Irving struggles, Mavs fall to Grizzlies

The Dallas Mavericks*11-7) were shorthanded against the visiting shorthanded Memphis Grizzlies(5-13) on Friday. They were without Luka Doncic, who celebrated the birth of his daughter, Tim Hardaway Jr.(back), and Maxi Kleber(toe), and it showed.

Dallas trailed by as many as 21 points to Memphis and fell to the Grizzlies 108-94.

With the win, Memphis gets its first two-game winning streak of the season.

The Mavericks’ second-best player, Kyrie Irving, struggled with his shot on Friday night; he was 3/15 from the floor and finished with only 10 points. Irving was 0/7 in the first half.

Memphis did a good job of trying to keep the ball out of Irving’s hands, which Mavs coach Jason Kidd believes frustrated the eight-time All-Star.

“I think just understanding he might have gotten a little frustrated with being face-guarded,” Kidd said. “We’ve got to do a better job of getting him the ball and knowing how to play when something like that’s happening. I’ll take the blame for that in the sense that we didn’t put him in a good situation to be successful.”

Irving said he hurt his foot in the first quarter, which he believes limited his performance against Memphis.

“I had a bit of a tweak to my foot at the end of the first quarter,” Irving said. “So, [I was] just trying to get my balance underneath me. It was hard to settle back in when you feel a tweak like that, especially in my feet. So, I am just doing my best to stay mentally prepared for anything that could happen out there. The competitive side of me says no excuses, just fight through it and be in the right positions offensively and defensively.

“I just think as a team we weren’t doing that, including myself. Just not picking up the ball as much and as often, and just missing some plays that gave them that lead and confidence going into halftime. We knew that we had the talent tonight to be able to perform well and beat this team, but we just didn’t do that, and it starts with me as one of the leaders on the team. [I] just [did] not play my ultimate best, and not bringing the energy that my team needs. Definitely one of those games I look back on, and there’s a level of frustration. But we have another one in the next 24 hours.”

The Mavericks will now battle the Thunder on Saturday night in Dallas, and they probably won’t be without Doncic, and they may not have Irving’s services, making winning that game very difficult. Irving discussed what OKC brings to the table.

“They’re a good team, they’re showing it night in and night out,” Irving said about OKC. “Their record is what it is, but they’re going to be a team that’s going to be reckoned with in the Western conference. [I’m] just looking forward to seeing them up close, not only Chet [Holmgren] but also SGA [Shai Gilgeous-Alexander). A few of those guys played in the summertime in the FIBA world games. They’re in great shape, they’ve got a great camaraderie around them, they play defense really hard. Offensively, you can tell they’re a juggernaut, so we’ll have our hands full tomorrow.”


Memphis’ Desmond Bane had a game-high 30 points.

Derrick Jones Jr. tied for a team-high 16 points (6-14 FG, 4-7 3FG) as well as adding four rebounds, one assist and one steal. His 16 points marked the first time he has led the Mavericks in scoring in a single game, the fourth time in his career leading a team-high for any team

Grant Williams tied for a team-high 16 points (4-12 FG, 3-9 3FG, 5-6 FT) while adding a team-high eight rebounds, three assists, one block and a steal tonight. His eight rebounds is a season-high and ties for the eighth-most rebounds he has recorded in a game in his career.


Week 15: Eagles-Seahawks flexed to MNF

On Thursday, the NFL announced that the Week 15 Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks game will move to Monday Night Football on ESPN while the Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots matchup will be played at 1 p.m. ET on FOX.

Week 15 will also feature an NFL Network tripleheader on Saturday, Dec. 16.

The final Week 15 schedule (all times ET):

Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023

Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders


Prime Video

Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023

Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals



Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts



Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions



Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers



Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns



Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers



New York Jets at Miami Dolphins



Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots



New York Giants at New Orleans Saints



Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans



San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals



Washington Commanders at Los Angeles Rams



Dallas Cowboys at Buffalo Bills



Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars



Monday, Dec. 18, 2023

Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks




Eagles’ Sirianni talks relationship with Shaq Leonard

Free agent LB Darius Shaquille Leonard was in Philadelphia visiting the Eagles on Wednesday. The three-time Pro Bowler, who the Colts released in early November, also visited the Cowboys earlier this week.

