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#SportsReport: Rams will visit defending Super Bowl champs Buccaneers Sunday after defeating Cardinals

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Matthew Stafford passed for 202 yards and two touchdowns in his first playoff victory and the Los Angeles Rams roared out of the wild-card round with a 34-11 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

The Rams will visit the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday for a spot in the NFC championship game.

Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp made touchdown catches for the NFC West champion Rams while they jumped to a boisterous 28-0 lead. David Long also scored on a 3-yard interception return while the Rams’ defense harassed Kyler Murray into a calamitous playoff debut.

The Las Vegas Raiders have fired general manager Mike Mayock after three seasons and will begin a search for a coach and GM following their second playoff berth in the past 19 seasons.

Owner Mark Davis began lining up interviews with general manager and coaching candidates, leaving interim coach Rich Bisaccia in limbo. The players have advocated for Bisaccia to remain after he led the Raiders to the playoffs where they lost 26-19 to Cincinnati.

In other NFL news:

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker is being evaluated for a concussion after he appeared to briefly lose consciousness following a helmet-to-helmet collision Monday night late in the third quarter of a playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams. Baker was taken off on a stretcher following the play. Rams running back Cam Akers lowered his shoulder as Baker went in for the tackle but Baker still made contact with Akers’ helmet. Baker immediately went down and teammates signaled for medical attention.

The New York Giants wrapped up the first round of interviews for their vacant general manager’s job, interviewing two executives with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday. Co-owners Steve Tisch and John Mara and and senior vice president of player personnel Chris Mara, John’s brother, spoke with Niners assistant general manager Adam Peters and San Francisco director of player personnel Ran Carthon. The Giants interviewed nine men for the job that opened a week ago Monday when Dave Gettleman retired after four losing seasons. There will be another round of interviews for some candidates.

The Baltimore Ravens have re-signed cornerback Kevon Seymour for the 2022 season. Seymour played nine games this season and made his first two starts since the 2017 season as the Ravens’ secondary was decimated by injuries.


Desmond Bane and Ja Morant scored 25 points each, and the Memphis Grizzlies dominated the short-handed Chicago Bulls 119-106. Brandon Clarke added 15 points and seven rebounds in the main event of the 20th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

The Grizzlies have won 12 of their last 13.

DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 24 points and five assists, while Coby White finished with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists. Chicago lost its fourth straight.

In other NBA action Monday:

LeBron James scored 25 points and Stanley Johnson had 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 101-95 win over the Utah Jazz. Russell Westbrook added 15 points and the Lakers snapped a three-game losing streak, rebounding after an ugly 37-point loss to the Denver Nuggets two days earlier. Mike Conley had 20 points and Rudy Gobert had a double double with 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Jazz.

Devin Booker had a season-high 48 points and the Phoenix Suns dominated the fourth quarter to defeat the San Antonio Spurs 121-107 for their fourth straight victory. Chris Paul added 15 points and 12 assists as Phoenix won its sixth straight on the road and fifth consecutive in San Antonio. Spurs center Jakob Poeltl had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and Dejounte Murray added 18 points. Booker was 18 for 33 from the field and 5 for 13 on 3-pointers in eclipsing his previous high of 38 points, which he collected twice.

Darius Garland strengthened his All-Star case with 22 points and 12 assists, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 114-107 win over the Brooklyn Nets. Isaac Okoro added 15 points and Jarrett Allen had 14 and 10 rebounds for the Cavs, winning their fifth straight. Kyrie Irving scored 27 points in his fourth game of the season and James Harden added 22 for Brooklyn, which was playing its first game since Kevin Durant, the NBA’s leading scorer, sprained his left knee. He’s expected to be out several weeks.

Trae Young scored 30 points and the struggling Atlanta Hawks rallied for a 121-114 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks to snap a 10-game home losing streak. The Hawks trailed much of the game, but managed to win at State Farm Arena for the first time since Nov. 22. The Hawks avoided their longest stretch without a home victory since an 11-game skid in the 2004-05 season. Khris Middleton scored 34 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 for the Bucks.

Miles Bridges scored a career-high 38 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, leading the Charlotte Hornets to a 97-87 victory over the New York Knicks. Terry Rozier added 22 points. He and Bridges combined to outscore the Knicks by themselves in the first half. The Hornets played without LaMelo Ball but didn’t miss their flashy point guard, with Bridges driving them to a strong start. He scored 28 points in the first half and got the basket that tied his previous high of 35 points in the fourth quarter.

Jayson Tatum scored 27 points and the Boston Celtics erased an 18-point first-half deficit with a 104-92 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. Dennis Schröder and Jaylen Brown each had 23 points, Al Horford 12 and Grant Williams 10 for Boston. The Celtics have won five of their last six games. New Orleans center Jonas Valančiūnas recorded his 30th double-double this season with 22 points and 14 rebounds. Herbert Jones had 16 points, and Brandon Ingram scored 15 points with 10 rebounds. The Pelicans fell to 6-17 on the road.

