BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

Bethany Christian 54 Lakeland Christian 43

Covenant Christian 87 Greenwood Christian 61

Hamilton Southeastern 68 Avon 60

Morgan Township 60 Kankakee Valley 57

North Newton 65 Covenant Christian (DeMotte) 44

Northridge 58 E. Noble 43

South Bend Washington 71 South Bend Clay 65 OT

Westview 67 NorthWood 56

Eminence 49 Indiana Math and Science 39

AREA BOYS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

NCC

Friday, Dec. 11

Anderson at Tech , 7:30 pm

Harrison at Lafayette Jeff , 7:30 pm

Marion at Richmond , 7:30 pm

McCutcheon at Kokomo , 7:30 pm

Central at Logansport , 7:30 pm

Saturday, Dec. 12

Anderson at Noblesville, 7:30 pm

Brownsburg at Tech, 7:30 pm

Guerin Catholic at Central, 7:30 pm

Harrison at North Montgomery, 7:30 pm

Lebanon at Kokomo, 7:30 pm

McCutcheon at Covington, 7:30 pm

Richmond at New Palestine, 7:30 pm

Rochester at Logansport, 7:30 pm

TEC

Friday, Dec. 11

Eastern Hancock at Northeastern, 7:30 pm

Knightstown at Lincoln, 7:30 pm, ppd.

Union County at Hagerstown, 7:30 pm

Winchester at Union City, 6 pm

Saturday, Dec. 12

Centerville at Wapahani, 7:30 pm

Daleville at Tri, 7:30 pm

Hagerstown at Cowan, 7:30 pm

Union City at Ansonia (Ohio), 6 pm

Wapahani at Knightstown, 7:30 pm, ppd.

MEC

Friday, Dec. 11

Bluffton at Monroe Central, 7:30 pm, ppd.

Cowan at Blue River , 7:30 pm

Eastern Hancock at Northeastern, 7:30 pm

Fishers at Shenandoah, 7:30 pm

Burris at Monroe Central, 7:30 pm

Union (Modoc) at Wes-Del , 6 pm

Wapahani at Lapel, 7:30 pm

Saturday, Dec. 12

Blue River at Southern Wells, 7:30 pm

Centerville at Wapahani, 7:30 pm

Daleville at Shenandoah, 7:30 pm

Daleville at Tri, 7:30 pm

Hagerstown at Cowan, 7:30 pm

Monroe Central at Wes-Del, 7:30 pm

Wapahani at Knightstown, 7:30 pm, ppd.