The 28-year-old is coming off back surgery last season, which caused him to miss 14 games in 2022. This season, Leonard played in nine games with the Colts.

Leonard has a history with Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni. Leonard was with Sirianni in Indianapolis when Sirianni was the offensive coordinator with the Colts from 2018-2020, and the two have a close relationship, which he discussed on Wednesday.

“I was close with him when we were in Indy,” Sirianni said about his relationship with Leonard. “I just thought you can learn so much from good players. Just think about how he went about how he attacked the day, and also how he saw the game as an offensive coach. That was always a good perspective talking to him and I just had so much respect for him.

“It was good to be able to catch up with him and relive some memories, but also talk a little bit about what this building is like.”

Sirianni was asked what his pitch was to Leonard, and according to him, he will be honest about why he believes Philly is good for Leonard.

“All I’ll ever do is just be honest with him and tell him what the situation is here, what the situation is in this building,” Sirianni said.

“I think the pitch is just the guys that we have in this building, and some of them he has a prior relationship, too. I want Shaq to make the decision that’s best for him. Because, again, when there is that prior relationship you want to make sure — and that’s what I said to him, ‘I just want you to make the best decision for you. Take all the information from both places and do what’s best for you.’

“So, I’ve called him a bunch the last couple days, and, shoot, he’ll make the decision that’s best for him. I’m confident in that. He’s a good person.”

With Zach Cunningham(hamstring) possibly out for a few weeks, the Eagles need linebacker help, and Leonard would help. If it’s down to the Eagles and Cowboys, Leonard could make his debut when the two teams collide in Week 14. The only question is what color jersey he will be wearing that day.

Mielnicki Jr. returns December 29 in Newark

Rising junior middleweight Vito Mielnicki Jr. will look to thrill his hometown crowd on Friday, December 29TH, as it was announced today that he has been added to the BRICK CITY FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. GH3 Promotions and Prudential Center have partnered to launch a multi event boxing series, BRICK CITY FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS, slated to continue in 2024. The launch of this exciting boxing series will present an evening filled with the best “the sweet science” has to offer.

Mielnicki of Roseland, New Jersey has a record of 16-1 with 11 knockouts, most recently he knocked out Alexis Salazar just 2:27 into their scheduled 10-round junior middleweight match on the David Benavidez-Demetrius Andrade undercard.  Mielnicki will take on Salim Larbi in a 10-round bout for the debut of BRICK CITY FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS on December 29th.

“I am so excited to be fighting at Prudential Center on December 29th for the launch of BRICK CITY FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS. I would like to thank Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions for allowing me to fight in front of my hometown fans. It is always special to have my friends and family at my fights, and December 29th will be no different,” said Mielnicki.

An accomplished amateur, Mielnicki turned professional at the age of 17 and now the WBA Continental Americas Super Welterweight Champion and WBC World Youth champion is currently ranked eight by the WBA. Mielnicki has won his first eight fights and is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak that is highlighted by wins over Nicholas DeLomba (16-3), Omar Rosales (9-1-1), Jose Sanchez Charles (20-3-1) and a one-round destruction over tough Alexis Salazar (25-5) this past Saturday night at The Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Larbi of Cambrai, France is 22-12-3 with eight knockouts. The 36-year-old Larbi has wins over Mohamad El Maghnouji (2-0), Davit Makaradze (16-4), Patrice Sou Toke (17-2). In his last bout, Larbi went 10-rounds with world ranked middleweight Thomas LaManna before dropping a decision on March 11 in Orlando, Florida.

