No fan issues for Caps’ Smith-Pelley in Chicago

Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly played his first game in Chicago on Sunday since he was the target of racial taunts last February. – NHL

Early look at Super Bowl LIII: Picks, questions and more for Patriots-Rams

The Patriots and Rams will go head-to-head for a title in two weeks. We have predictions, X factors, looming questions and more. – TOP

Brady exults, says Pats overcame stacked odds

Tom Brady, despite his long list of once-in-a-generation accolades, had the look of a kid in a candy store after Sunday’s AFC title game win. Afterward, he attributed his emotions to the adversity New England conquered this season. – NFL

How does it feel to beat the Warriors? The Lakers are trying to hold on to it

The Lakers and Warriors will meet for the second time Monday night, but L.A. is focused on the lessons learned from its Christmas Day win in Oakland. – NBA

Conference championship predictions and what you need to know

Winners and projections for every playoff game, plus key matchups, betting nuggets and more. Catch up on the conference championship matchups here. – NFL

Harden hits 48, but Gordon plays hero for Rockets

Eric Gordon scored 16 of his 30 points in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime of Houston’s 138-134 comeback win Saturday night over the Los Angeles Lakers. – NBA

NHL trade deadline preview: What to watch for all 31 teams

The NHL trade season is underway. Get caught up on the assets, restrictions and potential moves for every team ahead of the Feb. 25 deadline. – NHL

Cejudo stops Dillashaw in 32 seconds, keeps title

Flyweight champ Henry Cejudo needed only 32 seconds to beat TJ Dillashaw on Saturday night, tied for the fifth-fastest KO or TKO in UFC title-fight history. – TOP

No one ever said it was going to be easy, but it’s the Lakers

Luke Walton is fighting to keep the Lakers afloat while LeBron James recovers. So what are the expectations of a team building toward contention? – NBA

Ranking the best possible Stanley Cup Final matchups

Which pairings would be most entertaining? Plus, fallout from the 2020 World Cup cancellation, the Week in Gritty, Jersey Fouls and more. – NHL

Cousins on debut: ‘Felt like a kid on Christmas’

DeMarcus Cousins scored 14 points, including a thunderous dunk in the first quarter, in Friday’s win over the Clippers. Afterward, he called it “one of the best days of my life.” – TOP

Barnwell: Myths vs. realities from Patriots’ 18-year dynasty

Tom Brady can’t be touched. Gronk has lost a step. Let’s fact-check all the theories about New England and figure out what’s nonsense. – NFL

Wrong shorts briefly keeps Beasley out of game

With his team trailing big in the first quarter and looking for a spark, Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton signaled for scoring savant Michael Beasley to come in off the bench, but Beasley had to make a detour before entering. – NBA

Roundtable: Our picks for the Stanley Cup Final

We update our picks on who will be vying for the Cup. Plus, non-goalie MVPs and fatal flaws for Nashville, Winnipeg, Toronto and Tampa Bay. – NHL

Sources: Angels reach deal for Allen to be closer

The Los Angeles Angels have reached an agreement with relief pitcher Cody Allen on a one-year deal to be their closer next season, league sources told ESPN. – TOP

Picking offseason priorities for NFL teams drafting in the top 10

What should Kliff Kingsbury focus on first this offseason? We helped out the new Cardinals coach and the rest of the league’s worst teams. – NFL

Patrick Mahomes inherited clutch gene from his major league dad

Can the Chiefs quarterback remain composed as the postseason stages get bigger? His family history might give him a distinct advantage. – NFL

DeMarcus Cousins: ‘I’m back, and I’m not looking back’

In advance of his Warriors debut, the four-time All-Star sat down with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols to discuss his injury, his tumultuous career and the talent overload in Oakland. – NBA

How David Rittich saved the Flames’ season

Having a consistently reliable backup goalie has never been more important in the NHL, and “Big Save Dave” has proven that for Calgary. – NHL

Apologetic Kyrie sought advice from LeBron

In the wake of his pointed criticism of the Celtics’ young players, Kyrie Irving said Wednesday that he called LeBron James to apologize for how he behaved as a young teammate in Cleveland and for not “seeing the big picture.” – TOP

Brandon Pirri’s journey from camp cut to fan favorite

After failing to make the Panthers’ roster in 2017, the veteran has become an electrifying goal-scoring force for the Golden Knights this season. – NHL

