The Rundown for February 16, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 27,692,948 and the nation’s death toll stands at 486,321, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… New York Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday acknowledged that his office was wrong to have withheld data on COVID-19 nursing home deaths. Cuomo said at a press conference that “lessons were learned’ in not releasing the data and that things “should have been done differently.” More than 15,000 people have died in New York state’s nursing homes and long term care facilities from COVID-19, but as recently as last month, the state reported only 8,500 deaths… The nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci was awarded the Israeli-based Dan David Prize. Fauci was honored with the $1 million prize for “defending science” and advocating for COVID-19 vaccines.

BIDEN REOPENS ACA SIGNUP… Joe Biden yesterday reopened the enrollment window for signing up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Uninsured Americans will be able to obtain Obamacare coverage through May 15. The original enrollment period began last November and ended on December 15. The action is expected to bring relief especially to Americans who lost health insurance due to the pandemic.

PELOSI PLANS CAPITOL COMMISSION… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday announced plans “to establish an outside, independent 9/11-type Commission” to investigate last month’s attack on the U.S. Capitol. In a letter to fellow House Democrats, Pelosi said the commission will “investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex… and relating to the interference with the peaceful transfer of power.” Support for a commission to scrutinize the attack has gained bipartisan support from lawmakers despite former President Trump’s acquittal in his Senate impeachment trial on one count of inciting an insurrection.

SENATOR BURR CENSURED BY NORTH CAROLINA GOP… The North Carolina Republican Party yesterday voted to censure Senator Richard Burr for voting to convict former President Trump at last week’s impeachment trial. In response, Burr said the move marked a “truly sad day” for the state GOP and showed that it “has chosen loyalty to one man over the core principles of the Republican Party and the founders of our great nation.” Burr stressed that his vote was based on evidence that Trump incited the deadly Capitol attack.

BRUTAL CHILL… Two people are dead and more than 2.6 million customers were without power in Texas yesterday amid the brutal cold and record snowfall that has struck the nation’s midsection. Abilene and San Angelo were hit by more than 10 inches of snow and joined several other Teas cities in setting daily snowfall records. Several inches of snow were also expected in Oklahoma and Arkansas, with some places more than six inches by tomorrow night.

ENTERTAINMENT
SIMONE ASHLEY LANDS ‘BRIDGERTON’ ROLE
… Simone Ashley has signed on as the female lead opposite Jonathan Bailey in Season 2 of the Netflix period drama series “Bridgerton.” The second season will chronicle the pursuit of a suitable marriage for the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony, played by Bailey. Ashley will play Anthony’s romantic interest, Kate Sharma. The series is based on Julia Quinn’s romance novels. Filming is scheduled for spring in London.

OPRAH LANDS ROYAL INTERVIEW… Oprah Winfrey has landed a sit-down interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for a CBS primetime special that will air on March 7. Winfrey will speak with Markle first about becoming a member of the royal family, marriage, motherhood, philanthropic work and being under the public eye. Harry will then join the conversation to discuss their move to the U.S. and the future of their family.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Chicago 120 – INDIANA 112 (OT)… The Bulls outlasted the Pacers after letting a fourth-quarter lead slip away. Zach LaVine scored a game-high 30 points.

WASHINGTON 131 – Houston 119… Bradley Beal pumped in 37 points and the Wizards outgunned the Rockets. Russell Westbrook scored 16 points and dished off 15 assists.

NEW YORK 123 – Atlanta 112… Julius Randle knocked down seven 3-pointers on his way to 44 points in leading the Knicks past the Hawks. RJ Barrett added 21 points.

UTAH 134 – Philadelphia 123… The Jazz ran past the 76ers in a matchup of conference leaders. Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to score 40 points. Donovan Mitchell dropped in 24 points and Joe Ingles tossed in 20.

GOLDEN STATE 129 – Cleveland 98… Stephen Curry scored 36 points before sitting out the fourth quarter and the Warriors dealt the Cavaliers their eighth straight loss. Five other players scored in double figures for Golden State.

L.A. CLIPPERS 125 – Miami 118… Marcus Morris made six 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 32 points as the Clippers downed the Heat for their fourth straight win. Ivica Zubac delivered 22 points off the bench.

Brooklyn 136 – SACRAMENTO 125… The Nets fought off the Kings despite playing without the injured Kevin Durant. Kyrie Irving led the way with 40 points. James Harden racked up 29 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Denver is at Boston…
Memphis hosts New Orleans…
Toronto is at Milwaukee…
Minnesota hosts the L.A. Lakers…
Portland is at Oklahoma City…
Phoenix hosts Brooklyn

NHL SCOREBOARD
ARIZONA 1 – St. Louis 0… Clayton Keller scored a second-period goal and the Coyotes made it stand in blanking the Blues. Goalie Darcy Kuemper stopped all shots.

N.Y. Islanders 3 – BUFFALO 1… Anders Lee and Jean-Gabriel netted first-period goals and the Islanders cruised past the Sabres to run their points streak to seven games. Josh Bailey had two assists.

Ottawa 6 – TORONTO 5 (OT)… The Senators came from four goals down late in the second period to upend the Maple Leafs. Evgenii Dadonov netted a tying goal with 2:01 left in regulation and added the game-winner at 2:19 of overtime. Connor Brown had a goal and an assist.

CAROLINA 7 – Columbus 3… The Hurricanes skated past the Blue Jackets after spotting them an early two-goal lead. Brock McGinn scored two goals and assisted on two others. Teuvo Teravainen had a goal and three assists.

Florida 6 – TAMPA BAY 4… Six different players found the net as the Panthers topped the Lightning. Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist.

Chicago 3 – DETROIT 2 (OT)… The Blackhawks recovered to outlast the Red Wings after letting a two-goal lead slip away. Dominik Kubalik scored the winning goal at 4:43 of overtime.

Winnipeg 6 – EDMONTON 5… Mark Scheifele scored a goal and had two assists as the Jets held off the Oilers. Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler both had a goal and an assist.

Calgary 4 – VANCOUVER 3 (OT)… Johnny Gaudreau scored on a power play 23 seconds into overtime to send the Flames past the Canucks. Milan Lucic, Elias Lindholm and Dillon Dube scored in regulation.

SAN JOSE 3 – Anaheim 2… Second-period goals by Kevin Labanc and Logan Couture carried the Sharks past the Ducks. Couture also had an assist. Martin Jones made 26 saves at goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
the N.Y. Islanders are at Buffalo…
Pittsburgh hosts Washington…
New Jersey is at the N.Y. Rangers…
Dallas hosts Nashville…
Colorado is at Vegas…
Los Angeles hosts Minnesota

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 16 FLORIDA STATE 81, No. 7 Virginia 60

NFL NEWS… Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson was found dead yesterday in a Florida hotel room. He was 38. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Jackson’s body was discovered in a hotel and there were no apparent signs of trauma. Jackson played for the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a 12-year career that ended in 2016.

The Rundown for February 8, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 27,004,716 and the nation’s death toll stands at 463,437, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Research published yesterday claims the faster-spreading coronavirus variant first detected in the U.K. is spreading fast in the U.S. The research by a network of scientists has yet to be peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal but its findings are consistent with last month’s Centers for Disease Control and Infection warning that the B.1.1.7 variant could become the dominant source of infection by next month. The variant has a “doubling rate of a little over a week and an increased transmission rate of 35-45 percent,” according to the study.

BIDEN SAYS U.S. WON’T LIFT IRAN SANCTIONS… President Joe Biden vowed in a CBS interview that aired yesterday that the U.S. will not lift economic sanctions on Iran to bring the country back to the 2015 nuclear agreement. Biden insisted that Tehran must first reverse its nuclear program. Earlier yesterday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the U.S. must “completely lift” sanctions before his government would return to its commitments as part of the nuclear agreement. During a televised speech to air force commanders, Khamenei also said Iran may block nuclear inspections scheduled for later this month if the Biden administration doesn’t act fast. Iran ramped up its uranium enrichment program after former President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal.

DEMS TO UNVEIL RELIEF LEGISLATION… House Democrats hope to give millions of families at least $3,000 per child as part of legislation they are set to unveil today. The enhanced Child Tax Credit bill would advance a key provision in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package. The legislation would provide $3,600 per child under the age of six and $3,000 per child age six through 17 for a single year. The full benefit is available to single parents earning up to $75,000 annually and for couples earning up to $150,000.

CHICAGO REACHES TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH TEACHERS… Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says city officials have reached a tentative agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union to resume in-person learning over the next several weeks, after union members review the deal and make it official. City officials and the union have been at odds over Covid-19 reopening plans. Mayor Lightfoot and school district officials say in-person learning is safe but union leaders have argued that teachers and students remain at risk if they return to the classroom too soon.

FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE GEORGE SCHULTZ DIES… George Shultz, who held four different cabinet-level jobs in serving three Republican presidents, died yesterday at his home in Stanford, California. He was 100. Shultz entered government in 1955 as an economist on President Eisenhower’s Council of Economic Advisers. He was labor secretary and director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Nixon administration. Schultz is best remembered as Secretary of State under President Reagan as the Cold War was winding down.

