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Scoreboard Roundup – 12/2/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 12/2/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers 111 (9-7) – Milwaukee Bucks 108 (10-9)

Atlanta Hawks 109 (10-6) – Boston Celtics 105 (4-11)

Los Angeles Lakers 106 (5-13) – Detroit Pistons 96 (3-15)

Brooklyn Nets 98 (7-9) – New York Knicks 93 (4-15)

New Orleans Pelicans 112 (8-8) – Oklahoma City Thunder 104 (5-13)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (6) Texas 63 (7-0) – Texas-Arlington 53 (3-4)

(17) Michigan 68 (6-1) – Syracuse 65 (5-2)

(20) Iowa State 96 (4-1) – Lamar 59 (2-5)

NHL:  New York Islanders 3 (18-7-0; 36pts) – Ottawa Senators 2 (10-9-5; 25pts) OT

Pittsburgh Penguins 1 (17-5-2; 36pts) – New Jersey Devils 0 (9-12-4; 22pts)

Vancouver Canucks 4 (17-7-1; 35pts) – Washington Capitals 3 (10-10-4; 24pts)

Carolina Hurricanes 2 (8-13-3; 19pts) – Nashville Predators 1 (16-6-2; 34pts)

Buffalo Sabres 2 (9-14-2; 20pts) – Tampa Bay Lightning 1 (17-6-3; 37pts) SO

Toronto Maple Leafs 5 (13-8-3; 29pts) – Dallas Stars 3 (9-11-5; 23pts)

Florida Panthers 4 (10-7-6; 26pts) – Detroit Red Wings 3 (14-6-5; 33pts) 

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Carolina Panthers Waive Carson & Williams

Carolina Panthers Waive Carson & Williams

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The Carolina Panthers waived starting cornerback Antonie Carson and linebacker Jason Williams on Tuesday, and promoted cornerback Carrington Byndom and linebacker Horace Miller from the practice squad.

Carson was benched for the second time this season during Sunday's 31-13 loss at Minnesota, after allowing a 17-yard touchdown catch to Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings with 16 seconds left in the second quarter. The seven-year NFL veteran had 58 tackles and two interceptions in 12 games this season.

Williams was in his fifth season with Carolina, where he had four tackles in 11 games.

The Panthers signed Byndom this past offseason as an undrafted rookie out of Texas. In college, he had 189 tackles and five interceptions, with two of them returned for touchdowns. 

Miller signed with Carolina on Oct. 1 after spending the preseason with the Seattle Seahawks. While at Texas-El Paso, he had 120 tackles and 12 sacks.

After finishing the 2013 season winning the NFC South with a 12-4 record, the Panthers are 3-8-1 this year.

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Ole Miss Agrees on Contract Extension with Hugh Freeze

Ole Miss Agrees on Contract Extension with Hugh Freeze

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In the midst of his most successful season at Ole Miss, the university has agreed on a contract extension with head football coach Hugh Freeze.

"Very blessed to be at THE University of Miss & work for and with great people and fans! REBELNATION, say it with me, I AM AN OLE MISS REBEL," Freeze tweeted on Tuesday morning.

"Proud that we have @CoachHughFreeze leading our program & young men for a long time to come. Agreement is in place & future is bright!" Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork tweeted Tuesday morning.

ESPN reports that Freeze's new deal will raise his salary to $4 million per season over the next four seasons.

Freeze was hired prior to the 2012 season, and the team has improved every season since he took over. Ole Miss went 7-6 in 2012, 8-5 in 2013, and now sit at 9-3 so far in 2014. Ole Miss has also defeated two top-five teams in a single season for the first time since 1969.

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Nuggets Forward Kenneth Faried Critical of His Play This Season

Nuggets Forward Kenneth Faried Critical of His Play This Season

Jed Jacobson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Even though the Denver Nuggets are rebounding from a tough start to the season, forward Kenneth Faried has been disappointed by his own play so far.

During the offseason, Faried signed a four-year extension with the team worth $50 million. So far, according to himself, he hasn't lived up to his new deal.

“Awful…I just haven’t been playing my game,” Faried told the Denver Post. “I know it. My teammates know it. My coaches know it. Hopefully, this month of December, I turn everything around. But for me, it’s awful."

"You’ve got to be able to look at yourself, look at the man in the mirror and say that to yourself. And be able to correct yourself,” he continued.

