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Sports Brief: Week of Jan. 8 – 14

NFL: Divisional round recap

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Indianapolis Colts in a 31-13 victory at Arrowhead Stadium Jan. 12. Despite quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his high-tempo offense producing 31 points, the Chiefs’ defense controlled the game. Kansas City only allowed 263 net yards and zero third conversions despite nine attempts.

The New England Patriots took care of the Los Angeles Chargers in a dominating 41-28 victory Sunday afternoon. Tom Brady threw for 343 yards and one touchdown, silencing his critics yet again. Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 331 yards and one touchdown.

The Patriots will travel to Kansas City for the AFC Championship game. Kick off is set for Sunday at 5:40 p.m. The Chiefs will play in their first conference title game since 1993. New England will be in familiar territory, making their 8th consecutive appearance in the AFC title game.

On the other side of the bracket, the Los Angeles Rams advanced to the NFC title game after they boasted their first playoff win since 2004 against the Dallas Cowboys Jan. 12. The running game for the Rams led the way in their 30-22 victory as running backs Todd Gurley and CJ Anderson both finished with over 100 yards on the ground.

Hosting the Rams for the NFC title game, the New Orleans Saints advanced after defeating the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, 20-14. New Orleans came back after an early 14-0 deficit. Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns despite not looking his sharpest.

The Saints and Rams will play Sunday at 2:05 p.m.

NBA: Harden 1-17 from deep, finishes with 38, Thunder recap

Houston Rockets guard James Harden scored 38 points in their loss Sunday night against the Orlando Magic. Harden has now scored 30-plus points in 16 consecutive games, matching Kobe Bryant for the longest scoring streak since the NBA and ABA merged in 1976.

On his way to 38 points, Harden shot an abysmal 1-17 from three-point land, tying the league’s single-game record for most misses from deep.

In Oklahoma City news, the Thunder are coming off a 122-112 win against the San Antonio Spurs Saturday night and a 154-147 win in double overtime. The Oklahoma City bench directly impacted the game. Guard Dennis Schroder scored 19 points in the contest and created space for Abdel Naber and Patrick Patterson, who scored 15 and 13 points, respectively.

The Thunder announced Saturday Nick Collison’s No. 4 will be the first number retired in organizational history. Collison was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics prior to their transition to Oklahoma City and has spent his entire career with the Thunder. The ceremony will commence March 20 prior to their game against the Toronto Raptors.

The Thunder play the Atlanta Hawks tonight in Atlanta, GA at 6:30 p.m.

MLB:

All-Star infielder Manny Machado has shopped different organizations since the start of free agency. The Chicago White Sox officially offered Machado an 8-year deal Monday morning. He is still engaged in talks with the Philadelphia Phillies and, as favorites to sign outfielder Bryce Harper, are making a solid case for his signing.

Oklahoma Sooners quarterback and Heisman winner Kyler Murray has recently considered playing professional football instead of professional baseball. Murray was noted saying it will take a large sum of money to keep him away from the NFL Draft. The Oakland A’s, who drafted Murray in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft, are cleared to offer him more money and numbers around $15 million are mentioned.

Tennis:

Tennis royalty Andy Murray, bothered by a hip injury, announced prior to the Australian Open he planned to retire no later than Wimbledon due to the injury’s effect on his playing ability.

Murray, in the first round of the Australian Open, was down 5-1 to Roberto Bautista Agut and took time to embrace the crowd as he knew the potential final seconds of his career were ticking away.

Murray, with the crowd rallying behind him, almost completed a miraculous comeback, but failed in the fifth set after being broke twice in a fourth-set tiebreaker.

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