Sports News for Sunday, January 1st

Cavaliers Power Past Hornets

(Charlotte, NC)  —  The Cavaliers got the job done easily without Kyrie Irving as they powered past the Hornets, 121-109, in Charlotte.  LeBron James led the way with 32 points, nine assists and six rebounds.  Kevin Love posted 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Jordan McRae dropped 20 in Irving’s place.  The Cavs led by 17 after three quarters and improved to 25-and-7.  Irving sat out with a sore right hamstring.  Kemba Walker piled up 37 points in a fighting effort for Charlotte.  The Hornets dropped to 19-and-15.

Westbrook, Thunder Bash Clippers

(Oklahoma City, OK)  —  Russell Westbrook notched another triple-double as the Thunder bashed the Clippers, 114-88, in Oklahoma City.  Westbrook put up 17 points, 14 assists, and 12 rebounds  as the Thunder opened a 21-point first quarter lead and cruised.  Enes Kanter scored 23 points and OKC improved to 13-and-6 on its home court.  The Clippers never got into a rhythm in their sixth straight loss.  Brandon Bass and Mareese Speights scored 18 in defeat.

Jazz Clip Suns

(Salt Lake City, UT)  —  Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert [[ go-BEAR ]] led a balanced attack as the Jazz clipped the Suns 91-86 in Salt Lake City.  The pair finished with 18 apiece, Gobert also added 13 rebounds for his 12th double-double in the last 13 games.  Rodney Hood added 13 points in the winning effort.  Utah has won three-straight and improved to 21-and-13 overall.  Devin Booker paced Phoenix with 20 points in defeat.  Eric Bledsoe added 19, the Suns have lost seven-of-10.

Rockets Hang On, Clip Knicks

(Houston, TX)  —  James Harden equaled the most points scored in a triple-double in NBA history as the Rockets topped the Knicks 129-122 at the Toyota Center.  Harden finished with 53 points, 17 assists, and 16 rebounds in the winning effort.  Harden is also the first player to ever record at least 50 points with 15 boards and 15 assists in one game.  Ryan Anderson added 25 points, Houston has won 15-of-17.  Brandon Jennings paced New York with 32 points in defeat.  Derrick Rose dropped 21, the Knicks have lost six straight road games.

Bucks Roll Bulls

(Chicago, IL)  —  Giannis Antetokounmpo [[ YAHN-iss ah-deh-toh-KOON-boh ]] had a monster game as the Bucks rolled the Bulls, 116-96, in Chicago.  The “Greek Freak” had 35 points, nine rebounds, seven blocks, seven assists, and two steals for Milwaukee.  Malcolm Brogdon became the only rookie with a triple-double this season, finishing with 15 points, 12 dimes and 11 boards.  The Bucks outscored Chicago 36-20 in the final quarter.  Jimmy Butler had 26 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Bulls.  Chicago fell to 16-and-18 and has dropped five of its past seven games.

Grizzlies Drill Kings

(Memphis, TN)  —  The Grizzlies had a nice day from beyond the arc as they drilled the Kings, 112-98, in Memphis.  The Grizz combined to shoot 17-of-35 from downtown with Vince Carter and JaMychal Green nailing four three’s each.  Mike Conley finished with 22 points and eight assists as Memphis won despite losing Marc Gasol to a sprained ankle.  DeMarcus Cousins recorded 26 points, eight assists and five steals for the Kings, which fell to 14-and-19.

Capitals Cruise Past Devils

(Newark, NJ)  —  The Capitals extended their lead with a three-goal second period as they cruised past the Devils, 6-2, in Newark.  T.J. Oshie, Alex Ovechkin, and Justin Williams each tallied a goal and assist for Washington.  Philipp Grubauer made 21 saves in the win and the Caps ended a two-game slide.  Kyle Palmieri and Beau Bennett lit the lamp for New Jersey.  John Moore was pulled off the ice on a stretcher as the Devils fell to 14-16 and-7.

Penguins Outlast Canadiens

(Pittsburgh, PA)  —  Evgeni Malkin scored the winning power-play-goal in overtime as the Penguins outlasted the Canadiens, 4-3, in Pittsburgh.  Malkin and Phil Kessel each had a goal and an assist as the Pens won their fourth straight game.  Patric Hornqvist and Conor Sheary also scored for Pittsburgh.  Paul Byron, Brian Flynn and Alexander Radulov each lit the lamp for Montreal, which fell to 22-9-and-6.

