AP Sports Summary for February 11th, 2024.
Chiefs and 49ers have high-profile offenses, but defense should decide the Super Bowl winner
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Chiefs go as far as Patrick Mahomes takes them. The 49ers have Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and a star-studded group surrounding Brock Purdy. This Super Bowl will come down to the other side of the ball. Defense wins the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday. Kansas City is seeking to become the NFL's first repeat champion in 19 years. San Francisco is aiming for a record-tying sixth Super Bowl title. Mahomes, Travis Kelce and coach Andy Reid get most of the attention on the Chiefs, but defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's unit deserves plenty of credit for carrying the team during various points of the season when the offense was inconsistent and out of sync.
Taylor Swift reaches LAX in journey from Tokyo to Super Bowl, online sleuths say. Will she make it?
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Will Taylor Swift make it to the Super Bowl in time? Intrepid flight trackers online seem to think so. Fans of the music superstar and aviation journalists believe they have identified Swift's private jet, which arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport just after 3:30 p.m. local time from Tokyo's Haneda Airport. Yet to be revealed are her transportation plans onward to Las Vegas. That's where Swift's boyfriend, NFL star tight end Travis Kelce, will play in Sunday's Super Bowl. She has followed Kelce for much of the Kansas City Chiefs' season. Representatives for Swift and a private aviation company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Stephen Curry hits 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left, Warriors beat Suns 113-112
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stephen Curry made a 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left and the Golden State Warriors beat the Phoenix Suns 113-112 on Saturday night for their sixth victory in seven games. With the Warriors down 112-110 and 3.3 seconds to play, Curry caught the inbounds pass from Brandin Podziemski, turned and hit a 33-footer for his ninth 3-pointer of the night. He had 30 points. Devin Booker led Phoenix with 32 points, and Kevin Durant had 24. The Suns had two chances after Curry's 3-pointer, but Booker was fouled under the basket and the first and Durant couldn't get a shot off on the second.
It's not just Purdy. Several late picks and undrafted players make an impact for Chiefs and 49ers
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Brock Purdy's journey from Mr. Irrelevant to Super Bowl starting quarterback is one of the main subplots of this year's Super Bowl. But a handful of other late draft picks and players who weren't drafted at all have made contributions to the 49ers and Chiefs. All of them are reminders that you can build a memorable NFL career no matter how long it takes someone to choose you. Kansas City's Nick Allegretti and Isiah Pacheco were taken in the seventh round. San Francisco's Jake Brendel and Tashaun Gipson went undrafted.
49ers Pregame Routine: Nick Bosa makes big impact on San Francisco with weekly speeches
HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Nick Bosa has been making a high-profile impact for the San Francisco 49ers on Sundays ever since entering the league as the No. 2 overall pick in 2019. Bosa also has been making more hidden contributions every Saturday the past two seasons by breaking down the team with a speech at the end of the final walkthrough before each game. The soft-spoken Bosa was given the assignment for the first time during the 2022 season as coach Kyle Shanahan liked to randomly call on players to keep them all on their toes. General manager John Lynch called the speeches "special."
With the Super Bowl on deck, the Chiefs also are preparing for big changes on the horizon
HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — The Super Bowl is the end point to a season for which every franchise strives. Yet for the Kansas City Chiefs, their game Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers could be the stopping point for an entire era, or at least the beginning of the end. The team could look much different next season with players such as Chris Jones and L'Jarius Sneed due to hit free agency. Many more critical pieces to their championship last season will do the same the following year. And that's to say nothing of Chiefs coach Andy Reid and tight end Travis Kelce, who insist they want to continue and have spent the past week clapping back against talk of retirement.
For Native American activists, the Kansas City Chiefs have it all wrong
Dozens of Indigenous activists have traveled to Las Vegas to gather outside the Super Bowl and demand the Kansas City Chiefs change the team name and ditch its logo and gametime rituals. Rhonda LeValdo founded and leads a group called Not In Our Honor that is calling for the changes. The Acoma Pueblo journalist has been in the Kansas City area for more than two decades. The Chiefs have been the focus of her decadeslong activism against the use of Native American imagery and references in sports. She says the pain fueling her activism is rooted in her ancestors' oppression and the lingering effects on her community.
