<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Sports]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usThu, 08 Dec 2016 06:51:34 -0500Thu, 08 Dec 2016 06:51:34 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Injury-Riddled Heat Fall to Hawks]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 23:11:58 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-628404798.jpg

The shorthanded Miami Heat began another road trip on Wednesday with a 103-95 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Miami will visit Chicago and Cleveland on this trip and will end up playing six games out of seven away from home. The Heat have actually played better on the road this season and are now 5-7 away from Miami with this loss. At home, the Heat have a 2-8 record.

The Heat only had eight players rotate on the court in this one as injuries continued to take their toll on the team. Miami will remain shorthanded during the trip and the lack of depth becomes more evident with each game. The Heat showed plenty of energy and production in the first half of the game, but struggled for most of the second half.

Tyler Johnson led the team in points with 27 off the bench. The guard had five assists, two rebounds, a steal and a block in the loss. Johnson has been providing consistent production for Miami in a reserve role this season.

Hassan Whiteside had a slow game, but Goran Dragic continued his hot streak with 21 points. Dragic led all of Miami's starters in points and also chipped in four assists.

The Heat will take a day off before visiting the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sunday Night Football Preview: Giants vs. Cowboys]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 18:34:52 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-602993368.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys and breakout rookie Dak Prescott can atone for their only loss of the season — and win their division — when they play the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football.

What is becoming a dream season for the Cowboys (11-1) started with a mildly disappointing 20-19 home loss to New York. In that game Prescott was forced into starting because Tony Romo fractured a vertebra in a preseason game. Since the opener, all Prescott has done is win.

The Giants (8-4) overcame an early three-game losing streak by winning six in a row before a confidence-sapping loss at Pittsburgh last week. Now they have to defend their home field to have any chance at winning the NFC East.

If New York does so, it’ll almost certainly be due to a big game from Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. Manning is having a pretty good season himself, and Beckham has more than 1,000 yards receiving along with 8 TD catches as his primary deep target.

Dallas cornerbacks Orlando Scandrick and Anthony Brown can make their impact by limiting him, though Victor Cruz is likely to be more involved after a silent game Sunday against Pittsburgh in which he wasn’t thrown to once.

Against a tough Giants rushing defense, the Cowboys’ other rookie star, Zeke Elliott, could be vulnerable. And that could put the game in the hands of Prescott, who has improved since a so-so performance in the opener, but fumbled twice last week on Thursday night.

If Prescott can bounce back to his usual performance level this season — he’s had a QB rating over 100 in 10 games so far — the Cowboys could be the first team to clinch a division title this season.

Players to Watch

Dallas QB Dak Prescott. It’s the biggest game of the rookie’s career, and a division title and playoff spot is right in front of him.

Dallas C Travis Frederick. The Cowboys entire offensive line did an excellent job run blocking last week. If they can win one-on-one matchups against the Giants’ fearsome front, Prescott could have an easier day than expected.

Giants DE Olivier Vernon. Has seven sacks in five games. No one has blocked him since October.

Giants RB Rashad Jennings. The Giants’ run game has been barely there most of this season, but Jennings was productive against Dallas in the opener, and could be a wild card Sunday night.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Add Jeff Locke on One-Year Deal: Report]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:19:50 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-5359243181.jpg

The Miami Marlins signed pitcher Jeff Locke to a one-year contract on Wednesday, according to a report by the Miami Herald.

The deal is worth about $3 million and represents a potential low risk-high reward type contract for Miami. Locke was recently non-tendered by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but is capable of being a contributor in the rotation and in the bullpen.

It is not yet known where the Marlins will use Locke, but most signs would point to a job to a starting rotation. David Phelps is another candidate for the rotation, although manager Don Mattingly has let it be known that he prefers the veteran in the pen.

In his six years as a big leaguer, Locke has amassed a 35-38 record to go along with a 4.41 E.R.A. All of Locke's work has come with the Pirates where he was a second-round draft pick. There is a Miami connection in play here as Marlins executive Jim Benedict previously was a member of the Pittsburgh organization as well.

Should Locke pass a physical to make the deal official, he will join Edinson Volquez as Miami's two free-agent pitching deals thus far in the off-season. The Marlins have also been linked to several relievers including Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen.

The MLB Winter Meetings are winding down, but there is still time for Miami to swing a big deal before teams head home.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Fall to 2-8 at Home With Loss to Knicks]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 21:51:01 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-628129582.jpg

The Miami Heat suffered another defeat at home with their 114-93 loss to the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

Miami is a paltry 2-8 at home this season after this loss. Miami is 7-14 overall mostly due to that poor play at American Airlines Arena. Miami kept the game close in the first half, but things got away from it in the second half. The Knicks outscored the Heat by ten in the second half alone.

The Heat were playing with a depleted roster once again and only had nine players available for the game. All nine men took part in the game, but the lack of depth showed in the rough second half.

Hassan Whiteside did all he could once again with 23 points and 14 rebounds for yet another double-double. Whiteside also had an assist, a steal and three blocks.

Goran Dragic led the team with 29 points to go along with seven assists and four rebounds. After nearly triple-doubling last game, Dragic was once again heavily used in this one. The guard was a perfect 4-4 on his three point tries and tossed up 17 shots overall.

Wayne Ellington continued to contribute with 14 points in another start. The lack of depth has given Ellington an opportunity to start and he has answered the call.

The Heat will head right back onto the road to take on the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers' Rough Trip Continues With Loss to Bruins]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 21:55:03 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-624775070.jpg

The Florida Panthers inched closer to the end of their road trip with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins on Monday.

Florida has played five games in a row on the road and has one to go. On the trip thus far, the Panthers have amassed a record of 1-2-2 and have fallen to 12-11-3 overall on the season. This trip has seen a coaching change and sporadic play for Florida.

After Boston jumped out to a 1-0 lead, Florida tied the game with a second period goal from Jaromir Jagr. Mark Pysyk and Aaron Ekblad assisted Jagr on his fifth goal of the season.

Boston regained the lead during the second period and held it until the 7:54 mark of the third period. That was when Aleksander Barkov tied the game once again with his fourth goal of the season. Assisting on Barkov's goal was Reilly Smith.