EASTERN INDIANA

Friday, Dec. 11

Jennings County at East Central, 7:30 pm

Lawrenceburg at Batesville, 7:30 pm

Rushville at Franklin County, 7:30 pm

Saturday, Dec. 12

Greensburg at South Decatur, 7:30 pm

Lawrenceburg at Switzerland County, 7:30 pm

Oldenburg at East Central, 7:30 pm

Pendleton Heights at Connersville, 7:30 pm

South Ripley at Franklin County, 7:30 pm

Southwestern at Batesville, 7:30 pm

PIONEER

Friday, Dec. 11

Legacy Christian at Bethesda Christian, 7:30 pm

Burris at Monroe Central, 7:30 pm

Oldenburg at Seton Catholic, 7:30 pm

Park Tudor at Beech Grove, 7:30 pm

Saturday, Dec. 12

Crosspointe Christian at Bethesda Christian, 7:30 pm

Greenwood Christian at Lutheran, 7:30 pm

Lapel at Burris, 7:30 pm

Liberty Christian at University, 7:30 pm

Seton Catholic at Anderson Prep, 7:30 pm

GIRLS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

NCC

Friday, Dec. 11

Anderson at Tech, 7:30 pm

Harrison at Lafayette Jeff, 6 pm

McCutcheon at Kokomo, 6 pm

Central at Logansport, 6 pm

Saturday, Dec. 12

Anderson at Harrison, 2:30 pm

Indiana Deaf at Tech, 7 pm

Logansport at LaVille, 7:30 pm

Marion at Huntington North, 7:30 pm

McCutcheon at Westfield, 1:30 pm

TEC

Friday, Dec. 11

Hagerstown at Connersville, 7:30 pm

Saturday, Dec. 12

Lincoln at Winchester , 7:30 pm

Oldenburg at Hagerstown, 1:30 pm

South Decatur at Union County, 7:30 pm

MEC

Friday, Dec. 11

Cowan at Blue River, 6 pm

Saturday, Dec. 12

Anderson Prep at Cowan, 11 am

Burris at Shenandoah, 7:30 pm

Randolph Southern at Union, 1 pm

EASTERN INDIANA

Friday, Dec. 11

East Central at Columbus North, 7:30 pm

Hagerstown at Connersville, 7:30 pm

Saturday, Dec. 12

Franklin County at South Ripley, noon

Greensburg at Rushville, 1:30 pm

Lawrenceburg at Connersville, 7:30 pm

South Dearborn at Hauser, 1:30 pm

GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL-NCC/AREA

Rushville 34 Richmond 32

Clayton Prairie 64 Lafayette Jeff 20

Union County 50 Oldenburg Academy 23

Yorktown 64 Monroe Central 25

Blue River 71 Knightstown 19

STATE SCOREBOARD

Andrean 75 Rensselaer Central 31            

Barr-Reeve 37 North Daviess 30

Bedford North Lawrence 62 Seymour 37               

Benton Central 45 West Lafayette 40      

Bethany Christian 56 Oregon-Davis 55    

Bethesda Christian 47 Indianapolis Tindley 42     

Bloomfield 46 Eastern Greene 43             

Bloomington South 52 Center Grove 48 

Blue River 71 Knightstown 19     

Boonville 48 Princeton 46            

Cascade 69 Beech Grove 32        

Castle 69 Evansville Mater Dei 27             

Caston 52 Northfield 41

Charlestown 41 Henryville 30     

Clarksville 51 Rock Creek Academy 31    

Clinton Prairie 64 Lafayette Jeff 20          

Eastern (Pekin) 39 West Washington 24 

Edgewood 60 South Vermillion 29            

Evansville Memorial 73 Evansville Bosse 22          

Franklin County 38 Rising Sun 37               

Franklin 77 Bloomington North 25            

Greensburg 66 South Dearborn 29           

Hauser 66 South Decatur 61       

Heritage Hills 57 Forest Park 47 

Highland 49 East Chicago Central 21        

Indianapolis Riverside 101 Phalen Academy 21   

Jac-Cen-Del 64 Batesville 30        

Kankakee Valley 42 Kouts 37       

Lafayette Central Catholic 51 Northwestern 47  

Lakewood Park 63 Fort Wayne Canterbury 23     

Lanesville 55 Borden 19

Lawrenceburg 51 North Decatur 35         

Liberty Christian 53 Indiana Deaf 47        

Lighthouse CPA 67 Bowman Academy 46              

Linton-Stockton 95 Clay City 18 

Loogootee 86 Washington Catholic 20    

Marquette Catholic 63 Illiana Christian 29             

Martinsville 66 Greenwood 36  

Mitchell 57 Crawford County 47

New Palestine 47 Greenfield-Central 27

North Vermillion 50 Fountain Central 41

North White 42 Pioneer 36          

Pendleton Heights 79  Delta 53  

Penn 64 Mishawaka Marian 43  

Peru 38 Lewis Cass 32    

Rochester 39 Argos 36   

Rushville 34 Richmond 32            

Scottsburg 55 New Albany 34     

South Central (Union Mills) 49 Washington Twp. 34         

Southridge 49 Pike Central 37    

Tri-Central 45 Maconaquah 42   

Trinity Lutheran 77 Christian Academy 7

Triton 49 Elkhart Christian 14     

Twin Lakes 75 Covington 39        

Union County 50 Oldenburg Academy 23              

Victory Christian 50 Wheeler 31

Vincennes Lincoln 47 Jasper 38  

Vincennes Rivet 48 South Knox 41           

Wood Memorial 58 South Spencer 43    

Yorktown 64 Monroe Central 25               

Marion County Tournament

Lawrence North 56 Pike 43          

Indianapolis Roncalli 71 Indianapolis Lutheran 26              

Lawrence Central 64 Southport 34           

North Central (Indianapolis) 50 Warren Central 37            

NFL SCOREBOARD

LA Rams 24 New England 3

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#24 San Diego State 80 #23 Arizona State 68