LeBron (groin) out at least the next 2 games

LeBron James (groin) will miss at least the next two tilts for the Lakers, as he will not travel with the team on its upcoming two-game trip, his agent told ESPN. – TOP

The best and worst free-agent signings of 2018

Where would the Saints be if Drew Brees had tested the free-agent market instead of re-signing? Here are the deals that exceeded or fell short of expectations. – NFL

Warriors’ 51-point 1st quarter sets NBA record

The Warriors scored a league-record 51 points in the first quarter against the Nuggets on Tuesday in Denver. Kevin Durant led the charge with 17 points. – NBA

Harden pours in 57, including 36 before halftime

James Harden set a team record with 36 first-half points to help the short-handed Rockets take a 54-48 lead on the visiting Grizzlies en route to a 112-94 home win. – NBA

What is the best line in the NHL right now?

One line doesn’t make a Stanley Cup champion — but it certainly doesn’t hurt. We debate the top trios around the league. – NHL

Duke scrambles to adjust after Tre Jones injury

The Blue Devils likely will be in survival mode for the foreseeable future after their star point guard was hurt early in an overtime loss to Syracuse. – TOP

Kyler Murray declares for the NFL draft: Everything you need to know

Murray has declared for the NFL draft. Can he still play baseball? What are the key dates to pay attention to? Here’s what you need to know. – NFL

The Lakers, like the Cavaliers, are bad without LeBron

These Los Angeles Lakers have wanted to be better than LeBron James’ former team in Cleveland. But one thing is for sure — neither is built to win without King James. – NBA

NHL goalie tandem tiers: The good, the bad and the TBD

Some NHL teams have two great goalies. For some, the backup is outplaying the starter. And then there are the Flyers. Here’s our rundown of all 31 teams. – NHL

Resetting the NFL playoff bracket: Early projections and more

The Super Bowl LIII race is down to the Chiefs, Patriots, Rams and Saints. Here’s everything you need to know about the conference championship games. – TOP

Playoff overreactions and big questions for AFC, NFC title games

Can the Patriots dominate on the road? Should Dallas be searching for a new coach? We have the looming questions facing this weekend’s winners and losers. – NFL

Sources: Sarkisian turns down Cards for Bama

The Arizona Cardinals offered Steve Sarkisian their offensive coordinator position, but he will instead rejoin Alabama’s coaching staff, sources told ESPN’s Dianna Russini. – TOP

High-flying Rams run over Cowboys for first playoff win in McVay era

Sean McVay turned to C.J. Anderson and Todd Gurley to pile up 273 yards on the NFL’s best rushing D. The win proves they’re more than just hype. – NFL

Bench Regulation: Thunder get much-needed help from Schroder, role players

The Oklahoma City Thunder needed a lift after trailing by double digits, and they got it from their non-stars, led by Dennis Schroder. – NBA

Capitals’ Holtby exits after high stick to face

Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby left Saturday night’s game against the Blue Jackets after taking a high stick to the face. – NHL

Dolphins hoping to hire Flores as next coach

The Dolphins concluded their interview process for a new head coach Friday — and the candidate they intend and hope to hire is Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores, ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reports. – NFL

Don’t sleep on Naptown: Pacers a key part of East race

The Pacers might lack the Q rating of the other top teams in the East, but their effectiveness should not be ignored. – NBA

In CBA talks, NHL players shouldn’t budge on long-term contracts

The players want to get rid of escrow, but their negotiations shouldn’t include sacrificing long-term deals and the job security that comes with them. – NHL

Guide to NFL divisional games: Predictions, key matchups, more

Winners and projections for every playoff game, plus critical matchups, betting nuggets and more. – TOP

NHL Power Rankings after Week 14

The Lightning and Leafs maintain the top spots, with big movers elsewhere. Plus, which teams will finish above or below their current pace? – NHL

Aldridge’s 56 highlight Spurs’ offensive fireworks

On a night the Spurs’ 3-point shooting shined, LaMarcus Aldridge managed to be the star of the show, dropping a career-high 56 points in a 154-147 win over OKC. – NBA

Every must-know milestone from Thunder-Spurs

This game had everything a fan could ask for — two overtimes, 301 combined points, a 50-point individual effort and a 20-20 triple-double. – TOP

Pingpong champ? Lawyer? Bartender? Untold stories about Drew Brees

Pingpong. Stunt bartender. Trial lawyer. The Saints’ captain lives to compete, and those closest to him share their best stories for his 40th birthday. – NFL