The Bruins would take the lead once more roughly five minutes later and it seemed Florida was headed for a tough defeat. That was until Jason Demers made it a 3-3 game with his fourth goal of the season. Assisting on the score at the 18:31 mark of the third period were Vincent Trocheck and Michael Matheson.

Boston would put home the game-winner early into the overtime portion of the game. Roberto Luongo ended up with 32 saves on his 36 chances.

The long trip will finally come to an end on Tuesday when the Panthers visit the Flyers in Philadelphia.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Florida State, Michigan Selected for 2016 Orange Bowl]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 09:40:33 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-503034366.jpg

Two of the top college football programs all –time will hit the field inside Hard Rock Stadium later this month for the 83rd Capital One Orange Bowl.

The Florida State Seminoles and Michigan Wolverines were selected Sunday for the game, taking place December 30th at 8 PM.

FSU, which played once already in 2016 inside Hard Rock Stadium when they defeated the Miami Hurricanes on October 8th, come into the game with a record of 9-3 and on a four game winning streak. They were selected to fill the bowl’s contract with the ACC – which sends its champion to the game unless that team qualifies for the College Football Playoff.

After Clemson won the ACC title Saturday, they were selected for the playoff and the 11th ranked Seminoles, being the highest ranked remaining team from the conference, was selected for the Orange Bowl. It will be the 10th time FSU will play in the bowl, the third most of any team.

Michigan, meanwhile, comes in with a record of 10-2 and losses in two of their last three games. They come to South Florida ranked 6th in the polls and will be making their third appearance in the bowl game. They were selected as the highest ranked team remaining from either the SEC or the Big Ten.

The two teams have met twice before – with Michigan winning their contest in 1986 and Florida State coming out on top in 1991. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dolphins' Winning Streak Ends in Baltimore]]> Sun, 04 Dec 2016 16:04:51 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-627667010.jpg

The Miami Dolphins had their six-game winning streak snapped with a 38-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

Miami entered the game with a tough challenge and the first half was a disaster for the team. The Dolphins trailed 24-0 at the half after struggling both offensively and defensively. Miami looked more like the club that started the year 1-4, rather than the team that rolled off six straight wins.

Despite the loss, the Dolphins sit at 7-5 on the season and remain in playoff contention. Miami will need to refocus and find the win column once again next week in order to avoid a precarious position. The Dolphins are unable to afford many losses in the final stretch of the season due to their sluggish start.

Ryan Tannehill ended up 29-40 on his pass attempts for 226 yards. Tannehill found the end zone during the fourth quarter, but was also picked off three times during the game. This game marked the first time that Tannehill had thrown multiple interceptions in a game since early October. After going four straight weeks without a pick, the quarterback now has four in three games.

The story for Miami was not much better on the ground, with Jay Ajayi having one of his quietest games in quite some time. Ajayi ended up rushing for only 61 yards and the team tallied 62.

The Dolphins will host the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday at 1:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Complete Road Trip With Loss to Blazers]]> Sun, 04 Dec 2016 11:37:30 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-615934350.jpg

The Miami Heat finished off a three-game road trip with a 99-92 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.

Even though it ended with a defeat, the trip was a successful one for Miami. The team is now 5-6 on the season in road games after taking two of three during this brief trip. The Heat will only return home for one contest, before heading right back on the road for three more games.

At times, it appeared that Miami could go a perfect 3-0 on the trip as it held leads in this contest. A pivotal second quarter however changed things. After the Heat took an eight-point lead into the second quarter, Portland went into the half with a six-point advantage. The Heat would reduce the deficit in the third quarter, only to let the game get away in the fourth.

Hassan Whiteside was not the reason for Miami's loss as he posted yet another big line. Whiteside double-doubled with 28 points and 16 rebounds, while also adding five more blocks. The center has made double-doubles seem easy, and has only missed the feat in a handful of games this season.

Goran Dragic almost had a magical night himself, but still posted big numbers. Dragic narrowly missed a triple-double with his 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. The guard also added a pair of steals for good measure in his 35 minutes of action.

Up next for Miami will be a game against the New York Knicks on Tuesday at American Airlines Arena.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Set Sights on Three Top Closers: Report]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 04:54:54 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-619335800.jpg

The Miami Marlins are looking to make a big splash and improve their bullpen, according to a report by the Miami Herald.

Miami is linked to all three of the top closers available in the free agent market. Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon all have the ability to change a bullpen immediately and the Marlins have reported interest in the trio. It is unknown if the Marlins would try to sign more than one of the players.

Signing Chapman or Jansen would likely require a commitment of more than $100 million. Melancon can be had for less, but would still be in line for a healthy paycheck. The Marlins have obvious needs in their starting rotation and in the bullpen as well. Forming a strong back of the pen could make up for some deficiencies in the rotation.

Chapman pitched for the Chicago Cubs during their recent World Series run after coming over in a trade. The fireballer is arguably the top arm available this off-season and has interest from multiple big market teams. There could be a bidding war for Chapman's services, but his links to the South Florida area could play a role. After defecting from Cuba, Chapman purchased a home in Davie and still resides in the area during the off-season.

Jansen played under Don Mattingly in Los Angeles and it is possible that the connection could help in contract talks. Like Chapman, Jansen is being linked to multiple teams with higher payrolls. If Miami ends up with the closer, it could be due to a team-friendly deal. It was Mattingly who gave Jansen his first chance to close at the big-league level. Prior to pitching, Jansen was a catcher.

Melancon is an All-Star and has been somewhat overshadowed by Chapman and Jansen this off-season. The right-hander is a difference maker himself and could even end up being the best value of the three. While his salary will surely be lower than Chapman and Jansen, Melancon may put up numbers that are equally as impressive. The 31-year old had 47 saves last year in his stops with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals.

The Major League Baseball Winter Meetings have begun and it appears that Miami could have a busy week.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Thursday Night Football Preview: Chiefs vs. Raiders]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:34:56 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-617476462-chiefs-raiders-oct-2016.jpg

Derek Carr has emerged as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this year. Now he’s got a chance to lead his team to a major win.

First place and an inside track to the AFC West title are on the line when Oakland (10-2) visits Kansas City (9-3) on Thursday Night Football, at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Oakland will be in the hunt for its seventh straight win after roaring back late to blow by Buffalo, while the Chiefs are coming off a more dramatic win.