Other action:

Scheduled to appear in a ten-round bout will be Newark’s own Michael Anderson. Anderson (23-3-1, 17 KOs) has wins over Dashon Johnson (11-2-3), DeMarcus Rogers (14-3-1) and a third-round stoppage over Marklin Bailey. Anderson will take on Eudy Bernardo (25-6, 18 KOs) of Elias Pina, Dominican Republic.

Seeing action in a ten-round bout will be former world title challenger and current WBA number-three ranked middleweight Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna taking on Nicolas Hernandez (27-7-3, 12 KOs) of Reading, PA.

LaManna (36-5-1, 15 KOs) of Millville, New Jersey will take part in a 10-round bout. The 31-year-old LaManna has quality wins over Kendal Mena (20-3), Matthew Strode (25-6), Michael Marcano (25-5-1) and his bout when LaManna stopped Juan Manuel Witt (33-1-2) in the third round to retain his WBA Fedelatin Middleweight crown on July 22 in Atlantic City.

Fighting in an eight-round bout will be popular Albanian heavyweight Kristian Prenga (14-1, 14 KOs) taking on Ahmed Hefney (13-3, 5 KOs) of Alexandria, Egypt.

Appearing in six-round bouts will be:

Joseph Adorno (18-3, 15 KOs) of Allentown, PA battling Barulio Rodriguez (20-8, 17 KOs) of the Dominican Republic in a super lightweight bout.

Mike Lee (10-2, 5 KOs) of Orange, NJ fighting Rickey Edwards (13-5, 3 KOs) of Paterson, NJ in a welterweight contest.

Paul Kroll (10-0-2, 6 KOs) of Philadelphia collides with Weah Archibald ((10-15, 5 KOs) of Mount Vernon, NY in a welterweight fight.

In Four-Round Bouts:

Dwyke Flemmings Jr. (4-0, 4 KOs) of Paterson, NJ squares off with Luis Briceno Roman (3-4, 3 KOs) of Houston in a junior middleweight bout.

Malik Nelson (4-0, 3 KOs) of Avenel, NJ fights Romel Tasanimp (2-1) of Baltimore in a Featherweight bout.

Anthony Johns (6-1, 5 KOs) of Newark, NJ takes on an opponent to be named in a flyweight bout.

Kasir Goldston (5-0-1, 2 KOs) of Albany, NY will fight George Gethers (0-5) of Jersey City in a super lightweight tussle.

John Vallejo (4-0, 2 KOs) of New York scraps with Nelson Morales (4-11, 1 KO) of Scranton, PA in a junior middleweight affair.

Keon Ivory (2-2, 1 KO) of Lodi, NJ will take on Orland Ortiz (1-1, 1 KO) of New York in a super middleweight fight.

Photo: Ryan Hafey/PBC

DeSean Jackson announces retirement from NFL

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Eagles announced that DeSean Jackson will officially retire as a member of the team on Friday, December 1.

The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, who played eight of 15 NFL seasons with the Eagles, will be recognized as the honorary captain for the team’s big showdown against the 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.

Originally a second-round draft pick (49th overall) of the Eagles in the 2008 NFL Draft, Jackson spent eight of his 15 seasons in Philadelphia, where he garnered three Pro Bowl nods (2009, 2010, 2013) as a dual-threat on offense and special teams. In 95 career games with the Eagles, he ranks third all-time in receiving yards (6,512), sixth in receptions (379), and ninth in receiving touchdowns (35). As a punt returner, he finished second in punt returns (132), third in punt return yards (1,296), and is the team’s all-time leader in punt return touchdowns (tied Darren Sproles with four).

Jackson’s most decorated season came in 2013 when he set career highs in receptions (82), receiving yards (1,332), touchdown catches (nine), and 100-yard games (five) en route to his third Pro Bowl selection. It was his third season with 1,000-plus receiving yards, which tied the franchise mark set by Harold Carmichael and Mike Quick. His 82 catches that season were the fourth-most in team history and third-most by a wide receiver.

After the 2013 season, Jackson was released by Chip Kelly and the Eagles and signed with the then-Washington Redskins; he would return to Philly in 2019 and would spend two seasons with the Eagles.

