AP Sports

AP Scorecard
December 29, 2020
AP Entertainment
December 29, 2020
AP Sports

 

 

Update on the latest sports

 

NFL-BILLS-PATRIOTS
Bills crush Pats, stay in hunt for No. 2 seed
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – The Buffalo Bills again proved that there’s a new sheriff in the AFC East.
The division champs completed their first season sweep of the Patriots since 1999, rolling to a 38-9 win at Foxborough.
Josh Allen passed for four touchdowns to help the 12-3 Bills stay in the mix for the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs. Allen was 27 of 36 for 320 yards. He now has 34 touchdown passes, surpassing Jim Kelly to set a franchise single-season record.
Stefon (STEH’-fahn) Diggs had nine catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns, setting a Bills single-season record for receiving yards.
Cam Newton had a touchdown run but was just 5 of 10 for 34 yards passing before being pulled in the third quarter for backup Jarrett Stidham. Newton’s passing yards are the fewest by a Patriots starting quarterback since 1993.

 

NFL-NEWS
Washington releases Haskins
UNDATED (AP) – The Washington Football Team is parting with Dwayne Haskins, capping a rough week for the second-year quarterback.
Haskins was stripped of his captaincy last week after photos surfaced of him at a party where several individuals weren’t wearing masks.
The capper came in Sunday’s loss to Carolina. He was 14 of 28 with two interceptions and fumble before being pulled in the fourth quarter. He later infuriated the team by blowing off the postgame news conference at the stadium before speaking to the media via video at his home.
The 2019 first-round pick was 1-5 as a starter this season.
Head coach Ron Rivera says either Alex Smith or Taylor Heinicke will start Sunday night’s important regular-season finale against the Eagles. Washington needs to win the game to capture the NFC East.

 

Also around the NFL:
– Quarterback Jared Goff will miss the Rams’ season finale against the visiting Cardinals after undergoing surgery on his right thumb. Rams coach Sean McVay says Goff could return a week later if the Rams make the playoffs. John Wolford will take his first NFL snaps versus Arizona as both teams try to lock down playoff berths.

 

– A person with direct knowledge of the punishment tells The Associated Press that the Ravens have been fined $250,000 by the NFL for COVID-19 protocols violations. The punishment comes after their Thanksgiving night game against Pittsburgh had to be postponed three times due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing. The team was not docked draft picks for the violations.

 

– The Titans have placed kicker Stephen Gostkowski on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Gostkowski played in Sunday night’s 40-14 loss in Green Bay, pushing the opening kickoff out of bounds before making two extra points.

 

– Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said the players who missed Sunday’s loss because of COVID-19 protocols are eligible to return to practice Thursday as Cleveland gets ready to face Pittsburgh with a playoff spot on the line. The Browns were without their top four wide receivers, a starting left tackle and two linebackers for Sunday’s 23-16 loss to the Jets.

 

– Frank Gore won’t play in the Jets’ season finale against the Patriots on Sunday because of a bruised lung. Gore became the third player in NFL history to run for 16,000 yards but was hurt in the fourth quarter of the Jets’ victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. The 37-year-old running back may have played his final game.

 

NBA-SCHEDULE
Hawks top Pistons for 3-0 start
UNDATED (AP) – The Atlanta Hawks continue to be one of the NBA’s early-season surprises.
The Hawks are 3-0 for the first time in four years following a 128-120 win over the Pistons. Trae Young scored 29 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 17 to help Atlanta win its home opener. Young’s 3-pointer from the right wing put the Hawks up 122-112 with 1:47 remaining. He added four free throws in the final minute to wrap up the victory.
Josh Jackson scored a team-high 27 points for Detroit in place of Blake Griffin, who was given the night off.

