<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Sports]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usSun, 19 Feb 2017 18:34:23 -0500Sun, 19 Feb 2017 18:34:23 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Panthers Move Into Playoff Position With Fourth Straight Win]]> Sun, 19 Feb 2017 10:52:09 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631502686.jpg

The Florida Panthers moved into a playoff position with their 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

The victory was Florida's fourth straight, and all four wins have come on the road. Including this win, the Panthers won three in a row against teams based in California. The trip is often seen as a challenging and taxing one for teams, but Florida looked energized and determined.

The Panthers would be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second straight season, if the campaign ended today. While Florida just would sneak in at this stage, it is still a very positive sign for a club that struggled in the early going. The Panthers were one of the league's most inconsistent teams for much of the first half, and even changed coaches along the way.

Jonathan Huberdeau's goal late in the first period gave Florida a 1-0 lead. Assisting on Huberdeau's fourth goal of the season were Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck. This would turn out to just be the first highlight of Barkov's evening.

Early in the second period, Jussi Jokinen made it a 2-0 game with his ninth goal of the season. Reilly Smith and Alex Petrovic were both credited with assists on the score.

Los Angeles would score the next two goals, but Florida took the lead back right after the third period got underway. Barkov found the back of the net at the 15-second mark of the period. It was the 14th goal of the year for Barkov and it came with assists from Jaromir Jagr and Aaron Ekblad.

After sitting out the first game of a back-to-back, Roberto Luongo was back in the net for this one. Luongo ended up with 33 saves in his 35 opportunities.

Florida's road trip will conclude on Monday when it travels to St. Louis to take on the Blues.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Win Third Straight in Anaheim]]> Sat, 18 Feb 2017 11:00:45 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-634458988.jpg

The Florida Panthers scored four unanswered goals to beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Friday.

The victory was Florida's third in a row and continued the team's hot start to the second half of the season. With the win, the Panthers now sit at 26-20-10 on the season. Florida would miss the playoffs if the season ended today, but it remains within striking distance of landing a spot. The Panthers currently trail the eight-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs by a point.

After Anaheim took a 1-0 lead in the second period, Colton Sceviour answered back for Florida with his seventh goal of the season. The game-tying score came with assists from Derek MacKenzie and Shawn Thornton.

A little while later, Jaromir Jagr gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead with his 11th score of the season. The goal for the veteran was unassisted and it put Florida on top for the remainder of the way.

The offensive second period continued when Aaron Ekblad found the back of the net for the eighth time this season. Vincent Trocheck and Jonathan Marchessault assisted Ekblad on the power play goal.

Late in the third period, Derek MacKenzie padded Florida's lead once more, with an unassisted score. The Panthers were shorthanded when MacKenzie scored his fifth goal of the season.

James Reimer was in the net for Florida and did a fantastic job with 35 saves in 36 chances.

The Panthers will play the second half of a back-to-back on Saturday when they take on the Los Angeles Kings.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Don Mattingly Urges Marlins to Play Like Jose Fernandez]]> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 21:12:48 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-5431705301.jpg

Marlins manager Don Mattingly told his team to play with the spirit of the late Jose Fernandez during a meeting on Friday.

The closed-door meeting is an annual tradition on the first day of full-squad workouts. Mattingly used the meeting to give a speech on what he expects from his players, and how they can best honor Fernandez. While no actual quotes from Mattingly are available, some of the players paraphrased what their skipper told them.

“He talked about keeping the passion and energy in the backs of our minds as we go out and play. That’s the one thing we appreciated and loved most about him, was how hard he played and the energy and passion he brought every single day. It was unmatched,” Derek Dietrich said.

Fernandez was known for his in-game energy on days he started and also on days he was a spectator. The pitcher kept the dugout loose and could always be found chatting with a teammate or coach. Fernandez would react to big moments like a fan in the stands, and would bring that same passion to the mound when it was his day to pitch.

“Every time you step between those lines, play with his spirit,” Martin Prado added.