Through 17 games, the 25-year-old Faried is averaging 11.4 rebounds and 7.0 rebounds per game. Last season, he averaged 13.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

At 9-8, the Nuggets are fifth in the NBA in scoring at 105.4 points per game but are 26th in points allowed at 105.2 per game.

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New Athletic Brett Lawrie Blames Toronto’s Rogers Centre Turf for Struggles

New Athletic Brett Lawrie Blames Toronto’s Rogers Centre Turf for Struggles

Abelimages/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Newly acquired Oakland Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie never quite lived up to the hype when he played for the Toronto Blue Jays. According to Lawrie, it was the artificial turf at Toronto's Rogers Centre that caused many of his problems.

"It treats my body kind of silly and throws it off," Lawrie said. "I just want to go out and be healthy, and I feel like this getting off the turf is a big step forward for me."

The Canadian-born Lawrie was expected to be the next big thing for the Blue Jays, but injuries and inconsistent play plagued his career with the team.

The most games he's played in a season was 125 back in 2012. He missed 92 games this past season, hitting .247 with 12 home runs, but feels a change of scenery will do wonders for him.

"Give me 550 at-bats. These are things I haven't had yet in the big leagues," Lawrie said. "Hopefully, getting off that turf will do my body wonders, and I really think that it will. I feel I will show my true talents."

The 24-year-old Lawrie was the centerpiece in the Blue Jays acquiring All-Star Josh Donaldson from Oakland.

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Jim Harbaugh Not Concerned with Future

Jim Harbaugh Not Concerned with FutureRalph Freso/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rumors have swirled regarding the future of San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, and they only escalated on Thursday with a 19-3 loss to Seattle. The one person who does not seem to be concerned with those...

Tiger Excited to Return to Golf

Tiger Excited to Return to Golf

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Tiger Woods, winner of 14 Majors, says he is excited and ready to return to competitive play in 2015.

"I feel great," Woods said Monday during an appearance on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio. "I feel really, really good. It's great to be back out here competing again. I've missed it quite a bit."

Woods has been recovering from back injuries that kept him off the course since August. He played just eight times in 2014, missing both the Masters and U.S. Open due to surgery, before completely shutting it down after he missed the cut at the PGA Championship.

The 38-year-old announced two weeks ago that Chris Como has been working with him on his swing as he prepares for the Hero World Challenge this week.

"I can finally log in the time, log in the minutes, and really delve into a good practice session and really get a lot out of it," he said. "And that's something that I hadn't been able to do in quite some time."

Woods has not won a Major tournament since the 2008 U.S. Open. The Hero World Challenge is an 18-man field of top-50 players that helps raise funds for the Tiger Woods Foundation.

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Wizards Soar Past Heat, 107-86

Wizards Soar Past Heat, 107-86

Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- The Washington Wizards hit 10 3-pointers and shot 54.2 percent (39-of-72) to beat the Miami Heat 107-86 on Monday night. The Wizards (11-5) led by 15 points at halftime, 64-49, and held Miami (9-8) to 0-of-12 shooting from distance in the second half.

"We did a good job of staying home and getting a hand in their face," Washington head coach Randy Wittman said. "They missed some, too. It wasn't all us. They had some pretty good looks they missed."

John Wall had 18 points and 13 assists in the win while Rasual Butler paced the team with 23 points. The Wizards never trailed in the game, leading by as many as 25, and saw four players score in double figures. 

Meanwhile, Miami got 21 points from Chris Bosh and 20 from Dwayne Wade. The Heat's shooting woes only escalated at the charity stripe as the team was just 18-for-30 (60 percent) on free-throw attempts.

"I don't think we've gotten to the defense we've wanted all year," said Wade, who was playing in his second game back following a hamstring injury. "We're still fairly new; a lot of the guys are still confused at what we're trying to do."

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Dolphins Rally to Beat Jets, 16-13

Dolphins Rally to Beat Jets, 16-13

Marc Serota/Getty Images(EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.) -- The New York Jets held a 13-6 lead going into the fourth quarter and looked to be in complete control over Miami. However, the Dolphins rallied for 10 points in the final frame, beating the Jets 16-13 on Monday night. 

