Chargers stun Broncos 27-20
DENVER (AP) - Philip Rivers outplayed Peyton Manning and the San Diego Chargers sprung a 27-20 upset Thursday night over the Denver Broncos.
Rivers threw for 166 yards and two scores to Keenan Allen and kept the Chargers' offense on the field for nearly 39 minutes.
Stuck on the sideline most of the night, Manning ended up with 289 yards and only two touchdowns. The Broncos (11-3) fell at home in the regular season for the first time in 14 games.
The Chargers (7-7) snapped Denver's 10-game AFC West winning streak and stayed in the hunt for a playoff spot.
Denver's smooth road to the AFC West title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs got bumpier. The Broncos now have as many losses as Kansas City and New England. They hold the tiebreaker against the Chiefs but not the Patriots.
Pierce, Garnett help Nets beat Rivers' Clippers
NEW YORK (AP) - Andray Blatche and Joe Johnson each scored 21 points in the Brooklyn Nets' 102-93 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, making Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett winners in their first matchup with Doc Rivers.
Brook Lopez had 16 points and Deron Williams 15 for the Nets, who won their season-high third straight. Pierce scored 10 points off the bench in his second game back from a broken hand.
Chris Paul scored 20 points but had just two assists as the Clippers lost for the first time in nine games this season when he reaches 20.
Pierce and Garnett went 2-0 in a reunion tour of ex-Celtics this week. They helped the Nets beat Boston here Tuesday.
Pavelski scores 2 goals in Sharks' win over Wild
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Joe Pavelski scored two power-play goals, and the San Jose Sharks ended a four-game losing streak by beating the Minnesota Wild 3-1 on Thursday night.
Tomas Hertl also scored on the power play for the Sharks, who earned their first regulation victory at home since Nov. 29. Antti Niemi stopped 28 shots to record his 17th victory.
Jonas Brodin scored for the Wild, who lost their fifth straight on the road. Niklas Backstrom made 36 saves.
Backstrom fell to 1-9-1 in San Jose, and his 3.68 goals-against-average there is his second worst in any arena.
The Sharks went 3 for 7 on the power play after going 0 for 4 in a 3-1 loss to the Wild on Sunday. They scored four times in their previous 39 power plays.
NATIONAL FINALS RODEO
Feild wins again in National Finals Rodeo
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Bareback rider Kaycee Feild won for the second consecutive round Thursday night in the National Finals Rodeo, scoring 83.5 points on Cool Water.
Feild, from Payson, Utah, remained atop the season standings with $186,881.
Seeking a third consecutive season title, Feild also leads the aggregate standings with 663 points for eight rides. He's trying to become the first rider to win three consecutive aggregate titles since Jack Ward Jr. in 1974-76. Feild has earned an event-best $66,506 in the first eight rounds.
Bobby Mote of Culver, Ore., fourth with a 78.5 on Full Baggage, is second in the standings at $161,794. Mote is 10th in the aggregate standings with 561.5 points for seven rides.
Fanticola wins Hollywood Park feature
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) - Fanticola led much of the way in winning the $52,750 feature by three-quarters of a length Thursday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Fanticola ran 1 1/16 miles on the turf in 1:41.77 and paid $13.40, $6.80 and $4.80. It was her third win in a row on the track's turf course. She has career earnings of $144,800.
Wittgenstein returned $14.20 and $10 at 19-1 odds, while Fantastic Mizz was another half-length back in third and paid $8.40 to show.
Indecise, the 2-1 favorite, finished fifth.
Warriors' Jermaine O'Neal to undergo wrist surgery
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Golden State Warriors backup center Jermaine O'Neal is scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist Friday.
The team said a timetable for O'Neal's return will be announced following the procedure, which threatens to end his season - and possibly his career. O'Neal is in his 18th NBA season and has had previous surgeries on both knees and his left wrist.
O'Neal has appeared in 17 games this season, averaging 6.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 18.6 minutes. He's the third reserve center for Golden State to have surgery this year.
Festus Ezeli is expected to be out until at least late January while he recovers from right knee surgery. And Ognjen Kuzmic will be sidelined at least another four weeks after fracturing a bone in his right hand.
LAKERS RINGS STOLEN
Guard accused of stealing 2 Lakers title rings
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) - A security guard at the Los Angeles Lakers' training center has been charged with stealing two NBA championship rings that disappeared last week.
El Segundo police said in a statement Thursday that Eddie J. Monterroso has been charged with felony grand theft and burglary. He's accused of taking the rings and gift cards valued at nearly $20,000.
The statement says detectives began investigating the theft Dec. 5 and arrested Monterroso outside the practice facility Tuesday.
Police say they searched Monterroso's Inglewood home and found the rings from the Lakers' 2009 and 2010 championship seasons. Police could not say who the rings belonged to.
Monterroso has not entered a plea, and police didn't know if he has an attorney. A phone message left at a possible home number was not immediately returned.
Anaheim sends goal-scoring Alex Grant back to AHL
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Anaheim Ducks defenseman Alex Grant has been reassigned to the minors despite scoring a goal on each of his first two NHL shots.
The Pacific Division-leading Ducks also reassigned center David Steckel and defenseman Nolan Yonkman to their Norfolk AHL affiliate.
Grant scored a goal in his NHL debut on Nov. 30, and he added another in the Ducks' victory over Minnesota on Wednesday night. He has two goals on two shots in his first two NHL appearances.
The Ducks are hoping defenseman Francois Beauchemin returns from an injury for their next game Sunday against Edmonton. Anaheim defensemen Luca Sbisa, Sheldon Souray and Mark Fistric also are out with injuries.
Steckel is scoreless in four games with Anaheim this season, but coach Bruce Boudreau has praised the veteran's play.
Sacramento fighters dominate UFC show in hometown
Urijah Faber loves fighting at home in Sacramento, and he's bringing a whole bunch of his friends along with him for his return.
The UFC returns to California's capital city on Saturday with a show that might as well be called the Team Alpha Male Invitational.
Faber and three of his fellow Alphas are all competing on the card, headlined by UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson's title defense against Faber teammate Joseph Benavidez.
Faber hasn't fought in his hometown in nearly four years, but the popular UFC bantamweight will have the crowd behind him when he takes on Michael McDonald, who's from nearby Modesto.
Alpha Male coach Duane Ludwig will be busy with fighters in each of the card's last three bouts, but Faber believes his team can handle it.
Canada's Justin Shin leads Web.com Q-school
LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) - Canada's Justin Shin shot an 8-under 64 on Thursday on PGA West's Nicklaus Tournament Course to take the first-round lead in the Web.com Tour qualifying tournament.
The 22-year-old former New Mexico State player holed two late chips, making a birdie on No. 6 and an eagle on No. 7.
"I never thought I would shoot 64," Shin said. "My plan was to try and shoot 2 or 3 under today. I missed a lot of greens but my chipping and putting helped me out in some tough situations.
Carlos Sainz Jr., Jonathan Fricke, Chris Epperson and Jason Millard shot 65. Sainz, Fricke and Millard opened on the Nicklaus course, and Epperson played the TPC Stadium Course.
The players are competing for positions in the Web.com Tour's priority ranking used to form tournament fields, with the medalist (or co-medalists) guaranteed fully exempt status. Every player who is at PGA West is guaranteed a spot on the Web.com Tour next season. The six-round tournament will end Tuesday.
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