Perhaps the biggest moment of the 2016 baseball season came when Dee Gordon homered in Miami's first game after Fernandez's death. Gordon led off for the Marlins and hit a ball high and far into the outfield seats. It was a rare moment for Gordon and an emotional time for the team. The team played for their fallen teammate that night, and that is now also the mantra for the 2017 season.

“We’re going to go to battle for Jose,” said Gordon.

Miami's first game of the Grapefruit League season will be on February 25th.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Michael Jordan's Top Sports Moments]]> Sat, 18 Feb 2017 09:11:52 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/TITLEMJ.jpg Air Jordan turns 54 today. From the unforgettable "double nickel" game at Madison Square Garden to the iconic "Flu Game" against the Utah Jazz, take a look back at some of Michael Jordan's greatest moments on the NBA hardwood.

<![CDATA[Gymnastics Doc Used Hide-and-Seek Games to Molest: Accuser]]> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:11:04 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/gymnasticsdoctormolestor.jpg

A woman who says the disgraced team doctor for USA Gymnastics molested her as a child testified Friday that he turned games of hide-and-seek in the basement of his home into abuse sessions, NBC News reported.

"Almost every time I was there for a couple of years, something occurred," the woman, a former family friend, said during a preliminary hearing before a judge ordered disgraced doctor Larry Nassar to stand trial on state sex-abuse charges.

Nassar, 53, is also charged in federal court with possession of child pornography — more than 37,000 images, including Go Pro video he allegedly made himself.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dan Marino Specialty License Plate Being Considered]]> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 10:42:12 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/DanMarino14.jpg

Fans of Miami Dolphins great Dan Marino may get a chance to honor their hero as they drive down the road – while benefiting the fight against autism.

First reported by NBC affiliate WPTV, a bill proposed by Democratic State Rep. Joseph Abruzzo of Boynton Beach would create a new specialty license plate in the state, possibly with an image right on it.

All proceeds from sales of the plate would go to the Dan Marino Foundation, which raises money and provides services for people with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Already, the subcommittee that handles new tags has backed two new plates: one for the American Eagle Foundation and one that would honor former President Ronald Reagan. Two more proposals will go before the subcommittee, with the full legislature voting on any new plates once the session starts March 7th.

Currently, there are 125 specialty plates offered to drivers in Florida.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Hire Shane Battier to Lead Analytics Department]]> Thu, 16 Feb 2017 20:12:58 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-538849990.jpg

The Miami Heat hired two-time NBA champion Shane Battier as the head of their analytics department on Thursday.

Battier was a member of Miami's title teams in 2012 and 2013 and was on the Heat for three seasons overall. After the 2013-14 season, Battier retired from the game and went on to work in television. Battier's last game came during the NBA finals when the Heat lost to the San Antonio Spurs.

"My goal, as is the entire organization's, is to bring another championship back to Miami," said Battier.

During his career, Battier was known as a student of the game. His work ethic and interest in analytics should make him a perfect fit for this new role. Battier's job will involve evaluating talent from the college ranks and all the way up to the NBA level. Battier's input will be used when it comes to the draft, free agency and internal roster decisions.

"I am thrilled to be joining the front office of the Miami Heat," Battier said. "I look forward to working with the Arison family, learning from a Hall of Fame executive in Pat Riley, general manager Andy Elisburg and of course my old coach, Erik Spoelstra."

Battier was a hit with his teammates and with the Heat fans during his time in Miami. The forward also hosted events where his teammates would perform karaoke for charity. The aptly named "Battioke" remains an annual event to this day.

During his storied career, Battier was known as a winner. While he never made it to an All-Star Game, Battier was a key reason for many wins by his teams over the years. Battier made those around him better with his play and with his leadership. This strong work ethic dated back to his college years, and his #31 jersey hangs from the rafters at Duke University.

The Heat finished the first half of the season on Wednesday with a victory, and have a chance at reaching the playoffs this season. Miami's second half will get underway on February 24th.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat End First Half With Win in Houston]]> Wed, 15 Feb 2017 22:24:53 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-4989692421.jpg

The Miami Heat ended their first half of the season with a 117-109 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

The win came after two consecutive losses for the Heat, and gave the team a 25-32 record on the season. The Heat put together an NBA-high 13 wins in a row before the pair of losses, and will have plenty to play for during the second half of the season.

