AP Wednesday Sports Roundup
Hawkeyes send Spartans to first loss
UNDATED (AP) — The top-ranked Michigan State Spartans zipped through their non-conference schedule undefeated to climb up The Associated Press men's basketball poll. Their No. 1 status will likely end next Monday following a loss to Iowa in the Big Ten opener for both squads.
Mike Gesell scored a career-high 25 points and Iowa never trailed in an 83-70 triumph over the Spartans. The Hawkeyes led by as much as 19 in snapping a nine-game losing streak against Michigan State.
Peter Jok had 19 points for the Hawkeyes, who are 10-3 after their first win over a No. 1 team in 16 years.
The Spartans fell to 13-1 despite 21 points from Eron Harris.
In other top-25 finals:
— Second-ranked Kansas trailed by four late in the first half before putting together a 22-2 run that highlighted a 78-53 win over UC Irvine. Perry Ellis had 14 points and Frank Mason III added 13 as the 11-1 Jayhawks earned their 10th consecutive victory since a loss to the Spartans.
— Angel Rodriguez scored 14 points and 13th-ranked Miami withstood an upset bid by beating Princeton 76-64. Davon Reed finished with 13 points and Ja'Quan Newton scored all of his 13 points in the second half for the 11-1 Hurricanes.
— A.J. Hammons scored 24 points and Dakota Mathias hit two 3s in the final 79 seconds as 14th-ranked Purdue held off Wisconsin 61-55 in the Big Ten opener for both teams. Hammons was 9 of 14 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds to help the Boilermakers improve to 13-1.
— Freshman Shake Milton shot 7-for-8 from 3-point range and poured in a career-high 24 points to lead No. 17 SMU to an 81-69 victory over Tulsa. Nic Moore added 23 points for the 12-0 Mustangs.
— Freshman Tyler Davis matched his season high with 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting to carry No. 20 Texas A&M past Cal Poly 82-63.
— Quenton DeCosey scored 19 points and hit three free throws in the closing seconds to lead Temple to a 77-70 win at No. 22 Cincinnati.
— Al Freeman scored 21 points and Rico Gathers had 11 points and 10 rebounds as 23rd-ranked Baylor beat Texas Southern 72-59.
Thunder, Hawks keep rolling
UNDATED (AP) — The Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks continued their recent hot streaks on Tuesday.
The Thunder won for the 11th time in 14 games as Russell Westbrook scored 27 points and Kevin Durant added 26 to lead a 131-123 downing of Milwaukee. Westbrook and Durant both scored more than 20 points for the 25th time this season and helped Oklahoma City overcome an early eight-point deficit.
Enes Kanter finished with 23 points, while rookie Cameron Payne had a career-high 16 for the Thunder.
In Houston, Al Horford delivered 30 points and 14 rebounds as the Hawks rallied for their seventh victory in eight games, a 121-115 comeback over the Rockets. Kent Bazemore finished with 26 points for the Hawks, who trailed by 19 early in the game and withstood Dwight Howard's 30 points and 16 boards.
The Hawks closed the game on a 9-0 run to pull out the win.
In other NBA action:
— Cleveland got past Denver 93-87 as LeBron James scored 34 points and Iman Shumpert added a season-high 16. Kevin Love had eight points and 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who rested Kyrie Irving on the second night of a back-to-back as he works his way back from a fractured left kneecap.
— Marc Gasol scored seven of his 23 points in overtime to send the Grizzlies past Miami 99-90 at Memphis. Gasol also provided eight rebounds, six assists and four blocks, including a pair of rejections in the closing minutes.
— New York's four-game skid is over after Carmelo Anthony led six Knicks in double figures with 24 points in a 108-96 victory over Detroit. Derrick Williams scored 16 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter for the Knicks, who led just 80-76 before embarking on a 25-11 run.
Bledsoe to miss rest of season.
