🏀 Draymond Does It Again

Ejection overload in the NBA, NHL Temp Check, Justin Herbert, UCL, and more...

It’s Wednesday! Draymond Green did it again, folks. If you had “Spinning backhand to Jusuf Nurkik’s face” on your Bingo card last night, you are indeed a winner. In another brilliant display of gamesmanship, Draymond pulled out a new move from his endless repertoire, adding to his WWE highlight reel with his third ejection of the season. And Nurkik wasn’t the only Eastern European hit with an unfortunate tech, as a laughable ejection sent the Joker home early on the least ideal night possible. On the ice, two generational players named Connor went head-to-head for some must-watch television, which segues into our NHL Temp Check, examining who’s hot and who’s not around the league. Across the pond, the final leg of Champions League group play got underway, while in the Bayou, the Lady Tigers made history on the hardwood. We’ll cover it all. But first, we have some massive Headlines

WTF Stat: The Suns have yet to play a game this season with Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal all in the lineup - Beal, who Phoenix traded for this offseason, played in his first game since Nov. 12 yesterday and his third this season. However, Durant was ruled out with an ankle injury.

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🏀🏒 Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is reportedly preparing to move his NBA and NHL franchises from Washington, DC, to a proposed new arena complex and entertainment district in northern Virginia

🏒 Blues fired HC Craig Berube last night and named Springfield Thunderbirds HC Drew Bannister their interim head coach - in his first season with the team in 2018-19, Berube led St. Louis to its first Stanley Cup title in franchise history

🏈 Chargers QB Justin Herbert underwent season-ending surgery yesterday to repair his fractured right index finger, which he suffered in last Sunday’s loss to the Broncos - Herbert was placed on injured reserve, and backup QB Easton Stick is expected to start tomorrow night against the Raiders

🏈 Vikings have named QB Nick Mullens their starter for Sunday’s game against the Bengals, sending QB Josh Dobbs to the bench - Dobbs started four games in relief of the injured Kirk Cousins but was benched in the 4th quarter of last week’s 3-0 win over the Raiders 

🏈 NBC has elected to exclude broadcaster Al Michaels from their commentary team for the upcoming NFL playoffs - the 79-year-old broadcasting icon has worked the Amazon Prime “Thursday Night Football” broadcasts for the past two years but called postseason games for NBC

🏈 Former Duke QB Riley Leonard announced that he is transferring to Notre Dame - Leonard was a two-year starter for the Blue Devils and has one year of college eligibility remaining

Photo: Me? | Source: USA Today

NBA - Top Games

  • Phoenix Suns 119, Golden State Warriors 116: Draymond Green is officially unhinged. Green (17 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 AST, 2 TO) was ejected in the 3rd quarter after receiving a Flagrant 2 foul for spin-slapping Jusuf Nurkic (17 PTS, 13 REB, 7 AST) in the face. And to make matters worse for Steve Kerr, his team lost their seventh-straight road game as Devin Booker (32 PTS, 7 AST) and the Suns outshined Stephen Curry (24 PTS, 4-15 3PT, 4 AST) and the ice-cold Warriors in the Valley - Golden State got 12 points from their starting five outside of Curry, Bradley Beal (16 PTS, 5-12 FG, 3 AST) made his return for Phoenix after a lengthy back injury, and it’s Draymond’s third ejection this season; he later claimed he did not intend to hit Jusuf

  • Dallas Mavericks 127, Los Angeles Lakers 125: Anthony Davis (37 PTS, 14-21 FG, 11 REB) and LeBron James (33 PTS, 8 REB, 9 AST) combined for 70, and the Lakers went on a huge run to erase a 14-point deficit in the 3rd quarter. However, Dante Exum (26 PTS, 7-9 3PT) hit a career-high seven three-pointers, including five in the 4th quarter, capped by a dagger in the final minute to help give Luka Doncic (33 PTS, 6 REB, 7 AST) and the Mavs a big dub in the Big D - Exum was 8-for-28 from three entering Tuesday, Grant Williams (19 PTS, 5-7 3PT) was also on fire from beyond the arc, and Kyrie Irving remains sidelined with a heel contusion