Ohio 92 Purdue Northwest 72

Campbell 122 Florida National 92

Western Illinois 80 Mount St. Joe 55

Buffalo 81 Mercyhurst 64

East Carolina 73 N. Florida 67

Jacksonville 77 New Orleans 70

Morehead State 81 Transylvania 55

North Dakota 75 South Dakota 71

Coppin State 85 North Carolina Greensboro 80

Troy 67 N. Alabama 57

Minnesota 90 Kansas City 61

Ole Miss 80 Jackson State 45

UC Riverside 74 northern Arizona 50

Portland 87 Oregon State 86 OT

Texas Rio Grande 68 Texas A&M-CC 64

Western Kentucky 86 Gardner Webb 84

San Francisco 107 Long Beach State 62

South Dakota State 77 North Dakota State 75

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#6 Arizona 65 Arizona State 37

#7 Baylor 65 West Virginia 45

#10 Texas A&M 79 Little Rock 56

#17 Northwestern 93 Eastern Illinois 57

#18 Ohio State 104 Miami Ohio 65

#20 Syracuse 69 Miami Florida 58

Kansas State 62 #22 South Dakota State 53

Marquette 86 Cincinnati 75

Maine 62 Providence 48

Colorado State 84 San Diego State 77 2OT

Clemson 71 Virginia 55

BYU 72 Montana State 58

Boise State 84 Eastern Washington 64

Massachusetts 74 New Hampshire 55

Virginia Tech 88 Pittsburgh 71

Wake Forest 57 North Carolina 54

Cal Poly 70 New Mexico State 60

Tennessee 90 Furman 53

South Dakota 62 Wichita State 54

Belmont 83 Tennessee State 35

Kansas 74 Oklahoma 64

Nebraska 78 Illinois 72

San Francisco 67 California 62

Oral Roberts 66 Tarleton State 56

Seattle 106 NW. College 39

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCORES

Southern Miss 45, Florida Atlantic 31

Pitt 34, Georgia Tech 20

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Friday, Dec. 11

North Texas at UTEP | 6 p.m. | ESPN3

Arizona State at Arizona | 7 p.m. | ESPN

Nevada at San Jose State | 10 p.m. | CBSSN — San Jose State and Buffalo are the only remaining undefeated teams not in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. This game will also be played in Las Vegas due to COVID-19 restrictions in Santa Clara County. On top of that, the winner of this game would be in line for the Mountain West title game next week.

Charlotte at Marshall — CANCELED

Saturday, Dec. 12

No. 1 Alabama at Arkansas | 12 p.m. | ESPN

Illinois at No. 14 Northwestern | 12 p.m. | ESPN2

No. 9 Georgia at No. 25 Missouri | 12 p.m. | SEC Network

Utah at No. 21 Colorado | 12 p.m. | FOX

Rutgers at Maryland | 12 p.m. | Big Ten Network

Minnesota at Nebraska | 12 p.m. | FS1

Michigan State at Penn State | 12 p.m. | ABC

Wake Forest at Louisville | 12 p.m. | ACC Network

Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan | 12 p.m. | ESPN3

Western Michigan at Ball State | 12 p.m. | ESPN+ — If you’re into seeing a division clincher, check this out. The winner of this will meet Buffalo for the MAC crown next week. While WMU played in the conference championship game in 2016, Ball State hasn’t made it to that point since 2008. Since losing to Miami (Ohio) in their first game, the Cardinals have put together four wins in a row.

