Candace Cameron Bure broke her social media hiatus to address brother Kirk Cameron’s controversial Christmas caroling events.
Candace Cameron Bure broke her social media hiatus to address brother Kirk Cameron’s controversial Christmas caroling events.
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“I can guarantee you it did not affect us at all."
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NEW ORLEANS — Nearly two hours after the New Orleans Saints' season had ended, Drew Brees stood on the Superdome field in street clothes, throwing passes to his children while his wife, Brittany, captured images of those moments with her cellphone. Brees routinely throws the ball around with his kids after home games, but after a 30-20 playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night, he lingered longer than usual — and there was no telling whether that familiar postgame scene would play out again. Two days after Brees' 42nd birthday, his 20th NFL season ended with statistically his worst playoff performance. Brees threw three interceptions, his most in 18 post-season appearances. His 134 yards passing were a career-playoff low. And because of COVID-19 restrictions, there were fewer than 4,000 fans in the 73,000-seat Superdome to bid him farewell — if indeed it was his final game in a Saints uniform. For now, Brees won't say. But he's also said nothing that would lead one to believe he's prepared to play next season, his last under contract. “I’ll answer this question one time and that is that I”m going to give myself an opportunity to think about the season, think about a lot of things just like I did last year and make a decision,” Brees said. That decision for the NFL's all-time leader in yards passing will come after a fourth straight season that saw the Saints (13-5) win 11 or more games and go to the playoffs, only to come up short of the Super Bowl. This season, Brees missed four games with multiple broken ribs and a punctured lung, but came back in time to see New Orleans through to its fourth straight NFC South crown and a convincing playoff victory over Chicago in the wild-card round. “I would never regret it. Never. No complaints, no regrets," Brees said. "I’ve always tried to play this game with a great respect and a great reverence for it, and I appreciate all that this game has given to me. “There are obviously so many incredible memories and so many incredible relationships that have come as a result of playing this game,” Brees continued. "You find out so much about yourself and you have to fight through so much when you play this game. And I’d say this season I probably had to fight through more than I’ve ever had to in any other season in my career, from injury to all the COVID stuff, to just crazy circumstances. And it was worth every moment of it. Absolutely.” Brees said the way this season ended “won't have anything to do” with his decision on whether to retire. As for what will go into the decision, Brees said, “I’ll keep that to myself right now.” Saints coach Sean Payton seemed to be taking his cue from Brees when he, too, sidestepped a question about what his decade-and-a-half relationship with Brees has meant to him. “That's probably for another press conference,” Payton said. “Obviously he's been tremendous for this team, this city. I could go on and on, but let's wait and answer that at the right time.” Other teammates didn't wait, though. “He’s been everything you could imagine a leader could be,” said Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, Brees' teammate since 2011. "He’s the first one in, the last one out. Every stereotypical leadership core value you think of, Drew has. He exemplifies everything that he does in terms of wanting to be a better teammate.” Veteran linebacker Demario Davis said playing with Brees has meant “everything” to him. “When I came to New Orleans, I wanted to help Drew Brees win another Super Bowl because I feel like he deserves it for the accomplishments that he’s had,” Davis said. "I wanted him to have some more championship trophies on the mantle. “He’s a great teammate, a great leader, a great man, a great husband and a great father,” Davis added. “He’s just an example for all us to try to emulate.” Brees, who brought the Saints their only Super Bowl appearance and win in the 2009 season, is not only the all-time leader in yards passing with 80,358, but also completions 7,142. He began this season first in touchdowns, but is now second with 571, behind the 581 of Tampa Bay's Tom Brady, who is moving on to his 14th conference title game at age 43. When the game ended, Brees greeted a couple of Bucs players, including Brady, who he's known since college, and then pointed to the stands and blew kisses as he jogged to the tunnel leading to the Saints locker room. When he first emerged from the locker room back onto the field in street clothes, he shared a long embrace with Brittany while his three sons and daughter played nearby. “I always soak in the moment and I’m looking up at my family and blowing kisses to my wife and my daughter and fist-pumping my boys,” Brees said. "They’ve become so much a part of this as my kids have gotten older, and they are so invested in this as well. That’s what makes the moment special, to be able to share it all together.” ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Brett Martel, The Associated Press
“There’s no special treatment here ... because a virus doesn’t treat you specially.”
