NFL PLAYOFFS-LATEST SCORES
Falcons and Patriots move on
UNDATED (AP) — The NFC and AFC Championship games are set. Next Sunday the Falcons will face the 49ers in the NFC title game for the right to advance to the Super Bowl, and New England will go against Baltimore for the right to advance from the AFC.
Here's how things broke down Sunday:
In the second game of the day, Patriots had an easy time of things with Houston, beating the Texans 41-28. The result was similar to the one in week 14 of the regular season when the Texans were beaten in Foxborough, Mass., 42-14.
Tom Brady once again led the way for the Pats as he passed for three touchdowns. He finished the day with 344 yards in the air.
The victory was his 17th in post season play and that is a new NFL record.
Shane Vereen carried the ball for one score and caught two of Brady's scoring passes.
The game was close at the half, with New England leading 17-13, but the home-team outscored the Texans 24-15 in the second half.
The win was costly for the Patriots as tight end Rob Gronkowski was forced to leave the game. A person with knowledge of the injury has told The Associated Press that Gronkowski needs surgery on his broken left arm. Gronkowski was injured on the Patriots' eighth offensive play of Sunday's 41-28 victory over Houston. He previously missed five regular-season games and is done for these playoffs.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not released details of the injury.
The Patriots and Ravens are meeting for the AFC title for the second straight year. Baltimore, which stunned top-seeded Denver in double overtime Saturday, lost 23-20 at Gillette Stadium last January.
In the opening game of the day, with their fans cheering them on, the Atlanta Falcons edged Seattle for a spot in the NFC Championship game. The Falcons will face the 49ers next Sunday in Atlanta.
The Falcons advanced with a 30-28 win over the Seahawks as Matt Bryant kicked the game winning 49-yard field goal with eight seconds left in regulation. The Seahawks made a game of it by completing a fourth-quarter comeback from a 20-point deficit. The Seahawks took a 28-27 lead with 31 seconds left on a 2-yard scoring run by Marshawn Lynch.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan then took over, completing two long passes after the kickoff, setting up Bryant's winning kick. Ryan finished 24 of 35 for 250 yards. He tossed three TD passes and two interceptions.
Rookie Russell Wilson passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, but it wasn't enough for the Seahawks.
The winners of next Sunday's conference title games will meet in Super Bowl 47 on Feb. 3 in New Orleans.
Report: Eagles talk with Billick
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles have interviewed former Ravens coach and current Fox analyst Brian Billick for their coaching vacancy, a person familiar with the meeting told The Associated Press. Billick, who led Baltimore to a Super Bowl title in the 2000 season, met with the Eagles last Monday, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss it.
Wolverines fall to Buckeyes
UNDATED (AP) — And then there were none. The nation's last remaining undefeated Division 1 men's basketball team has lost.
Second-ranked Michigan fell 56-53 at No. 15 Ohio State. Deshaun Thomas had 20 points and scored the first and last baskets in a 16-0 first-half spurt. The loss will likely deny the Wolverines their first No. 1 ranking in more than 20 years. Michigan is 16-1.
After No. 1 Duke lost to North Carolina State on Saturday, the Wolverines were in prime position to ascend to No. 1 for the first time since November 1992.
Trey Burke led the Wolverines with 15 points.
— Michigan State, the 22nd ranked AP team, defeated Nebraska 66-56. Derrick Nix had 17 points and 5 rebounds for the Spartans.
— The 23rd-ranked school, Wichita State, was upended by Evansville, 71-67. Colt Ryan led the Purple Aces with 24 points.
Knicks win behind 'Melo's 27
UNDATED (AP) — Carmelo Anthony snapped out of a slow start by scoring 18 of his 27 points in the second quarter, and the New York Knicks ended their season-high, three-game losing streak with a 100-87 victory over the New Orleans Hornets in a Madison Square Garden matinee.
Anthony missed seven of eight shots and scored two points in the first quarter of the noon start he dislikes. He then outscored the Hornets by himself in the second period as the Knicks took the lead for good.
