AP Sports Wrap From Monday, Dec 14, 2015
MIAMI GARDENS (AP) — The New York Giants continue to share first place in the weak NFC East after Odell Beckham Jr. and Eli Manning helped them end a three-game losing streak.
Beckham grabbed an 84-yard touchdown pass from Manning early in the fourth quarter to break a 24-all tie in the Giants' 31-24 victory at Miami. Beckham finished with seven receptions for 166 yards, including a six-yard scoring grab that tied the game in the third quarter.
Manning was 27 of 31 for 337 yards and four TDs. His passer rating of 151.5 was his highest since 2009.
The outcome leaves the 6-7 Giants tied for first with Washington and Philadelphia.
The Dolphins dropped to 5-8 and were mathematically eliminated from the AFC playoff chase.
The Giants' victory also means their Dec. 27 game against Minnesota will be played on Sunday night instead of that afternoon.
News from around the league
UNDATED (AP) — Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said Monday that he wasn't prepared to say if Peyton Manning would return to practice this week or whether Brock Osweiler would definitely start at Pittsburgh this weekend.
Manning has been sidelined for a month with a left foot injury. He resumed throwing last week on his own but has yet to practice with the team since having his hard cast removed and ditching his walking boot two weeks ago.
Osweiler is coming off his first 300-yard passing game, one that was ruined by Khalil Mack's five sacks, his receivers' buttery fingers and a leaky line in a 15-12 loss to the Raiders.
Also in the NFL:
— Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton won't need surgery on his broken thumb, giving him a chance to play again this season. Dalton broke the thumb on his passing hand during Sunday's loss to the Steelers. It's still unclear how many games he'll miss. Former Alabama QB AJ McCarron will serve as the Bengals signal-caller while Dalton recovers.
— The Browns have placed star cornerback Joe Haden on season-ending injured reserve because of concussions. Haden appeared in only five games and has been sidelined since sustaining his second concussion on Nov. 1 against Arizona.
— Detroit tight end Brandon Pettigrew is done for the season after tearing an ACL in Sunday's loss to the Rams in St. Louis.
— Defensive lineman Mike Daniels has signed a contract extension with the Packers.
— Houston quarterback Brian Hoyer is doubtful for Sunday's game with the Colts after suffering his second concussion in less than a month.
— The Bears have placed safety Antrel Rolle on the season-ending injured reserve list with a sprained right knee.
Sixers absorb another loss
UNDATED (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers grabbed a five-point, halftime lead on the road on Monday as they tried to win for just the second time in 26 games. It wasn't enough.
The Bulls outscored the Sixers 64-40 in the second half and rolled to a 115-96 rout at Chicago. Jimmy Butler had 23 points for the Bulls, who rallied after the 76ers shot 16-for-25 in the second quarter. Nikola Mirotic (MEER'-oh-tihch) finished with 17 points and Tony Snell added 16 in Chicago's third straight win.
The Sixers' seventh consecutive loss leaves them 1-25 overall, and 0-15 on the road.
In other NBA games:
— The San Antonio Spurs are off to the second-best 26-game start in team history, improving to 21-5 with a 118-81 pounding of Utah. Kawhi (kah-WY') Leonard contributed 22 points and LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker each added 18 to help the Spurs get to 13-0 at home.
— Chandler Parsons scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half and Raymond Felton also had 17 points as Dallas thumped Phoenix 104-94. Parson delievred eight points during a 20-4 run to finish the third quarter, when Dallas made 13 of its last 14 shots to take a 77-58 lead.
— Toronto's four-game winning streak is over after Jordan Hill had 20 points and 13 rebounds in the Pacers' 106-90 rout of the Raptors at Indianapolis. Monta (MAHN'-tay) Ellis delivered 18 points for the Pacers, who put together a 39-4 run in the first half to erase a 21-point deficit.
— Memphis shot 56 percent and was 10 of 15 from 3-point range in a 112-95 triumph over Washington. Marc Gasol had 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Mike Conley finished with 18 points and 11 assists.
— Miami whipped Atlanta 100-88 as Chris Bosh scored 24 points and Gerald Green had 20 in the Heat's second straight win. The Hawks suffered their third straight loss despite Kent Bazemore's career-high 28 points.