“DeSean Jackson was a dynamic playmaker who captivated Eagles fans with his game-breaking speed, unique skill set, and explosive play,” said Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles Chairman and CEO, in a press release. “What made DeSean truly stand out during his accomplished 15-year career was his ability to make miraculous plays look routine.”

Here are some highlights of Jackson’s career:

-Became the first player in NFL history to earn Pro Bowl honors at two positions – kick returner and wide receiver.

-Tied the NFL record with eight touchdowns of 50-plus yards in a single season.

-His 52.8 yards per score average during the 2009 season was the highest in NFL history among players with at least 10 touchdowns in a season.

-Became the second player in NFL history to score touchdowns via receiving, rushing, and punt return during each of his first three seasons.

-Became the fifth player in NFL history to have eclipsed 900-or-more receiving yards in each of his first four seasons.

Jackson’s most memorable play came on December 19, 2010, when the Eagles faced off against the division-rival New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Down 31-10 in the fourth quarter, the Eagles remarkably went on to score 21 unanswered points to tie the game, 31-31. With 12 seconds remaining, the Giants were forced to punt from their own 35-yard line. Jackson, the return man, secured the football off the turf and raced 65 yards to the end zone as time expired, which marked the first time in NFL history that a game had ended on a walk-off punt return.

A native of Los Angeles, CA, Jackson played collegiately at the University of California (Berkeley) and played 15 NFL seasons for the Eagles, Washington, Tampa Bay, Rams, Raiders, and Ravens.


Zayas: ‘I can’t wait for the bell to ring on December 9’

Puerto Rican junior middleweight contender Xander Zayas hopes to close the year on an emphatic note.

Zayas will take on Spain’s Jorge Fortea in a 10-round battle on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Charles F. Dodge City Center in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Zayas-Fortea will serve as the co-feature to the WBO featherweight world title showdown between reigning champ Robeisy “El Tren” Ramirez and unbeaten Mexican contender Rafael “El Divino” Espinoza. 

Ramirez-Espinoza and Zayas-Fortea will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Zayas (17-0, 11 KOs) signed with Top Rank at 16 and has been on the path to superstardom ever since his pro debut in October 2019. In his fifth year as a pro, he is already inching closer to a title shot in the competitive 154-pound division. He notched an eight-round unanimous decision over Ronald Cruz during Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend in June and a fifth-round TKO against the hard-hitting Roberto Valenzuela Jr. in September. Fortea (24-3-1, 9 KOs), a 13-year pro from Spain, is riding a three-bout winning streak.

Following a recent training session, this is what Zayas had to say:

“We are counting down the days to fight night! I can’t wait for the bell to ring on December 9 in South Florida. I dedicate this fight all my Boricuas from the ‘Island of Enchantment’ and the ‘Puerto Rican Diaspora’ who I know will tune in to my fight that night on ESPN.”
“I am determined to close the year with a bang and to continue positioning myself as one of the main contenders at junior middleweight. In the new year, I’m aiming to continuing my climb up the ranks step by step. That is why I push myself to give my all every day in the gym. You will see a better version of me every time I fight.”
“I am grateful for the support of the fans. I am also very happy to share the card with a great friend whom I respect a lot like “El Tren” from Cuba, Robeisy Ramírez. We are already close to a sold out venue, and we are ready to bring joy to our people. We’re coming to put on a great Latin party between Cubans and Puerto Ricans.”

Hurts on Eagles: ‘We always find a way, and that’s something that you can’t really take for granted’

DJ Khalid would be happy with the 2023 Philadelphia Eagles(10-1) because all they do is win, and that continued on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field as they defeated the Buffalo Bills 37-34 in OT.

Philadelphia won after Jalen Hurts(18/31, 200 yards, three TDs, interception, two rushing TDs), who recorded a career-high five total touchdowns against the Bills(6-6), had a 12-yard touchdown run to seal the victory in the extra session.