Nick Taylor takes 1-shot lead into Sunday at raucous, waterlogged Phoenix Open
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Nick Taylor had a one-shot lead at 13 under with 12 holes left in the third round of the waterlogged Phoenix Open when play was suspended Saturday because of darkness. The Canadian continued to ride his fast start after matching the TPC Scottsdale record with an 11-under 60 to finish his first round Friday. Taylor completed just six holes Saturday, with one birdie and five pars. Sahith Theegala used five birdies on the back nine of the second round early Saturday to shoot a 64 and take a one-shot lead into the third. He bogeyed his first two holes of the third, but made a birdie on No. 4 to pull within a stroke. The 35-year-old Taylor is going for his fourth PGA Tour victory.
Dustin Johnson wins LIV Golf Las Vegas in windy and chilly conditions
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Dustin Johnson won LIV Golf Las Vegas on Saturday in windy and chilly conditions for his third victory on the Saudi-funded tour, pulling ahead with a birdie on No. 17 and closing with a par to edge Peter Uihlein and Talor Gooch by a stroke. Johnson shot a 1-under 69 to finish at 12-under 198 at Las Vegas Country Club, breaking out of a late six-way tie on another day with the temperature barely climbing into the 50s in the shadow of the Super Bowl. Johnson holed a 12-footer on the par-4 17th — and made the par save on the par-4 18th for the victory, hitting to 12 feet from the rough and two-putting. Gooch shot a 67, and Uihlein finished with a 68.
Spencer Dinwiddie signs with hometown Los Angeles Lakers after clearing waivers
Spencer Dinwiddie signed Saturday with his hometown Los Angeles Lakers, finding a new team quickly after getting traded by the Brooklyn Nets. The point guard was traded by the Nets to Toronto on Thursday and then was waived. He cleared waivers Saturday and by then had already made up his mind that he was going back to Los Angeles. Dinwiddie started 48 games this season for the Nets, averaging 12.6 points and 6.0 assists. He figures to back up D'Angelo Russell, a former teammate in Brooklyn who scored 30 points Friday in a 139-122 victory over New Orleans with Dinwiddie in attendance.
Here are the scores from yesterday's sports events:
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Final Dallas 146 Oklahoma City 111
Final L.A. Clippers 112 Detroit 106
Final Brooklyn 123 San Antonio 103
Final Charlotte 115 Memphis 106
Final Philadelphia 119 Washington 113
Final OT Orlando 114 Chicago 108
Final Cleveland 119 Toronto 95
Final Indiana 125 New York 111
Final Atlanta 122 Houston 113
Final Golden State 113 Phoenix 112
Final New Orleans 93 Portland 84
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Final St. Louis 3 Buffalo 1
Final Dallas 3 Montreal 2
Final Calgary 5 N-Y Islanders 2
Final OT Detroit 4 Vancouver 3
Final Washington 3 Boston 0
Final Florida 4 Colorado 0
Final Winnipeg 2 Pittsburgh 1
Final OT Carolina 1 New Jersey 0
Final Tampa Bay 4 Columbus 2
Final Ottawa 5 Toronto 3
Final Philadelphia 3 Seattle 2
Final OT Nashville 5 Arizona 4
Final Los Angeles 4 Edmonton 0
TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Final (1)UConn 89 Georgetown 64
Final (2)Purdue 79 Indiana 59
Final (3)North Carolina 75 Miami 72
Final (4)Kansas 64 (13)Baylor 61
Final (5)Houston 67 Cincinnati 62
Final Texas A&M 85 (6)Tennessee 69
Final (7)Marquette 86 St. John's 75
Final (8)Arizona 99 Colorado 79
Final (9)Duke 80 Boston College 65
Final Michigan St. 88 (10)Illinois 80
Final Rutgers 78 (11)Wisconsin 56
Final Florida 81 (12)Auburn 65
Final (14)Iowa St. 71 TCU 59
Final (15)South Carolina 75 Vanderbilt 60
Final (16)Alabama 109 LSU 92
Final Gonzaga 89 (17)Kentucky 85
Final (19)Creighton 78 Xavier 71
Final (21)BYU 72 Kansas St. 66
Final (22)Utah St. 80 Boise St. 61
Final (23)Texas Tech 66 UCF 59
Final UNLV 80 (25)New Mexico 77
TODAY'S SPORTS SCHEDULE
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Boston at Miami 2 p.m.
Sacramento at Oklahoma City 3 p.m.
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
St. Louis at Montreal 1 p.m.
Vancouver at Washington 1:30 p.m.
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
San Francisco at Kansas City 5:30 p.m.
TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
(20)FAU at Wichita St. 12 p.m.