BC-AP Sports Digest
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LOS ANGELES — Paul George scored 37 points while getting booed whenever he touched the ball by Lakers fans still angry he didn’t choose their team in free agency, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 107-100 victory over Los Angeles. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 700 words, photos.
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Dedric Lawson had 13 points and 15 rebounds, Kansas’ young backcourt made enough crucial plays when it mattered, and the fifth-ranked Jayhawks began pursuit of their 15th consecutive Big 12 title by holding off No. 23 Oklahoma for a 70-63 victory. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 700 words, photos.
ESPORTS-GETTING WOMEN IN THE GAME
NEW YORK — Susie Kim thinks the women gamers are out there. As general manager for a championship esports team, she would know. She’s not surprised none of them are on her roster. The Entertainment Software Association reported this year that 45 percent of U.S. gamers are female, yet women make up a scant portion of the professional esports player pool. By Jake Seiner. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.
FBN--INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Giving quarterbacks big money doesn’t guarantee success or even playoff appearances. The NFL’s six highest-paid quarterbacks in 2018 will be spectators this postseason. By Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi. SENT: 600 words, photos.
FRISCO, Texas — Bobby Wagner is still the clear leader of Seattle’s linebacking unit while Sean Lee suddenly finds himself in a supporting role for Dallas behind emerging stars Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. All of them will share the field Sunday in a wild-card game. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 750 words, photos.
— PHILADELPHIA — FBN--EAGLES-UNDERDOGS AGAIN. By Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi. SENT: 675 words, photos.
— HOUSTON — FBN--TEXANS-WATT & WATSON. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 800 words, photos.
— LAKE FOREST, ILL. — FBN--BEARS-TRUBISKY PLAYOFF DEBUT. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— COSTA MESA, Calif. — FBN--CHARGERS-RIVERS. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 800 words, photos.
— OWINGS MILLS, Md. — FBN--RAVENS-JACKSON. By David Ginsburg. SENT: 700 words, photo.
— PITTSBURGH — FBN--STEELERS-ROCKY ENDING. By Will Graves. SENT: 750 words, photos.
AP Sports Extra: NFL Playoffs. A paginated preview of the NFL playoffs, which start Saturday, is available in AP Newsroom by searching for “Sports Extra” under the Graphics tab. Three page sizes are available — full broadsheet, half broadsheet and tabloid — with space for local advertising or content. The pages look at the top seeds and playoff schedule. They include some content that was sent Sunday night. The next Sports Extra pages will preview the Super Bowl and will be available Jan. 23. For any questions, contact Barry Bedlan at bbedlan(at)ap.org
FBC--ON FOOTBALL-PLAYOFF EXPANSION
The satisfying simplicity of sports is in the definitive result. A game is played. There is a winner and a loser and the winner gets a reward. Often that reward is to just keep playing. Those are the rules from the schoolyard to stadiums. It is a model that generally works great, just not necessarily for major college football. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 700 words, photos.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Qualifying for the college football championship game never has been harder for teams other than Alabama and Clemson. Getting into the stadium to watch the Crimson Tide and Tigers play for the title for the third time in four years has perhaps never been cheaper. By Josh Dubow. SENT: 730 words, photos.
— CLEMSON, S.C. — FBC--CFP-CLEMSON-MOTIVATED TIGERS. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 650 words, photos.
BKC--T25-TEXAS TECH-WEST VIRGINIA
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — No. 11 Texas Tech started the Big 12 season on a positive note. Jarrett Culver led the way. By John Raby. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— LOS ANGELES — BKC--UCLA-BARTOW’S TURN. By Beth Harris. SENT: 850 words, photos.
— BKC--BIG 12 THIS WEEK. By Luke Meredith. SENT: 550 words, photos.
— BKC--PAC 12 THIS WEEK. SENT: 300 words, photos.
— BKC--BIG TEN THIS WEEK. By Eric Olson. SENT: 550 words, photos.
KAPALUA, Hawaii — Part of Ian Poulter’s punishment for violating a PGA Tour policy is spending two weeks in Hawaii to start the new year. That would be a most literal interpretation of the penalty. And it only tells part of the story of how Poulter chose to make up for missing a tournament he was supposed to play. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 800 words, photos.
NEW YORK — Anthony Davis had just compiled a night the NBA hadn’t seen in 45 years, though he wasn’t interested in the box score. The numbers that matter to him are in the standings. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. SENT: 450 words, photos.
SAN ANTONIO — For the first time in nearly a full year, Kawhi Leonard is about to play basketball in San Antonio. Leonard and the Toronto Raptors visit the Spurs on Thursday night — the first time the 2014 NBA Finals MVP has faced his former club, and the first time DeMar DeRozan has squared off against the Raptors as well. SENT: 780 words, photos.
— DENVER — BKN--NUGGETS-THE JOKER. By Pat Graham. SENT: 750 words, photos.
PERTH, Australia — Serena Williams stepped up her Australian Open preparations with a straight-sets victory over Britain’s Katie Boulter to complete an unbeaten Hopman Cup campaign in singles. By Tristan Lavalette. SENT: 350 words, photos.
Thursday’s Time Schedule
College Basketball (Top 25)
No. 2 Michigan vs. Penn State, 7 p.m.
No. 18 N.C. State at Miami, 7 p.m.
No. 21 Indiana vs. Illinois, 7 p.m.
No. 22 Wisconsin vs. Minnesota, 9 p.m.
No. 25 Iowa at Purdue, 7 p.m.
No. 1 UConn at No. 8 Baylor, 9 p.m.
No. 2 Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
No. 3 Louisville vs. North Carolina, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Mississippi State at Arkansas, 7 p.m.
No. 9 N.C. State vs. Duke, 7 p.m.
No. 10 Tennessee at Auburn, 7 p.m.
No. 14 Syracuse at Clemson, 7 p.m.
No. 15 Michigan State at Northwestern, 8 p.m.
No. 16 Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt, 7 p.m.
No. 17 Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s, 9 p.m.
No. 19 Iowa vs. Nebraska, 8 p.m.
No. 21 Texas A&M vs. No. 23 South Carolina, 9 p.m.
Toronto at San Antonio, 8 p.m.
Denver at Sacramento, 10 p.m.
Houston at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.
Minnesota at Toronto, 2 p.m.
Carolina at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Calgary at Boston, 7 p.m.
Chicago vs. N.Y. Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 7:30 p.m.
Vancouver at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Washington at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.