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#SportsReport: Patriots best Titans; Giants defeat Eagles

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NFL:

The New England Patriots have turned their 2-4 start into a very distant memory.

The Pats lead the AFC East at 8-4 following their sixth consecutive win, a 36-13 rout of the Titans. Rookie Mac Jones had two touchdown passes and New England’s defense forced four turnovers. Jones completed 23 of 32 passes for 310 yards.

Kendrick Bourne had both of the Patriots’ TD receptions, finishing with five catches for 61 yards.

Tennessee stayed close early but couldn’t survive a bevy of errors that included three fumbles by their running backs and an interception by quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

The Titans are 8-4.

Elsewhere around the NFL:

A toe injury didn’t seem to bother Aaron Rodgers as he threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third in the Packers’ 36-28 victory over the visiting Rams. Rodgers went 28 of 45 for 307 yards as the 9-3 Packers bounced back from a 34-31 loss at Minnesota. Matthew Stafford went 21 of 38 for 302 yards with three touchdown passes, but the 7-4 Rams dropped their third in a row.

Leonard Fournette’s fourth touchdown of the afternoon was a 28-yard burst with 20 seconds left to send the Bucs past the Colts, 38-31. Tom Brady led the 8-3 Bucs on the eight-play, 75-yard tiebreaking drive after getting the ball back with 3:29 to go. Fournette rushed 17 times for 100 yards and three scores while also catching Brady’s only touchdown pass.

The Bengals have swept their season series with the Steelers for the first time since 2009, winning 41-10 behind Joe Mixon, Joe Burrow and strong defense. Mixon rushed for a career-high 165 yards and two touchdowns, while Burrow threw for a touchdown and scrambled for another for the 7-4 Bengals. Cincinnati scored on its first four drives, and former Steeler Mike Hilton returned a Ben Roethlisberger pass for a 24-yard touchdown late in the first half to make it 31-3.

Lamar Jackson's 13-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews in the third quarter was enough to lift the Ravens to a 16-10 victory over the Browns. Jackson scrambled all the way back to about the 35-yard line before lofting a pass over the middle to a remarkably open Andrews in the end zone. Jackson's four interceptions didn't stop Baltimore from improving to 8-3.

Deebo Samuel ran for two touchdowns before leaving with an injury in the 49ers’ 34-26 verdict over the Vikings. Elijah Mitchell ran for 133 yards and a score as San Francisco moved to 6-5 with its third straight win. Kirk Cousins threw for 238 yards and two TDs to Adam Thielen for the 5-6 Vikings.

Rookie Patrick Surtain II picked off Justin Herbert twice, returning the second 70 yards for a touchdown that sparked the Broncos’ 28-7 win over the Chargers. Teddy Bridgewater suffered a leg injury but returned after halftime, helping Denver close out the win by running the ball behind a makeshift line. The Broncos finished with 147 yards rushing against the league’s leakiest run defense.

The Dolphins cruised to a 33-10 win over the Panthers as Jaylen Waddle had nine catches for a season-best 137 yards and a touchdown. Myles Gaskin had two short rushing scores for Miami, which became the sixth team in NFL history to immediately follow a 1-7 start with four consecutive wins. Cam Newton was pulled in the fourth quarter after completing just five of 21 passes for the Panthers, who lost seven of nine since a 3-0 start.

The Jets’ three-game skid is over after rookie Zach Wilson threw for 145 yards and ran for a touchdown to guide a 21-14 victory at Houston. Wilson missed the last four games with a sprained right knee. He threw an interception early but put the Jets on top with a 4-yard scamper in the third quarter to help the Jets move to 3-8.

The Giants intercepted Jalen Hurts three times in a 13-7 victory against the Eagles. Daniel Jones hit Philadelphia native Chris Myarick with a 1-yard score and Graham Gano kicked field goals of 35 and 39 yards, helping New York move to 4-7 and dropping the Eagles to 5-7. Philadelphia had four turnovers, with running back Boston Scott losing a fumble that Julian Love recovered at the New York 40 with 1:34 to play.

— Cordarrelle Patterson scored twice in his return from an ankle injury, guiding the Falcons to a 21-14 victory against the Jaguars. He finished with 108 yards rushing and 27 more receiving. The Falcons found the end zone and the win column for the first time in three weeks keeping them on the fringe of the NFC playoff picture.

NBA:

The Golden State Warriors continue to own the NBA’s best record.

Steph Curry delivered 33 points and the Warriors ran their winning streak to eight games with a 105-90 decision over the Clippers.

