The Dallas Cowboys' defense woke up in the second half to run away with a 54-19 home win against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, led by former Colts safety Malik Hooker.

The win improved the Cowboys' record to 9-3, good enough for third in the NFC, trailing only the Philadelphia Eagles (11-1) and the Minnesota Vikings (10-2) in the race for the one seed.

It was the Colts leading early, with Matt Ryan's 14-yard touchdown pass to Ashton Dulin giving them a 10-7 lead at quarter-time after their opening field goal was answered by a CeeDee Lamb touchdown catch for the Cowboys.

Tony Pollard put the Cowboys back in front when he forced his way into the endzone from the two-yard line, before Hooker seized full control of the game when he intercepted Ryan with one minute remaining in the first half, allowing the Cowboys to add another touchdown ahead of the break.

Michael Gallup was the recipient of that score in the final seconds of the half, and after an Alec Pierce touchdown cut the Cowboys' lead to 21-19, Gallup snagged his second of the game for some breathing room.

Things would go from bad-to-worse from there for the Colts as their next four drives resulted in turnovers.

Hooker added a fumble recovery and defensive touchdown to his big day, and the next two drives would both end in interceptions by fifth-round rookie DaRon Bland, icing the game and setting up some garbage-time stat-padding.

Dak Prescott completed 20 of his 30 passes for 170 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, while Pollard rushed 12 times for 91 yards and two scores, and Ezekiel Elliott added 17 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown of his own.

Anthony Davis put up a sensational 55-point haul to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to their fourth straight road win, triumphing 130-119 over the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

Davis, who scored 44 points against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Lakers' previous game, could not eclipse his career-high 59 points from 2016 against the Detroit Pistons.

But Davis' 55 points, coming from 22-of-30 field shooting and nine-of-nine shooting from the line, were the second most in a single game this NBA season, behind only Joel Embiid's 59 against the Utah Jazz on November 13.

The eight-time All-Star scored 31 of his 55 points in the second half, adding 17 rebounds and three blocks. Davis is the first Laker with back-to-back 40-point games since Kobe Bryant in March 2013.

LeBron James, who had been listed as questionable due to an ankle issue, added 29 points on 12-of-26 field shooting with eight rebounds and six assists but committed five turnovers.

Russell Westbrook came off the bench to contribute a season-high 15 assists with seven rebounds, while guard Lonnie Walker IV added 20 points on four-of-four three-point shooting.

The Wizards were not helped by a game-ending first-quarter injury to All-Star Bradley Beal. Kristaps Porzingis top scored for the Wizards with 27 points on 11-of-25 shooting, while ex-Laker Kyle Kuzma added 26 points with seven rebounds before fouling out.

The victory improved the Lakers to 10-12, having won three games in a row, but they remain 12th in the Western Conference.

Brown helps Celtics snap Nets' streaks

The NBA-best Boston Celtics ended the Brooklyn Nets' four-game winning streak and six-game winning home stand on 34 points from Jaylen Brown as they triumphed 103-92.

Brown led the way for the Celtics with 20 of his 34 points in the first quarter, finishing also with 10 rebounds, while Jayson Tatum scored 29 points on 10-of-19 field shooting with 11 rebounds.

Kyrie Irving struggled against his former franchise, shooting seven-of-21 from the field for 18 points with eight rebounds and five assists. Kevin Durant top scored for the Nets with 31 points but gave up eight turnovers.

Suns extend struggling Spurs' skid

The Western Conference-leading Phoenix Suns condemned the San Antonio Spurs to 11 straight losses with a 133-95 blowout win led by Deandre Ayton's double-double.

Suns center Ayton finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Devin Booker added 20 points on seven-of-16 field shooting, with Mikal Bridges making six-of-seven triples in his 20 points.

The struggling Spurs were blown away in a 36-11 second quarter, seeing them close within two defeats of a franchise-worst losing streak, set in 1989.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan called it "crushing" to lose starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the rest of the season after he broke his foot in Sunday's 33-17 win against the Miami Dolphins.

Garoppolo's injury came on the 49ers' eighth offensive play of the game, when he was sacked by both Jaelan Phillips and Jerome Baker to end their first drive. He stayed down, and ended up being carted off the field and promptly ruled out.

After the game it was revealed he had sustained broken bones in his foot, requiring season-ending surgery.

Starting the campaign as the third-string quarterback, Brock Purdy came in and threw two touchdown passes, managing the game efficiently before the 49ers' defense snagged a fumble-return touchdown to pull away.

Shanahan said it hurts to lose Garoppolo, but gave plenty of respect to Purdy for the performance.

