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BC-AP Sports Digest

December 17, 2018

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TOP STORIES

FBN--EAGLES-RAMS

LOS ANGELES —The Philadelphia Eagles already knew Nick Foles could do it. After all, it was only last December when the veteran quarterback replaced an injured Carson Wentz and upset the Los Angeles Rams at the Coliseum. Less than two months after that breakthrough game, he was an improbable Super Bowl MVP. One season later in the same arena, Foles went back into Wentz’s spot under center after three months without game action. Foles promptly recaptured the magic, By Greg Beacham. SENT: 960 words, photos.

With:

— FBN--STRUGGLING RAMS. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 940 words, photos.

FBN--PACKERS-BEARS

CHICAGO —The Chicago Bears clinched the NFC North and helped knock Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers out of playoff contention. They could not have asked for a sweeter scenario. By Andrew Seligman. SENT: 960 words, photos.

BKN--LEBRON’S LOW

WASHINGTON — This was hardly the ideal way for LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers to cap what amounted to an eventful week of highs and lows. And arriving one night after what seemed to be a breakthrough performance, this dud demonstrated just how much more room for improvement four-time NBA MVP James and his new teammates have. UPCOMING: 575 words, photos by 4 a.m.

FBC--T25-AP COACH OF THE YEAR

UCF’s Josh Heupel, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly and Alabama’s Nick Saban are the finalists for The Associated Press national college football coach of the year after leading their teams to unbeaten regular seasons. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 230 words, photos. Will be updated. Announcement scheduled for noon EST.

COMMENTARY

FBN--ON FOOTBALL-BALANCE

Football purists are smiling. For one week, the video game nature of the NFL hit pause. Only one quarterback on Saturday or Sunday threw for 300 yards, let alone 400. No pinball shootouts. Ten players rushed for at least 100 yards, and Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson went for 95. There were two shutouts! By Football Writer Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 640 words, photos by 4 a.m.

NFL

FBN--NFL-ICYMI

Tom Brady scrambled and heaved up a wobbly pass off his back foot, the sort of thing a less-experienced, less-accomplished and, well, less-cool QB might do. The ball was picked off, and the New England Patriots were on their way to a second consecutive loss. More importantly — and more interestingly — they were on their way to a five-loss season for the first time in nearly a decade. Maybe, just maybe, the Patriots are not who they’ve been for oh so long. The AP takes a look at that and other top topics after the NFL season’s 15th Sunday. By Pro Football Writer Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 a.m.

FBN--SAINTS-PANTHERS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —There’s been no such thing as a sophomore slump for Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara. The two NFC South running backs have followed up strong rookie campaigns with even better second seasons for the Panthers and Saints, who’ll meet Monday night in a game with big playoff ramifications for both teams. By Steve Reed. SENT: 660 words, photos.

FBN--COWBOYS-COLTS

INDIANAPOLIS —Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack kept his eyes down the field and his legs churning Sunday. His teammates took the cue. By Michael Marot. SENT: 850 words, photos.

FBN--PATRIOTS-STEELERS

PITTSBURGH, Pa. —Ben Roethlisberger didn’t want to use the word “crossroads.” He did anyway. His team mired in a three-game losing streak and with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on the other sideline Sunday — a sight that typically signals doom for Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers — the longtime quarterback understood his team’s enigmatic season had reached a tipping point. By Will Graves. SENT: 900 words, photos.

FBN--SEAHAWKS-49ERS

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — As if the San Francisco 49ers needed any reminder about how Seattle has dominated this once fierce NFC West rivalry of late, Kyle Shanahan and his coaching staff spent the night before the game reminding the players with highlights from the Seahawks’ 27-point blowout just two weeks ago. Message delivered. By Football Writer Josh Dubow. SENT: 900 words, photos.

With:

— FBN--NFL TODAY — SENT: 1,900 words, photos.

— FBN--NFL INJURIES — SENT: 620 words, photos.

NBA

BKN--AROUND THE NBA

LeBron James’ move to Los Angeles from Cleveland raises the question of whether the Eastern Conference even has a chance in the MVP race. Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid headline the list of MVP candidates. By Schuyler Dixon. 870 words, photos by 4 a.m.

