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LeBron James passes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for all-time FG playoff record

LeBron James’ two game-winning buzzer-beaters these playoffs might be more memorable, but his jump shot midway through the second quarter of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday was the most historic.

The 22-foot jumper off a JR Smith feed was the 2,357th made field goal of James’ postseason career, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time lead in that category.

James had 44 points on 17-for-28 shooting in the Cavaliers’ 111-102 win over the Celtics in Game 4, which tied the series 2-2.

Perhaps having Cook and Cousins on board, coupled with one of the league’s top defenses, will help the Vikings get over the hump and win their first conference title since 1977. Or their first Super Bowl.

“Even though we didn’t play good in the championship game, I think it was good for us to see that atmosphere, because it is different,” Zimmer said. “It’s not like a normal Sunday when you go out there, or a Monday night game. It’s a completely different atmosphere, so for a fairly young team, I think it was good for us to be there, and hopefully we can get back again.”

Shepherd took an unusual path to the NFL. He grew up in Canada and opened his college career as a linebacker at Simon Fraser University, but dropped out to go to work because he couldn’t afford tuition. He returned to school at Fort Hays State in 2015 and moved to defensive line after moving up to 315 pounds.

All of that makes Shepherd older than the typical rookie at 25, but he impressed scouts during games and at the Senior Bowl before landing with the Jets last month.

Thompson’s excellent game — he had two of the Cavs’ eight blocks, one of the reasons the Celtics missed a frustrating 19 shots in the paint in Game 4 — got him invited to the podium. There he was asked about James’ game … on the eighth question.

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Saints RB Mark Ingram was no match for military dog

Mark Ingram is on an NFL-USO tour with several other football personalities, and on Wednesday the peer pressure from the rest of the guys made the Saints running back take on a well-trained military K9.

NFL Network’s Marc Sessler is covering the tour, and he tweeted out a video of Ingram failing against the dog.

Ingram is a two-time Pro Bowl running back and a Heisman Trophy winner, and that dog took him down in seconds.

So what made the Saints back want to do this in the first place? In a video from Sessler, he explained that he was almost forced to do it by people around him.

Nationals: 2B Daniel Murphy (right knee surgery) needs another week of running the bases at full speed before a possible rehab assignment.

Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (1-0, 5.40 ERA) starts when the Mets open a series Monday in Miami. He is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in five career starts versus the Marlins, who will start RHP Jose Urena (0-1, 4.91).

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (1-1, 1.64) opposes Atlanta’s Julio Teheran (0-0, 10.13) on Monday when the Nationals host the Braves in the first of three games. Scherzer is 7-6 with a 3.92 ERA against Atlanta.

“He’s hard to bring down. One of the reason’s I’m excited to be with the Raiders is to join forces with Lynch,” Gruden continued. “But, we’ll see what happens. Obviously, we have to take a look at the entire roster, but I’m counting on him. I’m counting on him being a big part of our football team.”

While the Raiders also have running backs DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard on their roster, Martin is expected to be the No. 2 running back on the squad.

In addition to the $1 million roster bonus, Lynch is slated to make a base salary of $4 million in 2018, per Spotrac.

“This was a heck of a challenge,” Bossard said.

“For some reason, when I’m out on the field, I don’t feel anything. My hands are nice and warm before I leave the dugout, but honestly, I don’t feel anything as far as weather.” — Archer, who wore short sleeves.

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Les Snead: None of our moves affect keeping Aaron Donald

The Rams have spent quite a bit of time talking about a contract extension for defensive tackle Aaron Donald over the last two years, but nothing has come to fruition to this point.

It’s always a process to hammer out a long-term deal with one of the top players in the league and it’s one that has had to go on alongside the Rams’ other moves this offseason. They’ve acquired Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, Ndamukong Suh and Brandin Cooks since the end of last season, leading some to wonder how the shopping spree might impact their push to lock up Donald.

As a GM, I’d have a hard time paying Beckham elite wide receiver money to put him at or above Antonio Brown’s $17 million per year or even Mike Evans’ $16.5 million per year. Making matters worse: It will be a battle to get him to sign an extension at those numbers when he has $20 million or more per year on his wish list.

Gettleman and the Giants can try to postpone an extension by forcing Beckham to play out the option year of his rookie, first-round contract at around $8.5 million. That likely would lead to Beckham skipping the Giants’ offseason program and OTAs as well as a possible training camp holdout — not a good situation for a player coming off major ankle surgery. The team also could franchise tag him after the upcoming season, which would lead to more Le’Veon Bell-type acrimony.