"Just hearing it, it was pretty crushing," he told reporters. "We know what Jimmy has been through, how hard he's worked at this. He'll be out. He'll need surgery, broke a few things in there.

"Brock came in and made some big plays. We've got to clean some stuff up, obviously, but just throwing him in there in the heat of battle like that, [with] how much [all-out pressure] that team did, too, which you guys can see.

"We were having to change a lot of stuff on the fly, so putting a lot of pressure on [Purdy] in that way. I thought he did a hell of a job doing it. Protected the ball well, didn't have any turnovers and made some big plays too that I thought weren't there always."

The 49ers ruled out any possibility for Week 1 starter Trey Lance returning in time for a playoff run, meaning it will be Purdy the rest of the way, and he will make his first career start next week when Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to town.

"It’s gonna be pretty cool," Purdy said. "[Brady] has been playing football longer than I’ve been alive."

In fact, Brady played his final college game at Michigan four days after 22-year-old Purdy was born.

Defensive captain Fred Warner showed no signs of panic after he heard the news of Purdy's rise to the top of the depth chart, saying all his repetitions against this incredible 49ers defense in practice should have him ready.

"He's played against the best defense in the league for the past 13 weeks," he said. "He'll be fine."

Atlanta Hawks head coach Nate McMillan has clarified Trae Young's absence from Friday's 117-109 win over the Denver Nuggets as down to a "miscommunication" amid reports of a feud.

The Hawks had claimed that the All-Star's absence for the game was due to right shoulder soreness, but The Athletic's Shams Charania has since reported that the coach and player had engaged in a heated exchange at Friday's shootaround.

It is reported that McMillan and Young disagreed on whether the 24-year-old point guard would participate in shootaround or receive treatment. McMillan subsequently handed him an ultimatum to play off the bench or not show up at all, with Young opting for the latter.

The Hawks coach labelled the issue as a "miscommunication" when asked on Sunday, as Young trained normally, putting him in line to play on Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Atlanta, who lost in the first round of the NBA playoffs last season, hold a 13-10 record and sit fourth in the East, but there have been reports of simmering tensions.

McMillan took over as Hawks coach in March 2021 on an interim basis from Lloyd Pierce. He went on to guide them to the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals, earning the job permanently in July 2021.

Two-time All-Star Young is averaging 27.8 points on 41.1 per cent field goal shooting with 9.6 assists this season.

The Cincinnati Bengals had strong contributions from all facets of their offense to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 on Sunday.

In a rematch from last season's AFC Championship game – where the Bengals beat the Chiefs to advance to the Super Bowl – quarterback Joe Burrow was at his sharpest.

The 25-year-old former top overall draft pick completed 25 of his 31 passes, including touchdown passes to Tee Higgins in the second quarter and Chris Evans in the last, with Evans' score putting the Bengals up for good.

In his return from a five-game injury absence, last year's Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja'Marr Chase picked up right where he left off as Burrow's top option, catching seven passes for 97 yards, but backup running back Samaje Perine was even more influential.

Perine was used heavily in the fourth quarter as the Bengals looked to claw their way back from a deficit, with three of his six catches coming on their go-ahead touchdown drive, finishing with 49 yards through the air and another 106 on the ground from 21 carries.

It was not the best game from Chiefs quarterback and MVP favourite Patrick Mahomes, with 223 yards and one touchdown, as the Bengals committed to dropping eight defenders into coverage all game, forcing the Chiefs to accept small gains instead of their usual chunk-plays.

With the win, the Bengals are now 8-4, joining the Baltimore Ravens in a tie for the AFC North lead, while the Chiefs are three games clear atop the AFC West at 9-3.

Purdy party keeps the 49ers rolling

Brock Purdy was able to deliver a big 33-17 win for the San Francisco 49ers against the Miami Dolphins, but it came at a cost.

Purdy, the very last pick in this year's NFL Draft, was called upon when starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was carted off and ruled out during their first drive of the game. Garoppolo has been diagnosed with a broken foot, with the team saying afterwards that it will end his season.

Almost a lock for the playoffs now at 8-4 with arguably the best defense in the league, the 49ers will need Purdy to get up to speed in a hurry if they still have dreams of a Super Bowl run, and he was solid against the Dolphins, completing 25 of his 37 passes for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Deshaun Watson struggled on his return from an 11-game suspension where he was booed throughout as the Cleveland Browns won on the road against the Houston Texans 27-14 on Sunday.

Watson, who had been banned for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy for allegedly committing sexual assault, completed 12 of his 22 attempts for 131 yards with no touchdown passes and one interception.

The Browns' defense picked up Watson with two defensive touchdowns and a punt-return score to improve their record to 5-7, sitting third in the AFC North.

