Joe’s Morning Sports-Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns, and the Pittsburgh Steelers clinched a first-round playoff bye with a 34-6 win over the Houston Texans yesterday. Roethlisberger threw passes to six players as the 12-3 Steelers routed the lowly 4-11 Texans despite missing NFL leading receiver Antonio Brown, who sat out with a calf injury. The Steelers led 20-0 at halftime after taking advantage of two turnovers by the Texans. In a side note, it took a little longer than he expected, but Houston offensive lineman David Quessenberry made his NFL debut. He was diagnosed with cancer (non-Hodgkin T-lymphoblastic lymphoma) in 2014, just a year after he was drafted by the Texans. He had been on the team’s non-football illness list since 2015, but he played this preseason. The Texans cut Quessenberry prior to the regular season but re-signed him to the practice squad, before he was promoted on Wednesday.
If the Philadelphia Eagles do their part in the playoffs, all roads to the NFC championship lead to Philly. Jake Elliott kicked a 48-yard field goal with 22 seconds left, and the Eagles clinched the top seed for the NFC playoffs with a sloppy 19-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders. The 13-2 Eagles went to the Super Bowl and lost 24-21 to New England the last time they had home-field advantage following the 2004 season. The Raiders drop to 6-9.
It was a guaranteed Christmas delivery. Kevin Durant was dominant on offense and defense in leading the Golden State Warriors to a 99-92 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Durant finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots. LeBron James contributed 20 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Cavs.
Russell Westbrook had 31 points and eleven assists to help the Oklahoma City Thunder stay hot with a 112-107 win over the Houston Rockets last night. Paul George scored 24 points and Carmelo Anthony added 20 for the Thunder, who won their fifth straight game. James Harden led the Rockets with 29 points.
The Creighton men’s basketball remains 25th in the Associated Press rankings. The 10-2 Bluejays routed USC Upstate 116-62 last Wednesday in their lone game last week. They return to action on Thursday night when they visit Seton Hall at 5:30. Villanova remains first with Michigan State, Arizona State, Duke, and Texas A&M rounding out the top five.
The Norfolk High wrestling team has started their season with a first place finish and a 14-5 dual record. They did well at the Northeast Nebraska Duals in Columbus with an 8-2 record and a 5-3 mark at the Grand Island Flatwater Fracas. MJ Montgomery & Conner Cowling are currently 22-0 on the season. Norfolk returns to action on January 6th when they compete in the Sioux City East Invitational.
The eighth ranked in both polls in Class ‘D-2’ Humphrey St. Francis boys basketball team is 4-3 on the season at the holiday moratorium. The Flyers have earned wins over Osceola, Palmer, Heartland Lutheran, and Nebraska Lutheran while falling to Riverside, Clearwater/Orchard, and Fullerton. Humphrey St. Francis is outscoring their opponents on average through seven games 53.7-41.3. The Flyers return to action on Thursday when they play Class ‘C-2’ 2-4 Thayer Central at the Nebraska Wesleyan Holiday Tournament.
The Madison wrestling squad has had a rough start to the 2017-2018 campaign. They are 0-3 in duals losses to Riverside, Iowa, Plainview, and Battle Creek. The Dragons also have a fifth place finish at Stanton, a tenth place showing at Broken Bow, and a 15th place finish at Valentine. Madison only returns Ryan Haskell from the State Championship last year. The Dragons return to action on January 2nd when they host a triangular with Conestoga and Scribner/Snyder.
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NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Final Philadelphia 105 N-Y Knicks 98
Final Golden State 99 Cleveland 92
Final Washington 111 Boston 103
Final Oklahoma City 112 Houston 107
Final Minnesota 121 L.A. Lakers 104
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Final Pittsburgh 34 Houston 6
Final Philadelphia 19 Oakland 10
TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Final (15) Miami 84 Middle Tennessee 81