For the second consecutive week, the Eagles overcame 10-point halftime deficit, got a come-from-behind victory for the fourth straight week, and, most importantly, have the best record in the NFL. According to Elias Sports, Hurts is the second NFL QB since 1950 to start 10-1 or better through 11 games in back-to-back years, joining Peyton Manning (2005-06).

In addition, according to ESPN Stats & Info, Hurts has won 14 straight games against teams with winning records, marking the longest streak by an NFL QB since 1950.

Even with all this winning, Hurts, who struggled in the first half as he completed only 4 of 11 passes for 33 yards and two turnovers(interception, fumble), and a rushing touchdown, says he’s not playing up to his standards.

“We always find a way, and that’s something that you can’t really take for granted,” he said. “Obviously, I have had a ton to clean up, and I have not executed to the level of my standard. What that [standard] is yet? It seems to be enough. But in terms of the standard that I like to play to consistently and I’d like us to play to consistently. As a team, enough is never enough. So, you just want to continue to strive for more and play to that standard.”

The second half was a different story for Hurts. He was 14/20 for 167 yards and three touchdowns; he had seven carries for 43 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Hurts made every play that needed to be made in the second half, including putting the team in position to tie the game as Jake Elliott connected on a 59-yard field goal late in regulation, and scoring a touchdown in OT after the Bills made a field goal on their first possession in OT.

“Just clutch in clutch moments, right?” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said. “There’s going to be plays he wants back from the first half. There’s going to be plays that we called that we’re going to want back from the first half.

“Really made some big-time plays when they mattered the most, none more than three touchdown passes. I thought he hit DeVonta (Smith), read the defense perfectly, and hit the ball to DeVonta on the touchdown. What an unbelievable throw and catch by OZ [WR Olamide Zaccheaus] and Jalen on the touchdown on the scramble. I mean, my goodness, that was a good play.

“He made a lot of really clutch plays in the second half. Then the big one obviously at the end right there. We did a good job of blocking up front. Jalen got himself through there for a touchdown in a clutch moment.”

Now, the Eagles have their biggest game of the season to date next Sunday when they host the San Francisco 49ers(8-3). A win against the Niners would pretty much give the Eagles home-field advantage throughout the playoffs in the NFC. However, to Hurts’ point, they must play to their “standard” to keep winning.


-According to Elias Sports, Sirianni became just the third head coach in NFL history to guide his team to a 10-1 start or better in consecutive seasons. The other head coaches on that list are Tony Dungy (2005-06) and Don Shula (1972-73).

-Brandon Graham set a franchise record with his 189th regular-season game played with the Eagles, breaking the previous mark held by David Akers (188, 1999-2010). A 14-year NFL veteran, Graham is also tied with Chuck Bednarik (1949-62) for the most seasons played in team history and is 4th on the club’s all-time sacks list (73.0). In addition, Graham sacked Bills QB Josh Allen on third-and-14 during the fourth quarter. He has posted 2.5 fourth-quarter sacks over his last two home games.

-Hurts became the first QB in NFL history with 10+ rushing TDs in three consecutive seasons (10 TDs in 2021 and 13 TDs in 2022).

-Jake Elliott nailed a 59-yard FG with 0:20 remaining during the fourth quarter to tie the game at a 31-31 score. Elliott, who is the Eagles’ all-time leader in 50+ yard FGs (26), has made 6 FGs of 50+ yards this year, marking a single-season career high. Elliott has converted 8-of-9 FG attempts during the fourth quarter/overtime this season, including his 54-yard game-winning FG vs. Washington (10/1/23).

Don King announces fight card for December 2 in Miami

Last week, it was announced that Adrien “The Problem” Broner suffered an injury to his right-hand and won’t be able to fight against Chris Howard on December 2 at Casino Miami in Miami, Florida.

King announced the fight card will still happen, and on Monday, he announced the fights that will remain on the card.