Luka Doncic had 20 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds for his third triple-double in five games, and the surging Dallas Mavericks withstood a late run by the Oklahoma City Thunder to win 104-102. Dorian Finney-Smith added 17 points and 10 rebounds and Kristaps Porzingis had 13 points, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Mavericks, who have won three straight and nine of their last 10. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 34 points to lead the Thunder, who have dropped seven of their last eight games.

Tyler Herro scored 23 points, Jimmy Butler got a triple-double in the game’s final moment and the Miami Heat held off the Toronto Raptors 104-99. Bam Adebayo, in his first game back after missing six weeks following thumb surgery, scored 14 points for Miami. Butler finished with 19 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds — the last of those coming as time was expiring.

CJ McCollum scored 16 points in his first game back from a collapsed lung, Jusuf Nurkic added 21 points and a season-best 22 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Orlando Magic 98-88. McCollum missed 17 games over six weeks after being injured Dec. 4. The ninth-year pro started Monday but played on a minutes restriction. He made 7 of 13 shots and 2 of 4 3-pointers in 28 minutes.

Kyle Kuzma had 15 points and 16 rebounds, and Bradley Beal added 13 points in his return from a three-game absence to lift the Washington Wizards to a 117-98 victory over Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers. Washington coach Wes Unseld Jr. and Assistant Pat Delany missed the game after entering health and safety protocols. Assistant Joseph Blair to take over for this game. Embiid scored 32 points for the 76ers, but he was on the receiving end of the game’s biggest highlight when Kuzma dunked over him in the second quarter.

Nicolas Batum scored a season-high 32 points, Reggie Jackson added 26 points and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Indiana Pacers 139-133 in a matchup of sub-.500 teams. Marcus Morris added 21 points for the Clippers, who snapped a two-game skid. Caris LeVert scored 26 points before fouling out with 28 seconds to play and Chris Duarte added 24 points to lead seven Pacers in double figures. They’ve lost four in a row and 10 of 11.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving insists an injury to teammate Kevin Durant won’t change his stance on not getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Irving, who only recently returned to action after a drawn-out stalemate over getting vaccinated, said following a loss to the Cavaliers that he has no intention of getting the shot, and nothing’s going to sway him. Irving said he’s “standing” on his decision.

The seven-time All-Star point guard has become a lightning rod of sorts for his decision not to get the vaccine. Due to COVID-19 mandates in New York City concerning public arenas, Irving is only permitted to play in road games.


Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz stopped 24 shots in relief of injured Darcy Kuemper and three more in the shootout, and Colorado beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 for its 14th straight home win. Kuemper was injured when Minnesota’s Jordan Greenway ran into him in the crease and knocked him down. The play drew the ire of Kurtis MacDermid, who dropped the gloves with Greenway. Kuemper was down on ice for a few minutes, but remained in the game until he was replaced by Francouz with 10:34 left in the second period.

In other ice action:

Jason Zucker scored twice and the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied from an early three-goal deficit to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-3. Pittsburgh scored five unanswered goals to improve to 13-2-0 since Dec. 4, including a 4-2-0 mark on its six-game road trip — the team’s longest of the season. Vegas, which had five days off, dropped to 2-3-2 since Dec. 31, with all seven games coming at home. Teddy Blueger, Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby also scored for the Penguins, and Tristan Jarry made 22 saves. Chandler Stephenson, Evgenii Dadonov and Nic Roy scored for Vegas, which was outshot for the first time in 24 games. Robin Lehner made 32 saves but dropped to 2-4-3 against Pittsburgh.

Brayden Schenn and Ivan Barbashev each had two goals and two assists as the St. Louis Blues came from behind to beat the Nashville Predators 5-3. Ryan O’Reilly added a goal and two assists in the first meeting between the teams since they played back-to-back games in February 2020. St. Louis’ victory left the clubs tied for second place in the Central Division with 51 points apiece. Ville Husso made 32 saves for the Blues. Yakov Trenin, Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen scored for Nashville, and Juuse Saros made 24 saves.

Dylan Larkin scored the tying goal in regulation and notched the winner 2:07 into overtime to give the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 comeback win over the Buffalo Sabres in snowbound western New York. Vladislav Namestnikov also scored for the Red Wings, who beat Buffalo for the second time in three days.

Timo Meier set a San Jose franchise record with five goals, and the Sharks used a huge first period to beat the Los Angeles Kings 6-2. Meier notched a hat trick before the first period even ended. The first-time All-Star scored his fourth less than two minutes into the second period and broke the Sharks’ record with his fifth just 27 seconds before the second intermission. Erik Karlsson had three assists, including the 500th of his career.

