National Roundup


DENVER | Jamal Murray scored a career-high 38 points, including a three-point play in the final minute, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 104-101 on Monday night. Nikola Jokic had 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Will Barton hit four free throws in the final 10 seconds to secure the win and spoil Jusuf Nurkic’s return to Denver.


MELBOURNE, Australia | Even by Australian Open standards, back-to-back shockers have resulted in a most unexpected quarterfinal. The season-opening Grand Slam has a tendency to be unpredictable, but losing six-time champion Novak Djokovic and fifth-ranked Dominic Thiem within a few hours on Monday leaves Hyeon Chung and Tennys Sandgren playing for a spot in the semifinals.


CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy | Lindsey Vonn wants to regain the downhill gold medal at the Olympics so desperately that she has been willing to sacrifice much of the World Cup season to achieve her goal. With the start of the Pyeongchang Games 2 1/2 weeks away, Vonn is dedicating so much time to testing equipment for the games this week that she may skip an Alpine combined race in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, on Friday.


LAS VEGAS | Oddsmakers like the chances of Tom Brady winning a sixth Super Bowl ring, making the New England Patriots nearly a touchdown favorite to beat the Philadelphia Eagles. Sports books around Las Vegas opened the Patriots around a 6-point favorite Sunday to win their second straight Super Bowl. They also made New England a big favorite to win the Super Bowl next year in Atlanta.


DENVER | The Colorado Avalanche looked unstoppable early and shaky down the stretch in nearly blowing a big lead. Bottom line: The streak goes on. Nathan MacKinnon scored twice during a 58-second span in the first period, Matt Nieto added a late insurance goal and the Avalanche won their eighth straight by holding off the San Jose Sharks 5-3 on Thursday night.


The list of players sitting out this weekend’s conference championships is almost as impressive as the starting lineups: Julian Edelman. Carson Wentz. Dalvin Cook. Dont’a Hightower. Allen Robinson. Sam Bradford. Following the NFL’s season of carnage that claimed the likes of, among others, Aaron Rodgers, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, J.J. Watt, DeShaun Watson, Odell Beckham […]