 

Also in the NBA:
– Damian Lillard scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half, and CJ McCollum had 20 points and 11 assists as the Trail Blazers dumped the Lakers, 115-107. Gary Trent Jr. matched his career high with seven 3-pointers while scoring 28 points in the Blazers’ second straight win over the Lakers at Staples Center. LeBron James had 29 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the defending NBA champions, who dropped to 2-2 on their season-opening homestand.

 

– Brandon Clarke hit the go-ahead basket on a follow shot with 41 seconds left in overtime before the Grizzlies completed a 116-111 win at Brooklyn. Kyle Anderson scored a career-high 28 points and Dillon Brooks added 24 for the Grizzlies, who had dropped their first two games. The Grizzlies played the second half without NBA Rookie of the Year Ja (jah) Morant, who sprained his left ankle and was wheeled to the back of the arena late in the second quarter.

 

– Donovan Mitchell capped his 20-point performance by hitting a go-ahead layup with seven seconds left to send the Jazz past the Thunder, 110-109. Bojan (BOY’-ahn) Bogdanovic scored 23 points and Mike Conley added 20 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists to the victory. Utah ended a 17-game losing streak in regular season road games against the Thunder, including the Orlando bubble last season.

 

– The Nuggets picked up their first win of the season as Nikola Jokic (nih-KOH’-lah YOH’-kihch) had 19 points, 18 assists and 12 rebounds in a 124-111 decision over the Rockets. Jamal Murray added 21 points before leaving with 4:05 remaining in the third quarter after a collision in traffic sent him sprawling to the floor. James Harden had 34 points to lead undermanned Houston.

 

NBA-NETS-DINWIDDIE
Nets’ Dinwiddie to have surgery for partially torn right ACL
NEW YORK (AP) – The Brooklyn Nets say guard Spencer Dinwiddie will have surgery to repair a partially torn ACL in his right knee.
Dinwiddie was injured during Sunday’s loss at Charlotte. He averaged a career-best 20.6 points last season, moving into the starting lineup during injuries to Kyrie Irving.

 

T25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Badgers let Gard down
UNDATED (AP) – Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Greg Gard had seen his team win 15 straight home games before running into unranked Maryland on Monday.
The Terrapins scored just 24 points in the first half before rallying for a 70-64 win over the sixth-ranked Badgers. Eric Ayala scored 17 points and Aaron Wiggins added 15 with nine rebounds as the Terrapins bounced back from Big Ten losses to Rutgers and Purdue.
D’Mitrik (dih-MEE’-trihk) Trice hit a 3-pointer to get the ninth-ranked Badgers within 60-59 with under two minutes to go before Maryland closed on a 10-5 run.
Trice scored a game-high 24 points for Wisconsin.

 

In other top-25 action:
– Top-ranked Gonzaga is 8-0 following an 88-58 rout of Northern Arizona. Joel Ayayi (joh-EHL’ ah-YAH’-ee) scored nine of his 17 points while the Bulldogs were building a 28-8 lead. Drew Timme (TIH’-mee) added 14 points as the Zags extended the nation’s longest home winning streak to 42 games.

 

– Liam Robbins had 18 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in leading 21st-ranked Minnesota to an 81-56 thrashing of No. 17 Michigan State. Marcus Carr scored 19 points and dished out five assists for the 9-1 Gophers, who never trailed and held the sputtering Spartans to 25.7% shooting. Michigan State was outrebounded, 52-36.

 

COLLEGE BASKETBALL-POLL
Gonzaga and Big Ten dominate poll
UNDATED (AP) – Unbeaten Gonzaga remains the top team in The Associated Press men’s basketball poll after receiving 62 of 64 first-place votes.
The Bulldogs have knocked off four ranked teams while going 7-0, including Saturday’s 98-75 rout of Virginia.
Second-ranked Baylor is followed by Kansas, Villanova and Houston. Wisconsin, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Iowa round out the top 10.
The Badgers are among nine Big Ten teams in the poll.

