Field Level Media
HOUSTON — James Harden returned from a seven-game injury hiatus but took a backseat to the dynamic play of Chris Paul and Eric Gordon in the Houston Rockets' 116-98 victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday at Toyota Center. Harden, playing under a minutes restriction, finished with 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting and seven assists over 26 minutes, the first time this season he failed to record at least 20 points.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Evan Fournier scored a career-high 32 points as the Orlando Magic stunned the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-102 Tuesday night, Jan. 16, at the Amway Center in Orlando. Fournier hit 6 3-pointers and D.J. Augustin had 11 points in the fourth quarter as Orlando snapped a seven-game losing streak and won for only the second time in its last 18 games. Jimmy Butler scored 28 points for Minnesota, which saw a five-game winning streak snapped in surprise fashion.
HONOLULU—Patton Kizzire tapped in for par on the tournament-record sixth playoff hole on Sunday, Jan. 14, to win the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu over James Hahn. It was the longest playoff in Sony Open history and the longest on the PGA Tour since John Huh beat Robert Allenby at the Mayakoba Classic in 2012. Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole four times and the 17th hole twice. Kizzire won with a par on the par-3 17th hole when Hahn's par putt lipped out on the right side.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.—Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are returning to the AFC Championship Game after opening their title defense with a 35-14 win over the Tennessee Titans in a divisional playoff game Saturday night, Jan. 13, in Foxborough, Mass. Brady completed 35 of 53 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns, his NFL-record 10th career playoff game with three or more TDs. Danny Amendola caught 11 passes for 112 yards for the Patriots.
ST. PAUL—Matt Dumba scored two goals while Mikael Granlund added a goal and an assist as the Minnesota Wild defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 on Saturday night, Jan. 13, in Minnesota. The Jets were coming off a tough 2-1 loss in Chicago and were trying to improve to 4-0 on the season against Minnesota. However, the Wild came out strong early, thanks to a 23-shot first period where it took an early lead, and Winnipeg couldn't come back.
ROSEMOUNT, Ill.—Scottie Lindsey scored 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting, and Dererk Pardon added 13 points and 12 rebounds as Northwestern cruised to an 83-60 win over Minnesota on Wednesday night at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. Bryant McIntosh had 11 points and a career-high 16 assists, which moved him past Denzel Valentine, Tim Frazier and Scott Skiles for eighth all time in Big Ten history in career assists. McIntosh did not turn the ball over all night and set the school record for assists in a game.
ST. PAUL—Dougie Hamilton scored the winning goal for the second straight game as the Calgary Flames beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in overtime Tuesday Jan. 9, here to earn their first four-game winning streak of the season. Johnny Gaudreau assisted all three goals, including Hamilton's winner, as the Flames recovered from blowing a two-goal, third-period lead at the Xcel Energy Center.
ATLANTA—Tua Tagovailoa hit DeVonta Smith with a 41-yard touchdown pass in overtime early Tuesday morning, Jan. 9, giving Alabama a dramatic 26-23 win over Georgia in the championship game of the College Football Playoff at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. "The resiliency of this team to come through in the second half ... I'm so proud of our players to come back after the first half we played wasn't very good," Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said.
NEW ORLEANS—Drew Brees passed for 376 yards and two touchdowns as the New Orleans Saints defeated the Carolina Panthers 31-26 in an NFC Wild Card Playoff game Sunday, Jan. 7, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The Saints beat the Panthers for the third time this season to advance to the divisional round. They will face the Vikings in Minnesota next Sunday, Jan. 14. Brees, who completed 23 of 32 passes, threw first-half touchdown passes of 80 yards to Ted Ginn Jr. and 9 yards to Josh Hill.
Even as the underdog, perhaps the Georgia Bulldogs can find some solace in friendly surroundings when the College Football Playoff national championship game tees off Monday, Jan. 8, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart will be able to glance in almost any direction from the Georgia sideline and see familiar faces. Not just because it is a virtual home game. The Bulldogs (13-1) bussed from campus a short 75 miles to arrive in Atlanta on Friday night, Jan. 5.