ENTERTAINMENT
JENNIFER LAWRENCE INJURED ON SET
… Actress Jennifer Lawrence was injured on the set of the upcoming Netflix film “Don’t Look Up.” The Adam McKay-directed film has been filming in Massachusetts since November. Lawrence was reportedly struck in or near her eye with flying debris while filming a scene that involved a special-effects explosion. The 30-year-old actress was rushed to the hospital but representatives say she is okay and will return to the set next week.

MORGAN WALLEN REMAINS ATOP ALBUM CHART… Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 149,000 copies to remain atop the Billboard 200 chart for the fourth straight week. Lil Durk’s “The Voice” jumps jumped int second place after selling 86,000 units. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” dropped to third place on sales of 43,000 copies. The Weeknd’s “After Hours” stayed at No. 4 with 34,000 units sold. Juice WRLD’s “Legends Never Die” capped the top five with 30,000 copies sold.

SPORTS
BRADY LEADS BUCS TO SUPER BOWL VICTORY
… 43-year-old Tom Brady passed for 201 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers past the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl 55 on the Bucs’ home field. Brady was awarded his fifth Super Bowl MVP award after earning his seventh ring. Rob Gronkowski caught a pair of scoring strikes. Leonard Fournette ran 27 yards for a fourth-quarter TD.

NBA SCOREBOARD
Utah 103 – INDIANA 95… Donovan Mitchell scored 27 points and dished off 11 assists in leading the Jazz past the Pacers. Rudy Gobert powered his way to 16 points and as many boards.

Miami 109 – NEW YORK 103… All five starters scored in double figures as the Heat fought off the Knicks. Bam Adebayo led the way with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Jimmy Butler added 17 points and 10 boards.

CHARLOTTE 119 – Washington 97… The Hornets shook off a slow start to roll past the Wizards. Terry Rozier made five 3-pointers on his way to 26 points. Gordon Hayward tossed in 25 points.

PHOENIX 100 – Boston 91… Mikal Bridges scored 19 points to lead a balanced scoring attack and the Suns held off the Celtics. Deandre Ayton had 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Sacramento 113 – L.A. CLIPPERS 110… The Kings were too much in the fourth quarter in downing the Clippers for their fourth straight win. De’Aaron Fox scored a game-high 36 points. Buddy Hield added 22 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Houston is at Charlotte…
Chicago hosts Washington…
Toronto is at Memphis…
Dallas hosts Minnesota…
Golden State is at San Antonio…
Phoenix hosts Cleveland…
Milwaukee is at Denver…
the L.A. Lakers host Oklahoma City

NHL SCOREBOARD
Philadelphia 7 – WASHINGTON 4… The Flyers scored three unanswered goals in the third period to blow past the Capitals after spotting them an early two-goal lead. Scott Laughton scored a goal in each period. Sean Couturier netted two goals and set up another.

Detroit 4 – FLORIDA 1… Marc Stall and Givani Smith found the net in the first period to provide the Red Wings with all the offense they needed in their win over the Panthers. Smith also assisted on Robby Fabbri’s third-period goal.

Carolina 6 – COLUMBUS 5… Jordan Staal scored a go-ahead power-play goal in the third period and Dougie Hamilton added what proved to be the decisive score as the Hurricanes topped the Blue Jackets. Stall also had two assists.

Chicago 2 – DALLAS 1 (OT)… Alex DeBrincat netted a power-play goal in the second period and added the game-winner at 2:56 of overtime as the Blackhawks outlasted the Stars. Goalie Malcolm Subban made 30 saves.

VEGAS 4 – Los Angeles 3… Chandler Stephenson scored a go-ahead goal on a power play early in the third period and the Golden Knights held on to edge the Kings. Stephenson also gave Vegas the lead with a second-period goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
the N.Y. Islanders are at the N.Y. Rangers…
Columbus hosts Carolina…
Edmonton is at Ottawa…
Toronto hosts Vancouver…
Tampa Bay is at Nashville…
St. Louis hosts Arizona

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 3 VILLANOVA 84, Georgetown 74…
INDIANA 67, No. 8 Iowa 65…
Valparaiso 74, No. 25 DRAKE 57

The Rundown for January 25, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 25,124,064 and the nation’s death toll stands at 419,204, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during an appearance on Fox News “Sunday” yesterday that health officials are tracking coronavirus mutations to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines and treatments stay ahead of new variants until collective immunity is achieved. She said the CDC had administered 21,848,655 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of yesterday morning. President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, said in a separate interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that a plan for distributing the vaccine, particularly beyond nursing homes and hospitals, “did not really exist when we came into the White House.”

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION RALLIES SUPPORT FOR RELIEF PROPOSAL… The Biden administration is trying to rally bipartisan support for the president’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief proposal. During a call to 16 senators and two House members, administration officials tried to ease concerns that the package is too pricey. Some lawmakers from both parties have expressed preference for a smaller plan that prioritizes coronavirus vaccine distribution.

BIDEN TO LIFT PENTAGON’S TRANS BAN… President Joe Biden will lift the Pentagon’s ban on transgender people serving in the military by signing an executive order today, according to White House officials. Former President Trump imposed the ban in 2017, reversing the Obama administration’s policy that allowed open service by transgender people. New Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is expected to attend today’s signing at the White House.

SIX DEAD IN INDIANAPOLIS SHOOTINGS… Six people were fatally shot and a juvenile was taken to the hospital in critical condition early yesterday following a shooting spree in Indianapolis. Police responding to the report of a disturbance found the wounded child and directed units to a second location, where the bodies were found. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Randall Taylor both referred to the incident as a “mass murder” during a press conference yesterday afternoon. Among the dead was a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

CHICAGO TEACHERS WON’T RETURN TO CLASS… Chicago Teachers Union members yesterday voted to defy an order from Chicago Public Schools to return to in-person instruction due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Representatives from the nation’s third-largest school district have indicated that they would treat the defiance as an illegal strike. Kindergarten through eighth grade teachers were originally scheduled to return to classrooms today.

ENTERTAINMENT
MORGAN WALLEN REMAINS ATOP ALBUM CHART
… Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 159,000 copies to remain atop the Billboard 200 album chart for a second week. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” jumped into second place on sales of 47,000 units. Why Don’t We’s “The Good Times and the Bad Ones” opened in third place after selling 46,000 copies. Taylor Swift’s “Evermore” slipped to fourth place with 41,000 units sold. Ariana Grande’s “Positions” sold 39,000 copies to cap the top five.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… The Liam Neeson action-thriller “The Marksman” brought in $2 million to top the weekend box office for a second straight week. “The Croods: A New Age” finished second with $1.8 million. “Wonder Woman,” “News of the World” and “Monster Hunter” were also in the top five.

SPORTS
NFL CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP SCORES

Tampa Bay 31 – GREEN BAY 26… The Buccaneers held off the Packers in the NFC title game and advance to take on defending-champion Kansas City in the Super Bowl on their home field. Tom Brady overcame three interceptions to throw touchdown passes to three different receivers in reaching the Super Bowl for the 10th time. Leonard Fournette ran 20 yards for a second-quarter score. Chris Godwin had five catches for 110 yards. Defensively, Tampa Bay sacked Aaron Rodgers five times.

KANSAS CITY 38 – Buffalo 24… Patrick Mahomes hit Travis Kelce with two of his three touchdown passes and the Chiefs rolled past the Bills in the AFC championship game. Mahomes completed 29 of 38 passes for 325 yards. Tyreek Hill had nine receptions for 172 yards.

NBA SCOREBOARD
Toronto 107 – INDIANA 102… The Raptors came on strong down the stretch to hold off the Pacers. OG Anunoby scored a game-high 30 points. Fred VanVleet added 21 points and Norman Powell tossed in 20.

L.A. CLIPPERS 108 – OKLAHOMA CITY 100… The Clippers jumped out to a 17-point lead after the first quarter and hung on to down the Thunder. Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 34 points.

BOSTON 141 – Cleveland 103… The Celtics built a big lead early and never looked back in their dismantling of the Cavaliers. Jaylen Brown scored 20 of his 33 points in the third quarter. Kemba Walker dropped in 21 points.

Charlotte 107 – ORLANDO 104… The Hornets erased a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit to upend the Magic. Gordon Hayward made a tie-breaking layup with less than a second remaining and finished with a game-high 39 points.

SAN ANTONIO 121 – Washington 101… The Spurs ran past a Wizards team that was playing for the first time in two weeks. Patty Mills scored 21 points to lead a balanced scoring attack.

MILWAUKEE 129 – Atlanta 115… The Bucks led by 19 points at the half and coasted past the Hawks. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Bobby Portis delivered 21 points off the bench.

PORTLAND 116 – New York 113… The Trail Blazers withstood a fourth-quarter rally in downing the Knicks. Damian Lillard lit it up for 39 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Philadelphia is at Detroit…
Indiana hosts Toronto…
Charlotte is at Orlando…
Miami is at Brooklyn…
Cleveland hosts the L.A. Lakers…
Denver is at Dallas…
Chicago hosts Boston…
San Antonio is at New Orleans…
Golden State hosts Minnesota…
Oklahoma City is at Portland

NHL SCOREBOARD
CHICAGO 6 – Detroit 2… Pius Suter scored two of his three goals in the first period and the Blackhawks skated past the Red Wings. Conor Murphy had a goal and an assist.

