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NEW YORK — The Cheap Minnesota Twins Jerseys
left home on a high note and are feeling even better after their first stop on the road.

De’Aaron Fox scored 24 points, Buddy Hield had 22 and the Kings routed the New York Knicks 113-92 on Sunday night for their second straight victory following a 0-5 start.

Harrison Barnes added 19 points and Richaun Holmes finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings, who brought the momentum from their 102-101 home victory over Utah on Friday east and ran away from the Knicks.

“It’s kind of important to come out with a good start, especially flying across the country,” Kings coach Luke Walton said. “I was very happy with our guys’ effort level, performance level.”

Sacramento led by as many as 32 points in a surprisingly simple start to a three-game road trip. Nemanja Bjelica chipped in 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and the Kings limited the Knicks to 38% shooting.

“I think it was our defence,” Fox said. “I think obviously you have to put the ball in the basket, but the way we’ve performed I think the last three or four games have been fantastic.”

Marcus Morris scored 28 points for the Knicks, who dropped their third straight and fell to 1-6. Rookie RJ Barrett had 22 points.

“I really expected us to take a step forward tonight, but we didn’t,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said.

Sacramento led by nine after one quarter, then opened the second with an 11-0 run to build a 43-23 lead on Bogdan Bogdanovic’s 3-pointer with 7:34 remaining in the half. New York didn’t score until more than five minutes had elapsed in the period, and after clawing back within 12 later in the quarter, promptly gave up the next nine points as the Kings pushed the lead to 55-34.

“You don’t want that type of result or effort coming in after we had two extremely hard-fought games on the road that we gave ourselves a chance to win,” forward Julius Randle said. “Tonight we came in and we didn’t give ourselves a chance at all.”
MIAMI — The game wasn’t over after 16 minutes.

Forgive Miami and Houston if they felt otherwise.

Duncan Robinson scored 23 points, Meyers Leonard added 21 and the Heat — fueled by one of the biggest first-quarter margins in NBA history — ran out to a 59-18 lead on the way to an easy 129-100 win over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night.

“Surprising? Not surprising to me,” Leonard said. “Don’t get it twisted. The Houston Rockets are incredibly talented. But we came in with a game plan and a mindset that we were going to take away what they’re good at, be disciplined and execute. That’s what we did.”

Jimmy Butler scored 18 points and had nine assists for the Heat, and James Johnson scored 17 in his season debut. Miami is 5-1, matching the best six-game start in franchise history.

James Harden scored 29 for Houston, while Russell Westbrook was held to only 10. The Heat had 38 assists to Houston’s 19, and the Rockets were just 14 of 48 from 3-point range.

“We’re not in trouble,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said after his team fell to 3-3. “But if we think we’re not in trouble, then we’re in trouble — if that makes sense. You’ve got to have that appropriate fear and understand that it’s a new year and you don’t start with any games and we’ve got to work our way back.”

It was a record-setting opening quarter for the Heat — resulting in the third-biggest lead after 12 minutes in the NBA’s shot-clock era, starting with the 1954-55 season.

Miami led 46-14 after that first quarter. The only bigger leads after one quarter since the shot clock was put into play came when the Los Angeles Lakers led the Sacramento Kings 40-4 after one quarter on Feb. 4, 1987, and the Baltimore Bullets leading the Kansas City-Omaha Cheap Minnesota Twins Jerseys
45-12 after one quarter on Dec. 9, 1972.

“They came out and blitzed us,” Harden said. “They brought energy and effort that we couldn’t match. And it showed.”

It was the biggest margin by which the Heat had outscored an opponent in any quarter — and the biggest margin by which the Rockets had ever been outscored in a period. Miami outscored New York by 28 in the first quarter on Jan. 22, 2007; the then-San Diego Rockets were outscored by 28 against Atlanta in the third quarter on Feb. 11, 1970.

The lead was 59-18 four minutes into the second quarter. Houston got within 25 points by halftime, but no closer from there.

“The energy, I don’t have many complaints,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Guys really brought it tonight.”

Goran Dragic scored 15 points and Tyler Herro had 12 for Miami. Chris Clemons had 16 and Ben McLemore scored 14 for Houston.


Rockets: Westbrook started 1 for 9 from the field, 0 for 5 from 3-point range — with his first make from beyond the arc coming on a 45-footer that beat the third-quarter buzzer. That got Houston within 99-71. … The Rockets have faced deficits of at least 13 points in four consecutive games — the other three falling well shy of the 41-point hole Houston quickly dug Sunday. … Houston has now lost 13 of its last 17 games in Miami, and trails the all-time series with the Heat 33-32.

Heat: Miami had a 48-point quarter at New York in 1989 and a 47-point quarter at Boston in 1990. The 46-point quarter was a Heat home record. … Chris Bosh and Ray Allen — who teamed up for one of the biggest plays in NBA Finals history, the rebound and 3-pointer late in Game 6 of the 2013 series against San Antonio — were in attendance. So was Dorell Wright, part of the 2006 Heat NBA championship team. … Justise Winslow (lower back stiffness) missed his second consecutive game. Derrick Jones Jr. (left groin) and KZ Okpala (left Achilles) were inactive.


Harden was 6 for 14 from the field and 3 for 9 from 3-point range — not great numbers for an elite scorer like him, but his percentages for the season actually rose. He’s up to 37% from the field now through six games, 22% from 3-point range. All-time in Miami, Harden is shooting 39% from the field, 33% from beyond the arc.


Clemons, the third-leading scorer in NCAA Division I men’s history and someone who averaged 30.1 per game as a senior at Campbell last season, made his NBA debut. Clemons scored 3,225 points in 130 college games, and was 5 for 18 from the floor Sunday.
A 61-41 halftime lead quickly was expanded to 76-44 on Fox’s jumper, and boos broke out during a third quarter that ended with Sacramento ahead 90-64.


Kings: Luke Walton’s pregame interview with reporters was attended by a couple special guests. His father Bill, a Hall of Fame player, stood in the back along with Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead. Both wore Kings sweatshirts. “In the NBA season you’re on the road a lot, so any time you can have family and friends around, it’s a nice mini break,” Luke Walton said. “But they know and we know we’re here for business. We’re here to try to get better as a team and try to win a game.” … The Cheap Minnesota Twins Jerseys
have won the last four meetings.

Knicks: Second-round pick Ignas Brazdeikis made his NBA debut in the fourth quarter. He scored four points. … Fizdale changed up his starting lineup, inserting Bobby Portis at centre in place of Mitchell Robinson. Portis scored two points. Robinson had 10. … The Knicks remained short-handed in the backcourt, with point guards Elfrid Payton (strained right hamstring) and Dennis Smith Jr. (personal reasons) still out.


Though Bill Walton has been a popular TV broadcaster and is known for his loquaciousness, he picks and chooses his spots when it comes to talking to his son about the game.

“My dad’s been great my whole basketball career, whether I was a player or now into coaching,” Luke Walton said. “He offers advice when I want it and he knows when to leave me alone. So he’s a great person to be able to talk to and communicate about the game, what he sees, but he also knows that this is my job and I’m doing it. So, when and when not to put his voice in there.”


Randle was limited to eight points and seven rebounds on 4-for-13 shooting. He has been in single digits in scoring the last two games after opening the season with five straight double-doubles.

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INDIANAPOLIS — His sixth NBA season has been a slow transition in getting acclimated with a new team, so T.J. Warren admittedly was pressing too much.

On a Sunday night when the Cheap Minnesota Twins Jerseys
had a makeshift lineup with three injured starters sidelined, Warren adjusted well to playing a more prominent role with a season-high 26 points in a 108-95 home win over Chicago.

“It’s definitely been a process,” said Warren, acquired in the off-season after five years with Phoenix. “I’m just trying to figure out how I can fit in and where I can be effective on this team. It’s a whole new system with guys who have been together for like a month and a half now. We’re still learning each other.”

Warren, a 14.4-point scorer with the Suns, was averaging 12.8 points for the Pacers (3-3) after a humbling 3-point effort on 1-of-8 shooting in a Friday home win over Cleveland. But this night the shots were falling from the outset as he scored 14 first-half points to help the Pacers take a 13-point lead at the break.

“It’s more just him trying to find his rhythm and get a feel for where his opportunities are coming,” said Pacers coach Nate McMillan. “We’re still early. It’s going to take some time with this group getting a feel for each other.”

A Pacers squad already missing its best player — All-Star guard Victor Oladipo has yet to make his season debut in his recovery from knee surgery — was also without forward/centre Myles Turner (ankle) and centre Domantas Sabonis (calf contusion).

That meant McMillan was tinkering with lineups he hadn’t even tried in practice, but they worked as the Pacers won their third straight game and sixth in a row against the Bulls (2-5).

“Guys have to be ready to step up and play when that opportunity presents itself,” McMillan said. “I thought tonight, as a group, we did.”

Point guard Malcom Brogdon had 22 points and seven of the Pacers’ team-high 28 assists.