Alabama’s icy secret: It’s a hockey state, too

Football is king in the Cotton State, but from Huntsville to Birmingham and, yes, Tuscaloosa, there are many puckheads to be found. – NHL

Blake Griffin doesn’t need to be relevant

The former Clipper reflects on his lengthy L.A. career and looks ahead before his return to Staples Center. – NBA

The 2019 Way-Too-Early Top 25

Clemson is the new king, but Alabama will be back, along with Georgia, Ohio State and Notre Dame, while a couple of teams from Texas elbow their way into the top 10. – TOP

The biggest offseason needs for all 32 NFL teams

The Giants and Patriots need long-term quarterback solutions. Seven teams need new coaches. NFL Nation reporters assess every team’s top priority. – NFL

Barnwell: Destroying myths about the eight NFL playoff teams

Nick Foles is magical. The Saints are unbeatable at home. Let’s separate fact from fiction for the remaining playoff teams. – NFL

Step back, Denver: James Harden conducts clinic on Nuggets’ defense

The Nuggets threw every defense at James Harden that they could think of, but the Rockets’ star broke Denver down with crafty passes and big shots. – NBA

NHL awards race: John Gibson’s case for the Vezina and the Hart

Only two goalies have won the Hart Trophy as MVP this millennium. Here’s why the Ducks goalie should be No. 3, plus updates on all the other award races. – NHL

‘He’s gonna be a legend’: Welcome to Trevor Lawrence’s world

Clemson’s freshman QB capped a remarkable season by leading the Tigers to the College Football Playoff title over Alabama. – TOP

Sharks forward Radil gets 1-year extension

The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Lukas Radil to a one-year contract extension through the 2019-20 season. – NHL

NFL playoff bracket reset: First look at divisional round

Eight teams are left in the Super Bowl LIII race. Here’s everything you need to know about the next round of postseason games. – TOP

Bears’ Parkey in disbelief after missing late FG

Bears kicker Cody Parkey took the blame for a 16-15 loss to the Eagles after missing a 43-yard field goal in the final minute Sunday. The ball hit the left upright and bounced off the crossbar. – NFL

Timberwolves fire president and coach Thibodeau

The Minnesota Timberwolves have fired team president and head coach Tom Thibodeau, league sources told ESPN on Sunday. – NBA

Greek Freak went Kareem in Milwaukee, Raptors win anyway

The Toronto Raptors overcame a strong Milwaukee Bucks crowd and one of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s best games. – NBA

Pettersson has ‘slight’ MCL sprain, MRI reveals

Coach Travis Green said the Canucks got “probably as good news as we could have hoped for” when Elias Pettersson’s MRI revealed only a “slight” sprain in the center’s MCL. – NHL

No doubts about Dak: Dallas QB does it his way in wild-card win

Dak Prescott didn’t dominate Seattle, but he made plays when it counted, and coach Jason Garrett knew that “somehow, some way, he was going to figure this thing out for us.” – TOP

Hurns has surgery after ‘significant’ ankle injury

Cowboys receiver Allen Hurns had surgery Saturday night after suffering what coach Jason Garrett called a “significant injury to his lower leg” in the first quarter of Dallas’ wild-card win. – NFL

NHL teams poised for a second-half surge

Which teams currently outside the playoffs have the best chance of making a big run in 2019? We assess each team’s situation. – NHL

Westbrook on win in Portland: ‘It’s a personal thing for me’

The Thunder looked like they were on their way to a ninth straight loss in Portland before their stars powered a second-half turnaround. – TOP

Wild-card predictions, matchups to watch and what you need to know

Winners and projections for every game, plus key matchups, betting nuggets and more. Catch up on wild-card weekend here. – NFL

Dirk scoreless in moving, likely last Boston game

Playing at TD Garden for likely the final time Friday night, Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki went scoreless for the ninth time in his career — despite the Celtics fans in attendance willing his shots to fall. – NBA

NHL Power Rankings after Week 13

The Lightning stay on top, while the Golden Knights and Penguins move up. Plus, what each team should be working on in 2019. – NHL

Curry: ‘You don’t lose at home’ with 20-pt. lead

The Warriors lamented giving away Thursday night’s OT loss to the Rockets after they held a 20-point lead in the second half. – TOP

