BC-TX--Texas Sports Digest 1 pm, TX
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HOUSTON _ The Houston Texans clinched a playoff berth with Pittsburgh’s loss to New Orleans on Sunday to put them in the postseason for the fifth time in franchise history. But the already injury-riddled Texans likely lost receiver Demaryius Thomas for the season with an Achilles tendon injury and cornerback Kareem Jackson status for Sunday is unclear after injuring his knee in Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia. By Kristie Rieken. 600 words, with photos.
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 _ and the Tigers keep winning. Swinney, in his 10th year at Clemson, is a stickler for hard work but is keen on celebrating success. There was a stadium pizza party for fans following Clemson’s first trip to the College Football Playoff in 2015, and even a trip to an area amusement park this week amid preparations for its latest playoff run, which starts for the second ranked Tigers (13-0, CFP No. 2) against No. 3 Notre Dame (12-0, CFP No. 3). The game is Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 860 words, with photos.
BKN--NBA CHRISTMAS PREVIEW
Atari’s original video game console was the hot toy. Leisure suits were cool. Elvis Presley unexpectedly died. The first “Star Wars” movie was released. The year was 1977. That was the last time the Milwaukee Bucks appeared on Christmas Day. Their wait is over. On Tuesday, at 11 a.m. in Milwaukee, noon in New York and 7 p.m. in Greece _ one of 215 countries that will be seeing the NBA’s Christmas games. After the Bucks-Knicks tilt, it’s Oklahoma City vs. Houston, Philadelphia at Boston, the Los Angeles Lakers against Golden State and Portland visits Utah. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 900 words, with photos.
_ BKN--AROUND THE NBA. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 1,110 words, with photos.
HOUSTON _ The Houston Rockets have signed free agent guard Austin Rivers. Rivers appeared in 29 games with two starts for the Washington Wizards this season before being traded to the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 17 and being released the next day. SENT: 120 words.
BKW--T25-WOMEN’S BKB POLL
NEW YORK _ After a week off for exams, UConn faced two stiff tests on the court and passed both of them. The top-ranked Huskies rallied to beat Oklahoma and topped No. 14 California to remain unbeaten this season. UConn won both games by fewer than 10 points _ the first time in 10 years the team had back-to-back victories by fewer than 10. By Doug Feinberg. SENT: 330 words, with photos.
_ BKH--TABC RANKINGS
HKN--PRIMING THE PUMP
When Rasmus Dahlin put pen to paper on his first NHL contract, the reverberations carried to Gothenburg and Lidkoping in his native Sweden. The No. 1 overall pick signing with the Buffalo Sabres earned Sweden more than $250,000 to put back into development. Last year alone, the NHL paid more than $35 million in transfer fees as teams signed European players. There are agreements in place with all the major hockey-producing countries except Russia and Switzerland that allow the free flow of players to the best league in the world. Finland has the league’s leading scorer in Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen and produced Winnipeg’s 43-goal scorer Patrik Laine, young Dallas defenseman Miro Heiskanen and a whole generation of emerging stars. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 830 words, with photo.
YE--STORY OF THE YEAR
The depths of Larry Nassar’s depravity began to emerge some 15 months before the calendar flipped to 2018 _ when reports of his sexual abuse first appeared in news stories that would eventually lead to a trial and, ultimately, to the doctor’s imprisonment. But it was January 2018, the month when more than 150 female athletes testified at Nassar’s sentencing hearing for convictions on child-porn and sex-abuse charges, that marked a turning point. Nassar’s crimes and the chaos they provoked _ massive turnover at Michigan State, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, to say nothing of trauma of the victims _ was the Story of the Year in balloting by AP members and editors. By Eddie Pells. SENT: 900 words, with photos. Moving on news & sports lines.
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