🏀 The Greek Freak Goes Off

Giannis drops 64 in chippy rematch, Draymond suspended, UCL last-16 set, NHL, and more...

It’s Thursday! And Giannis Antetokounmpo is a very bad man. As the kids like to say, the Greek Freak “stood on business” last night, serving up a record-breaking 64-point gyro to shut up the Pacers. Christmas cards will not be exchanged between the two sides, and apparently, neither will game balls. But more on that later. Unlike in Milwaukee, there was no wrestling in Detroit, but there was a smackdown as the Sixers handed the Pistons their 21st straight L. However, the biggest loser of the day was still Draymond Green. We also had a top-10 upset in college hoops, a pair of marquee matchups in the NHL, and the Champions League last-16 is officially set. Sports!

WTF Stat: Giannis Antetokounmpo's 64 points came on only 28 field goal attempts. It's the most individual points in a game on fewer than 30 field goal attempts in NBA history - Giannis went 20-for-28 from the field and 24-for-32 from the stripe.

Written By: Ian Dardani

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🏀 Warriors F Draymond Green has been suspended indefinitely by the NBA for striking Suns C Jusuf Nurkic in the face during Tuesday’s game, leading to his third ejection this season - Green will be required to meet "certain league and team conditions" before he returns to play

🏈 Vikings WR Justin Jefferson said that he plans to play this Saturday against the Bengals despite suffering a chest injury in last Sunday’s win over the Raiders - it was Jefferson’s first game back since suffering a hamstring injury in Week 5

🏈 SoFi Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers, will host Super Bowl LXI (61) in 2027 - the stadium opened in 2020 and was the location of Super Bowl LVI (56) in 2022 between the Rams and Bengals

🏈 NFL announced it will play a regular season game in Brazil in 2024, the first-ever NFL game in South America - the historic game will take place in the city of São Paulo at the Corinthians Arena

Photo: For 64 | Source: USA Today

NBA - Top Games

  • Milwaukee Bucks 140, Indiana Pacers 126: Holy Giannis. In an extremely chippy in-season tournament semifinals rematch, not even a hard foul from Aaron Nesmith (12 PTS) could slow down Giannis Antetokounmpo (64 PTS, 20-28 FG, 14 REB, 3 AST, 4 STL), who went absolutely nuclear, dropping a career-high *and* a Bucks franchise-record 64 points to avenge last week’s loss against Tyrese Haliburton (22 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST) and the Pacers - Giannis was heated after the final buzzer and ran into the Pacers tunnel because they wouldn't give him the game ball, leading to a bizarre scuffle. Indiana later gave him a ball, but Giannis says he’s not sure if it’s the actual game ball. The two teams will meet again on Jan. 1

  • Philadelphia 76ers 129, Detroit Pistons 111: Joel Embiid (41 PTS, 11 REB, 5 AST) had 30 points at the half on his way to another monster double-double and an easy Sixers win over Bojan Bogdanovic (33 PTS) and the spiritless Pistons, who have now lost an unbelievable 21 straight games, matching the longest streak in franchise history - it is the sixth-longest single-season losing streak in NBA history

  • Los Angeles Lakers 122, San Antonio Spurs 119: The Spurs should be thankful that the Pistons are stealing the spotlight because they’ve dropped 18 straight themselves, also a franchise record. The Unicorn, Victor Wembanyama (30 PTS, 13 REB, 3 STL, 6 BLK), showed out, but Anthony Davis (37 PTS, 10 REB, 4 STL) and the Lakers got the better of San Antonio despite LeBron James taking the night off with a sore calf - the Spurs are 3-20

  • New Orleans Pelicans 142, Washington Wizards 122: Don’t worry Wizards, we didn’t forget about you! Remarkably, Washington may somehow be worse than San Antonio and Detroit. They have one win since November 10, and that didn’t change yesterday as Brandon Ingram (40 PTS, 14-23 FG) dropped a season-high while Trey Murphy III (27 PTS, 6-7 3PT, 6 REB) added six threes to rout Kyle Kuzma (27 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST) and company in the nation’s capital - Zion Williamson sat out with a sprained ankle

See the full NBA scoreboard here and the current standings here.

