for a career-high six touchdowns, tying Joe Burrow for the most touchdown passes in an SEC opener (Burrow had six against Vanderbilt last season). The six touchdown passes also tied a school single-game record. In all, Trask had a career-high 416 yards passing, completing 30 of 42 passes, as the Gators set a school record for total yards in an SEC game with 642 in Oxford, Mississippi. Florida coach Dan Mullen was fully aware of that school record during his postgame availability when he gave a quick nod to former coach Steve Spurrier, whose Fun 'n' Gun offenses set the standard in Gainesville. "I would expect when I get home that my neighbor, Coach Spurrier, will have a really nice bottle of wine sitting on my desk if I broke one of his records offensively. That's at least deserving...
September 26
September 26

Short-handed Kansas State rallies to stun No. 3 Oklahoma

For the second straight season,  Kansas State upset a highly ranked  Oklahoma team. This time, the Wildcats did it against a stacked deck. Despite trailing by three touchdowns in the second half and missing eight key players from their two-deep, Kansas State took down the No. 3 Sooners 38-35 on Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma. "It's a big win with the circumstances we faced and some of the adversity our guys have gone through," Kansas State coach Chris Klieman said. "Excited that we fought for four quarters. I trust those guys, I believe in them; the biggest thing is they need to believe in themselves. They know we want to give them opportunities, and they made the most of them today." The win was Kansas State's first on the road over a team ranked in the top three of The Associated Press poll. The Wildcats had lost their past 16 such games. It was also their first win as an unranked team against a top-three team in 30 attempts. The Wildcats are just the...
September 26
September 26

Shorthanded Kansas State rallies to stun No. 3 Oklahoma

For the second straight season, Kansas State upset a highly-ranked Oklahoma team. This time, the Wildcats did it against a stacked deck. Despite trailing by three touchdowns in the second half and missing eight key players from their two-deep, Kansas State took down the No. 3 Sooners 38-35 on Saturday in Norman. "It's a big win with the circumstances we faced and some of the adversity our guys have gone through," Kansas State coach Chris Klieman said. "Excited that we fought for four quarters. I trust those guys, I believe in them, the biggest thing is they need to believe in themselves. They know we want to give them opportunities, and they made the most of them today." The win was Kansas State's first ever on the road over a team ranked in the top three of the Associated Press poll. The Wildcats had lost their last 16 such games. It was also their first win as an unranked team against a top-three team in 30 attempts. The Wildcats are just the fifth unranked team to beat an AP...
September 26
September 26

Florida Gators QB Kyle Trask throws 6 TDs in win over Ole Miss Rebels

Florida had high expectations for its offense with Kyle Trask returning at quarterback. He showed why in the season-opening 51-35 win against Ole Miss on Saturday. Trask threw for a career-high six touchdowns, tying Joe Burrow for the most touchdown passes in an SEC opener (Burrow had six against Vanderbilt last year). The six touchdown passes also tied a school single-game record. In all, Trask had a career-high 416 yards passing, completing 30 of 42 passes, as the Gators set a school record for total yards in an SEC game with 642 yards. Florida coach Dan Mullen was fully aware of that school record during his postgame availability, when he gave a quick nod to former coach Steve Spurrier, whose Fun 'N' Gun offenses set the standard in Gainesville. "I would expect when I get home that my neighbor, Coach Spurrier, will have a really nice bottle of wine sitting on my desk, if I broke one of his records offensively. That's at least deserving of a nice bottle of wine,...
September 26
September 26

Former San Francisco Giants OF Hunter Pence announces retirement, ending 14-year MLB career

Veteran outfielder Hunter Pence announced his retirement Saturday, bringing an end to a 14-year MLB career. "Nothing can really prepare you for this part of your career, when you have say, 'I am retiring from baseball,'" Pence said in a video on Twitter. "I've given it everything I possibly can, and the game has given back to me tenfold." Pence, 37, was designated for assignment in August by the San Francisco Giants after hitting .096 with two home runs and six RBIs in 52 at-bats this season. He was part of two World Series-winning Giants teams, in 2012 and 2014. Six years ago, he hit .444 with a home run and five RBIs in the Giants' seven-game World Series victory over the Kansas City Royals. The four-time All-Star has a career average of .279 with 244 home runs and 942 RBIs in 1,707 games. Along with eight seasons with the Giants, he also played for the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers. The Associated...
September 26
September 26