Lightning Blitz Hurricanes

(Tampa, FL)  —  The Lightning notched two first-period power play goals as they blitzed the Hurricanes, 3-1, in Tampa.  Brian Boyle and Jonathan Drouin lit the lamp early, with Nikita Kucherov assisting on both.  Alex Killorn added a goal in the second as the Bolts jumped Carolina early.  Andrei Vasilevskiy [[ an-DRAY va-sihl-EHV-skee ]] racked up 26 saves in the win.  Sebastian Aho prevented the shutout for the Hurricanes.  Cam Ward stopped 22 shots in defeat.

Blue Jackets Dump Wild, Win 15th Straight

(St. Paul, MN)  —  Cam Atkinson scored two goals as the Blue Jackets dumped the Wild, 4-2, in Saint Paul.  Jack Johnson and Seth Jones also lit the lamp as Columbus won its 15th game in a row, two shy of tying the NHL record.  Sergei Bobrovsky [[ SAIR-gay bawb-RAWF-skee ]] stopped 29 of 31 shots sent his way.  Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker scored for Minnesota, which had its own win streak snapped at 12.  Jared Spurgeon had two assists in defeat.

Islanders Soar Past Jets

(Winnipeg Manitoba)  —  The Islanders scored two-goals in each period as they cruised past the Jets 6-2 in Winnipeg.  Ryan Strome and John Tavares each notched a goal and an assist as New York won for the fourth time in five games.  Nikolay Kulemin [[ KOOL-ay-mihn ]], Anders Lee, Shane Prince, and Andrew Ladd  also lit the lamp.  Thomas Greiss made 32 saves in the winning effort.  Nikolaj Ehlers [[ NIH-koh-ligh EE-luhrs ]] and Shawn Matthias found the back of the net for the Jets in defeat.  Winnipeg has lost two-straight at home and three-of-five overall.

Kings Hang On, Clip Sharks

(Los Angeles, CA)  —  Jeff Carter scored his 20th goal of the season as the Kings downed the Sharks 3-2 at the Staples Center.  Drew Doughty and Tanner Pearson also lit the lamp for Los Angeles in the winning effort.  Alec Martinez recorded two assists as the Kings won for just the second time in seven games. L.A. improved to 18-15-and-4.  Brent Burns and Kevin Labanc found the back of the net in defeat.  This was just the second loss in the last 10 games for first place San Jose.

Jagr, Panthers Rip Stars

(Dallas, TX)  —  Jaromir Jagr scored his 756th career goal as the Panthers ripped the Stars, 3-1, in Dallas.  The Panthers scored three first-period goals to get the win.  James Reimer stopped 35 shots in the win as Florida improved to 16-14-and-8.  Patrick Eaves scored on a power play for Dallas in the second to prevent the shutout.  The Stars had their three-game win streak snapped.

Rangers Roll Past Avalanche

(Denver, CO)  —  The Rangers scored four unanswered goals over the final two periods to roll the Avalanche 6-2 in Denver.  Chris Kreider recorded a hat-trick while J.T. Miller lit the lamp twice as New York won its third straight.  Jimmy Vesey also found the back of the net in the winning effort.  Henrik Lundqvist stopped 25 shots, the Rangers improved to 26-12-and-1.  Cody McLeod and Blake Comeau scored for Colorado in defeat.  The Avs have lost eight of their last 10 games.

Scarbrough, Alabama Run Over Washington

(Atlanta, GA)  — Bo Scarbrough scampered for 180 yards and two touchdowns as top-ranked Alabama ran over number-four Washington, 24-7, in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl to clinch a spot in the CFP National Championship Game.  Ryan Anderson added a 26-yard pick-six as the defense held the Huskies to just 194 total yards and forced three turnovers in the win.  Scarbrough clinched the game with a 68-yard TD-run in the fourth quarter as the Tide moved to 14-and-0 on the year.  Jake Browning threw for 150 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for 12-and-2 Washington.  After striking first with an early touchdown, the Huskies got shut out the rest of the way.