Ryan Donato scored the tying goal early in the third period, Joonas Donskoi scored in the shootout and the Seattle Kraken snapped their nine-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Donskoi scored the winner past Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury made 35 saves and had 14 in the third period alone.

Brock Nelson and Casey Cizikas scored less than three minutes apart in the second period and the New York Islanders beat Philadelphia 4-1, handing the Flyers their eighth straight loss. Anthony Beauvillier (boh-VIH’-lee-ay) and Matt Martin also scored, and Ilya Sorokin stopped 26 shots to help the Islanders get their fifth win in seven games. New York coach Barry Trotz was back on the bench after missing three games, the last two in COVID-19 protocols. Sorokin improved to 6-0-1 with a 1.50 goals-against average in seven career games against Philadelphia. Travis Konecny scored and Martin Jones finished with 27 saves for the Flyers, who are 0-6-2 during their losing streak.

Nick Schmaltz and Johan Larsson each had a goal and an assist, and Arizona stretched Montreal’s losing streak to six games after a 5-2 win. Travis Boyd and Janis Moser also scored for the Coyotes, who were without coach Andre Tourigny and four players due to COVID-19 protocols. Clayton Keller added a an empty-net goal and Karel Vejmelka had 24 saves.

Willie O’Ree broke the NHL’s color barrier on Jan. 18, 1958. Sixty-four years later, the Boston Bruins will retire his No. 22 jersey at Tuesdays game against the Carolina Hurricanes. He’ll be the 12th player in team history to have that honor. O’Ree will participate virtually from his home in San Diego. Since 1998, O’Ree has been an NHL diversity ambassador, working to foster more inclusion and combat the racism that still exists in league.


Sasha Stefanovic scored 22 points, including a go-ahead 3 at the start of double overtime that sent No. 4 Purdue over No. 17 Illinois 96-88. The Boilermakers improved to 15-2. Purdue hit four straight shots to take an 89-83 lead with 1:03 left in double overtime, including two baskets by Eric Hunter Jr.

Alfonso Plummer scored 24 points for Illinois, which is 13-4. Andre Curbelo, who had missed 11 games after being injured, had 20 points, six rebounds and three assists. His basket with 14 seconds remaining in regulation tied it at 69.

In women’s college basketball, Oregon topped UConn, 72-59, Hartford squeaked by UAlbany, 52-49, and Rhode Island bested UMass, 66-58.

Preseason No. 1 Gonzaga has climbed back to the top of The Associated Press men’s basketball poll, ending Baylor’s five-week run. The Bulldogs got 25 first-place votes, 11 fewer than No. 2 Auburn, but edged the Tigers in overall points to take the top spot. Auburn has its highest ranking since reaching No. 2 in 1999-2000 after moving up two spots. Arizona, Purdue and Baylor round out the top five.

A wild week of upsets led to big changes in the AP Top 25. Baylor saw its 21-game winning streak end with consecutive losses and 13 ranked teams lost last week, including nine on Saturday. Baylor plunged four spots to No. 5 while Southern California toppled 11 places to No. 16.


Five-time finalist Andy Murray needed a tough five-setter over a player he beat last week to register his first win at the Australian Open since 2017.

Murray beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4 to move into the second round. Murray had beaten Basilashvili last week on the way to the final in a Sydney tuneup event. In another tough five-setter, Maxime Cressy beat fellow American and 22nd-seeded player John Isner 7-6 (2), 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-7 (4), 6-4.

Also, on Day 2 competition

Title favorite Daniil Medvedev has moved into the second round with a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over Henri Laaksonen, extending his Grand Slam winning streak to eight matches.

That includes his victory in the U.S. Open final last September, a result that denied top-ranked Novak Djokovic a calendar-year Grand Slam tournament.

Garbiñe Muguruza has extended her first-round success record at Melbourne Park. The 2020 Australian Open finalist and winner of the 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon tournaments has never lost a first-round match in her now 10th year of competition here. Muguruza beat Clara Burel 6-3, 6-4 to open play on Rod Laver Arena.

Leylah Fernandez has lost to a 133rd-ranked wild-card entry in her first Grand Slam match since her runner-up finish at the U.S. Open. The 19-year-old Canadian had an upset 6-2, 6-4 loss to Maddison Inglis on Tuesday in the first round of the Australian Open. It's the third straight year she’s failed to progress to the second round at the first tennis major of the year. Sixth-seeded Anett Kontaveit and seventh-seeded Iga Swiatek advanced in straight sets.

Tennis Australia has issued a statement two days after nine-time champion Novak Djokovic lost a legal challenge against his visa cancellation to say that the entire saga would be subject to a review after the Australian Open. The tournament started Monday. Three judges in the Federal Court on Sunday rejected Djokovic’s bid to have his visa reinstated and he was deported later that night, flying back to Serbia via Dubai. The statement says: “There are always lessons to learn, and we will review all aspects of our preparation and implementation to inform our planning.”

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