Caleb Sturgis' third field goal of the night, a 26-yarder, was the go-ahead score for the Dolphins (7-5) while the game was sealed when Geno Smith threw an interception with less than a minute to play.

It was the second straight loss for the Jets (2-10) who dominated in the first half and put on an impressive running display, racking up 277 yards on the ground.

"We had to draw a line in the dirt. No more," Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake said after his team gave up 210 rushing yards in the first half. "We came out in the second half scheme-wise the same, but guys played the way they're supposed to play."

New York ran just 13 pass plays, with Smith completing seven, while running the ball 49 times as part of a concerted effort to control the game. It was a game plan that worked until Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins marched down the field in the fourth. A holding penalty helped Miami extend the drive and Lamar Miller rushed in from 4-yards out to tie the game. 

That was one of many mistakes the Jets made, including a pair of missed field goals from Nick Folk. New York had a chance to take the lead back after Miami tied it up, entering field goal range before a sack of Smith forced them to punt. 

With the win, Miami remains in a wild card spot with four games left to play.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 12/1/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 12/1/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: San Antonio Spurs 109 (13-4) – Philadelphia 76ers 103 (0-17)

Washington Wizards 107 (11-5) – Miami Heat 86 (9-8)

NHL:  Tampa Bay Lightning 6 (17-6-2; 36pts) – New York Rangers 3 (11-9-4; 26pts)

Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (7-15-2; 16pts) – Florida Panthers 1 (9-7-6; 24pts) 

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Report: Nelson Cruz Agrees to Multi-Year Deal with the Mariners

Report: Nelson Cruz Agrees to Multi-Year Deal with the MarinersBrian D. Kersey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In desperate need of offense, ESPN's Enrique Rojas reports that the Seattle Mariners have signed free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz to a multi-year deal. Rojas reports Cruz and the Mariners have agreed on a four...

Auburn Fires Defensive Coordinator Ellis Johnson

Auburn Fires Defensive Coordinator Ellis JohnsoniStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After a 55-point loss to arch rival Alabama in the Iron Bowl, Auburn has decided to let go of defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson. "At this time I felt it was best for our program to make a change with our defensive coor...

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Makes NBA History

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Makes NBA HistoryChris Graythen/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The accolades continue to pour in for Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. On Sunday, Bryant became the first player in NBA history to score over 30,000 points and have over 6,000 assists. Bryant recorded hi...

St. Louis Police Officers Angered by Rams Players Protest

St. Louis Police Officers Angered by Rams Players Protest

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) -- As the Rams began their player introductions Sunday against the Raiders, five players on St. Louis' squad drew the ire of the local police for raising their arms in support of the protests that have swept Ferguson, Missouri. 

Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Jared Cook, Stedman Bailey and Chris Givens were seen on CBS with the "hands up, don't shoot" pose as they ran onto the field.

The St. Louis Police Officers Association issued a statement with a harsh criticism of the players' statement, demanding punishment be issued by the league and the team:

"...now that the evidence is in and Officer Wilson's account has been verified by physical and ballistic evidence as well as eye-witness testimony, which led the grand jury to conclude that no probable cause existed that Wilson engaged in any wrongdoing, it is unthinkable that hometown athletes would so publicly perpetuate a narrative that has been disproven over-and-over again."

"All week long, the Rams and the NFL were on the phone with the St. Louis Police Department asking for assurances that the players and the fans would be kept safe from the violent protesters who had rioted, looted, and burned buildings in Ferguson. Our officers have been working 12 hour shifts for over a week, they had days off including Thanksgiving cancelled so that they could defend this community from those on the streets that perpetuate this myth that Michael Brown was executed by a brother police officer and then, as the players and their fans sit safely in their dome under the watchful protection of hundreds of St. Louis's finest, they take to the turf to call a now-exonerated officer a murderer, that is way out-of-bounds, to put it in football parlance," Roorda said.

The SLPOA is calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology. Roorda said he planned to speak to the NFL and the Rams to voice his organization's displeasure tomorrow. He also plans to reach out to other police organizations in St. Louis and around the country to enlist their input on what the appropriate response from law enforcement should be. Roorda warned, "I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights. Well I've got news for people who think that way, cops have first amendment rights too, and we plan to exercise ours. I'd remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertiser's products. It's cops and the good people of St. Louis and other NFL towns that do. Somebody needs to throw a flag on this play. If it's not the NFL and the Rams, then it'll be cops and their supporters."