Hassan Whiteside may not play in the upcoming All-Star Game, but he showed once again why he easily could have. Whiteside averaged a double-double this season, and had another one in this win. The center ended up with 23 points and 14 rebounds, while also contributing five blocks.

Dion Waiters ended his first half on a high note as well with 23 points, seven assists and nine rebounds. Waiters was a key reason for Miami's winning streak, and has returned in solid form following an ankle injury. The guard has become a regular starter for the Heat, and that should continue in the second half of the season.

Goran Dragic's night was solid as well with 21 points and five assists. Dragic enjoyed a relatively consistent first half this season, and will need to remain that way if Miami hopes to reach the postseason.

Tyler Johnson led Miami's reserves with 16 points, and he also contributed four assists and seven rebounds along the way.

The second half of the season will begin on February 24th when the Heat visit Atlanta to take on the Hawks.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Owner Loria Could Become Ambassador to France]]> Wed, 15 Feb 2017 23:31:33 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-166177852.jpg

Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria could be the next ambassador to France, according to a report by the New York Post.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus has been the person who has pushed for Loria to get the assignment. The report goes on to say that the administration has even signed off on the idea. It is not yet known if Loria has been formally offered the position however.

If Loria was to become an ambassador, he would have to give up his day-to-day control of the Marlins. This may not be an issue however, as there have been numerous recent reports of a pending sale of the team as well. The timing of a sale could work well for Loria and Major League Baseball if this new job comes to fruition.

Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola was also nearly a member of the Trump Administration. Viola had been nominated for the role of Secretary of the Army by President Trump, but withdrew his name from consideration. If Viola had ended up with the prestigious gig, he too would have had to given up control of the team.

During President Trump's campaign, Loria made a donation to the cause. The two men also exchanged at least one phone call. During that call, President Trump expressed his condolences on the recent passing of Jose Fernandez.

The Marlins have not commented on this report as of yet.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lawsuit Against Lance Armstrong Can Go Ahead: Judge]]> Wed, 15 Feb 2017 07:35:18 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/lancearmstrongmara.jpg

A federal judge has allowed a civil lawsuit brought by the U.S. government against disgraced former pro cyclist Lance Armstrong to proceed, tossing aside Armstrong's arguments that the case should be dismissed, NBC News reported.

The Justice Department alleges in the lawsuit, made under the False Claims Act, that Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France winner, defrauded the government by doping while sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service. The Justice Department declined to comment Tuesday.

From 2000 to 2004, the Postal Service paid Armstrong's team, the aptly named U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team, a little more than $32 million, most of which went to Armstrong because he was the team's star rider, according to court filings.

But the government is seeking damages nearing $100 million, about three times what USPS paid in sponsorships to the Postal Service Team during periods that fall within the False Claims Act's statute of limitations.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File]]>
<![CDATA[UM Football Player Giving Back to Mentor Overtown Community]]> Thu, 16 Feb 2017 11:53:24 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/021417+Demetrius+Jackson+miami+football.jpg

Demetrius Jackson is a true Miami native, growing up right here in the Overtown section of the city. He says growing up it was a tough life, and he believed there was only one way out: with a football. With that object at Booker T. Washington High School, he was able to get a scholarship to the University of Miami.

Now, the defensive end for the Hurricanes is using his platform to give back to young men in his hometown, because he says when it comes to his story, he's not even supposed to be here.

The biggest thing Jackson says helped him through childhood was love – love from his mother, who raised him and his siblings.

“My mom she tried her best you know to put a roof over our head,” Jackson said. “She made sure my sister, who went to the University of Florida, made sure she set a good example for us.”

Jackson was a basketball player, but then switched to football his senior year and excelled.

“I got three or four offers, and that was the end of basketball,” he said.

