AP Sports Wrap From Saturday, Dec 26, 2015
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Washington Redskins owned a 5-7 mark just three weeks ago, but they are NFC East champions today.
Kirk Cousins threw for a season-high 365 yards and four touchdowns as Washington rolled to its third consecutive win, a division title-clinching 38-24 triumph at Philadelphia. Cousins tossed his first two scoring strikes to Jordan Reed, who had nine receptions for 129 yards. DeAngelo Hall put the Skins in control by returning DeMarco Murray's fumble 17 yards for a TD late in the third quarter about 1 1/2 minutes after Murray's four-yard touchdown got the Eagles within 23-17.
The outcome eliminates the Eagles and New York Giants from NFC playoff race.
Manning refutes allegations of HGH usage
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Peyton Manning is vehemently refuting a report set to air on Al Jazeera that contends the Denver Broncos quarterback received human growth hormone through his wife during his recovery from neck fusion surgeries in 2011 in Indianapolis.
Manning called the allegation "complete garbage and is totally made up. It never happened. Never."
The allegations surfaced in an Al Jazeera undercover probe into doping in global sports that is set to air Sunday and was shared in advance with the Huffington Post.
British hurdler Liam Collins went undercover and spoke with Charlie Sly, an Austin, Texas-based pharmacist who worked at an Indiana-based anti-aging clinic in 2011. Sly allegedly names Manning and other high profile athletes as having received HGH from the clinic. However, Sly backtracks in a subsequent statement to Al Jazeera, saying Collins secretly recorded his conversations without his knowledge or consent.
Browns sideline Bryant after arrest
UNDATED (AP) — Browns linebacker Armonty Bryant will not play in Sunday's game at Kansas City after he and safety De'Ante Saunders were arrested Christmas morning following a traffic stop.
Bryant was arrested for the possession of Adderrall because he couldn't provide a prescription for the drug, which is on the NFL's list of banned substances. The State Highway Patrol says Saunders was cited for driving under the influence.
A patrol spokesman also says a gun was confiscated from Saunders' car because Saunders does not have a permit for the weapon.
Also in the NFL:
— Dallas receiver Dez Bryant will sit out the Cowboys' game Sunday against Buffalo, raising doubt about whether he will play again during an injury-marred season.
— Packers cornerback Sam Shields will miss his second straight game because of a concussion when Green Bay faces Arizona on Sunday.
— The San Francisco 49ers have promoted former Australian Rugby League star Jarryd Hayne from the practice squad and placed offensive lineman Alex Boone on injured reserve.
Bowl wins for Washington, Washington St.
UNDATED (AP) — Frank Beamer has won his final game as Virginia Tech's head coach.
Michael Brewer threw for 344 yards and a touchdown in a 55-52 triumph over Tulsa in the Independence Bowl. Isaiah Ford had 12 receptions for 227 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown grab while the Hokies were building a 45-21 lead in the first half.
The 7-6 Hokies reeled off 38 straight points, capped by Greg Stroman's 67-yard punt return.
The 69-year-old Beamer announced in November he would retire following the season. He finished with a 238-121-2 record at Virginia Tech over 29 seasons.
In other bowl game finals:
— Myles Gaskin broke a third-quarter tie with an 86-yard run and finished with a season-high 181 yards and four touchdowns to help Washington beat Southern Mississippi 44-31 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Gaskin was named the game's MVP after gaining 170 yards on 17 carries in the second half.
— Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Nebraska beat UCLA 37-29. Armstrong completed 12 of 19 passes for 174 yards and ran for 76 more to lead the way for the Cornhuskers, who had a season high with 326 yards rushing.
— Luke Falk threw two touchdown passes to lead Washington State to a 20-14 victory over Miami in the snowy Sun Bowl at El Paso. Erik Powell added two field goals to help the 9-4 Cougars win a bowl games for the first time since the 2003 Holiday Bowl.
— Ross Martin kicked a 36-yard field goal in overtime before Griffin Oakes missed a 38-yard attempt to send Duke to his first bowl victory in 54 years, 44-41 against Indiana in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Shaun Wilson had 282 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns for the Blue Devils, including a 98-yard kickoff return.
— Chase Litton went 23 for 34 for 218 yards and one touchdown as Marshall earned its 10th win this season by beating Connecticut 16-10 in the St. Petersburg Bowl. Nick Smith had three field goals for the Thundering Herd, including a 32-yarder with 1:44 to play.
