The Dallas Cowboys have the upper hand in the NFC East race after generating the finest defensive performance against the New Orleans Saints this year.
The Saints' 10-game winning streak is over after the Cowboys limited them to 176 total yards in a 13-10 loss at Dallas. New Orleans was shut out in the opening half for the first time since 2014. The Saints also failed to score at least 21 points for the first time all season.
Drew Brees had just 39 yards passing in the first half, his fewest since joining the Saints in 2006. He finished with 127 yards, the second straight game he's been under 200 and the third time this year.
Jourdain Lewis iced the victory by intercepting Brees, allowing Dallas to run out the clock.
Ezekiel Elliott ran for 76 yards and scored the Cowboys' only touchdown on a 16-yard hookup with Dak Prescott. Brett Maher hit two field goals and Prescott was 24 of 28 for 248 yards, 194 coming in the first two quarters.
Dallas now has a four-game winning streak and a 7-5 record, a half-game ahead of second-place Washington in their division.
The Saints fell to 10-2, a half-game behind the Rams for the NFL's best record.
Ravens QB Flacco back at practice following hip injury:
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has returned to the practice field for the first time since injuring his right hip on Nov. 4.
Having finally received medical clearance to play, Flacco threw passes and worked on handoffs with fellow quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III during an indoor practice Thursday.
Jackson, a 2018 first-round pick, led Baltimore to wins in each of the past two games while filling in for the injured Flacco. Although Coach John Harbaugh has not named a starting quarterback for Sunday's game in Atlanta, it appears likely Jackson will get the call.
Rookie running back Gus Edwards also returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday with an ankle injury.
In other NFL news:
Rams cornerback Aqib Talib is on track to play Sunday at Detroit. Talib has been sidelined since sustaining a high ankle sprain against the Chargers in Week 3.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy says running back Randall Cobb practiced again today as the team prepares for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals. Cobb has been out since Week 9 because of a hamstring injury that has also hampered the Packers' offense.
The Cardinals continued their flurry of personnel moves by re-signing offensive lineman Will Holden and signing defensive end Cameron Malveaux from the Miami Dolphins practice squad. The team also placed offensive lineman Jeremy Vujnovich (hamstring) on injured reserve.
Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Josh McCown were limited at practice for the second straight day, leaving it uncertain who will start Sunday at Tennessee. Coach Todd Bowles says Darnold, McCown and Davis Webb all took snaps during drills and the team will continue to monitor them before making a final decision on who will be under center against the Titans.
The Bengals put offensive tackle Jake Fisher on injured reserve with a back injury and brought back Andre Smith for his third stint in Cincinnati. Fisher filled in for injured left tackle Cordy Glenn during a 35-20 loss to the Browns on Sunday and got hurt, leaving the Bengals with no depth on the line.
In Sunday’s NFL Matchups:
The Buffalo Bills take on Miami at 1 p.m.
The New York Giants host The Chicago Bears at 1 p.m.
The New York Jets take on The Tennessee Titans at 4:05 p.m.
The New England Patriots go against Minnesota 4:25 p.m.
The NBA's top team this season needed overtime to beat the two-time defending champions.
Kawhi Leonard poured in a season-high 37 points and the Toronto Raptors overcome Kevin Durant's 51 points to top the Golden State Warriors, 131-128. Pascal Siakam added a career-high 26 and Kyle Lowry finished with 10 and 12 assists as the Raptors beat the Warriors for the first time in nine tries.
Serge Ibaka's 20 points helped Toronto improve to 19-4.
Durant forced overtime by hitting back-to-back 3-pointers, the last coming with 8.6 seconds left in regulation.
Klay Thompson scored 23 points and Jonas Jerebko had 16 of his 20 in the fourth quarter and overtime, but Golden State lost to Toronto for the first time since March 2014.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry missed his 11th straight game with a groin injury but is expected to return Saturday at Detroit.
The Clippers and Lakers won last night's other NBA games.
The Clippers won for the ninth time in 10 games as Tobias Harris dropped in 28 points and Montrezl Harrell added 24 in a 133-121 shootout over the Kings in Sacramento. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 17 points, and Avery Bradley and Danilo Gallinari each furnished 16 in the Clippers' 12th straight win over the Kings.
The Lakers were 104-96 winners over the Pacers behind LeBron James' 38 points, nine boards and seven assists. Brandon Ingram scored 14 points and Josh Hart added 13 for the Lakers, who blew an early 24-point lead before winning for the 10th time in their last 14 games.
Friday on the Court:
The Boston Celtics host Cleveland at 7 p.m.
The 76ers take on Washington at 7:30 p.m.
The Brooklyn Nets go against Memphis at 7:30 p.m.
Tampa Bay Lightning moved back into first place in the NHL's Atlantic Division and prevented the Buffalo Sabres from setting a team record for consecutive victories.
The Bolts pulled out a 5-4 win over the Sabres on Cedric Paquette's goal with 5:41 remaining. Buffalo went ahead 4-3 on Sam Reinhart's goal 2:29 into the third period, but Steven Stamkos tied it on a power play two minutes later before Paquette beat Carter Hutton for the game-winner.
Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who top their division by one point over the Sabres and Maple Leafs.
Reinhart scored twice for Buffalo, which had one 10 in a row.
Elsewhere on the NHL ice:
Adin Hill made 29 saves for his first NHL shutout to lead the Coyotes to a 3-0 verdict over the Predators. Nick Schmaltz had a goal and an assist as Arizona dealt Nashville its third loss in four games.
Nikolaj Ehlers produced his third career hat trick and Patrik Laine scored twice in the Jets' 6-5 win at Chicago. Laine became the fourth-youngest player to score 100 career goals, doing it at age 20 years, 224 days.
