Thursday, December 12, 2013
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12
Montreal at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Wolves rally from 19 down to beat 76ers 106-99
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kevin Love had 26 points, 15 rebounds and five assists and the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the slumping Philadelphia 76ers 106-99 on Wednesday night.
Ricky Rubio had 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds, Nikola Pekovic added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Robbie Hummel hit a couple of big shots for the Wolves in the fourth quarter to key the comeback.
Spencer Hawes had 20 points and six rebounds for the Sixers, who led 39-20 after a tremendous first quarter and still held a 13-point advantage at halftime. But they turned the ball over 26 times and shot 14 free throws to Minnesota's 29.
Hummel scored all 10 of his points in the fourth, including a 3-pointer that started the deciding 13-3 run.
Blackhawks use big 2nd period to beat Flyers 7-2
CHICAGO (AP) — Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw scored in a 39-second span at the start of Chicago's five-goal second period Wednesday night, sparking the Blackhawks to a 7-2 victory over Ray Emery and the Philadelphia Flyers.
Patrick Sharp had a goal and two assists for Chicago, which has won three in a row after a three-game losing streak. Michal Handzus scored a short-handed goal in the second and Marian Hossa had three assists, helping rookie goaltender Antti Raanta win his second consecutive start in place of injured Corey Crawford.
The seven goals set a season high for the Blackhawks (23-6-5), who have scored 19 times during their winning streak and lead the NHL with 129 goals.
Eagles' defense bends, doesn't break
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — All those yards the Philadelphia Eagles give up on defense aren't translating into points for the opponents.
The numbers say the Eagles have the NFL's 3rd-worst defense in total yards, allowing 398.1 per game. Only Minnesota (401.2) and Dallas (426.8) give up more. But points determine the winner and the Eagles are keeping teams out of the end zone.
Since Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos scored 52 against Philadelphia in Week 4 — 38 of those came against the defense, 14 against special teams — the Eagles haven't allowed more than 21 points nine straight games. That's the longest streak in the league and the longest for the team since an 18-game stretch in 2001, including playoffs.
Overall, the Eagles have held opponents to 21 points or less in 11 of 13 games this year, which is tied with Carolina for most this season.
Roethlisberger OK with progress despite losses
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is having a career year.
He is on pace to set personal highs in attempts, completions and yards passing and has a chance to set a new benchmark for touchdowns.
While Roethlisberger would trade the gaudy statistics for a couple more wins, he believes the Steelers (5-8) have plenty to play for over the season's final three weeks.
Roethlisberger has never been on a team that finished with a losing record in his life and he remains focused on extending that streak.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown says Roethlisberger's approach has not changed even as Pittsburgh's playoff prospects have dimmed.
Pittsburgh hosts AFC North leader Cincinnati (9-4) on Sunday night.
Pirates sign RHP Morton to 3-year contract
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates and right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton have agreed to a three-year, $21 million contract.
The 30-year-old Morton went 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 20 starts for the Pirates in 2013. The deal includes a 2017 club option for $9.5 million.
Morton missed most of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 while recovering from elbow reconstruction surgery. His return bolstered a rotation that propelled the Pirates to 94 wins and the franchise's first playoff appearance in 21 years.
Morton gives the Pirates some needed depth and stability behind Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole. The Pirates still hope to sign free agent A.J. Burnett, who is mulling retirement. Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who sat out the final four months of the 2013 season due to arm trouble, is also expected to be back.
Pirates, RHP Edinson Volquez reach 1-year deal
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates have reached a deal with right-handed pitcher Edinson Volquez on a one-year contract for $5 million.
The 30-year-old Volquez went 9-12 with a 5.71 ERA in 2013 while splitting time with the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The deal is pending a physical.
Volquez is the latest reclamation project signed by the Pirates. Volquez was an All-Star in 2008 when he went 17-6 for the Cincinnati. He has spent the last five years dealing with injury and other issues. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009 and served a 50-game suspension in 2010 for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Volquez gives the Pirates some rotation depth if the team cannot sign free agent A.J. Burnett, who is mulling retirement.
Earlier Wednesday the Pirates and right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton agreed to a three-year deal.
Penn State downs Duquesne 68-59
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Reserve Allen Roberts had 15 points and D.J. Newbill added 13 points as Penn State won for the sixth time in its past eight games, 68-59 against Duquesne on Wednesday night.
All-Big Ten point guard Tim Frazier had a career-high 13 assists along with 11 points for the Nittany Lions (8-3), who won despite having only 10 free-throw attempts as compared to the Dukes' 34.
Ovie Soko had 19 points to lead the Dukes (3-4), who shot 27 percent from the field and made just four of 23 attempts from 3-point range.
Soko, who made 12 of 14 free throws, played just 21 minutes before fouling out.
Duquesne has lost four of its past six and fell to the Nittany Lions for the second consecutive season.
Penn State's Donovon Jack had nine points, 12 rebounds and six blocks.
T25-PENN ST-S DAKOTA ST
South Dakota St. defeats No. 12 Penn St. 83-79
BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) — Megan Waytashek and Steph Paluch scored 18 points apiece as South Dakota State defeated No. 12 Penn State 83-79 despite squandering a 20-point halftime lead Wednesday night.
The Jackrabbits (7-4) had a 23-point lead when Paluch opened the second half with a 3 and were up 21 with 14:39 left when a Dara Tayler three-point play started a 10-0 for Penn State. The lead was still in double figures at the 5-minute mark before the Nittany Lions stormed back.
Ariel Edwards, who scored 5 straight points to pull Penn State within 78-77 with 1:19, finished with 24 points, 7 rebounds, 5 blocks, 4 steals and 3 assists. Maggie Lucas added 20 and Taylor had a career-high 19.
Mariah Clarin had 13 points for SDSU and helped the Jackrabbits, now 3-13 vs. ranked teams, out-rebound Penn St. 53-42. This was the highest-ranked team SDSU has beaten.
Pitt's Donald wins Lombardi Award
HOUSTON (AP) — Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald picked up another award Wednesday night, winning the Rotary Lombardi Award.
Donald beat out Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam and UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr for the award given annually to the nation's top college lineman.
It's already been a big week for Donald, a senior defensive tackle who won the Bronko Nagurski award given to the nation's top college defensive player Monday.
The 6-foot, 285-pound Donald leads the nation with 26½ tackles for losses and his 28½ career sacks are tops among active players in the Football Bowl Subdivision and fourth in school history.
Donald has 10 sacks, 54 tackles and has forced four fumbles this season.