Barnwell’s crystal-ball paths to Super Bowl glory for all 12 teams

Peek into the multiverse and learn how each playoff team wins Super Bowl LIII, with paths and historical comps for all 12. – NFL

Leonard relentlessly booed as Spurs rout Raptors

Kawhi Leonard’s return to face the Spurs was met with the expected reaction — loud boos from the moment he took the court for pregame warm-ups. – NBA

Biggest injury questions for all 12 NFL playoff teams

We’ve reached the postseason, and everyone is at least a little banged up. NFL Nation reporters update the key situations for this weekend. – NFL

Paul George quiets crowd, lets his play do the talking

On a night where Russell Westbrook couldn’t make a shot, it was the Thunder’s other L.A.-area star who shut down the Staples Center boo birds with an MVP-like performance. – NBA

The biggest snubs from the 2019 NHL All-Star rosters

Mitch Marner and Brayden Point top the list of players who have serious cases that they should be taking part in the festivities at All-Star Weekend. – NHL

C’s Hayward shakes off doughnut, erupts for 35

After going scoreless on New Year’s Eve, the Celtics’ Gordon Hayward scored a season-best 35 points on 14-of-18 shooting against the Timberwolves on Wednesday. – TOP

Is this real life? 10 NBA trends and whether they’ll continue in 2019

Toronto’s place in the East. Western Conference chaos. And Zion mania! We’re asking “Real or not?” to some of the season’s biggest storylines. – NBA

What’s in, what’s out in the hockey world for 2019

Gritty was a transcendent figure in 2018. But he’s old news now. Find out about the latest trends in hockey as the calendar flips to 2019. – NHL

Why it’s hard to fully celebrate Urban Meyer’s final win

Urban Meyer’s Rose Bowl triumph in his last game at Ohio State should have been pure celebration. But it’s hard not to think about the off-field issues with his teams when evaluating his career. – TOP

NFL Power Rankings: New Year’s resolutions for every team

As our experts stack the league one last time this season, the NFL Nation reporters get in the holiday spirit and make team resolutions. – NFL

Sources: Steelers’ Brown upset, skipped practice

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown “went off” on a teammate and skipped multiple meetings and practices before and after the season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals, a team source confirmed. – NFL

NBA Power Rankings: Bucks trending on New Year’s Eve

Which teams are heading into 2019 in style? We’re unveiling our final Power Rankings of the calendar year. – NBA

Honoring the top hockey people of 2018

We run through eight nominees who represent the triumphs and inspiration this year, and honor our hockey person of 2018. – NHL

Barnwell: No team is one player away, and more lessons from 2018

One important lesson: Turns out Kirk Cousins wasn’t the Vikings’ immediate fix. Here’s what 2018 can teach us about what’s to come next season. – TOP

The Wysh List: Bold predictions for 2019; Gritty dresses up as Santa

This week’s Wysh List looks at 15 things that are, ahem, certainly going to happen in 2019, Gritty getting into the holiday spirit and much more. – NHL

First look at NFL playoff bracket: Everything you need to know

The playoff field is finally set. Here’s your guide to everything you need to know about the 12 teams vying to win Super Bowl LIII. – TOP

LeBron says Cavs’ title ‘made me the greatest’

LeBron James says he feels that the title he won with the Cavs — and how he won it — “made me the greatest player of all time.” – NBA

ICYMI: 9 things about LeBron

LeBron James has been in the national spotlight for more than half his life — but there’s more to learn about the 4-time MVP. – NBA

Will the Maple Leafs or Islanders win the Stanley Cup first?

With John Tavares and the Leafs squaring off with his former team for the first time, we ponder the big questions for both clubs. – NHL

Why Alabama-Clemson is so good for college football

No grumbling over the fourth Alabama-Clemson College Football Playoff game. Why wouldn’t you want to watch the Tide play the Tigers for the national title? – TOP

Source: Colts’ Ebron, Hilton expected to play

While both are listed as questionable, Colts tight end Eric Ebron and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton are expected to face Tennessee on Sunday night, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. – NFL

NHL Power Rankings after Week 12

The Capitals are rising, while the Ducks are floundering. Find out where every team ranks as we throttle towards 2019. – NHL

Lowe: Luka’s crosscourt artistry, the Spurs bench and Trae Young’s strange season

This week the spotlight lands on Trae Young’s weird year, Klay Thompson forcing shots and too many new jerseys. – NBA