“It’s been exciting,” Robinson said, via the team’s website. “We both have been born into this on the same page as far as learning a new system. I think that’s special in itself because we can just talk about certain things as we go. He’s a young guy and I think that’s really good as well. For me being 24 years old, we both kind of have that eager energy as far as coming into this situation and learning the system.”

Another thing Robinson might be excited about is the role he figures to play in the Chicago offense this season. He was signed to front a receiving corps that underwhelmed last season and should get plenty of chances to show that he’s all the way back from the injury once the Bears get on the field for game action.

“I think that any time I would miss in college, it was largely due to my feet,” Allen said. “In getting with Jordan, I’ve been trying to correct my feet through every throw and make sure that I was sequencing consistently. Once my feet started to clean up, that’s when you started seeing the ball placed in the right positions.”

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Titans agree to deal with Bennie Logan

The Titans added some size in advance of the start of their offseason program.

The Giants were 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position. They’re .125 average (3 for 24) batting with runners in scoring position is the worst in the majors.

“Our guys were battling,” Holland said. “It was a pitcher’s duel going in and he lasted longer than I did. Just processing this game, they were hitting the ball. They made contact, found some holes, hit mistakes.”

The Giants activated RHP Tyler Beede, and the 24-year-old right-hander will start Tuesday’s game for his major league debut. Beede, a 2014 first-round pick, will pitch in place of RHP Johnny Cueto, whose start was pushed back to Wednesday. In a corresponding move, the Giants optioned RHP Roberto Gomez to Triple-A Sacramento.

Diamondbacks: OF Steven Souza Jr., on the DL with a right pectoral strain, complained of discomfort Sunday after playing in a simulated game in which he homered twice in seven at-bats and threw from over 100 feet. An MRI showed fluid in the area of the injury. “This is part of the process,” Lovullo said. “I do not consider this a setback whatsoever.” … 3B Jake Lamb (left shoulder AC joint sprain) took dry swings and did some running and throwing Monday. He’ll ramp up baseball activities Tuesday.

Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (right pectoral strain) pitched three innings in a simulated game and is expected to throw make a rehab start later this week. He could be activated next week.

Picking 12th and 22nd, they won’t have a shot at him. Even if General Manager Brandon Beane gets on the horn with his old boss and makes a bold move, they still might not, if the Browns end up taking Darnold first overall.

But the fact they’re going to be ready to get into that range (they’re also bringing Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield to Buffalo for visits) suggests that Beane’s doing everything he can to solve the quarterback problem for Buffalo for the long-term.

“If you saw me, I was cheering, cheering, cheering,” Murray said. “He’s 40 years old. What do you want from him? He already paid his dues. He’s a future Hall of Famer. He’s won championships. So it’s like that’s just a bonus for us. Manu could be with his family and kids. But he’s showing the love and passion he has for the game, and he’s here with us.”

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The NFL legal tampering period has begun and Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter are now the busiest men on Twitter.

Rapoport, of NFL.com, recently tweeted that he is getting the sense that the Eagles do not want to trade Nick Foles.

It’s easy to see what the tea leaves say about Drew Brees and the possibility that a future Hall of Fame quarterback actually hits the open market when free agency formally opens Wednesday in the NFL.

How likely are the Cardinals to draft a QB? 90 percent. The draft’s quarterback class is deep enough to give the Cardinals options at No. 15 or make it enticing enough to move up into the top of the first round. If they can’t land their top option, they’ll likely draft a quarterback in the second or third round. If they don’t draft one, it’s because they’re happy with whomever they signed in free agency and think he is the long-term answer. — Weinfuss

Top draft needs: If the Cardinals miss out on Cousins (and can’t pull off a trade for Nick Foles), they should look for an affordable veteran such as Sam Bradford or AJ McCarron. Even if they sign one, don’t be surprised if Arizona makes a jump up from No. 15 like Houston or Kansas City did last year to grab a QB in Round 1. Arizona needs a starting cornerback, help along the offensive line and another starting wide receiver opposite Fitzgerald, as both Jaron Brown and John Brown are free agents. — McShay

So, in theory, he could choose to take less money to return to a team and scheme he’s comfortable with on a one-year deal. If he stays healthy and demonstrates the Achilles injury is nothing to worry about, he can hit free agency with a higher stock a year from now.

But that seems like an unlikely scenario mainly because the idea that Sherman needs to take a one-year, prove-it deal to rebuild his value isn’t totally realistic. Sure, Sherman is coming off a torn Achilles and will turn 30 later this month, both of which will undoubtedly lower his value, but it’s not like Sherman has morphed into a subpar cornerback who is coasting off his name and reputation alone.

