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#SportsReport: LSU Tops Clemson For National Title; Astros Fire Hinch, Luhnow

CFP Logo 2020

Joe Burrow's latest virtuoso performance has turned the LSU Tigers into CFP champions. The Heisman Trophy winner threw for 463 yards and five touchdowns as the boys from Baton Rouge whipped the defending-champion Clemson Tigers, 42-25. 

Burrow also ran for 58 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries while guiding LSU to its third national championship since the 2003 season. The five TD passes and 463 yards passing are the most for a BCS or College Football Playoff title game as are his six total touchdowns. Burrow is the first major college quarterback to throw 60 touchdown passes in a season. Ja'Marr Chase was Burrow's favorite target with nine receptions for 221 yards and two scores. Thaddeus Moss also had two touchdown grabs as LSU completed a 15-0 season while ending Clemson's 29-game winning streak. Clyde Edwards-Helaire logged 164 yards of offense for LSU, including 110 on the ground.

Clemson's offense stalled after taking a 17-7 lead in the second quarter. Trevor Lawrence finished with 234 yards passing, but he completed just 18 of his 37 throws and had just 58 yards in the second half. Lawrence also ran for a one-yard score in the opening half. Clemson tailback Travis Etienne ran for 78 yards and one touchdown while LSU held Tee Higgins in check. Clemson's top wideout was held to three catches for 52 yards, but he also scored on a 36-yard run. It's the 10th national championship for an SEC school since 2006.

In college football news, all-America running back Chuba Hubbard will return to Oklahoma State for his junior season. Hubbard ran for 2,094 yards and 21 touchdowns this season, enough to make him consider declaring for the NFL draft. He joined Barry Sanders as the only players in school history to rush for at least 2,000 yards in a season.

Arizona State football coach Herm Edwards' has received a two-year contract extension through 2024, pending approval by the state's board of regents. The Sun Devils were 7-6 on Edwards' first year at the helm in 2018, earning a trip to the Las Vegas Bowl. They went 8-5 in 2019 and beat Florida State in the Sun Bowl, leaving ASU 15-11 in two seasons under Edwards.


The Boston Celtics squandered most of an 18-point halftime lead before winning their second straight since a season-high three-game skid. Jayson Tatum contributed 21 points and Jaylen Brown had 19 as the Celtics downed the Bulls, 113-101. Boston led 55-37 before Chicago opened the second half on a 17-5 run. Zach Lavine scored six of his game-high 30 points during the spurt. Enes Kanter had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Atlantic Division leaders, who moved 2 ½ games ahead of Toronto and 3 ½ in front of Philadelphia.

T.J. Warren scored 21 points and blocked a late 3-pointer that would have given Philadelphia the lead before the Pacers held off the 76ers, 101-95. Malcolm Brogdon also had 21 points and added seven rebounds and nine assists as Indiana beat the Sixers for the second time in two weeks. Ben Simmons delivered 24 points and 14 rebounds for the 76ers, who fell to 1-2 since losing center Joel Embiid to a torn tendon in his left ring finger.

The Lakers are a Western Conference-leading 33-7 after LeBron James contributed 31 points and eight assists in 33 minutes of a 128-99 blowout over the Cavaliers. Dwight Howard had 21 points and 15 rebounds off the bench for Los Angeles, which trailed by one at halftime before outscoring Cleveland 81-51 the rest of the way.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander registered his first triple-double by furnishing 20 points, a career-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists in the Thunder's 12th victory in 15 games, 117-104 against the Timberwolves. Danilo Gallinari scored 30 points as Oklahoma City won for the sixth time in its last seven road games. The Thunder led by just three at halftime before reeling off runs of 11-2 and 10-3 in the third quarter.

Aaron Gordon made a three-point play with 1.1 seconds remaining to give the Magic a 114-112 triumph over the Kings. Gordon finished with 19 points and nine rebounds in his return to Orlando's lineup after missing one game with calf tightness. Nikola Vucevic had 26 points and 15 rebounds, while Evan Fournier scored 25 points for the winners.

Lonzo Ball scored five of his 17 points in overtime to push the Pelicans past the Pistons, 117-110. Jalil Okafor had 25 points and 14 rebounds for New Orleans, which blew a 16-point lead over the final 11 minutes of regulation before winning for the eighth time in 11 games. Derrick Rose had 23 points and eight assists in Detroit's 12th loss in 15 games.

Damian Lillard's 30-point performance included a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from nearly halfcourt to end the third quarter of the Trail Blazers' 115-112 victory against the Hornets. Anthony Tolliver scored each of his season-high 16 points in the fourth quarter as Portland stopped a two-game skid and handed Charlotte its fifth consecutive loss. CJ McCollum finished with 27 points, for the Blazers, who won after wasting a 17-point lead.

In NBA news, Cavaliers rookie swingman Dylan Windler will miss the rest of the season with a leg injury he sustained during the preseason. The No. 26 overall pick in last year's draft is still dealing with symptoms from a stress reaction in his lower left leg and will undergo surgery next Tuesday. The 6-foot-8 Windler averaged 21.3 points and 10.8 rebounds as a senior at Belmont last season.


The Rangers rolled over the Islanders, 6-2 as Artemi Panarin delivered two goals and three assists. Jesper Fast had a goal and two assists to back Alexandar Georgiev, who stopped 32 shots and improved to 3-0-1 versus the Isles. Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson each had a goal and an assist for the Islanders who are 5-6-2 in their last 13 games to fall off the pace in the Metropolitan Division.

