Niners romp past Packers; Chiefs end half-century of frustration
UNDATED (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs have earned trips to Miami for Super Bowl 54 on Feb. 2. The Niners are heading to the game for the first time since 2013, while the Chiefs are ending a half-century Super Bowl drought.
The 49ers cruised to a 37-20 win over the Packers behind Raheem Mostert, who ran for 220 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries. Mostert already had 160 yards and three TDs by halftime to help San Francisco take a 27-0 lead into the locker room.
The Niners racked up 285 yards rushing while Jimmy Garoppolo (gah-RAH’-poh-loh) threw just eight times, completing six for 77 yards.
Aaron Rodgers couldn’t get Green Bay into the end zone until the first series of the second half, hitting Aaron Jones for a nine-yard TD. Jones also scored on a one-yard run.
Rodgers completed 31 of his 39 passes for 326 yards and two touchdowns, but one of his two interceptions set up a Mostert TD just before halftime.
The Niners are the third team to make it to the Super Bowl a year after winning four or fewer games, joining the 1988 Bengals and 1999 Rams.
Pat Mahomes (mah-HOHMZ’) scored on an acrobatic 27-yard run just before halftime and the Chiefs held NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry in check to complete a 35-24 win over the Titans in the AFC championship game. Tennessee led 17-7 until Mahomes led two touchdown drives over the last 4:03 of the first half, beginning with his 20-yard scoring strike to Tyreek Hill. The NFL’s reigning MVP followed that with a long TD run in which he tip-toed along the left sideline and squirmed through a wrap-around tackle attempt near the end zone.
Mahomes put the Chiefs in control by hitting Sammy Watkins for a 60-yard touchdown with 7:33 remaining. Mahomes finished with 53 yards rushing and was 23 of 35 for 295 yards and three TDs.
Henry scored on a four-yard run that gave Tennessee an early 10-0 lead, but he finished with just 69 yards on 19 carries after gaining 182 and 195 yards on the ground in the Titan’s first two postseason games.
Pacers, Spurs pick up wins
UNDATED (AP) — The Indiana Pacers picked up their fifth straight win on Sunday and moved into a virtual tie with the Boston Celtics for fourth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
The Pacers had four players score at least 22 points in a 115-107 victory at Denver. Doug McDermott was high man for Indiana with 24 points off the bench, two more than Domantas Sabonis (doh-MAHN’-tahs sah-BOH’-nihs), Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. Warren. Sabonis also had 15 rebounds and 10 assists for a triple-double that helped the Pacers improve to 28-15.
The Nuggets carried a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter before the Pacers scored 41 the rest of the way.
Nikola Jokic (nee-KOH’-lah YOH’-kihch) had 30 points and 10 boards for the Nuggets, who fell a half-game behind the Clippers for second place in the Western Conference.
In the other NBA game of the day, LaMarcus Aldridge provided 21 points and DeMar DeRozan added 20 as the Spurs downed the Southeast Division-leading Heat, 107-102. Miami led by 11 until Patty Mills rallied the Spurs with 14 points bridging the first and second quarters, including 3-for-5 shooting on 3-pointers. Mills finished with 18 points on 4-for-10 shooting on 3s.
Miami’s Duncan Robinson opened the game by draining his first four 3-point attempts, but he missed a potential game-tying attempt from behind the arc with 10.2 left.
Bam Adebayo (ad-ah-BAY’-oh) had 21 points, 16 rebounds and six assists for the Heat, who had won two straight and 10 of their previous 14.
Pens beat B’s after trailing by 3
UNDATED (AP) — A three-goal lead wasn’t good enough for the Boston Bruins against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.
The Pens erased a 3-0 deficit and beat the Bruins, 4-3 on Bryan Rust’s goal with 7:25 remaining. Jack Johnson tied it with a short-handed goal early in the third. Johnson’s goal atoned for a major miscue after he accidentally deflected a David Pastrnak (PAHS’-tur-nahk) shot into his own net to give the Bruins a three-goal cushion in the first period.