He’s still really damn good, though he’s no longer the league’s top cornerback. He’s more than just a name. He allowed a 75.5 passer rating in coverage last year, a 68.4 passer rating in 2016, and a 67.6 passer rating in 2015, according to Pro Football Focus. Those are legit CB1 numbers, which Sherman, who is acting as his own agent, is well aware of.

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Why the Phillies could make a surprising playoff run in 2018

The breadth and volume of a baseball season causes a lot of leveling, for individual players and teams alike, but it also creates opportunity for a few surprises.

Sometimes it’s one guy who steps forward, like Chris Taylor for the Dodgers last season, and sometimes it’s a team that reaches the postseason just a year removed from an abysmal finish, like the Twins reaching the wild-card game last season after losing 103 games in 2016.

Let’s say that a shortstop makes a play on that ball about 25 percent of the time. If Andrelton Simmons can’t make a play on that ball, he receives -.25 credit. If he makes the play, he receives .75 — essentially, the credit for making the play versus missing the play, leaving out the expectation that a player would make the play.

DRS then looks at how many bases batters go for on the play. If Simmons misplays it and allows the runner to go to second, then Simmons is charged with -.25 times two bases, or -.50 bases allowed on the play. If he made the play, and on those types of batted balls runners received 1.25 bases on average, Simmons receives credit for .75 times 1.25, or .9375 bases saved.

According to multiple reports, the former Giants and Angels pitcher is signing with the Rangers.

Texas had a lot of trouble with their closers in 2017, so there is certainly a possibility of him stepping in and giving the role a shot.

The 33-year-old did not pitch in MLB in 2017 and threw just 38 1/3 innings in 2016 with the Angels. He has made just eight appearances out of the bullpen in MLB.

Miami’s large adult son is the clear leader for the first base job. Bour was limited to just 108 games and a trip to the Home Run Derby last year, but he very quietly hit a wonderful .289/.366/.536 and is going to be the most important bat on this team (that’s not a good thing). Whether he’s able to replicate that level of production remains to be seen.

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Despite the setback, Hernandez’s status has been listed as day-to-day after X-rays came back negative.

Thomas still hasn’t publicly announced whether he’ll play in 2018, but Friday’s flurry of trades by the Browns , which included deals to acquire Jarvis Landry and Damarious Randall , might have been enough for general manager John Dorsey ensure his top QB protector will be back. While Thomas wants to make his decision before free agency begins Wednesday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported last week that Thomas is already preparing to play next season .

Although Thomas has certainly earned the right to walk away after a Hall of Fame-caliber career in the trenches, it appears less and less likely he’ll have to endure another winless or one-win season in the Dawg Pound. If the body that carried him through 10,363 consecutive snaps is up to the task, Thomas could very well be back on field in 2018.

The Yankees were linked, but they traded with the Diamondbacks for Brandon Drury — a cheaper option. The Royals were interested in re-signing him until Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer left, leaving them in a full rebuilding mode. With most contending teams set at third base, Moustakas finds himself in an odd situation. He may have to settle for a short-term deal with the likes of Minnesota or the White Sox and hope for better in a year or two.

Hernandez left Monday’s game against Chicago after being struck in the pitching arm by a line drive. He exited with one out in the bottom of the second after being hit by a comebacker off the bat of Cubs catcher Victor Caratini. Hernandez appeared in considerable pain as trainers checked him before he left the field.

Hernandez, 31, pitched just 86? innings over 16 starts last season. The 2010 Cy Young Award winner has been hampered by injuries and dealt with two stints on the disabled list in 2017 due to right shoulder inflammation and right shoulder bursitis.

Translation: “No one has sucker-punched anyone else in the clubhouse — yet.”

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Jazz waive Derrick Rose; what’s next for the former MVP?

Derrick Rose was waived by the Jazz on Saturday, just two days after joining Utah via a trade from the Cavaliers.

While the move was expected, it marked the culmination of a humbling chain events for a point guard who won the NBA MVP award in 2011. Rose has played just 16 games (seven starts) this season, averaging 9.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 19.3 minutes per contest.

Over his nine-year NBA career, Rose has averaged 19.2 points, 5.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds in 34.2 minutes through 486 games (476 starts) with the Bulls, Knicks and Cavaliers.

You can’t be a winner if you didn’t play, right? Then again, Butler took a trip to LA, chilled with some of his friends and didn’t have to do any work. No, that sounds more like a winner. Just throw him in the previous group. My bad.