Travis Konecny scored in the fifth round of the shootout before Brad Marchand overskated the puck at center ice on his shootout attempt, completing the Flyers' 6-5 comeback over the Bruins. Travis Sanheim scored twice in regulation for the Flyers, who rallied from a three-goal deficit. David Krejci had two goals but couldn't stop Boston from falling one point off the NHL's overall lead.

The Washington Capitals halted a two-game losing streak and padded their lead in the NHL's Metropolitan Division. Alex Ovechkin scored two first-period goals and Ilya Samsonov notched his first career shutout by handling 23 shots in the Caps' 2-0 win against the Hurricanes. The first goal was the 685th for Ovechkin, moving him past Teemu Selanne for 11th place on the NHL's career list. The win leaves the Capitals six points ahead of Pittsburgh and nine in front of the Islanders for the Metropolitan lead. The Hurricanes are 11 points back.

St. Louis continues to share the NHL's overall lead with the Caps following the Blues' 4-1 win over the Ducks. Alexander Steen scored the first goal and Brayden Schenn added two assists as the Blues won their ninth straight at home to tie the team's single-season record. Tyler Bozak, Jaden Schwartz and Ivan Barbashev also tallied for the defending champs, who have won four in a row after a three-game skid.

Carey Price made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season as the Canadiens ended the Flames' five-game winning streak, 2-0. Price claimed his 46th shutout with the team, tying Ken Dryden for third on the franchise's career list. Jordan Weal and rookie Ryan Poehling scored for the Canadiens, who have won two straight since losing eight in a row.

In NHL news, the league says it will continue to hold its annual scouting combine in Buffalo through 2022. Buffalo has hosted the combine since 2015, after the weeklong event spent 20-plus years at various locations around Toronto. The move was prompted by the construction of the Sabres' $200 million practice complex, with two rinks, a hotel, restaurant and workout facility.  

The Toronto Maple Leafs have lost defenseman Morgan Rielly for at least eight weeks with a fractured foot. Rielly blocked a shot in the first period of Sunday's 8-4 loss in Florida but managed to finish the game. Teenage defenseman Rasmus Sandin was called up from the AHL's Toronto Marlies in a corresponding move.

Oilers forward Zack Kassian has been suspended for two games without pay for an altercation with Matthew Tkachuk during Saturday's loss to Calgary. Kassian grabbed the Flames forward by the collar, threw him to the ice and punched him several times to receive a double-minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct.

A person with direct knowledge of the plans confirms to The Associated Press that women's national team players representing the United States and Canada will compete in a three-on-three event at the NHL All-Star game in two weeks. It's unclear when the three-on-three scrimmage will be held during the weekend of festivities in St. Louis. The scrimmages are seen as the next step in the league's bid to promote women's hockey.


Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has laid down punishment against the Houston Astros, and he's coming after the Boston Red Sox. The Astros have fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after the pair were suspended by MLB for sign-stealing during the Astros' run to the 2017 World Series title. A league investigation found that the Astros used the video feed from a center field camera to see and decode the opposing catcher's signs. Players banged on a trash can to signal to batters what was coming, believing it would improve the batter's odds of getting a hit. Houston was fined $5 million for sign-stealing by the team during its run to the 2017 World Series title and during the 2018 season, the maximum allowed under the Major League Constitution. The Astros will forfeit their next two first- and second-round draft picks. Alex Cora was the bench coach on the 2017 Astros before spending the last two seasons with the Red Sox. Manfred said Cora developed the sign-stealing system used by the Astros. The Red Sox are under investigation for sign stealing in Cora's first season as manager in 2018, when Boston won the title.

The Diamondbacks have finalized a three-year, $22 million contract with outfielder David Peralta that runs through 2022. The 2019 Gold Glove Award winner in left field avoided his final year of salary arbitration by agreeing to the deal. Peralta played in 99 games last year, batting .275 with 12 homers despite battling a shoulder injury.

The Nationals say 23-year-old pitching prospect Fausto Segura has died. ESPN Deportes reported that Segura died in a traffic accident Sunday night in his native Dominican Republic.


Kevin Stefanski is getting a turn at fixing the busted Browns. The Vikings offensive coordinator was officially hired by Cleveland on Monday as the 18th full-time coach in franchise history and 10th since the Browns' 1999 expansion return, which to this point has been a resounding two-decade debacle. The 37-year-old Stefanski spent 14 seasons as an assistant in Minnesota and has never been a head coach at any level. He will be introduced at a news conference Tuesday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

A New Hampshire prosecutor says a cocaine possession charge against Patriots safety Patrick Chung will be dropped. Chung must undergo periodic drug testing and perform 40 hours of community service. Chung was indicted in August after police in Meredith allegedly found a small quantity of drugs in his possession.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning has won the 2020 Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award. The award is given to an NFL player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community. Manning just finished his 16th and possibly last season with the Giants.


Baylor climbed to No. 2 in The Associated Press men's college basketball poll after resounding road wins over Texas Tech and Kansas last week. Gonzaga maintained the top spot after breezing to a pair of victories while Duke dropped to third and unbeaten Auburn rose to fourth. Butler rounded out the first five, followed by the Jayhawks and another unbeaten in San Diego State. Oregon, Florida State and Kentucky rounded out the top 10.


Florida lawmakers began considering on Monday whether they would allow college athletes to profit from their fame. The debate comes as the NCAA looks into possibly removing its longstanding prohibition against it. Florida would follow the lead of California, which last year ignored pleas by the NCAA to keep the prohibitions in place. The NCAA had argued that allowing the practice "would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics." College sports generate billions of dollars in revenue, including $1 billion annually for the NCAA. But none of that money goes to college athletes.

© The Associated Press 2020. All Rights Reserved.