Eric Gordon scored 22 points as the Hornets had their four-game winning streak end.
In other NBA action:
— Brandon Jennings had 19 points and 10 assists, rookie John Henson scored 19 and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied from a 20-point first quarter deficit to beat Toronto 107-96. That's the Bucks' eighth straight victory over the Raptors.
— Deron Williams had 22 points and nine assists, Joe Johnson scored 20 points and the Brooklyn Nets rallied from 12 points down in the third quarter to beat the Indiana Pacers 97-86. Brook Lopez scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and also finished with nine rebounds to help the Nets win their season-high sixth straight game.
— Tony Parker scored 20 points to lead San Antonio in a 106-88 victory over Minnesota, extending the Spurs' home winning streak to 12 games. Gary Neal was 3 for 3 on 3-pointers in scoring 15 points for San Antonio, which beat Minnesota at home for the 16th straight time.
— Danilo Gallinari scored 21 points, Ty Lawson had 20, and the Denver Nuggets rallied to beat the Golden State Warriors 116-105. The Nuggets have won five straight. Wilson Chandler scored 14 points in his first game in two months for Denver after being sidelined since early November because of pain in his left hip.
-Defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City picked up a road win, stopping the Trail Blazers 87-83. Kevin Durant led the way for the Thunder with 33 points while Russell Westbrook added 18 and Kendrick Perkins pulled down 12 rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge had the hot hand for the Blazers with 33 points and 11 caroms. The loss snapped a nine-game Portland winning streak.
— The Lakers had an easy time of things with Cleveland, beating the Cavaliers 116-93. Kobe Bryant had 23 points for the home team, while teammate Dwight Howard had 22 and 14 rebounds in his first game back after missing three with an injury. Two players had 15 points for the Cavs, Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. Cleveland has lost seven of nine.
UNDATED (AP) — The NHL and its fans can finally shift their focus to the ice. A four-month lockout ended last week. Ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement on Saturday salvaged a shortened season.
The defending champion Los Angeles Kings and most teams in the league practiced Sunday for the first time.
In some training camp news:
__ The Carolina Hurricanes traded backup goaltender Brian Boucher (boo-SHAY') and defenseman Mark Alt to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for center Luke Pither (PIH'-tuhr). Carolina also acquired forward Kevin Westgarth from Los Angeles for forward Anthony Stewart and two draft picks.
— The Montreal Canadiens are cutting their losses with Scott Gomez, who's been a major disappointment the past two seasons. General manager Marc Bergevin (BERZH'-eh-vihn) says the Canadiens will buy out the center's contract next summer to remove his team-high $7.3 million salary cap hit from the books. Under the new collective bargaining agreement signed Saturday, the cap is to plunge by about $10 million next season, but teams will be allowed two "amnesty" buyouts to help reach the cap.
Rookie Henley wins
HONOLULU (AP) — PGA Tour rookie Russell Henley of the U.S. won the Sony Open. He shot a final round 7-under-63 to finish 24 shots under par, three shots in front of Tim Clark. Americans finished in the next seven spots on the leaderboard with Charles Howell III and Scott Langley tying at 17-under.
Henley is the first PGA Tour rookie to win his debut in 10 years.
Armstrong ready to speak "candidly" to Oprah
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lance Armstrong says he is "ready to speak candidly", as he prepares to discuss doping allegations against him in his upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey. Armstrong spoke briefly with The Associated Press Sunday and would not divulge what he will tell say in Monday's interview from his home that is to be broadcast Thursday on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
First Grand Slam of 2013 starts Down Under
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Grand Slam tennis season is underway with the start of the Australian Open. Among the early winners are Maria Sharapova (shah-rah-POH'-vah), Venus Williams, Li Na (lee nah), Agnieszka Radwanska (ahg-nee-ESH'-kuh rahd-VAHN'-skuh) and Samantha Stosur.
Men's top-seed Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak YOH'-koh-vihch) advanced as well with a straight sets win.