Clemson, Notre Dame in uncharted waters with quarterback switches

The Tigers and Fighting Irish made midseason changes under center, a rarity for championship teams, which have traditionally had one voice at quarterback. – TOP

A guide to Week 17: Predictions, playoff scenarios, more

Winners and projections for every matchup, plus what’s at stake in the playoff picture. Catch up on Week 17 here. – NFL

Jeremy Colliton’s journey to become Blackhawks head coach

From skating with Sidney Crosby at the 2005 WJC to a concussion-shortened career to a stint in Sweden, the 33-year-old has trod a captivating path. – NHL

Barnwell’s 2018 NFL awards: My ballot for MVP, best rookies, more

MVP. Defensive Player of the Year. Rookies of the Year. Bill Barnwell makes his regular-season pick for every major award. – NFL

Harden after 45-point night: MVP coming back

James Harden doesn’t think any of the other MVP contenders will be able to prevent him from repeating as the award’s recipient this season. – NBA

James Harden has saved Houston’s season and revived his MVP chances

The Rockets’ star has put his team on his back, resurrecting them after an awful start and reigniting talk of him potentially repeating as MVP. – TOP

Biggest injury questions for all 32 teams in Week 17

Will the Steelers have James Conner back for Week 17? NFL Nation reporters update all the key injuries for every team. – NFL

Comparisons to idol LeBron amaze Mavs’ Doncic

After nearly becoming the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double on Wednesday, Luka Doncic said “it’s amazing” to hear people comparing his performance as a rookie to that of LeBron James. – NBA

Players to watch on Team Canada

As per tradition, the Canadians will be among the favorites at the WJC. Here’s a guide to who will be wearing the maple leaf in the tourney. – NHL

From LeBron to CP3: Good, bad and most concerning NBA contracts

As trade season heats up, it’s time to check in on some of the best and worst contracts signed in the summer of 2018. – TOP

Week 17 NFL Power Rankings: Non-quarterback MVPs for all 32 teams

The Rams and Ravens are rising in the power rankings as our NFL Nation reporters make their team MVP picks — and this time QBs aren’t in the mix. – NFL

LeBron injures groin in Lakers’ rout of Warriors

LeBron James went down midway through the third quarter on Tuesday at Golden State before getting up, trying to stretch the affected area out and limping his way to the locker room. He did not return and was to undergo an MRI on Wednesday. – NBA

What LeBron’s injury means for the young Lakers now

Can L.A. keep this up if LeBron James has to miss significant time with a groin injury? – TOP

These senior hockey players found a frozen fountain of youth

The Gray Wolves, an over-50 — sometimes way-over-50 — hockey club, feature a cast of characters that includes a 95-year-old World War II veteran, a TV weatherman, an attorney who’s also a mother of seven and a pastor who swears like a sailor. – NHL

LeBron: My recruiting is vital to Lakers’ success

LeBron James says his recruiting efforts are as important to the Lakers as his play. “I think being in L.A., I don’t think it would be that hard to get guys here,” he said. “But we got to win.” – NBA

LeBron: ‘I don’t feel like it’s ever been toxic around me’

In an interview ahead of Christmas, LeBron James discusses the start of his Lakers tenure, elite players and the end of his career. – TOP

Seahawks sign Carroll to extension through ’21

Pete Carroll, the NFL’s oldest head coach at 67, has been signed to an extension through the 2021 season. He has a 97-59-1 record with the Seahawks, including the playoffs. – NFL

2019 World Juniors preview: Players to watch on Team USA

Can Jack and Quinn Hughes bring the Americans a gold medal? Here’s a closer look at Team USA. – NHL

Projected 2019 NFL draft order: Cards are near locks for No. 1 pick

Arizona is in pole position for the top pick in next year’s draft. Here are our projections for picks 1-32. – NFL

Celtics might be deep, but Al Horford completes them

Al Horford, Boston’s elder All-Star center, is pivotal to the Celtics maintaining stability and accountability. – NBA

LeBron apologizes for ‘Jewish money’ IG posting

LeBron James offered an apology Sunday for potentially offensive lyrics he published to Instagram Stories. “I actually thought it was a compliment and obviously it wasn’t through the lens of a lot of people,” James said. – TOP

Seth Jones Q&A: Tortorella’s anger, cooking for teammates and more

We caught up with Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones to talk about his season, his coach, how he pampers his teammates and more. – NHL