LOS ANGELES — Marcus Morris Sr. scored a season-high 20 points to lead seven players in double figures, and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Indiana Pacers 129-96 on Sunday night for their first four-game winning streak of the season. With sharpshooter Lou Williams sidelined, Morris came off the bench to hit four 3-pointers, tying his season-high. He was coming off an 18-point performance at Sacramento on Friday. The Clippers made 19 of 39 from long-range, outdueling the Pacers, who were 11 of 38. Fellow reserve Luke Kennard added season highs of 20 points and five 3-pointers. Paul George also had 20 points. Kawhi Leonard had 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Clippers. Doug McDermott led the Pacers with 23 points, making five 3-pointers. Domantas Sabonis added 19 points and 14 rebounds. Indiana closed within two points early in the third before the Clippers put the game away. They outscored the Pacers 37-14 the rest of the quarter to lead 100-75 going into the fourth. Los Angeles made eight 3-pointers by six different players and Leonard scored 11 points. The Clippers ran off 10 straight points early in the fourth to lead 110-81. Kennard had a 3-point play and George scored seven in a row. Indiana had won two straight, but was idle since Thursday at Portland. The team's game at Phoenix on Saturday was postponed because of COVID-19 issues. That didn't stop McDermott from bursting out of the gate. He scored 13 of the Pacers' first 21 points. The Clippers hit five 3-pointers while outscoring the Pacers 35-12 over the end of the first quarter and start of the second to build an 18-point lead. Indiana closed strongly with a 20-10 run, including 10 by Sabonis, that left the Pacers trailing 61-55 at halftime. TIP-INS Pacers: Myles Turner was out with a sore right hand. ... Goga Bitzdze returned from a sprained right ankle and scored five points. ... Their four-game trip ended. ... Both teams wore T-shirts honouring Martin Luther King Jr. during warmups. Clippers: Their bench outscored the Pacers' reserves, 65-14. ... It was their fourth straight game with at least 15 3-pointers made, tying the longest such streak in franchise history. ... Williams missed his second straight game with a left hip injury. ... Serge Ibaka was out for non-COVID-19 reasons. UP NEXT Pacers: Host Dallas on Wednesday. Clippers: Host Sacramento on Wednesday. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Beth Harris, The Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Zion Williamson had 31 points and six rebounds, Steven Adams made two free throws with 17.9 seconds left, and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame a 43-point performance by Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox to beat the Kings 128-123 on Sunday night. Brandon Ingram scored 22 points, Eric Bledsoe added 21 and Adams had 12 points and 15 rebounds to help the Pelicans end a five-game losing streak. The Kings have lost eight of 10. Limited to 14 points in a 38-point loss to the Los Angeles Clippers two nights earlier, Fox had a career-high point total and 13 assists. Marvin Bagley added 26 points and 10 rebounds. KNICKS 105, CELTICS 75 BOSTON (AP) — Julius Randle had 20 points with 12 rebounds, and RJ Barrett added 19 points and 11 rebounds and New York beat Boston to end a five-game losing streak. Jaylen Brown scored 25 points for Boston. The Celtics had the best record in the Eastern Conference after winning five in a row but suffered their biggest blowout and lowest-scoring output of the season. All-Star Kemba Walker made his season debut after missing the first 11 games with a left knee injury but left in the third quarter with a rib injury. Fellow Celtics All-Star Jayson Tatum missed his second straight game because of COVID-19. JAZZ 109, NUGGETS 105 DENVER (AP) — Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points, Donovan Mitchell added 18 and Utah beat Denver in a rematch of their first-round playoff series last season that the Nuggets won in seven games. Rudy Gobert had 15 points and 13 rebounds in a game in which Mitchell struggled with his shot, going 7 of 20 from the field. But Mitchell hit a clutch fadeaway with 1:01 remaining, and had seven assists to help the Jazz win their fifth straight. Nikola Jokic had 35 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists for Denver. Jamal Murray added 30 points. BULLS 117, MAVERICKS 101 DALLAS (AP) — Lauri Markkanen had 29 points and 10 rebounds, and Garrett Temple scored 15 of his season-high 21 points in the second quarter to help Chicago end a four-game losing streak. Dallas star Luka Doncic passed Michael Jordan on the career list with his 29th triple-double, finishing with 36 points, 16 rebounds and 15 assists, including a behind-the-back pass to Willie Cauley-Stein for a dunk. Doncic is tied with Grant Hill for 15th place. The Slovenian sensation, who had 30 points at halftime, didn’t get nearly enough help with the Mavericks missing five rotation players because of COVID-19 protocols and guard Tim Hardaway Jr. with a left groin strain. The Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Zion Williamson had 31 points and six rebounds, Steven Adams made a pair of clutch free throws with 17.9 seconds remaining, and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame a 43-point performance by Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox and beat the Kings 128-123 Sunday night. Brandon Ingram scored 22 points, Eric Bledsoe added 21 and Adams had 12 points and 15 rebounds to help the Pelicans end a five-game losing streak. Fox, who was limited to 14 points in a 38-point loss to the Clippers two nights earlier, had a career-high