WBA Continental America’s Middleweight Champion Ian Green (17-2, 11 KOs), who has shown his talents at Casino Miami in the past, will defend his title against Vaughn Alexander (18-7-1, 11 KOs) of St. Louis, MO.

Tre’Sean Wiggins (15-5-3, 8 KOs) of Newburgh, NY will defend his WBA NABA Welterweight Championship against Chris Howard (18-2-1, 8 KOs) of Cincinnati, OH.

The vacant WBA International Lightweight title bout will be up for grabs as Antonio Perez (8-0, 5 KOs) of Harrisburg, PA will take on Las Vegas’ Haskell Rhodes (29-5-1, 14 KOs).

The WBA NABA Middleweight Championship will be decided when Alex Castro (13-1, 11 KOs) of Tulua, Colombia challenges Harry K. Cruz (14-3, 11 KOs) of Bronx, NY via Puerto Rico.

The fifth title fight will see the vacant WBC Youth Intercontinental Super Lightweight championship on the line as Fort Lauderdale’s DeVon Williams (3-0, 3 KOs) looks for the belt against the savvy Nelson Morales from Scranton, PA via the Dominican Republic.

One undercard fight rounds out the card as an eight-round bantamweight attraction features Boynton Beach, Florida’s Lawrence Newton (15-0, 7 KOs) and Jonathan Smith (8-2, 6 KOs) from South Bend, IN.

Giants’ DeVito on getting first win at MetLife Stadium: ‘I’m going to enjoy the moment’

Make it two straight for quarterback Tommy DeVito and the New York Giants after defeating the New England Patriots 10-7 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

New York secured the victory when New England kicker Chad Ryland missed a 35-yard field goal with six seconds to go.

DeVito was not great, but he was good enough; he completed 17 of 25 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown; he had zero interceptions, but he did lose a fumble.

However, this game was about the defense, who intercepted QB Mac Jones twice in the first half, and his replacement Bailey Zappe once in the second half, which led to 10 points for the Giants.

In the last two weeks, the Giants forced nine turnovers, but according to a report from FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer, there’s a rift between head coach Brian Daboll and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale.

After their win over the Patriots, Daboll discussed his relationship with Martindale.

“I’d say the biggest argument that Wink and I have had is who has the last piece of pizza,” Daboll said. “I got a lot of respect for Wink. He’s done a good job. I’ll leave it at that…

“I got a lot of respect for Wink. He’s a heck of a coach. I’m glad he’s on the staff.”

Back to DeVito, the New Jersey native, who played a high school state championship game at MetLife Stadium, got his first start at MetLife as a pro on Sunday, and he was happy to get another win.

“It feels great,” DeVito said about winning at MetLife Stadium. “Any game after a win is awesome, but to be able to do it here at home for my first time is surreal. I’m going to enjoy the moment.”

The undrafted rookie free agent was excited to hear his name introduced to the Giant faithful.

I’m not going to lie, I kind of blacked out,” he said. “I was kind of just in my element. I didn’t know if people were cheering or booing or what was going on. It could’ve been anything, but I was just locked in, enjoying it.”

Jones(ACL) is out for the season, and Tyrod Taylor(ribs), but Daboll did not wholly rule out going back to the veteran quarterback.

“We’ll have our bye week here,” Daboll said. “We’ll discuss a lot of things. Look at a lot of things. So, over the next few days, that’s what we’ll do.”

New York returns on Monday night, Dec. 11, at home against the Green Bay Packers.




Hawks’ Johnson to miss three to four weeks with wrist injury

Atlanta Hawks forward Jalen Johnson has been diagnosed with a left distal radius(wrist) fracture, the team announced on Sunday.

Johnson left in the second quarter of the team’s 136-108 victory against the Wizards in D.C. 

The third-year forward underwent an X-ray Saturday night in Washington and an MRI Sunday morning in Boston.

According to the Hawks, he will be re-evaluated in three to four weeks, and his status will be updated as appropriate.

This season, in 15 games, Johnson is averaging 14.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per contest.