The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback had left the Texans for the Browns in the offseason on a five-year deal worth $230million guaranteed, one of the richest and most guaranteed contracts in NFL history.

That trade came after Watson had not played in the 2021 season as accusations emerged from more than two dozen women of sexual assault and other sexual misconduct during massage sessions, leading to the NFL-imposed 11-game ban and record $5m fine in August.

Watson's first NFL regular-season game in 700 days was met with displeasure, with his former fans booing and jeering him throughout.

"They're supposed to boo," Watson told reporters after the game. "I'm a Cleveland Brown now, and we're on the road, so they're supposed to boo."

Watson again refused to answer any non-football questions after the game, having been asked if he had any remorse for his actions that led to his suspension.

"That's something that, legal and clinical, we've answered before," Watson said. "They don't want me to address anything like that.

"Of course, it was a tough situation. The suspension was tough. But at the same time, my main focus is just trying to be 1-0 as a football player today.

"I was just excited to be back on the field today. I did everything that I was asked and was required to do. I did all that. I was able to play and be on the field today."

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski conceded Watson was rusty after not played for a season-and-a-half.

"Obviously you're missing a bunch of time so you've got to get back in it," Stefanski said. "You've got to get this first one out of the way. But I know what the kid is capable of."

The Browns face the 8-4 Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson's knee injury is not considered season-ending, according to Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh.

Jackson will undergo tests on Monday, and the team will have an idea by Wednesday on the severity of the injury and how much time he will miss – if any.

"It's going to be a number, days-to-weeks. We'll see," Harbaugh said after Sunday’s 10-9 win over the Denver Broncos. "We'll see if you can go back this week. If not, it'll be sometime after that shortly."

The 2019 league MVP was injured on the final play of the first quarter, when he landed awkwardly while being sacked from behind by linebacker Jonathon Cooper.

He was then evaluated in the sideline medical tent and sent to the locker room, leaving backup Tyler Huntley to run the offense.

The Ravens' offense struggled mightily Sunday, managing 268 total yards over the final three quarters and didn’t reach the endzone until 28 seconds left in the game, when Huntley scored on a game-winning two-yard touchdown run.

If Jackson’s injury is deemed serious and he ends up missing time, it could not only be detrimental to Baltimore’s playoff hopes, but also factor into Jackson’s next contract.

Jackson, who will be a free agent after this season after contract talks with the Ravens broke down over the summer, hadn’t missed time since suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 14 of 2021, which ultimately cause the Ravens' season to unravel.

Baltimore was 8-4 and atop the AFC North after 13 weeks last season, but ended up losing the last five games after Jackson went down and missed the playoffs.

The Ravens entered this week tied with the Cincinnati Bengals atop the AFC North, and improved their record to 8-4.

San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was carted off the field and ruled out of Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins after only eight plays.

Garoppolo was sacked by Dolphins duo Jaelan Phillips and Jerome Baker on the 49ers' first drive, staying down and eventually needing the cart to carry him back down the tunnel.

He was swiftly ruled out of the remainder of the contest due to the foot injury he sustained, with rookie Brock Purdy brought in as the 49ers' new signal-caller. Purdy was the very last pick in this year's NFL Draft, earning him the title of 'Mr Irrelevant'.

Nevertheless, Purdy closed the first half in style, delivering short-range touchdown passes to Christian McCaffrey and Kyle Juszczyk to head into the break with the 49ers leading 17-10.

At 7-4 while boasting arguably the best defense in the NFL, the 49ers' Super Bowl dreams will take a massive hit if Garoppolo's injury keeps him on the sideline for an extended period.

Viktor Hovland survived a nervy finish on his way to back-to-back Hero World Challenge titles as he finished at 16 under for a two-stroke victory.

Hovland defeated Scottie Scheffler by one stroke in last year's edition, and by defending his crown, he joined Tiger Woods (2006 and 2007) as the only other player to win this event in consecutive seasons.

He entered Sunday's play at the Bahamas' Albany Golf Course with a three-stroke buffer, but was made to sweat in the middle stages as playing partner Scheffler eagled the par-five sixth hole to cut the margin to just one.

Scheffler could not keep it up, posting a bogey and a double-bogey to close the front-nine and give Hovland some breathing room. However, he came roaring back down the stretch, with three consecutive birdies on 14, 15 and 16 to pull to within two.

The Norwegian opened the door on the 18th and final hole, with his tee shot finding the rough, before his next shot went in the water, but he was able to pitch and one-putt to save a bogey, meaning Scheffler had to birdie the hole to force a play-off.

