BC-AP Sports Digest
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Broadcaster Ernie Johnson gives a behind-the-scenes look at “Inside the NBA” colleague Charles Barkley in the latest episode of PodcastOne Sports Now co-hosted by the AP’s Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg. Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
HKN--PRIMING THE PUMP
Each offseason, the NHL adds dozens if not hundreds of European players and writes big checks to keep them coming. Last year alone, the league paid over $35 million in transfer fees to European federations, money that goes back into development and keeps the talent flowing to the top hockey league in the world. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 750 words, file photos by 3 a.m.
SEATTLE — Doubted before the season began, questioned even more after a 0-2 start, the Seattle Seahawks are back where they’ve spent most seasons since Pete Carroll arrived. The Seahawks are in the playoffs and perhaps as the type of opponent no one would like to see in the postseason. By Tim Booth. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
—FBN--CHIEFS FALTER — By Tim Booth. SENT: 740 words, photos.
NEW ORLEANS —Drew Brees found a receiver who hadn’t played most of the season to sustain a late touchdown drive. The Saints’ defense found a way to force two fumbles in the fourth quarter. And New Orleans’ punt-return unit stopped a fake punt less than a yard short of a conversion. Combine that with some good fortune on decisions by the officials, and it added up to a third straight fourth-quarter comeback for these charmed 2018 Saints, who’ll finish the regular season as the best team in the NFC. By Brett Martel. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
ARLINGTON, Texas —Dak Prescott shared a brief hug with star running back Ezekiel Elliott after the Dallas quarterback kneeled twice to wrap up their second NFC East title in three seasons together. The postgame celebration was equally muted after Prescott accounted for two touchdowns and Jaylon Smith returned a fumble 69 yards for a score in a 27-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 900 words, photos.
BKN--AROUND THE NBA
There’s no NBA Finals rematch this year on Christmas. Not technically, anyway. It’s LeBron James vs. the Golden State Warriors for the fourth consecutive year on Dec. 25, though James will be wearing a Los Angeles Lakers uniform this time. It was a predictable matchup. It isn’t, however, a break from tradition. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 3 a.m.
YE--ME TOO SPORTS
The powerful victim’s impact statements delivered by dozens of women sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University team doctor Larry Nassar did more than provide a much-needed release: it signaled a sea change in the (hash)MeToo movement in sports, one that could have a ripple effect for years to come. By Will Graves. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
FBN--ON FOOTBALL-PLAYOFF PICTURE
A breakdown of the winners and losers from Week 16 of the NFL season and a road map of the playoff possibilities heading into the final week of the schedule. By Football Writer Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 880 words, photos by 3 a.m.
Maybe it was Baker Mayfield’s way of saying “Merry Christmas” to his old coach. OK, maybe not. Mayfield threw for 284 yards and three scores in engineering the Browns to yet another win Sunday, but his staredown of fired Browns coach Hue Jackson grabbed more attention than anything. By National Writer Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 3 a.m.
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Raiders might be playing their final game ever at the rundown Oakland Coliseum in the 2018 home finale Monday night against the Denver Broncos. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. SENT: 760 words, photos.
PHILADELPHIA —Nick Foles ran back onto the field after a hard shot knocked him out for a play and the crowd roared, seemingly knowing he was about to do it again. Jake Elliott kicked a 35-yard field goal as time expired after Foles led the offense into position and the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Houston Texans 32-30 Sunday to keep their playoff hopes alive. By Football Writer Rob Maaddi. SENT: 800 words, photos.
— FBN--NFL TODAY.
— FBN--NFL INJURIES.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Jerry Jeudy’s ambitions grew with every college football camp he attended, every highly rated defensive back he beat head to head. His recruiting stock rose, and so did his goals. Now, he’s Alabama’s latest star wide receiver and heading into the College Football Playoffs. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 690 words, photos by 3 a.m.
FBC--CFP-CLEMSON-THE DABO WAY
CLEMSON, S.C. — Dabo Swinney likes to keep the mood around Clemson’s football program light, with lots of revelry. It’s the Dabo Way. And it seems to be working. Top recruits keep arriving each year, assistants don’t want to leave and the Tigers keep winning. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 860 words, photos by 3 a.m.
NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma interim defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill’s unit couldn’t slow some of the nation’s best offenses during Big 12 play. His toughest challenge yet will come in the national semifinal against Alabama. Led by Heisman Trophy runner-up Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback, the Crimson Tide ranks second nationally in points per game and seventh in yards per game. The Sooner defense draws hope from a solid performance in the Big 12 title game win against Texas. By Cliff Brunt. SENT: 720 words, photos.
— FBC--LSU-SHOOTING INVESTIGATION — By Brett Martel. SENT: 350 words.
OAKLAND, Calif. —On a night the Los Angeles Clippers set records with their 3-point shooting, Steph Curry won the game for Golden State at the rim. Curry made a layup with 0.5 seconds left and the Warriors outlasted the Clippers 129-127 in an emotionally charged game Sunday night. SENT: 680 words, photos.
BKC--TOP 25 REWIND
TEMPE, Ariz. — Top-ranked Kansas arrived in the desert one of seven undefeated teams left in college basketball. The Jayhawks left smarting after being stuck in the center of a midcourt Sun Devil mosh pit. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. SENT: 760 words, photos.
It was a busy week for coach Kelly Graves and the Oregon Ducks. A win over previously unbeaten Mississippi State started off the fourth-ranked Ducks’ week on Tuesday. Graves then sat out Oregon’s next two games to serve a suspension for NCAA violations. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 480 words, photos by 3 a.m.
HOUSTON —Undefeated Houston pushed aside winless Coppin State for yet another home victory. Corey Davis had 16 points, Breaon Brady added 13 and No. 21 Houston beat Coppin State 75-44 on Sunday to improve to 12-0 and extend the nation’s longest home winning streak to 25. SENT: 580 words, photos.
RALEIGH, N.C. —The Carolina Hurricanes brought back the Hartford Whalers for a night, and two of their younger stars kept “Brass Bonanza” seemingly playing on repeat. Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen each had two goals and two assists and the Hurricanes beat the Boston Bruins 5-3 on Sunday while wearing Whalers uniforms for the first time since moving 21 years ago. By Joedy McCreary. SENT: 730 words, photos.
— HKN--SABRES-JEANNERET — By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. SENT: 500 words, photo.
Cristiano Ronaldo is helping Juventus break records but it could be taking a toll on the Portugal star. Ronaldo has started all but one of Juve’s 23 games this season, having missed only the first Champions League match against Young Boys through suspension following his first-ever red card in the competition. By Daniella Matar. SENT: 630 words, photos.
— SOC--EVERTON-TOTTENHAM —SENT: 490 words, phoots.
— SOC--ATLANTA UNITED-DE BOER — SENT: 720 words, photos.
— SOC--INTER-NAINGGOLAN — SENT: 170 words, photo.
— SOC--LEVERKUSEN-COACH — SENT: 170 words, photos.
— FBN--NFL CAPSULES
— BKN--NBA CAPSULES
— HKN--NHL CAPSULES
Monday Time Schedule (EST)
Denver at Oakland, 8:15 p.m.