Buffalo 4 – WASHINGTON 3 (SO)… Jack Eichel netted the lone goal in the shootout to lift the Sabres over the Capitals. Rasmus Ristolainen assisted on two goals.

Toronto 3 – CALGARY 2… Wayne Simmonds scored a tie-breaking power-play goal with 32 seconds left in the second period and Auston Matthews added the decisive goal in the third to push the Maple Leafs past the Flames. Morgan Rielly assisted on all three goals.

Vegas 1 – ARIZONA 0… William Karlsson found the net with 43 seconds remaining to send the Golden Knights past the Coyotes. Marc-Andre Fleury faced only 16 shots in the shutout.

NEW JERSEY 2 – N.Y. Islanders 0… Jack Hughes and Pavel Zacha scored two minutes apart in the first period and the Devils blanked the Islanders. Goalie Scott Wedgewood stopped all 28 shots.

PITTSBURGH 3 – N.Y. Rangers 2… Jake Guentzel’s goal with 1:31 left gave the Penguins a come-from-behind win over the Rangers. Jared McCann netted a tying goal early in the third period.

Los Angeles 6 – ST. LOUIS 3… Six different players found the net as the Kings doubled up on the Blues. Anze Kopitar had a goal and two assists. Adrian Kempe set up two goals.

San Jose 5 – MINNESOTA 3… The Sharks recovered to put away the Wild after blowing a two-goal lead. Brent Burns scored a go-ahead goal with 1:49 remaining.

DALLAS 3 – Nashville 2… Joe Pavelski’s power-play goal early in the third period proved to be the difference in the Stars’ win over the Predators. Pavelski also had two assists. Roope Hintz also had a goal and two assists for Dallas.

ANAHEIM 3 – Colorado 1… John Gibson made 32 saves at goal and the Ducks eased past the Avalanche. Jakob Silfverberg, Rickard Rakell and Hampus Lindholm found the net.

Edmonton 4 – WINNIPEG 3… Leon Draisaitl beat the final buzzer with a game-winning goal as the Oilers topped the Jets. Kailer Yamamoto scored a tying goal with 3:05 to go. Connor McDavid had three assists.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Ottawa is at Vancouver

MLB NEWS… The New York Yankees have acquired right-handed pitcher Jameson Taillon from the Pittsburgh Pirates for four minor league prospects. Pittsburgh received pitchers Miguel Yajure and Roansy Contreras, infielder Maikol Escotto and outfielder Canaan Smith in the deal. The 29-year-old Taillon, the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2010 and was a 14-game winner for the Pirates in 2018. He appeared in just seven games in 2019 and missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow.

The Rundown for January 18, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 23,932,551 and the nation’s death toll stands at 397,561, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said yesterday that President-elect Joe Biden’s goal of delivering 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine within the first 100 days of his presidency “is absolutely a doable thing.” During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Fauci said two new vaccines under development by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson could “very soon” head to U.S. regulators for approval, which would speed up vaccinations… The incoming director of the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention yesterday presented a grim forecast for the next month’s death toll. Dr. Rochelle Walensky told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he expects another 100,000 dead by the end of February, which is 25 percent of the current total.

TRUMP CAMPAIGN MEMBERS PLANNED RALLY BEFORE CAPITOL ATTACK… The Associated Press reported yesterday that several members of President Trump’s campaign staff helped plan the January 6 rally that led to an attack on the Capitol building. The Trump campaign has denied involvement and blamed the deadly riots on left-wing activists. However, an AP investigation found that those involved in both the Trump campaign and the rally planning include Maggie Mulvaney, niece of former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and Megan Powers, the Trump campaign’s former director of operations.

PLAN PROTESTS FADE UNDER HEAVY SECURITY… It was a quiet day on state capitol grounds yesterday, as beefed up security appears to have doused violent threats by right-wing extremists. More than a dozen states activated National Guard troops to help secure their capitol buildings following an FBI warning of armed demonstrations. Members of the anti-government “boogaloo boys” movement last month announced plans to hold rallies in all 50 states but events drew only small gatherings of demonstrators.

MORE TRUMP PARDONS COMING… The New York Times reported yesterday that President Trump’s allies and associates have collected tens of thousands of dollars in fees from people seeking presidential pardons. Citing documents and interviews with more than three dozen lobbyists and lawyers, the report claimed that the demand intensified once it became clear that Joe Biden would be inaugurated as the next president. Three White House insiders told CNN that Trump is preparing to issue around 100 pardons and commutations tomorrow on his final full day in office.

KAMALA HARRIS TO RESIGN FROM SENATE TODAY… Kamala Harris will resign as U.S Senator from California today, just two days before she is set to make history as the first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president. California Governor Gavin Newsom has picked California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill the rest of Harris’ term, which could include President Trump’s second impeachment trial. Officials haven’t clarified when Padilla will be seated.

ENTERTAINMENT
PHIL SPECTOR DIES
… Authorities confirmed yesterday that legendary music producer and convicted murderer Phil Spector died of natural causes Saturday night. The California Health Care Facility in Stockton, California, where Spector was an inmate, listed his age as 80. Spector was found guilty of second-degree murder in 2009 in the 2003 fatal shooting of actress and club hostess Lana Clarkson. Spector used his “wall of sound” technique to produce some of the biggest hit songs of the 1960s and ’70s, including the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” and The Beatles’ final album, “Let It Be.”

MORGAN WALLEN TOPS ALBUM CHART… Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 265,000 copies to debuts atop the Billboard 200 albums chart. Taylor Swift’s “Evermore” slipped into second place after selling 55,000 units. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” remained in third place on sales of 47,000 copies. Jazmine Sullivan’s “Heaux Tales” opened at No. 4 on sales of 43,000 units. Lil Durk’s “The Voice” sold 42,000 copies to cap the top five.

SPORTS
NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF SCORES

KANSAS CITY 22 – Cleveland 17… The Chiefs fought off the Browns despite losing quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the third quarter to a concussion. Mahomes scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter and hit Travis Kelce with a 20-yard scoring toss early in the second quarter. Kansas City hosts Buffalo in the AFC title game next Sunday.

Tampa Bay 30 – NEW ORLEANS 20… The Buccaneers converted three turnovers into touchdowns and put away the Saints. Tom Brady threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another. Defensively, Tampa Bay intercepted Drew Brees three times. The Buccaneers are at Green Bay in next Sunday’s NFC championship.

NFL NEWS… The Los Angeles Chargers announced last night that they plan to hire Brandon Staley as their next head coach. The team will formally introduce him at a news conference on Thursday. Staley served the past season as the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive coordinator. He replaces coach Anthony Lynn, who was fired after four seasons and a 33-31 record. The Chargers went 7-9 in 2020 and finished third in the AFC West.

NBA SCOREBOARD
New York 105 – BOSTON 75… Julius Randle scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Knicks in their rout of the Celtics. RJ Barrett added 19 points and 11 boards.

Chicago 117 – DALLAS 101… The Bulls took control with a big second quarter and cruised past the Mavericks to snap a four-game skid. Garrett Temple scored 15 of his 21 points to key the run. Lauri Markkanen had 29 points and 10 rebounds. Luka Doncic’s 34 points, 16 boards and 15 assists weren’t enough for Dallas.

Utah 109 – DENVER 105… The Jazz came up big in the second half to down the Nuggets for their fourth straight win. Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to score 23 points.

New Orleans 128 – SACRAMENTO 123… The Pelicans overcame a 43-points effort by the Kings De’Aaron Fox to escape with the victory. Zion Williamson pumped in 31 points. Brandon Ingram added 22 points and Eric Bledsoe tossed in 21. Steven Adams pulled down 15 rebounds to go with his 12 points.

L.A. CLIPPERS 129 – Indiana 96… Seven players scored in double figures as the Clippers thrashed the Pacers. Paul George, Marcus Morris and Luke Kennard scored 20 points apiece.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Orlando is at New York…
Atlanta hosts Minnesota…
Detroit is at Miami…
San Antonio is at Portland…
Memphis hosts Phoenix…
Milwaukee is at Brooklyn…
Toronto hosts Dallas…
Houston is at Chicago…
the L.A. Lakers host Golden State

NHL SCOREBOARD
PITTSBURGH 4 – Washington 3
(SO)… Jake Guentzel scored the lone goal in the shootout to send the Penguins past the Capitals. Marcus Pettersson netted a tying goal in the second period.