— Jamal Crawford hit a tiebreaking, 3-pointer with 12.4 seconds left in overtime as the Los Angeles Clippers beat Detroit 105-103. Blake Griffin finished with 34 points for the Clippers, J.J. Redick had 24 and Chris Paul put up 13 and 12 assists.
— Will Barton scored 23 points and provided a pair of game-clinching free throws in Denver's 114-108 verdict over Houston. Gary Harris added a career-high 21 points to help the Nuggets complete a three-game season sweep of the Rockets.
— Nikola Vucevic (vuh-SEH'-vihch) scored 18 points as Orlando won in Brooklyn for the first time in seven tries, beating the Nets 105-82. Elfrid Payton dropped in 17 points and Tobias Harris had 15 and nine rebounds for the Magic.
— Portland was a 105-101 winner against New Orleans behind Damian Lillard's 30 points. Gerald Henderson came off the Blazers' bench to shoot 4-for-5 from 3-point range and finish with 19 points.
NBA-HALL OF FAME
Hall rolls back wait period
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Basketball players will now be eligible for the Hall of Fame four years after they retire.
The shorter wait period creates the potential for Shaquille O'Neal and Yao (yow) Ming to headline a powerful class of 2016.
The previous requirement was that a player be retired for five full seasons. Because of the enshrinement calendar, that meant players would be out of the game for six years before they could be inducted.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will announce its candidates for next year's enshrinement ceremony next week.
Ref comes out
NEW YORK (AP) — Veteran NBA referee Bill Kennedy has told Yahoo Sports he is gay, saying he is proud to be an NBA referee and proud to be a gay man. Kennedy made the acknowledgment after Rajon Rondo (RAH'-zhahn RAHN'-doh) directed a gay slur at him during a game, earning the Sacramento guard a one-game suspension. Kennedy said he chose to come out in hopes of sending a message "that you must allow no one to make you feel ashamed of who you are."
No reinstatement for Rose
NEW YORK (AP) — Rob Manfred has become the latest baseball commissioner to say no to Pete Rose.
Manfred has informed Rose that his application for reinstatement to baseball has been denied. In a lengthy statement the commissioner said that he had his staff conduct a thorough investigation of Rose and his history of gambling. Manfred says he doubts that Rose has a "scope of his violations."
Manfred said in a letter sent to Rose that baseball's all-time base hit king hasn't been completely honest about his gambling on baseball and that he continues to bet on games.
The commissioner said his ruling has no bearing on whether or not Rose is ever considered for the Hall of Fame, adding that, "any debate over Mr. Rose's eligibility for the Hall of Fame is one that must take place in a different forum."
Rose initially was banned by commissioner Bart Giamatti (jee-ah-MAH'-tee) in 1989, a decision that has been continued by commissioners Fay Vincent, Bud Selig (SEE'-lihg) and Manfred.
Cueto to the Giants for 6 years, ....Hot Stove League updates
UNDATED (AP) — The San Francisco Giants have landed another free-agent starting pitcher.
Johnny Cueto (KWAY'-toh) and the Giants have agreed to a six-year contract, pending a physical. The Giants say the deal contains a team option for 2022, although Cueto can opt out after the 2017 season and become a free agent again.
The 29-year-old right-hander was 11-13 with a 3.44 ERA in 32 starts for Cincinnati and Kansas City, which acquired him in a trade July 26.
The signing comes after the Giants locked up free-agent hurler Jeff Samardzija (sah-MAHR'-juh) earlier this month.
In other Hot Stove League updates:
— The revamped Seattle Mariners have signed right-handed reliever Steve Cishek (SEE'-chehk) to a two-year contract with the opportunity to end up as the team's closer.
— The Chicago Cubs and pitcher Trevor Cahill have finalized a $4.25 million, one-year contract.
— Right-hander Yusmeiro Petit has wrapped up terms on a one-year, $3 million contract with the Washington Nationals.
Caps spoil Sullivan's debut behind Pens bench
UNDATED (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins showed more zip on offense in their first game under new coach Mike Sullivan, but their efforts were stymied by Braden Holtby as the Washington Capitals took over the NHL's Eastern Conference lead.
Holtby stopped 44 shots and the Caps scored a pair of quick goals in a 4-1 verdict over the Pens in Pittsburgh. Washington took control on goals by Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson during the first 7:04 of the opening period. T.J. Oshie added a pair of third-period goals, and Backstrom finished with a goal and two assists in the Capitals' ninth victory in 11 games.
