AP Sports

AP Scorecard
December 28, 2021
AP Entertainment
December 28, 2021
AP Sports


Update on the latest sports


DeRozan, LaVine, Vucevic power Bulls past Hawks 130-118
UNDATED (AP) – DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points, Zach LaVine added 30 and the Chicago Bulls won their fourth straight game, beating the short-handed Atlanta Hawks 130-118.
Cam Reddish finished with 33 points and Trae Young, cleared from health and safety protocols about 90 minutes before tipoff, returned to the starting lineup and scored 29 for Atlanta. DeRozan was 14 for 20 from the field. LaVine, in his second game back after missing 15 days in protocols, went 11 for 21, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. Nikola Vucevic got his 14th double-double with 24 points and 17 rebound.


In other NBA Monday night action:
– Kristaps Porzingis had a season-high 34 points and nine rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Portland Trail Blazers 132-117. Both teams were short-handed. The Mavericks were missing six players, including star Luka Doncic, in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Portland had seven players in the protocols, as well as head coach Chauncey Billups. Dwight Powell scored a season-high 22 points for Dallas, and Brandon Knight came off the bench to score 18 points. Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 26 points. Nassir Little had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.


– James Harden tied his season high with 39 points and had a season-best 15 assists to lead the Brooklyn Nets over the Los Angeles Clippers 124-108 in a matchup of short-handed teams. The Nets improved their NBA-best road mark to 13-3 with a sweep in Los Angeles. They beat LeBron James and the Lakers 122-115 on Christmas in their first game after three straight postponements due to the coronavirus pandemic. Marcus Morris led the Clippers with 24 points in his first game back from being in the league’s health and safety protocols. A combined 15 players were missing from both teams due to health and safety protocols as well as injuries.


– Jaylen Nowell scored 29 points and Nathan Knight added 20 points and 11 rebounds, leading the short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves to a 108-103 win over the Boston Celtics. Jaden McDaniels scored 17 points and Malik Beasley had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Wolves, who were playing without all five of their regular starters due to COVID-19 protocols. Veteran center Greg Monroe, signed to a 10-day contract earlier Monday, had 11 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes for the Wolves, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Jaylen Brown led Boston with 26 points. Payton Pritchard had 22 points and Al Horford added 16 points and nine rebounds.


– Ja Morant scored 33 points, including a layup with 0.5 seconds to play that gave the Memphis Grizzlies a 114-113 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Morant’s basket came after Devin Booker’s 3-pointer with 5 seconds to play gave the Suns their first lead since early in the game. After a timeout, Morant drove the left side of the lane and banked it in. Phoenix’s final shot from the corner was off the mark. Desmond Bane scored 32 points, 19 in the first half when Memphis built a 60-48 lead. Steven Adams had 13 points and 16 rebounds. Booker led the Suns with 30 points.


– Terry Rozier scored 27 points and made seven 3-pointers, and the Charlotte Hornets routed the Houston Rockets 123-99 for their second straight win. Kelly Oubre chipped in with 18 points, while LaMelo Ball and Jalen McDaniels had 16. The Hornets pulled back above .500 on the season. Eric Gordon and Christian Wood each had 16 points for the Rockets, who’ve lost six of their last seven.


– Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points, Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz beat the San Antonio Spurs 110-104 for their fourth straight victory. Bojan Bogdanovic had 19 points and Joe Ingles added 17 for Utah, which has won 12 of 14. Derrick White scored 21 points and Doug McDermott added 17 for San Antonio, who had its season-high, three-game winning streak snapped.


NBA alters virus protocols
UNDATED (AP) – NBA players who test positive for COVID-19 now have a quicker path to return after the league completed a significant update to its health and safety protocols.
The biggest change is that isolation periods for players who test positive may now be shortened to six days from what has been the customary 10 provided those players are asymptomatic and meet other testing standards. Teams were told of the new protocols Monday in a memo sent by the league, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press.
Also Monday, Phoenix coach Monty Williams and Portland coach Chauncey Billups entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, according to two people with direct knowledge of those situations.


Waddle shines, Dolphins beat Saints 20-3 to win 7th straight
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Rookie sensation Jaylen Waddle returned from the COVID-19 list to catch 10 passes for 92 yards and touchdown, and the Miami Dolphins beat the short-handed New Orleans Saints 20-3.
Miami became the first NFL team to win seven straight after losing seven in a row.
Nik Needham intercepted Saints rookie quarterback Ian Book and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown to help Miami become one of four 8-7 teams in contention for one of the final playoff spots in the AFC. The Saints started Book because of a COVID-19 outbreak that took 16 players off of the active roster, including starting QB Taysom Hill.


Panthers send players home after 6 more positives
UNDATED (AP) – The Carolina Panthers have sent all their players home from Bank of America Stadium after six more players tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. That brings the total number of Carolina players on the COVID-19 reserve list to 13.
Defensive end Brian Burns, linebacker Shaq Thompson, defensive end Marquis Haynes, defensive tackle Phil Hoskins, center Matt Paradis and defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon all tested positive on Monday. Paradis and Nixon were already on injured reserve.
Panthers coach Matt Rhule said the decision to send players home was made “to stem the tide” and get things under control. The team will conduct its meetings virtually until then, and Rhule is hoping to have players back in the building for practice on Wednesday.
The Panthers lost 32-6 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday and have been eliminated from playoff contention. They visit the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.


