Field Level Media
The bright side of a lackluster divisional round is a star-studded conference championship weekend, bringing us rematches of two of the regular season's best games. The New England Patriots take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game Sunday, Jan. 20, at 5:40 p.m. in Kansas City, Mo. The New Orleans Saints host the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship game at 2:05 p.m.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Marco Belinelli canned a pair of crucial free throws with 4.2 seconds left to play, and LaMarcus Aldridge poured in 25 points as the visiting San Antonio Spurs outlasted the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-113 on Friday, Jan. 18, in the Twin Cities. The game was close throughout, with 27 lead changes and 17 ties through the middle of the fourth quarter. Still, the Spurs led just 108-105 after a stepback jumper by Minnesota's Andrew Wiggins with 3:06 to play.
The Jacksonville Jaguars announced Wednesday they have hired John DeFilippo as their offensive coordinator. The Jaguars also interviewed former NFL head coach Mike McCoy for the job, according to reports on Tuesday. DeFilippo, 40, spent 2015 with the Cleveland Browns as offensive coordinator, then was the quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia in 2016-17. The Minnesota Vikings hired DeFilippo as offensive coordinator just days after the Eagles won Super Bowl LII, then fired him after a 21-7 loss to Seattle in Week 14.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has offered a scholarship to a seventh-grade quarterback from suburban Detroit, according to the 13-year-old's father. The Wolverines coach extended the offer this week after watching tape of Isaiah Marshall competing for MacArthur Academy in Southfield, Mich. He will graduate from high school in 2024. "It was definitely unexpected," Brian Marshall told ESPN regarding his son's offer.
ST. PAUL -- Jason Zucker scored a shootout goal and the Minnesota Wild ended a two-game losing streak Tuesday, Jan. 15, with a 3-2 victory that completed a season sweep over the visiting Los Angeles Kings. The Kings missed all three of their shots in the shootout, with Wild goaltender Alex Stalock saving two of them, while Los Angeles' Anze Kopitar hit the post on his attempt. Stalock sealed the victory with a save on a Dustin Brown wrist shot.
PHILADELPHIA -- Joel Embiid scored 31 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lift the host Philadelphia 76ers to an easy victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves 149-107 on Tuesday, Jan. 15. Embiid recorded his league-leading 37th double-double. In addition, Embiid posted his league-best 30th game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.
PHILADELPHIA -- James van Riemsdyk notched his fourth career hat trick to lift the host Philadelphia Flyers past the Minnesota Wild 7-4 on Monday, Jan. 14. Nolan Patrick scored two goals and had two assists while Wayne Simmonds also added two goals for the Flyers, who had lost nine of 10 before the win. Scott Laughton tallied three assists for Philadelphia, while Claude Giroux and Radko Gudas recorded two assists each. Flyers goaltender Carter Hart made 34 saves.
HONOLULU -- Matt Kuchar overcame a slow start Sunday, Jan. 13, to rally for his second victory of the PGA Tour season at the Sony Open in Honolulu. Kuchar, 40, held a two-shot lead entering the final round at Waialae Country Club, but saw that evaporate with three birdies over his first five holes against a lone birdie. Andrew Putnam grabbed a share of the lead when Kuchar bogeyed Nos. 4 and 5.
NEW ORLEANS -- Overcoming a horrid start and a 14-point first-quarter deficit, Drew Brees threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns and lifted the New Orleans Saints to a 20-14 NFC Divisional Playoff victory over the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Jan. 13, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore intercepted a Nick Foles pass -- which went through the hands of Alshon Jeffery -- at the New Orleans 33 with 1:52 remaining, and running back Alvin Kamara ran for 12 yards on third-and-10 to kill the clock.
FOXBORO, Mass. -- Scoring touchdowns on their first four possessions Sunday, Jan. 13, the New England Patriots established a 35-7 halftime lead and cruised to a 41-28 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in an AFC divisional round game at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.