Dallas Stars to go with Anton Khudobin in goal for Game 5

The Dallas Stars are starting Anton Khudobin in goal for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night, as they face elimination against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Khudobin has played in 23 games for the Stars this postseason. That includes their Game 4 loss on Friday night, 5-4 in overtime to the Lightning, in which Khudobin faced 35 shots. Dallas coach Rick Bowness had kept his goaltending plans for Game 5 under wraps, leading to speculation that the Stars might not start Khudobin in back-to-back games. But regular-season starter Ben Bishop remains "unfit to play" according to the coach. The last time Bishop appeared for Dallas was Game 5 of the conference semifinal against Colorado, which was the back end of back-to-back games. He was pulled in the first period after giving up four goals, and Khudobin finished the game. In his career, Khudobin is 5-6-0 with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage on zero days of rest. In this...
September 26
September 26

Auburn Tigers' 100-yard interception return negated by targeting call

Auburn defensive end Derick Hall was ejected from the Tigers' game Saturday against Kentucky for targeting. Hall committed the penalty after Wildcats quarterback Terry Wilson threw an interception on the goal line that defensive back Roger McCreary returned 100 yards for a touchdown, which would have made it a 14-7 Auburn lead just before halftime. Because Hall committed the penalty in the first half, he will not miss any time next week as Auburn faces Georgia in Athens. The targeting penalty was the second of the day in the SEC, with Florida safety Shawn Davis committing his on the opening drive against Ole Miss. Davis collided with Dontario Drummond and their helmets made contact. The call was upheld on review and Davis left the game. A short while later from the locker room, Davis took to social media and tweeted, "THATS A BS CALL !!!!!!!!" A senior, Davis last season was tied for second on the team with three...
September 26
September 26

Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos out for possible Stanley Cup clinching Game 5

The Tampa Bay Lightning have a chance to clinch the Stanley Cup on Saturday night, but they'll have to do it without their captain, Steven Stamkos. The 30-year-old center will not play in Game 5, coach Jon Cooper announced Saturday morning. The Lightning lead the Stanley Cup Final against the Dallas Stars 3-1, with the pivotal Game 5 coming on the second night of a back-to-back. Stamkos has been "unfit to play" for the entire Stanley Cup playoffs -- save for his brief appearance in Game 3, in which he played less than three minutes, and scored a goal on his first shot. "We have to get another win, and Stammer knows that he was a big part in us getting this far off the ice, and what he contributed when he played," Cooper said. "But for tonight, he won't be in." Stamkos, who underwent core muscle surgery on March 2, has endured several setbacks that have kept him out of the lineup. He said he experienced "an issue" during the first period of Game 3, which...
September 26
September 26

Florida, Ole Miss football teams jointly take a knee to acknowledge unrest in country

Florida and Ole Miss agreed to jointly take a knee before kickoff Saturday to "acknowledge the unrest in our country surrounding the treatment of African Americans." In a joint statement, the schools said, "As members of the Florida and Ole Miss football teams, we recognize the impact of our personal platforms and are choosing to amplify the issues that directly impact us. Together we have chosen to take the opening series of today's competition to acknowledge the unrest in our country surrounding the treatment of African Americans. We will continue to support social justice efforts as members of the Southeastern Conference and members of our respective communities." ESPN's Marty Smith reported the idea came from head coaches Dan Mullen and Lane Kiffin. Everybody on the field and on both sidelines kneeled together before the game began. Programs across the country have acknowledged the current racial and social justice movements with patches on their jerseys, stickers on...
September 26
September 26

LSU Tigers star CB Derek Stingley Jr. (illness) hospitalized overnight

LSU star cornerback  Derek Stingley Jr. was hospitalized overnight on Friday and is expected to be discharged soon, the school said in a statement hours before its season-opening game against Mississippi State on Saturday. According to the statement, Stingley became "acutely ill" on Friday night but the condition was not COVID-19 related. While the statement didn't say if Stingley had officially been ruled out of Saturday's game, a source told ESPN that his availability against Mississippi State would be "highly unlikely." Another source told ESPN that "it's up to the doctors." LSU's statement said Stingley's return to activity will come "after a full evaluation by the medical team." Stingley was a consensus All-American as a true freshman last season and was expected to anchor the defense as one of two returning starters. The sophomore started all 15 games for LSU's 2019 national championship squad as a freshman and led the SEC with six interceptions, which ranked fifth...
September 26
September 26

Louisville Cardinals basketball players, coach Chris Mack lead march, call for unity after Breonna Taylor ruling

