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Update on the latest in sports:

December 4, 2017


Saints back atop NFC South

UNDATED (AP) — The New Orleans Saints have regained sole possession of first place in the NFC South following a strong offensive showing against the second-place Panthers.

Rookie Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram and Drew Brees (breez) led the Saints to a 31-21 home win against Carolina, leaving New Orleans 9-3 and one game ahead of the Panthers. Kamara carried nine times for 60 yards, including a pair of tackle-shedding touchdowns. Ingram rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown, while Brees threw for 269 yards and a score in the Saints’ ninth win in 10 games.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton passed for 183 yards and touchdowns of 21 yards to Christian McCaffrey and 24 yards to Devin Funchess.

Week 13 of the NFL season also produced these finals:

— The Seahawks put an end to the Eagles’ nine-game winning streak by getting three touchdown passes from Russell Wilson in a 24-10 win against Philadelphia at Seattle. Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz threw for 348 yards and a touchdown, but he also had an interception and a costly fumble at the Seattle 1 on the opening drive of the second half. The Eagles dropped to 10-2 after entering the game as the league’s highest-scoring team at 31.9 points a game.

— The Vikings picked up their eighth straight win as Case Keenum threw for two touchdowns and Minnesota kept Atlanta out of the end zone in a 14-9 victory against the Falcons. Keenum was 25 of 30 for 227 yards, hitting Jerick McKinnon and Kyle Rudolph for short TDs. The Vikings trailed 9-7 early in the third quarter before improving to 10-2 and dropping the Falcons to 7-5.

— The Rams clinched their first winning season in 14 years behind Jared Goff’s 220 passing yards and two touchdowns in a 32-16 victory at Arizona. Los Angeles took control by scoring 16 early points and intercepting Blaine Gabbert twice, including Alec Ogletree’s 41-yard return for a TD. Todd Gurley ran for 74 yards and had 84 receiving yards for the 9-3 Rams.

— Rex Burkhead ran for 78 yards and a pair of second-half touchdowns as the Patriots earned their eighth straight win, 23-3 at Buffalo. Stephen Gostkowski hit three field goals in the first half, and Tom Brady was 21 of 30 for 258 yards and one interception while New England’s defense held the Bills to 268 total yards. The 10-2 Pats earned their 14th consecutive road win and dropped Buffalo to 6-6.

— Blake Bortles threw two touchdown passes and Leonard Fournette scored for the first time in six weeks as the Jaguars whipped the Colts 30-10 to improve to 8-4. Bortles completed 26 of 35 passes for 309 yards, with TD passes to Marqise Lee and Keelan Cole. The Jags have their first eight-win season since 2010 and remain tied with Tennessee atop the AFC South.

— The Titans won for the sixth time in seven games as Marcus Mariota (mar-ee-OH’-tah) ran for a touchdown and threw for another in a 24-13 decision over the Texans. LeShaun Sims intercepted a pass in the end zone with 1:02 left to keep Tennessee ahead. Derrick Henry ran for 109 yards and clinched the victory with a 75-yard scoring run in the final minute.

— The Raiders are now part of a three-way tie for first with Kansas City and Los Angeles in the AFC West. Marshawn Lynch rumbled 51 yards for a TD and finished with a season-high 101 yards as Oakland beat the Giants 24-17. Derek Carr finished 22 for 36 for 287 yards and a score to help the 6-6 Raiders get their second straight victory.

— Philip Rivers passed for 344 yards and hit Keenan Allen for a touchdown in the Chargers’ 19-10 verdict over the winless Browns. Allen had 10 catches for 105 yards in the Chargers’ sixth win in eight games since an 0-4 start. New kicker Travis Coons hit four field goals for Los Angeles, which handed Cleveland its 12th loss of the year.

— The Jets pulled out a 38-31 win over the slumping Chiefs on Josh McCown’s one-yard sneak with 2:15 left. McCown ran for two scores and threw for 331 yards, including a TD to Matt Forte as New York improved to 5-7. Travis Kelce grabbed a pair of scoring passes from Alex Smith to put Kansas City ahead 14-0 4 ½ minutes into the game, but the Chiefs dropped to 6-6 with their sixth loss in seven games.