William Karlsson's short-handed goal with 6:25 left was the difference in the Golden Knights' season-high fifth straight win, 4-3 at Vancouver. Max Pacioretty scored twice for Vegas to cancel out Brock Boeser's two goals.
Riley Nash scored his first goal in 29 games and had an assist as the Blue Jackets doubled up the Wild, 4-2. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 23 shots to help Columbus win for the sixth time in eight games and move back atop the Metropolitan Division by one point over the Capitals.
Brad Marchand notched the tying goal in the second goal and Ryan Donato scored the lone shootout goal in the fourth round to send the Bruins past the Islanders, 2-1. Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots for the Bruins after the team retired Rick Middleton's jersey No. 16.
Craig Anderson claimed his first shutout of the season and 41st of his career by handling 27 shots in the Senators' 3-0 victory against the Rangers. Matt Duchene and Drake Batherson each had a goal and an assist to help Ottawa gain a split of the home-and-home series.
Oscar Klefbom scored his second straight game-winning goal with 2:20 to play and added an assist as Edmonton edged the Kings, 3-2. Jesse Puljujarvi and Alex Chiasson also scored for the Oilers, who are 3-1-1 under new coach Ken Hitchcock.
Friday on the Ice:
The Buffalo Sabres take on Florida at 7 p.m.
The New Jersey Devils go against Washington at 7 p.m.
Hurricanes waive Darling, Coyotes claim Pickard:
A pair of NHL backup goaltenders are on the move.
Scott Darling has been placed on waivers by the Hurricanes with two years left on his contract. He is third on the team depth chart behind Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney, who has played well since being claimed from Toronto before the season.
Darling struggled in his last two starts, yielding eight goals on just 43 shots in losses to the Islanders and Blue Jackets.
Carolina also waived forward Valentin Zykov.
Meanwhile the Coyotes have claimed goalie Calvin Pickard off the Flyers' waiver wire. Pickard posted a 31-save shutout against the Rangers last Friday, but he was pulled from his last start the following day after yielding four goals on just six shots over the first 12 ½ minutes of the Flyers' 6-0 loss to the Maple Leafs.
Also in the NHL, the Penguins reclaimed forward Jean-Sebastien Dea off waivers from the Devils, the Blues waived forward Nikita Soshnikov and the Ducks waived forward Ben Street.
Tony Sanchez will return for a fifth season coaching at UNLV.
Sanchez made the jump directly from high school when he was hired to replace Bobby Hauck after coaching at nearby Bishop Gorman High School.
The Rebels have gone 16-32 in Sanchez's first four seasons, including 4-8 this year. Sanchez has given UNLV a huge boost in fundraising efforts, helping raise money for construction of a new football complex.
East Carolina has decided to go in another direction, dismissing football coach Scottie Montgomery after three straight losing seasons. Montgomery went just 9-26 with a 4-20 record in American Athletic Conference play.
Also in college football:
Vanderbilt tight end Turner Cockrell has died at age 21 after battling cancer for more than a year. The tight end noticed two lumps on the right side of his neck last fall and was diagnosed with melanoma in November. He had surgery in December to remove cancerous lymph nodes from his neck and later had radiation therapy.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Marist topped Dartmouth 76-58
LIU Brooklyn defeated UAlbany 80-77
Vermont takes on Towson Friday at 7 p.m.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Minnesota edged Syracuse 72-68
Hartford takes on William & Mary Friday at 7 p.m.
Siena topped Colgate 55-53
Iona faces off against Central Michigan Friday at 7 p.m.
Marist takes on Elon at 7 p.m.
The Los Angeles Angels have picked up one of baseball's top pinch-hitters.
The Angels have acquired infielder Tommy La Stella from the Chicago Cubs for $100,000 or a player to be named. La Stella batted .266 this year while appearing in a career-high 123 games.
He was one of baseball's top hitters off the bench, leading the majors with 24 pinch-hits and a .312 average while tying for the lead with 11 pinch-hit RBIs.
In other MLB news:
Infielder Ehire Adrianza and the Twins have worked out a one-year, $1.3 million package, a raise of $300,000. The 29-year-old Adrianza hit .251 with six homers and 39 RBIs in 114 games for Minnesota this year.
Rockies left-handed reliever Chris Rusin has agreed to one-year contract worth about $1.7 million, a deal with a $400,000 raise that avoided salary arbitration. The 32-year-old was 2-3 with a 6.09 ERA in 49 appearances this year before tossing four scoreless innings during the division series against the Brewers.
A group seeking to lure a Major League Baseball team to Portland has announced that it has signed an agreement in principle to develop a 45-acre waterfront site. The group analyzed several available properties in the city with the intention of finding a suitable site for a 30,000-seat ballpark.
The Royals have signed infielder Cheslor Cuthbert, left-hander Brian Flynn and right-hander Jesse Hahn to one-year contracts ahead of baseball's non-tender deadline.
Tiger Woods shot a 1-over 73 in his PGA season debut, leaving him eight strokes back through one round of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
Woods was never under par during the round, and a triple-bogey made him one of three players in the 18-man field who were over par. The only player with a worse score was Hideki Matsuyama, who is plus-2.
Patrick Cantlay and Patrick Reed share the lead at 7 under, three shots better than Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson.
Changes may be coming to the 2019 Saratoga racing season. According to WNYT television in Albany, the New York Racing Association is considering still having a 40 day meet, but with an earlier starting date in July. The major difference would be the track would go dark on both Mondays and Tuesdays, rather than the tradition one day off a week on Tuesdays.
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