The 3-Point Contest: For all of the criticism the Slam Dunk Contest receives, it’s time to consider a change to the 3-Point Contest.

Devin Booker’s flamethrower final round was great, but the event as a whole is just not that interesting. Let’s allow players to choose different spots beyond the arc and accumulate points based on distance. Put a rack with three golden balls at halfcourt. Screw it. Those shots are each worth 10 points.

There’s not a perfect solution, but as we witnessed with the All-Star Game, change can work.

Thomas, 29, averaged 14.7 points and 4.5 assists per contest in 15 games with the Cavs this season before being dealt to the Lakers.

Hope that Gordon Hayward can play. The Celtics are thin and rely too heavily on young and inexperienced players. That’s caught up to them lately, especially with the load carried by second-year forward Jaylen Brown and rookie Jayson Tatum.

Boston is building toward contending for a championship in the next couple of years, and it did not make a move at the trade deadline. If they Celtics are going to contend this year, they’ll need to get the injured Hayward back on the floor sometime before the end of March so that he can be ready to pitch in for the playoffs.

I was involved in basketball operations, but other than getting the financials and reports, I was not involved in the day to day [of the business side] at all, Cuban told SI. That’s why I just deferred. I let people do their jobs. And if there were anything like this at all I was supposed to be made aware, obviously I was not.

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Rae Carruth won’t seek custody of son after prison release

Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth has given up plans to pursue a relationship with his son after being released from prison later this year.

In a letter to the Charlotte Observer, Carruth wrote that he will not pursue custody of Chancellor Lee Adams, who lives in Charlotte with his maternal grandmother, Saundra Adams.

Carruth wrote that including in the first letter his desire to enter Chancellor’s life was a mistake and he admitted that was too optimistic, even though he still wants to make amends with Chancellor and try to be the father that I should have been from day one.”

I now understand that any notions of me one day being welcome to Sunday dinner is totally out of the question, Carruth wrote in the second letter, which was postmarked Feb. 21. And lastly, I didn’t foresee the media and general public being unanimous in its belief that I shouldn’t be allowed to ever have anything to do with Chancellor.

I think where we are unanimous, Mara told ESPN on Tuesday, [are] plays like the Dez Bryant play in Green Bay, going to the ground, [and] the Calvin Johnson play from a couple of years ago. I think all of us agree that those should be completions. So let’s write the language to make them completions.

What is different in 2018, in addition to Goodell’s insistence on change, is the consensus to find a way to avoid inorganic rulings caused by the requirement to maintain control throughout the process of going to the ground.

The Bengals have never been very aggressive in free agency, and after receiving four compensatory picks in this year’s draft, it would be very surprising to see them suddenly shift philosophy now. Cincinnati usually signs a free agent or two but never goes after the big fish in the early days of the signing period. — Katherine Terrell

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Johnny Manziel says he’s sober and working on his NFL comeback

Former Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel spoke with Good Morning America about his sobriety and trying to make an NFL comeback.

In his interview, Manziel also revealed that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder last year. He’s since stopped drinking, started taking medication, and is seeing improvements. Now, he says he wants back on the football field.

He told GMA’s T.J. Holmes that taking care of his mental health is more important than anything.

”I don’t know what kind of comeback it will be,” he said, “but I know I want to get back on a football field to what brought me so much joy in my life and it makes me happy doing as my job.”

Manziel will have a contract approved by the CFL for him to play in 2018, which seems to be the first step to an NFL comeback. His rights are currently held by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The Spring League is a three-week scouting event in Austin, Texas. Four teams play two games each, where Manziel will play on the South team.

Arvidsson, who scored twice in the Predators’ 5-2 win over Ottawa on Monday, now has eight goals and five assists in the last 14 games.

“The last two games, I think our line has been a lot better and we’re playing with a lot of confidence,” Nashville’s Ryan Johansen said. “Arvie has been a huge factor in that, because he’s been making plays all over the ice lately.”

Arvidsson’s goal at 4:50 of the third period pushed the Predators’ lead to 3-1. The puck skipped over the stick of Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, allowing Arvidsson to get in alone and snap a shot by Howard on the stick side.

Andreas Athanasiou and Tomas Tatar scored for the Red Wings, and Jimmy Howard finished with 26 saves.

The Predators grabbed the lead just 4:18 into the opening period. Roman Josi’s wrist shot from the point deflected off the right skate of Nashville forward Hartnell before settling into the net behind Howard.

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