FLORIDA 5 – Chicago 2… The Panthers recovered to beat the Blackhawks after blowing an early two-goal lead. They closed with three straight goals in the third period. Jonathan Huberdeau scored a goal and assisted on two others. Eetu Luostarinen had a goal and an assist.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Columbus is at Detroit…
the N.Y. Islanders host Boston…
Winnipeg is at Toronto…
Philadelphia hosts Buffalo…
San Jose is at St. Louis…
Nashville hosts Carolina…
Vancouver is at Calgary…
Edmonton hosts Montreal…
Minnesota is at Anaheim…
Vegas hosts Arizona

TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES
NO. 5 Iowa 96, NORTHWESTERN 73…
No. 11 HOUSTON 75, Central Florida 58…
No. 20 Virginia Tech, WAKE FOREST 60

The Rundown for January 15, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 23,307,232 and the nation’s death toll stands at 388,533, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… President-elect Joe Biden presented his $1.9 trillion relief package in a prime-time address last night. The aid package includes $415 billion to bolster the response to the virus and the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, $1 trillion in direct relief to households and roughly $440 billion for small businesses and communities. Stimulus payment checks would be issued for $1,400, on top of the $600 checks delivered by the last congressional stimulus legislation. Supplemental unemployment insurance would also increase to $400 a week from $300 a week now and would be extended to September.

INVESTIGATION CONTINUES FOR CAPITOL ATTACKERS… FBI Director Chris Wray revealed yesterday that investigators have identified more than 200 suspects in the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol and arrested more than 100 individuals. Wray said investigators are chasing thousands of leads as they seek to prosecute people involved and deter follow-up attacks. Wray reiterated that the FBI has “confidence” in its preparation and security surrounding the January 20 inauguration. The Biden inauguration committee has rescheduled a rehearsal scheduled for Sunday to Monday due to threats.

JAIME HARRISON TO LEAD DNC… President-elect Joe Biden has nominated former South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison to lead the Democratic National Committee. The 44-year-old Harrison is currently an associate chair and senior counselor at the DNC. His fundraising skills were on public display during his unsuccessful South Carolina Senate run against Lindsey Graham, as he raised a record-breaking $131 million.

DOJ WATCHDOG RELEASES BORDER POLICY REPORT… A report released yesterday by the Justice Department’s inspector general claims Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy Rod Rosenstein pushed to separate children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border against the wishes of prosecutors in their department. According to the report, Sessions believed families could be separated, prosecuted and reunified within the span of an afternoon. Both Sessions and Rosenstein were reportedly informed of possible ramifications, but ignored them. President Trump ceased the policy via executive order in June 2018 amid widespread public backlash.

SENATE COMMITTEE POSTPONES CONFIRMATION HEARING… The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has postponed today’s scheduled confirmation hearing for President-elect Joe Biden’s selection of Avril Haines as director of national intelligence. The committee hasn’t said whether it will reschedule the hearing before or after Wednesday’s inauguration. Democrats on the committee had been seeking to expedite the hearing with a virtual session but needed consent from all the senators on the panel to do so.

ENTERTAINMENT
SYLVAIN SYLVAIN DIES
… Sylvain Sylvain, a guitarist whose work with the New York Dolls made him a punk rock icon, died yesterday after a battle with cancer. He was 69. The New York Dolls’ self-titled 1973 debut album is listed among Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The band dissolved in 1977 but reunited in 2004 and was a part of its final three albums.

LADY GAGA, JENNIFER LOPEZ TO PERFORM AT INAUGURATION… Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez will perform at President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. They are headlining an event that organizers say will showcase a diverse America. Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem. It was announced earlier this week that Tom Hanks will host a 90-minute primetime TV special celebrating the inauguration. Other performers include Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and Ant Clemons.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

PHILADELPHIA 125 – Miami 108… Shake Milton returned to action and pumped in 31 points in leading the 76ers past the Heat. Ben Simmons had 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

TORONTO 111 – Charlotte 108… The Raptors withstood a fourth-quarter rally to get past the Hornets. Chris Boucher came off the bench to score a game-high 25 points. Kyle Lowry had 16 points and 12 assists.

Houston 109 – SAN ANTONIO 105… The Rockets came on strong in the fourth quarter to get past the Spurs. Christian Wood powered his way to 27 points and 13 boards. Sterling Brown tossed in 23 points.

DENVER 114 – Golden State 104… Nikola Jokic scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half, gathered 14 rebounds and dished off 10 assists in leading the Nuggets past the Warriors. Six other players scored in double figures for Denver.

Indiana 111 – PORTLAND 87… The Pacers bombed the Trail Blazers 33-10 in the second quarter and coasted to the victory. Malcolm Brogdon scored 25 points to lead all scorers. Domantas Sabonis had 23 points and 15 boards.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Orlando is at Boston…
Cleveland hosts New York…
Dallas is at Milwaukee…
Minnesota hosts Memphis…
Chicago is at Oklahoma City…
Utah hosts Atlanta…
New Orleans is at the L.A. Lakers…
Sacramento hosts the L.A. Clippers

NHL SCOREBOARD
Washington 6 – BUFFALO 4… T.J. Oshie scored a goal and had two assists for the Capitals.

Boston 3 – NEW JERSEY 2 (SO)… Brad Marchand had a goal and an assist before netting the decisive goal in the shootout.

N.Y. Islanders 4 – N.Y. RANGERS 0… Goalie Semyon Varlamov stopped all 24 shots in the shutout. Anders Lee found the net twice for the Islanders.

Carolina 3 – Detroit 0… The Hurricanes held the Red Wings to just 14 shots on goal. Nino Niederreiter netted the only goal Carolina needed early in the first period.

NASHVILLE 3 – Columbus 1… Filip Forsberg and Calle Jarnkrok scored third-period goals to send the Predators past the Blue Jackets.

WINNIPEG 4 – Calgary 3 (OT)… The Jets erased a 3-1 second-period deficit in outlasting the Flames. Patrik Laine found the net in the first period and added the winning goal in overtime.

EDMONTON 5 – Vancouver 2… Connor McDavid scored three goals and assisted on another in leading the Oilers past the Canucks. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added two goals and an assist. Leon Draisaitl assisted on four goals.

San Jose 4 – ARIZONA 3 (SO)… The Sharks recovered to top the Coyotes after blowing an early two-goal lead. Ryan Donato and Logan Couture scored in the shootout. Tomas Hertl netted two first-period goals.

VEGAS 5 – Anaheim 2… Mark Stone scored a tie-breaking goal early in the third period to help push the Golden Knights past the Ducks. Stone also assisted on a Max Pacioretty goal.

Minnesota 4 – LOS ANGELES 3 (OT)… The Wild came from two goals down in the third period to upend the Kings. Kirill Kaprizov scored the winning goal at 3:47 of overtime. Marcus Foligno’s goal tied the game with 10:18 left in regulation.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Washington is at Buffalo..
Philadelphia hosts Pittsburgh…
Chicago is at Tampa Bay…
Ottawa hosts Toronto…
St. Louis is at Colorado

TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 1 GONZAGA 95, Pepperdine 70

NFL COACHING HIRES… The Jacksonville Jaguars have hired Urban Meyer as their next head coach. Meyer, who won two national championships at the University of Florida and another at Ohio State, compiled a 187-32 record in 17 years as a college coach and never had a losing season. Meyer replaces Doug Marone and inherits a team that went 1-15 in 2020… The New York Jets have reached an agreement in principle with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to be their next head coach, The 41-year-old Saleh replaces Adam Gase, who went 9-23 and was fired immediately after the 2020 season.

SATURDAY’S NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
the L.A. Rams are at Green Bay…
Buffalo hosts Baltimore

SUNDAY’S NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Cleveland is at Kansas City…
New Orleans hosts Tampa Bay

The Rundown for January 12, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 22,613,310 and the nation’s death toll stands at 376,060, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said nearly 9 million Americans have received their first vaccinations as of yesterday. The figure represents less than one-third of the 25 million total doses distributed to states by the federal government. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is seeking permission from the Trump administration to purchase 100,000 doses of the Pfizer directly to speed up vaccinations. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that the city could run out of vaccine doses if the federal government does not send more. He has pledged to inoculate 1 million New Yorkers by the end of the month.

DEMS UNVEIL IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES… House Democrats yesterday unveiled articles of impeachment against President Trump in response to last Wednesday’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building. Democrats accuse Trump of “high crimes and misdemeanors” for “willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States.” The articles claim Trump encouraged his supporters to storm the Capitol in a speech the day before. Democrats plan to vote on impeachment as early as tomorrow if Vice President Mike Pence fails to “do his duty and invoke the 25th Amendment” today, according to Virginia Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger.

FBI WARNS OF INAUGURATION VIOLENCE… An FBI warning issued yesterday confirmed that possible armed protests are being planned for Washington, D.C., and at all 50 U.S. state capitals prior to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20. The National Guard is sending as many as 15,000 troops to the nation’s capital. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has urged Americans not to travel to the event. Biden’s inaugural committee announced yesterday the theme of the ceremony will be “America United.”

BIDEN PICKS CIA DIRECTOR… President-elect Joe Biden announced yesterday that he has picked State Department veteran William Burns as Central Intelligence Agency director. Burns has served in the State Department under five different administrations during his 33-year diplomatic career. His service includes U.S. ambassador to Jordan under former President Bill Clinton and ambassador to Russia under former President George W. Bush. Burns retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2014 and is currently president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY STEPS DOWN… Acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced yesterday that he was stepping down effective last night. Wolf was never confirmed by the Senate to his post, even though it is a Cabinet-level position. Several rulings have invalidated the department’s policy decisions based on Wolf not being lawfully appointed. Trump withdrew Wolf’s nomination last week after Wolf called on the president to denounce the riot in the U.S. Capitol. FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor will direct the department for the remaining nine days of Trump’s term.