UNDATED (AP) — The Phoenix Suns say leading scorer Eric Bledsoe is done for the season after undergoing surgery Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
The 26-year-old point guard was injured in the team's home loss to Philadelphia on Saturday. Bledsoe appeared in 31 games this season, averaging 20.4 points and 6.1 assists per game.
In other NBA news:
— The Utah Jazz have confirmed that Alec Burks was scheduled to have surgery today in hopes of an accelerated recovery from a broken left fibula suffered Saturday. The procedure should allow Burks to place weight on his leg after two weeks and begin rehabbing sooner than if he didn't have surgery. He had played in every game this season, averaging a career-high 14.3 points as one of the few Jazz players on the bench who can create offense.
Kelly fired by Eagles
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles were hoping Chip Kelly could operate the type of offense he created at the University of Oregon. It never happened, and now Kelly is out of a job.
Kelly has been fired with one game left in what was his third season with the Eagles. The club currently is 6-9 following a pair of 10-6 seasons and one playoff berth under Kelly.
The Eagles missed the 2014 playoffs despite a 9-3 start. They went 7-12 in their last 19 games with Kelly at the helm.
Kelly came to Philadelphia with high expectations after turning the Ducks into an elite program with a high-octane offense. The Eagles had some early success on offense, but the loss of running back LeSean McCoy and the acquisitions of quarterback Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray did nothing to boost the team's attack this season. Philly's scoring has dropped by an average of seven points a game over last season.
Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will coach the Eagles in the season finale at the New York Giants on Sunday.
The Eagles also fired vice president of player personnel Ed Marynowitz.
City offers new stadium
UNDATED (AP) — Missouri politicians are letting the NFL know how much they want to keep the Rams in St. Louis.
A task force commissioned by Missouri's governor has sent to the league its proposal for a billion-dollar stadium to be built along the Mississippi River. The submission comes a day ahead of the deadline set by the NFL.
The St. Louis proposal calls for $150 million from the city, $300 million from the league, $250 million from the team owner and $160 million in fan seat licenses. The rest of the money comes from the state, either through tax credits or bonds.
The Rams, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers are seeking to move to the Los Angeles area. League owners are expected to consider the matter during meetings Jan. 12-13.
In other NFL news:
— The Colts have signed free agent quarterbacks Josh Freeman and Ryan Lindley with their top three options injured or out altogether. The former Tampa Bay signal-caller has started 60 games but hasn't played in the NFL since 2013. Starter Andrew Luck is still out with a lacerated kidney, backup Matt Hasselbeck is considered doubtful after due to a shoulder injury and third-stringer Charlie Whitehurst was placed on injured reserve yesterday with a hamstring problem.
— Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan has released a statement confirming that head coach Gus Bradley will remain in place for the final year of his contract. Khan said he spoke to Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell on Tuesday to make them aware of his intentions. Bradley is 12-35 in three seasons.
Baylor in a rush to win bowl game
UNDATED (AP) — The college bowl schedule finally had its first matchup of top-25 teams, and the 18th-ranked Baylor Bears ran over No. 10 North Carolina in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Johnny Jefferson ran for 229 yards and three touchdowns as the Bears outscored the Tar Heels 49-38. Terence Williams augmented a Baylor rushing attack that gained 645 yards, finishing with 97 and scoring two TDs. Devin Chafin added 161 yards rushing and a touchdown as the Bears ended their season 10-3.
Baylor had 756 total yards despite missing two quarterbacks, an award-winning receiver and a 1,000-yard running back.
North Carolina ends the season 11-3 despite Marquise Williams, who passed for 243 yards and three scores, and rushed for two more TDs.
In other top-25 bowl games:
— Leonard Fournette accounted for over 250 total yards and five touchdowns as 22nd-ranked LSU ripped Texas Tech 56-27. Fournette ran for 212 yards and four TDs, and he also had a 44-yard scoring grab. D.J. Clark had a 79-yard scoring run for the Tigers, who rolled up 384 yards on the ground and finished the year 9-3. Patrick Mahomes threw for 370 yards and four touchdowns for the Red Raiders.