Curry scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, helping Golden State improve to 18-2 heading into Tuesday’s showdown with the Suns. Otto Porter chipped in 18 points and Jordan Poole added 17 to the victory as the Warriors improved to 7-0 on the road.

Golden State led by just one late in the third quarter before embarking on a 26-9 run.

Paul George led Los Angeles with 30 points, and Eric Bledsoe and Marcus Morris added 13 apiece.

Checking out Sunday’s other NBA action:

It’s now a seven-game winning streak for the Bucks after Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered 26 points and 13 rebounds in a 118-100 rout of the Pacers. Jrue Holiday scored 11 of his 23 points while Milwaukee outscored Indiana, 39-27 in the third quarter to take a 17-point lead.

LeBron James had 33 points and nine assists as the Lakers escaped with a 110-106 win over the Pistons. Russell Westbrook had 25 points and nine assists, and Anthony Davis added 24 points and 10 rebounds to help Los Angeles return to .500.

Marcus Smart scored 21 points and the Celtics stopped a two-game skid by downing the Raptors, 109-97. Al Horford had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Boston, while Josh Richardson provided 18 of the Celtics’ 32 bench points.

Dillon Brooks led the Grizzlies’ balanced attack with 21 points in a 128-101 thumping of the Kings. Desmond Bane added 18 and Jaren Jackson Jr. added 17 with nine rebounds, helping Memphis win for the first time in three games.

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is changing his name to “Enes Kanter Freedom” to celebrate becoming a United States citizen.

Kanter’s manager told The Associated Press that Kanter will have his citizenship oath ceremony on Monday afternoon and at the same time will complete his legal name change.

The 29-year-old native of Turkey has been an outspoken critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish government.

Elsewhere around the NBA:

Magic center-forward Wendell Carter Jr. and Heat center Dewayne Dedmon were fined by the league. Carter was fined $35,000 for “forcefully throwing” his protective glasses at a game official in the Magic’s loss at Cleveland on Saturday night. Dedmon was docked $15,000 for kicking a seat cushion from the team bench into the spectator stands Saturday night in a victory at Chicago.

Goran Dragic has left the Toronto Raptors because of a personal matter. The Slovenian has appeared in just five games with the Raptors, averaging 8.0 points, 1.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds and 17.9 minutes. He’s played just once since Oct. 25.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL:

Lincoln Riley is leaving one great college football tradition for another.

Southern California has lured Riley away from Oklahoma in a stunning move that suddenly puts the Sooners’ situation in limbo.

Riley went 55-10 in five seasons leading the Sooners, winning four Big 12 titles and making three College Football Playoff appearances in his first head coaching job. The 38-year-old Texan is widely considered one of the top offensive minds in the college game.

The Trojans say Riley will immediately transition to USC, although interim coach Donte Williams will lead the team in its season finale at California on Saturday night.

USC fired Clay Helton in September of his seventh season in charge.

In other college football news:

David Cutcliffe won’t return for a 15th season as Duke’s football coach. The school has announced a “mutual agreement for separation” following the Blue Devils’ winless Atlantic Coast Conference record. Duke just closed a three-win season with a 47-10 home loss to Miami.

A person familiar with the search says Louisiana-Lafayette’s Billy Napier will be Florida’s next football coach, ending a quick process that landed the Gators their top target. Napier is expected to remain with the Ragin Cajuns this week as they prepare to host Appalachian (ap-ah-LA’-chihn) State in the Sun Belt Conference championship game Saturday. Napier will then take over for Dan Mullen, who was fired last week after the team’s fourth loss in five games.

Michigan is hoping to receive some love from the College Football Playoff selection committee this week after getting some respect in The Associated Press poll

The Wolverines have jumped four spots to No. 2 in the latest AP poll following Saturday’s 42-27 rout of Ohio State, an outcome that dropped the Buckeyes from second to seventh.

Georgia is a unanimous No. 1 for the eighth consecutive week. Cincinnati moved from fourth to third, changing places with Alabama.

Oklahoma State is fifth, followed by Notre Dame. Mississippi, Baylor and Oregon round out the top 10

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL:

Bill Self and Rick Pitino have been college basketball head coaches for decades, but they had never squared off until Sunday.

Self got the better of Pitino as Christian Braun had 20 points and seven rebounds to lead fourth-ranked Kansas to a 96-83 win over Iona at the ESPN Events Invitational. Ochai Agbaji added 17 points for Kansas, which was coming off its first loss of the season, 74-73 to Dayton on a buzzer-beater.

