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Lebron James has triple-double, Cavs beat Hornets for 7th straight

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The Cavaliers’ sleeveless black jerseys already had LeBron James‘ stamp of approval, though a change in shoes might have been the difference Friday night.

James had 27 points, 16 rebounds and 13 assists, J.R. Smith made the tiebreaking free throw with 48 seconds left, and Cleveland extended its winning streak to seven straight with a 100-99 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

James had season highs in rebounds and assists in his 57th career triple-double. He switched from yellow to black shoes after scoring six points in the first half.  “I’m a little weird sometimes,” he said. “I wasn’t playing well, to my standards. I wanted to try and make my second half better than my first half and I was able to make a couple of plays.”

For Black Friday, the Cavaliers wore black uniforms. Cleveland also wore black jerseys when it won the first championship in franchise history, but the current edition is minus the sleeves from Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

James is 41-6 in the regular season against Charlotte and the Cavaliers have won 12 of 13, including eight straight against the Hornets.

After Smith split a pair from the line, both teams missed 3-point attempts and Charlotte called time with 11.1 seconds left. Jeremy Lamb missed a 3-pointer after the Hornets inbounded at midcourt and the rebound was tapped out to Kemba Walker, but his 3-point attempt fell well short after James got a hand on the shot.

James forced Walker to pass the ball on the inbounds play, but the Hornets had one last chance when after Marvin Williams batted the rebound toward midcourt.  “I looked up at the timer and there was still one second left,” James said. “I just tried to fly to get another contest. We were able to get the stop that we needed.”

Smith had 16 points, while Kevin Love had 11 points and 13 rebounds for Cleveland.

Dwight Howard had 20 points and 13 rebounds for Charlotte, which fell to 1-8 on the road. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams scored 17 points for the Hornets, whose three-game winning streak ended.  “That’s the way Cleveland plays. They’re a battle-tested team with those guys,” Williams said. “That’s why they’ve been to the Finals three straight years and LeBron has been there seven straight years.”

Howard’s two free throws and Kidd-Gilchrist’s layup following James’ turnover gave Charlotte a 98-93 lead.

James made a foul shot and converted a three-point play, cutting the lead to one. Kidd-Gilchrist hit a free throw but James scored on a drive that tied the game with 1:48 left.

Cavaliers point guard Derrick Rose left the team earlier this week to handle a personal matter. Coach Tyronn Lue expects Rose, who has played in just seven of Cleveland’s 19 games this season because of a left ankle injury, to return to the team.

Hornets: G Nicolas Batum (bruised left elbow) was unavailable after being re-injured Wednesday against Washington and is day to day. He has only played in five games because of elbow injuries. Lamb returned to the starting lineup in Batum’s spot. … Charlotte’s only road win came against Memphis on Oct. 30.

Cavaliers: Rose sustained his injury while driving to the basket on Oct. 20 in Milwaukee. He’s averaging 14.3 points in his first season with Cleveland. … G Iman Shumpert (sore left knee) could return Monday after missing his third straight game.

Howard missed all three of his field goal attempts in the fourth quarter, but was 5 of 6 at the free throw line. He was 6 of 9 for the game.  “They double-teamed me when I got the ball and didn’t allow me to get into a good rhythm down the stretch,” he said.

Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue was pleased with the Cavaliers’ defense down the stretch. “The guys understand what we’re doing and what we want,” he said. “In the second half we held them to 42 points, which was great.”

 

 

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Best Of Super Bowl Week: Top Reads From Patriots-Rams Coverage

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With the Pro Bowl and the festivities surrounding it in the rear-view mirror, it’s finally Super Bowl week. The Los Angeles Rams will face the New England Patriots from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. on Sunday, but before that, there are a slew of events for those who will be hanging around the city as the championship game descends upon it.

Before the big game kicks off on Feb. 3, we here at Prestige run through the biggest events the NFL, Super Bowl Host Committee and Atlanta are putting on.