UAB at Rice | 1 p.m. | ESPN3

Akron at Buffalo | 2:30 p.m. | CBSSN

No. 13 Coastal Carolina at Troy | 3 p.m. | ESPN+ — Keep it going, Coastal. One week after defeating No. 13 and then-undefeated BYU with ESPN’s College GameDay watching, the Chanticleers hit the road to meet Troy. Coastal still has a chance to make a New Year’s Six game — a dominant rout here would keep that dream well alive.

Central Michigan at Toledo | 3 p.m. | ESPN3

Navy at Army | 3 p.m. | CBS — In recent years, this game got Saturday to itself. That’s not happening in 2020 because of COVID schedule adjustments, but Army-Navy remains must-see football. Navy may be on a four-game losing streak coming in and the Black Knights are 7-2, but don’t be shocked if this is close.

Wisconsin at No. 16 Iowa | 3:30 p.m. | FS1

Houston at Memphis | 3:30 p.m. | ESPNU

No. 17 North Carolina at No. 10 Miami | 3:30 p.m. | ABC — UNC and the Hurricanes didn’t make the ACC Championship game, but the winner here will feel a lot better about this season. The Tar Heels did beat rival NC State and previously ranked Virginia Tech, but they’re still looking for a signature win. Miami, which has won five in a row since falling to Clemson, fits that role.

Tennessee at Vanderbilt | 4 p.m. | SEC Network

Duke at Florida State | 4 p.m. | ACC Network

Appalachian State at Georgia Southern | 6 p.m. | ESPN3

Boise State at Wyoming | 6 p.m. | CBSSN

LSU at No. 6 Florida | 7 p.m. | ESPN — No, LSU isn’t anywhere close to what it was last year. That’s obvious. But Florida can’t look ahead to the SEC Championship Game showdown with No. 1 Alabama. The Gators are in a win-out situation to make the College Football Playoff, plus Kyle Trask (and Kyle Pitts) are looking for Heisman votes.

No. 22 Oklahoma State at Baylor | 7 p.m. | ESPNU

Louisiana Tech at TCU | 7 p.m. | FS1

No. 15 USC at UCLA | 7:30 p.m. | ABC — A USC victory would put the Trojans into the Pac-12 title game, but a Colorado win followed by a USC defeat would give the Buffaloes the division title. USC is now the Pac-12’s highest ranked team in the CFP at No. 15. However, rival UCLA has won two in a row.

Auburn at Mississippi State | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network

Virginia at Virginia Tech | 8 p.m. | ACC Network

Utah State at Colorado State | 9:30 p.m. | CBSSN

San Diego State at No. 18 BYU | 10 p.m. | ESPN2

Fresno State at New Mexico | 10:30 p.m. | FS2

Stanford at Oregon State | 10:30 p.m. | ESPNU

Cal at Washington State | 10:30 p.m. | FS1

UNLV at Hawai’i | 11 p.m. | Spectrum Sports PPV

Michigan at No. 4 Ohio State — CANCELED

Ole Miss at No. 5 Texas A&M — POSTPONED

No. 8 Cincinnati at No. 24 Tulsa — POSTPONED

No. 11 Oklahoma at West Virginia — CANCELED

Purdue at No. 12 Indiana — CANCELED

No. 20 Texas at Kansas — CANCELED

Incarnate Word at Arkansas State — CANCELED

Miami (Ohio) at Bowling Green — CANCELED

Ohio at Kent State — CANCELED

Washington at Oregon — CANCELED

NFL SCHEDULE

Sunday, December 13                   

Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers      1:00 PM               CBS

Houston Texans at Chicago Bears              1:00 PM               CBS

Dallas Cowboys at Cincinnati Bengals      1:00 PM               FOX

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM               CBS

Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins       1:00 PM               CBS

Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants      1:00 PM               FOX

Minnesota Vikings at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM     FOX

Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders   4:05 PM               CBS

New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks           4:05 PM               CBS

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions           4:25 PM               FOX

Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Chargers 4:25 PM               FOX

New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles 4:25 PM           FOX

Washington Football Team at San Francisco 49ers 4:25 PM FOX

Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills             8:20 PM               NBC

Monday, December 14                 

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns   8:15 PM               ESPN

AP SPORTS NEWS

Akers runs wild, Newton benched as Rams rout Patriots 24-3

Cam Akers rushed for 171 yards in a breakout performance, Kenny Young returned an interception 79 yards for a touchdown and the Los Angeles Rams clinched their fourth straight winning season with a 24-3 victory over the New England Patriots on Thursday night.

