DETROIT (AP) - The Chicago Bears held on against Detroit - before their playoff hopes faded away for good. Chicago needed a win over the Lions and a loss by Minnesota on Sunday to make the postseason. The Bears took care of their end, beating Detroit 26-24, but the Vikings edged the Packers 37-34 to earn a wild card. Chicago (10-6) became only the second team since the playoffs expanded to 12 teams to miss out after a 7-1 start, according to STATS, LLC. The other was Washington in 1996. The Lions (4-12) lost their last eight games and turned the ball over four times in the finale. Calvin Johnson fell short in his attempt to become the first player with 2,000 yards receiving in a season. Meanwhile, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has set an NFL single-season record for pass attempts. Stafford threw his 692nd pass in the first quarter against Chicago on Sunday, completing a 5-yarder to tight end Brandon Pettigrew. He surpasses the mark of 691 set by Drew Bledsoe of New England in 1994. With star receiver Calvin Johnson having a record-setting season of his own - and with no consistent running game to balance the offense - Detroit has relied heavily on Stafford. Johnson broke Jerry Rice's single-season mark for yards receiving last weekend.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Tayshaun Prince made two free throws with 10.9 seconds left to give Detroit a 96-94 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night after the Pistons blew a 14-point lead. Prince scored 20 points, and Greg Monroe added 14 points and 10 rebounds for Detroit, which had five players in double figures. Charlie Villanueva and Brandon Knight added 11 points apiece, and Jason Maxiell scored 10 for the Pistons. Monta Ellis had 30 points and nine assists, and Erson Ilyasova scored 24 points for the Bucks. Ellis hit a fallaway baseline jumper with 1:06 left, after almost losing the ball out of bounds, to give the Bucks their first lead, 94-92. But Prince's hook shot tied the score with 50.5 seconds remaining. Ellis missed a jumper with 31.9 seconds to go and Maxiell got the rebound. Following a timeout, Luc Mbah a Moute fouled Prince, who stepped to the line and made both free throws. Tuesday, January 1 the Pistons host the Sacramento Kings at The Palace with tip off at 7:30 p.m.
DETROIT (AP) - Michigan goalie Adam Janecyk made 35 saves and Michigan came from behind to beat Michigan State 5-2 Sunday in the consolation game at the Great Lakes Invitational. Janecyk gave up two first-period goals then shut the seventh-ranked Spartans (5-11-3) down the rest of the way. He stopped 24 shots in the final two periods. Lee Moffie gave Michigan (7-10-2) a 1-0 lead, but Tanner Sorenson and Matt Berry put Michigan State on top 2-1 after one period. The Wolverines scored three goals in the first nine minutes of the period and added an empty-netter at 18:06. Jake Hildebrand made 31 saves for Michigan State.
TEMPE, AZ -- Michigan State finished one game over .500 after winning its final game by one point. It was an appropriate ending to a season full of close victories and excruciating defeats. The Spartans played nine games decided by four points or fewer, including their first seven in Big Ten play. They ended on a high note Saturday night with a 17-16 win over TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, but the offseason will bring plenty of questions for a team that just a few months ago was hoping to make a run at a conference title. Michigan State needed to replace quarterback Kirk Cousins in 2012. Andrew Maxwell became the starter, but in the bowl he split time with Connor Cook.
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Ex-Michigan State football defensive standout Reggie Garnett has died of complications from diabetes. He was 38. Michigan State says Garnett died Tuesday. He'd been living in Dearborn. Spartans coach Mark Dantonio says Garnett was "a tremendous player and a true Spartan" who stayed close to the team after finishing school. Garnett was a linebacker and four-year starter at Michigan State during George Perles coaching era. He was Big Ten freshman of the year in 1993 and led the team in tackles in 1995 with 111.
DETROIT (AP) - Record-setting wide receiver Calvin Johnson is Detroit's only representative on the Pro Bowl roster, although quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh were announced as alternates Wednesday. Johnson broke Jerry Rice's single-season yards receiving record and has 1,892 with a game left. He's been one of few bright spots for the Lions, who are 4-11 heading into Sunday's finale against Chicago. Stafford has thrown for 4,695 yards, but with only 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Suh has seven sacks.
ATLANTA (AP) - Josh Smith scored 31 points, Al Horford added 22 and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Detroit Pistons 126-119 in double overtime on Wednesday night. The Hawks blew a 22-point, fourth-quarter lead as Detroit reserves Will Bynum and Charlie Villanueva scored a combined 26 points in the final period of regulation. Atlanta has won two straight and eight of 12. Detroit has lost seven of nine. Bynum finished with 31 points, one less than his career high, and assisted on the last two baskets of regulation, when Andre Drummond's dunk cut the lead to two and Austin Daye's 3-pointer gave the Pistons a 101-100 lead with 4 seconds remaining.
DETROIT (AP) - Ryan Radcliff threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Cody Wilson with 5:11 remaining to give Central Michigan the lead, and Western Kentucky was stopped on fourth down when a field goal would have tied the game in the final minute, giving the Chippewas a 24-21 win in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Wednesday night. Lance Guidry, coaching the Hilltoppers on an interim basis before Bobby Petrino takes over, decided to play for the win on fourth-and-2 from the 19 with 51 seconds left, but Kawaun Jakes threw incomplete. Western Kentucky (7-6) fell just short in its first bowl since joining college football's top tier in 2009. Avery Cunningham blocked a punt for Central Michigan (7-6) to give the Chippewas a short field before Wilson's TD.
(ANN ARBOR) -- Tim Hardaway Jr. had 17 points and a career-high seven assists to help No. 2 Michigan rout Eastern Michigan 93-54 Thursday night. The Wolverines (12-0) are off to their best start since winning the first 16 games of the 1985-86 season. The Eagles (6-4) have lost two straight since beating Purdue. Michigan trailed 6-2 in the opening minutes, then took control with a 20-0 run. The Wolverines led 40-24 at halftime and enjoyed an even bigger cushion for much of the second half. Michigan's Trey Burke had 11 points and eight assists. Nik Stauskas made three 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 16 points, while fellow freshmen Mitch McGary had 10 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double and Glenn Robinson III added 13 points for the Wolverines. The Wolverines are idle until Saturday Dec. 29 when they host Central Michigan at 7 p.m.
Also in men's college hoops, the Michigan State Spartans host Texas Saturday with tip off at 2 p.m.
(TORONTO) -- DeMar DeRozan had 23 points, Alan Anderson scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and the Toronto Raptors beat the Detroit Pistons 97-91 Wednesday night, extending their winning streak to four games. Greg Monroe scored a career-high 35 points and Rodney Stuckey had 13 for the Pistons, who lost their sixth straight and dropped to 2-13 on the road. The Pistons host the Washington Wizards Friday night with tip off at 7:30 p.m. and the Wizards will return the favor and host the Pistons Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.