Weekend Sports in Brief

NFL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drew Brees capped a 326-yard passing performance with 2-yard touchdown to Michael Thomas with 1:25 left, and the New Orleans Saints clinched the top seed in the NFC playoffs with a 31-28 victory over Pittsburgh that dealt a significant blow to the Steelers’ playoff hopes.

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys wrapped up the NFC East title when Dak Prescott accounted for two touchdowns and Jaylon Smith returned a fumble 69 yards for a score in a 27-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

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Two LSU football players were trying to sell an electronic item when one of them fatally shot an 18-year-old man trying to rob them, police said Sunday.

A statement released by Baton Rouge police does not identify the players, but a person familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press that the players are running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and linebacker Jared Small. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because LSU and police have not released the players’ names.

The man killed was identified by police as Kobe Johnson. He was not an LSU student and died at the scene Saturday.

LSU players called police, waited at the scene, were questioned and were released while the investigation continues.

—By AP Sports Writer Brett Martel

NBA

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers are unsure if Markelle Fultz will play again this season.

The 20-year-old Fultz was diagnosed this month with thoracic outlet syndrome and is doing physical therapy in Los Angeles. General manager Elton Brand said Saturday prior to a game against Toronto he has no timetable for Fultz’s return to basketball activities.

Brand said it was “to be determined” if Fultz will play again this season.

The GM expects to update Fultz’s situation in “a few weeks.”

BASEBALL

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have signed injured right-hander Kendall Graveman to a one-year contract with an option for the 2020 season.

The Cubs announced the deal Sunday, taking a chance on the starting pitcher after his 2018 season was cut short by Tommy John surgery. Graveman was Oakland’s opening day starter for the second consecutive season, but he was shut down in late May and had surgery July 30. Terms of the deal weren’t announced.

Graveman is unlikely to make much impact in 2019, but he could boost Chicago’s rotation in 2020.

HOCKEY

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres say Rick Jeanneret is resting and doing well a day after the team’s Hall of Fame broadcaster was taken out of the press box on a stretcher.

The team’s update Sunday came about 12 hours after the 76-year-old Jeanneret was transported to the hospital during the third period of Buffalo’s victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

The Sabres say Jeanneret looks forward to returning to his job after the team’s three-day Christmas break.

NEW YORK (AP) — San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson has been suspended two games for an illegal check to the head of Los Angeles Kings forward Austin Wagner.

The NHL’s department of player safety announced the fine Sunday.

The incident occurred early in the second period of the Kings’ 3-2 overtime win over the Sharks on Saturday. Wagner left the game after getting taken down by Karlsson on a hard hit near center ice. After getting back on his feet, Wagner’s legs came out from under him. No penalty was called.

NEW YORK (AP) — Nashville Predators forward Ryan Hartman has been fined $1,000 by the NHL for spearing Boston Bruins forward Chris Wagner.

The incident occurred at 19:04 of the second period of Saturday’s night game between the Predators and Bruins, which Boston won 5-2.

HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING

BUENA, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s athletic association said Saturday that a referee who told a high school wrestler to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit, which drew ire from an Olympian, the state’s governor and many others, won’t be assigned to any matches until the incident is reviewed.

Michael Cherenson, spokesman for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, said the organization had reached out to groups that assign referees “and they’ve all agreed” not to assign Alan Maloney to any event until further notice.

Buena Regional High School wrestler Andrew Johnson, who is black, had a cover over his hair Wednesday night during a match. But Maloney, who is white, said that wouldn’t do. An SNJ Today reporter tweeted a video of Johnson getting his hair cut minutes before the match. Johnson went on to win but appeared visibly distraught.

BOXING

LONDON (AP) — Dillian Whyte stopped Dereck Chisora in the 11th round of an all-British heavyweight bout at the 02 Arena on Saturday to make a claim to be Anthony Joshua’s next challenger.

A largely competitive fight was instantly ended when Whyte threw a powerful left hook that left Chisora unconscious and down for worryingly long. Chisora landed heavily on his head but gradually recovered after attention from his team, potentially leaving him facing retirement at the end of a tough career.

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Josh Warrington retained his IBF featherweight title by beating Carl Frampton by unanimous decision after a thrilling 12-round fight on Saturday.

The pair engaged in one of the contenders for fight of the year at Manchester Arena.

Warrington, an underdog with the bookmakers despite relieving Lee Selby of the world title in May, was rewarded for a huge workrate to earn his 28th win from 28 fights.

The judges gave it to Warrington 116-112, 116-112, and 116-113 in his first title defense.

WEIGHTLIFTING

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Two Olympic champions and three other weightlifters have been provisionally suspended after retests on their urine samples from the 2012 London Games were shown to be positive for banned substances.

The International Weightlifting Federation announced adverse analytical findings for Ukraine’s Oleksiy Torokhtiy, who won gold at London in the 105-kilogram category, and Uzbekistan’s Ruslan Nurudinov, who won gold in the 105-kilogram category at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The IWF said retests also came back positive for Azerbaijan’s Valentin Hristov, who took bronze in the 56-kilogram class at London, Armenia’s Meline Daluzyan and Mikalai Novikau of Belarus.

OBITUARY

SEATTLE (AP) — Ken Foreman, the longtime Seattle Pacific track coach who was the head women’s coach of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team that boycotted the Moscow Games, died Sunday. He was 96.

During his five decades at Seattle Pacific, Foreman also coached cross country and basketball, was athletic director and led the effort to build Royal Brougham Pavilion.

After missing out on chance to direct the U.S. women in Moscow, Foreman led the U.S. teams in the 1983 World Championships and 1986 Goodwill Games.

Selected the National Coach of the Year in 2000, he was a charter member of the Falcons Hall of Fame in 2003.

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