Biggest injury questions for all 32 teams in Week 16

What should we expect from Keenan Allen on Saturday? NFL Nation reporters update all the key injuries for every team. – NFL

Return of the Bully: Joel Embiid is done shooting 3s

Joel Embiid is not shooting 3s well this season. So Embiid has decided to make life miserable for defenders inside even more. – NBA

Week 16 NFL playoff picture: Ravens threaten Steelers

If the regular season ended right now, here’s how the top six would look in each conference, plus clinching scenarios. – TOP

The Bucks are great and Giannis is brooding

These seven portraits capture what’s different in Milwaukee, where the next title contender might be emerging. – NBA

The Wysh list: 10 NHL people and teams that want ‘reset’ from a bad 2018

While many in the NHL will look back on 2018 fondly, the 10 on this week’s Wysh List want to be done with this year and move on to 2019 as soon as possible. – NHL

LeBron says NFL owners have ‘slave mentality’

LeBron James criticized NFL owners during the latest episode of “The Shop” but also commended NBA commissioner Adam Silver, saying he allows his players to express their opinions. – TOP

What’s at stake in Week 16: Predictions, playoff scenarios, more

Winners and projections for every matchup, plus playoff scenarios, to get you through the weekend. Catch up on Week 16 here. – NFL

Luka Doncic isn’t your average rookie, and he knows it

The Mavericks phenom possesses a rare blend of skill, savvy and swag that is leaving his veteran teammates in awe. – NBA

Trendspotting: John Gibson’s historically good season

We take a deep dive into some intriguing trends, including the Ducks’ dominant goalie, a journeyman’s luck and Sasha Barkov’s overlooked skill. – NHL

How the Patriots will fill the void left by Josh Gordon

While Gordon’s well-being is the primary focus, the Patriots will need to fill a void on the field. – NFL

Tre Jones steals the show for Duke at MSG

The point guard overshadowed the Blue Devils’ other freshman stars with his defensive performance against Texas Tech in New York. – TOP

Colton Saucerman: Behind the beard with hockey’s everyman

He has a created-for-hockey name and a trademark red beard. We ask about his eight stops around various leagues, going as Gritty for Halloween and more. – NHL

Stingy Titans latest proof the safety position is back in vogue

The NFL is full of evidence that playmakers such as Tennessee’s Kevin Byard and Kenny Vaccaro, often undervalued, are crucial to a successful defense. – NFL

For suddenly backsliding Celtics, real test begins Friday

Until recently, Boston had been feasting on NBA bottom-feeders. Now, after back-to-back losses, the Celtics face a much tougher schedule to finish 2018, which should reveal how good they really are. – NBA

College football early signing period winners, and others with work to do

Georgia, Michigan and Florida filled up their top-five classes with five-star recruits and need-fillers, while Florida State, Miami and USC didn’t fare nearly as well. – TOP

Every Pro Bowl pick (and surprise) for all 32 NFL teams

Todd Gurley, Michael Thomas and Patrick Mahomes are in. Check out the Pro Bowl picks for every team. – TOP

Brady selected to record-tying 14th Pro Bowl

Tom Brady is headed to his record-tying 14th Pro Bowl, it was announced Tuesday. The Chargers lead all teams with seven selections. – NFL

Allen makes ‘statement’ with rare LeBron block

Jarrett Allen’s block on Tuesday was only the ninth time LeBron James has been denied on a dunk attempt in his career. – NBA

Andrew D’Agostini is the best hockey player in the world of the week

Alex Ovechkin and Michael Dal Colle put up big numbers, but the new Reading Royals backstop has a story to top everyone else’s. – NHL

Power Rankings: Denver is climbing, but the NBA’s hottest team is in the East

Fresh off a win over the Raptors, the first-place Nuggets are making a statement out west. – NBA

Payton, Brees now No. 2 coach/QB duo in wins

Sean Payton and Drew Brees won their 117th regular-season game together Monday night, passing Don Shula and Dan Marino for second place among coach/QB combos during the Super Bowl era. – TOP

Eagles sticking with Foles at QB; no IR for Wentz

Nick Foles will start at quarterback for the Eagles on Sunday, but coach Doug Pederson said Carson Wentz has not yet been placed on injured reserve. – NFL

Raps’ Nurse rips refs: Kawhi no-calls ‘ridiculous’