The end of basketball was the beginning of a new journey. The redshirt sophomore started in 10 games his freshman year at Miami, playing well above expectations. But beneath that 6’5”, 260 lbs. frame was a heart and soul that's bigger than you could imagine.

“Demetrius is one of our most involved students,” said Shirelle Jackson, the assistant athletic director for student athlete development at UM. “The very first time I met him he came into my office, and said I really want to start this mentorship program in my town. How can I do it the right way?”

The program is called Young Men of Tomorrow. Jackson, along with other players, mentors at risk youth in his hometown to help them graduate from high school and go to college.

“We try to help them and guide them along the way, because a lot of them don't have that father figure, that mentorship role, and we try as much as we can while we're in school to help them,” Jackson said.

Since the program launched it's been a winner for kids in not only Overtown, but across South Florida. While Jackson makes plays on the field, he's also become a game changer in saving lives in his community.

“I’m talking about kids who are the first to go to school in their family, kids who are the first to have a scholarship in their family, kids to break this generational curse in their family,” he said. “So that’s a blessing man.”

Jackson says he hopes to make it big in the NFL, but if that doesn't work out he hopes to one day run for public office – becoming county commissioner for Miami-Dade, then mayor of the county and his biggest goal is to one day become he governor of the state of Florida. 

<![CDATA[Glen Rice's Son Arrested for Battery at Miami Strip Club]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 17:11:52 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/021417+glen+anthony+rice.jpg

The son of former Miami Heat guard Glen Rice was arrested after allegedly punching a door man at a Miami Gardens strip club.

Glen Anthony Rice, 26, was arrested on a battery charge at Tootsie's Cabaret on Northwest 183rd Street early Tuesday, according to an arrest report.

Rice was booked into the Miami-Dade jail and was later released. Attorney information wasn't available.

According to the arrest report, Rice was seen running out of Tootsie's followed by security. A door man told officers Rice had been complaining about the service inside.

The door man asked if Rice wanted to speak with a manager and he said no, then Rice punched the door man in the face twice, the report said.

After he was put in a police car, Rice said he "got into it with [the door man] because he said something out of the way to his sister," the report said.

Glen Rice played for the Heat from 1989 to 1995 and was a three-time NBA All-Star. His son was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers after a college career at Georgia Tech, but played in a total of 16 games over two seasons with the Washington Wizards before he was waived by the team in 2015.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[Charles Oakley's MSG Ban Lifted, But He Wants an Apology]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 15:04:32 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/oakley+dolan.jpg

Charles Oakley is allowed back in Madison Square Garden, though the former New York Knicks star says he wants an apology before he would return. 

MSG chairman James Dolan banned Oakley last week, two days after the former power forward had an altercation with security guards while attending a game and was arrested. 

But the sides reconciled, helped by a meeting Monday at NBA headquarters with Commissioner Adam Silver and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan. Jordan and Oakley were teammates in Chicago before Oakley was traded to New York, where he became a fan favorite with the Knicks from 1988-98. 

Dolan then decided Oakley is welcome back at the arena, a person briefed on the discussions told The Associated Press on Tuesday. ESPN.com first reported the decision. 

Oakley later told ESPN: "It's not about being at the Garden. It's about the fans. I want them to apologize to the fans. I told the commissioner I want them to apologize to the fans." 

Oakley was asked on "The Dan Le Batard Show" if he would attend Madison Square Garden as Dolan's quest. 

"Right now, no," he said. "I told him yesterday." 

"I have never asked for nothing," Oakley added. "I love the fans in New York. They've been supportive. One of the things I told the commissioner, I want to have a press conference and I want him to apologize to me and the fans. They've had my back and they've felt the pain. I really appreciate the people all around who've had my back." 

The Knicks said they had nothing to add beyond a statement issued Monday by Silver, who said both sides were apologetic about the rift and thanked them for working toward a resolution. 

Oakley was a popular player in New York but his relationship with Dolan became strained after his criticisms of the team and its management. The Knicks stopped providing him with complimentary tickets and inviting him to team functions. 