Rust notched his team-high 21st goal to send the Penguins to their sixth win in seven games, putting them within four points of the first-place Capitals in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division.
Pastrnak notched his league-leading 37th goal of the season but couldn’t stop the Atlantic Division leaders from losing for the third time in four games.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Justin Williams made his season debut and scored in the eighth shootout round to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 victory over the Islanders. Andrei Svechnikov (SVEHCH’-nih-kahv) tallied once in regulation and again in the shootout to help Carolina end a three-game losing streak. Anders Lee tied it late in the second period, but he also missed on the Islanders’ final shootout attempt to complete their fifth loss in six games.
— Oliver Bjorkstrand scored his second goal of the game with 26.5 seconds left to send the Blue Jackets to their fifth consecutive victory, 2-1 over the Rangers. Bjorkstrand tied it 6:08 into the third period before netting the winner in his return to the lineup after missing 13 games with an oblique injury. Matiss Kivlenieks (mah-TEES’ kihv-LEH’-nihks) made 31 saves in winning his first NHL start, helping Columbus improve to 15-2-4 since Dec. 9.
— Patrick Kane reaches the 1,000-point plateau with an assist in the third period of the Blackhawks’ 5-2 win against the Jets. Alex Nylander (NEE’-lan-dur) and Erik Gustafsson each had a goal and an assist in the Blackhawks’ fifth straight win. Robin Lehner (LEH’-nur) handled 36 shots for Chicago, which is four points behind Dallas for third place in the Central Division after sitting in the basement a month ago.
First tennis slam begins
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams and defending champion Naomi Osaka are off to good starts at the Australian Open.
Williams won her first set in 19 minutes and had a momentary lapse at the start of the second before completing a 6-0, 6-3 win over Anastasia Potapova. The eighth-seeded Williams is attempting to win her record 24th Grand Slam singles title.
The third-seeded Osaka was a straight-sets winner in the opening match at Rod Laver Arena. She won her last four games in a 6-2, 6-4 victory against Marie Bouzkova (booz-KOH’-vah).
No. 14 seed Sofia Kenin also moved into the second round, but fellow American Christina McHale lost in straight sets to 13th seed Petra Martic.
American Sam Querrey was the first winner on the men’s side.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic (JOH’-koh-vihch) begins his chase for an eighth Australian Open title and third-seeded Roger Federer starts his campaign for a men's-leading 21st Grand Slam singles title, both in later matches at Rod Laver.
Landry recovers to win Amex title
LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — Andrew Landry regrouped to win The American Express after blowing a six-stroke lead on the back nine.
Landry broke a tie with Abraham Ancer with a 7-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th hole and made a 6-footer on the par-4 18th for a 5-under 67 and a two-stroke victory.
Landy won the pro-am event at PGA West two years after losing a playoff to Jon Rahm. The 32-year-old Texan has two PGA Tour victories, also winning the 2018 Texas Open.
PGA-ABU DHABI CHAMPIONSHIP
Westwood gets 25th Euro tour victory
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Lee Westwood secured his 25th European Tour win with victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
The Englishman's 5-under par final-round 67 gave him a two-shot margin over a chasing pack of Victor Perez, Tommy Fleetwood and Matthew Fitzpatrick, who all finished on 271. Perez and Fleetwood each closed with 63s.
Top-ranked Brooks Koepka (KEHP'-kuh) finished 11 back in his first tournament since returning from a knee injury.
Still no winner thru 77 holes
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The LPGA’s Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions has spilled into Monday after darkness halted the playoff.
Nasa Hataoka and Gaby Lopez matched par five times in a playoff at the 197-yard 18th hole until it was too dark to continue. Inbee Park also was part of the playoff before falling out on the third extra hole.
Lopez earned a spot in the playoff with a 5-under 66 to catch Hataoka and Park.