Raptors coach Nick Nurse directed his ire at officials after Sunday’s loss to the Nuggets for not calling fouls made against star Kawhi Leonard. – NBA

NHL superstars who carry the biggest offensive burdens

Who is shouldering the heaviest load thus far in 2018-19? We break down key players and assess how (and whether) their teams can help them out. – NHL

Dak: Cowboys’ first shutout loss since ’03 ‘hurts’

Instead of clinching their second NFC East title in three seasons, the Dallas Cowboys of the first half of the season showed up in their 23-0 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. – NFL

Foles sparks Eagles’ biggest upset since 1995

No Carson Wentz, no problem, as Nick Foles again stepped in, this time leading the Eagles to a 30-23 upset of the Rams in Los Angeles on Sunday night. – TOP

The cases for, against the Capitals returning to Cup Final

Only one team in the past 20 years has been a repeat Stanley Cup champ. Can Alex Ovechkin & Co. make it two? First, they have to get back to the Final. – NHL

Sources: Smith exits hospital; NFL return unclear

After spending days in the hospital and enduring multiple surgeries on his broken leg, Redskins quarterback Alex Smith has been released, and there is some optimism that he will be able to resume his NFL career, league sources told ESPN. – NFL

Simmer down: Bulls pop Spurs after trailing by 21

Last weekend, Jim Boylen’s Bulls had to deal with a 56-point loss. This weekend, those Bulls snapped San Antonio’s home win streak. – NBA

It wasn’t pretty, but the Browns are still in the playoff hunt for at least one more night

At 6-7-1, Cleveland needs help to reach the postseason. The Browns still have a chance after winning four of their past five. – TOP

The Trevor Ariza trade that never really happened

Brooks was here. Then he wasn’t. How a three-team deal involving Trevor Ariza and two like-named players fell through in a very public way. – TOP

Inside ‘the play that never happened’: Jesse James’ overturned TD

One year after the controversial ruling, the Steelers and Patriots hope to keep Sunday’s outcome out of the hands of the officials. – NFL

Sources: Wiz, Suns working on new Ariza trade

The Wizards and Suns were still seeking a pathway to a trade centered on Trevor Ariza late Friday night after a three-team deal fell apart earlier in the day, sources told ESPN. – NBA

Week 15 NFL playoff picture: Chargers clinch berth, scramble AFC West

If the regular season ended right now, here’s how the top six would look in each conference, plus clinching scenarios. – TOP

Two-point conversion propels Chargers into postseason

Mike Williams caught a touchdown and a two-point conversion with 4 seconds left to lift the Chargers into a tie for the AFC’s best record at 11-3. – NFL

Harden scores 50, Rockets bury Lakers in fourth

James Harden had 50 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists — the record fourth 50-point triple-double of his career — to help the Rockets beat the Lakers 126-111 Thursday night. – NBA

Durant: Raptors not up-and-coming, ‘they’re here’

After the Raptors swept the season series from the Warriors on Wednesday, Kevin Durant emphasized that they aren’t just some young, up-and-coming team. “They’re here,” he said. – NBA

Miro Heiskanen’s Texas-sized expectations

The No. 3 overall pick from 2017 has taken on a big role for the Stars this season, leading some to pencil him in as the NHL’s next great blueliner. – NHL

Biggest injury questions for all 32 teams in Week 15

Will the Cardinals have David Johnson on the field this Sunday? NFL Nation reporters update all the key injuries for every team. – NFL

Lowry busts out of slump when Raptors need him most

With Kawhi Leonard out, the All-Star point guard posted his first back-to-back 20-point games of the season, leading Toronto to two blowout road wins. – TOP

‘Old man’ Alex Ovechkin is still learning new tricks

After the greatest season of an incredible career, the Capitals’ franchise icon is once again atop the goal-scoring leaderboard. – NHL

The Clippers’ bold plan to land Kawhi and KD in free agency

It might be the NBA’s worst-kept secret: The Clippers’ big free-agency ambitions feature Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant. – TOP

Week 15 Power Rankings: What’s No. 1 on every team’s wish list?

As the regular season winds down, what does every team want the most? Our NFL Nation reporters have some ideas. – NFL

Popovich passes Riley for 4th on all-time wins list

With San Antonio’s win over Phoenix on Tuesday, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich moved past Pat Riley for fourth on the NBA’s all-time wins list. His reaction? “You guys have a good evening.” – NBA