Scheffler could not hit the green in regulation to give himself a birdie putt, and lipped out with his chip, finishing with a par to claim the runner-up spot yet again as the world number two shot a 68 while Hovland finished with a 69.

Speaking to NBC after stepping off the final green, Hovland did not hide his relief after surviving his late blunder.

"It's freaking nerve-wracking," he said. "I mean I was leading by five I think after the turn, but still, you're never that comfortable.

"I didn't play all that great on the back-nine, but it was good enough.

"We're at an amazing resort, there's only 20 guys – but it's the best 20 guys in the world, basically."

Cameron Young finished outright third at 12 under, with Xander Schauffele in fifth at 11 under and Justin Thomas rounded out the top five at 10 under.

The Minnesota Vikings took another big stride towards the playoffs with a 27-22 victory over the New York Jets, courtesy of fine showing in the second quarter.

All square with a field goal each in the first quarter, the Vikings hit boiling point to score 17 points without return to enter the half with a commanding lead.

A rushing touchdown each from Dalvin Cook, his eighth of the year, and Alexander Mattison left the Jets needing a response from the third quarter in order to maintain hope for their own postseason push.

The Jets did exactly that, scoring 12 unanswered points, all from the boot of Greg Zuerlein, to claw their way back into the game – Mike White then scoring a touchdown in the fourth on the Jets' immediate possession after Justin Jefferson added further gloss to the Vikings advantage.

It was not to be though, as Braxton Barrios dropped a pass in the endzone for the Jets, before White's last-ditch throw on the final possession was picked off at the goal line by Camryn Bynum to clinch a tenth win of the season for Minnesota.

However, with the Detroit Lions 40-14 victors against the Jaguars, the Vikings did not get the favour they needed from Jacksonville and will have to wait to cement their postseason spot.

Packers lead the way

The Green Bay Packers scored 17 straight fourth-quarter points, as well as a blocked field goal and two interceptions, on their way to a comeback victory against the Chicago Bears – which created NFL history.

Trailing 10-0 and 16-3 in the first half, Aaron Rodgers' side fought back to seal a 28-19 win and became the NFL's all-time winningest franchise, taking their franchise total to 787.

Honours even between Commanders and Giants

The divisional rivalry between the Washington Commanders and New York Giants went all the way into overtime, after Taylor Heinicke's 28-yard touchdown pass to Jahan Dotson levelled the score at 20-20 to end the fourth quarter.

Neither side managed to get the score they needed to secure what would have been a valuable win for the playoff charge, resulting in the first tie between the two franchises since 1997 and only the fifth all-time.

Harry Kane surpassed Gary Lineker as England's all-time record goalscorer at major tournaments with his effort against Senegal.

The Tottenham striker fired home the second of his side's goals during Sunday's 3-0 win at Al Bayt Stadium, as the Three Lions set up a Qatar 2022 quarter-final tie with France.

It was Kane's first goal at this year's tournament and took his tally in World Cups to seven in 10 matches, having claimed the Golden Boot award in Russia four years ago.

The forward also scored four times for England in their run to the Euro 2020 final last year, making it 11 goals in major competitions – one more than Lineker managed.

The 29-year-old is now one goal short of equalling Wayne Rooney (53) as England's all-time record scorer, with Kane's 52 goals coming in 79 caps.

 

Harry Kane scored his first goal of the tournament as England cruised past Senegal 3-0 to set up a World Cup quarter-final against France.

The Tottenham striker doubled England's lead in first-half injury-time after Jordan Henderson opened the scoring 10 minutes earlier.

Bukayo Saka completed the scoring in a surprisingly routine win after 57 minutes with his third goal of the finals.

England's next assignment is unlikely to be as straightforward, with Les Bleus and Kylian Mbappe lying in wait on Saturday.

A turgid opening half hour was notable only for the number of times England squandered possession in dangerous areas, with Senegal unable to make the most of their opportunities.

Boulaye Día saw a close-range shot hit John Stones – VAR ruling there was no case for a penalty – before Jordan Pickford was called upon to produce a brilliant stop to deny the Salernitana striker from 10 yards.

England finally woke from their slumber and, from their first move of genuine quality, took the lead seven minutes before the break. Kane set Jude Bellingham free in the left channel and his low cross was turned in Henderson.

It could have been 2-0 three minutes later with a near-identical move, but this time from the right, Saka sliding it over for Kane who shot wastefully over the bar.

Gareth Southgate's men did double their advantage in first-half stoppage time, though. The impressive Bellingham won the ball on the edge of his own area and burst through midfield before picking out Foden on the left. Foden slid it over for Kane, who took one touch before slamming past Edouard Mendy.