This comes after the announcement last week from St. Louis prosecutor Robert McCullough that officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the shooting death of Michael Brown. 

 

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Texans Dominate Titans

Texans Dominate Titans

Scott Halleran/Getty Images(HOUSTON, Tx.) -- Ryan Fitzpatrick returned as the starting quarterback for the Texans Sunday, when Houston hosted the Tennessee Titans.

He took out his frustrations of being benched on the Titans, as he threw for six touchdowns in the Texans' 45-21 victory. Fitzpatrick finished the day completing 24 of 33 passes for 358 yards. 

"I didn't know if I'd ever have a chance to play again," Fitzpatrick said. "It was eye-opening for me not to take it for granted and to embrace it."

Fitzpatrick had been benched for poor performance two weeks ago in favor of Ryan Mallett. He returned to the starting lineup after Mallett was placed on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle. 

DeAndre Hopkins was his prime target as he reeled in nine catches for 238 yards and two touchdowns. 

Another touchdown pass went to defensive end J.J. Watt.  Watt now has five touchdowns on the season. This was his third receiving score on the season to go with two defensive touchdowns (one fumble return, one interception return).

The Texans move to 6-6 and travel to face the Jaguars next weekend.

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Manziel Enters As Bills Bully Browns

Manziel Enters As Bills Bully Browns

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- The Buffalo Bills beat up on the Cleveland Browns to the point that they forced Brian Hoyer to the bench.

Sunday, the Bills witnessed what could be the start of the Johnny Manziel era in Cleveland as they defeated the Browns 26-10. Manziel came in to relieve Hoyer with 12:01 left in the fourth quarter.

Buffalo's defense rattled Hoyer all game, forcing two interceptions and sacking the Browns signal caller twice. 

Manziel entered and the impact was immediate. Trailing by 17, Manziel marched the Browns 80 yards on eight plays and scored a touchdown from 10 yards out to cut Buffalo's lead to 20-10. 

"It felt great," Manziel said. "Anytime you can drive 80 yards on a defense like that, with a defensive front like that and make a couple plays."

The Bills quickly put an end to the Manziel Mania. On the Browns' next possession, Manziel fumbled a third down shotgun snap and defensive lineman Kyle Williams forced an incomplete pass. The play was initially ruled a fumble but reversed by the replay official. The Browns would then fail to convert on fourth down.

Both teams now sport a 7-5 record but the Browns face the question of who will start at quarterback for the final month of the season.

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Rodgers Outduels Brady in Win Over Patriots

Rodgers Outduels Brady in Win Over Patriots

Tom Lynn /Getty Images(GREEN BAY, Wisc.) -- The Green Bay Packers went up 13-0 in the first quarter and held on late as Aaron Rodgers outdueled Tom Brady, beating the New England Patriots 26-21 on Sunday afternoon. The matchup was the first ever meeting between two of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.

The Packers (9-3) got a pair of Mason Crosby field goals to open the scoring, before Rodgers found Richard Rodgers for a 32-yard touchdown pass and a 13-0 advantage. New England (9-3) got on the board quickly in the second with a 6-yard run from Brandon Bolden, making it a 13-7 game. After a third Crosby field goal the two teams traded touchdown passes, giving Green Bay a 23-14 lead at halftime.

A scoreless third quarter set up a dramatic final frame with the Patriots closing the gap almost immediately. Just over a minute into the period, Brady connected with Brandon LaFell on a 15-yard scoring play that brough New England within two at 23-21. Crosby would add another field goal, his fourth of the game, to make it a five point lead with less than nine minutes remaining in regulation.

New England looked to drive down the field and had a 3rd-and-nine at the Packers 20-yard line. Brady, who had not been sacked all game, was brought down for a 9-yard loss. That was followed by a missed field goal from Stephen Gostkowski, giving the ball back to Green Bay. With no timeouts, the Patriots could not stop the clock as the Packers improved to 6-0 at home.

Both quarterbacks performed well with each tossing a pair of touchdowns and neither throwing an interception. However, Rodgers was 24-for-38 for 368 yards while Brady was just 22-for-35 for only 245 yards.