Oakley still attended a few games a year on his own, including last Wednesday's, when he was seated a few rows behind Dolan and was surrounded by security in the first quarter. He shoved a couple of security officials before he was pulled away and handcuffed. 

Dolan announced the ban during an interview with ESPN Radio on Friday, though he said he hoped to see Oakley return someday. Dolan said he believed Oakley had anger or alcohol issues he first needed to address. 

The Knicks are on the road this week for their only game before the All-Star break. They don't play at home again until Feb. 25. 

Dolan welcomed back another estranged former Knick, Latrell Sprewell, on Sunday for the team's most recent game. Sprewell hadn't been back at MSG since 2004 following his falling out with the owner.

Photo Credit: AP/Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Pitchers, Catchers in Jupiter for Spring Training]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 09:07:53 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-515409010.jpg

The Miami Marlins will have their pitchers and catchers at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter on Tuesday.

While some players may have already spent a little time at the complex, Tuesday marks the official start of spring training for the team. Pitchers and catchers report ahead of the rest of the roster, but the full squad is just days away from joining them.

This could be a somber day in camp for the players, as it will be their first workout in Jupiter since the untimely passing of Jose Fernandez. Spring training includes plenty of down time for the players to chat and reflect. Not having #16 alongside them during practice, will undoubtedly be difficult for the players on the field.

The Marlins will have Fernandez's number on their jerseys during spring training and throughout the entire regular season. The black patch sits symbollically near each player's heart. Fernandez's old rotation mate, Tom Koehler shared a photo and said a few words on his Instagram account on Monday evening. The picture shows Fernandez and Koehler together in Jupiter last spring.

Besides the inevitable sadness, there are also some reasons for optimism and hope. The Marlins enter spring training with a roster that is mostly set in stone. This is a rarity for Miami, as the team often has multiple roster spots up for grabs. Non-roster invitees traditionally have a good chance at making Miami's roster due to this, but this season should be different.

The pitching staff's exact design is a question mark, but all signs point to the Marlins going with an extra arm to begin the year. Without Fernandez or a true ace, Miami can go with a piggyback type design, and have starters in the bullpen. There could be several days where two traditional starting pitchers see action in the same game.

The rotation as of now appears to point to some mix of Koehler, Adam Conley, Edinson Volquez, Wei-Yin Chen and Dan Straily. The exact order of these men has not been determined yet, nor has the assignment for Opening Day. Also in the mix for jobs are Jose Urena and Jeff Locke. The latter two would appear more likely to head to the bullpen for the aforementioned piggyback roles.

Catching these men in the early days will be an assortment of backstops. J.T. Realmuto and A.J. Ellis will be in Jupiter on Tuesday, but the two roster locks will also have some company. There are many arms to catch, and this means some work for players such as Tomas Telis, Ramon Cabrera and Carlos Paulino as well. Telis could see time in Miami this season, but the latter two are unlikely to have the same opportunity.

The rest of Miami's roster will report on Friday, and exhibition games are set to begin on February 25th.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Fall to Magic for Second Straight Loss]]> Mon, 13 Feb 2017 22:04:13 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-635171300.jpg

The Miami Heat fell to the Orlando Magic by a final score of 116-107 on Monday at American Airlines Arena.

The Heat had their 13-game overall win streak come to an end on Saturday, and this loss snapped their home winning streak at eight. The Magic are behind the Heat in the standings, but they looked like the better team in this one. Orlando led early, and put the game away despite late runs from Miami.

This was an important game for Miami, as it followed that long win streak. Rebounding quickly from the loss is critical to the Heat's playoff hopes and this loss to a lowly team could sting. With the loss, the Heat are now only 24-32 on the season. Miami will play one more game before the long All-Star break, and that one will come on the road.

Dion Waiters returned to Miami's lineup after missing two games with an ankle injury. Waiters looked like he never missed any time, and he led the team in points with 23. The guard also chipped in six assists and two rebounds. With Waiters back, Wayne Ellington returned to his reserve role.