  • Denver Nuggets 114, Chicago Bulls 106: On Serbian Heritage Night in Chicago, Nikola Jokic (16 MIN, 25 PTS, 2 REB, 6 AST) was inexplicably tossed late in the 2nd quarter for arguing a no-call, and the United Center crowd booed the officials in his defense. But even with Jokic and Jamal Murray (ankle) out, Reggie Jackson (25 PTS, 5-8 3PT, 6 AST) and the short-handed Nuggets beat Nikola Vucevic (26 PTS, 16 REB, 5 AST) and the Bulls without ever trailing in the second half - Jokic was very confused about what warranted the ejection and made some interesting comments postgame

  • Boston Celtics 120, Cleveland Cavaliers 113: Donovan Mitchell (29 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST) and Darius Garland (26 PTS, 7 AST) were both cooking, but Jayson Tatum (25 PTS, 10 REB, 5 AST) and Jaylen Brown (25 PTS, 4 AST) were just as good, and the Celtics topped the Cavs to remain unbeaten in Boston - the C’s are 11-0 at TD Garden this season

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

NHL - Top Games

  • Edmonton Oilers 4, Chicago Blackhawks 1: Rookie phenom Connor Bedard (1 G) broke the ice three minutes in with a filthy wrister, but Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (1 G) and Sam Gagner (1 G) put the Oilers on top before the first intermission, and Edmonton didn’t look back for their eighth straight win, putting them above .500 for the first time this season - Connor McDavid (2 A) was Connor McDavid

  • Toronto Maple Leafs 7, New York Rangers 4: Mika Zibanejad (1 G, 1 A) and Blake Wheeler (2 G) found the back of the net in the 2nd period to cut New York’s 4-1 deficit to one, but Mitchell Marner (2 G, 1 A) and Auston Matthews (2 G, 2 A) responded in the 3rd with their second goals of the night and David Kampf’s (1 G) empty-netter served as the extra-point for Toronto’s touchdown, as the Leafs rolled the Rags at the Garden

  •  Nashville Predators 3, Philadelphia Flyers 2 (OT): Snubbed from our “Who’s Hot” list, the Preds have now won five of their last six games as Filip Forsberg (1 G, 1 A) only needed 18 seconds in overtime to put away Sean Couturier (1 G, 1 A) and the Flyers in Smashville - Juuse Saros (37 SV) earned his fifth straight victory with a big performance between the pipes

  • Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Arizona Coyotes 2: Jake Guentzel (2 G) ended the Pens’ month-long draught on the power play to open the game, and then Jeff Carter (2 G) scored shorthanded before deflecting in another power-play goal as Pittsburgh topped Lawson Crouse (1 G, 1 A) and Arizona to halt their four-game slide

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

UEFA Champions League - Group Stage, Top Matches

  • Group A | Bayern Munich 1, Manchester United 0: The Red Devils needed a victory and some help to reach the round of 16, but they got neither, as Frenchman Kingsley Coman (70’) capitalized from close range to give Bayern a 1-0 win at Old Trafford, ending United’s Champions League campaign - Bayern (5-1-0) had already secured the group’s top spot, and FC Copenhagen advanced with 1-0 victory over Galatasaray (Man U needed that match to end in a draw)

  • Group C | Napoli 2, Braga 0: With Real Madrid already locked into the top spot of Group C, Napoli took care of business to claim the second as Braga’s ninth-minute own goal coupled with Victor Osimhen’s (33’) first-half strike allowed the Italian side to cruise into the knockout stage

  • Group A | Arsenal 1, PSV Eindhoven 1: Both sides had already secured berths to the last-16 and engaged in an evenly played draw yesterday in Eindhoven, where Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah (42’) traded goals with PSV’s Yorbe Vertessen (50’) - Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta made eight changes in the lineup following the Gunners’ loss at Aston Villa on Saturday

See the full scoreboard here and the UCL table here.