College Basketball - Top Games

  • NCAAM | UNLV 79, #8 Creighton 64: The Blue Jays appear to have a problem with Mountain West teams. After getting blown out by No. 17 Colorada State in late November, Creighton got trampled by Kalib Boone (25 PTS, 7 AST, 4 REB) and the Running Rebs, who led nearly the entire way to hand the Jays their second loss of the season in the Jack Jones Classic

  • NCAAM | #15 Florida Atlantic 94, Florida International 60: In a battle between vacation homes, Johnell Davis (16 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST) did his thing, and the Owls soared past FIU, who didn’t have a single starter score in double figures

  • NCAAW | #19 Marquette 76, #20 Creighton 70: Tough day for the Jays, huh? Liza Karlen (25 PTS, 12 REB) and the Golden Eagles closed an 11-point gap in the first half and then, with the score tied at 64 late in the 4th quarter, closed the game on a 12-6 run to rally past Emma Ronsiek (29 PTS, 4 REB) and Creighton - Marquette is 10-0 after beginning the season unranked

  • NCAAW | #5 Texas 88, Arizona 75: The Lady Longhorns are also unbeaten and only trailed for 21 total seconds amid an impressive road victory over Kailyn Gilbert (26 PTS, 5 REB) and the Wildcats behind Rori Harmon’s (19 PTS, 9 REB, 11 AST) near triple-double

See the full men’s scoreboard here and the full women’s scoreboard here.

NHL - Top Games

  • New Jersey Devils 2, Boston Bruins 1 (OT): Morgan Geekie (1 G) gave Boston a 1-0 lead late in the 1st period, but Dawson Mercer (1 G) tied the game early in the 3rd, and Jack Hughes (1 G) called game in overtime thanks to a beautiful helper from Jesper Bratt (1 G), giving the Devs a statement win over Jeremy Swayman (33 SV) and the B’s - New Jersey has won seven of their last nine games and held Boston to just 24 shots

  • Winnipeg Jets 5, Los Angeles Kings 2: In a high-powered divisional duel, Gabriel Vilardi (1 G, 3 A) posted a career-best four points in his return to Los Angeles against his former team, and Nikolaj Ehlers (2 G, 2 A) joined him atop the stat sheet as the Jets used five unanswered bingos to overcome a 2-0 deficit and blast the Kings, who have lost three straight for the first time this season - Winnipeg has won five of their last six

  • Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Montreal Canadiens 3 (SO): After not scoring a power-play goal for a month, the Pens have now buried two in each of their last two games as Jake Guentzel (1 G) and Sidney Crosby (2 G, 1 A) capitalized on a pair of 5-on-4s in the 2nd period to erase a 3-1 deficit before Jansen Harkins won it for Pittsburgh in a lengthy 12-round shootout

  • New York Islanders 4, Anaheim Ducks 3: Speaking of month-long droughts, the Ducks have won once since November 14, but they were 15 minutes away from victory last night in Elmont! However, Mathew Barzal (1 G) tied it on the power play and then with 1:33 remaining, Simon Holmstrom (1 G) scored shorthanded, breaking the hearts of Anaheim fans, if that’s even possible at this point - the Isles (14-7-7) have won four in a row and are now just four points behind the Rangers in the Metropolitan

See the full NHL scoreboard here and the current standings here.

UEFA Champions League - Group Stage, Top Matches

  • Group F | Borussia Dortmund 1, Paris Saint-Germain 1: Needing at least a draw to advance to the last-16, PSG fell into a 1-0 hole against already-qualified Dortmund, as Karim Adeyemi (51’) broke a deadlock early in the second half. But Warren Zaire-Emery (56’) quickly responded for the French side, and they hung on to snag the second spot in a loaded Group F - PSG and AC Milan each finished with eight points, but PSG beat Milan head-to-head, giving them the knockout berth

  • Group F | AC Milan 2, Newcastle United 1: AC Milan and Newcastle each entered the day at 1-2-2, needing a win in their head-to-head plus a PSG loss to advance. But PSG’s draw with Dortmund (which was played simultaneously) ultimately made the match meaningless. However, Milan rallied for a 2-1 victory, and USMNT star Christian Pulisic (59’) became the first American to score for three different teams in the Champions League after tenures with Dortmund and Chelsea

