COLLEGE FOOTBALL

#1 Alabama 31 #4 Notre Dame 14

#3 Ohio State 49 #2 Clemson 28

#9 Georgia 24 #8 Cincinnati 21

#14 Northwestern 35 Auburn 19

NBA SCOREBOARD

Dallas 93 Miami 83

Detroit 96 Boston 93

Memphis 108 Charlotte 93… Desmond Bane 10 points, two rebounds, four assists

Atlanta 114 Brooklyn 96

Milwaukee 126 Chicago 96

Washington 130 Minnesota 109

LA Lakers 109 San Antonio 103

Phoenix 106 Denver 103

Utah 106 LA Clippers 100

Portland 123 Golden State 98

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#1 Stanford 81 #6 Arizona 54

#8 Oregon 92 USC 69

Indiana State 63 Loyola Chicago 48

IUPUI 71 Robert Morris 49

Wright State 57 Youngstown State 53

Dayton 56 St. Bonaventure 47

BOYS HS BASKETBALL

North Daviess Tournament
Shoals44Rock Creek Academy41
South Knox53Rushville44
Brownstown Central50Southridge34
Loogootee42North Daviess40OT

OHIO STATE ROUTS CLEMSON

(OSU SI)

Numbers have fueled Ohio State all year.

There was 29-23, the score of last season’s painful playoff loss to Clemson.

Six, the number of games the Buckeyes played in this pandemic-altered season, which a lot of people thought was too few for them to get a return trip to the College Football Playoff.

Then there was No. 11, where Clemson coach Dabo Swinney placed Ohio State on his ballot in the final regular-season coaches’ poll.

In a rematch with Swinney’s Tigers in the Sugar Bowl, Justin Fields and the Buckeyes finally had Clemson’s number.

Fields threw six touchdown passes to outshine Trevor Lawrence, and No. 3 Ohio State buried the second-ranked Tigers 49-28 in the Sugar Bowl semifinal Friday night.

“Everybody doubting us just pushed us a little more,” Fields said.

The Buckeyes (7-0) head to the CFP title game for the first time since the inaugural playoff to face No. 1 Alabama on Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida. Ohio State beat the Crimson Tide in the semifinals on the way to the 2014 national championship.

Buckeyes coach Ryan Day called it a statement game for the program.

“This performance by this team I hope will go down in Ohio State history as a landmark victory,” Day said. “There were a lot of tough days this year.”

In a matchup of quarterback prodigies from Georgia, Fields might have given the Jacksonville Jaguars something to think about with that first pick in the NFL draft. Lawrence is the presumptive No. 1, but Fields outplayed him on this night, going 22 of 28 for 385 yards. He set a Sugar Bowl record for TD passes and did it playing more than half the game after taking a vicious shot to the side that forced him to miss a play and spend time in the medical tent.

Lawrence was 33 of 48 for 400 yards and three total touchdowns in what is expected to be the junior’s final college game.

“We were confident and prepared,” he said. “This was just one of those nights.”

Lawrence’s final pass was intercepted, but Clemson (10-2) went 34-2 in his starts and won a national title when he was a freshman.

The third meeting between Clemson and Ohio State in the playoff, and fourth bowl matchup since the 2013 season – all Clemson wins – was a game the Buckeyes had been pointing toward ever since that 29-23 loss in the Fiesta Bowl last year.

That score was everywhere the Buckeyes turned in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus the past year.

A chance for revenge was nearly derailed when the Big Ten canceled fall football in August because of the pandemic. An abbreviated Big Ten season caused more headaches, with the Buckeyes having three games canceled because of COVID-19 issues, including their own outbreak.

The playoff committee still liked Ohio State enough to put the Buckeyes in the final four, despite much griping from various parts of the country, including Clemson.

Day talked all week about what a remarkable story it would be for the Buckeyes to survive this rollercoaster of a season and still reach their goal.

“It’s been an emotional season, and it’s a win, and to come back and have a chance to play Clemson and then win the way we did – unbelievable,” Day said.

Clemson took a 7-0 lead on the opening drive and then went up 14-7 with Lawrence and Etienne running for scores.

From there it was all Buckeyes. Fields threw touchdown passes to tight ends Luke Farrell and Jeremy Ruckert on consecutive drives to give Ohio State a 21-14 lead early in the second quarter.

