Here’s a look at the big sports stories making news today, Monday, Nov. 17.
Week 11 of the NFL schedule also featured a pair of key NFC matchups, one of which was a blowout in Green Bay.
The Packers raced out to a 30-6 lead in a 53-20 laugher over the Philadelphia Eagles. Aaron Rodgers passed for 341 yards and three touchdowns, and Julius Peppers returned his second interception of the season for a score. Peppers finished off the Eagles by returning Mark Sanchez’s pass 52 yards for a 39-6 lead in the third quarter. Micah Hyde scored on a 75-yard punt return as the Packers improved to 7-3. The Eagles are also 7-3.
The other marquee game was in Arizona. The Cardinals are 9-1 for the first time since 1948 after Drew Stanton threw touchdown passes to Michael Floyd on Arizona’s first two possessions in a 14-6 win over Detroit. The Cardinals became the first team to hold the high-octane Lions without a touchdown this season. The defense also toughened up following Stanton’s two interceptions, allowing the Cards to pick up their sixth straight win and keep their three-game lead in the NFC West. Detroit fell to 7-3 and into a virtual first-place tie in the NFC North.
Also in the NFL:
SEASON FINALE IN FLORIDA
Kevin Harvick is NASCAR’s reigning champion.
The new Sprint Cup format has given Harvick his long sought-after first title, capping a magical first season at Stewart-Haas Racing with a victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Harvick had to win last week at Phoenix just to advance into the final four. He had a decent car early at Homestead but seemed to fade behind Denny Hamlin when the sun went down. A debris caution with 20 laps remaining forced the four championship contenders to make tough strategy decisions that ultimately decided their fate. Harvick restarted 12th with 15 laps to go but was helped out by a series of cautions that allowed him to nose out Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano for the championship.
Florida has decided to dismiss head football coach Will Muschamp, who’s in his fourth season at the post. Muschamp will stick around for the final two regular-season games against Eastern Kentucky and Florida State. He is 27-20, including 17-15 in conference play.
His departure was announced a day after the Gators lost in overtime to South Carolina.
ROCKETS GET UGLY WIN
The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder combined to take 148 shots on Sunday. They missed on 105 of those attempts.
Both clubs shot 29 percent as the Rockets beat the Thunder 69-65. According to basketball-reference.com, it was the fewest points for a winning team in a regular-season NBA game since Detroit beat Utah 64-62 in March 2005.
James Harden scored a team-high 19 points on just 5 of 17 shooting. Harden also was 2-for-9 from 3-point range, while the Rockets went 7-for-35 from beyond the arc.
Reggie Jackson led the Thunder with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
In other NBA finals:
HABS STRETCH WIN STREAK TO 6
The Montreal Canadiens lead the entire NHL with 29 points after running their winning streak to six games.
Brendan Gallagher, P.K. Subban and Tomas Plekanec each had a goal and an assist as the Canadiens topped the Red Wings 4-1 in Detroit. Neither team scored until Brandon Prust and Subban beat Jimmy Howard five minutes apart early in the second period.
Dustin Tokarski turned back 28 shots and was perfect until Riley Sheahan scored a power-play goal in the third period.
The Habs are 14-4-1 and three points ahead of Tampa Bay and Anaheim in the overall standings.
Also in the NHL:
WILDCATS RALLY TO BEAT BUFFALO
Top-ranked Kentucky was in action as part of Sunday’s busy men’s basketball schedule.
The Wildcats trailed 38-33 at intermission before Trey Lyles opened the second half with five straight points in a 71-52 victory over Buffalo. The freshman forward finished with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting as the Wildcats pulled away. Tyler Ulis scored 12 points on four 3-pointers for the 2-0 ‘Cats.
Elsewhere in top-25 action:
KIM GETS THE WIN
Christina Kim won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational for her first LPGA Tour title in nine years, beating China’s Shanshan Feng in a playoff after blowing a five-stroke lead. Kim won with a par on the par-4 18th on the second extra hole. The 30-year-old American won for the first time since the Tournament of Champions in November 2005. She also won the 2004 Longs Drug Challenge.