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BC-AP Sports Digest

December 26, 2018
BC-AP Sports Digest,836

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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

TOP STORIES

BKN--LAKERS-WARRIORS

OAKLAND, Calif. — LeBron James prides himself in his durability, being available night after night, game after grueling game. That’s why the Lakers star is so mad he got hurt.

The Los Angeles Lakers lost LeBron in the third quarter to a strained left groin then went out and beat the two-time defending champions without him Tuesday night, getting King James’ 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists before the injury in a surprising 127-101 rout of the Golden State Warriors. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 900 words, photos.

FBN--PLAYOFF PICTURE

Barring ties in Week 17 — and there are some head-spinning scenarios should certain games end that way Sunday — the road to the playoffs is quite straight in the NFC. The path to a first-round bye in the AFC has a bunch of curves in it. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 650 words, photos.

YEAR-END STORIES

YE--FEEL-GOOD MOMENTS OF THE YEAR

Sports inspired the usual agita this year, but more than its share of wry smiles. A 98-year-old nun commanded the Final Four. A homecoming queen kicked the game-winner for her high school football team. And random acts of kindness stretched from hockey rinks in Calgary to a soccer stand in the Netherlands. By Jim Litke. SENT: 1,500 words, photos.

YE--SURPRISES OF THE YEAR

Maryland-Baltimore County made history at this year’s NCAA Tournament, becoming the first No. 16 to beat a No. 1 when it took down Virginia. The Retrievers’ run became one of the biggest sports surprises of 2018. By John Marshall. SENT: 700 words, photos.

COMMENTARY

GLF--ON THE FRINGE-TALES FROM THE TOUR

The young girl stood atop a trash bin at Carnoustie to see over the crowd and catch a glimpse of Tiger Woods. He was must-see golf, as always. There were plenty of other moments that went beyond the birdies, bogeys and trophies. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 900 words, photos.

— With:

— GLF--GOLF NOTES — By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

NFL

FBN--MANISCALO’S SUPER BOWL PLAN

NEW YORK — Sebastian Maniscalco has a perfect matchup in mind for the Super Bowl: Bears vs. Texans. Could happen. The native of Chicago and lifelong Bears fan also is close friends with Houston star defensive end J.J. Watt. So what could be better for the popular standup comedian than his favorite team facing off with his football buddy in the big game? By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 650 words, photos.

FBN--DENVER’S DIVE

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos keep losing big games and key players. The latest casualty is rookie running back Phillip Lindsay who sustained a major right wrist injury in the Broncos’ loss at Oakland. That leaves the underperforming Case Keenum with even fewer options as he tries to salvage something out of his hugely disappointing debut season in Denver. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 730 words, photos.

FBN--FIRST-ROUND IMPACT

From Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield at the top to Leighton Vander Esch of Dallas roughly in the middle to Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson at the end, plenty of first-round draft picks have had an impact as rookies in the NFL. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 800 words, photos.

FBN--UNDRAFTED ROOKIES

Philip Lindsay wasn’t invited to the NFL scouting combine and his name wasn’t called during the draft, but the talented running back heads the list of undrafted rookies who have made an impact this season. By Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi. SENT: 800 words, photos.

NBA

BKN--76ERS-CELTICS

BOSTON — Kyrie Irving extended the game with a clutch shot, then ended it with two more in overtime. Irving scored six of his 40 points in overtime, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers while leading Boston back from a five-point deficit as the Celtics beat the 76ers 121-114 on Tuesday night. SENT: 800 words, photos.

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Wednesday Time Schedule (EST)

NBA

Phoenix at Orlando, 7 p.m.

Washington at Detroit, 7 p.m.

Charlotte at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Indiana at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Toronto at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Cleveland at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Minnesota at Chicago, 8 p.m.

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

New Orleans at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

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

BOWL GAMES

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl at Dallas: Boston College vs. Boise State, 1:30 p.m.

Quick Lane Bowl at Detroit: Minnesota vs. Georgia Tech, 5:15 p.m.

Cheez-It Bowl at Phoenix: California vs. TCU, 9 p.m.

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