— California won the Armed Forces Bowl as Jared Goff threw for 467 yards and six touchdowns in the Bears' 55-36 win against Air Force. Goff had three of his scoring tosses in a span of five plays in the second quarter as the 8-5 Bears won a bowl game for the first time in seven years.
— James Butler scored on a 4-yard run with 1:06 left to send Nevada past Colorado State 28-23 in the inaugural Arizona Bowl. Nick Stevens threw for 189 yards for the Rams and orchestrated a quick-hitting drive in the final minute with no timeouts, but receiver Jordon Vaden was unable to get out of bounds at Nevada's 12-yard line before time ran out.
Hot Panthers beat slumping Habs
UNDATED (AP) — The Florida Panthers have regained first place in the NHL's Atlantic Division by earning their seventh straight win.
Aleksander Barkov scored twice and set up Jaromir Jagr's game-winner as the Panthers beat Montreal 3-1. Jonathan Huberdeau had two assists for the Panthers, who improved to 21-12-6 and moved one point ahead of the Canadiens. Roberto Luongo turned back 27 shots and blanked the Habs after Max Pacioretty's power-play goal 12 ½ minutes into the contest.
The Canadiens have dropped 11 of their last 13 games, scoring two goals or fewer in each loss. They once led the Atlantic Division by 11 points before the skid.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Dwight King, Michael Mersch and Tyler Toffoli scored during a 1:36 span early in the second period to put Los Angeles ahead 3-0 in a 5-2 win at Edmonton. Trevor Lewis and Dustin Brown each had a goal and two assists in the Kings' third consecutive victory.
— Columbus had dropped three straight and eight of 10 before six different Blue Jackets scored in a 6-3 win against Dallas. Brandon Dubinsky and Nick Foligno each had three assists against the Western Conference leaders, who suffered just their eighth regulation loss in 38 games.
— St. Louis coughed up a 3-1 lead in the last 3:52 of regulation before Alex Steen scored 4:01 into overtime to give the Blues a 4-3 win over Nashville. Dmitrij Jaskin had a goal and an assist to support Jake Allen's 29-save performance.
— Andrew Desjardins scored twice, while Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith each had a goal and two assists in Chicago's 7-5 shootout win at Arizona. Kane leads the NHL with 53 points.
— Frans Nielsen, John Tavares and Anders Lee each had a goal and an assist as the New York Islanders won for just the second time in six games, beating the Maple Leafs 6-3 in Toronto. Thomas Greiss stopped 30 shots to help the Isles climb back into second place in the Metropolitan Division.
— Jimmy Hayes notched his first career hat trick and Patrice Bergeron and Matt Beleskey scored two goals apiece as Boston whipped Ottawa 7-3. The Bruins ended a three-game losing streak and set a season high for goals.
— Jacob Trouba scored twice and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 33 shots in Winnipeg's second straight win, 4-1 over Detroit. Bryan Little had three assists as the Jets handed the Red Wings their sixth loss in eight games.
— Travis Zajac set up third-period goals by Kyle Palmieri and David Schlemko to lead New Jersey's comeback in a 3-2 win over Carolina. Keith Kincaid turned back 26 shots as the Devils won for the second time in six games.
— John Gibson picked up his third shutout of the season and fifth of his career while facing just 14 shots in Anaheim's 1-0 shutout of Calgary. Shawn Horcoff scored the lone goal as the Ducks dealt the Flames just their third loss in 12 games.
Six-time Bosox third baseman dead at 85
BOSTON (AP) — Former Red Sox third baseman and six-time All-Star Frank Malzone has died of natural causes at 85, according to the team. Malzone played for the Red Sox from 1955-65, hitting .276 with 131 home runs and 716 RBIs. He was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1995.