 

COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NEWS
Keyontae Johnson is back with the Gators
UNDATED (AP) – Florida forward Keyontae Johnson is back with the team and working as a coach in practice.
Johnson was released from the hospital last week, 10 days after collapsing on the court at Florida State and needing emergency medical attention. Coach Mike White says he has “no idea” whether Johnson will be able to play again this season and adds “even if I did, I couldn’t talk about it” because of privacy laws.
The Gators postponed four games following Johnson’s collapse and took 15 days off. They return to action Wednesday night at Vanderbilt.

 

Also in college basketball:
– The ACC has announced that Tuesday’s men’s basketball game between No. 20 Duke and Pittsburgh postponed because of COVID-19 issues. The postponement follows a positive test, subsequent quarantining, and contact tracing within the Panthers’ program.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-ALL-AMERICA TEAM
Alabama’s Jones, Smith, Harris lead 6 Tide AP All-Americans
UNDATED (AP) – Heisman Trophy finalists Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith have been selected to The Associated Press All-America team. They lead a contingent of five Alabama players on the first-team offense.
Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris, tackle Alex Leatherwood and center Landon Dickerson are also first-team selections. No. 1 Alabama is the first team since 1980 to place a quarterback, running back and receiver on the first team. Cornerback Patrick Surtain II gives the Crimson Tide six first-team selections, the most in the nation.
No. 4 Notre Dame has two first-team All-Americans in offensive guard Aaron Banks and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL-FLORIDA
Florida receivers to skip Cotton Bowl
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Florida receivers Trevon Grimes and Kadarius Toney are skipping the Cotton Bowl to prepare for their NFL futures. Their departures mean No. 10 Florida will be without its top three pass catchers against eighth-ranked Oklahoma on Wednesday night. All-American tight end Kyle Pitts previously opted out of the game.

 

NHL-LUNDQVIST-HEART SURGERY
Henrik Lundqvist says he’s scheduled for open-heart surgery
UNDATED (AP) – Henrik Lundqvist says he’s scheduled for open-heart surgery after tests revealed a heart condition that kept him from continuing to play goal in the NHL.
Lundqvist wrote on Twitter that he’s set to have an aortic valve and root replacement. He did not say when.
Lundqvist underwent a physical after signing with the Washington Capitals over the summer. Further tests led to his decision not to play this season.
General manager Brian MacLellan says Lundqvist has had a heart issue all along that he managed, and the team expected it to be the same. It’s unclear what changed for the 38-year-old after playing 15 seasons with the New York Rangers.

 

In other NHL developments:
– The Canadiens have signed former NHL MVP Corey Perry to a one-year contract for $750,000. The 35-year-old winger had five goals and 16 assists in 57 games with Dallas last season. Perry has 377 goals and 420 assists with Anaheim and Dallas.

 

– Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach could miss the upcoming season after undergoing wrist surgery on Monday. Dach fractured his right wrist while playing for Canada’s world junior team during an exhibition against Russia last week.

 

HORSERACING-SAFETY BILL
‘Game changer’: Officials praise horse racing safety bill
WASHINGTON (AP) – Horse racing officials and industry activists are hailing the passage and signing of a safety and integrity bill that will standardize medication and doping rules.
The long sought-after legislation became was part of the spending bill that was finally signed into law Sunday night. It is set to go into effect no later than July 1, 2022 since it passed before the end of this year.
The bill gives an independent panel authority to set uniform, national medication, drug and track safety standards to be enforced by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Racetracks that don’t take part won’t be allowed to take bets from out of state.

 

OBIT-LOYD PHILLIPS
Former Arkansas football great Loyd Phillips has died at 75.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Former Arkansas defensive lineman and College Football Hall of Famer Loyd Phillips has died from complications of a stroke at 75.
Phillips won the Outland Trophy given to the nation’s top interior lineman in 1966. He anchored the Razorbacks defense from 1964-66 when Arkansas went 29-3.

 

 

AP-WF-12-29-20 1348GMT