Do-everything star Eric Berry returned an interception of a 2-point conversion attempt back for the go-ahead points in the fourth quarter of a 29-28 win at Atlanta.

Kansas City’s Alex Smith mostly enjoyed a pressure-free day against the Falcons, something he’s not likely to repeat against Oakland’s Khalil Mack.

In the teams’ first meeting this year, the Raiders were held scoreless after halftime and Carr had a forgettable day in a season to remember.

Through 12 games, he’s thrown for 24 touchdowns and over 3,000 yards. But quarterbacks, fairly or not, aren’t judged just by stats.

On Thursday night, Carr can add to his resume by leading his team to the brink of its first division title since 2002 — in his third season.

Four to Watch

Oakland WR Michael Crabtree: Amari Cooper is the leader in yards receiving, but Crabtree has more touchdowns, and Carr threw to him 11 times in Sunday’s win.

Oakland DE Khalil Mack: Could be the best pass rusher in the NFL right now, but teams can usually ignore the Raiders’ other rushers.

Kansas City DB Eric Berry: Returned two interceptions for points on Sunday. One was for a touchdown, and the other came on a 2-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter of a one-point win.

Kansas City TE Travis Kelce: Coming off a huge game in which he had eight catches for more 140 yards.



Photo Credit: Brian Bahr, Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Hurricanes Headed to Russell Athletic Bowl]]> Sun, 04 Dec 2016 17:58:54 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-622865282.jpg

The Miami Hurricanes will face off against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Russell Athletic Bowl on December 28th.

The bowl announcement came on Sunday and began the countdown to Miami's final game of 2016. Miami was in the mix for several bowl games and will get to play closer to home with this appointment, as the Russell Athletic Bowl will be held in Orlando.

The Mountaineers enjoyed a 10-2 season and saw strong production from senior Skyler Howard at the quarterback spot. Howard tallied 26 touchdowns to go along with ten interceptions during WVU's regular season. The QB ended the season on a high note with seven touchdowns and zero interceptions in his final two games.

West Virginia's running game was also solid with Justin Crawford rushing for 1168 yards. The junior only amassed four touchdowns, but still broke loose for a 63-yard run during the year. Crawford could be one of the more important players to watch on the 28th.

On Miami's end, Brad Kaaya will attempt to put a strong ending on his year. The quarterback had 23 touchdowns and only seven picks. It was a remarkable season with some ups and downs for the team. Kaaya has shown an ability to control the game and keep the offense moving. The Mountaineers will look to throw off Kaaya's tempo right from the start in this one.

Helping Kaaya have a big season was Mark Walton, who himself posted solid numbers. Walton ran the ball into the end zone 14 times this season and also eclipsed 1,000 yards on the ground.

West Virginia opened the year with six straight wins, while Miami was 4-0 at one point. The Hurricanes would end up with a four game skid followed by another four-game win streak. The Mountaineers meanwhile stayed consistent throughout the season.

The Russell Athletic Bowl will be televised on ESPN at 5:30 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[High Stakes for Miami Dolphins on Sunday ]]> Sat, 03 Dec 2016 12:01:33 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/209*120/112716+fins+vs+49ers.jpg

When Kiko Alonso smothered Colin Kaepernick, tore off his helmet, and took a victory jaunt, the Miami Dolphins moved one step closer to becoming an unlikely playoff team following a 1-4 start.

After winning 6 games in a row, the Dolphins’ longest streak in 13 years, their record is 7-4.

If the season ended today, Miami would be the last playoff team to make it in. The Dolphins have the same record as Denver, but get the edge for a “wild card” thanks to the tie-breaker of conference record.

And here’s why Sunday’s game in Baltimore is so critical:

According to fivethirtyeight.com, no NFL game this weekend has more at stake. If the Dolphins win, their playoff chances go up by nearly 20 percent. If they lose, their playoff probability will decrease by 15 percent.

The Ravens are a slight favorite according to Vegas sports books, but if the dolphins can win their 7th in a row, it would be the first time the franchise has done that since 1985!



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Blanked in Ottawa]]> Sun, 04 Dec 2016 07:16:05 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-624774982.jpg

The Florida Panthers were held scoreless in their 2-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

The contest was Florida's fourth on the current six-game road trip and the team has gone 1-3 thus far. Overall this season, the Panthers have a 12-11-2 record and sit in the bottom half of the conference standings.

Both of Ottawa's goals came in the first period and things remained quiet the rest of the way for both teams. The Panthers appeared sluggish from the start and may be showing some signs of exhaustion from their grueling schedule as of late. Florida has played five games in the past week and all five have come in different cities.

Roberto Luongo was in the net for Florida and ended up with 19 saves on his 21 attempts. Florida's primary goalie now has a personal record of 9-6-1 on the season. Even though he took the loss, Luongo once again kept his team in the game.

Most of Florida's shots on goal came during the second period, as the team fired 13 attempts at Ottawa goalie Mike Condon in the middle period alone. The Panthers had 24 SOG in the game total.

Power plays were frequent in this one for both teams with a combined 11 advantages. Ottawa went 0-7 on the power plays it had, while Florida was 0-4.

Florida's long road trip will continue on Monday in Boston against the Bruins.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Continue Success on Road With Win in Utah]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 23:35:11 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-626336598.jpg

The Miami Heat won a second straight road game with their 111-110 win over the Utah Jazz on Thursday.

Despite being five games under .500, the Heat are an even 5-5 now in road games this season. Miami has struggled mightily at home however, which has led to the dismal overall record.

Miami was shorthanded once again, but did the most with what it had. The Heat used a strong effort from the bench to hold onto a slim margin and finish off this win. James Johnson and Wayne Ellington combined for 41 points themselves in reserve roles.

Goran Dragic had a tremendous night for Miami with a team-leading 27 points to go along with six assists and four rebounds. Dragic went 2-3 on his three-point tries as well to help put Miami over the top.

Hassan Whiteside fell just shy of a double-double with nine points and ten rebounds. Whiteside has reached double-doubles in nearly every game this season, but has stumbled a little more as of late. The center had a steal, but no blocked shots in the win.