point total and 13 assists for the Kings, who have lost eight of 10. New Orleans led by 19 points in the first half before the Kings made a late run. Marvin Bagley made a 3-pointer and Fox followed with a one-handed dunk that cut the deficit to 116-115. Adams and Williamson made two free throws apiece for the Pelicans and Bledsoe scored in the paint to make it 122-115. After the Kings scored on back-to-back trips down the court, Adams made two more free throws and JJ Reddick added two more, helping the Pelicans hang on. Williamson fell one point shy of his season-high for scoring. The Pelicans' big man made 13 of 15 attempts and spent much of the fourth quarter on the bench in foul trouble. Bagley finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Williamson made eight of nine shots and had 18 points in the first half, including a pair of emphatic dunks. Ingram added 16 first-half points and scored six of the Pelicans’ final eight in the second quarter to put New Orleans up 67-58. TIP-INS Pelicans: New Orleans was hit with a delay of game call coming out of halftime. … JJ Redick made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the first quarter. … Ingram went down hard while defending just before halftime. Ingram remained on his back for a few moments, and then got to his feet went to the locker room. He returned for the second half. … Lonzo Ball (knee) sat out a third consecutive game. Kings: Sacramento had as many assists (10) as it did rebounds in the first half. … The Kings closed the third quarter on an 18-4 run. … Buddy Hield has made at least one 3-pointer in 80 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NBA. UP NEXT Pelicans: Head to Utah for back-to-back games against the Jazz on Tuesday and Thursday. Kings: Visit the Clippers on Wednesday. Los Angeles gave Sacramento its most lopsided loss of the season, 138-100, on Jan. 15. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Michael Wagaman, The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS — Tom Brady's best game in three tries against New Orleans kept the Buccaneers moving on in the NFL playoffs, and has Saints quarterback Drew Brees headed home — perhaps for good. Brady and the Bucs' offence turned three of four Saints turnovers into touchdowns and Tampa Bay beat New Orleans 30-20 in the divisional round of the playoffs Sunday night. Two of those touchdowns came on short passes to Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette. And after linebacker Devin White snagged the second of thee interceptions thrown by Brees, Brady drove the Bucs to the 1, from where he scored himself with 4:57 left to virtually ensure his 14th trip to a conference championship game — his first in the NFC. That game will take place in Green Bay next week, where the 43-year-old Brady will try to advance to his 10th Super Bowl in a showdown with Packers All-Pro QB Aaron Rodgers. “We worked hard to get to this point. Two road playoff wins is pretty sweet,” Brady said. “We’ve got to go beat a great football team we know pretty well. Aaron’s playing incredible.” Meanwhile, the Brees era in New Orleans could be over after 15 seasons. While just 3,750 tickets were distributed in the 73,000-seat Superdome to comply with local COVID-19 restrictions, the fans made themselves heard with an eruption of cheers when the 42-year-old Brees first took the field for New Orleans (13-5), seemingly sensing this could be their last chance to see him play at home. Brees, under contract for one more year, declined to say whether he's retiring. After he'd changed in the locker room, he walked back onto the field and watched his four children play, at one point sharing a long embrace with his wife, Brittany. “I appreciate all that this game has given to me,” Brees said. “There are obviously so many incredible memories." If it was his last game, it won't be one he'll want to remember. The NFL's all-time leader in completions and yards passing was 19 of 34 for 134 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. “A couple of them I probably shouldn't have thrown and maybe forced it,” Brees said. “That's what this game came down to is those turnovers because all of those gave them the ball deep in our territory, and you can't do that with (Tampa Bay's) offence. They're too good and they're going to capitalize on that, which they did.” Brady finished 18 of 33 for 199 yards in what often resembled more of a defensive struggle. Unlike his previous two meetings with the Saints — both losses — he was not intercepted and largely avoided pressure, taking only one sack. “Really just locking in and playing a lot better than we did the first two times we played them,” he said. "We had a bunch of turnovers last time. This time they turned it over and that’s usually the story of football games.” After Brees' third interception on a tipped pass late in the fourth quarter, the Bucs were able to close out the game with Brady, in his first season with Tampa Bay (13-5) after 20 with New England, taking a knee. “Obviously they beat us twice in the regular season,” Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith said. "We came around in Round 3 with the knockout. “We've been building. You got to get hot at the right time.” THEIVING BUCCANEERS The Saints led 6-3 when Brees, while trying to flee pressure, underthrew Michael Thomas and was intercepted by Sean Murphy-Bunting, who raced 36 yards along the sideline to the Saints 3. Brady hit Evans one play later to put the Buccaneers up 10-6. Brees’ 16-yard pass to Tre-Quan Smith put the Saints ahead 20-13, and New Orleans appeared primed to build on that lead when Brees found Jared Cook across the 