England put the game beyond doubt 12 minutes into the second half. Kane's pass was blocked, with Foden picking up the loose ball and playing a centre for Saka to cleverly lift the ball over Mendy.

The life had long since drained out of Senegal, with Southgate able to make several changes with France in mind.

Spain midfielder Pedri believes their loss to Japan has been a wake-up call for their World Cup campaign ahead of their last-16 tie with Morocco on Monday.

La Roja missed out on top spot in Group E after a shock defeat to the Samurai Blue, but still qualified after Germany beat Costa Rica elsewhere at Qatar 2022.

Having been firm favourites to top the pile and secure a more favourable knockout round tie, Luis Enrique's side will instead face Morocco after their own surprise campaign.

But with no safety net now going forward, Pedri says Spain are more than aware that there will be no second chances after suffering the unexpected defeat.

"We have realised all matches or life and death," he told Sport. "The last game was a tough match. It was a hard blow – we didn't expect that result against Japan.

"Luckily, we have another opportunity. But if we go missing for 10 minutes, if you disconnect, you go home. If they score, it can be the only one they need."

At one point during their final Group E game, Spain looked set to miss out on the knockouts entirely, with Costa Rica instead set to go through as they led Germany.

Pedri revealed he was not able to focus on matters elsewhere after he discovered La Roja could be going out, instead attempting to ensure Spain turned their game around instead.

"I was looking at the scoreboard," he added. "When I saw Costa Rica were second, and we were out, I was trying to look for the goal.

"I didn't realise Germany had took the lead, and we were second again. I was in anguish throughout the game."

Former junior champion, Julian Morrison broke through to win his first senior national title at the recent 2022 All-Jamaica Senior Squash Championships held at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston. Meanwhile, Mary Mahfood returned from her hiatus to win a second women’s singles crown.

The absence of nine-time national champion, Chris Binnie, made it a more open contest in the men’s draw with Morrison, a former Junior Caribbean champion, Jonathan Walker, along with Tahjia Lumley and 2009 Champion, Dane Schwier, among others all in contention for the title.

Morrison dispatched Schwier 11-6, 11-9, 11-3 in the semi-finals where Walker toppled long-time rival, Lumley 8-11, 11-1, 11-3, 7-11, 11-6 as the respective winners earned a place in the championship final for the first time their individual careers.

With everything to play for, the in-form Morrison held off Walker in a no-holds barred battle of skill and will. No sooner had Morrison taken the first game 11-9 than Walker came roaring back to even the score, winning the second 11-9.

 The younger Walker then looked set to secure the lead in the third but Morrison dug deep and rallied for another 11-9 win. The hard-fought third game tipped the scales in Morrison’s favour and after a number of unforced errors from his opponent, he claimed the fourth game 11-6 to win his first All-Jamaica Senior title.

The competition among the women was equally competitive.

Returning to competitive action for the first time since winning the Women’s title in 2015, Mary Mahfood fought off the challenge of promising junior player, Katherine Risden, 11-9, 11-2, 11-7 in the quarterfinals before toppling the number-one seed and reigning All-Jamaica Under 19 girls champion, Savannah Thomson 7-11, 11-2, 3-11, 12-10, 11-7 in a bruising semi-final to book her spot in the finals. 

In the title match, Mahfood went head-to-head with the number two seed, rising star, Mia Todd, who had a more straightforward route to the final. She did not drop a set as she dispatched Nathlee Boreland 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 in the quarterfinals and then Melissa Lue Yen 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 in the semi-finals. Mahfood, however proved to be a much greater challenge and although Todd took the first game, the former champion recovered form to win 7-11, 11-6, 14-12, 11-8.

Other category winners included Kyle Gregg who beat young Aman Dhiman, 11-8, 15-13, 8-11, 11-8, to take the Men’s B title, and Nabeel Jawad who prevailed in a round robin fixture to win the Men’s C draw.

In the Men’s Over 40 category, Jerazeno Bell beat Mark Haddad 11-2, 11-2, 11-5 while Brian Yong turned back Warren Burrowes 7-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-4, 11-5 to win the Over-50 title.

Tahjia Lumley and Melissa Lue Yen placed third in the Men and Ladies main draws, respectively, with Lue Yen beating Thompson 11-4, 12-10, 8-11, 10-12, 11-2 and Lumley winning 11-5, 12-10, 7-3 after Schwier retired injured in the third set.

Additionally, Mia Todd won the David Bicknell Award for exemplary performance and sportsmanship in the Ladies Competition while Allan Roper won the Tony Burrowes Award, the corresponding honour for the men.

 

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