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Chiefs storm back to beat Texans...Packers lead at halftime

UNDATED (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs spotted the Houston Texans a 24-0 lead before moving into the AFC championship game against the Tennessee Titans.

The Chiefs stormed back with four straight touchdowns in the second quarter of completing a 51-31 rout of the Texans. Patrick Mahomes (mah-HOHMZ’) Jr. was outstanding after a rough first period, completing 23 of 35 passes for 321 yards and five touchdowns. Mahomes’ most productive target was Travis Kelce (KEHL’-see), who scored three TDs in the first half and finished with 10 receptions for 134 yards.

Kelce became the first pass-catcher with three touchdowns receiving in a single quarter in postseason history. He was the catalyst as Kansas City needed just 4 minutes and 50 seconds of possession time in the second quarter to score four TDs.

Damien Williams rushed for a pair of scores and had a TD reception as the Chiefs became the first team in NFL history to win a playoff game by at least 20 points and trailing by at least 20.

The Chiefs fumbled a punt return, had their own punt blocked for a score and committed plenty more mistakes in becoming just the fourth home team in NFL history to trail 21-0 after the first quarter.

The Chiefs and Texans combined to set a postseason record with 52 points in the first half.

DeShaun Watson was 31 of 52 for 388 yards and two touchdowns for Houston.

In Green Bay, the Packers held a 21-3 halftime lead over the Seahawks Seahawks in the NFC divisional round game.

Aaron Jones ran for two touchdowns and Aaron Rodgers completed 10 of 15 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. Davante Adams had six receptions for 88 yards and a TD for the Packers, who are trying to earn a berth in next Sunday’s NFC championship game against the 49ers.

The Seahawks mustered just 141 yards of total offense in the first half, with Russell Wilson accounting for 121. He threw for 105 yards and carried twice for a team-high 16 yards.

Wilson was sacked three times by halftime, twice by Za’Darius Smith.


AP source: Browns hire Stefanski

UNDATED (AP) — Kevin Stefanski was the runner-up for the Cleveland Browns’ head coaching position last winter. He finally got the gig.

A person familiar with the decision says the Browns have chosen the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator to replace Freddie Kitchens, who was dismissed after one season and a 6-10 record. The hiring came a day after Minnesota lost to San Francisco in the NFC divisional round.

The 37-year-old Stefanski has been with the Vikings since 2006 and oversaw an offensive attack that flourished this season, headed by quarterback Kirk Cousins, running back Dalvin Cook and receiver Adam Thielen (THEE’-lihn).

Stefanski is the sixth coach hired by Browns owner Jimmy Haslam since he bought the team in 2012.

In other NFL news:

— Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman has been arrested in Southern California on suspicion of misdemeanor vandalism after jumping on the hood of someone's car. Police say Edelman caused unspecified damage when he jumped on the vehicle Saturday night on a commercial block of Beverly Hills.


Purdue defense bottles up No. 8 Spartans in 71-42 upset

UNDATED (AP) — It was a tough day for Michigan basketball. The eighth-ranked Michigan State Spartans were blown out at Purdue and the 19th-rated Michigan Wolverines fell apart in the closing minutes at Minnesota.

Trevion Williams contributed 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists while the Boilermakers were orchestrating a strong defensive performance in a 71-42 stifling of the Spartans. Michigan State had won eight straight before shooting a season-worst 35.5% and setting season lows with 18 field goals and two 3-pointers, all while accumulating a season-high 18 turnovers.

Cassius Winston finished with a team-best 10 points but committed nine turnovers in the Spartans’ worst offensive display since a 42-41 loss at Illinois nearly eight years ago.

In Minneapolis, the Golden Gophers went on a late 11-0 run to pull out a 75-67 victory against the Wolverines. Daniel Oturu scored a career-high 30 points for Minnesota, including a basket with three minutes left to put the Gophers ahead for good.

Marcus Carr had 21 points and 12 assists for Minnesota.

In other top-25 results:

— Precious Achiuwa shot 9-for-12 while providing 22 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in leading No. 21 Memphis to a 68-64 victory over South Florida. Tyler Harris had 17 points for the Tigers.