Operating without offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, who did not make the trip while in COVID-19 protocol, the Clemson offense couldn’t respond. The Buckeyes kept rolling behind Fields, though not without a major scare.

Fields scrambled on a third-and-long and took a hard shot to the right side from Clemson linebacker James Skalski that put the Buckeyes star into a fetal position before rolling over onto his back in obvious pain.

The play was reviewed for a targeting foul that resulted in Clemson’s top linebacker being ejected and a first-and-goal for the Buckeyes.

Fields came out for one play and returned to immediately throw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Chris Olave that made it 28-14.

“My body’s pretty beat up, but I’m happy,” Fields said. “I know I’m going to be feeling it tomorrow, but it was worth it.”

Fields went to the injury tent with Ohio State athletic trainers on Clemson’s next possession. He said afterward that he got a shot for the pain, but it still hurt after almost every throw.

He was right back out there on the Buckeyes’ next drive. After each play he moved gingerly, but with Trey Sermon running hard and Ohio State providing good protection, Fields continued to carve up the Tigers.

He hit Ruckert for a 12-yard score with 11 seconds left in the half.

A year after blowing a 16-0 first-half lead in an excruciating semifinal loss to Clemson, the Buckeyes handed the Tigers their largest halftime deficit (21) since the 2012 Orange Bowl against West Virginia (29 points).

The second half started with Clemson looking as though it might have another comeback in store. Fields was intercepted in the Tigers end zone and Lawrence came back with an 80-yard touchdown drive to cut it to 35-21.

Nervous time for the Buckeyes? Not for long. Fields threw a perfectly placed bomb to Olave for a 56-yard touchdown pass that made it 42-21 with 4:55 left in the third quarter.

“They were awesome,” Swinney said. “They absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage. You can’t win games like this if you can’t stop the run and big plays.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Ohio State: Sermon followed up his school-record 331 yards rushing in the Big Ten championship game with 193 on the ground and another 61 receiving. The Oklahoma transfer is having a late-season breakout similar to Ezekiel Elliott’s in 2014.

Clemson: Swinney complained Ohio State’s six-game schedule was too short to warrant a playoff spot and might even give the Buckeyes an unfair advantage. Yes, he said the Buckeyes were good enough to beat the Tigers, but he placed Ohio State 11th on his coaches’ poll ballot just the same. It was nothing personal, Swinney said, but the Buckeyes sure looked as if they took it that way, beating Clemson for the first time in five bowl meetings.

“No, I don’t regret any of that and the poll had nothing to do with motivation,” Swinney said.

Only a few thousand fans were permitted in the Superdome because of COVID-19 restrictions. The thousand or so on the Buckeyes’ side of the field derisively chanted “Daaa-boooo! Daaa-boooo!” as the clock wound down on Clemson’s season.

ALABAMA ADVANCES TO TITLE GAME…AGAIN

A truly untraditional Rose Bowl setting, a very common result for Alabama in the College Football Playoff.

With Heisman Trophy finalists DeVonta Smith and Mac Jones, the top-ranked Crimson Tide rolled into its fifth CFP championship game in six seasons.

Smith caught three of Jones’ four touchdown passes and Najee Harris ran for 125 yards with a high-hurdling highlight in a 31-14 victory over No. 4 Notre Dame in a CFP semifinal Rose Bowl played inside about 1,400 miles from Pasadena, California.

“I don’t think there’s anything quite like the Rose Bowl, the tradition, the setting, the mountains. It’s just a phenomenal experience,” coach Nick Saban said. “Wish our players had gotten that opportunity.”

But Saban and the Tide (12-0, No. 1 CFP) will take yet another win in the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, which the coach called one of college football’s finest venues, and advancing again in the playoff.

The Tide earned a spot in the Jan. 11 championship game in suburban Miami, against No. 3 Ohio State, which beat Clemson 49-28 in the other CFP semifinal at the Sugar Bowl on Friday night.

Alabama missed the CFP last year for the only time since the four-time playoff debuted at the end of the 2014 season. The Buckeyes were the initial CFP champions, after beating the top-seeded Tide 42-35 in a semifinal that year.

Notre Dame (10-2, No. 4 CFP), in football’s final four for only the second time, has lost seven consecutive New Year’s Six games since 2000.