Louisville men's basketball coach Chris Mack and players David Johnson, Charles Minlend and Malik Williams gave speeches calling for unity, tolerance and equality on Friday, two days after a grand jury in the city decided to not move forward with charges against any police officers for their roles in the death of Breonna Taylor. The Louisville Courier Journal reports that, after the speeches, Mack and his players led Cardinals athletes and others in a peaceful march from Cardinal Stadium to Throws Field and back. The march lasted 45 minutes. Friday marked the 121st day of protests in Louisville, Kentucky, following Taylor's death. Taylor, a Black woman, was killed when she was shot during a police raid on her apartment on March 13. Williams grew emotional while addressing the crowd, according to the Courier Journal. "Over the past three years, I've come to love the city of Louisville. Louisville has become home. Louisville is family," Williams...
September 26
September 26

Boston Celtics 'relax,' take control in second half to keep season alive

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- After the Boston Celtics walked into the locker room at halftime of Game 5 of the NBA's Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat, having produced a second consecutive lackluster first half in a series they trailed 3-1, they knew something had to change. Before they returned to the court for Friday's second half, point guard Kemba Walker had a simple message for his team. "What I remember from halftime is Kemba saying, 'We just need to settle down a little bit,'" Jaylen Brown said. "We just had to dial in a little bit, and once we did, I felt like we were fine." It was a directive that Boston took to heart. As a result, the Celtics have basketball left to play. A 41-point explosion in the third quarter, including 17 points from Jayson Tatum, turned on its head a game that Miami firmly controlled and allowed Boston to surge to a 121-108 victory. The series resumes Sunday with Game 6. Anyone...
September 26
September 26

Miami Marlins make playoffs year after 105 losses, and on anniversary of Jose Fernandez's death

NEW YORK -- Forced from the field by COVID-19, the Miami Marlins returned with enough force to reach the playoffs for the first time since their 2003 championship. A National League-worst 57-105 a year ago, they sealed the improbable berth on the field of the team that Miami CEO Derek Jeter and manager Don Mattingly once captained. "I think this is a good lesson for everyone. It really goes back to the players believing," Mattingly said after a 4-3, 10-inning victory over the New York Yankees on Friday night. Miami will start the playoffs on the road Wednesday, its first postseason game since winning the 2003 World Series as the Florida Marlins, capped by a Game 6 victory in the Bronx over Jeter and his New York teammates at the previous version of Yankee Stadium. "I can't contain the tears, because it's a lot of grind, a lot of passion," shortstop Miguel Rojas said. "It wasn't just the virus. Last year we lost 100 games. But we came out...
September 26
September 26

Dallas Stars disagree with Jamie Benn's tripping penalty in OT

Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn watched from the penalty box as Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman  Kevin Shattenkirk's shot floated into the net at 6:34 of overtime to win Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. His teammates believe he shouldn't have been in the box at all. "That's a hockey play. That's what I saw," Dallas coach Rick Bowness said of the controversial tripping call on Benn in overtime. The Stars' 5-4 loss on Friday in Edmonton, Alberta, gave the Lightning a 3-1 lead in the series, with a chance to win the Cup on Saturday in Game 5. Benn was whistled for tripping Tyler Johnson of the Lightning at 5:10 of overtime. They battled for the puck, and Benn, who has 4 inches of height and 22 pounds on Johnson, sent him to the ice. Referee Francis Charron, who was behind the play, seemed to indicate that Benn kicked the skates out from Johnson. "The ref's got a tough job. I see it. It's in front of [referee] Kelly [Sutherland]. He's got a...
September 26
September 26

Louisville Cardinals lead march, call for unity after Breonna Taylor ruling

Louisville men's basketball coach Chris Mack and players David Johnson, Charles Minlend and Malik Williams gave speeches calling for unity, tolerance and equality Friday, two days after a grand jury in the city decided not to move forward with charges against any police officers for their roles in the death of Breonna Taylor. The Louisville Courier Journal reports that, after the speeches, Mack and his players led Cardinals athletes and others in a peaceful march from Cardinal Stadium to Throws Field and back that lasted 45 minutes. Friday marked the 121st day of protests in Louisville following Taylor's death. Taylor, a Black woman, was killed when she was shot during a police raid on her apartment on March 13. Williams grew emotional while addressing the crowd, according to the Courier Journal. "Over the past three years, I've come to love the city of Louisville. Louisville has become home. Louisville is family," Williams said. "I love the...
September 26

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