Review Category : National Sports

Pacers’ George Takes Jump Shots at Practice

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Less than three months ago, Paul George was being carried off the floor from a intersquad scrimmage with Team USA with a broken leg. On Monday, the Indiana Pacers forward was seen shooting jump shots with his teammates at practice.

Video surfaced from Pacers practice that showed George taking midrange jumpers as well as shooting some three-pointers in the gym following practice. The small forward suffered a grisly compound fracture in his right leg on Aug. 1 during a televised scrimmage with Team USA before the FIBA World Cup.

The 24-year-old has been cleared to put weight on his leg and begin upper-body workouts. George also proclaimed recently that he plans to play at some point during the upcoming NBA season.

A two-time All-Star, George has not missed more than three games in a season since the 2011-12 campaign. Last year he helped lead the Pacers back to the Eastern Conference Finals, averaging 21.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

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Second Quarter Outburst Lifts Steelers Past Houston

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) — The Pittsburgh Steelers scored 24 points in the second quarter, including three touchdowns in less than 90 seconds, to pick up a 30-23 win over the Houston Texans on Monday night. It was the 16th straight victory for the Steelers on Monday Night Football.

Trailing 13-0 halfway through the second quarter, the Steelers (4-3) got on the board with a Shaun Suisham field goal at the 3:08 mark. Less than two minutes later, Ben Roethlisberger found Martavis Bryant for a 35-yard touchdown pass that brought Pittsburgh within three at 13-10.

What happened next changed the course of the game. Two plays after the touchdown, Houston’s Arian Foster fumbled deep in his own territory to give the Steelers perfect field possession. Wide receiver Antonio Brown then delivered a three-yard pass to Lance Moore on a reverse, putting Pittsburgh ahead 17-13. Things only escalated for the Texans (3-4) when Ryan Fitzpatrick’s pass was tipped an intercepted on the very next play.

That set-up another scoring drive for Pittsburgh, capped off by a Roethlisberger two-yard strike to Le’Veon Ball, making it a 24-13 ball game at halftime.

“You stand on the sidelines long enough, you will see explosions such as that,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “It was good to be on the good side of it.”

The Steelers only mustered a pair of second-half field goals and had to hold off a late rally by the Texans. Houston pulled within a touchdown when Fitzpatrick and Foster connected for a touchdown pass with 1:31 remaining in regulation. However, the ensuing onside kick was recovered by Pittsburgh, who ran out the clock.

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Aldon Smith Could Have Suspension Reduced

Brian Bahr/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — San Francisco 49er Aldon Smith could be returning sooner than later, according to a league source that confirmed Monday the linebacker’s suspension may be reduced for good behavior.

Smith was initially suspended nine-games prior to the start of the season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct and substance abuse policies. The suspension is set to be lifted on Nov. 10, following San Francisco’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

However, a league source confirmed a report that the penalty may be reduced by one or two games. That means the linebacker could return prior to San Fran’s matchup with the St. Louis Rams on Nov. 3. The 49ers have a bye-week in Week 8 and a Week 9 return would only improve a linebacking core that has been hampered with injuries and suspensions.

In order for the suspension to be reduced, Smith must maintain his good behavior. Under the terms of the suspension, the four-year veteran has been allowed at the team facilities for meetings and conditioning but has not been allowed to practice.

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Flames and T.J. Brodie Agree to Contract Extension

Comstock/Thinkstock(CALGARY, Alberta) — The Calgary Flames and defenseman T.J. Brodie agreed to a contract extension on Monday. The deal is for five years and is worth an average of $4.65 million per season, according to ESPN.

The 24-year-old Brodie is in the final season of a two-year contract he signed in 2013, which pays him an average annual salary of $2.1 million.

The Flames selected Brodie with the 114th overall pick in the 2008 NHL draft. In 192 games he has 11 goals and 55 assists.

Calgary (4-3-0; 8pts) is currently two points behind the Anaheim Ducks for first place in the Pacific Division.

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Cowboys’ Joseph Randle Lands Underwear Endorsement After Shoplifting

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Less than a week after being charged for a misdemeanor after he shoplifted a pair of underwear and cologne at a Dillard’s in Frisco, Texas, Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle has landed an endorsement with MeUndies.

According to MeUndies head of marketing and business development, Dan King, the company has turned to Randle to become a spokesman for the brand.

Randle was fined $29,500 for shoplifting, and MeUndies will pay the fine.

Joseph teamed up with MeUndies to give back to his community and help families in need.

“As a young company, MeUndies is faced with difficult challenges all the time. It’s up to us to turn a negative situation into a positive one, almost on a daily basis,” King said. “How you learn from your mistakes fast is how you find success in our business and those lessons are applicable in all walks of life.”

The 22-year-old Randle is in his second NFL season and has 120 rushing yards this season on 18 carries.

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Catcher A.J. Pierzynski Plans to Play in 2015

Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — After just completing his 17th Major League season, which is no easy feat for a catcher, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports A.J. Pierzynski plans to play again in 2015.

Pierzynski spent last season with the Boston Red Sox before he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Pierzkynski will be an unrestricted free agent, so it remains to be seen just where he’ll continue his playing career and in what capacity.