  • Group G | Manchester City 3, Red Star Belgrade 2: Twenty-year-old Manchester City academy graduate Micah Hamilton (19’) scored in his senior debut, Oscar Bobb (62’) also netted his first goal for the senior side, and Kalvin Phillips (85’ Pen) capitalized on a PK to extend City’s lead before a late Red Star goal, as the holders became the second English team in history to win all six of their UCL group games, joining 2021-22 Liverpool

Note: The draw for the last 16 will take place on Monday, December 18

See the full scoreboard here and the final UCL table here.

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Giants QB Tommy DeVito was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week yesterday for Week 14. Who was the AFC Offensive Player of the Week?

A. Will Levis

B. Joe Flacco

C. Lamar Jackson

D. Zach Wilson

Photo: NYG-ND, 1930 | Source: The New York Times

On December 14, 1930, the New York Giants defeated Notre Dame 22-0 in a charity football game. Yes, an NFL team played a college team — sort of. To set the stage, America was one year into the Great Depression, and people were turning to football to take their minds off struggling times. So, in an effort to raise money for New York City’s unemployment fund, Mayor Jimmy Walker got Giants owner Tim Mara and legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne to agree to play an exhibition game and donate the proceeds. Notre Dame had just completed an undefeated season to win their second straight national title, and while the Giants had won an NFL Championship in 1927, many believed the best college teams, especially the Irish, were playing a better brand of football than the professionals. To further capture the public’s interest, Rockne got former Notre Dame greats from his fabled 1924 national title team to play in the game, most notably the famous “Four Horsemen” backfield, led by three-time All-American QB Harry Stuhldreher. But when the two teams met on the Polo Grounds field, it was clear the Irish All-Stars were in over their heads. With an average weight of 230 pounds, the Giants’ defensive line dwarfed Notre Dame’s offensive line, and New York jumped out to a 15-0 lead at the half. Walking back to the locker room, Rockne told Giants president Harry March, “I came here to help a charity. You are making us look bad. Slow up, will you? I don’t want to be laughed at.” The Giants did, playing their reserves for the rest of the game. But it didn’t matter. Notre Dame never crossed the 50-yard line and picked up only one first down the entire game. The final score, 22-0, hardly reflected the Giants’ dominance - note: if you think even the best college team could beat the worst NFL team today, we can’t be friends.

NFL - Thursday Night Football

  • Los Angeles Chargers @ Las Vegas Raiders 8:15pm ET, Prime Video

NBA

  • Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics 7:30pm ET, NBA TV

  • Minnesota Timberwolves @ Dallas Mavericks 8:30pm ET, Local

  • Golden State Warriors @ Los Angeles Clippers 10:30pm ET, NBA TV

  • Full Schedule

NHL

  • Washington Capitals @ Philadelphia Flyers 7:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Tampa Bay Lightning @ Edmonton Oilers 9:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Florida Panthers @ Vancouver Canucks 10:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Full Schedule

College Basketball

  • NCAAM: St. Thomas-Minnesota @ #7 Marquette 8:00pm ET, FS1

  • NCAAM: Jacksonville State @ #23 Wisconsin 8:00pm ET, BTN

  • NCAAW: Delaware State @ #10 Baylor 12:00pm ET, Big 12 / ESPN+

  • Men’s: Full Schedule

  • Women’s: Full Schedule

Grab $20 off tickets to your favorite games, concerts and events using code TORCH20 at Vivid Seats - Promo is for first-time buyers and orders over $200!

Trivia Time Answer

D. Zach Wilson. Despite reports claiming he was hesitant to step back into the starting lineup after being benched in Week 11, Jets QB Zach Wilson was named the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Week for Week 14, tallying 301 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Texans. It is both his and DeVito’s first time winning the respective awards - before Sunday, Wilson was 3-6 as a starter with six touchdowns and seven interceptions.

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NFL - Thursday Night Football

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Giannis now has eight career 50-point games.

NFL Week 15 & CFB bowl game previews coming tomorrow. Plus a BIG announcement!