College Basketball - Top Games

  • NCAAW | #7 LSU 133, McNeese 44: There’s been a whole lot of turmoil surrounding Kim Mulkey’s squad this season, but it wasn’t evident last night. LSU led 62-12 at the half. 62 to 12! And the Tigers poured on 71 in the final two quarters to break the program’s single-game scoring record - kudos to the McNeese Cowgirls for keeping the first half closer than Army’s final score against the Tigers on the gridiron

  • NCAAM | #21 Duke 89, Hofstra 68: Darlinstone Dubar (24 PTS, 7-11 3PT, 8 REB) and the Hofstra Pride put up a helluva fight at Cameron Indoor, only trailing 44-39 at the half, but Kyle Filipowski (28 PTS, 12 REB, 8 AST) took over and led the Blue Devils past Strong Ilsand’s finest in Durham

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

🏒 Temp Check!

Photo: McJesus | Source: USA Today

NHL Temp Check - Who’s Hot & Who’s Not

We’re already two months into the NHL season, and the race for Lord Stanley is heating up! That means it’s time to break out the thermometer and determine Who’s Hot and Who’s Not. It’s been a while since we’ve checked the temperature ice-side, so our measuring stick is a bit longer this time around. Make sure you’re wearing layers.

Who’s Hot

  • Edmonton Oilers (13-12-1 | 27 PTS): They aren’t at the top of the standings, but nobody’s hotter than Edmonton right now. The Oilers are riding a league-best, eight-game winning streak and have suddenly reemerged as Stanley Cup Contenders. After losing 10 of their first 13 games, Edmonton fired HC Jay Woodcroft, handing over the reins to Kris Knoblauch, who has led the team to a 10-3-0 record under his command. They still have a lot of ground to make up, but with Connor McDavid headlining an uber-talented roster, anything is possible.

  • Los Angeles Kings (16-5-4 | 36 PTS): Yes, they’ve lost two straight. But the Kings are still 8-2-1 in their last 11 games and have been racking up wins rather handily. Their +32 goal-differential trails only the Canucks (+34), and they currently boast a league-best 11-1-1 record on the road (they were unbeaten before Saturday’s OT loss to the Islanders). Through 18 starts, goaltender Cam Talbot has allowed the second-fewest goals per game (1.91), and Los Angeles hasn’t gone without a point in two straight all year. They’ll be battling it out with Vegas, Vancouver, and Edmonton in a loaded Pacific Division, but the Kings have solidified themselves as contenders.

  • New York Rangers (19-7-1 | 39 PTS): Tough timing with another loss last night — their third in four games — but the Rangers still deserve to be mentioned here. By all accounts, New York has exceeded expectations thus far. They have the most wins in the Eastern Conference and are tied with Boston at 39 points. Besides their recent blip, they’ve been consistently chugging along and have avoided any major tough stretches. Their power play is the second-best in the league, scoring at 30.5% a clip, Artemi Panarin (15 G, 25 A) has been outstanding, and 37-year-old Jonathan Quick has been one of the season’s biggest surprises, going 8-0-1 in net while filling in for Igor Shesterkin, who isn’t too bad himself.

  • Honorable Mentions: Golden Knights, Jets, Predators, Panthers, Sharks(!)

Who’s Not

  • Pittsburgh Penguins (12-12-3 | 27 PTS): The clock is ticking on the Pens in more ways than one. After a five-game win streak in early November, Pittsburgh has dropped nine of their past 13 games. Naturally, they won last night, but they had lost four in a row entering Tuesday and hadn’t scored a power-play goal since November 11, which was supposed to be their strength entering the season. (Naturally, they scored twice on the power play last night.) Still, their lack of consistency has been alarming, especially for a veteran roster that’s running out of time.

  • Seattle Kraken (9-14-7 | 25 PTS): The Kraken had high expectations entering the season after ousting the defending champion Avalanche in last year’s playoffs, marking the franchise’s first-ever postseason appearance and series victory. Unfortunately, they’ve fallen flat and then some. Seattle just got off a league-worst nine-game slide, and they’ve been struggling to put the puck in the net, specifically at five-on-five. They’ve scored 75 total goals, the third-fewest in the NHL, and have gotten below-average goalie play. A 4-0 win over the Panthers last night may have eased some tension, but the panic meter is still at an all-time high in Seattle right now.