Jared Goff rushed for a touchdown and threw a TD pass to Cooper Kupp as the Rams (9-4) rolled to a one-sided victory in a rematch of their 13-3 Super Bowl loss in February 2019.

Cam Newton passed for 119 yards before getting replaced by Jarrett Stidham in the fourth quarter of another dismal offensive game for New England (6-7). Five days after the Patriots scored 45 points at SoFi Stadium against the Chargers, New England endangered its push for a 12th straight playoff berth with only its second loss in six games.

The Rams got a superb game from Akers, the second-round draft pick out of Florida State who has seized a major role in their offense over the last three weeks. Akers’ yards mostly came in big chunks during the biggest rushing game by an NFL rookie this season and just the ninth 150-yard game against a Bill Belichick-coached defense since 2000.

Aaron Donald had 1 1/2 sacks to move into the overall NFL lead with 12 1/2 this season while leading another strong game from Los Angeles’ elite defense, which held New England to 62 yards in the second half, recorded six sacks and also scored a touchdown in its third consecutive game.

New England again struggled to move the ball through the air, and Newton threw his first pick-six of the season to Young, who also had a sack. Newton was 9 of 16 when Belichick replaced him early in the fourth quarter with Stidham, who went 5 of 7 on three ineffective series.

The Patriots have been held without an offensive touchdown in multiple games this season for the first time since 2003.

Despite their strong play in recent weeks, the Patriots have seven losses for the first time since 2002, officially ending their NFL-record streak of 17 straight seasons with at least 10 victories.

The Rams will have four consecutive winning records under McVay, something the franchise hadn’t done since 1983-86 with Eric Dickerson and coach John Robinson. Los Angeles still hasn’t clinched McVay’s third playoff spot, but his team will sit atop the NFC West with three games to play.

Los Angeles also improved to 33-0 with a halftime lead under McVay.

The Rams’ opening 75-yard TD drive at SoFi Stadium looked better than anything it did in the Super Bowl. Tyler Higbee and Akers had long gains before Goff leaned over the line on fourth-and-goal for his career-high fourth rushing touchdown of the season.

An intentional grounding penalty on Goff and a poorly thrown pass intercepted by New England’s Myles Bryant kept the Pats’ deficit manageable early. But Young opened the second quarter by picking off a poor throw created by Donald’s disruption up front and taking it all the way back for the third-year linebacker’s first NFL touchdown.

Kupp’s 2-yard TD catch late in the third quarter capped a dominant 16-play, 90-yard drive by the Rams.

Bears Close Facility

The Chicago Bears closed their facility for a few hours and pushed back practice Thursday because of a positive COVID-19 test.

The Bears initially called off practice in the morning and sent players in the building home before changing course in the afternoon.

The person who tested positive has been notified and is self-isolating.

The Bears placed three practice squad players on the COVID list this week – linebacker Manti Te’o, defensive lineman LaCale London and receiver Thomas Ives. Coach Matt Nagy said the team did not think the latest positive test was related to those cases.

“Obviously we’re not exempt from this pandemic,” Nagy said. “We all know that cases are on the rise. And I just want to credit our players and coaches for adapting and staying flexible. It’s not easy. But we have the right mindset.”

Chicago is scheduled to host Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans on Sunday. The Bears (5-7) have lost six in a row, their worst skid since the 2002 team tied a franchise record by dropping eight straight.

Panthers coach: McCaffrey not expected to play vs. Broncos

Christian McCaffrey seems likely to spend another week watching from the sideline.

The 2019 All-Pro running back did not practice Thursday and Panthers coach Matt Rhule said “at this point I do not expect him to play” on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

Both teams are 4-8.