“Having Victor out, you know the type of player he is as an All-Star, and still being able to win games and put it together, it’s been huge for us,” Brogdon said. “But to have Myles and Domas out and still get this win, it’s huge for our confidence.”

Reserve forward TJ Leaf took advantage of extra minutes as a backup centre with his second career double-double, 13 points and 15 rebounds. The third-year pro had entered with seasonal averages of 2.8 points and 2.5 rebounds.
INDIANAPOLIS — Malcolm Brogdon is putting up some big numbers for the Indiana Pacers.

The newcomer filled the box score again Friday night with 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists to push the injury-riddled Pacers to their first home win of the season, 102-95 over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I love it. This is a basketball city, a basketball state,” Brogdon said. “People show me a lot of love. I’m going to enjoy playing here.”

Especially as victories come. With their defence tightening and the bench finally finding its stride Friday, the Pacers have won two straight games after starting 0-3.

In avenging a 110-99 loss in Cleveland last weekend, Indiana held the Cavaliers to 37% shooting and forced 16 turnovers in an uncharacteristically low-scoring game.

Jeremy Lamb totalled 21 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana, and Domantas Sabonis added 18 points and 17 rebounds, but it was the second unit that broke open a close game in the fourth quarter.

Reserves accounted for 10 points in a 12-3 run that provided the Pacers an 82-71 advantage, the largest for either side all night. T.J. McConnell, who finished with five points and six assists, faked Collin Sexton into a foul in the lane and completed a three-point play. Rookie centre Goga Bitazde, who finished with 10 points and nine boards and blocked four shots, drained his first 3-pointer during the sequence.

“They told me I’ve got to be ready any time,” Bitazde said. “We’re all for each other. We have good chemistry. We’ve just got to try to keep doing this.”

Indiana outscored the Cavaliers by 15 points in the 25 minutes the 6-foot-11 first-round pick roamed the floor. Bitazde seized his opportunity as Indiana played without the injured All-Star guard Victor Oladipo and starting centre Myles Turner.

“Goga made huge plays,” Lamb said.

Brogdon drained four clutch free throws in the final minute to keep the Cavaliers at bay. Jordan Clarkson, who finished with 20 points and five assists, missed a 3 from the left side that would have brought Cleveland within three points in the final minute.

Brogdon was acquired in a July sign-and-trade deal with Milwaukee, where he played shooting guard and averaged 15.6 points and 4.5 rebounds.

With his new team, at a new position, the fourth-year professional has upped his scoring to 22.6 points per game along with 10.2 assists and 5.8 rebounds.

Sexton had 21 points for the Cavs, who led 26-19 after the first quarter but fell into a 42-37 hole at halftime. Indiana, which shot 41% for the game and missed 22 of 27 3-point tries, was ahead 68-61 entering the final period.

“I thought our bench did a good job in that first half as well as the second lifting us and getting us going.” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “You might have nights like that where your shot’s not falling, and you’re going to need your bench to help you.”


Cavaliers: Kevin Love had 22 points and 17 boards. … The team announced that general manager Koby Altman signed a “long-term” contract extension. Coach John Beilein reacted by expressing his hope for “a really strong partnership, that we’ve got each other’s backs all the time.”

Pacers: TJ Leaf started at power forward with Sabonis moving to centre in place of Turner, who suffered a sprained right ankle Wednesday in a 118-108 win at Brooklyn. Leaf played eight minutes and did not score. … Indiana outscored Cleveland in the paint 56-38.


During shootaround, Beilein’s mind wandered back to his days in college basketball when he coached Michigan in Big Ten tournament games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

“It seemed like whenever we came into this building we were on the bubble,” he said. “We had to go in here and win one, two or three games to get in the NCAA tournament, so I’ve got fond memories. I love this town. Just the way it’s laid out for fans and basketball, I love coming to Indy.”
The Bulls (2-5), winless in five road games, lamented a lost opportunity against an opponent missing key players.

“We’ve been the short-handed team that went out and scrapped it and junkyard-dogged it and beat teams that maybe we shouldn’t have beaten,” said Bulls coach Jim Boylen. “We haven’t been the team that’s favoured very often. And maybe that’s the lesson we’ve got to learn, that whether you’re favoured or not, or whether they’re hurt or not, you’ve got to bring it.”

Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 21 points and Wendell Carter Jr. added 20.

“We’ve got to take advantage of opportunities like this,” said Bulls reserve forward Thaddeus Young, who had 12 points. “I told the team in the postgame meeting this is what we call a trap game. We just didn’t take advantage.”


Bulls: LaVine joined select company on Friday in his 93rd game in bumping his career point total to 2,020. The only other Bulls to score more than 2,000 points in fewer games were Hall of Famer Michael Jordan (73 games) and Derrick Rose (86), according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Pacers: Rookie reserve centre Goga Bitadze, drafted 18th overall, is making the most of his first extended playing time with nine points against the Bulls after scoring 10 against Cleveland on Friday. Prior to that, he had just two points in two games and did not play in two others.


At one point in the first half, the Cheap Minnesota Twins Jerseys
‘ lineup featured nothing but T.J.’s and Holidays with centre TJ Leaf, forward T.J. Warren, forward T.J. McConnell, guard Justin Holiday and guard Aaron Holiday.

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SAN DIEGO — The Padres introduced their new manager and hinted about old uniform colours they’ll wear in 2020. It’s easy to predict which the team’s weary, patient fans are more excited about.

When Jayce Tingler was presented at a news conference on Thursday, he was wearing the club’s classic brown jersey, which is expected to return next season.

The 38-year-old is a first-time big league manager and takes over a team that last had a winning record in 2010. San Diego has not hired a manager with prior big league experience since Jack McKeon in 1988.

“I may not be perfect,” Tingler said of his lack of experience. “But I have managed a lot of games in my mind.”

Andy Green was fired Sept. 21 after going 274-366 in four seasons.

Padres general manager A.J. Preller’s relationship with Tingler dates to 2015 and their time together with the Texas Rangers.

“I think the easy thing to do sometimes when you make a decision and it doesn’t get the result you’re looking for is going 180 degrees in a different direction,” Preller said. “But we understood what we were looking for and type of person we were looking for.”

Ron Fowler, one of the Padres owners, said he thought the Padres “sucked” and were an “embarrassment” in during the season’s second half. They lost at least 90 games for the fourth straight year and finished 36 games behind the first-place Los Cheap Los Angeles Dodgers Jerseys
in the NL West despite agreeing to a $300 million, 10-year contract with star infielder Manny Machado.

“We’ve got to win now,” Fowler said.
HOUSTON — When the Washington Nationals were down, Anthony Rendon made sure they were never out.

He was Mr. Clutch all October.

Houston starter Zack Greinke was cruising with a one-hit shutout and a 2-0 lead in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night. It would be glib to say that’s exactly where Rendon and the Nats wanted to be, but the way their season turned out, why not?

Rendon stroked a changeup into the left-field Crawford Boxes for a solo home run with one out in the seventh inning, and Washington set off on its fifth, final and most famous comeback in an elimination game this year, a 6-2 victory over the Astros for its first title in the franchise’s 51 seasons.

“We had nothing else to lose when people had written us off,” Rendon said. “We were facing elimination games that people thought that we shouldn’t have been there in the first place. So we just kept on fighting and happened to come out on top.”

Rendon, a free-agent-to-be playing perhaps his final games for Washington, hit .276 (8 for 29) in the Series with two homers and eight RBIs.

The quiet third baseman hit when it mattered most: Rendon had three homers, three doubles and a walk from the sixth inning on in the Nationals’ five elimination games.

“His swing is nearly flawless. His zone control is tremendous. His defence has been lights out,” Astros manager AJ Hinch marveled. “I think because of his obscurity, a little bit behind the scenes. He’s not on these We Play Loud games or these things. He’s under the radar. And yet he’s one of the most impressive superstars in our game.”

After overcoming a 19-31 start to finish second in the NL East and reach the playoffs, Washington trailed Milwaukee 3-1 in the eighth inning of the wild-card game when Rendon walked and scored the go-ahead run as Juan Soto singled.

With the Nats trailing 3-0 in Game 5 of the Division Series, he doubled against Los Cheap Los Angeles Dodgers Jerseys
right-hander Walker Buehler leading off the sixth inning, homered off Clayton Kershaw leading off the eighth, then doubled again and scored on Howie Kendrick’s 10th-inning grand slam.

Rendon’s two-run homer off Will Harris extended the Nationals’ lead to 5-2 in the seventh inning of Game 6 against the Astros, and Rendon added a two-run double in the ninth off Chris Devenski, capping a five-RBI night as Washington overcame a 3-2 Series deficit.

His home run against Greinke made Rendon the first player to homer in three straight games when his team was facing elimination, according to STATS.

He had only plaudits for Greinke.

“He had kept us off balance for the first six, seven innings,” Rendon said. “I just happened to get a ball over the plate in the air.”

Washington manager Dave Martinez viewed the first run as the key to the comeback, the spark the Nationals needed. He paid Rendon the ultimate managerial compliment.