ENTERTAINMENT
AMAZON CASTING FOR ‘BEING THE RICARDOS’
… Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem are in talks to play Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in the upcoming Amazon film, “Being the Ricardos.” Aaron Sorkin wrote the screenplay and is set to direct the film about the relationship between the “I Love Lucy” stars. The story is set during one production week of “I Love Lucy” as Lucy and Desi face one crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage. A production start date hasn’t been announced. Kidman most recently starred in the HBO drama series “The Undoing,” alongside Hugh Grant. She was also featured in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix musical “The Prom.” This year, she will star in Hulu’s star-studded “Nine Little Strangers” and Robert Eggers’ “The Northman.” Bardem will star in Deni Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic “Dune” and was most recently seen in “The Roads Not Taken.” He’ll also play Ariel’s father King Triton in Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid.”

CNN, MSNBC PULL AHEAD IN CABLE NEWS RACE… Cable news viewers flocked to CNN and MSNBC for live coverage of the riots and fallout, according to figures released by the Nielsen Company. Both networks trounced Fox News for three state days following the storming of the U.S. Capitol. On Wednesday, CNN averaged 5.941 million total viewers and 2.074 million in the key 25-54 demographic for the entire day, compared with MSNBC’s 4.543 million viewers overall and 1.106 million demo audience and Fox News’ total audience of 3.464 million and 852,000 in the demo. The disparity increased on Thursday and Friday.

SPORTS
ALABAMA IS COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S NATIONAL CHAMPION
… Alabama rolled past Ohio State 52-24 in last night’s college football national championship game in Miami. Heisman Trophy-winning receiver DeVonta Smith caught 12 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns before sitting out the second half with a right hand injury. The victory gave Alabama head coach Nick Saban his seventh championship, moving him past Bear Bryant for the most all-time.

NBA SCOREBOARD
CHARLOTTE 109 – New York 88
… Gordon Hayward scored a game-high 34 points to lead the Hornets in their rout of the Knicks. Five other players scored in double figures for Charlotte.

Memphis 101 – CLEVELAND 91… Dillon Brooks scored 21 points to lead a balanced scoring attack and the Grizzlies fought off the Cavaliers.

Milwaukee 121 – ORLANDO 99… The Bucks used a big fourth fourth quarter to put away the Magic. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 22 points. Kris Middleton put up 20 points and 10 rebounds. Bobby Portis added 21 points off the bench.

WASHINGTON 128 – Phoenix 107… The Wizards built a 25-point halftime lead and never looked back in their thrashing of the Suns. Bradley Beal pumped in 34 points to lead all scorers. Robin Lopez grabbed 11 boards to go with his 11 points.

ATLANTA 112 – Philadelphia 94… The Hawks took control with a big second quarter and coasted past the shorthanded 76ers to snap their four-game skid. Trae Young led all scorers with 26 points.

PORTLAND 112 – Toronto 111… CJ McCollum knocked down a go-ahead jumper with 9.9 seconds remaining and the Trail Blazers hung on to edge the Raptors. McCollum finished with a game-high 30 points. Damian Lillard added 23 points. Carmelo Anthony delivered 20 points off the bench.

SACRAMENTO 127 – Indiana 122… The Kings were too much down the stretch in downing the Pacers. Harrison Barnes lit it up for 30 points. De’Aaron Fox tossed in 21 points.

DALLAS – New Orleans (ppd)… The Mavericks had to postpone their game with the Pelicans after they had fewer than eight players available for the contest.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Miami is at Philadelphia…
Brooklyn hosts Denver…
Utah is at Cleveland…
Houston hosts the L.A. Lakers…
San Antonio is at Oklahoma City…
Golden State hosts Indiana

TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 25 Connecticut 60, DePAUL 53

NFL NEWS… The Philadelphia Eagles fired coach Doug Pederson yesterday in the wake of a 4-11-1 season. Pederson led the Eagles to their only Super Bowl title in 2018 and the team went 42-37 (.531) in his five seasons. Philadelphia reached the playoffs three times under Pederson.

The Rundown for January 11, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 22,406,747 and the nation’s death toll stands at 374,322, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Former Food and Drug Administration Director Dr. Scott Gottlieb said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” yesterday that the nation’s strategy for administering coronavirus vaccines is “not working” and encouraged public health officials to “hit the reset” and take up a new approach. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22.1 million doses of vaccines have been distributed, and nearly 6.7 million people have received their first of two doses. President-elect Joe Biden plans to speed up the process by releasing all available doses.

PELOSI TAKES ACTION TO REMOVE TRUMP… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced yesterday the House will move to impeach President Donald Trump if Vice President Mike Pence does not remove him. Pelosi says the House will attempt to pass a resolution by unanimous consent this morning calling for Pence and Trump’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office. If the resolution doesn’t pass by unanimous consent, the measure will be brought to the floor for a full vote tomorrow. “In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to colleagues yesterday.

FEDS BUILDING DOMESTIC-TERRORISM CASES… Federal prosecutors have opened at least 25 domestic terrorism cases following last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to Colorado Democratic Congressman and House Armed Services Committee member Jason Crow. In a statement he released yesterday, Crow said he obtained that number from Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy in a phone call. Crow said McCarthy informed him that authorities recovered long guns, Molotov cocktails, explosive devices and zipties during the insurrection. McCarthy reportedly also told Crow “that (the Department of Defense) is aware of further possible threats posed by would-be terrorists in the days up to and including Inauguration Day and is working with local and federal law enforcement to coordinate security preparations.”

D.C. MAYOR WANTS WHITE HOUSE HELP WITH INAUGURATION… Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser has asked President Trump for an emergency declaration that will help fund President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration amid mounting safety concerns. Bowser noted in a letter to the president that the calls for violence have only intensified ahead of Inauguration Day on January 20. Bowser said during an appearance earlier on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that she will also ask the Department of Homeland Security to begin their “national special security event” timeline sooner than planned.

AUTHORITIES SEARCH FOR CALIFORNIA ESCAPEES… Authorities in Central California are on the lookout for six men who escaped from the Merced County Jail on Saturday night. Investigators believe the men accessed the jail’s roof and used a homemade rope to rappel down to the ground. Among the escapees is a 22-year-old man facing murder charges.

ENTERTAINMENT
‘SEX AND THE CITY’ REVIVED ON HBO MAX
… “Sex and the City” is returning with a new, 10-episode run on HBO Max. The show’s star, Sarah Jessica Parker, made the announcement yesterday on social media. Parker will be joined by Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon in reprising their roles. Kim Cattrall, who co-starred in the original series and two subsequent films, will not be returning. HBO Max hasn’t announced when the series will stream.

ACTOR JOHN REILLY DIES… Actor John Reilly, who was best known for his 11-year run as Sean Donely on “General Hospital,” died over the weekend of undisclosed causes, his daughter confirmed yesterday. He was 84. Reilly appeared on ‘General Hospital’ from 1984-1995. His television credits included “Gunsmoke,” “Dallas” and “Beverly Hills, 90210.”

SPORTS
NFL PLAYOFF SCOREBOARD

Baltimore 20 – TENNESSEE 13… The Ravens shook off an early 10-point deficit to rally past the Titans. Lamar Jackson rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown. Marquise Brown had seven catches for 109 yards. Baltimore visits Buffalo in the AFC Divisional round on Saturday.

NEW ORLEANS 21 – Chicago 9… Drew Brees threw touchdown passes to Michael Thomas and Latavius Murray as the Saints fought off the Bears. Alvin Kamara ran 4 yards for a fourth-quarter score and finished with 99 yards rushing. New Orleans hosts Tampa Bay in the Divisional round on Sunday.

Cleveland 48 – PITTSBURGH 37… The Browns jumped out to a 28-0 lead after the first quarter and never looked back in thrashing the Steelers. The victory was their first at Heinz Field in 18 tries. Baker Mayfield passed for 263 yards and hit three different receivers with touchdown passes. Kareem Hunt ran for two scores. Cleveland visits top-seeded Kansas City in the Divisional round on Sunday.

NBA SCOREBOARD
GOLDEN STATE 106 – Toronto 105
… The Warriors recovered to top the Raptors after blowing a double-digit fourth-quarter lead. Damion Lee made the tying and go-ahead free throws with 3.3 seconds remaining. Andrew Wiggins scored 17 points to lead seven players in double figures.

Utah 96 – DETROIT 86… The Jazz built a 17-point halftime lead and held off the Pistons. They got 28 points from Donovan Mitchell and 22 from Mike Conley. Rudy Gobert grabbed 19 rebounds.

L.A. CLIPPERS 130 – Chicago 127… The Clippers fought off a slow start to get past the Bulls. Kawhi Leonard pumped in 35 points and surpassed 10,000 in his career. Paul George added 29 points. Lou Williams delivered 21 points off the bench.