Goran Dragic had a solid game himself with 22 points and three rebounds. Dragic also did a better job at controlling the ball in this one with only two turnovers. In Miami's last game, Dragic turned the ball over a team-high seven times.

James Johnson remained an asset off the bench for Miami with 15 points, three rebounds and three assists. Johnson has been Miami's most consistent player off the bench in recent games.

Miami's last game of the first half will be on Wednesday against the Rockets in Houston.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Attorney for Jose Fernandez Estate Responds to Lawsuits]]> Sun, 12 Feb 2017 18:28:16 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Jose+Fernandez+Boating+Accident.jpg

The attorney representing the estate of Miami Marlins star Jose Fernandez is responding to lawsuits filed by the families of two men who were killed in a boat crash with the pitcher.

Ralph Fernandez, the attorney representing the Fernandez estate, says he speaks for Jose's mom. He does not wish to comment on the merits of the lawsuits, but is confident that the final investigation report will dispel any misconceptions.

Fernandez says the 24-year-old Marlins pitcher was an expectant father, making this case even more difficult.

"I was extremely disappointed with the timing given that Mariah is about to have the baby and she did not need to have any additional medical tension," he told NBC 6 Sunday.

The pitcher died back in September after his boat crashed into a jetty just off of Miami Beach. Eduardo Rivero, 25, and 27-year-old Emilio Macias were also on board and died. Now the families of the two men are suing the Jose Fernandez estate, both seeking $2 million.

"He had insurance on the boat and the attorney has made a decision not to accept a tender of $1 million and to demand in excess of what could be in the estate. Which means that Jose Fernandez's little girl would have nothing," Fernandez said.

Autopsy reports state that Fernandez had alcohol and cocaine in his system before the fatal boat crash. An autopsy report for Rivero indicates that he too had cocaine and alcohol the morning of the collision. Macias had alcohol, but no illegal drugs in his system.

What remains unclear is whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. Ralph Fernandez is confident the official crash investigation will support their position that Jose was not driving the boat at the time of the crash.

"That is something that will probably be resolved at the time that the homicide report is finally published," Fernandez said.

Fernandez said they have been in a holding pattering waiting for that report which would allow them to address the findings which will support their position. NBC 6 reached out to Christopher Royer, the attorney representing the families of Rivero and Macias, but hasn't heard back.

Photo Credit: AP/Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Heat's Win Streak Ends at 13 With Loss in Philadelphia]]> Sun, 12 Feb 2017 10:03:03 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-618921844.jpg

The Miami Heat's winning streak came to an end at 13 with their 117-109 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.

Miami had an improbable run during the longest winning streak of the season in the NBA. When the win streak began, Miami looked like a lottery pick in the next league draft. After the streak, the Heat sit within striking distance of two playoff spots.

The loss dropped Miami's record to 24-31 on the season, and it came against a team that has fared worse. The 76ers are only 20-34 even with this victory, but Miami may have suffered due to a busy schedule. The Heat were playing in the second game of a back-to-back, while the 76ers were off on Friday.

Philadelphia took a lead into the locker room at the half, and built on it during the third quarter. Miami made a couple of comeback attempts in the final two quarters, but ultimately fell short in erasing the entire deficit.

Goran Dragic did all he could to keep the streak alive, with a team-leading 30 points. Dragic also added in five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Dragic did struggle with turnovers and led the team in that department as well. While running Miami's offense, Dragic turned the ball over seven times.

James Johnson had a second consecutive strong game off the bench for Miami with 26 points. Johnson also added a pair of blocks to go along with four rebounds and three assists. The 26 points led all of Miami's reserves, and it helped keep the team in the game.

Hassan Whiteside also had another big night with a double-double. Whiteside who is averaging a double-double this season, had 12 points and 19 big rebounds in this one. The center also added a block, a day after collecting four in Brooklyn.

After a day off, Miami will host the Orlando Magic on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Former Miami Dolphin Quentin Moses Dies in House Fire]]> Sun, 12 Feb 2017 15:41:36 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/021217+quentin+moses.jpg

Former Miami Dolphins linebacker Quentin Moses was one of three people killed in a house fire in Georgia early Sunday, authorities said.