Golston to miss Seminoles bowl game
ATLANTA (AP) — Quarterback Everett Golson is not with ninth-ranked Florida State for its Peach Bowl game against Houston. The school says he didn't make the trip due to personal reasons.
The graduate transfer from Notre Dame opened the season as the starter but was replaced by Sean Maguire in November.
Golson finishes the season completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,778 yards with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions.
TOP 25 BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Kentucky holds off Louisville
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — John Calipari picked up a milestone victory, while the 12th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats earned state bragging rights again this afternoon.
The Wildcats are 10-2 after Tyler Ulis (YOO'-lihs) scored 21 points in a 75-73 triumph over No. 16 Louisville. Alex Poythress scored 14 points for Kentucky, which blew most of a 16-point, second-half lead before giving Calipari his 200th victory as the team's head coach.
The Cardinals had two chances to win, tie or take the lead in the final minute, but Trey Lewis was called for traveling and Damion Lee missed badly on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
Lee had a game-high 27 points for the 11-2 Cardinals.
Spurs still perfect at home
UNDATED (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs have extended their home winning streak to 27 games, a stretch that began last season.
The Spurs are 17-0 in San Antonio this season following a 101-86 win over Denver. Kawhi (kah-WY') Leonard had 20 points, Boris Diaw (DEE'-ow) finished with 16 and LaMarcus Aldridge added 12 and nine rebounds to help the Spurs improve to 26-6 overall.
San Antonio bounced back from Friday's loss at Houston despite playing without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili (MAN'-oo jih-NOH'-blee), who sat out after playing big minutes on Christmas Day.
In other NBA action:
— The 76ers ended a 12-game losing streak and improved to 2-30 with a 111-104 triumph at Phoenix. Isaiah Canaan scored 22 points for Philadelphia, which had dropped 23 straight road games dating to last season.
— In another surprise, Allen Crabbe poured in 26 points and Mason Plumlee added 11 and 14 rebounds as Portland hammered Cleveland 105-76. The Trail Blazers led 34-12 after one quarter and held LeBron James to 12 points on 4 of 13 shooting.
— J.J. Barea drained a career-high seven 3-pointers and finished with 26 points as Dallas outscored Chicago 118-111. Zaza Pachulia (pah-CHOOL'-yuh) had 17 points and 12 rebounds in a game that began 30 minutes late because of reported tornadoes in the Dallas area.
— J.J. Redick dropped in 25 points and Paul Pierce had 20 to lead the Clippers over the Jazz 109-104. Chris Paul scored 19 points and DeAndre Jordan finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds in the Clippers' second straight win.
— DeMar DeRozan scored 22 points and Terrence Ross added 21 to lead Toronto to a 111-90 win at Milwaukee. The Raptors trailed by three before outscoring the Bucks 35-11 in the fourth quarter.
— Avery Bradley scored 18 points and Isaiah Thomas had 17 and nine assists as Boston downed Detroit 99-93. Pistons center Andre Drummond had 22 points and 22 rebounds for his fifth 20-20 game of the season.
— Kemba Walker scored 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as Charlotte beat Memphis 98-92. Nicolas Batum (bah-TOOM') had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Hornets, who trailed by five with 7:43 remaining before ending the Grizzlies' three-game winning streak.
— Dwyane (dwayn) Wade and Chris Bosh scored 24 points apiece in Miami's 108-101 verdict over Orlando. Goran Dragic (DRAH'-gihch) added 22 points as the Heat won for the third time in four games.
— Atlanta has a six-game winning streak after Paul Millsap scored 22 points and Al Horford added 19 in a 117-98 victory over New York. Mike Scott chipped in a season-high 18 and helped the Hawks storm back from a 14-point, third-quarter deficit.
— Indiana had dropped three straight and trailed by seven late in the third quarter before Paul George scored eight of his 19 points in the final period to lead the Pacers' 102-88 win at Minnesota. Monta (MAHN'-tay) Ellis had 22 points and six rebounds for the Pacers, who shot 6-for-9 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter.
— Washington picked up its fourth consecutive win as John Wall had 22 points and 13 assists in the Wizards' 111-96 win at Brooklyn. Marcin (MAR'-chihn) Gortat scored 25 points and rookie Jarell Eddie made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter of his NBA debut.