Oklahoma City 129 – BROOKLYN 116… The Thunder cruised past the Nets after spotting them a 12-point lead after the first quarter. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a game-high 31 points. Al Horford added 22 points.

Denver 114 – NEW YORK 89… Nikola Jokic scored 22 points and brought down 10 boards before sitting out most of the second half as the Nuggets routed the Knicks.

L.A. Lakers 120 – HOUSTON 102… The Lakers led by as many as 27 points in their romp over the Rockets. Anthony Davis led the way with 27 points. The game featured the ejections of L.A.’s Markieff Morris and Houston’s DeMarcus Cousins.

MINNESOTA 96 – San Antonio 88… The Timberwolves came up big in the second half to pull past the Spurs and snap their seven-game skid. D’Angelo Russell scored 27 points. Malik Beasley added 24 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
New York is at Charlotte…
Cleveland hosts Memphis…
Milwaukee is at Orlando…
Washington hosts Phoenix…
Philadelphia is at Atlanta…
Dallas hosts New Orleans…
Toronto is at Portland…
Indiana is at Sacramento

TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 5 IOWA 86, No. 16 Minnesota 71…
Maryland 66, No. 12 ILLINOIS 63…
No. 19 VIRGINIA TECH 77, Notre Dame 63

The Rundown for January 4, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 20,630,543 and the nation’s death toll stands at 351,453, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Two top U.S. health officials yesterday disputed President Trump’s claim that the numbers of reported cases and deaths in the country are overblown. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stressed during an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week” that “The deaths are real deaths.” Surgeon General Jerome Adams appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and defended the accuracy of coronavirus data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

TRUMP PRESSURES GEORGIA OVER VOTE… Audio from an hour-long phone call released yesterday captured President Trump asking Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” votes necessary to overturn the state’s presidential election results. Trump cited baseless claims of fraud in warning Raffensberger and his office attorney Ryan Germany that they face potential legal and political consequences. Trump insists there is “no way” he lost Georgia, which has certified President-elect Joe Biden as the winner. Raffensperger and Germany tell Trump in the recording that the data his challenge was based on “is wrong” and voting machines have not been tampered with.

FORMER PENTAGON HEADS WARN REPBULICANS… All 10 living former U.S Defense Secretaries are urging the Republican Party to stop trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election. In an editorial published yesterday in the Washington Post, the former Pentagon heads wrote that “The time for questioning the results has passed” and warn that “Efforts to involve the U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory.” Both of President Trump’s defense secretaries, James Mattis and Mark Esper, signed on to the op-ed, as did former Vice President Dick Cheney.

PELOSI TO REMAIN HOUSE SPEAKER… California Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi was voted into her fourth term as House Speaker yesterday. Her victory came despite opposition from a handful of Democrats. Pelosi urged unity in her campaign to hold the position and told Democrats, “My opponent is COVID.”

PASTOR KILLED IN CHURCH SHOOTING… A shooting at a church in East Texas yesterday morning left one person dead and two others injured. The Smith County Sheriff’s office identified the fatality as the 62-year-old pastor of Starville Methodist Church. The pastor reportedly found a 21-year-old man hiding in a bathroom stall, pointed a gun at him and told him to leave. However, man captured the pastor’s gun and shot him with it, investigators say. Authorities say the man had been hiding in the woods behind the church following a police pursuit the night before.

ENTERTAINMENT
PLAYBOY CARTI TOPS ALBUM CHART
… Playboi Carti’s “Whole Lotta Red” sold 100,000 copies to debut atop the Billboard 200 album chart. Taylor Swift’s “Evermore” slid into second place after selling 71,000 units. Lil Durk’s “The Voice” jumped into third place on sales of 66,000 copies. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” finished fourth with 46,000 units sold. Ariana Grande’s “Positions” sold 38,000 copies to cap the top five.

ACTRESS TANYA ROBERTS DIES… Actress Tanya Roberts, who was best known as a Bond girl and for her work on “That ’70s Show,” died yesterday after a brief hospitalization. She was 65. Roberts, who was born Victoria Leigh Blum, began her career as a model before breaking into film with the 1975 horror flick “Forced Entry.” Her big break came when she landed the role of Stacey Sutton in the 1985 James Bond film “A View to a Kill,” opposite Roger Moore.

SINGER GERRY MARSDEN DIES… Gerry Marsden, lead singer of the 1960s British rock band Gerry and the Pacemakers, has died of a heart infection, friends confirmed yesterday. He was 78. Marsden was was known for his cover of the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the musical “Carousel.” His other hits included “Ferry Cross the Mersey” and “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying.”

SPORTS
NFL POSTSEASON COMPLETE
… The NFL postseason is set following yesterday’s regular-season finales. In the AFC, the Titans claimed the South division title while the Ravens, Browns and Colts all clinched playoff spots. The Bills locked down the conference’s No. 2 seed, with the Steelers sliding into the third spot. In the NFC, the Packers secured the top seed with a first-round bye, the Saints claimed the second seed and the Buccaneers locked themselves into the No. 5 seed. Washington captured the East division title, while the Rams and Bears clinched playoff spots.

AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE:
No. 1 seed: Kansas City
No. 2 seed: Buffalo
No. 3 seed: Pittsburgh
No. 4 seed: Tennessee
No. 5 seed: Baltimore
No. 6 seed: Cleveland
No. 7 seed: Indianapolis

AFC WILD CARD MATCHUPS:
Indianapolis is at Buffalo – Saturday, 1:05 p.m. ET
Tennessee hosts Baltimore – Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET
Cleveland is at Pittsburgh – Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET

NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE:
No. 1 seed: Green Bay
No. 2 seed: New Orleans
No. 3 seed: Seattle
No. 4 seed: Washington
No. 5 seed: Tampa Bay
No. 6 seed: L.A. Rams
No. 7 seed: Chicago

NFC WILD CARD MATCHUPS:
L.A. Rams are at Seattle – Saturday, 4:40 p.m. ET
Washington hosts Tampa Bay – Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET
Chicago is at New Orleans – Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET

NFL SCORES
Tennessee 41 – HOUSTON 38… Sam Sloman’s 37-yard field goal on the game’s final play sent the Titans (11-5) past the Texans (4-12). Derrick Henry ran for 250 yards and two touchdowns. He has surpassed 2,000 rushing yards on the season.

Baltimore 38 – CINCINNATI 3… The Ravens (11-5) set a franchise record with 404 rushing yards in routing the Bengals (4-11-1) and punching their ticket into the postseason. J.K. Dobbins rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Lamar Jackson hit Marquise Brown with two of his three scoring passes.

CLEVELAND 24 – Pittsburgh 22… The Browns (11-5) held off the Steelers (12-4) and are heading to the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Nick Chubb ran 47 yards for a first-quarter touchdown.

INDIANAPOLIS 28 – Jacksonville 14… Jonathan Taylor ran for a franchise-record 253 yards and scored two touchdowns as the Colts (11-5) doubled up on the Jaguars (1-15).

BUFFALO 56 – Miami 26… The Bills (13-3) rolled past the Dolphins (10-6) and bounced them from the playoffs. Isaiah McKenzie caught two of Josh Allen’s three touchdown passes in the second quarter and returned a punt 84 yards for a touchdown.

Green Bay 35 – CHICAGO 16… Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes to finish with a team-record 48 on the regular season and the Packers (13-3) handled the playoff-bound Bears (8-8).

New Orleans 33 – CAROLINA 7… The Saints (12-4) took advantage of five interceptions to breeze past the Panthers (5-11). Drew Brees threw touchdown passes to three different receivers. Ty Montgomery rushed for 105 yards.

TAMPA BAY 44 – Atlanta 27… Antonio Brown caught two of Tom Brady’s four touchdown passes and the playoff-bound Buccaneers (11-5) put away the Falcons (4-12).

Washington 20 – PHILADELPHIA 14… Alex Smith threw for a pair of scores as Washington (7-9) fought off the Eagles (4-11-1).

L.A. RAMS 18 – Arizona 7… The Rams (10-6) rode their defense to a win over the Cardinals (8-8). Troy Hill returned an interception 84 yards for a touchdown. John Wolford passed for 231 yards and rushed for 56 more in his NFL debut.

Seattle 26 – SAN FRANCISCO 23… Russell Wilson found Tyler Lockett with two fourth-quarter touchdown passes as the Seahawks (12-4) came from behind to top the 49ers (6-10).

Minnesota 37 – DETROIT 35… Kirk Cousins passed for 405 yards and hit three difference receivers with touchdown passes as the Vikings (7-9) fought off the Lions (5-11).

NEW ENGLAND 28 – N.Y. Jets 14… Cam Newton threw for three touchdowns and caught a scoring pass in leading the Patriots (7-9) past the Jets (2-14).

N.Y. GIANTS 23 – Dallas 19… Daniel Jones threw a pair of second-quarter touchdown passes as the Giants (6-10) topped the Cowboys (6-10).

Las Vegas 32 – DENVER 31… Derek Carr’s pass to Darren Waller converted a two-point conversion with 24 seconds remaining and lifted the Raiders (8-8) over the Broncos (5-11).