Jan. 26 – Feb. 2nd

Super Bowl Experience: The yearly “interactive theme park” will return, featuring tons of events and festivities for fans attending the game or simply in Atlanta for everything surrounding the game. There will be youth football clinics, player autograph sessions and much more throughout the week.

Super Bowl LIVE: Similar to the above, Super Bowl LIVE is the free-to-the-public “fan village,” which is usually decorated and themes around the host city, celebrating its culture, music and more.

Jan. 28 – Feb. 1

Fan Gallery: Ever wonder what us media folks are up to leading up to the game? The Fan Gallery is more or less a way to soak up all the frenzy and hype leading up to the big game, and not much else.

Jan. 28

Super Bowl Opening Night: This is the national “kickoff” for Super Bowl festivities. This event includes much of the media day schedule, with players and coached speaking in press conferences prior to the big game.

Jan. 31

Walter Payton Man of the Year Legacy Reception: It’s the second annual iteration of this event, which features past Man of the Year winners and 2018 nominees from each tea. It includes a cocktail reception, dinner and a silent auction.

20th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration: If gospel is your thing, well look no further than this.

Super Bowl Music Fest EA Sports Bowl feat. Ludacris, Migos and more: Well duh, it’s a concert!

Feb. 1

24th Annual Kickoff to Rebuild:

Super Bowl Music Fest – Aerosmith & Post Malone: More music! This time without EA Sports. 

Feb. 2

Super Bowl Breakfast: This event has been going on since the late 80s, as fans mingle with some of the sport’s biggest names over a breakfast. The Bart Starr Award is also given out at this event.

Taste of the NFL | Party with a Purpose: Another food-driven event — which I’m totally fine with — this one featuring some of the top chefs in America, meet-and-greets, more NFL players and all that good stuff.

Super Bowl Music Fest — Super Bowl Eve feat. Bruno Mars and Cardi B: The finale of the three music concerts will take place on Super Bowl eve.

NFL Honors: This event is closed to the public, but the two-hour prime time awards special will air beginning at 9 p.m. ET on CBS, and will feature all of the biggest yearly awards being handed out by the NFL.

Feb. 3

Game Day Fan Plaza: Pep squads, drumlines, photo opps, NFL shops and all those goodies await after clearing security on game day.

Super Bowl LIII: The Rams are playing the Patriots, if you didn’t know.

For any further explanation or a calendar of events for Super Bowl week, check here.

 

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Super Bowl losers hangover? Not for the Patriots

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ATLANTA — How did the New England Patriots get over a Super Bowl loss against the Philadelphia Eagles to make it back to Super Bowl LIII?

The better question, at least for the Patriots, might be: What Super Bowl loss? “Flush it and get back to work,” Patriots guard Shaq Mason said at Super Bowl opening night Monday. “I’d have to go back in time to remember that,” Patriots tackle Marcus Cannon said about last year’s Super Bowl. “I’m here now.”

Selective amnesia is good for the Patriots, who barely acknowledged last year’s Super Bowl when asked Monday night, but those who hate the team will happily recite the details. The Patriots played in a tight game against the Eagles, leading with less than three minutes left. Then the Eagles took the lead, got another field goal after a Tom Brady fumble, and New England’s Hail Mary at the end fell incomplete. All that work, just to watch the Eagles celebrate as you dodge confetti leaving the field.

A team could use a Super Bowl loss as motivation for the next season. Many Patriots said it never came up after they got back together, which is perhaps what you’d expect from Bill Belichick’s Patriots. Dwelling on the past would go against their laser focus on the present. Maybe that’s where the many, many Super Bowl losers who don’t make it back the next season go wrong. They spend too much time dwelling on the previous season.

“That’s the wrong thing to do,” Patriots tight end Dwayne Allen said. “Last year’s success or failure has no bearing on this team. What last year’s team did was last year’s team. The worst thing you can do is try to draw on inspiration from the previous team.”