Alabama scored TDs on its first three possessions, including an 97-yard drive on which Harris leaped over 6-foot cornerback Nick McCloud just after crossing the line of scrimmage, landed on both feet and then sprinted for a 53-yard gain before getting run out of bounds.

“I don’t know why I’m surprised every time he does it. I’ve seen it for three years, but still, ‘Geez!,” tight end Miller Forristall said.

“I actually try to teach him not to do it, and it didn’t work,” Saban said, laughing. “Anyway, for a big guy, it’s pretty amazing that he can do that. He’s kind of got a great feel when a guy’s going to try to cut him. … When he sees that head go down, he’ll go over the top of them in a heartbeat.”

Jones, who completed 25 of 30 passes for 297 yards, threw a 12-yard TD to tight end Jahleel Billingsley on the next play.

That came between drives when Smith, with 16 TD catches his last seven games, turned short passes into scores of 26 and 34 yards. Smith finished with seven catches for 130 yards, later adding a nifty toe-tapping 7-yarder in the front corner of the end zone right on the pylon.

CFP officials moved the Rose Bowl because of COVID-19 restrictions in California that would have kept family – or any fans – from attending the game at its normal home. There was a limited capacity crowd of 18,373 at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, just a bit higher than attendance for the Cotton Bowl game there two nights earlier when Oklahoma beat SEC runner-up Florida 55-20.

It was another thud of a finish for the Fighting Irish after winning all 10 regular-season games, including a home victory over Clemson. But Notre Dame then lost 34-10 in the ACC title game to the Tigers.

“Today was about making the plays. They made them on the perimeter. Their skill players showed up today as they have all year,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said. “We battled. I thought we did some of the things that we wanted to today but we simply didn’t make enough plays.”

Notre Dame lost 30-3 to Clemson in the CFP semifinal Cotton Bowl two years ago at AT&T Stadium. It was the first time the Irish had played Alabama since the Tide beat them 42-14 in the BCS national championship game eight seasons ago.

The Alabama defense kept quarterback Ian Book scrambling. The winningest starting QB ever for the Irish at 30-5, Book completed 27 of 39 passes for 229 yards and only his third interception in 353 attempts this season.

GEORGIA GETS BY CINCINNATI

Jack Podlesny told Georgia coaches before Friday’s Peach Bowl that he felt confident attempting field goals from as long as 55 yards – a full 4 yards past his career best.

Podlesny made good on his claim, kicking a 53-yard field goal with three seconds remaining, and No. 11 Georgia handed No. 6 Cincinnati its only loss of the season with a dramatic 24-21 victory in the Peach Bowl.

Podlesny dropped to one knee following the career-long kick as his teammates surged onto the field. Asked what he was thinking while he was kneeling, Podlesny said he wanted to “try to remember why I’m here. … God is good and it’s amazing to be here.”

Georgia trailed 21-10 in the fourth quarter, but its defense clamped down on Desmond Ridder and Cincinnati and JT Daniels helped rally the Bulldogs with his arm. Daniels, a Southern California transfer, passed for 392 yards while improving to a perfect 4-0 in four starts for Georgia.

Podlesny’s winning kick tied a Peach Bowl record for longest field goal and gave Georgia a 22-21 lead. Azeez Ojulari sacked Ridder for a safety on the final play. It was Ojulari’s third sack. Georgia tied a school record with eight sacks.

Ridder completed 24 of 37 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Jerome Ford added a career-long 79-yard touchdown run early in the second half but it wasn’t enough for the Bearcats.

Cincinnati (9-1, No. 8 CFP) was motivated to use the Peach Bowl to gain national respect. Coach Luke Fickell said the game was a measuring stick for his team.

“We’re not there yet,” Fickell said. “That’s what keeps motivating you, and I think that, you know, there’s a lot of things we’re going to take from this that we know we can do.”

Georgia (8-2, No. 9 CFP) won despite running for only 45 yards.

“I would feel much better if we just played our best game,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “I don’t think we played our best game. I want to give Cincinnati credit for that. They created some of that.”

On Georgia’s final play before the decisive field goal, Daniels attempted a deep pass that fell incomplete. Asked why he didn’t try a shorter pass that might have made the kick more manageable, Smart said: “I felt comfortable with where he was that he would have the leg strength to get there.”