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Rivers Helps San Diego Stun Baltimore for Victory

Rivers Helps San Diego Stun Baltimore for Victory

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images(BALTIMORE, Md.) -- Eddie Royal's one yard touchdown catch with 38 seconds left gave San Diego a 34-33 lead as the Chargers (8-4) stunned the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday afternoon. San Diego scored 21 points in the fourth quarter and were able to keep pace with Kansas City and Denver in the AFC West.

The Ravens (7-5) opened up a 10 point lead in the fourth quarter, 30-20, with less than seven minutes to play in regulation. Philip Rivers then marched San Diego 77 yards in just over two minutes, finding Keenan Allen on a 23-yard strike to pull his team within three.

Baltimore added a field goal, one of four by Justin Tucker on the day, to lead by six with 2:22 remaining in the game. Once again, it was Rivers leading the Chargers down the field. With under a minute to go and the ball on the Ravens 24-yard line, Rivers launched a deep ball to the endzone intended for Royal. The pass was incomplete by a pass interference call on Anthony Levine put the ball on the 1-yard line. San Diego then ran a bubble screen to the left where Royal walked into the endzone untouched.

San Diego's defense held on the final possession, not allowing Baltimore to get within field goal range. Rivers finished the day with 383 passing yards and three touchdowns, also throwing one interception. Joe Flacco tossed for 225 yards and a pair of scores while Justin Forsett rushed for 106 yards for the Ravens.

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Jaguars Rally to Beat Giants, 25-24

Jaguars Rally to Beat Giants, 25-24

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) -- Despite trailing 21-0 in the first half, the Jacksonville Jaguars rallied and defeated the New York Giants 25-24 on a late Josh Scobee field goal on Sunday. The Jaguars (2-10) forced three fumbles in the win, returning two of them for touchdowns.

The Giants (3-10) got on the board first when Rashad Jennings scored on the first play of the second quarter, running in from two yards out. New York added another score less than four minutes later as Eli Manning found Preston Parker for a three yard touchdown strike. Jennings then rumbled for another touchdown, this one from 17 yards out, to put the Giants up 21-0 with 6:30 to play in the half.

Jacksonville finally scored when Scobee knocked home a 28-yard field goal just before the two minute warning. That was the start of 22 unanswered points for the Jaguars, helping to complete the comeback. Aiding in the effort was a pair of New York fumbles. Geno Hayes stripped Manning early in the third quarter and J.T. Thomas recovered in the endzone to make it a 21-10 Giants lead.

After the defense was able to hold off the Giants again, Blake Bortles found Marqise Lee for a 30 yard touchdown to bring the Jaguars within one possession. New York looked to drive and regain momentum, but a Larry Donnell fumbled was picked up Aaron Colvin and returned 41 yards for a touchdown. A failed two-point conversion put Jacksonville ahead 22-21 with just under 13 minutes left in regulation.

The Giants took the lead back on a Josh Brown 33-yard field goal with 3:26 remaining. Jacksonville's offense powered through, going 55 yards in three minutes, culminating in a 43-yard field goal from Scobee to take a 25-24 advantage.

Manning was stripped on the next play, the third fumble of the day for New York, ultimately ending the game. Despite the two fumbles, Manning was 24-for-34 passing for 247 yards and one touchdown while Jennings ran for 91 yards and two scores. Jacksonville was paced by 194 passing yards from Bortles, one touchdown and 68 rushing yards.

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Nebraska Fires Bo Pelini

Nebraska Fires Bo Pelini

Football Texture/iStockphoto(LINCOLN, Neb.) -- Nebraska fired head coach Bo Pelini on Sunday after seven seasons.

The Cornhuskers are coming off a 37-34 win over Iowa and have a 9-3 record this season.

"Earlier this morning, I informed coach Bo Pelini of our decision to move forward in a new direction," athletic director Shawn Eichorst said in a statement released Sunday. "Coach Pelini served our University admirably for seven years and led our football program's transition to the Big Ten Conference. We wish Coach Pelini and his wonderful family all the best and thank him for his dedicated service to the University."

Pelini has seen his teams win at least nine games every year since 2008.

"I am confident that Shawn will find the best coach, teacher and fit for this University and for our football program," Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman said.

Nebraska is now seeking it's fourth coach since 1997 when Tom Osborne retired.

"Biggest mistake you ever made.... Bo was the best coach I've ever had and I'll always appreciate the things you taught me," Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. tweeted following the news.

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