“I want to play, obviously,” Pierzynski told the paper. “Physically I feel good. I still think I can contribute. I don’t know what will be out there, but I want to play.”

In 2014, Pierzynski batted .251, the lowest mark of his career, while hitting five home runs and 37 RBIs in 102 games played. Despite the down season, Pierzynski is a career .281 hitter and batted .272 and hit 17 home runs with the Texas Rangers in 2013.

Pierzynski will turn 38 in December.

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Bills Score in Final Seconds, Defeat Vikings

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.) — Sammy Watkins caught a game-winning touchdown pass from Kyle Orton with one second left on the clock as the Buffalo Bills (4-3) snuck past the Minnesota Vikings (2-5), 17-16 on Sunday.

Orton, a 10-year veteran, led an 80-yard drive in the final quarter to cap off an improbable victory for the Bills who turned the ball over four times. Buffalo also lost a pair of running backs in C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson to injury.

That did not deter the quarterback who overcame a lost fumble and interception of his own. The rookie Watkins finished the day with nine catches for 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Orton kept the drive alive by converting a fourth-and-20 with a 24-yard pass to Scott Chandler. Two plays later, he found Watkins to convert on third-and-12.

“Any time you get a chance to go on a game-winning drive, it’s awesome,” Orton said. “We hung in there, made some mistakes, but in the end we got the win, and that was our goal.”

The Vikings led 13-10 at halftime on a pair of Blair Walsh field goals sandwiched around a Cordarelle Patterson touchdown catch. The lead ballooned to six on Walsh’s third field goal of the game in the fourth quarter after Minnesota had a first-and-goal on the seven.

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Manning Surpasses Favre in Broncos Victory

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images(DENVER) — Once again, Peyton Manning finds himself in the record books. The Denver Broncos quarterback threw four touchdowns in Sunday night’s 42-17 win over San Francisco, giving him 510 career touchdown passes and surpassing Brett Favre’s NFL record of 508.

“It is quite an honor,” Manning said. “I do have great appreciation for quarterbacks who played this game throughout the years. It’s very humbling, has taken a lot of hard work, a lot of people helped me get to this point.”

The record-breaking pass came late in the second quarter on an eight-yard strike to Demaryius Thomas that put the Broncos (5-1) up 21-3 over the 49ers (4-3). Upon setting the mark, Manning’s teammates had a little fun with the 38-year old, playing keep-away with the momento before eventually congratulating their quarterback.

“I can’t believe they actually did it,” chided Manning. “They sort of joked about it during the week. I’m a little bit hurt by it. The fact that they thought they could do it.”

It took just 246 career games for Manning to break the record set by Favre in 302 career games. The 16-year veteran has thrown 110 touchdown passes in his two-plus years with the Broncos, whom he signed with in 2012 following neck surgery that threatened his career.

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Rams Surprise Seahawks

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) — The St. Louis Rams pulled out all the stops to beat their division rival Seattle Seahawks with crafty special teams play in a 28-26 win on Sunday.

Stedman Bailey fooled everyone on a 90-yard fake punt return and Benny Cunningham’s 75-yard kickoff return on a squibbed kick that rolled into the end zone in the second quarter put the Rams up 21-3.

The Rams would not be done though, Cunningham’s 18-yard reception from kicker Johnny Hekker late in the fourth quarter extended a drive and a late fumble recovery closed the game out.

“It was great execution by them on a couple different scenarios,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. “It made a huge difference in this game.”

The Seahawks have now lost back-to-back games and sit at 3-3.

“Grateful for the effort, an entire team effort,” Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said. “That’s a really good football team and that’s an understatement.”

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.

“We have a team that’s full of fighters,” Wilson said. “There’s nothing better than having your backs against the wall. That’s where we’re at right now. You just play 1-0 and try and focus on what you can control.”

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Brad Keselowski Survives Round, Wins at Talladega

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(TALLADEGA, Ala.) — Brad Keselowski is into the eliminator round after holding off Matt Kenseth at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.

Keselowski needed to win in order to stay alive in the chase for the championship and took the lead during the final caution flag in the green-white checkered finish.

The win comes after last weekend’s post-race brawl between Kenseth and Keselowski, but Keselowski will take a win no matter what.

“I know there’s probably some people out there that aren’t really happy I won. I can understand that. But I’m a man like anyone else and not real proud of last week,” Keselowski said of last weekend’s post-race brawl at Charlotte. “But I’m real proud of today.”

“It was funny how this racing world works out. I don’t know why it is that way. I don’t know why it seems like every week where there’s either a fight in the garage or a mishap or something like that happens, those two cars and people end up together.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, and defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson were all eliminated from the Chase for the Championship.

Jeff Gordon, a Hendrick teammate of the three who were eliminated, said it’s tough to see them go out that way.

“Great teams, great drivers, great friends. I hate to see them not in there,” Gordon said about Johnson, Earnhardt and Kahne. “I really thought the chances of two of them getting in were very good, and certainly one of them. I thought two of us would be in there, and I thought there’s a decent chance three could be there.”

Gordon, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, and Kenseth are all moving onto the next round.

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