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Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond
Bengals clinch playoff spot with 37-28 win over Broncos

Dre Kirkpatrick returned Peyton Manning's third interception for a touchdown in the closing minutes on Monday night, completing a fourth-quarter rally that gave the Cincinnati Bengals a 37-28 victory and a spot in the playoffs.

Kirkpatrick's 30-yard return with 2:41 left capped a game of big plays — long runs, big kick returns and two interceptions run back for scores. Kirkpatrick picked off Manning again with 67 seconds left to clinch it.

The Bengals (10-4-1) clinched a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive season, a franchise record. They'll play in Pittsburgh next Sunday night, with the winner taking the AFC North title.

Manning rallied the Broncos (11-4) to three touchdowns and a lead in the third quarter, but ended up with a season-high four interceptions. The loss gave home-field advantage to New England throughout the playoffs.

The AFC West champions failed in their attempt to clinch a first-round bye.

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Clippers fall to hot-shooting San Antonio Spurs, 125-118

The San Antonio Spurs snapped their four-game losing streak with a 125-118 win over the Clippers at AT&T Center on Monday.

The Spurs shot an incredible 75% from the field over the first half and led by as many as 17 points. But the Clippers came back to tie the game, 102-102, with 6 minutes and 17 seconds left in the fourth quarter after Jamal Crawford made a jumper.

The Spurs then went on a 7-0 run to take an eight-point lead with 4:51 left.

The Clippers cut it to a two possession game with 34.4 seconds left at, 121-116, after Chris Paul made three free throws. Boris Diaw then missed two free throws with 27.5 seconds left. Matt Barnes responded by making a jumper with 21.3 seconds left to cut the Clippers' deficit to three, 121-118.

Manu Ginobli then made one of two free throws to give the Spurs a four-point lead with 20.3 seconds remaining. Paul then missed two three-point attempts in the final seconds. Danny Green made two free throws, and Tim Duncan hit one to close the game.


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Huge brawl breaks out after Memphis beats BYU in Miami Beach Bowl
Memphis tops BYU, 55-48, in Miami Beach Bowl marred by brawl

They battled for 60 minutes, then again for two overtimes and literally fought after the final play.

And for Memphis, the result was a win 76 years in the making.

Paxton Lynch threw four touchdown passes and rushed for three more scores, Jake Elliott kicked a 54-yard field goal to end the first extra session and Memphis wasted a pair of double-digit leads before rallying to beat Brigham Young, 55-48, in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl on Monday.

"It wasn't always pretty," Memphis Coach Justin Fuente said.

No, but it was memorable — largely for the right reasons, though also for a scene that got out of hand at the end.

Roderick Proctor caught an 11-yard pass from Lynch to put Memphis up in the second overtime, and from there things just got worse for BYU.

After DaShaughn Terry sealed the win by picking off a pass from BYU quarterback Christian Stewart in the second overtime, tensions and emotions took over. Dozens of people from both sidelines spilled toward the middle of the field, many...

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Todd McLellan once had 'tremendous roommate' in Ducks' Bruce Boudreau

Everybody in the NHL seems to have crossed paths with almost everybody else at some point, whether in youth hockey, juniors, college or the minor leagues. But San Jose Coach Todd McLellan and Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau, who will be on opposing benches Monday night when the Sharks face the Ducks at the Honda Center, know each other especially well: They were roommates while playing for the Springfield (Mass.) Indians of the American Hockey League from 1987-89.

McLellan, who had a brief minor-league career, had nothing but praise for Boudreau, who was a legendary scorer in the minor leagues. McLellan said that Boudreau, who is more than 12 years older, became a mentor and older brother to him, a kindness McLellan has never forgotten.

“Bruce was a tremendous roommate. His family at that time took a lot of us younger players under their wings—not just Gabby’s but his family,” McLellan said, adding that the Boudreau family would invite young players to dinners.

“I learned a lot about...

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Kings' Anze Kopitar named NHL's top star of the week

It was probably best not to remind Anze Kopitar about what happened to the most recent Kings player to be named the NHL’s No. 1 star.

Kings forward Jeff Carter was the league’s No. 1 star for the week ending Oct. 27 and then went into a prolonged slump, scoring two goals in about the next month and a half.

But Kopitar already toiled through his own tough slump this season. He was named the league’s first star of the week on Monday -- on the basis of his nine-point performance in the last three games. The second and third stars, respectively, were Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek and Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

“I just try to ride the wave as long as you can,” said Kopitar, who had a career-high five points on Thursday against St. Louis. “Pretty much play like I normally play and obviously the last couple of games, things have been going well. The bounces have come and just got to build on it.”

Kopitar was talking after Monday’s morning skate, a few hours...

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