“You look at Rendon, who has no heartbeat,” Martinez said. “He’s just the same guy every day, every play, every second.”
Tingler became the career hits leader at the University of Missouri and was a minor league outfielder for four seasons, never rising above Double-A. He spent the past 14 years with the Rangers, managing in the Dominican Winter League, Dominican Summer League and Arizona Rookie League. He also served as Texas’ minor league co-ordinator, assistant general manager and interim bench coach.

“Look I’m going to make mistakes and my guess is the players are going to make mistakes, so we already have common ground,” Tingler said. “The National League is going to be new to me and I’ll need to learn, need to grow.”

Tingler said not many managers in their initial job inherit a roster with talent such as Manny Machado, first baseman Eric Hosmer, closer Kirby Yates and an exciting young shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. Needs include starting pitching.

“It’s a players’ game, and if you don’t have the talent it is very hard,” co-owner Peter Seidler said. “And this hiring is just one piece of the puzzle. But I’m completely confident we got the right guy.”

San Diego has never won a World Series.

“I’ve been around a lot of very good baseball men, and I’m maybe a little bit new school and a lot of bit old school,” Tingler said. “I’m just really interested in working with a staff that can build relationships with players, push players and get the best out of them. If we’re able to do that and double down on some of those fundamentals, we have a chance to be ultra-successful here. I cannot wait to be a part of a group that brings a championship to the city of San Diego.”

Notes: San Diego declined a $2.5 million option on RHP Adam Warren, who gets a $500,000 buyout, and a $2 million option on LHP Aaron Loup, who gets a $200,000 buyout. Both will become free agents.

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ASHBURN, Va. — When Dwayne Haskins takes the field for the Washington Redskins’ first offensive snap Sunday at the Buffalo Bills, he’ll be the fourth rookie to start a game in the NFL this season.

Unlike fellow first-round picks Kyle Murray of the Arizona Cardinals and Daniel Jones of the New York Giants, it won’t be because the organization dubbed it Haskins’ time. It’ll be more like Cheap Jacksonville Jaguars Jerseys
sixth-rounder Gardner Minshew, who was thrust into action Week 1 after Nick Foles was injured.

Despite using the 15th overall pick on Haskins in part because he went to high school with owner Dan Snyder’s son, the Redskins — through two coaches now — have been reluctant to hand the keys to him. Journeyman Case Keenum won the starting job out of training camp, when it was obvious Haskins was talented but not ready, and since-fired coach Jay Gruden turned first to longtime backup Colt McCoy.

Keenum’s concussion against Minnesota forced Haskins into his second relief appearance of the season. Interim coach Bill Callahan on Friday named Haskins the starter, but this is certainly not a declaration.

“Case is our quarterback and that’s where we’re rolling right now,” Callahan said this week. “I really believe at the beginning of the year, Case earned the starting quarterback position. He was voted captain by his teammates, certainly deserving, certainly our starting quarterback. So, we’re not confusing the issue here: Case is our starter and if he’s healthy and ready to play this Sunday, he will be going forward.”

With that and plenty of almost fatherly advice from older teammates, Haskins will try to improve on 12 of 22 passing for 140 yards and four interceptions in games against the Giants and Vikings. Asked the next step in his progression, the Ohio State product said: “First start. We’ll see how it goes from there.”

“Every day is a challenge,” Haskins said. “Every game is a challenge. Every time I put my helmet on it’s a challenge. Looking forward to conquering that challenge every day.”

There were times in camp when Haskins showed the rocket arm that threw for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns last season at Ohio State, along with plenty of evidence he’s more of a long-term project.

Redskins players haven’t been shy to challenge Haskins before, during and after his struggles in limited pro action. Even though running back Adrian Peterson took issue with a report he told Haskins to get his nose in the playbook and prove people wrong who think he doesn’t know plays, he agreed with the assertion that one particular throw against Minnesota wasn’t the rookie’s best.
The NFL season moves at a relentless pace.

Thirteen days ago, the Kansas City Chiefs were reminded of just how fragile the window to contend is when MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered what could have been a devastating knee injury.

Fast-forward two weeks later and Mahomes was a limited participant at Chiefs practice on Wednesday.

Mahomes has yet to be officially ruled out for Sunday’s matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.

While it’s still more likely that Matt Moore starts this week, Chiefs fans are praying that Mahomes can return to full strength and help them contend this season.

In order for that to happen, Kansas City needs to be patient with its star quarterback.

With back-to-back games against a pair of top-10 defences over the next two weeks, it will be very interesting to see if Mahomes returns sooner than expected.

Meanwhile, it will be Tom Brady and the New England Patriots against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in one of the most highly anticipated prime time matchups of the year so far on Sunday Night Football (TSN, CTV2: 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT).

Over the last two weeks, Jackson became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for 100 yards and a touchdown in back-to-back games.

He also joined Michael Vick and Russell Wilson as the only quarterbacks to register three games with at least 100 rushing yards in a single season all-time.

Remember, he still has nine games to add to that total.

In 25 years as a head coach, Bill Belichick’s defences have never allowed a quarterback to run for 95 yards or more in a single game.

Watching Jackson go up against a Patriots defence that is off to a historically incredible start in prime time will be must-see television.

Not to be lost in the shadow of that Sunday Night Football matchup, or any Week 9 matchup for that matter based on their 9:30 AM ET start, the Houston Texans and Cheap Jacksonville Jaguars Jerseys
will clash in the fourth and final NFL London game of the year.

Deshaun Watson ranks sixth in the NFL in big-time throw percentage this season among quarterbacks with at least 215 total pass attempts, per Pro Football Focus.

Who is the quarterback listed two spots ahead of Watson on the list of the best deep ball throwers this season?

Gardner Minshew III.

Watson and Minshew will go head-to-head for the first time on Sunday.

With a win, Minshew could at least temporarily move the Jaguars ahead of Houston in the AFC Wild Card standings – something that would have seemed unthinkable when he took over for an injured Nick Foles in Week 1.

Then again, the NFL moves at a relentless pace.

We are just trying our best to keep up.

With the first eight weeks of regular season football in the books, it seems like we have a large enough sample size to debut my first set of Power Rankings.

Here is a look at my top five teams in each conference heading into Week 9:

AFC Power Rankings

New England Patriots (8-0)

You were expecting somebody else? Right now in the AFC, it’s the perfect Patriots and then everybody else. New England is 8-0 for the third time in franchise history, which means they are guaranteed to finish .500 or better for the 19th consecutive season. The Patriots defence has held opposing quarterbacks to a lower passer rating than either the 2000 Baltimore Ravens or 1985 Chicago Bears, while allowing fewer points per game and fewer total yards per game than either of those defences through eight games. While it’s easy to point to a relatively weak schedule so far, the Patriots’ win streak is actually technically now at 13 in a row dating back to last year’s Super Bowl-winning run. In fact, dating back to the start of the 2018 season New England is now 6-0 against opponents featured in these Power Rankings.

Indianapolis Colts (5-2)

Indianapolis ranks below the Chiefs, Texans and Ravens in DVOA per Football Outsiders, but has already registered wins over Kansas City and Houston to climb ahead of both of those teams in the AFC standings. Jacoby Brissett ranks just 32nd in positively graded throws per Pro Football Focus, with 53.2 per cent of his total passing yards coming after the catch. Still, the Colts have thrived thanks in large part to coaching and some impressive depth on both sides of the football. Indianapolis has earned the No. 2 spot on this list, even if it’s only temporary.

Houston Texans (5-3)

The Texans are 1-2 against opponents in these Power Rankings and 4-1 against everybody else. Houston already beat the Chiefs in Kansas City. The Texans could very well be 6-2 with wins over a couple of teams in these Power Rankings if it wasn’t for the poor game management that cost them in a Week 1 loss to the New Orleans Saints in which Will Lutz made a 58-yard, game-winning field goal in the final minute. J.J. Watt’s season-ending injury hurts. Still, Houston has already proven it can compete with some of the best in the NFL this season.

Kansas City Chiefs (5-3)

Only New England owns a better DVOA than Kansas City in the AFC this season. Still, the difference between the Patriots and Chiefs is a whopping 17.9 per cent. Looking past the injury to Mahomes, there are legitimate concerns about the Kansas City defence and the team’s inability to run the football. While Mahomes is talented enough to make up for those issues when he’s fully healthy, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Chiefs are now 0-4 against the other teams in these Power Rankings dating back to last year’s playoff loss to New England.

Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

The Ravens rank third in the AFC in DVOA behind only the Patriots and Chiefs. Still, Baltimore has just one win over a team with a winning record this season. The Ravens lost to Kansas City in Week 3, then suffered a double-digit defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns in Week 4. Baltimore could certainly move up these rankings with a win over New England on Sunday Night Football. We should get a better idea of how good this Ravens team is over the next five weeks. After all, four of their next five opponents are currently listed in these Power Rankings.