BKN--HEAT-PELICANS

NEW ORLEANS —Dwyane Wade fondly remembers his dominant first game in New Orleans as an emerging college star with Marquette. He won’t forget what was likely his final performance as a pro in the Big Easy, either. By Brett Martel. SENT: 800 words, photos.

NHL

HKN--LIGHTNING-JETS

WINNIPEG, Manitoba —Mark Scheifele was in a joking mood after setting up the tying goal and scoring the winner for the Winnipeg Jets. Scheifele scored at 4:18 of overtime and the Jets extended their winning streak to a season-best five games with a 5-4 victory over the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. SENT: 660 words, photos.

Also:

— HKN--BLACKHAWKS-CRAWFORD INJURED — SENT: 420 words, photos.

With:

— HKN--SHARKS-BLACKHAWKS — SENT: 900 words, photos.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

BKC--TOP 25 REWIND

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. —Gonzaga has spent the early part of the season traveling around the country to face high-profile nonconference opponents, and coach Mark Few has no regrets about that. Even after the fourth-ranked Bulldogs fell at No. 12 North Carolina for their second straight loss. By Aaron Beard. SENT: 850 words, photos.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

BKW--T25-ICYMI

Northern Illinois senior guard Mikayla Voight had a game to remember against Western Illinois. No. 10 N.C. State is off to its best start in 21 years and other happenings in women’s basketball over the past week. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 450 words, photos by 4 a.m.

SOCCER

SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP

Jose Mourinho chose his words carefully, and they proved to be as candid as they were concerning for Manchester United as its worst start to a Premier League season hit a new low. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 700 words, photos.

SOC--SPANISH ROUNDUP

BARCELONA, Spain —Lionel Messi hit the 50-goal mark for club and country in 2018 after scoring his 43rd career hat trick for Barcelona on Sunday. By Joseph Wilson. SENT: 600 words, photos.

Also:

— SOC-FRENCH ROUNDUP — By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 600 words.

— SOC-GERMAN ROUNDUP — By Ciaran Fahey. SENT: 260 words.

WINTER SPORTS

SKI--WCUP-MEN’S GIANT SLALOM

LA VILLA, Italy — Marcel Hirscher dominated to extend his record by winning the Alta Badia giant slalom for a sixth straight year Sunday and reclaimed the overall World Cup lead. SENT: 480 words, photos.

SKI--WCUP-GISIN CRASH

SELVA DI VAL GARDENA, Italy — The Swiss team says that “scans on the skull showed no serious injury” to Marc Gisin following his dramatic crash in a World Cup downhill but the skier does have several broken bones elsewhere on his body. SENT: 270 words, photos.

Also:

— LUG--WORLD CUP — SENT: 480 words, photos.

— BOB--WORLD CUP — SENT: 150 words.

GOLF

— GLF--ALFRED DUNHILL — David Lipsky won the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa on his first attempt as his final-round 68 gave him a two-shot victory over David Drysdale. SENT: 260 words.

— GLF--FATHER-SON CHALLENGE —Davis Love III and his son Dru played so well Sunday that they set two scoring records, rallied from a three-shot deficit to win the PNC Father-Son Challenge and then wondered if they would get to play again. SENT: 450 words.

CAPSULES

— FBN--NFL CAPSULES

— BKN--NBA CAPSULES

— HKN--NHL CAPSULES

— BKC--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES

— BKW--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES

___

Monday Time Schedule (EST)

NFL

New Orleans at Carolina, 8:15 p.m.

NBA

Milwaukee at Detroit, 7 p.m.

Phoenix at New York, 7:30 p.m.

Chicago at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.

Sacramento at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Utah at Houston, 8 p.m.

Philadelphia at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.

Memphis at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.

Portland at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.

NHL

Vegas at Columbus, 7 p.m.

Anaheim at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

Boston at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Nashville at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

N.Y. Islanders at Colorado, 9 p.m.

TOP 25 BASKETBALL

Men

No. 10 Florida State Southeast Missouri State, 7 p.m.

No. 20 Arizona State at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m.

Women

No. 15 Syracuse vs. Niagara, 11 a.m.

No. 19 Marquette vs. Binghamton, 8 p.m.

No. 20 DePaul vs. Tennessee State, 8 p.m.

No. 22 Missouri vs. Texas State, 8 p.m.

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