In other Top 25 men’s action:

Collin Gillespie scored 13 points in a balanced team effort, and No. 7 Villanova hammered La Salle 72-46. Brandon Slater added 12 points and Caleb Daniels and Eric Dixon each had 11 for the 4-2 Wildcats, who played for the first time since a Nov. 21 loss to No. 3 Purdue.

Keon Ellis had 22 points, Jaden Shackelford contributed 15 and No. 10 Alabama defeated Miami 96-64 in the fifth-place game at the ESPN Events Invitational. The 6-1 Crimson Tide also got 13 points each from JD Davison and Juwan Gary in their second straight victory since a loss to Iona in the tournament opener.

JD Notae scored 28 points and No. 13 Arkansas handled Pennsylvania 76-60. Stanley Umude had 19 points and Au’Diese Toney scored 12 for the 6-0 Razorbacks.

Jared Rhoden scored 18 points and Alexis Yetna added 14 points with 13 rebounds as No. 21 Seton Hall toppled Bethune-Cookman, 84-70. Bethune-Cookman had a one-point lead at halftime, but Rhoden’s jumper a minute into the second half started a 9-0 before the Pirates stretched their lead to 23.

Myreon Jones and Tyree Appleby scored 12 points apiece and No. 23 Florida remained unbeaten with an 84-45 rout of Troy. Gators leading scorer Colin Castleton finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocks.

Siena lost to Bucknell in overtime, 65-56.

WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL:

Boston College defeated UAlbany, 77-65, Colgate bested Syracuse, 79-57, Central Michigan held off Marist, 56-50 and Quinnipiac downed Hartford, 113-64.

NHL:

The Washington Capitals own the best point total in the NHL after winning a battle of Metropolitan Division leaders.

The Capitals blew a 2-0 lead before winning for the ninth time in 11 games, 4-2 at Carolina. Dmitry Orlov provided a power-play goal that snapped a two-all deadlock with 2:55 remaining. John Carlson sealed it with an empty-netter.

Alex Ovechkin also scored and Ilya Samsonov stopped 30 shots for Washington. Ovechkin already has 19 goals this season.

The Caps are the first team to reach 33 points this season, bolstered by a 7-2-2 road record. The Hurricanes were home following a 4-1-1 road trip.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nino Niederreiter scored in the third period for the Hurricanes.

Elsewhere on NHL ice:

The Wild doubled up the Lightning, 4-2 as Ryan Hartman broke a 2-all tie midway through the third period. Hartman scored for the third straight game and has goals in five of the last six games to give him 12 on the season.

The Bruins picked up a 3-2 win over the Canucks as Brad Marchand scored the tying goal on a power play in the third period and set-up David Pastrnak’s go-ahead score. Linus Ullmark stopped 36 shots in Boston’s fifth win in seven games.

Andreas Johnsson had two goals and two assists in leading the Devils to a 5-2 victory over the Flyers. Jesper Bratt had a goal and two assists to help New Jersey deal Philadelphia its sixth loss in a row.

The Maple Leafs rolled to a 5-1 win at Anaheim as Michael Bunting, Alexander Kerfoot and William Nylander each had a goal and an assist. Auston Matthews scored for the third consecutive game and Toronto tied a team record with its seventh straight road win.

Timo Meier scored on a deflection and added an empty-net goal in the Sharks’ 2-0 blanking of the Blackhawks. James Reimer handled 29 shots in his 42nd career shutout.

The Montreal Canadiens have fired general manager Marc Bergevin and assistant GM Trevor Timmons amid on-ice struggles just months after advancing to the Stanley Cup Final. Bergevin was in his 10th season as the team’s GM.

Jeff Gorton will serve as executive vice president of hockey operations as the team searches for a new general manager. Gorton was let go as the Rangers’ GM last summer.

Montreal has a 6-15-2 record this season and is ahead of only the Islanders and Senators in the Eastern Conference standings.

In other NHL news:

The Sharks have placed forward Evander Kane on waivers and plan to send him to the AHL if he isn’t claimed by another team. Kane was eligible to return to play Tuesday against New Jersey after serving a 21-game suspension for submitting a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.

COLLEGE HOCKEY:

RPI fell to Northeastern, 2-1.

MLB:

Free agent outfielder Avisail Garcia has agreed to sign with the Miami Marlins. That’s according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Garcia’s deal will pay $53 million over four seasons.

The 30-year-old is coming off his best season, setting career highs with 29 home runs with 86 RBIs for the Brewers this year.

MLB.com reports the Mets are nearing a multi-year contract with pitcher Max Scherzer. Scherzer may be on the verge of signing the largest average annual value contract in baseball history, with the Mets offering more than $40 million in annual salary.