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ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz says he should have kept his thoughts to himself instead of shouting at booing fans. Schwartz reluctantly acknowledged Monday he did say something to the crowd during the final seconds of the fourth quarter of Sunday's 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Giants. The previous day at his postgame news conference, Schwartz insisted he wasn't responding to the fans who voiced their displeasure with the decision to play for overtime. The Lions eliminated themselves from the NFC North title race by losing five of their last six games. Schwartz says it was tough to see Green Bay and Chicago lose on Sunday because those setbacks would have given the Lions a chance to win the division this week at Minnesota.

DETROIT (AP) - Evgeni Nabokov made 23 saves for his 56th career shutout in the New York Islanders' 3-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night. Kyle Okposo, Michael Grabner, Casey Cizikas scored for New York. The Islanders have only won three of their past 17 (3-10-4). Petr Mrazek stopped 16 shots for Detroit. Okposo opened the scoring with 9:03 left in the first when he put a cross-crease pass into the empty-side of the net off the rush for his 12th goal. Grabner got his fifth goal, with 4:53 remaining in the opening period, when his shot from the left circle deflected off the stick of Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith. Cizikas made it 3-0, with 3:05 left in the first period, when he put in a one-time shot from in front of the net. It was Cizikas' fourth goal.

CLEVELAND (AP) - Josh Smith scored 25 points, Brandon Jennings added 21 and the Detroit Pistons continued their success on the road with a 115-92 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night. The Pistons have won seven of their last eight away from home, including victories against defending NBA champion Miami and Indiana, which has the best record in the Eastern Conference. Jennings also had 13 assists for Detroit, which went ahead for good midway through the first quarter and built a 21-point lead late in the first half. The margin reached 28 points in the fourth quarter as the Pistons rolled to their biggest win of the season. Kyrie Irving scored 21 points for Cleveland, which last lost four of five.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013 11:53

First-round byes at stake in AFC

UNDATED (AP)- The playoff picture in the AFC is a little clearer, with all four division titles clinched. But those all-important first-round byes are still at stake. New England has clinched the AFC East but will earn home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with a win and a Denver loss. The Broncos already have clinched the AFC West and a first-round bye and will earn home-field throughout the playoffs with a win against Oakland. Cincinnati has wrapped up the AFC North but clinches a first-round bye with a win against Baltimore and a New England loss. Indianapolis is AFC South champion. But the Colts clinch a first-round bye with a win over Jacksonville, a New England loss and a Cincinnati loss or tie. Kansas City has clinched a playoff spot. San Diego, Baltimore and Pittsburgh are alive for wild cards but need help.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013 11:53

All four NFC divisions up for grabs

UNDATED (AP) - Thanks to San Francisco's come-from-behind 34-24 victory over Atlanta last night in the finale at Candlestick Park, all four NFC division titles will be at stake Sunday in the NFL regular-season finale. The Niners' victory prevented Seattle from clinching the NFC West. The Seahawks lead the Niners by one game. Seattle finishes at home against Seattle. The Niners visit Arizona, which is also in the NFC wild card hunt, on Sunday. The NFC North title is a winner-take-all event when Green Bay visits Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears. Both teams are coming off losses in Week 16. Carolina has clinched its first playoff berth in five years. But the Panthers can win the NFC North with either a victory over Atlanta or a New Orleans loss against Tampa Bay. The NFC East title will go to the winner of Sunday night's Philadelphia-Dallas matchup.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco police say 30 people were arrested during the 49ers' final regular season game at Candlestick Park. Police did not say what the arrests were for during last night's game, when the 49ers clinched a playoff spot after beating the Atlanta Falcons 34-24. The San Francisco Chronicle reported at least some were arrested on suspicion of stealing seats from the stadium. In addition to the arrests, police said 81 people were ejected and seven people were cited. The Niners are moving to a new $1.2 billion stadium in Santa Clara next season.

Monday, Dec. 23 
Yale 61, Sandusky 33 (Austin Gentner led Yale with 17. Yale is 4-0)

Friday, Dec. 27
Harry Moore Classic at Lapeer West
North Branch vs. Brown City
Lapeer West vs. Capac

Other Games
Ubly at North Huron
Vassar at Millington
Memphis at Luthern North Winter Classic
Marine City at Yale

Saturday, Dec. 28
Harry Moore Classic Finals at Lapeer West

Other Games
Peck at Richmond

Monday, Dec. 30
Marlette vs. Kingston at the Palace

Monday. Dec. 23
Sandusky 57, Yale 30 (Miara Okie and Brooke Krueger each had 14, Alyssa Webb had 12. Sandusky is 7-0)

Friday, Dec. 27
(Harry Moore Tournament) at Capac
Lapeer West vs. Capac
Brown City vs. North Branch

Saturday, Dec. 28
(Harry Moore Finals) Capac

Other games
Peck at Richmond
North Branch at Yale

DETROIT (AP) - Josh Brown's 45-yard field goal on the third drive of overtime lifted the New York Giants to a 23-20 win over Detroit on Sunday and eliminated the Lions from postseason contention. Detroit (7-8) lost for the fifth time in six games. Embattled Lions coach Jim Schwartz chose to play for overtime by running out the clock with 23 seconds and two timeouts left from the Detroit 25. When the crowd reacted with a chorus of boos, Schwartz turned his head toward the stands and appeared to angrily shout back at the fans. The Giants (6-9) overcame Eli Manning's interception late in regulation and Andre Brown's fumble on the opening possession in overtime to win for just the second time in five games.

DETROIT (AP) - Daniel Alfredsson scored two goals, including a power-play score at 1:03 of overtime and the Detroit Red Wings earned a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night. The win snapped Detroit's six-game winless streak (0-4-2) and five-game home losing streak. Alfredsson added an assist and Joakim Andersson also scored for Detroit. Pavel Datsyuk had three assists, Niklas Kronwall two assists Jonas Gustavsson made 20 saves. Mikael Backlund and Mark Giordano scored for Calgary. Mike Cammalleri had two assists and Karri Ramo stopped 35 shots. Alfredsson's winner came on a one-time slap shot from the inside edge of the left circle for his ninth goal. He also got his 700th assist earlier in the game. Saturday the Red Wings will visit the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7 p.m. Monday they host the New York Islanders at the Joe at 7:30 p.m.

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