— No. 23 Wichita State blew a nine-point lead in the final minute of regulation before knocking off UConn, 89-86 in double-overtime. Jaime Echenique led four Wichita State players in double figures with 19 points before fouling out, while Dexter Dennis and Erik Stevenson each scored 16 in the Shockers’ ninth consecutive win.

— Colorado ripped Utah, 91-52 as Evan Battey provided 17 points and 10 rebounds for the 25th-ranked Buffaloes. McKinley Wright added 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Buffs, who were never threatened after building a 26-7 lead.


Jazz extend win streak

UNDATED (AP) — The Utah Jazz were able to extend their winning streak on Sunday despite the absence of leading scorer Donovan Mitchell.

It’s now a nine-game winning streak for the Jazz after Bojan (BOY’-ahn) Bogdonovic scored 31 points in a 127-116 downing of the Wizards. Rudy Gobert (goh-BEHR’) dropped in 21 points and had 14 rebounds for the Jazz, who overcame a 15-point deficit in the third quarter to win for the 14th time in 15 games.

Jordan Clarkson added 17 of his 23 points in the second half as Utah won while Mitchell sat out with an illness.

Checking out Sunday’s other NBA action:

— The Knicks ended a five-game losing streak by rallying from a 13-point, third-quarter deficit to beat the Heat, 124-121. Julius Randle scored 26 points, RJ Barrett chipped in 23 as the Atlantic Division cellar-dwellers knocked off the Southeast Division leaders. Jimmy Butler had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who blew a lead down the stretch for the second time during their weekend stay in New York.


Preds blank Jets

UNDATED (AP) — The Nashville Predators won for the second time in three games since replacing head coach Peter Laviolette (lah-vee-uh-LET') with John Hynes.

Juuse Saros (YOO’-see SAH’-rohs) turned back 28 shots for his first shutout of the season and eighth of his career to lead the Predators past the Jets, 1-0. Saros made a one-goal lead stand up after Kyle Turris (TOOR’-his) beat Connor Hellebuyck (HEH’-leh-buhk) 11:53 into the contest.

Hellebuyck stopped 31 shots in Winnipeg’s sixth consecutive home loss.

Elsewhere on NHL ice:

— Bo Horvat scored twice and Elias Pettersson notched his 21st goal of the season in the Canucks’ 4-1 win at Minnesota. Vancouver was 0-for-18 on the power play before Pettersson scored with the man advantage to open the scoring midway through the second period. Horvat scored the game-winner in the Canucks’ ninth victory in 11 games, 13 seconds after Marcus Foligno (foh-LEE’-noh) tied the game for Minnesota.

— Evan Rodrigues hadn’t scored in 25 games this season before netting two in the first five minutes of the Sabres’ 5-1 rout of the Red Wings. Zemgus Girgensons (ZEHM’-guhs GUR’-gehn-suhnz), Zach Bogosian and Rasmus Ristolainen (rihs-toh-LAY’-nehn) also scored to back Linus (LEE’-nuhs) Ullmark’s 21 saves. Buffalo moved back over .500 with its third win in five games.


AP source: Rangers get 3B Frazier

UNDATED (AP) — A person familiar with the deal says the Texas Rangers have agreed on a one-year, $5 million contract with third baseman Todd Frazier, pending a successful physical.

The 33-year-old Frazier batted .251 with 21 home runs and 67 RBIs in 133 games for the Mets last season.

Third base is one of the primary needs for the Rangers, who lost out on their pursuit of free agent Anthony Rendon (rehn-DOHN’) when he signed with the division rival Angels.


Djokovic leads Serbia to win over Spain in ATP Cup final

SYDNEY (AP) — Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-koh-vihch) has led Serbia to the inaugural ATP Cup title. He followed up a win over top-ranked Rafael Nadal with a victory in the deciding doubles encounter in Sunday's final against Spain.

The second-ranked Djokovic leveled the final for Serbia with a 6-2, 7-6 win over Nadal and teamed with Victor Troicki to beat Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4.

Nadal withdrew from the doubles match, citing fatigue.


Serena Williams ends 3-year title drought

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Serena Williams ended a three-year title drought when she beat fellow American Jessica Pegula (peh-GOO'-luh) 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to win the singles final at the ASB Classic in New Zealand.

Williams hadn't won a title since the Australian Open in January 2017, and not since she became a mother to her daughter Olympia.


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