L.A. Chargers 38 – KANSAS CITY 21… The Chargers (7-9) cruised past a Chiefs (14-2) team that was resting its starters for the playoffs. Justin Herbert passed for 302 yards and three touchdowns.

NBA SCORES
Boston 122 – DETROIT 120
… Jayson Tatum knocked down a fallaway jumper with 2.9 seconds left as the Celtics held off the Pistons. Tatum finished with 21 points. Jayson Brown led all scorers with 31 points.

Washington 123 – BROOKLYN 122… The Wizards got a go-ahead dunk from Thomas Bryant with 14.9 seconds left and held on to edge the Nets. Bradley Beal had 27 points and 10 rebounds. Russell Westbrook scored 24 points and dished off 10 assists. Thomas Bryant totaled 21 points and 14 boards.

L.A. Lakers 108 – MEMPHIS 94… The Lakers shook off a rough start to blow past the Grizzlies. LeBron James scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Denver 124 – MINNESOTA 109… The Nuggets used a 41-point fourth quarter to put away the Timberwolves. Jamal Murray pumped in a season-high 36 points. Nikola Jokic racked up 19 points, 12 boards and 12 assists.

Utah 130 – SAN ANTONIO 109… The Jazz jumped out to an early double-digit lead and never looked back in their thrashing of the Spurs. Bojan Bogdanovic scored a game-high 28 points. Donovan Mitchell tossed in 22 points.

CHICAGO 118 – Dallas 108… Zach LaVine poured in 39 points, Coby White scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half and the Bulls got past the Mavericks.

L.A. Clippers 112 – PHOENIX 107… The Clippers built a 20-point halftime lead and held on to top the Suns. Paul George led the way with 39 points.

GOLDEN STATE 137 – Portland 122… Stephan Curry erupted to score a career-high 62 points as the Warriors outshot the Trail Blazers. Andrew Wiggins added 21 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Cleveland is at Orlando…
Philadelphia hosts Charlotte…
New York is at Atlanta…
Miami hosts Oklahoma City…
Boston is at Toronto…
Houston hosts Dallas…
Detroit is at Milwaukee…
New Orleans hosts Indiana…
Sacramento is at Golden State

TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES
No. 5 Houston 74, SMU 60…
No. 16 MICHIGAN 85, No. 19 Northwestern 66…
No. 21 MINNESOTA 77, No. 25 Ohio State 60

The Rundown for December 31, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 19,968,087 and the nation’s death toll stands at 345,737, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The nearly 3,750 deaths on Wednesday set a new record for the second straight day. The average of about 2,500 deaths per day in December doubled November’s death rate… The Florida Department of Health yesterday announced the first identified case of a variant of the COVID-19 first discovered in the United Kingdom. The discovery in Florida’s Martin County follows the detection of the virus in Colorado and California earlier this week.

WORKER FIRED, ARRESTED FOR DESTROYING VACCINE… A Wisconsin hospital employee has been fired and arrested for allegedly destroying more than 500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The incident took place at the Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, Wisconsin, north of Milwaukee. A total of 57 vials of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine — which is required to be stored between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit — were left out overnight on Saturday. Officials say the worker “acknowledged that they intentionally removed the vaccine from refrigeration.” Local authorities, the FBI and the Food and Drug Administration have joined in an investigation.

TRUMP EXTENDS BANS ON VISAS… President Trump yesterday extended his bans on green cards and several types of work visas amid the coronavirus pandemic. Trump imposed bans on new green cards and certain visas in April and June, claiming they would protect American workers during the pandemic. The bans were set to expire yesterday but will remain in place through March 31. President-elect Joe Biden, who has criticized the measures, could opt to reverse the extension when he takes office January 20.

TOXIN IN RECALLED DOG FOOD BLAMED FOR 28 DOG DEATHS… Dangerous levels of aflatoxin in Sportmix products made by Midwestern Pet Foods are blamed for the deaths of at least 28 dogs. The Food and Drug Administration recalled the brand on Wednesday. The FDA said the “scope of the recall may expand as new information becomes available” during its investigation with the manufacturer and the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

SLIGHT DROP IN UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS… Nearly 800,000 more U.S. workers have filed new unemployment claims, according to the weekly Labor Department report released yesterday. The number of claims reflect a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week. The figure was lower than most experts predicted. The Labor Department also revised up last week’s claims by 3,000 and said the unemployment rate for the most recent week was 3.6 percent.

ENTERTAINMENT
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY TO MEDIATE DANNY MASTERSON CASE
… A judge in Los Angeles has ruled that stalking and intimidation cases brought by four women against actor Danny Masterson must now go through mediation within the Church of Scientology. The ruling comes just days before Masterson was scheduled to be arraigned on three charges of rape between 2001 and 2003. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifield ruled that the complaints must be settled by the Church in “religious arbitration” due to an arbitration agreement that already exists among the parties. The suit filed in August 2019 claimed the plaintiffs had been stalked and intimidated by the church’s agents after reporting the allegations to police. Masterson is best known for starring in the sitcom “That 70s Show.”

FINAL McGUIRE SISTERS SISTER DIES… The last of the singing McGuire Sisters has died. Phyllis McGuire was 89 when she died Tuesday at her Las Vegas home. The group, also consisting of Christine and Dorothy McGuire, rose to fame in 1952 after winning a competition on the Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts show. The sisters sold millions of records and were best known for their hits “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight,” “Sincerely,” “Sugartime” and “Picnic.” The group made multiple appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, performed for five U.S. presidents and reunited for a comeback in 1985 where they also performed at various venues around Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

SPORTS
NBA SCORES

INDIANA 119 – Cleveland 99
… The Pacers built an early double-digit lead and cruised past the Cavaliers. All five starters scored in double figures led by Domantas Sabonis’ 25 points. Sabonis also grabbed 11 rebounds.

Chicago 133 – WASHINGTON 130… Otto Porter scored 28 points and Zach LaVine added 22 as the short-handed Bulls kept the Wizards winless. Seven players scored in double figures for Chicago.

Philadelphia 116 – ORLANDO 92… The hot-shooting 76ers led by as many as 37 points in the first half and never looked back in routing the Magic. Joel Embiid and Seth Curry scored 21 points apiece. Tobias Harris added 20 points.

HOUSTON 122 – Sacramento 119… James Harden came on strong at the end and finished with 33 points in leading the Rockets past the Kings. John Wall added 22 points in his first game since 2018. Christian Wood tossed in 21 points.

TORONTO 100 – New York 83… The Raptors came alive in the second half to put away the Knicks. Fred VanVleet’s 25 points led a balanced scoring attack. Kyle Lowry added 20 points.

New Orleans 113 – OKLAHOMA CITY 80… The Pelicans held the Thunder to seven fourth-quarter points in the runaway win. Brandon Ingram scored 20 points before getting ejected in the third quarter. Six other players scored in double figures.

Phoenix 106 – UTAH 95… The Suns took control with a big second quarter and held off the Jazz. Devin Booker scored a game-high 25 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Memphis is at Charlotte…
Detroit hosts Boston…
Miami is at Dallas…
Brooklyn hosts Atlanta…
Chicago is at Milwaukee…
Minnesota hosts Washington…
the L.A. Lakers are at San Antonio…
Denver hosts Phoenix…
the L.A. Clippers are at Utah…
Golden State hosts Portland

TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES
No. 6 WISCONSIN 71, No. 21 Minnesota 59…
No. 16 Michigan 84, MARYLAND 73…
No. 21 OREGON 82, California 69

COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SCORES
Ball State 34, No. 22 San Jose State 13 in the Arizona Bowl…
Mississippi State 28, No. 24 Tulsa 26 in the Armed Forces Bowl…
West Virginia 24, Army 21 in the Liberty Bowl

TODAY’S COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SCHEDULE
No. 8 Cincinnati plays No. 9 Georgia in the Peach Bowl…
No. 14 Northwestern plays Auburn in the Citrus Bowl…
No. 1 Alabama plays No. 4 Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl…
No. 2 Clemson plays No. 3 Oho State in the Sugar Bowl

SATURDAY’S COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SCHEDULE
No. 5 Texas A&M plays No. 13 North Carolina in the Orange Bowl…
No. 10 Iowa State plays No. 25 Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl…
No. 11 Indiana plays Mississippi in the Outback Bowl…
No. 23 North Carolina State plays Kentucky in the Gator Bowl

SUNDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
Miami (10-5) is at Buffalo (12-3)…
Cincinnati (4-10-1) hosts Baltimore (10-5)…
Pittsburgh (12-3) is at Cleveland (10-5)…
Minnesota (6-9) is at Detroit (5-10)…
New England (6-9) hosts the N.Y. Jets (2-13)…
Dallas (6-9) is at the N.Y. Giants (5-10)…
Tampa Bay (10-5) hosts Atlanta (4-11)…
Green Bay (12-3) is at Chicago (8-7)…
Denver (5-10) hosts Las Vegas (7-8)…
Jacksonville (1-14) is at Indianapolis (10-5)…
the L.A. Chargers (6-9) are at Kansas City (14-1)…
the L.A. Rams (9-6) host Arizona (8-7)…
Seattle (11-4) is at San Francisco (6-9)…
Carolina (5-10) hosts New Orleans (11-4)…
Tennessee (10-5) is at Houston (4-11)…
Philadelphia (4-10) hosts Washington (6-9)

The Rundown for December 28, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 19,107,675 and the nation’s death toll stands at 333,055, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned yesterday of a “post-seasonal surge” of COVID-19 cases following holiday gatherings. During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Fauci also said that “somewhere between 70 and 85 percent” of the population would need to be vaccinated against the virus in order to achieve herd immunity.