He was right.

Ridder threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Alec Pierce in the first quarter and added an 11-yard scoring pass to Josh Wyle late in the first half.

“We’ve been ready to play this game for a long time,” Ridder said. “It’s just, you know, disappointing, obviously, the way it ended.”

Daniels overcame an interception and a lost fumble to lead the comeback.

Georgia’s defense helped fuel the rally. Ridder fumbled on a sack by Ojulari, and Adam Anderson recovered at the Bearcats 25. Zamir White’s 9-yard TD run trimmed Cincinnati’s lead to 21-16.

NORTHWESTERN WINS CITRUS BOWL

Northwestern’s defense sent coordinator Mike Hankwitz into retirement as a winner.

Peyton Ramsey threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score, and the 15th-ranked Wildcats clamped down defensively to beat Auburn 35-19 in the Citrus Bowl on Friday.

Ramsey, a graduate transfer, totaled 291 yards passing and 50 yards rushing for Northwestern (7-2), which won its fourth straight bowl game. Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Brown, John Raine and Riley Lees had touchdown catches for the Wildcats, who bounced back from an ugly loss to Ohio State on Dec. 19 in the Big Ten championship game.

It was the final game for the 73-year-old Hankwitz, who is retiring after a 51-year coaching career that included 400 victories at nine schools. He was the defensive coordinator for Colorado’s 1990 national championship team and spent the last 13 seasons as Northwestern’s coordinator.

“For Hank, you want to talk about the (legend), think about this: 580 career games coached, 400 career wins, 288 of those as a defensive coordinator, 11 conference championships and a national championship,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “There’s a lot to be thankful for – our seniors, to Hank and our players down here.”

Bo Nix threw for 292 yards for Auburn (6-5) but was often frustrated by Northwestern’s defense, which came in allowing 15.5 points per game, ranked fifth in the nation. Auburn was led by interim coach Kevin Steele following the Dec. 13 firing of Gus Malzahn and was missing several key players.

“We’re Auburn football and we’re never going to make excuses for who’s out there and who’s not out there. It’s next man up,” Steele said. “It doesn’t matter – COVID, injury or opt-outs, we don’t (make excuses). We had some young guys who did some really good things that are going to help them for the future of the program.”

Auburn got within 14-13 when Nix hit Elijah Canion for a 57-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter. But Ramsey responded with a 30-yard touchdown run late in the quarter.

“On the 30-yard run, it was a look we had seen a couple times earlier in the year, but this time they didn’t spy me,” Ramsey said. “I was able to get out in the open field and get in the end zone. More than anything, I got out of the pocket and saw some green grass.”

Linebacker Paddy Fisher, the nation’s active leader in tackles coming into the game, drilled Nix for no gain on fourth-and-1 on the second play of the fourth quarter. Cam Porter had seven carries on the ensuing drive, including a 1-yard plunge into the end zone that put Northwestern ahead 28-13. Porter rushed for 98 yards on 33 carries, and the Wildcats offense finished with 457 yards and 25 first downs.

The Tigers failed to convert 10 of their first 11 third downs, were unsuccessful on their first two fourth-down tries and mustered 361 yards and 18 first downs. For the game, the Tigers were 2 of 13 on third downs.

Ramsey put Northwestern ahead 14-0 on first-quarter TD passes of 35 yards to Chiaokhiao-Brown and 6 yards to Raine. His final touchdown pass, to Lees, put the Wildcats ahead 35-13 midway through the fourth quarter.

“We stumbled in a couple of games, but we wouldn’t be where we’re at today without Peyton Ramsey,” Fitzgerald said. “Great leader, great teammate and you can tell that he is from a coaching family. And he’s just so unflappable.”

Both teams were without major contributors because of COVID-19 protocols, injuries and opt-outs. Auburn running back Tank Bigsby didn’t make the trip for medical reasons, and top wideout Anthony Schwartz and defensive back Roger McCreary opted out to prepare for the NFL draft.

DABO DOESN’T REGRET OSU RANKING

Dabo Swinney does not have any regret over the way he handled his final coaches poll ballot.

Swinney infamously ranked Ohio State No. 11 in his final poll, which led to plenty of headlines. Swinney says the rankings were a matter of principle over the Buckeyes only playing six games.

