#SportsReport: Chiefs triumph over Bills; Rams defeat Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What is going on with the NFL playoffs? One day after the two No. 1 seeds fall on the same day for the first time in 12 years, the league’s GOAT quarterback and the defending champs are ousted from the postseason. In all three cases, the game was decided on a field goal as time expired. The fourth game of the weekend was decided in overtime, the lone contest won by the home team.
This time, it was Matt Gay drilling a 30-yard kick to bail out the Los Angeles Rams in a 30-27 win over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brady and the Bucs’ defense had engineered a comeback from a 27-3 deficit before Matthew Stafford connected on completions of 20 and 44 yards to Cooper Kupp, setting up the winning kick and putting the Rams in the NFC championship game against the visiting 49ers.
Stafford coasted for three quarters, ran for a short TD and finished with 366 yards passing and two touchdowns. His primary target was Kupp, who had nine catches for 183 yards and a score.
Brady took advantage of three Rams turnovers to rally the Bucs, whose offense was stagnant over the first 40 minutes. He was 30 of 54 for 329 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
Leonard Fournette had a pair of rushing TDs for the defending Super Bowl champs.
The question now is whether this was Brady’s final game. The seven-time Super Bowl is signed through next season and said in September he expected to play out the contract. But he has indicated several times since then that returning will be a family decision.
It will be the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC championship game next Sunday.
Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce in the corner of the end zone early in overtime to give the Chiefs a 42-36 triumph over the Bills. The lead changed hands three times in the final two minutes of regulation before Harrison Butker drilled a 49-yarder for Kansas City as time expired to force overtime.
Mahomes finished with 378 yards passing and three touchdowns, including a 64-yarder to Tyreek Hill during the thrilling final minutes of regulation.
It’s the second straight year the Bills’ season has ended in Kansas City. Josh Allen did everything in his power to prevent it by throwing two scoring strikes to Gabriel Davis in the last 1:54 of regulation. His last TD toss came with 13 seconds to play, just enough time for Mahomes to engineer the game-tying drive.
Allen finished with 329 yards passing, and Davis with eight catches for 201 yards.
The Dallas Mavericks won a battle of hot teams.
Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis carried the Mavericks to a 104-91 win over the Grizzlies.
Doncic had 37 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for the Mavericks, who led by as many as 22 in their 11th victory in 13 games. Porzingis chipped in 15 points, eight boards and a season-high six blocks before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.
Ja Morant had 35 points and 13 rebounds for the Grizzlies, going 14 for 31 from the floor. The rest of the team shot under 34% as Memphis lost for the third time in five games since a team-record 11-game winning streak.
Checking out Sunday’s other NBA action:
Jordan Poole dropped in 20 points and the Warriors beat the Jazz for the fourth consecutive time, 94-92. Steph Curry added 13 points, but struggled again with his 3-point stroke a month after becoming the all-time NBA 3s leader, going 1 for 13 from deep and 5 of 20 overall. Bojan (BOY’-ahn) Bogdanovic led Utah with 21 points and Rudy Gobert added 12 with 18 boards.
Nikola Jokic capped his 34-point performance by hitting four free throws in the final seconds, allowing the Nuggets to secure a 117-111 win versus the Pistons. Jokic just missed his fifth consecutive triple-double, finishing with nine rebounds and eight assists. Will Barton had 14 points and Aaron Gordon added 13 points for the Nuggets, who went 4-2 on a six-game homestand.
Anthony Edwards provided 25 points and D’Angelo Russell had 23 with 10 assists in the Timberwolves' 136-125 victory against the Nets. Karl-Anthony Towns overcame a poor shooting night, scoring 15 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter of Minnesota's third win in four games. Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 30 points for the Nets, who are 2-2 since Kevin Durant sustained a sprained MCL.
Jimmy Butler broke LeBron James’ record for triple-doubles in a Miami uniform, contributing 20 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in a 113-107 win against the Lakers. Duncan Robinson scored 25 points and the Heat won without Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro. James carried the Lakers yet again, finishing with 33 points and 11 rebounds.
The Wagner brothers helped the Magic overcome DeMar DeRozan’s 41 points in a 114-95 thumping of the Bulls. Moritz Wagner scored 23 points and younger brother Franz Wagner added 18 as Orlando ended a nine-game home losing streak. Nikola Vucevic hit two of Chicago’s five 3-pointers and scored 13 points to go with his 13 rebounds before fouling out.
The 76ers held off the Spurs, 115-109 as Joel Embiid furnished 38 points and 12 rebounds for the winners. Tobias Harris added 18 points and 11 rebounds and Furkan Korkmaz had 17 points for Philadelphia, which saw a 15-point, fourth-quarter lead shrink to 111-109.
Trae Young scored 30 points and tied a season-high with eight 3-pointers in the Hawks’ fourth straight win, 113-91 over the cold-shooting Hornets. De’Andre Hunter chipped in with 20 points for the Hawks, who led by 27 in the fourth quarter. Miles Bridges and LaMelo Ball each finished with 19 points for the Hornets, who missed their first 19 3-point attempts and shot an abysmal 11.1% from beyond the arc.
The Trail Blazers were 114-105 winners over the Raptors behind double-doubles from CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic. McCollum had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Nurkic had 11 points and 11 rebounds for his fifth straight double-double. Anfernee Simons and Nassir Little each had 19 points for Portland, which led by 34 in the first half.