In other NFL news:
– The Cleveland Browns, who have been hit hard by COVID-19 cases the past few weeks, activated eight players, including defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and versatile running back Kareem Hunt. Starting left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. is also back. He’s been replaced the last two games by left guard Joel Bitoni, who can slide back to his usual spot.


– Tampa Bay, hard hit by injuries on offense, activated wide receiver Breshad Perriman from the COVID-19 list.


– The Cincinnati Bengals placed backup quarterback Brandon Allen and already-injured cornerback/kick returner Darius Phillips on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday. Phillips, who was the Bengals’ primary kick returner, has been on injured reserve since Dec. 9. Allen has been the No. 2 quarterback behind starter Joe Burrow. The team will likely have to add a quarterback to the roster.


– The Indianapolis Colts placed safety Jahleel Addae, cornerback T.J. Carrie, linebacker Malik Jefferson, running back Marlon Mack and tackle Braden Smith on the list. Smith has been a key member of the offensive line that has helped Jonathan Taylor lead the league in rushing. Cornerback Chris Wilcox went on the practice squad COVID-19 list.


– The Saints scratched left tackle Terron Armstead from Monday night’s game against the Miami Dolphins. Armstead’s absence left the Saints without either starting offensive tackle for a second straight game. Right tackle Ryan Ramczyk already was ruled out because of a positive COVID-19 test as he was trying to return from his own knee injury.


Western Michigan cruises past Nevada for 2nd bowl victory
DETROIT (AP) – Kaleb Eleby threw two touchdowns and ran for another and Western Michigan recorded its second bowl victory in program history, rolling past Nevada 52-24 in the Quick Lane Bowl.
Sean Tyler rushed for 146 yards on 14 carries and returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown for Western Michigan. Jaxson Kincaide, a Nevada transfer, rushed for 105 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns. Nate Cox passed for 121 yards and a touchdown and Devonte Lee rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown for Nevada.
The Broncos’ only other bowl victory came in the 2015 Bahamas Bowl against Middle Tennessee.


Baylor stays No. 1 in AP Top 25, Michigan State up to No. 10
UNDATED (AP) – Baylor is No. 1 for the third straight week in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll, receiving all 61 first-place votes from a national media panel. The Bears had 60 first-place votes a week ago and were a unanimous selection with a blowout win over Alcorn State and Arizona’s loss to Tennessee.
The top five remained the same from last week – with Duke, Purdue, Gonzaga and UCLA behind Baylor. Arizona dropped three spots to No. 9 and the Vols moved up five spots to No. 14. No. 10 Michigan State moved into the top 10 for the first time since Week 5 of last season after being unranked in the preseason poll.


Boise State forced to withdraw due to outbreak
UNDATED (AP) – Boise State has pulled out of the Arizona Bowl and shut down all team activities due to COVID-19 issues within its football program.
The Broncos were scheduled to play Central Michigan at Arizona Stadium on Friday. Instead, they joined numerous college basketball programs that have been hit with coronavirus issues coming out of the Christmas break. Arizona Bowl organizers are seeking a replacement for Boise State. No. 2 Duke is one of several basketball programs with COVID-19 issues, postponing games against Clemson and Notre Dame this week. And UConn’s game against No. 23 Xavier scheduled for Tuesday was scrapped because of COVID-19 issues involving the Huskies.
In women’s basketball, No. 21 Iowa’s scheduled Thursday game at Penn State was called off due to positive COVID-19 tests within Penn State’s program.


NHL set to resume after 6-day break; 3 more games postponed
UNDATED (AP) – The NHL is set to resume Tuesday with three games on the schedule after an extended holiday break.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning won’t have either of their NHL goaltenders or their coach for a final rematch against the Montreal Canadiens. Coach Peter DeBoer is out for the Vegas Golden Knights’ game at Los Angeles.
The league postponed three more games slated for later this week to bring the total to 70 this season. Chicago’s game at Winnipeg and a home-and-home series between Dallas and Colorado are the latest on the list to be rescheduled.


In other NHL news:
– The Seattle Kraken will be without forward Brandon Tanev for the rest of the season after he suffered a torn ACL. Tanev was injured on Dec. 18 against Edmonton and had sought a second opinion on the extent of the injury. The team says additional information on his recovery would be available following surgery. Tanev had quickly become a fan favorite for the expansion franchise. He finished the season with nine goals and six assists and his energy on the ice was key for the Kraken.


Shiffrin is latest elite skier to test positive for COVID-19
UNDATED (AP) – Two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin is the latest elite skier to test positive for COVID-19 with the Beijing Games less than six weeks away.
Shiffrin writes on her social media accounts that “I’m doing well, but unfortunately I had a positive COVID test.” The American adds that she’s “following protocol and isolating.” Shiffrin says she will miss World Cup giant slalom and slalom races scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in Austria.
Other top skiers who have missed races recently after testing positive for COVID include former overall champion Lara Gut-Behrami, Austrian world champion Katharina Liensberger and Alice Robinson of New Zealand.
The Beijing Olympics open Feb. 4.