Even after his Clemson Tigers got hammered 49-28 by Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, Swinney defended his actions.

“No, I don’t regret any of that,” Swinney said when asked about the ranking following the game. “Polls have nothing to do with motivating. Both teams are highly motivated to play. And like I said, they’re a great team.

“That had nothing to do with Ohio State. I said they were good enough to beat us, good enough to win the whole dang thing. I didn’t think anybody that didn’t play at least nine games, in my poll, I wasn’t going to put them in the top 10. I wasn’t going to change that because there was a chance we would play them. So I don’t have any regret about that.”

Swinney then shared his one regret.

“The only thing I regret is I obviously didn’t do a good enough job getting my team ready.”

IS INDIANA SNUBBING BIG 10 WITH LOGO COVERUP IN OUTBACK BOWL

The Indiana Hoosiers posted one of the best seasons in program history, going 6-1 with their lone loss coming against undefeated Ohio State. Despite this, the team seems to be feeling a bit disrespected — even by its own conference.

Indiana’s uniforms for the Outback Bowl covered up all traces of the Big Ten logo. Its normal spot on the team’s uniform was instead occupied by the Outback Bowl logo. The same was done to their helmets, with the normal location of the Big Ten logo instead displaying coach Tom Allen’s “LEO” motto.

Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star pointed out that Indiana placed its bowl logo on the opposite shoulder last year, indicating that this was not simply a case of something needing to be removed to create space for the Outback Bowl logo. Osterman also pointed out that Northwestern found space for both the Big Ten logo and Citrus Bowl logo earlier Friday.

So why would Indiana snub the conference like this? Many Hoosiers fans were angry that the team was relegated to the Outback Bowl behind Northwestern, which got the Citrus Bowl bid despite losing to Indiana 34-3 during the regular season. It may be that the Hoosiers felt that the Big Ten should have done more to lobby on their behalf for a better bowl game, perhaps at the expense of three-loss Iowa State’s Fiesta Bowl spot.

It’s also worth pointing out that the Hoosiers would have played in the Big Ten Championship if not for a late conference rule change to accommodate Ohio State. Indiana seemed fairly relaxed about that, though.

WILSON TO ENTER NFL DRAFT

BYU quarterback Zach Wilson is entering the NFL draft.

Wilson announced the decision Friday on Twitter.

“After much thought prayer and consideration, I’m excited to announce that I will be declaring for the 2021 NFL draft,” Wilson tweeted. “I pray that I will always back Cougar Nation proud.”

Wilson passed for 3,692 yards and 33 touchdowns with three interceptions this season as a junior to help the Cougars finish 11-1. He capped his BYU career with a victory over UCF in the Boca Raton Bowl.

In three seasons at BYU, Wilson passed for 7,652 yards with 56 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

FORMER BEARS CB RICHARDSON ARRESTED

Former NFL cornerback Mike Richardson was arrested this week in connection with a homicide.

KPHO-TV in Phoenix reports that Richardson, who was part of the Chicago Bears’ Super Bowl team in 1985, was arrested on Wednesday afternoon in connection with an incident that took place the day before. Investigators believe the 59-year-old shot a man over $200 worth of cocaine.

The victim, identified as Ronald Like, was found on Tuesday morning after he had been shot. He was taken to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Richardson was booked on suspicion of second-degree murder and weapons misconduct. He was also wanted on a felony that was issued a week before the shooting. Police in Mesa said witness statements indicated Richardson is “considered to be a drug dealer.”

Richardson played college ball at Arizona State and was an All-American in 1981 and 1982. He was drafted in the second round by the Chicago Bears, whom he played for from 1983-1988. He then ended his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers in 1989.

This is not the first time Richardson has been arrested. He has history of felony drug offenses, including when he was found guilty of possession of dangerous drugs for sale in February 2019.

BROWNS OPEN FACILITY AND PRACTICE

The Cleveland Browns have reopened their facility and will practice after a succession of COVID-19 interruptions this week.

The team will be without several players, including top cornerback Denzel Ward, on Sunday when the Browns play the Pittsburgh Steelers. A win puts Cleveland in the NFL playoffs for the first time since 2002.

The Browns did not have any new positive COVID-19 tests on Friday, and after getting league approval, they will practice indoors at 1 p.m. They canceled practice Thursday and kept their building closed to determine whether there was a virus outbreak.