TRUMP SIGNS BILLS… President Trump last night signed a $2.3 trillion omnibus funding bill and an associated coronavirus relief bill following Saturday’s expiration of unemployment benefits expired and a government shutdown that was to begin tomorrow. The two bills are tied together and Trump did not sign them as expected on last Thursday. Instead, he called the relief bill a “disgrace” and demanded amendments that included $2,000 in direct payments to Americans. The legislation he signed includes direct payments of $600 per adult and per child. The amount per adult is half the $1,200 payments that were provided under the CARES Act enacted in March, but the amount per child is slightly larger than the $500 allowed under that law.

AUTHORITIES ID NASHVILLE BOMBING SUSPECT… Authorities in Nashville said yesterday that the man believed to be responsible for Friday’s downtown bombing in Nashville died in the explosion. The suspected bomber was identified as 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner. Investigators said they matched his DNA with human remains at the scene and matched a vehicle identification number to a registration associated with him. Warner reportedly acted alone in carrying out the bombing, which injured three people and damaged dozens of buildings.

SPECIAL FORCES SOLDIER CHARGED IN SHOOTINGS… Authorities yesterday announced the arrest of an active-duty Special Forces soldier who has been charged with murder after three people were killed and three wounded in a shooting Saturday at a bowling alley in Rockford, Illinois. 37-year-old Duke Webb, an assistant operations and intelligence sergeant assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, was charged with three counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder. Webb was reportedly on leave at the time of the shootings.

HOLIDAY RETAIL SALES UP… Retail sales jumped 3 percent during this year’s expanded holiday shopping season, according to figures released yesterday by Mastercard SpendingPulse. The jump was attributed to more people buying decorations and furniture for their homes during the pandemic. The report noted online shopping sales also grew a whopping 49 percent between October 11 and December 24, accounting for 19.7 percent of total retail sales. Unsurprisingly, Black Friday was the top spending day of the season.

ENTERTAINMENT
TONY RICE, BLUEGRASS LEGEND, DIES
… Bluegrass performer Tony Rice died Friday at his Reidsville, North Carolina, home of undisclosed causes, the International Bluegrass Association confirmed yesterday. He was 69. Rice, a 2013 Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame inductee, rose to fame in the 1970s as a guitarist and vocalist in the band New South and later performed with the David Grisman Quintet.

TAYLOR SWIFT REMAINS ATOP BOX OFFICE… Taylor Swift’s “Evermore” sold 169,000 copies to top the Billboard 200 chart for a second straight week. Paul McCartney’s newest release, “McCartney III,” debuted in second place with 105,000 with units sold. Eminem’s “Music to Be Murdered By” jumped to No. 3 after selling 94,000 copies. Michael Bublé’s “Christmas” finished fourth on sales of 77,000 units. Mariah Carey’s “Merry Christmas” capped the top five with 60,000 copies sold.

SPORTS
NFL SCORES

KANSAS CITY 17 – Atlanta 14
… The Chiefs (14-1) fought off the Falcons (4-11) to clinch the AFC’s top seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs. Patrick Mahomes threw a go-ahead 25-yard touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson with 1:55 remaining. Kansas City’s Travis Kelce became the first tight end to have two 100-catch seasons and set the single-season yardage record for a tight end with 1,467.

N.Y. JETS 23 – Cleveland 16… Kareem Hunt recovered a Baker Mayfield fumble with 1:16 remaining to seal the win as the Jets (2-13) stunned the Browns (10-5) and put a dent in their playoff chances. Sam Darnold threw a pair of second-quarter touchdown passes. Jamison Crowder put New York on the scoreboard in the first quarter when he took a pitch and threw 43 yards to fellow wide receiver Braxton Berrios.

PITTSBURGH 28 – Indianapolis 24… The Steelers (12-3) closed with 21 straight points to upend the Colts (10-5) and clinch the NFC North title. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 342 yards and hit three different receivers with touchdown passes.

Chicago 41 – JACKSONVILLE 17… The Bears (8-7) pulled away in the second half to hand the Jaguars (1-14) their 14th straight loss. Mitchell Trubisky found Jimmy Graham with a pair of touchdown passes and ran for a score. Allen Robinson had 10 catches for 103 yards.

BALTIMORE 27 – N.Y. Giants 13… The Ravens (10-5) scored the game’s first 17 points and cruised past the Giants (5-10). Lamar Jackson threw touchdown passes to Marquise Brown and Dez Bryant.

Cincinnati 37 – HOUSTON 31… Samaje Perine ran 3 yards for his second touchdown of the day with 1:57 left to give the Bengals (4-10-1) the lead for good in their win over the Texans (4-11). Brandon Allen threw for 371 yards and two touchdowns.

L.A. CHARGERS 19 – Denver 16… The Chargers (6-9) held off the Broncos (5-10) to win their third in a row. Michael Badgley’s fourth field goal of the game broke a tie with 41 seconds remaining. Justin Herbert’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Austin Ekeler in the second quarter was his 28th scoring toss of the season, breaking the NFL rookie record set by Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield in 2018.

Carolina 20 – WASHINGTON 3… The Panthers (5-10) took advantage of four Washington (6-9) turnovers to build a 20-3 halftime lead and held on for the victory. Their final score came on a 14 yard touchdown pass from Teddy Bridgewater to Robby Anderson.

DALLAS 37 – Philadelphia 17… Andy Dalton passed for 377 yards and found Michael Gallup with two of his three touchdown passes as the Cowboys (6-9) handled the Eagles (4-10-1) to remain in the playoff hunt. Gallup had six catches for 121 yards. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 105 yards.

SEATTLE 20 – L.A. Rams 9… The Seahawks (11-4) downed the Rams (9-6) to claim the NFC West title. Russell Wilson ran for one touchdown and threw for another in the second half.

GREEN BAY 40 – Tennessee 14… Aaron Rodgers hit Davante Adams with three of his four touchdown passes and the Packers (12-3) crushed the Titans (10-5). Rodgers completed 21 of 25 passes for 231 yards in the snow at Lambeau. Adams finished with 11 catches for 142 yards. AJ Dillon carried 21 times for 124 yards and two scores.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL..
Buffalo (11-3) is at New England (6-8)

NBA SCORES
Dallas 124 – L.A. CLIPPERS 73
… The Mavericks built an NBA-record 50-point halftime lead in their dismantling of the Clippers. Luka Doncic scored a game-high 24 points despite playing only 26 minutes. Josh Richardson added 21 points.

CHARLOTTE 106 – Brooklyn 104… Gordon Hayward scored 28 points to lead six players in double figures and the Hornets held off the Knicks. P.J. Washington had 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Orlando 120 – WASHINGTON 113… The Magic bombed the Wizards 43-19 in the fourth quarter for a come-from-behind win. Markelle Fultz and Terrence Ross scored 26 points apiece.

NEW ORLEANS 98 – San Antonio 95… Brandon Ingram scored 28 points and grabbed 11 boards in leading the Pelicans past the Spurs. Zion Williamson finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

CLEVELAND 118 – Philadelphia 94… Andre Drummond powered his way to 24 points and 14 boards as the Cavaliers rolled past the 76ers. Collin Sexton dropped in 22 points.

NEW YORK 130 – Milwaukee 110… The Knicks took control with a big second quarter and cruised past the Bucks. Julius Randle had game-highs with 29 points and 14 rebounds. Elfrid Payton tossed in 27 points.

INDIANA 108 – Boston 107… Domantas Sabonis was fouled while making a game-tying with 8.4 seconds left and converted the ensuing free throw to send the Pacers past the Celtics. Sabonis finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Malcolm Bogdon led Indiana with 25 points.

Golden State 129 – CHICAGO 128… Damion Lee knocked down a 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds remaining to lift the Warriors over the Bulls. Stephen Curry led Golden State with 36 points.

Phoenix 116 – SACRAMENTO 100… The Suns shook off a slow start to put away the Kings. They got 22 points from Mikal Bridges and 20 from Devin Booker. Deandre Ayton pulled down 15 boards to go with his 11 points.

L.A. LAKERS 127 – Minnesota 91… The Lakers jumped out to a 40-23 lead after the first quarter and never looked back in their romp over the Timberwolves. Kyle Kuzma pumped in 20 points before sitting out most of the second half.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Detroit is at Atlanta…
Brooklyn hosts Memphis…
Utah is at Oklahoma City…
Denver hosts Houston…
Portland is at the L.A. Lakers