LSU Shuts Down Jackson, Louisville In Citrus Bowl

(Orlando, FL)  —  The Louisiana State defense shut down Heisman winner Lamar Jackson and Louisville, 29-9, to win the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl in Orlando.  Jackson was 10-of-27 for 153 yards and rushed for just 33 yards on 26 carries.  Derrius Guice [[ Gice ]] rushed for 138 yards and a score and Danny Etling tossed two TD’s and an interception for the Tigers.  LSU ends the year at 8-and-4.  The Cardinals couldn’t find the end zone and settled for three field goals in defeat.  Louisville is 9-and-4.

Clemson Crushes Ohio State

(Glendale, AZ)  —  The Tiger defense didn’t budge as Clemson crushed Ohio State, 31-0, in the College Football Playoff Semifinals at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale.  DeShaun Watson ran for two touchdowns and threw another as the Tigers advance to the CFP National Championship game, where they’ll face Alabama for the second straight season.  The defense held Ohio State to just 215 total yards and forced three turnovers.  J.T. Barrett threw for 127 yards and two interceptions for the Buckeyes, who fell to 11-and-2.

Georgia Tech Mops Kentucky In TaxSlayer Bowl

(Jacksonville, FL)  —  Georgia Tech built a 17-point halftime lead as the Jackets mopped Kentucky, 33-18, in the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville.  Dedrick Mills rushed 31 times for 169 yards and a score.  Quarterback Justin Thomas compiled 147 yards and a rushing score as Georgia Tech improved to 9-and-4.  P.J. Davis returned a fumble 30 yards for a TD just 1:50 into the game.  The Wildcats scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter but couldn’t rally back.  Kentucky ends the year at 7-and-6.

Louisville Bounces Indiana

(Indianapolis, IN)  —  Donovan Mitchell’s 25 points keyed seventh-ranked Louisville past number-16 Indiana, 77-62, from Indianapolis.  Deng Adel put up 17 points as the Cardinals took a 12-point halftime lead and never looked back.  Louisville shot just under 53-percent from the field and improved to 12-and-2.  OG Anunoby led Indiana with 14 points in defeat.  The Hoosiers are now 10-and-4 and have dropped two straight games.

Villanova Tops Creighton

(Omaha, NE)  —  Jalen Brunson’s career night lifted top-ranked Villanova past number-nine Creighton, 80-70, in Omaha.  Brunson scored a career-high 27 points as the Wildcats pulled away in the second half.  Kris Jenkins added 21 points and Josh Hart had 18 plus 10 rebounds.  Nova moved to 14-and-0 on the year.  Marcus Foster led the Bluejays with 22 points in defeat.  The loss is Creighton’s first on the year as it falls to 13-and-1.

Virginia Tech Stuns Duke

(Blacksburg, VA)  —  Virginia Tech opened up a 16-point first half lead and held on to stun fifth-ranked Duke, 89-75 in Blacksburg.  Justin Bibbs led the charge with 18 points as the Hokies won their eight straight game, moving to 12-and-1.  Ahmed Hill added 17 in the win.  Luke Kennard paced the Blue Devils with 34 points.  Jayson Tatum scored 18 as Duke fell to 12-and-2.

Georgia Tech Knocks Off North Carolina

(Atlanta, GA)  —  Josh Okogie scored 26 points as Georgia tech knocked off 10th-ranked North Carolina, 75-63, in Atlanta.  Ben Lammers added 11 points and 11 rebounds.  The Yellow Jackets pulled away in the second half to improve to 9-and-4.  The Tar Heels led by three at the break, but fell apart in the second.  Josh Jackson led North Carolina with 16 points as it fell to 12-and-3.

Florida State Clips Virginia In Thriller

(Charlottesville, VA)  —  Dwayne Bacon scored 29 points including the game-winning three with four seconds left as Florida State clipped Virginia 60-58 in Charlottesville.  Bacon scored 26 of his 29 in the second half as the number-20 Seminoles improved 14-and-1 overall.  Xavier Rathan-Mayes added 10 points in the winning effort.  Kyle Guy hit a three to put the 12th-ranked Cavaliers up by one-point with eight seconds left.  Guy finished with 14 in defeat as Virginia drops to 11-and-2 overall and 1-and-1 in conference play.

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