— The Ravens hammered the Lions 44-20 as Joe Flacco completed 23 of his 36 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns. Baltimore put it out of reach with a 24-point fourth quarter and improved to 7-5 to take control of the second AFC wild-card spot. The Lions dipped to 6-6 and finished the game without Matthew Stafford, who completed a team-record 20 straight passes in the second half before leaving the game with a right hand injury.

— Aaron Jones had a 20-yard run with 5:59 left in overtime to send the Packers past the Buccaneers 26-20. Mason Crosby’s 22-yard field goal tied the game at 20 with 2:01 left in the fourth quarter before Green Bay evened its record at 6-6. Jameis (JAY’-mihs) Winston threw two touchdown passes to Cameron Brate for the 3-9 Bucs, but he also had a fumble that Dean Lowry returned 62 yards for a score.

— The Dolphins halted a five-game skid as their defense scored on an interception and two safeties in a 35-9 thumping of the stumbling Broncos. Xavien Howard provided a 30-yard pick-six and Kenyan Drake rushed for 120 yards as Miami improved to 5-7. The Broncos’ eight-game losing streak is their longest in 50 years.

— Former Bear Robbie Gould kicked a 24-yard field goal in the closing seconds to give the 49ers a 15-14 win at Chicago. Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 293 yards in his first San Francisco start, but the 2-10 Niners had to settle for five field goals in sending the 3-9 Bears to their fifth straight loss. Mitchell Trubisky was 12 of 15 for 102 yards and a touchdown for the Bears, who also got an electrifying 61-yard punt return for a TD from Tarik Cohen.


Alabama takes final CFP spot to join Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia

UNDATED (AP) — The College Football Playoff semifinals will include two members of the SEC.

Alabama has beaten out Ohio State for the final berth in a field that has No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 Georgia. The Crimson Tide are the only non-conference champion to make it, sneaking in on the strength of the Bulldogs’ 28-7 win over previous No. 2 Auburn in the SEC title game. The Tide also got a break when the Buckeyes topped Wisconsin 27-21 in Saturday’s Big Ten championship game. Ohio State backers felt their team had earned the final CFP slot by winning the conference title.

Auburn and Wisconsin were likely semifinalists if they had won their conference championship games.

The CFP semifinals are slated for New Year’s Day. Clemson will take on Alabama at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Georgia and Oklahoma will square off in the 104th Rose Bowl.

The Associated Press football poll also has Clemson at No. 1, followed by Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State.

Wisconsin is sixth, ahead of Auburn, Southern Cal, Penn State and Central Florida. UCF is the only major college program to go unbeaten in the regular season.


Sun Devils pick Edwards

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Herm Edwards is the new head football coach at Arizona State.

The 63-year-old Edwards was head coach of the Jets and Chiefs from 2001-08, going 54-74 with four playoff appearances. He has spent the last nine years as an NFL analyst for ESPN and hasn’t coached in college since serving as a San Jose State assistant in 1989.

The school announced it will hold a news conference to introduce Edwards on Monday.


Warriors slam Heat

UNDATED (AP) — The Golden State Warriors continue to play their best basketball in the third quarter of games.

The Warriors opened the second half on an 18-3 run and outscored the Heat 37-17 in the third period of a 123-95 rout in Miami. Golden State led by just a basket before pulling away.

Stephen Curry (STEH’-fehn) Curry scored 16 of his 30 points in the first quarter and added another 10 in the third. Kevin Durant had 24 for the Warriors, who trailed by eight early on.

Checking out the other NBA action:

— It’s now a seven-game winning streak for the Rockets after James Harden delivered 36 points and Eric Gordon contributed 22 in a 118-95 thumping of the Lakers. Chris Paul had 21 points for Houston, which has won six straight on the road and 13 of 14 overall.

— Russell Westbrook had 22 points, 10 boards and 10 assists in his seventh triple-double of the season to lead the Thunder past the Spurs 90-87. Steven Adams added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City.

— Jimmy Butler scored 20 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter of the Timberwolves’ 112-106 victory over the Clippers. Karl-Anthony Towns had 15 points and 12 rebounds to help Minnesota overcome Austin Rivers’ season-high 30 points.

— Nikola Vucevic scored eight straight points during a decisive 10-0, fourth-quarter run as the Magic downed the Knicks 105-100 in New York. Vucevic had a game-high 34 points and Evan Fournier had 20 for the Magic.