NFC Power Rankings

San Francisco 49ers (7-0)

As is the case with the Patriots, San Francisco can only beat the teams they play. The lone remaining undefeated NFC team ranks first in the NFL in DVOA per Football Outsiders, in large part because of a defence that has allowed a league-low 224.4 total yards per game. The 49ers held the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams to 48 net passing yards in Week 6, then limited the Carolina Panthers to just 100 in Week 8. With four more games against teams in these Power Rankings, San Francisco will get ample opportunities to prove they deserve this ranking.

New Orleans Saints (7-1)

The fact that the Saints are 7-1 despite losing Drew Brees for nearly six full weeks is impressive. Teddy Bridgewater might not have led New Orleans to a Super Bowl win, but he did just enough to keep the Saints in contention for the NFC’s top seed and home field advantage for the playoffs. New Orleans is now 5-0 in one-score games this season. The countdown is on to a Week 14 showdown with the 49ers at the Superdome.

Green Bay Packers (7-1)

It’s been incredible to watch what Aaron Rodgers has done this season in a completely new offence and without his top wide receiver Davante Adams over the past couple of weeks. Still, the Packers have posted only a slightly better DVOA than the Saints have without Brees for the most part this season. Green Bay has only two wins over teams listed in these Power Rankings this season and one of them was last week’s 31-24 victory over the Chiefs without Mahomes. The Packers will travel to San Francisco in Week 12. By the time that game is over, we should have a better idea of where both teams rank in the NFC.

Dallas Cowboys (4-3)

Critics will point to losses to New Orleans, Green Bay and the New York Jets in particular as obvious reasons why Dallas shouldn’t be on this list. However, two of those losses came against teams ranked ahead of the Cowboys in these Power Rankings. When you consider the impact that the return of wide receiver Amari Cooper as well as tackles Tyron Smith and La’El Collins had in last week’s 37-10 win over Philadelphia, it’s a little easier to understand why Dallas struggled without them. The Cowboys still rank second in the NFC in DVOA behind only the 49ers, per Football Outsiders. They are getting healthy just in time for next week’s showdown with the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football.

Minnesota Vikings (6-2)

There was some debate concerning which team deserved the final spot on this list between the Vikings, Seahawks and the Rams. In the end, Minnesota earned this spot based in large part on what it has done over the past four weeks. Following a brutal start to the season that included losses to Green Bay and the Chicago Bears, the Vikings have put together four straight wins, outscoring their opponents by an average of 31.8 to 17.3. Minnesota and Seattle are both 6-2. However, the Seahawks are a missed field goal by Greg Zuerlein away from being 0-3 against opponents listed in these Power Rankings. Plus, four of Seattle’s six wins have been by four points or less, including narrow victories over the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers. Considered by many to be their greatest weakness, Kirk Cousins has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL since Week 5. The Vikings have also produced a slightly better DVOA than the Packers, Saints, Seahawks and Rams in the NFC, which helped solidify their spot as the No. 5 team on this list.
“It don’t take a rocket scientist to see that,” Peterson said. “He’s got it incredible arm. He can throw the ball. All he’s got to do is put a little more zip on it, we got a first down, now we’re going for a touchdown. It’s simple things. It’s nothing major.”

Veteran left tackle Donald Penn told Haskins, “try to get in your (play)book.” And linebacker Jon Bostic offered advice along similar lines.

“I’ve talked to him several times,” Bostic said. “I make sure I tell him before every game he should have a notebook on every co-ordinator that he’s playing, regardless if you’re in there or not. Because teams will change, players will change, but co-ordinators won’t. The system is going to be the same. So start learning these guys now. You’re watching and everything. I was like: ‘You should be taking these mental reps on the sidelines and take them seriously. You should be going through every read.’”

Haskins has been getting starting QB snaps at practice since Callahan took over for Gruden, who was criticized for not putting more energy into developing him despite coaching for his job.

After the loss to the Vikings dropped the Redskins to 1-7, Callahan said Haskins could learn some valuable things about game management.

“I think the big thing is situational awareness and knowing where we are at on the field — trajectory of throws, fundamental techniques, those rotations and follow through,” Callahan said. “Getting in and getting out of the huddle, really working the offence at an upbeat tempo where he can have time at the line of scrimmage. Sometimes just not letting the clock run down on him.”

The clock is running down on a lost season in Washington, but Callahan said he’s getting no direction from president Bruce Allen or anyone in the front office about developing players for the future. He has likened Haskins’ situation to Steve Young sitting behind Cheap Jacksonville Jaguars Jerseys
Joe Montana and Aaron Rodgers behind Brett Favre.

Keenum is not a future Hall of Famer, but the Redskins don’t want to hurry Haskins into action before he’s ready, even at the expense of not knowing yet what he can do.

“In all fairness, if we say hey, we are going to put Dwayne in there and see how he does, in some respects, I think he needs a little bit more work,” Callahan said. “I think time is invaluable where he can sit back and learn from quarterbacks like Case and Colt as well as players like (injured QB Alex Smith) who is around the building.

“It is a fine line. We are trying to win games still. Our dynamic is tough and it is challenging. We are doing the best we can in a tough scenario and we are trying to find a way to win a game.”

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ASHBURN, Va. — Standout left tackle Trent Williams is back at the Washington Redskins’ practice facility, but there’s no certainty that he’ll play at all this season.

Williams didn’t practice Wednesday, less than 24 hours after reporting following a lengthy holdout. Interim coach Bill Callahan said the 31-year-old failed his physical and couldn’t practice because of discomfort with his helmet.

“All I know is the helmet wasn’t comfortable, little discomfort in there,” Callahan said.

Williams previously had a growth on his head removed, and the dispute that led to his holdout centred on Washington’s medical staff and its handling of that situation. The Redskins announced they got a roster exemption for the seven-time Pro Bowl selection, who was not in the locker room when it was open to reporters.

Callahan, who was offensive line coach before taking over for the fired Jay Gruden, said he spoke with Williams for an hour and added he took part in morning meetings.

“For me, I’m just happy to see him around here and back with the team,” right tackle and friend Morgan Moses said. “Whatever he has to do upstairs, that’s what he has to deal with, and knowing him he’ll get it right.”
The NFL trade deadline window is closed, but we could see some deals still trickle in provided they were completed prior to 4pm et/1pm pt

Rams reportedly trade CB Talib to Dolphins
The Los Angeles Rams have traded five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib and a fifth-round pick to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a future draft pick, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Trade: Rams are trading CB Aqib Talib AND a fifth-round pick to Miami for a future pick, per source.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 29, 2019
Rams now can try to use some of the salary they save from Aqib Talib on trying to re-sign Jalen Ramsey.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 29, 2019
Schefter points out with Talib now out of the picture, the Rams can try and use some of the cap space that’s been saved to try and re-sign recently acquired star corner Jalen Ramsey.

Talib, 33, is currently on injured reserve with a rib injury but may possibly return later in the season.

Cowboys reportedly in talks to acquire S Adams from Jets
According to multiple reports, the Dallas Cowboy have engaged in talks with the New York Jets to acquire Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams. However, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the price the Jets are asking for “a lot” in return for Adams.

From our pre-Trade Deadline show: The #Cowboys are in talks with the #Jets on S Jamal Adams, but NYJ is asking for “a lot.” Duh.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 29, 2019
ESPN’s Ryan Clark said Jets’ S Jamal Adams would like to go home to Texas and play for the Cowboys.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 29, 2019
ESPN’s Ryan Clark, who like Jamal Adams, is an alumni of LSU, says the third-year safety would like to play for his hometown Cowboys.

Jets reportedly open to trading RB Bell
Le’Veon Bell and the 1-6 New York Jets have struggled this season, and as a result, the running back’s short stint with the team could reportedly be coming to an end today, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

“The Daily News has learned that Gang Green is amenable to dealing the perennial Pro Bowl running back for the right price before the 4 p.m. trade deadline,” Mehta wrote. “Although it’s unclear what that price tag has been during discussions, there are legitimate buyers. The Jets would unload a big salary as general manager Joe Douglas looks to reshape the roster.”

Mehta names the Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs and Cheap Buffalo Bills Jerseys
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as teams to keep eye on in regards to Bell.

The 27-year-old has recorded just 349 rushing yards and one touchdown this season. His 3.2 yards per carry is the worst average of any of his previous seven seasons in the NFL. After holding out for all of the 2018 season because the Pittsburgh Steelers would not give him the contract he wanted, the three-time Pro Bowler signed a four-year deal worth a reported $52.5 million with the Jets last March.

Will Washington move holdout tackle Williams?
After months of reportedly not being interested in trading seven-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Trent Williams, Washington has changed its stance according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Williams, who has spent his entire career with Washington, has been holding out since last off-season.

Sources: The #Redskins are now open to dealing star LT Trent Williams. They have begun the process of looking at potential suitors, and the #Browns have been one. Unclear how high they set the asking price, but they’ll at least listen.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 28, 2019
Washington, per Rapoport, has begun the process of looking at potential trade partners for Williams with the Cleveland Browns among the group. It is believed that Washington is seeking a first-round pick as compensation for the tackle.

Asking price for Lions CB Slay is reportedly very high
Two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay has reportedly been made available for trade by the Detroit Lions, but according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the price for Slay is very high.