The Patriots are back, partially because they never concerned themselves with losing the Super Bowl last season. What they accomplished, getting right back to the Super Bowl after losing, is surprisingly rare.

History of Super Bowl losers isn’t good

The Patriots are chasing the 1972 Miami Dolphins again, but not in the pursuit of perfection this time. Amazingly, the last team to lose a Super Bowl and then win the next season was the ’72 Dolphins. The only other team to do it was the 1971 Dallas Cowboys.

The Patriots have already bucked a trend just by making it back. The last team to lose a Super Bowl and make it back the next season was the 1994 Buffalo Bills. Of course, the 1992 and 1993 Bills did it too.

You’d think a team talented enough to win a conference championship would be sufficiently motivated the next season and have a good shot to make it right back to the Super Bowl after losing it. But it almost never happens.

Of the first 51 Super Bowl losing teams, 15 didn’t even make the playoffs the following season. From the 1999 Falcons through the 2008 Patriots, eight of 10 Super Bowl losers missed the playoffs, with seven of them posting a losing record. Recent Super Bowl runner-up teams have had better success. Since the 2008 Patriots missed the playoffs, due in large part to Brady’s ACL injury, nine of 10 have made the playoffs after losing the Super Bowl. The only exception was the 2016 Carolina Panthers, who went 6-10.

Still, what the Patriots did this season has been elusive. Only three of the past 24 losing Super Bowl teams even made it back to a conference championship: 2012 Patriots, 2013 49ers and this season’s Patriots.

It’s not like the Patriots didn’t hurt after losing the Super Bowl. They just didn’t let one loss carry into another season.

“It lingers however long you let it linger,” Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater said. “Perspective is important whether you win or lose a Super Bowl. Certainly we lost a Super Bowl, but nobody died. If you hold onto that, it can be debilitating. You have to be able to move on.”

Patriots were able to put loss to Eagles behind them

Had the Patriots not beat the Chiefs in the AFC championship game, people might have cited a Super Bowl hangover for New England.

It’s not like the Patriots were a dominant force from beginning to end. They went 11-5 with a some weird road losses. It wasn’t a vintage Patriots team. But many talked about the character of the team, not only in overcoming the Super Bowl hangover but in getting through adversity during the season.

“We had to call on that character, certainly with the way this season went, to get ourselves back to this position,” Slater said.

And here the Patriots are, back in the Super Bowl, trying to become the first team in 46 years to win a title after losing a Super Bowl the year before. There weren’t many long speeches on Monday night about the Eagles loss and what it meant, or how the Patriots used it every day as motivation to get back. It’s just a new season, a new team, and the crushing disappointment of last year’s Super Bowl doesn’t matter to them anymore.

“That’s in the past. We’re here right now,” Cannon said. “We’re back and we have the chance to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

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Lona assistant coach hospitalized, Gaels player dismissed after reported physical altercation

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A physical altercation between Iona assistant basketball coach Garfield Johns and one of the team’s top players, Roland Griffin, left Johns hospitalized and Griffin without a team after he was dismissed following the incident.

Jeff Goodman of Stadium first reported the news and cited a source close to the situation in reporting that Johns spent nearly eight hours in the hospital on Monday. He sustained a head injury and did not return to work this week.

“We got in each other’s face,” Griffin told Stadium. “It was really heated. He eventually grabbed me by the jacket and tried to throw me down on the ground physically. We were against the locker, wrestling against the locker. He was grabbing me and holding me.”

According to the report, Griffin punched Johns “four or five times” in the incident, which stemmed from a disagreement about whether Griffin had study hall on Monday.

“I had a tutor later and wasn’t scheduled for study hall,” Griffin told Stadium. “He started yelling at me.”

Griffin was a preseason All-MAAC second-team selection for the Gaels. He averaged 11.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season for Iona.

 

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