To this point, they’ve only practiced for one hour on the field as they prepare for their biggest game in years.

Last week, the Browns played without their four leading receivers and lost to the New York Jets. Those players, who were ruled out as high-risk close contacts, were activated Thursday and are expected to play Sunday.

Cleveland will be without Ward, starting linebacker B.J. Goodson, safety Andrew Sendejo and tight end Harrison Bryant when it faces Pittsburgh, which will sit starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and others so they’re rested for the playoffs.

The Steelers beat the Browns 38-7 in their previous matchup this season.

KAMARA TEST POSITIVE

A week after his record-tying Christmas Day performance, Alvin Kamara faces the prospect of missing the Saints’ playoff opener.

The star running back tested positive for COVID-19 Friday, according to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.football. Kamara took another test, and it came back positive, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Kamara did not practice Friday, but given the minimum 10-day isolation period after testing positive, he stands a good chance of missing New Orleans’ first-round game — should the team be required to play in one.

Kamara is not symptomatic, according to Underhill. The Saints went to the playoffs in each of Kamara’s first three seasons; he did not miss any of those games. The former third-round pick has missed only three games in his career.

The Saints have a chance at the NFC’s bye slot, which becomes even more important now. The Saints have won one road playoff game in franchise history, but securing the bye now would limit the chances Kamara misses a postseason game. A three-way tie atop the conference between the Saints, Packers and Seahawks would give New Orleans its second No. 1 seed in three seasons. However, the Packers are favored to beat the Bears this week and clinch the top spot.

Kamara rushed for six touchdowns in Week 16, tying Ernie Nevers‘ 91-year-old record, and leads the NFL with 21 total TDs. He battled ankle trouble in 2019 but missed just two games. He has played all 15 of the Saints’ contests this year and established a new career high with 1,688 scrimmage yards. The Saints earning the No. 2 seed — which they would if the current spots hold — would mean a matchup with the Rams, Cardinals or Bears in Round 1. As it stands, Latavius Murray (656 rushing yards; five total TDs) would start in that game.

The Saints, however, have navigated this season without key players at multiple junctures. Michael Thomas remains on IR and has missed much of the season due to ailments and a suspension. Drew Brees missed four games because of cracked ribs and a punctured lung but has since returned. This will be more of the same for New Orleans, which endured a first-round upset with Kamara, Brees and a healthy Thomas last season.

BUCS PLACE TWO KEY PLAYERS ON COVID LIST

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers received some awful news on Friday, as linebackers Devin White and Shaquil Barrett were placed on the club’s COVID-19 list ahead of Week 17’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

With the NFC Wild Card Round to follow the next week, indications are that Barrett should be back in time for the postseason, whereas White is less certain to be.

One silver lining to this adverse situation is that Barrett in fact tested negative for COVID-19. NFL protocols dictate players must be placed on the COVID-19 list if they’re deemed a high-risk close contact to someone who has tested positive. It’s at least possible Barrett will be back for the Wild Card Round.

But while that’s still to be determined, there has to be a fair amount of apprehension around the Bucs locker room in light of this news, because White could well be out for the first round of the playoffs. Barrett is a dynamic pass-rusher, while White is a heat-seeking missile of an inside linebacker who’s afforded the chance to take risks in coordinator Todd Bowles’ aggressive system, with nine sacks of his own in 2020.

LILLARD REACHES 15 POINTS

 Damian Lillard joined Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler as the only Portland players to score 15,000 points for the franchise, finishing with 34 as the Trail Blazers spoiled Golden State’s home opener with a 123-98 win over the Warriors on Friday night.

“Fifteen thousand is a huge accomplishment, something that I’m proud of but my work is far from done,” Lillard said.

CJ McCollum added 28 points for Portland, knocking down 4 of 5 3-pointers early as the Trail Blazers hit 10 of 15 from long range to start the game. McCollum became the second player in NBA history to make 25 or more over the first five games of a season.

Stephen Curry did it twice. He shot just 4 for 12 from deep and had 26 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Warriors, Andrew Wiggins scored 15 and Kelly Oubre Jr. contributed 10 points in his first home game with the team.