From @gmfb: The #Lions’ asking price for CB Darius Slay has remained incredibly high so I don’t see him getting traded today, nor has there been any indication #Giants CB Janoris Jenkins is on the move. #NFLTradeDeadline #AsOfRightNow

— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 29, 2019
The Eagles have been attached to Slay in rumours but Garafolo reports that Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is unlikely to want give the Lions the compensation they’re seeking, which the NFL Insider likens to what the Jaguars got in their deal with the Los Angeles Rams for star cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The Rams gave up two-first round picks and a fourth-rounder to get Ramsey.

Giants CB Jenkins isn’t fazed by deadline
Rumours have circulated that the New York Giants could be looking to deal cornerback Janoris Jenkins, but the veteran player says he isn’t concerned about possibly getting shipped out.

“I don’t give a f*** what they do,” Jenkins said of the trade rumours following the Giants’ loss to the Detroit Lions last Sunday. “I just came to play football like I do every week. Whatever happens, happens.”

Jets reportedly willing to trade WR Anderson for the right price
The New York Jets are open to trading to wide receiver Robby Anderson for the right price, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

Anderson is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. He has 21 catches for 309 yards and one touchdown through seven games this season and has compiled 176 receptions for 2,589 yards and 16 touchdowns over his four-year career.

“I can’t call it, it’s a business…God forbid that was my last game as a Jet, it would be disappointing to go out like this” – @youngamazing9

— Jets Videos (@snyjets) October 28, 2019
Callahan was noncommittal about whether Williams would play for Washington this season. Multiple outlets reported this week that Williams had no intention of playing.

“I’m hopeful that he does,” Callahan said. “I think his heart is in the right spot. I think Trent loves football. There’s nobody that loves football more, that’s into it, that studies the game, that really gets into the matchups and is challenged by the matchups. There’s no question that he has a love and a passion for playing football.”

The Redskins are 1-7 yet did not make any moves before the trade deadline Tuesday. Williams reported shortly after the deadline passed.

“You don’t want to see a guy like that leave the franchise,” Moses said. “Obviously there’s a point they have to come to and make moves. I’m glad he’s here.”

Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who could make his first NFL start Sunday at the Cheap Buffalo Bills Jerseys
, occupies the locker stall that used to be half of Williams’. Haskins got to meet Williams for the first time but doesn’t know if he’ll ever have him protecting his blind side.

“Trent, yeah, pretty cool dude,” Haskins said. “I’m actually taller than him. Whether he admits or not, that’s pretty cool. But it was nice to meet him for the first time. I hope I get to talk to him.”

NOTES: No. 1 QB Case Keenum was limited in practice and is still in the concussion protocol. Callahan has said Keenum will start if he’s cleared. … RB Adrian Peterson (ankle) did not practice but is expected to play at Buffalo.

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CLEVELAND — John Beilein was soaked from his shirt to his socks after an unexpected shower.

Cleveland’s rookie coach had his pro basketball baptism.

Beilein picked up his first NBA win and got doused with water in the locker room by Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and the rest of the Cheap Cleveland Cavaliers Jerseys
, who played the kind of ball their rookie coach has been preaching for weeks in a 110-99 win over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.

Thompson scored 25 points and made his first career 3-pointer and Love scored 21 and just missed a triple-double as the Cavs opened their 50th season at home with a solid win over a playoff team from last year.

Following the game, Beilein presented with the game ball by general manager Koby Altman before he was ambushed by the Cavs, who jumped from their seats and dumped water bottles over his head.

“Excuse my appearance,” the former Michigan coach said as he sat down for his news conference. “I just took a little bath.”

Beilein, who won at every level in college, said he’ll savour the memento from his first pro victory.

“I’m very fortunate to have a lot of game balls, but this one is going to be pretty special,” the 66-year-old said. “It’s an NBA ball No. 1, but anytime you change jobs like this it’s a very difficult time on your family, on you and everyone — it’s such a transition. It will be special.”

Cavs forward Larry Nance was thrilled for Beilein.

“It was awesome just to see him breathe a nice sigh of relief,” he said. “There was a lot of pressure on us, especially the home opener so for him to get this win. First win for a lot of the guys — all the rookies.

The Cavs began their golden anniversary by honouring the club’s past. They brought back some of their legendary players and wore uniforms from the 1990s while taking a look back their history.

The present looked more promising.

Love was much more involved than during an opening-night loss at Orlando on Wednesday, adding 13 rebounds and nine assists. Thompson also had 13 rebounds, Collin Sexton scored 18 and rookie Darius Garland 12, making a key, step-back 3-pointer down the stretch to slow Indiana’s comeback.

Malcolm Brogdon scored 30 and had 10 assists to lead the Pacers.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Markelle Fultz’s first show in Orlando was a big hit.

Fultz had 12 points and six assists, helping the Magic beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 94-85 on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.

“He was the difference in the game in the second half,” coach Steve Clifford said.

Fultz was selected by Philadelphia with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft. The 21-year-old guard played 33 games in two seasons with the 76ers before he was traded to Orlando in February.

He was the first Magic player off the bench with 7:10 left in the first quarter. He made his first four shots.

“Anytime you have a chance to see the ball go in the hoop, the basket just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” he said. “It just gave me more confidence. It made me say: ‘Hey, it’s back. I’m good. Let’s just keep moving.’”

Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 21 points and nine rebounds. Evan Fournier scored 16 points.

Kevin Love had 11 points and 18 rebounds for Cleveland, which trailed by as many as 20 points. Collin Sexton and Tristan Thompson each scored 16 points in John Beilein’s first game as Cavs coach.

Darius Garland finished with eight points on 3-for-9 shooting in his NBA debut. Garland was drafted by Cleveland with the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s draft.

Fournier scored to give Orlando a 53-33 lead with 2:37 left in the first half, but Cleveland battled back in the third quarter.

Sexton made a 3-pointer and Thompson had two straight buckets to trim the Magic’s lead to 59-54 with 7:31 left.

The Cavaliers were down 73-67 early in the fourth when Terrence Ross and Mo Bamba each made a 3 to help the Magic pull away.

“There were a few key moments when we had wide-open shots and missed them, and they had wide-open shots and made them,” Beilein said. “We get it to five and then all of a sudden it’s 12. Then we get it back to five or six and all of a sudden it’s 12 or 14.”


Beilein figures the Cavaliers will get better just by playing.

“There’s nothing like being in game shape,” Beilein said before the game. “How do you get in game shape? You play games. You’ll improve exponentially once you start playing games, and that’s where the improvement should really spike now.”


“We did a lot of good things, but the rebounding game was a problem,” Clifford said. “We haven’t rebounded in preseason and we didn’t rebound tonight. And turnovers. We were just really sloppy with the ball and that was really impacting how we play.”


Cavaliers: Love (18), Larry Nance Jr. (14) and Thompson (11) led Cleveland to a 54-46 rebounding edge. … Garland also had five assists.

Magic: Fultz shot 6 for 12. He missed all three of his 3-point attempts. … The Magic have won five of eight against the Cheap Cleveland Cavaliers Jerseys
since losing 17 straight.
The Cavs blitzed the Pacers to open second quarter, going on a 26-4 run. They made seven 3-pointers and outscored Indiana 39-20 in the period to open a 65-48 halftime lead.

“They pretty much did whatever they wanted,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “Giving up 39 points, you just can’t have quarters like that. They were the more aggressive team, the scrappier team.”

It was Thompson’s stunning 3-pointer in the first quarter that got the Cavs going.

Thompson, who has been working on his range in practice, hadn’t attempted a 3 since the 2016-17 season, when he pulled up and dropped a 27-footer — his first make from beyond the arc in 642 games.

“No way,” Beilein said with a smile when asked if Thompson will have the green light going forward.


Pacers: McMillian said injured All-Star G Victor Oladipo continues to progress as he recovers from knee surgery. He’s been scrimmaging, but hasn’t been cleared to play in full-court workouts. … G Jeremy Lamb sat out with a bruised right hip sustained in the season-opening loss to Detroit on Wednesday. He did some drills following shootaround, but was still feeling pain.

Cavaliers: Finalized a four-year, $30.8 million contract extension with F Cedi Osman, who scored just 1 point in 27 minutes. … F John Henson made his Cleveland debut after missing most of last season with a wrist injury sustained while with Milwaukee. Henson had been slowed this season by ankle and groin injuries.


McMillan was unhappy with his team’s rebounding. For the second straight game, the Pacers got pounded inside.

Detroit’s Andre Drummond had 23 rebounds in the opener.


Love wore a neck tie while warming up before the game to pay tribute to Fred McLeod, the club’s popular broadcaster who died unexpectedly in September. McLeod’s widow, Beth, sent ties from her husband’s collection to select players, coaches and media members to wear for the opener.

The Cavs showed a moving video during the first quarter with highlights from McLeod, who handled play-by-play duties for the Detroit Pistons before coming to the Cavs in 2006. Owner Dan Gilbert narrated the video. He suffered a stroke in May and has been recovering at home.