The current road trip will come to an end on Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers at 10:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Soccer Players Who Missed Doomed Flight Cope With Loss]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 08:23:06 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/soccer-plane-crash.jpg

As the recovered bodies of Brazil's Chapecoense soccer team begin to be returned to families Friday, the players who did not travel on the team's ill-fated flight are left mourning their teammates, NBC News reported.

"I still have the chance to hug and kiss my children, but my teammates can't do that anymore," said Chapecoense defender Demerson Costa.

The crash killed 71 people, including 19 people from the soccer team. The pilot reportedly told a Colombian air traffic controller he had run out of fuel just moments before the plane crashed into the Andes Mountains.

One player, Matheus Saroli, didn't board the flight because he forgot his passport. He lost his father, coach Caio Junior, who was on board.



Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Fall to Blackhawks in Rowe's Debut]]> Tue, 29 Nov 2016 23:35:14 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-624857724.jpg

In his first game as interim head coach, Tom Rowe's Florida Panthers fell 2-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

The loss came in a shootout which means Florida picked up a point. The Panthers now have 24 points on the season to go with their 11-10-2 record. Florida has been strong in overtime and shootouts this season, but was unable to prevail this time around.

After Gerard Gallant's shocking dismissal on Sunday, general manager Tom Rowe named himself interim head coach. Rowe is not expected to be the long-term solution behind the bench for Florida, but should hold the spot for the forseeable future.

Trailing by one at the start of the third period, Florida tied the lead in a hurry. During a power play at the 35-second mark, Jaromir Jagr found the back of the net for the fourth time this season. Assisting on the game-tying goal were Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Marchessault.

Roberto Luongo did a fine job for Florida in the net with his 32 saves on 33 attempts. After a first period goal, Luongo settled in and allowed nothing to pass him until the shootout.

The road trip will roll on when Florida visits the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LeBron James Is Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of Year]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:23:53 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/kingjamesja.jpg

LeBron James delivered on a promise and ended decades of Cleveland sports misery in 2016.

For leading the Cavaliers to an NBA title and ending the city's 52-year title drought, James was chosen as Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year on Thursday, joining Tiger Woods as the award's only two-time winners since its inception in 1954.

"I'm honored," James said following shootaround before the Cavs hosted the Los Angeles Clippers. "I'm more happy for my family, my kids, for my wife, my mom, and for my foundation, for the kids that I represent and the kids that use me as a role model and an inspiration."

Appearing in his sixth straight NBA Finals in June, James rallied the Cavs from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the favored Golden State Warriors, who won 73 games during the regular season but couldn't put Cleveland away. James scored 41 points in Games 5 and 6 and made a key block in the final minutes of an epic Game 7, making the Cavs the first Cleveland major sports franchise to win a title since the Browns in 1964.

James was selected finals MVP for the third time in his career.

The 31-year-old James returned to Cleveland as a free agent in 2014 and pledged to bring a title to his home state. He did it in his second season, an achievement that ranks as the greatest accomplishment of his career.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Taking the Plunge: Michael Phelps Looks to Dip Into Tech ]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:30:06 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/mikemikemike.jpg

Michael Phelps wants to dive into Silicon Valley's investment opportunities as he tries to make the transition from Olympic swimming star and product pitchman to entrepreneur.

"I would love to get involved, whether it's in a couple little startups here and there, take a little risk, have some fun and see where it goes," Phelps said in an interview during a recent visit to San Jose, California while appearing at an Intuit software conference.

For now, Phelps isn't providing any details about what he is going to do, though he says he has been getting advice from venture capitalists and other experienced investors in Silicon Valley startups.

Getting into tech investing would be a new direction for Phelps, whose business experience to date consists mostly of his own line of swimwear and endorsement deals with the likes of Under Armour, Visa and Wheaties.

These and other big brands have paid him an estimated $75 million during his career. That's far more than the $1.65 million that he received from the U.S. Olympic Committee and Speedo for winning a record 28 medals, including 23 golds, in five Olympics. He's still promoting products; he is currently doing commercials for computer chipmaker Intel in a campaign that began in October.

Whatever he does next, Phelps isn't ready to start his own investment fund, like retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant did earlier this year with entrepreneur Jeff Stibel. And if Phelps has ideas for founding a startup of his own, he's keeping them to himself.

Making the leap from pitchman to businessman won't be easy, said David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California's Marshall Sports Business Institute. "Athletes come and go and many talk a big game, but they don't follow through," he said. Phelps "is really going to have commit to learning about business and demonstrate his seriousness about it."

Other celebrities have ventured into the tech industry in search of riches, with decidedly mixed results.

[[388677371, C]]

Notable successes include rapper and record producer Dr. Dre, who was part of the founding team that sold Beats to Apple for $3 billion 2014. Actor Ashton Kutcher co-founded an investment fund in 2010 that made early investments in startups such as the ride-hailing service Uber, the home rental-service Airbnb and the music streaming service Spotify. The fund's value had soared to $250 million from $30 million, based on a review of its books earlier this year by Forbes magazine.

Among the flops: HJR Capital, a tech-investment firm that collapsed in 2009, a decade after former San Francisco 49er lineman Harris Barton founded it and later enticed ex-teammates Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott to join him. In Rhode Island, former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling started a video game company that went bankrupt in 2012.

Phelps is exploring ways to expand his business ventures beyond a line of swimwear and other clothing bearing his "MP" logo. Other products are in the pipeline for next year, though he won't say what. "I am getting my feet wet," Phelps said with a grin. "2017 will be a big year."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Finish Strong in Victory Over Nuggets]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 23:35:49 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-626885164.jpg

The Miami Heat opened their latest road trip with a 106-98 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.

With this win, Miami is now 6-12 on the season and continues to play better on the road than it does at home. The Heat are 4-5 in road games, and a paltry 2-7 in games in Miami.

This game looked like it could end in the loss column for Miami until a strong fourth quarter. In the final quarter of play, the Heat outscored the Nuggets 31-18 to pick up a much-needed win.

Tyler Johnson returned to the team after missing Monday's contest and resumed his role off the bench. Miami was still without Dion Waiters and Justise Winslow and the lack of depth showed. The Heat had Josh McRoberts in the starting lineup for the first time this season and he was mostly a non-factor.

Wayne Ellington was a big reason for the win as he had a memorable fourth quarter himself. The guard nailed four of his five three-pointers in the final quarter alone. Ellington ended up with 22 points overall in the game while coming off Miami's bench.