— Anthony Davis had 24 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots to help New Orleans down Houston 110-108. Eric Gordon hit six 3-pointers for the Pelicans, who iced the victory when Tyreke (TY'-reek) Evans stole Trevor Ariza's inbound pass in the final seconds.
Clippers lose Griffin to quad injury
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Clippers will spend at least two weeks without forward Blake Griffin because of a partially torn left quad.
The Clippers said Griffin was injured in Friday's win over the Lakers. He is scoring a team-high 23.2 points and averaging 8.7 rebounds and five assists this season.
Irving to sit against Trail Blazers
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving is not playing tonight against the Trail Blazers as the team eases him back from injury.
Irving made his season debut this week after being sidelined for six months with a broken left kneecap suffered in the NBA Finals.
Caps stifle slumping Habs
UNDATED (AP) — The NHL holiday break did nothing to alter the recent fortunes of the Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens.
The Eastern Conference-leading Capitals picked up their seventh consecutive win by downing the slumping Canadiens 3-1 in Washington. Jay Beagle scored the eventual game-winner 90 seconds into the second period before the Caps improved to 26-5-2. Jason Chimera (chih-MEHR'-uh) finished with a goal and an assist, while Tom Wilson and Nate Schmidt each set up two tallies.
Braden Holtby stopped 29 shots for the Capitals, who lead both the Eastern Conference and Metropolitan Division races by 10 points over the New York Rangers.
Montreal has scored just 16 goals in losing 10 of its last 11 games. The Habs have fallen into a first-place tie with Detroit in the Atlantic Division.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Detroit grabbed a share of the Atlantic Division lead by beating Nashville 3-2 on Luke Glendening's goal with 13:15 remaining. Brendan Smith had a goal and an assist in the Red Wings' second victory in six games.
— The Bruins had a chance to take over the Atlantic Division lead until Jack Eichel (EYE'-kul) scored twice and had two assists in Buffalo's 6-3 romp over Boston. Ryan O'Reilly delivered two goals and an assist in the Sabres' fourth victory in six games.
— St. Louis scored on five of its nine shootout attempts, with David Backes (BAK'-ehs) getting the game-winner in the Blues' 3-2 decision over Dallas. Backes also assisted on Robby Fabbri's game-tying goal with 1:50 left in regulation before the Blues climbed within seven points of the Western Conference-leading Stars.
— Los Angeles blew a two-goal lead in the final four minutes of regulation before beating Arizona 4-3 on Anze Kopitar's (KOH'-pih-tahrz) short-handed goal 36 seconds into overtime. Drew Doughty, Tanner Pearson and Dustin Brown had third-period goals for the Kings, but the Coyotes countered with power-play goals by Antoine Vermette (vur-MEHT') and Oliver Ekman-Larsson 30 seconds apart to force OT.
— Sidney Crosby provided a goal and an assist as Pittsburgh topped Minnesota 3-1. Kris Letang (leh-TANG') set up goals by Crosby and Patric Hornqvist to help the Penguins won their second straight since a five-game losing streak.
— Steven Stamkos scored a pair of power-play goals 32 seconds apart in the second period to lead Tampa Bay past Columbus 5-2. Mike Blunden had a goal and an assist in the Lightning's fourth victory in six games.
— Justin Faulk collected a goal and an assist in the third period of Carolina's 3-1 win over New Jersey. Joakim Nordstrom also had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes, who are 4-2-1 in their last seven games.
— Jannik Hansen scored the tying and winning goals in Vancouver's 2-1 overtime win against Edmonton. Jacob Markstrom stopped 32 shots and blanked the Oilers following Mark Letestu's (leh-TEHS'-tooz) goal in the first period.
HOCKEY-WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Americans beat Canada
HELSINKI (AP) — The United States won a border war in its first round-robin game in the world junior hockey championship.
Louis Belpedio and Auston Matthews scored in a 41-second span late in the third period to give the Americans a 4-2 victory over Canada. Belpido scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:18 remaining.
Saturday's other winners were Sweden, Russia and Finland.
AP MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Curry captures AP honors
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry has been name The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year after leading the Warriors to their first NBA title in 40 years.
The reigning NBA MVP led the Warriors to a six-game win over LeBron James and Cleveland in the NBA Finals.
Curry received three fewer first-place votes than American Pharoah, but he out-pointed the Triple Crown winner, who finished third in the balloting.
Golfer Jordan Spieth (SPEETH) is the runner-up.