East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, December 26, 2017, Page 1B, Image 9

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    SPORTS
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2017
1B
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @EOSPORTS
Pro Basketball
NFL
Durant leads Warriors past Cavs protests
Golden State wins in
NBA Finals rematch
the top
sports
story of
2017
By JANIE MCCAULEY
Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. — LeBron
James drove to the basket in the
waning seconds and Kevin Durant
swatted
away
any
chance
NBA
Cleveland had at
a Christmas Day
comeback.
Cleveland
D u r a n t
pumped his fi st
again and again,
emphatically
shook his head
and pounded his
chest in delight. Golden State
It looked a lot
like the dominant
Durant from the
NBA Finals six months ago.
Klay Thompson hit a go-ahead
3-pointer with 1:33 left, Durant
delivered on both ends of the fl oor,
and the Golden State Warriors beat
the Cavaliers 99-92 on Monday in a
festive holiday rematch of the past
three Finals.
“There’s just so much joy in the
arena today because it’s Christmas
and we all feed off of that,” Durant
said.
Durant’s block against a driving
James with 24.5 seconds left went
to offi cial review and was ruled
clean. Durant fi nished with 25
points, seven rebounds and fi ve
blocked shots.
“He’s one of the leaders in shot
blocks a game and obviously he had
fi ve tonight, so he’s been doing a
heck of a job of fi rst of all taking the
individual matchup and protecting
the rim, too,” James said.
Kevin Love had 31 points and
a season-best 18 rebounds, while
James contributed 20 points, six
rebounds and six assists in a rivalry
missing one key piece: Warriors
star Stephen Curry, who missed his
eighth straight game with a sprained
right ankle.
Thompson scored 24 points
and Draymond Green had a triple-
double with 12 points, 12 rebounds
and 11 assists. It was Golden
State’s 12th win in 13 games after
its 11-game winning streak was
snapped by Denver on Saturday
night.
Warriors rookie Jordan Bell trav-
By ARNIE STAPLETON
Associated Press
92
99
AP Photo/Tony Avelar
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) dunk past Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron
James (23) and forward Jae Crowder (99) during the second half of Monday’s game in Oakland, Calif.
eled with 2:13 left and James tied it.
Bell made up for that mistake with
a key offensive rebound and pass to
Thompson for his fourth 3.
James’ 3-pointer with 10:39
left pulled Cleveland within one,
but Green answered with a 3 and
Andre Iguodala scored two of his
nine points the next time down.
In another key sequence, Durant
blocked
Tristan
Thompson’s
shot with 6:23 to go and dunked
moments later.
No surprise, the up-tempo,
running rivals provided high enter-
tainment once again. The Warriors
See WARRIORS/3B
Pro Football
Gritty Seahawks keep playoff hopes alive
By SCHUYLER DIXON
Associated Press
ARLINGTON, Texas — Already
missing two of their defensive stars for
the season, the Seattle Seahawks were
coming off their most-lopsided loss
under coach Pete Carroll and facing
Ezekiel Elliott in his return to the Dallas
Cowboys after two of their worst show-
ings against the run this year.
The Seahawks are still fi ghting for
their sixth straight trip to the playoffs
after a 21-12 victory Sunday. The
Cowboys are out.
“We’ve been doing this since I’ve
been here the past seven years,” said
linebacker K.J. Wright, who had one of
two interceptions against Dak Prescott,
the other returned for a touchdown by
Justin Coleman.
“Whenever our backs are against the
wall, we just fi nd a way to bounce back.
NFL
Seattle
Dallas
21
12
We could have easily taken the loss
against the Rams, come back, pouted
and moaned all throughout the week.”
Instead they won despite a career-low
93 yards passing from Russell Wilson,
who threw two touchdown passes to get
to 32 for the season, within two of his
career high.
The Seahawks won despite just
136 yards total offense — fewest since
beating the then-St. Louis Rams in
2013 — because that defense missing
safety Kam Chancellor and cornerback
Richard Sherman, not to mention end
See SEAHAWKS/3B
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) defends as
Seattle Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright (50) intercepts a
pass intended for Bryant in the second half of Sunday’s
game, in Arlington, Texas.
DENVER — President
Donald Trump couldn’t
stand NFL players kneeling
in protest during “The
Star-Spangled Banner.” His
angry call to fi re players who
didn’t stand for the national
anthem rekindled both the
national debate over the issue
and the movement itself.