Leading the charge for the Heat in the win was a familiar name in Hassan Whiteside. The center has been far and away Miami's most consistent player this season and had another big game. Whiteside ended up with 25 points to go along with 16 rebounds and he also had four blocks.

Goran Dragic was solid himself with 16 points and seven assists in his 34 minutes of action.

The next stop on the trip for Miami will come on Thursday against the Utah Jazz at 9:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[I Miss Him: Barkley Reveals He and Jordan No Longer Friends]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 11:16:09 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/jordanbark.jpg

NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley gave an interview on the Dan Le Batard radio show this week where he explained, despite a recent photo that had been making the rounds, he and once close pal Michael Jordan have not buried the hatchet.

Barkley said a recent pic taken by TNT colleague Kenny Smith mistakenly spread the belief the two had made amends from a long-running feud. But Barkley recalled it as a brief, awkward encounter at a public event they just both happened to be attending.

"I love Michael. I miss Michael's friendship. He was a great friend to me for a long period of time. And I love him and miss him like a brother. But we just happened to be at the same place so we took a picture together," Barkley said. "We are not back to where we use to be."

Barkley explained Jordan holds a grudge for criticism Barkley levied at him as owner of the NBA Charlotte Hornets. Barkley said Jordan surrounded himself with 'yes' men who wouldn't challenge some of his questionable personnel decisions. 

"Some people, when you're their friend, expect you to have their back no matter what. And part of my job sucks some times when I have to criticize people I like or a friend," Barkley said. "He took it personally and got really angry. And I haven't really spoken to him in years."



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Dolphins DT Leon Orr Arrested for Marijuana Possession]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 18:55:52 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/113016+leon+orr.jpg

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Leon Orr was arrested for marijuana possession in Collier County, officials said.

Orr, 24, was pulled over Tuesday for what appeared to be illegally tinted windows, NBC 2 reported.

Jail records showed Orr was released from jail after posting $7,000 bond. Attorney information wasn't immediately available.

When an officer approached his car, he smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle, authorities said. The report said Orr had stuffed the marijuana down his pants.

Authorities charged Orr with possession of marijuana under 20 grams. Orr was also charged with possession of a controlled substance after authorities found kush syrup and THC in the car.

At a press conference Wednesday, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said they found out Orr had been arrested during Wednesday's practice and immediately cut him from the team.

Orr, from Largo, Florida, played college football for the Florida Gators before signing with the Oakland Raiders in 2015. He was signed by the Dolphins after his release from the Raiders and had one tackle in five games this season.



Photo Credit: Collier County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Serena Williams on Sexism: Being a Woman Is Not a 'Flaw']]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:26:22 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/serenaserena.jpg

Serena Williams served up another ace. Only this time it was in the form of an open letter about sexism and wage disparity between males and females in sports.

The letter, initially written for Porter Magazine’s 'Incredible Women of 2016' issue, was reprinted by The Guardian on Tuesday. Williams dedicated it to “all incredible women who strive for excellence” as she wrote about gender discrimination in sports that she and other women face.

"When the subject of equal pay comes up, it frustrates me because I know firsthand that I, like you, have done the same work and made the same sacrifices as our male counterparts," Williams wrote. "I would never want my daughter to be paid less than my son for the same work. Nor would you."

The gender wage gap in professional tennis has been a topic of conversation this year. The New York Times reported in April that last year, Roger Federer received $731,000 for defending his title at the Western & Southern Open. At the same tournament, Serena Williams received $495,000 for defending her respective title. It was just one of many instances in which the compensation disparity was evident.

Williams has made it clear on many occasions that she wants to be the “best tennis player in the world,” not “the best ‘female’ tennis player in the world.” In her letter she pointed out how descriptions tend to exclusively gender-mark women. While people call her one of the greatest “female” athletes, they do not similarly say LeBron James or Tiger Woods are considered some of the greatest “male” athletes. Instead, they are just considered great athletes.

“As we know, women have to break down many barriers on the road to success,” Williams wrote, “One of those barriers is the way we are constantly reminded we are not men, as if it is a flaw.”

Former professional tennis player Ray Moore brought sexism in tennis to light earlier in the year with his controversial comments about how female tennis players “ride on the coattails of men” and how they should thank prominent male tennis players like Federer and Nadal “because they have carried this sport.”

But despite ongoing ignorance in the sport Williams closed her letter offering encouragement to young women to follow their dreams with resilience.

“We must continue to dream big, and in doing so, we empower the next generation of women to be just as bold in their pursuits.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images for Audemars Piguet]]>
<![CDATA[Local Soccer Fans, Brazilians in Mourning After Plane Crash]]> Tue, 29 Nov 2016 18:28:10 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Lamis+Plane+Crash+Debris+5.jpg

Soccer fans and Brazilians in South Florida are in mourning following the airplane crash in Colombia involving the Chapecoense soccer team.

More than 70 people were killed and six were injured in Monday night's crash in Medellin. Members of the Brazilian first division soccer team were on their way to the finals of Copa Sudamerica after a legendary season.

One of the survivors, Alan Luciano Ruschel, posted video of the team boarding the plane before takeoff.

"It should have been such a happy occasion and then something like this happens. It's terrible," said Lee Ifans, a member of the Dade Brigade, the official fan group of Miami FC.

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers, who play in the North American Soccer League, took to Twitter Tuesday to offer their condolences:

Soccer enthusiasts and local Brazilians watched the news unfold at the Brazilian restaurant Boteco.

"Everybody feels very bad right now. Everybody concentrated right now in Chapecoense," Brazilian Marcos Nascemento said.

"There is a soul in soccer. There's a fabric running through the game and when part of that fabric is gone it's just really really sad," Ifans said.


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Sign Edinson Volquez]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 11:47:36 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-595427138.jpg

The Miami Marlins signed free agent starting pitcher Edinson Volquez to a two-year contract on Thursday.

The deal will be worth $22 million over the two years and will fill a big hole in Miami's rotation. The Marlins entered the off-season with multiple needs and Volquez should be just the start of things for the front office.

When Jose Fernandez passed away in September, Miami was immediately left with a need for starting pitching. Even before Fernandez's untimely passing, the Marlins needed help in the rotation. While no pitcher can easily replace Fernandez's talent or personality, Volquez will give the Marlins a veteran experienced arm.