Golden State finally got back to Chase Center for its first home game in a 297-day span. But the Warriors took another lopsided loss following a 2-2 road trip in which they were outscored by 65 points in defeats at Brooklyn and Milwaukee then won at Chicago and Detroit by a combined 11 points.

“They came out smoking hot, they were making everything,” coach Steve Kerr said.

Lillard, from the Warriors’ former city of Oakland, shot 11 for 21 with six 3-pointers and also dished out eight assists. He averaged 43.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 8.0 assists in three games against the Warriors last season – including a 61-point performance on Jan. 20, 2020.

Draymond Green didn’t score and had four rebounds, four assists and four fouls over nearly 18 minutes making his season debut for Golden State, his first game since Feb. 27 against the Los Angeles Lakers and a stretch of 309 days. He had been sidelined the first four games by a right foot injury after being delayed starting training camp because he had the coronavirus.

“Draymond just looks like he’s getting his wind. He looked like a guy who missed training camp and has been working his way to get onto the floor,” Kerr said. “It looked like an exhibition-style game for him. That’s not a criticism, it’s just where he is physically.”

No. 2 overall draft pick James Wiseman gave Golden State a scare when he went down grabbing his left ankle late before walking off on his own. It wasn’t serious and he is expected to play Sunday.

Images of the late Clifford Robinson wearing both Warriors and Blazers jerseys were shown on the big screen during a first-quarter break. He died Aug. 29 at age 53.

PHOENIX NOW 5-1

 Damian Lillard joined Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler as the only Portland players to score 15,000 points for the franchise, finishing with 34 as the Trail Blazers spoiled Golden State’s home opener with a 123-98 win over the Warriors on Friday night.

“Fifteen thousand is a huge accomplishment, something that I’m proud of but my work is far from done,” Lillard said.

CJ McCollum added 28 points for Portland, knocking down 4 of 5 3-pointers early as the Trail Blazers hit 10 of 15 from long range to start the game. McCollum became the second player in NBA history to make 25 or more over the first five games of a season.

Stephen Curry did it twice. He shot just 4 for 12 from deep and had 26 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Warriors, Andrew Wiggins scored 15 and Kelly Oubre Jr. contributed 10 points in his first home game with the team.

Golden State finally got back to Chase Center for its first home game in a 297-day span. But the Warriors took another lopsided loss following a 2-2 road trip in which they were outscored by 65 points in defeats at Brooklyn and Milwaukee then won at Chicago and Detroit by a combined 11 points.

“They came out smoking hot, they were making everything,” coach Steve Kerr said.

Lillard, from the Warriors’ former city of Oakland, shot 11 for 21 with six 3-pointers and also dished out eight assists. He averaged 43.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 8.0 assists in three games against the Warriors last season – including a 61-point performance on Jan. 20, 2020.

Draymond Green didn’t score and had four rebounds, four assists and four fouls over nearly 18 minutes making his season debut for Golden State, his first game since Feb. 27 against the Los Angeles Lakers and a stretch of 309 days. He had been sidelined the first four games by a right foot injury after being delayed starting training camp because he had the coronavirus.

“Draymond just looks like he’s getting his wind. He looked like a guy who missed training camp and has been working his way to get onto the floor,” Kerr said. “It looked like an exhibition-style game for him. That’s not a criticism, it’s just where he is physically.”

No. 2 overall draft pick James Wiseman gave Golden State a scare when he went down grabbing his left ankle late before walking off on his own. It wasn’t serious and he is expected to play Sunday.

Images of the late Clifford Robinson wearing both Warriors and Blazers jerseys were shown on the big screen during a first-quarter break. He died Aug. 29 at age 53.