Jayson Tatum provided 48 of his 51 points in the first three quarters of the Celtics’ 116-87 pounding of the Wizards. Tatum hit nine 3-pointers and was 18 of 28 from the field as Boston climbed back to .500 with its first win in three games. Bradley Beal scored 19 points for the Wizards, who never led in coach Wes Unseld Jr.’s return from the COVID-19 health and safety protocol list.
RJ Barrett and Julius Randle carried the Knicks to a 110-102 victory. Barrett finished with 28 points, 14 rebounds and six assists for the Knicks, who embark on a three-game road trip after their 1-3 homestand. Randle delivered 24 points and nine boards in one of his better performances of the year.
Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen has been suspended by the NBA for one game for his hard foul on Alex Caruso that resulted in a broken right wrist for the Chicago Bulls guard.
Allen will serve his suspension Wednesday when the Bucks visit the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It was a good 40 minutes of work for third-ranked Arizona and No. 4 Purdue on Sunday.
Christian Koloko had 19 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks as the Wildcats ripped California, 96-71. Bennedict Mathurin added 14 points and eight rebounds for Arizona, which is 16-1 and 6-0 in the Pac-12.
Oumar Ballo scored 14 and Kerr Krissa had 13 with four 3-pointers in the rout.
Purdue is 16-3 overall after its 10th straight win over Northwestern, 80-60.
Sasha Stefanovic scored 22 points, going 4-for-5 from 3-point range in the first half. Trevion Williams and Zach Edey had 12 points apiece to help coach Matt Painter tie Piggy Lambert for second on the school wins list with 371.
Elsewhere in men’s college basketball:
Marquette ran its winning streak to six games with a 75-64 decision over No. 20 Xavier. Justin Lewis had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Golden Eagles.
No. 21 Providence topped Butler, 69-62 as Nate Watson had 18 points and seven rebounds. The Friars remain unbeaten at home in conference play.
Gonzaga has suspended John Stockton’s basketball season tickets after the Hall of Fame point guard refused to comply with the university’s mask mandate. Stockton confirmed the move in a Saturday interview with The Spokesman-Review.
The prominent Gonzaga alum has claimed without evidence that more than 100 professional athletes have died after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Experts have told the AP there is “no scientific evidence” that either COVID-19 or the mRNA vaccines have increased sudden cardiac arrest, often referred to as SCA, among athletes.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are owners of a five-game winning streak as they threaten to taken over the NHL’s Metropolitan Division lead.
Kasperi Kapanen and Jeff Carter scored nine seconds apart in the third period before Sidney Crosby furnished the lone shootout tally in the Pens’ 3-2 verdict over the Jets. Tristan Jarry stopped 27 shots and was perfect after Blake Wheeler made it 2-0 in the second.
The Penguins have won 16 of their last 18 games to climb within a point of the first-place New York Rangers.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
The expansion Kraken have pulled off a two-game season sweep of the league’s top team, 5-3 over the Panthers. Mason Appleton had gone nearly two months without a goal before snapping a 3-3 tie 26 seconds into the third period. Marcus Johansson, Yanni Gourde and Colin Blackwell all scored in the second period of Seattle’s third win in four games.
Brayden Schenn's power-play goal 3:26 into the second period put the Blues ahead to stay in a 3-1 victory at Vancouver. Ville Husso stopped 38 shots and blanked the Canucks after Tanner Pearson opened the scoring 16 1/2 minutes into the contest. Justin Faulk and Jordan Kyrou also scored to help St. Louis win for the sixth time in seven games.
Carl Grundstrom scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period of the Kings’ 3-2 win at New Jersey. Alex Iafallo and Viktor Arvidsson also scored and Cal Peterson stopped 23 shots as Los Angeles improved to 1-3 on its six-game road trip. Jesper Bratt scored twice for the Devils and Damon Severson had two assists.
Anton Forsberg stopped 35 shots as the Senators beat the Blue Jackets, 2-1 night to end a three-game losing streak. Artem Zub and Tim Stützle scored for the Senators, helping Forsberg get his first win since Dec. 14. Sean Kuraly scored for Columbus, and Elvis Merzilikins had 31 saves in the Jackets’ third straight home loss.
Three Americans will be in the Australian Open women’s quarterfinals Tuesday in Melbourne.
Danielle Collins took advantage of Elise Mertens’ double fault on match point to advance to the quarters. She advanced 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 and will play the winner of the following match on Rod Laver Arena between two-time major winner Simona Halep and Alize Cornet.
Jessica Pegula and Madison Keys are the other Americans in the quarterfinals and will play their matches on Tuesday.
Hudson Swafford has rallied to win The American Express for the second time in five years, defeating Tom Hoge by two strokes.
Swafford eagled the par-5 16th to take the lead, then added a 20-foot birdie on 17 before sinking a par putt for an 8-under 64 that left him 23 under in his third career PGA win. He began the day three strokes behind rookies Lee Hodges and Paul Barjon.
The victory gets Swafford into the Masters.
Danielle Kang isn’t wasting any time making sure she doesn’t go through another winless season. She capped off a strong weekend at Lake Nona with a 68 to win the season-opening Tournament of Champions. Kang won by one shot over Brooke Henderson of Canada. She was the only player to shoot in the 60s all four days, even on a chilly, blustery Florida weekend.
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