The Caps top the East by one point over Montreal and lead the Metropolitan Division by three points over the New York Islanders.
The Penguins have dropped seven of their last nine.
In other NHL finals:
— Edmonton stretched its season-high winning streak to six games by beating Boston 3-2 on Andrej Sekera's (AHN'-dray seh-KEHR'-uhz) goal 41 seconds into overtime. First-period goals by Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gave the Oilers a 2-0 lead, and Cam Talbot finished with 47 saves.
— Detroit was minutes away from a 1-0 victory until Ryan O'Reilly and Johan Larsson scored 61 seconds apart to give Buffalo a 2-1 win over the Red Wings. Chad Johnson stopped 31 shots and blanked the Wings after Brad Richards tallied four minutes into the second period.
— Mike Hoffman and Kyle Turris (TOOR'-his) scored during a 1:29 span to spark Ottawa's four-goal second period in a 5-3 triumph against Los Angeles. Hoffman finished with two goals and an assist to help the Senators end a two-game skid.
— Brian Boyle's short-handed goal broke a 1-1 tie in the third period of Tampa Bay's 2-1 win at Columbus. The Blue Jackets remain in the Eastern Conference cellar following their fourth straight loss and seventh in eight games.
Jarret Stoll, Khudobin waived
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Rangers have placed slumping veteran forward Jarret Stoll on waivers after he logged just one goal and three points in 29 games this season. The 13-year veteran has gone 18 straight games without a point and has been a disappointment since signing a free-agent deal with the Blueshirts last summer.
And the Anaheim Ducks have waived goaltender Anton Khudobin (kuh-DOH'-bihn), who has become the odd goalie out behind John Gibson and Frederik Andersen.
League suspends Thompson
NEW YORK (AP) — Anaheim forward Nate Thompson has been suspended for three games by the NHL without pay for an illegal check to the head of Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk. Thompson was assessed a major penalty for elbowing and a game misconduct following the hit on Faulk during the first period of last Friday's game.
Minnesota coaching icon dies
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former Minnesota North Stars and University of Minnesota hockey coach Glen Sonmor has died at 86. Ex-North Stars general manager Lou Nanne says Sonmor died today at a nursing home in Ontario after battling Alzheimer's disease. Sonmor coached the Minnesota Gophers from 1966-71, and also was behind the bench for the WHA's Minnesota Fighting Saints before guiding the North Stars to the 1981 Stanley Cup finals.
TOP 25 BASKETBALL-NORTH CAROLINA
Tar Heels spending time without Meeks
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina says junior forward Kennedy Meeks is expected to miss at least two weeks due to a bone bruise in his left knee. Meeks is averaging 12.3 points and 7.4 rebounds while shooting nearly 60 percent through the first nine games. He had just four points and six rebounds in 24 minutes of Saturday's loss at Texas.
T25-MEN'S BASKETBALL POLL
Spartans still No. 1
UNDATED (AP) — Michigan State is spending its second straight week as the No. 1 team in The Associated Press Top-25 poll. The 11-0 Spartans received all but one first place vote from the media panel. Second-ranked Kansas received the remaining vote.
Completing the first five this week are Oklahoma, Kentucky and Iowa State. The second five features Maryland, Duke, Virginia, Purdue and Xavier.
George Washington and UCLA join the poll for the first time this season at 21st and 22nd.
T25-WOMEN'S BASKETBALL POLL
UConn remains top team
UNDATED (AP) — There was no change among the top five teams in this week's AP women's basketball poll. That means Connecticut is tops, followed by South Carolina, Notre Dame, Baylor and Texas.
Maryland slipped to sixth after being tied with Texas at No. 5 last week. Oregon State, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Ohio State round out the first 10.
Rome lands 2022 Ryder Cup
ROME (AP) — The 2022 Ryder Cup has been awarded to an Italian city for the first time, specifically Rome. Italy beat rivals from Germany, Spain and Austria for the hosting rights to the 44th edition of the biennial competition between Europe and the U.S. This will mark the third time the Ryder Cup has been staged in continental Europe, after Valderrama (val-dur-RAH'-muh) in Spain in 1997 and Le Golf National in Paris in 2018.
Tennis player named Sportsperson of the Year
NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in more than 30 years a woman has been named the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year. It's Serena Williams, who won three Grand Slams this year.