The fourth-year running back missed six games earlier this season with a high ankle sprain. He has missed the past three games with a shoulder sprain, but was expected to return this week. However, Rhule said McCaffrey tweaked his thigh while working out last week and hasn’t been right since.

That likely means McCaffrey won’t play against his father Ed’s former team. Ed McCaffrey helped the Broncos win back-to-back Super Bowls in the late 1990s.

Texas vs. Kansas cancelled

The regular season-ending game between No. 23 Texas and Kansas, which had already been pushed back to Saturday because of positive COVID-19 tests within the Jayhawks’ program, has now been canceled due to an outbreak among the Longhorns.

Texas (6-3, 5-3) returned three positive tests after blowing out Kansas State last week, prompting school officials to shut down practice. The Longhorns had a walkthrough Wednesday only to discover there were more positive tests.

Kansas will finish 0-9, its second winless season since 2015. Prior to that, the Jayhawks hadn’t gone without a win since 1954.

Washington pauses football activities

Washington continued to pause its football activities on Thursday due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, casting serious doubt over this weekend’s scheduled game against Oregon.

In a statement, Washington said the status of the game against the Ducks would be shared when more information becomes available.

The Huskies initially canceled practice on Wednesday due to a rise in the number of cases. Washington was awaiting additional PCR tests to confirm positive results. The school did not release the number of positive tests.

During his radio coaches show on Wednesday night, Washington coach Jimmy Lake said the number of cases and the lack continuity to them has left the school’s medical staff baffled.

Boston College will not play in Bowl game

Boston College has opted out of playing in a bowl game.

Coach Jeff Hafley said on Thursday that after speaking with his players the team decided to end its season.

The Eagles managed to make it through the entire season with just one positive COVID-19 test and played all 11 games on the schedule. But Hafley said the season has been a strain on the players.

“I wish we could play every Saturday,” Hafley said. “But I don’t have to sit in a dorm room by myself.”

The Eagles went 6-5, and 5-5 in the Atlantic Coast Conference to qualify for a postseason game for the fifth straight year. But the shuffling of the schedules has left everyone on edge.

Athletic director Pat Kraft said he was concerned that the players would spend another three weeks away from their families with no guarantee that the bowl game would actually kick off.

West Virginia cancels game vs. #13 Oklahoma

Citing a surge of positive COVID-19 cases and contact tracing in the football program, West Virginia has paused all football activities for the next seven days and will not host No. 13 Oklahoma on Saturday.

Athletic director Shane Lyons says the game will not be rescheduled. The next game for the Sooners (7-2) will instead be the Big 12 championship game against No. 10 Iowa State (8-2) in Arlington, Texas, on Dec. 19.

“Our intent is to get this spread under control as soon as possible for the health and safety of all involved,” Lyons said. “We are beyond disappointed not to play our final home game of the season and honor our seniors, but we need to act now and reevaluate our situation after Dec. 17.”

In the Mid-American Conference, Miami (Ohio)’s game at Bowling Green was also canceled Thursday.

Clippers sign George to multiyear contract extension

Paul George wants to retire with the Los Angeles Clippers, and he took a step in that direction by signing a multiyear contract extension Thursday.

The six-time All-Star could have become a free agent after the upcoming season. Instead, the team locked down his services, ensuring George will remain not far from where he grew up in Palmdale.

“This is a childhood dream being fulfilled. It’s just priceless, regardless of what this deal was for,” he said on a video call. “Being in front of my family and my friends and leaving my mark on a place I grew up.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but ESPN reported George’s contract was extended for an additional four years at $190 million, in addition to the $35.4 million guaranteed him for the 2020-21 season. George’s player option for the 2021-22 season will be replaced with the four-year extension, which includes a new player option for the 2024-25 season.

George averaged 21.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and shot a career-high 41% from 3-point range in his first season with the Clippers. It ended it disappointment, however, with the team blowing a 3-1 lead against Denver and losing in the second round of the playoffs.