NFL STANDINGS

American Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
xy-Buffalo Bills1230.8000.04453496-1-06-2-09-2-05-0-05 W
Miami Dolphins1050.6672.03782825-3-05-2-07-4-03-2-02 W
New England Patriots690.4006.02983394-3-02-6-05-6-02-3-03 L
New York Jets2130.13310.02294291-7-01-6-01-10-00-5-02 W
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
xyz-Kansas City Chiefs1410.9330.04523246-1-08-0-010-1-04-1-010 W
Las Vegas Raiders780.4677.04024472-6-05-2-05-6-03-2-03 L
Los Angeles Chargers690.4008.03464054-4-02-5-05-6-02-3-03 W
Denver Broncos5100.3339.02924142-5-03-5-04-7-01-4-02 L
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
xy-Pittsburgh Steelers1230.8000.03942887-1-05-2-09-2-04-1-01 W
Baltimore Ravens1050.6672.04303005-3-05-2-06-5-03-2-04 W
Cleveland Browns1050.6672.03843975-2-05-3-06-5-02-3-01 L
Cincinnati Bengals4101.3007.53083863-4-01-6-14-7-01-4-02 W
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Tennessee Titans1050.6670.04504015-3-05-2-07-4-04-1-01 L
Indianapolis Colts1050.6670.04233485-2-05-3-06-5-03-2-01 L
Houston Texans4110.2676.03464232-5-02-6-03-8-02-3-04 L
Jacksonville Jaguars1140.0679.02924641-7-00-7-01-10-01-4-014 L
 
National Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Washington Football Team690.4000.03153153-5-03-4-04-7-03-2-02 L
Dallas Cowboys690.4000.03764504-4-02-5-05-6-02-3-03 W
New York Giants5100.3331.02573382-5-03-5-04-7-03-2-03 L
Philadelphia Eagles4101.3001.53203983-3-11-7-04-7-02-3-02 L
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
xy-Seattle Seahawks1140.7330.04333487-1-04-3-08-3-03-2-03 W
Los Angeles Rams960.6002.03542895-2-04-4-08-3-02-3-02 L
Arizona Cardinals870.5333.04033494-4-04-3-06-5-02-3-01 L
San Francisco 49ers690.4005.03533641-6-05-3-04-7-03-2-01 W
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
xy-Green Bay Packers1230.8000.04743537-1-05-2-09-2-04-1-05 W
Chicago Bears870.5334.03563353-4-05-3-06-5-02-3-03 W
Minnesota Vikings690.4006.03934403-5-03-4-04-7-03-2-03 L
Detroit Lions5100.3337.03424821-6-04-4-04-7-01-4-03 L
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
xy-New Orleans Saints1140.7330.04493306-2-05-2-09-2-05-0-01 W
x-Tampa Bay Buccaneers1050.6671.04483284-3-06-2-07-4-03-2-03 W
Carolina Panthers5100.3336.03433692-5-03-5-04-7-01-4-01 W
Atlanta Falcons4110.2677.03693702-6-02-5-02-9-01-4-04 L
 

X – Clinched Playoff Spot,  Y – Clinched Division,  Z – Clinched Home Field Advantage

NBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Philadelphia41.8002-02-12-04-14-12 W
Brooklyn33.5001.52-21-11-02-23-31 L
Boston33.5001.52-11-20-12-33-31 L
New York23.4002.01-11-20-22-32-31 L
Toronto13.2502.51-10-21-11-11-31 W
 
Central Divison
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Indiana41.8003-11-02-04-14-11 W
Cleveland32.6001.02-11-11-13-23-22 L
Milwaukee33.5001.52-01-31-02-33-31 W
Chicago24.3332.50-32-10-22-32-41 L
Detroit14.2003.01-20-20-11-21-41 W
 
Southeast Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Atlanta41.8001-03-13-14-11 W
Orlando41.8001-13-03-03-14-11 L
Charlotte23.4002.01-21-11-12-31 L
Miami23.4002.02-10-20-11-22-31 L
Washington15.1673.50-41-10-20-51-51 W
 
Western Conference
Northwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Utah32.6001-22-02-13-23-21 W
Portland32.6001-12-10-13-23-21 W
Minnesota23.4001.01-11-21-01-22-33 L
Oklahoma City13.2501.50-31-00-10-21-33 L
Denver14.2002.01-30-11-41-42 L
 
Pacific Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Phoenix51.8332-03-11-15-15-14 W
LA Clippers42.6671.02-12-11-04-24-21 L
LA Lakers42.6671.02-22-00-14-24-22 W
Sacramento32.6001.52-11-11-13-23-21 L
Golden State23.4002.50-12-20-12-31 L
 
Southwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
New Orleans32.6001-02-21-02-13-21 W
San Antonio23.4001.01-21-11-11-32-33 L
Dallas23.4001.01-11-21-22-31 W
Memphis23.4001.00-22-10-10-12-31 W
Houston12.3331.01-00-21-21-21 W