In his 12 years as a big leaguer, Volquez has amassed an 89-79 record to go along with a 4.44 E.R.A. The right-hander has been well traveled with stops in Texas, Cincinnati, San Diego, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Kansas City. The last two seasons Volquez has pitched for the Royals and was a key member of the 2015 World Series champions.

Volquez figures to slide into the third spot in the Miami rotation behind Adam Conley and Wei-Yin Chen. Tom Koehler is also expected to open the season in the rotation for the Marlins. The fifth spot remains a mystery at this time.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Fire Head Coach Gerard Gallant]]> Mon, 28 Nov 2016 05:13:09 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-621675256.jpg

The Florida Panthers fired head coach Gerard Gallant following their 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday evening.

General Manager Tom Rowe will take over the coaching duties for Florida, after handing Gallant his walking papers. Rowe has coached in the NHL before, but not since 2011. In an interesting twist, Rowe led Carolina in that last tour of duty.

Gallant's firing could come as a surprise to many as the season is just 22 games old. The coach had some memorable success with Florida and led it to the playoffs just last season. While playing under Gallant, the Panthers went 96-65-25 overall and set a franchise-record for wins in 2015-16.

This was Gallant's third season as Florida's head coach after joining the organization back in 2014. During last season, Gallant served as the head coach for the Atlantic Division All-Stars and the veteran coach was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award.

This season, Florida has an 11-10-1 record and sits in tenth place in the Eastern Conference. Florida's success in 2015-16 set the bar higher for management, and Gallant paid the price for the disappointing campaign.

Rowe will coach his first game on Tuesday in Chicago.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Shorthanded Heat Fall to Celtics]]> Tue, 29 Nov 2016 11:13:12 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-616087524.jpg

The Miami Heat were unable to overcome a depleted roster in their 112-104 loss to the Boston Celtics on Monday.

Miami was playing without Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson and Justise Winslow and it showed. The Heat only used nine players total and had a patchwork starting lineup. Miami's starting five in the loss were Derrick Williams, Luke Babbitt, Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic and Rodney McGruder.

The loss for the Heat was another one in their home building as well. Miami is now 2-7 at American Airlines Arena this season and a paltry 5-12 overall. The Heat have actually played better on the road so far on the year. 

Dragic was tasked with being Miami's main attacker for most of the game and ended up throwing up the most attempts. The guard went 8-15 on his field goal tries and ended up 27 points. Dragic also had 16 assists and did all he could to keep Miami in the game.

Hassan Whiteside had a solid game as well with yet another double-double. Whiteside ended his night with 25 points and 17 rebounds along with a blocked shot.

Josh Richardson was back on the bench for this one and led the reserves in points. The guard ended up with 12 points and a pair of steals in his 29 minutes. Richardson could find himself back in the starting lineup in the near future.

Miami will head back on the road for a game against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Thursday Night Football: Cowboys Go for 11th Straight Win]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:03:22 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_16330088209607.jpg

Dak Prescott will face as good a pass defense as he has seen all year when the rookie quarterback tries to run the Dallas Cowboys’ winning streak to 11 in-a-row on Thursday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings.

The teams face off on NBC at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Minnesota is coming off a loss to Detroit in the last seconds that was their fifth in six games following a 5-0 start. Prescott, a fourth-round draft pick who has supplanted Tony Romo, threw for a TD and ran for another on Thanksgiving Day.

The Vikings will play without their coach Mike Zimmer. He will miss the game following emergency surgery to repair a detached retina. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will serve as the interim head coach.

The Vikings’ defense has allowed 13 TDs through the air and picked off passes 12 times. Against the comparably dangerous Philadelphia defense, Prescott made a couple of shaky throws, including an interception in the end zone. But he also led Dallas back from a late 10-point hole and threw a winning TD pass in overtime.

Minnesota QB Sam Bradford should have an easier time against the Cowboys’ secondary. The sixth-year-player is on pace to blow away his previous best in completion percentage. A 31-for-37 game against Detroit bumped him up to 71.3 on the year and he’s at nearly 80 percent in November.

Four to watch:

Dallas RB Zeke Elliott: Another rookie enjoying a breakout year for the Cowboys; he’ll be leaned on heavily. His next yard will be 1,200 for the season and 200 ahead of the nearest competitor.

Dallas CB Anthony Brown: The rookie cornerback had a howler against Washington, and figures to be targeted heavily by Bradford and top Vikings WR Stefon Diggs. 

Minnesota CB Xavier Rhodes: Leads the Vikings with four interceptions this season, all in the last eight games, including one he took back for a touchdown.

Minnesota DE Danielle Hunter: Has 3.5 of his 7.5 sacks this season in the last three games. He’ll go up against a line that has allowed 15 all year.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Blow Two-Goal Lead in Loss]]> Mon, 28 Nov 2016 05:12:46 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-624857700.jpg

The Florida Panthers had a two-goal lead wiped away in a 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.

Florida scored twice in the opening period, but allowed three goals to Carolina in the second period. The Hurricanes scored the three goals in a span of just over three minutes. With the loss, Florida is now 4-6-1 on the road this year and 11-10-1 overall.

Florida started to build the early lead with a goal from Jonathan Marchessault. The tenth goal of the season for Marchessault increased his team lead and came with assists from Jaromir Jagr and Aleksander Barkov. The goal found the back of the net during a Florida power play.

Around five minutes later, Aaron Ekblad added his sixth goal of the season with an assist from Aleksander Barkov. That goal which gave Florida a 2-0 lead would be the last of the day for the Panthers.

Starting at the 5:21 mark of the next period, Carolina chipped away at Florida's lead. When the game clock hit 8:49, the Hurricanes had the lead and would never look back. The eventual game-winning goal came during a power play for the Hurricanes.

James Reimer took the loss for the Panthers due to that rough second period. Overall the goalie has 24 saves on his 27 attempts.

Florida's road trip will continue on Tuesday with a game in Chicago against the Blackhawks.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Miami Crowd Boos Kaepernick]]> Mon, 28 Nov 2016 02:00:07 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/KaepernickDolphins.jpg

Playing in Miami on Sunday just days after getting tangled in a "heated" discussion about Fidel Castro with a newspaper reporter, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick received a "flood of boos" from the South Florida crowd, CSN Bay Area reporter Matt Maiocco tweeted.