The early exit, George said, only served to motivate him for the season that begins Dec. 22, when he and Kawhi Leonard will be playing for new coach Tyronn Lue.

“I owe them a trophy. That’s what I owe the organization,” George said. “My commitment and job is to try to bring a title here.”

George’s acquisition from Oklahoma City in July 2019 paved the way for Leonard to join the team as a free agent, giving the Clippers a pair of star players to build around in pursuit of the franchise’s first NBA championship.

George’s extension is “a really significant moment” for the franchise, said Lawrence Frank, president of basketball operations.

“It’s one thing to acquire a great player like Paul, it’s another to retain him,” he said. “We also believe the best is yet to come, both for Paul and the team.”

The Clippers next will turn their attention to re-signing Leonard, who could become a free agent after the upcoming season. George was eligible for a contract extension; Leonard is not.

“What I would love is to play with him for the rest of my contract or the rest of his contract. I guess I got to work on that when it comes down to his time,” said George, who spoke to Leonard before signing his extension. “Hopefully, it’s a mutual bond. We both enjoy playing with one another. Hopefully me showing my commitment sticks out.”

The NBA to get faster testing

The NBA intends to provide teams with daily point-of-care COVID-19 testing expected to return results in 30-90 minutes, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Fred Katz.

The exact timing will depend on whether a team is at home or on the road. Home teams will reportedly get their results after 30 minutes, while those on the road will face a 90-minute wait.

Should a test result come back invalid, a second test will be administered at least 30 minutes after the first, with the player allowed to take part in team activities while he waits for the result, Charania adds.

With clubs preparing to begin preseason play Friday, the league has ramped up its testing throughout the training-camp phase.

The NBA announced earlier Thursday that eight of the 541 players screened in the latest round of testing returned positive results for COVID-19, representing a drop in positivity rate from 8.8% to 1.5% since the last round of results on Dec. 2.

Alabama coach questions Coach K

Alabama men’s basketball coach Nate Oats is questioning Mike Krzyzewski’s motives for calling on the NCAA to reassess its current playing schedule during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Let me ask you a question,” Oats said Thursday, according to the Tuscaloosa News’ Cecil Hurt. “Do you think Coach K would be saying that if he hadn’t lost those two non-conference games at home?”

On Tuesday, the Hall of Fame Duke coach wondered aloud why the NCAA was continuing its basketball schedule with the pandemic causing multiple college athletics programs in the U.S. to suspend activities.

“I would just like for the safety, the mental and physical health of our players and staff, to assess where we’re at,” Krzyzewski said.

Duke is currently 2-2 on the season, its worst start since 1999-2000.

Krzyzewski has been criticized in some quarters before for something similar. The coach sat out the bulk of the 1994-95 season after undergoing back surgery in the midst of a 13-18 campaign, Duke’s only losing season since 1982-83.

AP sources: Phillies hire Dombrowski to lead baseball ops

The Philadelphia Phillies have hired longtime baseball executive Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations, according to two people familiar with the decision.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday night because the team hadn’t announced the move. An official announcement is expected Friday, according to one of the people.

Andy MacPhail is the Phillies’ current president and has planned to retire after the 2021 season. He said in October he would be willing to step aside sooner to make way for a new baseball operations boss.

The 64-year-old Dombrowski has led baseball operations for four teams over more than three decades, taking a trio of franchises to the World Series. His teams have won four pennants and two Series titles.

Dombrowski was the youngest general manager in baseball history when he took over the Montreal Expos in 1988 at 31 years old, and he quickly turned the small-market club first into a competitor – then a legitimate contender – on the strength of a fruitful farm system.

He joined the expansion Florida Marlins in 1991 and was the chief architect of their 1997 World Series championship team, then oversaw an ownership-mandated fire sale before the next season. He helped rebuild a Marlins club that won another title in 2003, although Dombrowski had left for Detroit by then.

Best known for aggressively pursuing major league talent, Dombrowski has also overseen the drafting and development of a number of stars, including Rondell White, Cliff Floyd, Josh Beckett, Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello.