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander said he was “tired” after his regular-season debut with the Cheap Oklahoma City Thunder Jerseys
, an understandable outcome considering the whirlwind summer that saw the promising guard shipped off to Oklahoma City as part of the series of moves that brought superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George home to Los Angeles.

“I realized how much I’m not in shape,” the former Clipper told reporters with a laugh.

His performance on the court belies his self-deprecating assessment, however, as he looks more like a backcourt star in mid-season form. Through four games, the Toronto native is averaging 23.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists and 1.3 blocks and has quickly emerged as the face of a Thunder team undergoing a teardown and rebuild after a decade of competitiveness.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s quick success in Oklahoma City has been an early highlight in a season that has seen a record 16 Canadian players make opening-day NBA rosters.

He scored a career-high 26 points on 10-of-23 shooting in his debut, a hard-fought 100-95 loss at Utah last Wednesday. That personal best lasted just two days, as he posted 28 points in a 97-85 loss to visiting Washington on Friday. He ended his first week in Oklahoma City by putting up 19 points and nine rebounds in three quarters of work as the Thunder hammered Golden State 120-92.

Gilgeous-Alexander added another 22 points in the Thunder’s 116-112 loss at Houston on Monday, a game that was dominated by the noise around the first meeting between star Rockets guard Russell Westbrook and his former team.

The Thunder are expected to struggle this year after losing George and Westbrook in off-season trades. But they have been surprisingly competitive, with two of their three losses coming in close games on the road against Western Conference playoff contenders.

There are more reasons for encouragement for the Thunder. The team seems to be coalescing quickly despite having three primary ball-handlers who eat up minutes in Gilgeous-Alexander, Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder. While Gilgeous-Alexander is likely the team’s point guard of the future, Thunder head coach Billy Donovan has said the Canadian’s competitiveness and unselfishness will allow him to excel off the ball in situations where two, or even three, of Oklahoma City’s primary point guards are deployed.

“He’s very versatile,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said at the Thunder’s media day. “He’s got good size, he’s got good length and I think he can play in a lot of different positions in a lot of different areas on the floor.”

PROMISING START — It’s a small sample size, but rookie guard RJ Barrett has so far been as advertised in New York. The third-overall pick in this year’s draft has averaged 20.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists and two steals over his first four games. That includes 21 points in his NBA debut, becoming just the second Knick to hit 20 points in his first game, and 19 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in a 105-98 win over Chicago on Monday. The native of Mississauga, Ont., also has shown a flair for opportunistic defence with six steals in a loss to the cross-town rival Brooklyn Nets.
HOUSTON — After Russell Westbrook helped the Houston Rockets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night in his first meeting against his former team he insisted there weren’t different emotions in facing the guys he played with for so long.

“When I hoop I have no friends,” he said. “On the court they know not to talk to me.”

But as soon as Westbrook finished saying that, he walked right down the hall and bounded into the visitor’s locker room for a reunion with his former teammates.

James Harden scored 40 points and Westbrook scored 21 and fell an assist shy of a triple-double as the Rockets got the 116-112 win.

Some players seemed taken aback to see Westbrook in their locker room and a confused Dennis Schroder asked him what he was doing in there.

Westbrook smiled and said: “Same thing I’ve been doing, coming to check on my homies.”

Westbrook had 12 rebounds and nine assists after notching his 139th triple-double in his last game to pass Magic Johnson for second-most all-time.

A 3-pointer by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with 19 seconds left got Oklahoma City within 3. Westbrook made 1 of 2 free throws before fouling Nerlens Noel, who made both free throws.

But Harden, who was 21 of 22 from the line, made four free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.

It was the first game between these teams since a blockbuster summer trade reunited Westbrook with Harden and sent Chris Paul to Oklahoma City after the nine-time All-Star failed to help the Rockets to a title in two seasons in Houston.

Paul had 15 points, four assists and five rebounds.

Just before tipoff, Westbrook approached the Thunder bench and hugged coach Billy Donovan before slapping hands and greeting virtually every player on the bench. Westbrook spent the first 11 years of his career in Oklahoma City where he was the face of the franchise before moving to Houston in the deal the Rockets hope will help bring them their first title since 1995.

Gilgeous-Alexander had 22 points and Schroder added 22 points to lead the Thunder, who fell to 1-3.

Houston used a 39-point third quarter to take an 11-point lead into the fourth quarter.

“We picked up our defensive intensity,” Harden said. “That’s going to be what gets us over the top, what gets us where we want to go. We got a little lackadaisical in the first half. Second half we picked it up and look at the results.”

The Rockets opened the third quarter with a 17-4 run to erase a 10-point halftime deficit and take a 69-66 lead with about seven minutes left in the quarter. A 3-pointer by Tucker put Houston on top and Westbrook punctuated the run with a dunk before screaming and flexing as he passed the Thunder bench.


The Rockets honoured Paul with a video tribute that recounted some of his Houston highlights during a timeout in the first quarter. Paul got a huge ovation at the end of the video and smiled and waved to the crowd when he was shown on the Jumbotron.

“Extremely grateful,” he said of the tribute. “The fans here were always great to me and my family … some of the people here became like family to me and I try to stay in touch with those who were as genuine as could be.”


Thunder: Steven Adams went to the locker room in the fourth quarter and didn’t return. He has a bruised left knee. … Oklahoma City made 13 of 35 3-pointers. … The Cheap Oklahoma City Thunder Jerseys
attempted just two more free throws than Harden did alone.

Rockets: G/F Gerald Green, who has been out since Oct. 10, had surgery on Monday to repair a broken bone in his left foot and is expected to be out about six months. … Tucker finished with 17 points.HOUSTON — After Russell Westbrook helped the Houston Rockets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night in his first meeting against his former team he insisted there weren’t different emotions in facing the guys he played with for so long.

“When I hoop I have no friends,” he said. “On the court they know not to talk to me.”

But as soon as Westbrook finished saying that, he walked right down the hall and bounded into the visitor’s locker room for a reunion with his former teammates.

James Harden scored 40 points and Westbrook scored 21 and fell an assist shy of a triple-double as the Rockets got the 116-112 win.

Some players seemed taken aback to see Westbrook in their locker room and a confused Dennis Schroder asked him what he was doing in there.

Westbrook smiled and said: “Same thing I’ve been doing, coming to check on my homies.”

Westbrook had 12 rebounds and nine assists after notching his 139th triple-double in his last game to pass Magic Johnson for second-most all-time.

A 3-pointer by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with 19 seconds left got Oklahoma City within 3. Westbrook made 1 of 2 free throws before fouling Nerlens Noel, who made both free throws.

But Harden, who was 21 of 22 from the line, made four free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.

It was the first game between these teams since a blockbuster summer trade reunited Westbrook with Harden and sent Chris Paul to Oklahoma City after the nine-time All-Star failed to help the Rockets to a title in two seasons in Houston.

Paul had 15 points, four assists and five rebounds.

Just before tipoff, Westbrook approached the Thunder bench and hugged coach Billy Donovan before slapping hands and greeting virtually every player on the bench. Westbrook spent the first 11 years of his career in Oklahoma City where he was the face of the franchise before moving to Houston in the deal the Rockets hope will help bring them their first title since 1995.

Gilgeous-Alexander had 22 points and Schroder added 22 points to lead the Thunder, who fell to 1-3.

Houston used a 39-point third quarter to take an 11-point lead into the fourth quarter.

“We picked up our defensive intensity,” Harden said. “That’s going to be what gets us over the top, what gets us where we want to go. We got a little lackadaisical in the first half. Second half we picked it up and look at the results.”

The Rockets opened the third quarter with a 17-4 run to erase a 10-point halftime deficit and take a 69-66 lead with about seven minutes left in the quarter. A 3-pointer by Tucker put Houston on top and Westbrook punctuated the run with a dunk before screaming and flexing as he passed the Thunder bench.


The Rockets honoured Paul with a video tribute that recounted some of his Houston highlights during a timeout in the first quarter. Paul got a huge ovation at the end of the video and smiled and waved to the crowd when he was shown on the Jumbotron.

“Extremely grateful,” he said of the tribute. “The fans here were always great to me and my family … some of the people here became like family to me and I try to stay in touch with those who were as genuine as could be.”


Thunder: Steven Adams went to the locker room in the fourth quarter and didn’t return. He has a bruised left knee. … Oklahoma City made 13 of 35 3-pointers. … The Cheap Oklahoma City Thunder Jerseys
attempted just two more free throws than Harden did alone.

Rockets: G/F Gerald Green, who has been out since Oct. 10, had surgery on Monday to repair a broken bone in his left foot and is expected to be out about six months. … Tucker finished with 17 points.
Barrett has already earned praise from Knicks head coach David Fizdale, who told reporters: “He’s a stud, that’s the only way I can put it he’s a stud.”

If there’s one area where Barrett is not yet a stud, it’s at the free-throw line. He has hit just 44 per cent of his shots from the stripe.