  • Anaheim Ducks (10-17-0 | 20 PTS): It looked like Anaheim was turning the corner when they started the year at 7-4-0 thanks to a six-game heater. But the fun, high-scoring Ducks are still just an idea. They finished November with eight consecutive losses and are now 1-3 in December. In that stretch, they’ve been outscored 49-21. John Gibson has one of the worst save percentages among starting goalies (.906), and backup Lukas Dostal has the worst in the NHL (.885). The good news for Ducks fans is their team is 4-0 in games that go beyond regulation. Unfortunately, they rarely gets there.

  • Honorable Mentions: Blackhawks, Wild, Blue Jackets, Rangers(?)

See the full NHL standings here and the current state leaders here.

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Last night marked Draymond Green’s 18th career ejection in the regular season, the second-most in the NBA over the last 25 seasons. Who has the most?

A. Dwight Howard

B. DeMarcus Cousins

C. Stephen Jackson

D. Rasheed Wallace

Photo: McGregor-Aldo | Source: ESPN

On December 13, 2015, Conor McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds to win the undisputed UFC Featherweight Championship. The highly-anticipated bout was originally scheduled for July 11, 2015, but Aldo suffered a rib injury while training in late June and was forced to pull out. McGregor, who insisted Aldo exaggerated the rib injury because he couldn’t cut weight, remained on the card and was rescheduled to face Chad Mendes for the Interim Featherweight Championship. The up-and-coming Irishman beat Mendes handily with a second-round TKO in a fight that broke the gate record for a mixed martial arts event in the United States at $7.2 million. The result set the stage for an even greater matchup with Aldo than originally planned, with McGregor (18-2-0) holding the interim belt and Aldo (25-1-0) riding an 18-fight win streak, looking to reclaim the title that he physically never lost. Held at MGM Grand Arena, the title bout was the main event of UFC 194 and was considered the most highly-anticipated featherweight fight in the history of the sport. McGregor, 27, entered the octagon brimming with confidence, while Aldo, 29, looked notably tense. Thirteen seconds later, it was over. On just his second punch, McGregor slept Aldo with a powerful left hand before unloading two hammer fists, forcing the referee to stop the fight moments after it started. It was the fastest knockout in UFC history and marked McGregor’s meteoric rise to superstardom.


  • Indiana Pacers @ Milwaukee Bucks 8:00pm ET, Local

  • Los Angeles Lakers @ San Antonio Spurs 8:00pm ET, NBA TV

  • New York Knicks @ Utah Jazz 9:00pm ET, Local

  • Full Schedule


  • Pittsburgh Penguins @ Montreal Canadiens 7:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Boston Bruins @ New Jersey Devils 7:30pm ET, TNT

  • Buffalo Sabres @ Colorado Avalanche 10:00pm ET, TNT

  • Full Schedule

UEFA Champions League - Group Stage

  • Manchester City @ Red Star Belgrade 12:45pm ET, Paramount+

  • Paris Saint-German @ Borussia Dortmund 3:00pm ET, Paramount+

  • AC Milan @ Newcastle United 3:00pm ET, Paramount+

  • Full Schedule

College Basketball

  • NCAAM: Florida International @ #15 Florida Atlantic 7:00pm ET, ESPN+

  • NCAAM: #8 Creighton @ UNLV 9:00pm ET, CBSSN

  • NCAAW: #20 Creighton @ #19 Marquette 8:00pm ET, FloHoops

  • NCAAW: #5 Texas @ Arizona 9:00pm ET, Pac-12

  • Men’s: Full Schedule

  • Women’s: Full Schedule

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Trivia Time Answer

D. Rasheed Wallace. Despite retiring in 2013, “Sheed” has the most ejections in the last 25 years, with a whopping 25. Wallace also has the most ejections in NBA history, with 29, and ended his 18-year career with 317 technical fouls, the third-most all-time. He’s also a four-time All-Star and a 2004 NBA champion.

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