Former San Francisco
49ers quarterback Colin
Kaepernick initiated the
protests last year to bring
attention to racial inequality
and police brutality against
minorities. Kaepernick is
currently out of football, and
relatively few players were
demonstrating this season
before the president stoked his
feud with the NFL .
During a speech at a
political rally in Huntsville,
Alabama, in late September,
Trump said, “Wouldn’t you
love to see one of these NFL
owners when somebody
disrespects our fl ag to say get
that son of a bitch off the fi eld
right now, out, he’s fi red, he’s
fi red.”
Criticism from players,
owners and fans — and some
praise — greeted Trump’s
remarks, which sparked a
massive show of defi ance that
weekend, with more than 200
players protesting by choosing
not to stand for the national
anthem.
The president’s feud with
the NFL is the runaway
winner for the top sports story
of 2017 in balloting by AP
members and editors, easily
outdistancing the corruption
scandal engulfi ng college
basketball and the Houston
Astros winning their fi rst
World Series and lifting the
spirits of a city devastated by
Hurricane Harvey.
The year was marked by
sex scandals, Russian doping
and the U.S. failing to qualify
for soccer’s World Cup . Tom
Brady engineered a record-
breaking comeback as the
New England Patriots rallied
from a 28-3 defi cit to beat the
Atlanta Falcons in the fi rst
Super Bowl to go into over-
time and Clemson mounted
a last-second comeback to
beat Alabama for the national
championship.
Kevin Durant led the
Golden State Warriors to
the NBA title and MMA star
Conor McGregor stepped
into the boxing ring to face
undefeated champ Floyd
Mayweather Jr.
All of that was overshad-
owed by the NFL protesters
and the president’s dive into
the debate.
See TOP STORY/3B
Sports shorts
Westbrook’s double-double leads
Oklahoma City past Houston
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell
Westbrook had 31 points and 11 assists to help
the Oklahoma City Thunder stay hot with a
112-107 win over the Houston Rockets on
Monday night.
Paul George scored 24 points
and Carmelo Anthony added 20
for the Thunder, who won their
fi fth straight game. Oklahoma City
shot 54.4 percent from the fi eld.
James Harden led the Rockets
Westbrook
with 29 points, but he made just
7 of 18 fi eld goals. The league’s
leading scorer was coming off back-to-back
51-point games.
Trevor Ariza and Eric Gordon each scored
20 points and Clint Capela added 19 points and
10 rebounds for Houston, which lost its third
straight.
“We felt that both from a
competitive standpoint and
from a fan perspective,
the most fair thing to do is
to schedule all Week 17
games in either the 1 p.m.
or 4:25 p.m. ET windows.
This ensures that we do not
have a matchup on Sunday
Night Football that because of
earlier results has no playoff
implications for one or both of
the competing teams.“
— Howard Katz
NFL senior vice president of
broadcasting on the fi nalized
Week 17 schedule.
Villanova remains at No. 1 in
latest AP Top 25 poll
(AP) — The new AP Top 25 poll features
the same four teams at the top, led by No. 1
Villanova.
The Wildcats (12-0) received
43 of 65 fi rst-place votes to stay at
No. 1 for the third straight week.
Michigan State (12-1) was
second and had 16 fi rst-place
votes, while third-ranked Arizona
State (12-0) had six fi rst-place votes to stay
ahead of No. 4 Duke (12-1).
Texas A&M (11-1) climbed to fi fth, followed
by Xavier, West Virginia, Wichita State,
Virginia and TCU to round out the top 10.
Four ranked teams took big slides after
losses to unranked opponents last week. North
Carolina fell eight spots to No. 13, while
Gonzaga also fell eight spots to No. 20.
Now-No. 15 Miami and No. 16 Kentucky
each fell nine spots.
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1986 — Center Doug Jarvis
of the Hartford Whalers plays
his 915th consecutive game,
setting an NHL record.
2001 — Colorado’s Patrick
Roy becomes the fi rst NHL
goalie to win 500 games,
recording his seventh shutout
of the season with a 2-0 win
over Dallas.
2004 — Peyton Manning
breaks Dan Marino’s single-
season touchdown pass record
when he throws his 48th and
49th of the season, rallying
Indianapolis from a 31-16
fourth-quarter defi cit to win
34-31 in overtime over San
Diego.
Contact us at 541-966-0838 or
sports@eastoregonian.com