Kaepernick's Castro talk began months ago when he flashed a shirt featuring the former leader of Cuba, who passed away late Friday, meeting with Malcolm X. The lettering across the shirt read, "Like minds think alike."

After the 49ers’ 31-24 loss to the Dolphins, Kaepernick was asked about some of the statements he made, in which he defended Castro’s record of education in Cuba.

"I said was that I agree with the investment in education," Kaepernick said. "I also agree with the investment in free universal health care, as well as the involvement in him helping end apartheid in South Africa. I would hope that everybody agrees that those things are good things. Trying to push the false narrative that I was a supporter of the oppressive things that he did, it’s just not true."

Kaepernick, who again wore a T-shirt depicting Malcolm X following Sunday's contest, was asked about his shirt selection.

"I’ve worn many Malcolm X shirts," Kaepernick said. "He was a great man, and he lived the life that he talked about. He was someone that truly walked the walk and was a great leader for the African community and someone I admire."

When asked Sunday if he understands concerns that arose with his decision to wear a shirt that portrayed Castro, Kaepernick said, "I can understand the concern. But for me what I said was that was a historic moment for Malcolm."

Kaepernick added, "I’m not going to cut out pieces of Malcolm’s life. In 1960 when they met in Harlem, that was a historic moment. That’s something that I will always be true to, what Malcolm was, what he represented, because I’m not going to cut out history.”

During a conference call earlier this week, a Miami Herald reporter, who is reportedly related to Cuban exiles, questioned the San Francisco signal caller's choice to don the shirt with Castro, to which Kaepernick responded by saying, "I'm not talking about Fidel Castro and his oppression. I'm talking about Malcom X and what he's done for people."

The reporter then condemned Kaepernick for changing the subject of the discussion away from Castro's history of abuses. The quarterback responded by applauding Castro for investing more in education instead of criminal punishment.

Kaepernick answered the jeers Sunday by leading his offensive unit to the end zone on the team's first drive of the game. He finished with 296 yards through the air and three scores to go along with 113 yards on the ground.

CSN's Matt Maiocco contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Eric Espada, Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Angry Miami Fans Cheer Kaepernick's Fall Against Dolphins]]> Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:43:49 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/KaepernickDolphins.jpg

It started with a chorus of boos for Colin Kaepernick.

It ended with loud cheers for Kaepernick getting crushed 2 yards short of a game-tying touchdown as time expired.

Miami fans arrived angry, after Kaepernick defended Fidel Castro this week, just days before the Cuban dictator died.

But they went home happy, and hopeful, about a 7-4 football team that has now won 6 straight games, the franchise's longest winning streak since 2005 (when Nick Saban was the Coach).

As fate would have it, on the last play of the game, Dolphins player Kiko Alonso, whose father is Cuban American tackled Kaepernick to save the victory for Miami.

After the loss, the 49er clarified his stance on Fidel Castro saying that he agreed with Castro's investment in education, free universal health care and his involvement in ending apartheid in South Africa. He added, "I would hope that everydoby agrees that those things are good things. And, trying to push the false narrative that I was a supporter of the oppressive things that he did is not true."

Miami Herald sportswriter Armando Salguero started the Kaepernick-Castro controversy. Kaepernick had worn a shirt which had a picture of Malcolm X meeting Castro. Salguero told the quarterback that Castro represents brutal oppression to millions of people. Kaepernick would not acknowledge the regime's brutality.

"I don't want to hear about the education system in Cuba and health care in Cuba when Cubans are so eager to leave that place that they're throwing themselves on rafts and going into shark infested waters to get the heck out,” Salguero told NBC 6 after Sunday’s game.

Kiko Alonso tweeted a picture of the game-saving play with the Spanish profanity-laced caption and the hashtag Cuba Libre which means Cuba Free.

 

Concerns about the Dolphins overlooking the lowly 49ers, or playing down to their competition, dissipated in the 2nd half when Ryan Tannehill threw two touchdown passes on the way to a 31-14 lead.

San Francisco mounted a valiant comeback, but fell just short when Kaepernick was smothered 2 yards shy of a touchdown. The Dolphins survived with a 31-24 win.

And finally, the turnaround feels real.

You'll have to forgive Dolphins fans for being skeptical. It was just last month that the Dolphins were 1-4 and Tannehill was getting booed by his own restless crowd at Hard Rock Stadium.

Now, look at them!

The Fins enter December in the thick of playoff hunt, with a young Head Coach in Adam Gase who the players believe in.

Gase has lived up to the title of "Quarterback Whisperer," helping Tannehill look more comfortable. It doesn't hurt that Devante Parker has emerged as a legitimate down field threat at Wide Receiver. And Jay Ajayi has proved to be a reliable work-horse Running Back.

The Dolphins defense has had its issues, but during the winning streak, it has come up with big plays late in games to clinch victories.

It's all a recipe for optimism that Dolphins fans haven't seen in more than a decade. Even during the 2008 season (Miami's last in the playoffs), the Dolphins didn't have 7 wins through the first 11 games.

That year felt like a fluke. That team didn't have a promising future. Playoffs or not, the 2016 Miami Dolphins do.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Dolphins Extend Winning Streak to Six]]> Sun, 27 Nov 2016 16:26:53 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-626137782.jpg

The Miami Dolphins extended their winning streak to six with a 31-24 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

The 49ers entered the game with a nine-game losing streak themselves and have now set a new franchise record with their 1-10 record. No 49ers team had ever lost ten consecutive games prior to Sunday's defeat. Miami meanwhile finds itself at 7-4 and with a solid chance of being a part of the playoffs.

The game did not start out so well for Miami and San Francisco held a 7-0 advantage after one quarter. In the second quarter however, the Dolphins found their footing and posted 14 points to take a lead into the half. After the intermission, Miami intercepted a pass quickly and converted a field goal to extend the lead to ten.

Over the remainder of the game, Miami extended the lead before San Francisco crept closer. The 49ers would bring the game to within one score with roughly two minutes to play. San Francisco would then have a chance to tie the game following the two-minute warning, but came up short.