50. But Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr. stripped Cook from behind and White snagged the loose ball, returning it 18 yards to the New Orleans 40. “It wasn’t nothing Brees did. It was everything our defence did,” White said. “Our mindset the whole week was they won the first two rounds, we had to win round three.” Five plays later, Brady hit Fournette over the middle for a 6-yard score. Ryan Succop’s 36-yard field goal made it 23-20 before White’s interception of a pass intended for Alvin Kamara gave the Buccaneers the ball at the New Orleans 20, setting up Tampa Bay's final TD. WINSTON'S MOMENT Jameis Winston, forced out of Tampa Bay when Brady became available, threw a 56-yard touchdown pass against his old team on a trick play. Kamara took a direct snap and gave the ball to receiver Emmanuel Sanders on a reverse before Sanders lateraled back to Winston. The reserve QB launched an accurate pass down the middle to an open Smith. STATS Fournette finished with 107 yards from scrimmage, 63 on the ground. He had 40 yards in one drive that set up a field goal that tied it at 13 as time expired in the first half. Kamara had 105 yards from scrimmage, with 85 on the ground. Thomas was held without a catch in his final game of an injury-plagued season. INJURIES Buccaneers: Linebacker Jack Cichy went out with an elbow injury in the first quarter. Saints: Deonte Harris, who returned the first Tampa Bay punt 54 yards to set up a field goal, left with a neck injury in the first half. UP NEXT The Bucs will try to advance to the second Super Bowl in franchise history with Brady, no stranger to high-stakes games in cold weather after his two decades in New England. New Orleans might have to ponder life without Brees. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Brett Martel, The Associated Press
Nobody has repeated as Super Bowl champion since the New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004. And those back-to-back titles weren't just down to talent and coaching.
Minty Bets is joined by the Director of Trading for MGM Resorts, Jeff Stoneback, to discuss the top winners and losers from NFL Divisional Weekend.
COSTA MESA, Calif. — The Los Angeles Chargers have hired Los Angeles Rams defensive co-ordinator Brandon Staley as the team's head coach. The Chargers made the decision Sunday after having a second interview with Staley. The interview was held a day after the Rams were eliminated from the playoffs with a 32-18 loss to the Green Bay Packers. “It’s not just that Brandon possesses a tremendous football mind that makes him the ideal head coach to lead our team forward,” general manager Tom Telesco said in a statement. “It’s that he excels in the ability to effectively tailor, apply and communicate his concepts to players. "It’s clear that Brandon will not be outworked. He’s the football equivalent of a gym rat, and that has earned him the universal respect of the players he has coached throughout his journey.” The 38-year old Staley was in demand with interviews also scheduled with the Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles. He also had an interview with the New York Jets before they hired Robert Saleh last Thursday. Staley, who will be formally introduced Thursday, replaces Anthony Lynn, who was fired on Jan. 4 after going 7-9 this past season. Lynn had a 33-31 mark in four seasons and led the Chargers to the divisional round of the playoffs in 2018. The Los Angeles opening was widely considered the most attractive of the seven this off-season with plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Justin Herbert is considered the favourite for AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. “It’s hard to put into words just how excited I am for the opportunity,” Staley said in a statement. “While this is certainly a dream come true, it’s also a dream that’s just beginning. There’s a reason this was probably the most sought after job out there — from ownership, to the fans, to the city, to the men in that locker room — it’s the total package." Staley has been an NFL assistant for only four years. He joined the Rams this past season after being a linebackers coach with the Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos. His impact on the Rams was immediate as he coached a unit that led the league in points and yards allowed. He is the third assistant under Rams coach Sean McVay to get an NFL head coaching job, joining Green Bay's Matt LaFleur and Cincinnati's Zac Taylor. Staley was one of six candidates to interview with Los Angeles. Buffalo offensive co-ordinator Brian Daboll, whose team will play at Kansas City in the AFC championship game next Sunday, was considered the front-runner until Staley's second interview. The Chargers also interviewed offensive co-ordinators Eric Bieniemy (Kansas City), Jason Garrett (New York Giants) and Joe Brady (Carolina) as well as Indianapolis defensive co-ordinator Matt Eberflus. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve known Brandon for five minutes or five years," president of football operations John Spanos said in a statement. "What quickly becomes apparent is the amount of energy and passion he approaches each and every moment with. The consistency of that enthusiasm is unique and, most importantly, it drives his ability to connect with people. "His coaching journey to this particular moment is inspiring; if not for the sheer perseverance and determination of it all, then certainly for the dramatic results it has produced for the teams and players he has coached." ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Joe Reedy, The Associated Press
Drew Brees might be retiring, and Tom Brady came back to the Superdome field to find him.