- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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PRO BASKETBALL—It was a high-scoring week in the NBA as the Spurs outdueled the Nuggets 161-153 with San Antonio's David Robinson chipping in with a career-high 43 points. The Nuggets' 90 points in the first half of that game set a league record for scoring in a half, but that mark lasted only three days before the Suns shattered it with 107 in the opening 24 minutes of a 173-143 victory over, of course, Denver. The Spurs subsequently lost 103-94 to the Jazz, allowing the Mavericks to take over the lead in the Midwest Division. The Trail Blazers moved to the top in the Pacific Division by knocking off the Lakers 125-123; the Portland offense was sparked by four three-point baskets by the newly acquired Danny Ainge. In the Central Division, the Hawks routed the Kings 102-85 but by week's end were sharing the lead with the Bucks, who ran their season's record to 4-1. Among the Milwaukee victories was a 108-100 defeat of the Bullets. The Atlantic Division-leading Celtics looked like Boston teams of old in a 110-108 victory in Chicago; Brian Shaw clinched that win with a follow-up basket at the buzzer off a Robert Parish air ball. The Celtics, however, looked just old in a 120-100 loss to the Bulls in Boston and a 105-91 win over the Nets. After a lethargic 41 minutes in the latter game, the Celtics were suddenly rejuvenated and sped to a 19-2 run that sealed the victory.
BOWLING—PETE WEBER won a PBA tour event in Richmond Heights, Mo., by beating top-seeded Doug Kent 213-206. Weber got $27,000 for the victory.
PRO FOOTBALL—Phil Simms of the 9-0 NFC East-leading Giants completed 19 of 26 passes and threw for 213 yards as New York overwhelmed the Rams 31-7. That continued a trend: On Monday night, the Giants had manhandled the Colts 24-7 as Ottis Anderson ran for two first-half touchdowns. The Cowboys were roughly treated, too, by the NFC West-pacesetting 49ers. San Francisco's Jerry Rice caught 12 passes for 147 yards and a TD in his team's 24-6 win. The Cardinals were overmatched 45-14 by one of the AFC East's co-leaders, the Bills, whose Jim Kelly threw through the rain and snow for four touchdowns. The feeble Falcons gave the Bears, who are atop the NFC Central, a scare, but Chicago prevailed 30-24 as Wendell Davis caught five passes for 105 yards. Chris Jacke kicked five field goals as the Packers upset the AFC West-leading Raiders 29-16 to end Los Angeles's 10-game home winning streak. In a battle for the NFC Central basement, the Vikings outlasted the Lions 17-7. Last season's Heisman Trophy winner, quarterback Andre Ware, made his first start for Detroit and completed five of 11 passes for a mere 48 yards. While the AFC Central, where the Bengals and Steelers share the lead, was idle, the Patriots of the AFC East lost their seventh game in a row, this time to the Colts, whose Jeff George threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Bill Brooks with 2:05 to play to clinch the 13-10 win. The onrushing Chargers brought their record to the .500 level with a 19-7 defeat of the Broncos. In other games, the Bucs fell to the Saints 35-7; the Seahawks upended the Chiefs 17-16; and the other AFC East coleader, the Dolphins, stymied the Jets 17-3 (page 26).
GOLF—DAVID PEOPLES shot a final-round 66 for a tournament-record 20-under-par 264 to beat Davis Love III by five shots and win a PGA Tour event in Kapalua, Hawaii. Peoples received $150,000 for his first professional victory (page 32).
HOCKEY—The Bruins, who were tied with the Canadiens for first place in the Adams Division as the week began, took on the Patrick Division-leading Rangers and snapped a six-game winless streak on the road by beating New York 3-2 in overtime. The Bruins took the division lead at midweek when their goalie, Andy Moog, turned aside 23 shots in a 2-0 defeat of Montreal. Despite their loss to Boston, the Rangers remained comfortably atop their division. They thrashed the Sabres 6-2 to break a nine-game winless streak against Buffalo. The Rangers then erupted for three first-period goals in a 3-2 beating of the Devils. The Blackhawks, who pulled one point ahead of the Blues for the Norris Division lead, upended the struggling Oilers 5-3. Edmonton, the defending Stanley Cup champion, also fell, 7-4, to the Kings, to extend its losing streak to nine games. Chicago prolonged a Maple Leaf run of losses—it reached six—by knocking off Toronto 5-1. Meanwhile, St. Louis ran its win streak to four by beating the Penguins 3-2 and then pummeling the Red Wings 6-1 as Dave Lowry had two goals and an assist. In the Smythe Division, the Flames clung to a first-place tie with L.A. despite losing 6-5 to Pittsburgh and 5-1 to the Islanders. Calgary was more successful against the Flyers, winning 8-2, with Sergei Makarov and Joe Nieuwendyk each scoring a goal and getting three assists.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: As coach of the Cleveland Browns, BUD CARSON, 59, after a 2-7 start, the Browns' worst since 1984. Carson, who was in his second year with Cleveland, guided the Browns to a 10-7-1 record and a berth in the AFC Championship Game in 1989.
INDICTED: Before a federal magistrate in St. Paul, Minnesota Viking placekicker DONALD IGWEBUIKE, 29, and two companions for allegedly conspiring to smuggle an estimated $1 million worth of heroin from Igwebuike's native Nigeria.