Spartans rip Huskers

UNDATED (AP) — Third-ranked Michigan State has reeled off a six-game winning streak since its loss to No. 1 Duke last month.

Nick Ward matched his season high with 22 points as part of a balanced offense that led an 86-57 pounding over Nebraska. Jaren Jackson had 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for the 7-1 Spartans, while teammate Cassius Winston scored 16 points and had seven assists.

Michigan State used a 16-4 spurt to go ahead 34-16 late in the first half.

The most surprising top-25 outcome occurred in Louisville as Desi Rodriguez nailed an off-balance bank shot with eight seconds left to send Seton Hall past the 17th-ranked Cardinals 79-77. Rodriguez had a season-high 29 points in helping the Pirates stay unbeaten since falling from the AP men’s basketball poll.

In other top-25 finals:

— Martinas Geben had 14 points and 10 rebounds to help No. 5 Notre Dame beat St. Francis of Brooklyn 71-53. Bonzie Colson had 13 points and nine boards before he and coach Mike Bray were ejected with 6:02 remaining following a flagrant foul call on Colson.

— Nate Mason scored a season-high 26 points and 12th-ranked Minnesota improved to 8-1 by winning its Big Ten opener 89-67 over Rutgers. Murphy finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds in his ninth consecutive double-double.

— No. 13 North Carolina strolled to a 97-73 romp over Tulane behind Luke Maye’s 22 points and 10 rebounds. Kenny Williams and Joel Berry II finished with 13 points apiece for the 8-1 Tar Heels.

— UCF held Alabama star freshman Collin Sexton to zero field goals and seven points in a 65-62 upset of the 24th-ranked Crimson Tide. Terrell Allen had 16 points and eight assists for the Knights.


Jets rout Sens

UNDATED (AP) — The Winnipeg Jets continue to be the nicest surprise of the NHL season after missing the playoffs last spring.

The Jets are 9-0-1 in their last 10 home games and top the Western Conference with 38 points following a 5-0 shutout of Ottawa. Blake Wheeler had a goal and three assists to back Connor Hellebuyck (HEH’-leh-buhk), who turned back 21 shots in his first shutout of the season.

Winnipeg is tied with Tampa Bay for first place in the overall standings.

Elsewhere on NHL ice:

— The Kings won their fifth in a row as Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots in a 3-1 victory at Chicago. Christian Folin opened the scoring midway through the third period before Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar (AHN’-zhay KOH’-pih-tahr) added empty-netters.

— The Golden Knights gained a 3-2 victory over the Coyotes on Reilly Smith’s goal 3:50 into overtime. Malcolm Subban (SOO’-ban) stopped 31 shots and Jonathan Marchessault (MAHR’-cheh-soh) had a goal and an assist to help Vegas end a three-game skid.

— Tyler Seguin (SAY’-gihn) scored twice in the first period before Brett Ritchie added a pair of goals over the final 16 minutes of the Stars’ 7-2 romp over the Avalanche. Devin Shore was among five Stars to collect two points, finishing with a goal and an assist.


Thornton fined $5,000 for slashing

NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL has fined Sharks forward Joe Thornton $5,000 for slashing Lightning forward Tyler Johnson in the second period of Saturday’s game in Tampa.

The fine is the highest allowed under NHL rules and is designated to go to the players’ emergency assistance fund.


Fowler’s 61 gets him Bahamas win

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Rickie Fowler earned $1 million by overtaking Charley Hoffman and winning the Hero World Challenge.

Fowler closed with a 9-under 61 for an 18-under total, four strokes ahead of Hoffman and six in front of Jordan Spieth (speeth) and Tommy Fleetwood.

Hoffman went into the final round with a five-stroke edge before shooting a 72.

Tiger Woods tied his best round of the tournament, a 68 that left him 10 strokes back.


Dome won’t come down

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — The Pontiac Silverdome isn’t going down without a fight.

A partial implosion of the Detroit Lions’ former home has failed to bring down the upper section.

Demolition company Adamo says that Sunday morning’s blasts weakened the Silverdome and it could still fall, but it’s unclear when that might happen. The company’s executive vice president tells the Detroit Free Press that unless gravity causes the building to fall on its own, excavators will start taking down the structure this week.

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