MAKING THE MINUTES COUNT — Clippers rookie Mfiondu Kabengele might not see a ton of playing time this season, but he looked good when given the opportunity late in a 141-122 rout at Golden State on Thursday. Kabengele, from Burlington, Ont., hit his only shot — a three-pointer — and added a rebound and a block in four minutes of playing time. Clippers coach Doc Rivers took notice, and the player known in the locker room as “Fi” was presented with the game ball after the contest.

BOUCHER IS MIA — If it wasn’t clear before the season that Toronto coach Nick Nurse wasn’t sold on his bench this season, his eight-player rotation in the Raptors’ season-opening win over New Orleans was irrefutable proof. As a result, big man Chris Boucher might end up nailed to the end of the bench this year. The Montreal native has shown flashes of real potential at both the NCAA and G League levels but figures to get scarce minutes so long as Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka are available.

WHICH WIGGINS? — Minnesota forward Andrew Wiggins remains a hard guy to figure out. The native of Vaughan, Ont., got off a troubling start this season, posting a -26 rating in a game the Timberwolves won 127-126 over Brooklyn in overtime. Two games later, he scored 16 points in the final six minutes of the Wolves’ 116-109 win over Miami. A consistently clutch Wiggins will be key for the Timberwolves to build on their surprising 3-0 start.

FROM DOWNTOWN — Cleveland centre Tristan Thompson made his first career thee-pointer in the Cavaliers’ home-opening 110-99 win over Indiana on Saturday. The big man from Brampton, Ont., in his ninth NBA season, has attempted only 11 threes in his career, so he’s probably not going to add perimeter scoring to his offensive repertoire, especially as he’s one of the early league leaders with an average of 16 points in the paint per game.

CHECKING IN — Denver guard Jamal Murray is picking up where he left off after a breakout 2018-19 campaign. The native of Kitchener, Ont., had an average of 19.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and four assists and a 38.9 per cent success rate from the three-point line heading into Tuesday’s games. … Rookie forward Brandon Clarke is settling in nicely in Memphis, averaging 10.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Fellow Canadian Dillon Brooks is averaging 11.3 points for the Grizzlies. … Veteran guard Cory Joseph has been seeing less of the floor so far in his first season in Sacramento, averaging 18.5 minutes per game. The native of Pickering, Ont., averaged at least 25 minutes in has last four seasons in Toronto and Indiana.

KEEP AN EYE ON — It will be a family affair Saturday as Oklahoma City hosts the New Orleans Pelicans. It’s set to be the first meeting between Gilgeous-Alexander and his cousin, Pelicans rookie Nickeil Alexander-Walker.

CanaDunks, a weekly notebook on Canadians in the NBA, is published every Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2019.

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Three weeks after suffering a lower-body injury, star forward Evgeni Malkin returned to Pittsburgh Penguins practice on Monday wearing a red non-contact jersey, according to multiple reports.
PHILADELPHIA — Trailing by two goals early in the third period, the Philadelphia Flyers didn’t get discouraged. They simply maintained their focus and came through with their biggest late rally in nearly six years

Kevin Hayes scored the go-ahead short-handed goal late in Philadelphia’s five-goal third period, and the Flyers beat the Cheap Columbus Blue Jackets Jerseys
7-4 Saturday night.

“When you have five goals in nine minutes, it’s just an example of sticking to it,” Hayes said. “We’re getting a lot of shots on net each night and that’s been big for us.”

James van Riemsdyk had two goals and an assist, Jake Voracek added a goal and two assists, Shayne Gostisbehere had a goal and an assist, and Michael Raffl and Travis Konecny also scored for Philadelphia. Hayes and Ivan Provorov also each had two assists, and Brian Elliott finished with 22 saves to help the Flyers end a five-game losing streak to their Metropolitan Division rivals.

The five goal outburst was the first time that Philadelphia had that many tallies in the third period since Dec. 19, 2013, when they rallied to beat Columbus 5-4.

“I thought we deserved to win this game,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said. “We were the better team. We had a real strong second period, tied it up, saw them score one (at the end of the second) and one (early in the third) to take the lead. But we said that we were going to find a way to win this game and we did.”

Boone Jenner scored twice, and Pierre-Luc Dubois and Josh Anderson also had goals for Columbus. Joonas Korpisalo stopped 39 shots.

Anderson’s goal 2:15 into the third period gave the Cheap Columbus Blue Jackets Jerseys
a 4-2 lead.

“It is smoke and mirrors that we are up by two at that time,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “I just don’t think we played well enough. I don’t think we played hard enough. I think we got what we deserved.”

The Flyers then scored five times in an 8:54 stretch in the latter half of the period to get the win.

“After that goal we got to have a push and stay on it,” Jenner said. “I don’t think we did that tonight and they were able to come back.”

Gostisbehere got the rally started with a slap shot with 9:08 remaining, and van Riemsdyk tipped in his second of the night to tie the score with 7:23 to go.

“The biggest thing was how we responded going down two goals in the third,” Gostisbehere said. “Maybe some past games, we would have folded and gave that one away. I think it was a big character win. Got from everyone tonight so it was huge.”

While killing off a tripping penalty on Sean Couturier, Hayes stuck his stick in a Columbus passing lane, picked up the puck at centre ice and then backhanded it past Korpisalo with 5:36 left for his fourth of the season and his third in the last three games.

Raffl had an empty-netter to make it 6-4 with 1:39 remaining, and Konecny capped the scoring with the Flyers’ second power-play goal of the night in the final minute.

NOTES: After the game, the Flyers announced that forward Scott Laughton had suffered a broken finger and would miss at least four weeks of action. . Columbus F Alexandre Texier did not return to the game after suffering a lower body injury in the second period. … Columbus was 0 for 5 on the power play while Philadelphia was 2-for-4. … This was the first of four meetings between the two division rivals this season. Columbus lost for just the sixth time in 25 meetings (23-5-1) with Philadelphia, dating back to December 2013.
Malkin missed 10 games after suffering an injury against the Cheap Columbus Blue Jackets Jerseys
in the Penguins’ second game of the season. Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said at the time Malkin would be out “longer term.”

The 33-year-old Malkin has one goal on the season and had 21 goals and 72 points in 68 games for the Penguins last year.

Pittsburgh is 7-5-0 in 12 games so far this season.

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NEW YORK — Umpire Joe West has sued retired player Paul Lo Duca for defamation. The former catcher alleges West gave pitcher Billy Wagner a bigger strike zone in exchange for letting the umpire borrow a vintage car.

In a complaint filed Tuesday in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, West contended that Lo Duca said during an April 18 podcast on The Action Network that he had been ejected 15 times during his major league career and eight or nine had been by West.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — First baseman Ali Sanchez was standing in the on-deck circle so he had a great vantage point of the two-strike breaking ball to Jacob Heyward. It finished so low that by the time it reached the catcher it nearly bounced in the dirt.

Sanchez — like everybody else who was watching this game on a Tuesday night in the Arizona Fall League — had an immediate mental reaction.

“That’s a ball,” Sanchez said.

Not so fast in the brave new world of “robot” umpires.

Heyward, a San Francisco Giants prospect, was rung up for strike three and then thrown out of the game by human home plate umpire Jose Navas following a brief disagreement with the call.

Heyward’s frustration was understandable considering the location of the pitch. The problem was this: Navas was just the messenger.

The Arizona Fall League is the latest professional baseball league to experiment with a computer that judges balls and strikes. The TrackMan system makes its nearly instantaneous decision and sends a signal to the human home plate umpire, who then makes the call.

After about 25 games of the TrackMan at Salt River Fields, there’s something of a consensus: The system has its quirks and problems — particularly on breaking balls low in the zone like the one that frustrated Heyward — but it also has promise.

“It’s definitely unique, it’s different from everything we’ve learned throughout our baseball careers,” Arizona Diamondbacks prospect Seth Beer said. “It’s just something new. Something that guys are just a little uncomfortable with so far.”

Beer, Sanchez and pitchers Jackson Rees and Tristan Beck all agreed the TrackMan system is excellent on the inside and outside corners but struggles when judging breaking balls low or high in the zone.

“The really loopy breaking balls or the really hard sliders at the bottom of the zone that end up in the dirt, you might end up having trouble with,” Beer said. “But for the most part, I don’t think it’s a terrible thing.”

The Independent Atlantic League became the first professional American baseball league to allow a computer to call balls and strikes during its All-Star Game early in the summer. That league is often filled with players on the fringes of professional baseball who are trying to get noticed by an MLB-affiliated team.

But the AFL is filled with some of baseball’s highest-regarded prospects, including former No. 1 overall picks like Minnesota’s Royce Lewis and Philadelphia’s Mickey Moniak. A who’s who of current MLB stars have played in the league, including Bryce Harper, Christian Yelich, Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Giancarlo Stanton and Max Scherzer.

It could be a sign the system is edging closer to the big leagues. Then again, maybe not.

Major League Baseball spokesman Michael Teeven said in a statement that the “experimental program has been a positive learning exercise, which was the objective.” He added that during the off-season, the league’s plan is to discuss results with clubs and continue finding ways to test the system.