Dombrowski won AL pennants with Detroit in 2006 and 2012 before the Tigers cut him loose after the 2015 season. He joined the Red Sox as president of baseball operations the following August and made a number of key acquisitions – including ace Chris Sale, slugger J.D. Martinez and manager Alex Cora – that led to Boston’s 2018 World Series championship.

Dombrowski was fired by the Red Sox in September 2019 amid a disappointing follow-up to the championship run.

Known for his ability to land top-level major league talent – both by spending on free agents and trading away top prospects – Dombrowski is taking over a franchise that may not be positioned to spend freely due to existing big contracts and the burden of the coronavirus pandemic.

Phillies owner John Middleton has spent aggressively in recent seasons, most notably signing slugger Bryce Harper to a $330 million, 13-year deal in 2019. The team has millions more tied up in deals for Zack Wheeler, Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura and Aaron Nola.

The spending spree could be at an end, at least for now. A person familiar with the Phillies’ finances told the AP last week the club lost $145 million during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season played without fans. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t officially released the figures.

Philadelphia finished 28-32 last season, one win shy of ending a nine-year playoff drought. The Phillies haven’t had a winning season since taking five straight division titles, two National League pennants and one World Series crown from 2007-11.

The Phillies fired general manager Matt Klentak after the season and reassigned him within the organization.

Talk Show Host off to Vegas

Colin Cowherd started some rumors about himself to tease an upcoming announcement.

On Wednesday morning, the host of “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” tweeted that his life was about “to get more interesting.”

A day later, OutKick’s Bobby Burack reported that Cowherd is seemingly preparing for a move back to Las Vegas. Burack says Cowherd is shopping for a home and studio space in Sin City.

Cowherd responded with a tweet teasing an announcement the following week.

Cowherd worked for KVBC in Las Vegas early in his sports media career, which is why Vegas would be a return home. Burack also reported that Cowherd’s move to Vegas was related to opportunities in the sports gambling opportunities. That part of the report led to rumors that Cowherd might be working with Barstool Sports in some capacity.

Cowherd’s show airs on both FS1 and FOX Sports Radio/iHeartRadio. He has expressed support for Barstool in the past. In April, Cowherd shared that he bought “a ton” of stock in Penn National Gaming after the stock dropped about 66 percent from its previous 2020 high during the early stages of the pandemic. Penn National Gaming purchased a significant ownership stake Barstool Sports in January at a $450 million valuation.

Cowherd also tweeted on Wednesday to congratulate Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini on the company’s acquisition by Penn earlier in the year.

Cowherd’s investment in Penn has increased nearly six-fold since his April purchase. Penn’s stock has exploded to over $75 as of Thursday’s market close and resulted in an $11 billion market cap. With its large market cap, Barstool has been able to make some large investments, such as signing Deion Sanders.

Would Cowherd be partnering with Barstool in some way?

In 2018, Cowherd re-signed with FS1 and iHeartRadio for four years, meaning he is still likely under contract with them. However, he does have some ownership rights to his show, and he has been able to branch into other areas, such as investing in a restaurant under his name. It’s unclear whether his contract with FOX Sports and iHeartRadio would allow for some partnership with Barstool.

Barstool has entered the space of branded sports books located at Penn National Gaming casino sites. Penn National leases/manages the Tropicana property in Las Vegas and the M Resort in Henderson, Nev., which is south of Las Vegas.

If he’s not working with Barstool, Cowherd could also be moving to Las Vegas as part of gambling initiative related to FOX or possibly his personal brand. Cowherd has created “The Herd Podcasting Network” and could be thinking about a self-branded sportsbook, similar to his restaurants in Southern California. Another possibility is that he could be doing this as a push for FOX Bet, a legal online platform pushed by FOX Sports.

Beyond the sports gambling industry opportunities, another benefit to Cowherd moving to Las Vegas would be the tax breaks. Nevada does not have a state income tax. California’s income tax for those making more than $1 million a year like Cowherd is 13.3 percent. California’s lawmakers have also discussed increasing taxes on the superrich, which could be driving away wealthy job creators like Cowherd.