Ryan Tannehill had a big day to lead his team to the win. Miami's quarterback was 20-30 on his pass attempts and threw three touchdown passes. Tannehill now has eclipsed 100 touchdowns in his five-year NFL career. The QB had a total of 285 yards in the air in the win.

Next Sunday could be a challenging one for Miami as it is scheduled to face the Baltimore Ravens at 1:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NFL, Fans Mark Sean Taylor Anniversary on Social Media]]> Sun, 27 Nov 2016 17:06:02 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/171*120/CELEB+DEATH+Sean+Taylor.jpg

Nine years ago today, there were shock waves across the NFL and South Florida after the shooting death of University of Miami and Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor.

The football player, who was only 24, was gunned down during a burglary at his Palmetto Bay home in 2007. He was at home with his long-time girlfriend, Jackie Garcia and their 18-month-old daughter when an armed intruder entered the home. While Jackie and the baby hid under a bed, Taylor was shot in his femoral artery.  He died a few days later.

All four people involved in the murder and burglary were convicted and sentenced to prison.

The NFL, players and other celebrities took to social media Sunday to pay tribute to Taylor on the somber anniversary.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Home Woes Continue for Heat in Loss]]> Sun, 27 Nov 2016 06:59:10 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-6189217621.jpg

The Miami Heat suffered another defeat at home with their 110-107 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.

Miami is now a paltry 2-6 at home this season and has actually played slightly better on the road. On Friday, the Heat beat the Grizzlies in Memphis to end a quick two-game slide. The Heat are now 5-11 overall this year and are currently near the bottom of the NBA standings.

Foul shots played a role in the loss with Memphis making 27 out of the 33 tries it had from the charity stripe. Miami meanwhile was 16-24 on the free throw attempts it had.

Making this loss tougher for Miami, was the fact that Dion Waiters put on quite a show. Waiters posted 28 points with six assists and five rebounds in the losing effort. The Heat were +7 while Waiters was on the court during the game.

Hassan Whiteside also had a good game after a brief two-game slump. Whiteside had missed double-doubles in back-to-back games after achieving that feat for most of the season. The center put another double-double in his column in this loss with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

With Goran Dragic unavailable, the Heat gave a start to Rodney McGruder and he answered the call with 11 points. McGruder also had four boards, two assists and a block. Dragic was out of action due to a strained left elbow and should be considered day-to-day.

The Heat will be back in action on Monday when they host the Boston Celtics at 7:30 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Win in Another Shootout]]> Sat, 26 Nov 2016 23:37:54 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-626014868.jpg

The Florida Panthers continued their success in shootouts with a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

This was the second shootout for Florida in the last three games and the team has won both. Overall, the Panthers have now won three of their last four games and sit at 11-9-1 on the season. In games that extended past regulation this season, Florida is an impressive 6-0-1.

With the first period winding down, Jaromir Jagr put Florida on the board and on top with his third goal of the season. Shawn Thornton and Aleksander Barkov assisted on the goal.

Columbus would tie the game in the third period to send the game to overtime. In the extra five minutes, neither team could find the net which forced another shootout. Roberto Luongo who had a strong game continued that success during the shootout.

Luongo had 36 saves in the game and was a perfect 3-3 in the shootout. It was one of the finest games of the season for the veteran goalie who improved his record on the season to 7-6-0.

The game-winning goal in the shootout was put home by Aleksander Barkov. The score came after Vincent Trocheck had his attempt stopped.

Florida will try to keep the wins coming when it travels to North Carolina on Sunday to face the Hurricanes.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hurricanes Finish Regular Season With Fourth Straight Win]]> Sat, 26 Nov 2016 19:13:31 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-621284280.jpg

The Miami Hurricanes ended the regular season on a high note with a 40-21 win over the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday.

Miami finishes the season with an 8-4 record and now will wait to find out which bowl game it will take part in. This season was a bumpy ride for head coach Mark Richt in his first year with the school. After beginning the season with four wins, Miami lost four straight before closing out the schedule with this latest streak.

After taking an early lead on Saturday, Miami fell behind by four points. The Hurricanes would then score a touchdown of their own and ended up flipping the lead back and forth two more times. Miami put away the game in the third quarter with a pair of touchdowns. Michael Badgley's leg was also partly responsible for the win as the placekicker nailed four field goals.

Brad Kaaya eclipsed the 3,000 yard passing mark for the third straight year with his 396 yards in the win. No Miami quarterback had ever accomplished this feat prior to Kaaya. The junior had four touchdown passes as part of a 22-35 day in the air.

On the ground, Mark Walton completed his regular season with 60 yards which led the team. Walton picked up a 22-yard run during the day and averaged 4.6 yards per carry. Gus Edwards had 55 yards as well on 11 rushing attempts for Miami.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Week 12 Preview: 49ers at Dolphins]]> Sat, 26 Nov 2016 13:09:00 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-624707964.jpg

The Miami Dolphins will try to make it six wins in a row when they host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

With San Francisco entering on a nine-game skid, Miami is the clear favorite on paper in this one. The 49ers are 1-9 on the season and a tenth straight loss would set a new franchise record. The Dolphins meanwhile are 6-4 due to their streak and could improve their playoff chances further with a win.

When the Dolphins were sitting at 1-4, the season appeared to be over in terms of contention. Miami struggled on both sides of the ball and faced an uphill battle to turn the season around. Ever since beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Dolphins have used a mix of good play and some luck to move up the ranks.

The Dolphins will be without Mike Pouncey in this one again. Without Pouncey, Miami struggled for much of last week's game before a furious comeback at the end of the fourth quarter. Pouncey's abscence forced Ryan Tannehill to scramble more often and led to several sacks. Miami will need to protect Tannehill better against San Francisco and also give some running room to Jay Ajayi.

The 49ers allow an average of 179.5 yards per game on the ground. Ajayi could be primed for another big day in what has already been an eye-opening season. Ajayi rushed for over 100 yards in three straight games earlier this season and has closed in on 80 yards the past two weeks. When Ajayi is moving the ball, the Dolphins become a different team.

Another factor working in Miami's favor, is the ineffectiveness of San Francisco's defense on third downs. The 49ers allow third down conversions 47% of the time, while Miami has a 31% rate in that department. Ajayi could get the ball on several third and shorts during the afternoon.

Sunday's game will begin at 1:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>