National Sports

Belichick, Brady help Patriots to record 9th Super Bowl trip

By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Pro Football Writer Bill Belichick has done something neither Chuck Noll, Tom Landry nor Bill Walsh ever managed. Same for Tom Brady, besting the likes of Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach and Joe Montana. Together, Belichick and Brady have put themselves into a record ...

Falcons head to Super Bowl after blowing out Packers 44-21

By PAUL NEWBERRY, AP Sports Writer ATLANTA (AP) — While the raucous beats of "Welcome To Atlanta" blared through the Georgia Dome, the Falcons partied like it was 1999. How appropriate. That was the last time they made it to the Super Bowl. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones teamed up for another ...

Are you ready for some better football? Hopefully in Houston

By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — There's this football game planned for Feb. 5 in Houston. Let's hope it turns out much better than most of the postseason matchups the NFL has provided this year. To say Sunday's championship games were duds is being kind. ...

Williams relies on Plan B to reaches Australian Open QFs

By JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — With her serve misfiring and the ball coming back at her from some irregular angles, it was time for Serena Williams to go to Plan B. Williams knuckled down and just scrapped her way to a 7-5, 6-4 win over No. 16-seeded Barbora ...

Atkinson’s 2nd goal lifts Blue Jackets past Senators in OT

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Cam Atkinson made the right read, and it paid off with the winning goal. Atkinson's second goal of the game at 1:09 of overtime gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 7-6 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night. The 27-year-old winger found himself on a breakaway after ...

All-Star party could be over for Carmelo, Wade

By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer Dwyane Wade hasn't had to often rely on Eastern Conference coaches. Carmelo Anthony never has. Now the coaches could be the only way the two veterans participate in the All-Star Game. Neither was voted a starter and both face tough odds to get picked as ...

Durability of NFL’s final 4 QBs vital to Super Bowl run

By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer PITTSBURGH (AP) — The numbers are staggering. Over 182,000 yards passing (more than 103 miles worth), nearly 1,300 touchdowns and seven championships, with an eighth guaranteed for whoever parties in the confetti in Houston next month. Yet the numbers that ...

Gut remains perfect in super-G; Vonn struggles in 9th

By ANDREW DAMPF, AP Sports Writer Defending overall World Cup champion Lara Gut extended her perfect run in super-G this season with a comfortable win Sunday while Lindsey Vonn struggled to a ninth-place finish. For her third straight super-G victory, Swiss skier Gut finished 0.67 seconds ...

Bryan brothers announce retirement from Davis Cup

By DENNIS PASSA, AP Sports Writer MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Bob and Mike Bryan are retiring from Davis Cup play after 14 years representing the United States. The 38-year-old twin brothers made the announcement on their Instagram account, saying that clinching the 2007 Davis Cup final was ...

Chen holds off 3-time champ Wagner to win US championship

By DAVE SKRETTA, AP Sports Writer KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Karen Chen probably didn't see Ashley Wagner giving her a curt nod from the ice, not with her face buried in her hands after another memorable performance at the U.S. figure skating championships. The three-time champion was focused ...

Canadian Adam Hadwin shoots 13-under 59 in CareerBuilder

By JOHN NICHOLSON, AP Sports Writer LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — The temperature barely climbed into the 60s on a spectacular, clear afternoon in the desert after two rainy days. Adam Hadwin stopped counting at 59 — 13-under 59, that is. The 29-year-old Canadian shot the ninth sub-60 round in ...

Lakers’ Russell out 1-2 weeks with knee sprain, calf strain

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell will be sidelined for one to two weeks with a mildly sprained right knee and a strained right calf. The Lakers announced the diagnosis on Saturday night after their point guard had an MRI exam. He will be re-evaluated in one week. Russell was ...

Rick Hendrick rises from tobacco farmer to Hall of Famer

By JENNA FRYER, AP Auto Racing Writer CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Rick Hendrick, owner of the most successful organization in NASCAR, grew up on a Virginia tobacco farm knowing that wasn't the life he wanted. He took chance after chance chasing a NASCAR career, came close to folding his team ...

‘Blood, sweat and tears’: Vonn back on top with downhill win

By ANDREW DAMPF, AP Sports Writer Lindsey Vonn is back on top in just the second race of her comeback from a knee injury and a broken arm. The American edged defending overall World Cup champion Lara Gut to win a downhill event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on Saturday and claim career ...

Nadal holds off Zverev to reach 4th round at Australian Open

By JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal held back time, for one match at least, when he rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2 win over German teenager Alexander Zverev to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open. The 14-time major winner is on a ...

Big 2nd period helps Penguins beat Hurricanes 7-1

By JOEDY McCREARY, AP Sports Writer RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins have been beatable away from home this season. Good thing for them this felt nothing like a road game. Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist during Pittsburgh's four-goal second period, and the Penguins routed ...

Warriors get 6th straight win, 125-108 over Rockets

By KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer HOUSTON (AP) — The Golden State Warriors wanted to make sure the Houston Rockets wouldn't beat them from the 3-point line. They carried out their plan perfectly, forcing the NBA's most prolific 3-point shooting team into a terrible shooting night in a ...

Chen dominates men’s short program at US nationals

By DAN GELSTON, AP Sports Writer KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hyped as the future of men's skating, Nathan Chen put the sport on notice that his time is now. Chen dazzled and dominated as he stamped himself as a future Olympic medalist contender, connecting on a pair of quads and slaying the ...

UCLA’s Ball, Villanova’s Josh Hart lead list of top players

By AARON BEARD, AP Basketball Writer RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — It didn't take long to spot college basketball's top performers this season, not with star UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball flirting with a triple-double and Kansas' Frank Mason III scoring 30 on opening night. That duo is part of a standout ...

Kerr keeps Warriors winning with yoga, creative approach

By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Anderson Varejao lowered his 6-foot-11 frame into a runner's lunge and raised one arm high into the air to add a twist, demonstrating after a recent shootaround the new yoga pose he just learned. Then, he took it up a notch and ...