The computer umpires have changed the game in some other ways, mostly small ones.

Sanchez — who is also a catcher in the Cheap New York Mets Jerseys
system — has learned to vary his conversations, chatting with the home plate umpire about everything from the weather to family to their upcoming vacations over the winter holidays.

No more negotiating about the strike zone. Nothing can be done.

Beck, who is a top pitching prospect in the Giants’ minor-league system, said he’s grown to appreciate the computer’s impartiality. The zone doesn’t change because of star players. It doesn’t change in big moments.

“It gives me confidence knowing that every single pitch I throw is going to be called exactly what it is,” Beck said. “I throw a close pitch and it’s a ball? No argument. No leaning on the umpire that it should have been a strike. I know for a fact that it’s a ball or a strike.”

There’s also no need for the art of framing pitches. Many in baseball believe a good catcher can steal a few strikes throughout the game by making borderline pitches look like strikes. The computer won’t be fooled.

Then there’s the stats: The AFL’s overall batting average for its six teams has hovered around .240 through 27 games, which is a big drop from .259 a year ago. Games at Salt River — which account for about a third of the total and use the computer strike zone — also have an average that’s around .240, so it’s hard to tell how much it’s affecting the game.

It’s also a fairly small sample size. Still, the strikes in the dirt probably aren’t helping offensive output.

“It’s happened to everyone at some point this fall,” Beer said.

Heyward’s ejection led to at least one change. Fans were so irritated with the umpires after the strike call that the AFL wrote up a statement that’s read before each game, explaining that the human umpires aren’t actually calling the ball and strikes.

That’s Mr. TrackMan’s job.

Before a game, the announcement was read to the 500 or so fans in attendance. At least a few weren’t pleased.

“Get rid of it,” one yelled. “Let the umps do their jobs!”

Other fans applauded in agreement. The four umps gathered around the plate didn’t say anything, but at least one broke out into a little bit of a grin.

According to West, Lo Duca said during the podcast that when the player was catching Wagner during a Cheap New York Mets Jerseys
game against Philadelphia in 2006 or 2007, West called three straight batters out on strikes. The umpire adds that Lo Duca claimed Wagner told him the reason he got the calls was the pitcher had allowed West to drive his 1957 Chevy.

West said in the suit that Lo Duca was ejected eight times in his career and only once by West. The umpire denied any favouritism and said Wagner did not pitch in the only Mets-Phillies game that West worked behind the plate during 2006 and 2007.

A four-time All-Star, Lo Duca played in the major leagues from 1998-2008. Andrew Mongelluzzi, his last listed agent, did not return a call seeking comment.

West’s suit also named The Action Network as a defendant. The Action Network did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The 66-year-old West is the major leagues’ senior umpire. He debuted in 1976, became a full-time staff member two years later and has worked 5,312 regular-season games, second to Bill Klem’s 5,370.

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DETROIT — The Cheap Buffalo Sabres Jerseys
bounced back in the best way Friday night.

Linus Ullmark made 41 saves, Sam Reinhart had a goal and an assist and the Sabres beat the Detroit Red Wings 2-0 on Friday night. Buffalo fell 6-2 to the New York Rangers a night earlier.

“I really liked the way we were able to regroup after last night,” said Reinhart, who got his fifth goal. “We talked in the room about what we did wrong, and then we were able to refresh our minds and come out and play like this.”

Buffalo (9-2-1) also got a goal from defenceman Jake McCabe and two assists from Jack Eichel.

“We have so much confidence in this room right now that there’s no panic when we lose a game,” McCabe said. “Obviously everyone was a little off last night, but we were able to refocus on tonight’s game and do a lot of good things.”

Jimmy Howard stopped 23 shots for Detroit, which lost its seventh straight.
NEW YORK — The Rangers were especially eager to earn a home victory against the high-flying Buffalo Sabres to stem a series of subpar results. Three first-period goals and a thorough effort sparked the home team and a solid win ensued.

Ryan Strome scored his first two goals this season and Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves as New York snapped a five-game losing streak with a 6-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

“That was obviously a good game,” said Strome, who had 18 goals for the Rangers last season after joining them in a trade from Edmonton. “Regardless of who produced, we needed that one as a team. It feels good right now. We worked hard for that one.”

The Rangers have been struggling since opening the season with two wins, followed by five defeats — the most recent in overtime to the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday. Against the resurgent Sabres, who had eight wins in their first 10 games, the Rangers came out with pace and received goals from Artemi Panarin, Brett Howden and Strome in the opening period.

Panarin, who signed a seven-year $81.5 million free agent contract last July, started the scoring with an unassisted goal at 11:41. Panarin corralled a loose puck along the right boards before swooping in and beating Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton for his fifth goal of the season. Panarin has points in last three games and five of the team’s eight contests this season.

Howden made it 2-0 when he tapped the puck past Hutton at 14:32 for his second goal this season. Assists went to Brady Skjei and Jesper Fast.

Strome added to the lead with a tip-in at 19:22 with assists to Skjei and Tony DeAngelo. Strome’s goal represented the 200th point of his NHL career.

“There was a lot of communication out there,” Howden said. “We were really helping each other.”

The Rangers held a 10-7 shots advantage after the first period but the Sabres had the better of play in the second, outshooting the home team 15-4.

Defenceman Marco Scandella put Buffalo on the board with an unassisted goal at 4:17 of the second before DeAngelo restored the three-goal lead with his third goal in two games at 13:20. Skjei and Pavel Buchnevich assisted on DeAngelo’s fourth goal of the season.

Buffalo’s Vladimir Sobotka narrowed the deficit to 4-2 when he scored at 19:11 of the second, beating Lundqvist for his first goal this season. Kyle Okposo and Marcus Johansson registered assists.

The teams traded chances in the third until Strome extended the lead to 5-2 with this second goal of the night, completing a two-on-one with Howden at 7:57 as the teams skated four-on-four.

“Most important is that guys know their identity and it worked out tonight,” added the 26-year-old Strome, who has points in five of the last six games. “It was a good statement game that we had it in us to beat a team that’s 8-1-1.”

Chris Kreider completed the scoring with his first of the season at 18:44 of the third. Rookie defenceman Adam Fox had an assist – his first NHL point – and Fast added his second assist of the contest.

“We didn’t show the Rangers enough respect and they punished us for it,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. “There were so many moments where we felt like we were getting back into it. We just couldn’t recover from the hole we dug ourselves into.”

Rangers coach David Quinn continued reshuffling lines in search of new combinations as the season evolves. Against the Sabres, Quinn had Panarin alongside Strome and Buchnevich while heralded rookie right wing Kaapo Kakko was on a line with centre Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider.

“It was a good step in the right direction. I give our leaders a ton of credit,” Quinn said. “It wasn’t just the lines. A lot of guys came here with purpose tonight.”

The loss was the first for Hutton after six wins and starts this season as the Sabres fell to 1-5-2 in their last eight meetings with the Rangers.

With his 451st career win, Lundqvist moved to within three victories of Curtis Joseph for fifth place on the all-time list. The 37-year-old Swedish netminder also made his 862nd career appearance, passing Jean Ratelle for sixth-most appearances as a Ranger.

“We were patient. We played hard, waited for breakdowns and we took advantage,” Lundqvist said. “It was great to see. It’s important to understand how you win games in this league.”

NOTES: The Rangers are 16-4-0 against Buffalo since Apr. 19, 2013 . The teams will meet Feb. 7 in New York and March 22 in Buffalo . The Rangers scratched forward Micheal Haley . The Sabres scratched forward Evan Rodrigues and defenceman John Gilmour … The contest marked the 1,999th regular season game played by the Rangers at the current Madison Square Garden, which opened in 1968. … The game marked the return of forward Jimmy Vesey, who was traded to the Cheap Buffalo Sabres Jerseys
last summer after three seasons with the Rangers.
“We came up short obviously. We pushed. I thought we played a pretty solid game defensively other than the one goal there,” Red Wings centre Dylan Larkin said. “… Just, we gotta score. You can’t win a game if you don’t score.”

Detroit has been outscored 29-9 during its losing streak.

McCabe gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead with 8:20 left in the second period. His wrist shot from the left point got past Howard, who was screened.

McCabe’s first goal of the season came after he missed most of the first period getting his face stitched up.

“I got a puck in the chin on my second shift and got my face slammed into the glass on my third shift,” McCabe said. “So I’ve got my Halloween costume all ready.”

Reinhart scored on a power play 1:15 into the third when he tipped a pass from Victor Oloffson.

Detroit outshot Buffalo 12-6 in the first period. Ullmark stopped Valtteri Filppula on a breakaway around 3:20 into the game.

NOTE: Buffalo recalled D William Borgen from AHL Rochester after D Marco Scandella suffered a lower-body injury in Thursday’s 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers. Scandella did not play Friday. … Detroit recalled F Givani Smith, who made his NHL debut Friday, from AHL Grand Rapids after Fs Luke Glendening (upper body) and Justin Abdelkader (lower body) were injured in Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators. Neither played Friday.