Moses, 33, was found unconscious inside the burning home in the city of Monroe just after 6 a.m. after firefighters arrived, Monroe Fire Department officials said.

He was moved outside and given CPR then taken to a local hospital where he died. After the roof collapsed, firefighters later discovered the bodies of 10-year-old Jasmine Godard and her mother, 31-year-old Andria Godard, inside the home.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Friends and former teammates took to Twitter Sunday to offer their condolences.

Moses was from Georgia and was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the third round in 2007. He later signed with the Dolphins and stayed with the team through the 2010 season. He registered 3.5 sacks in 44 games.

"We were deeply saddened to hear about the tragic news involving Quentin Moses. Our thoughts and sincere condolences go out to his family and friends during this difficult time," The Dolphins said in a statement Sunday.

Moses had most recently been serving as a football coach at Reinhardt University.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Panthers Use Seven Goals to Defeat Predators]]> Sat, 11 Feb 2017 18:47:46 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631363542.jpg

The Florida Panthers had their offense working in a 7-4 win over the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

Four of Florida's goals came in the second period alone, and the Panthers never trailed in the contest. With the victory, Florida is now 24-20-10 on the season and has won four of the last five games it has played.

Florida's first goal of the day came early, and was courtesy of Jaromir Jagr. The score was the tenth of the season for Jagr, and he had help from Jonathan Huberdeau and Keith Yandle.

The Predators would tie the game soon after Jagr's goal, and the score would remain 1-1 until the second period. At the 5:52 mark of that period during a power play, Jussi Jokinen made it a 2-1 game. Reilly Smith and Vincent Trocheck both assisted on Jokinen's seventh goal of the season.

After Nashville tied the score again, Nick Bjugstad put Florida back on top once more. The goal was the second of the season for Bjugstad and an assist went to Mark Pysyk and Michael Sgarbossa.

Just 29 seconds later, Vincent Trocheck gave Florida a two-goal lead with his 19th score of the season. Trocheck's goal was unassisted, and the All-Star continues to lead Florida in goals and points.

After another two minutes passed in the period, Aleksander Barkov gave the Panthers a three-goal lead with his power play goal. Barkov's goal was his 11th of the season and was also unassisted.

The barrage of goals would continue into the third period for Florida. At the 2:30 mark of the final period, Huberdeau's second goal of the season gave the Panthers back their three-goal lead. Alex Petrovic had an assist on the score.

Trocheck's empty net goal towards the end of regulation capped off Florida's scoring for the day. Assisting on Trocheck's 20th goal of the season were Jokinen and Smith.

After a few days off, the Panthers will resume their schedule on Wednesday in San Jose against the Sharks.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[More Patriots Stars Boycott Visit to Trump White House]]> Sat, 11 Feb 2017 09:59:00 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/newenglandpatriotsfeuerherd.jpg

Six New England Patriots players have a message for the Trump White House: We're just not that into you, NBC News reported.

Since the team won an historic fifth Super Bowl with a stunning come-from-behind victory over the Atlanta Falcons in overtime on February 5th, a growing number of players on the team have told the press that they would turn down an invite to commemorate their victory at the White House.

On Thursday, running back LeGarrette Blount and defensive lineman Alan Branch said during separate interviews they would not make the trip. Defensive end Chris Long tweeted the same.

Martellus Bennett, Devin McCourty and Dont’a Hightower had previously said they would not attend.

And while some have not explicitly cited President Donald Trump and his policies as the reason — some have — and the number of players planning to boycott a future photo-op is unprecedented compared to years past.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins: Jose Fernandez's Estate Targeted by Two Lawsuits]]> Sat, 11 Feb 2017 18:22:53 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/josefernandezfeuerherd.jpg

Jose Fernandez's estate will be named as the defendant in a pair of negligence and personal injury lawsuits.

When the former ace of the Miami Marlins tragically passed away in September, two other men perished with him. The parents of both men will be the plaintiffs in the lawsuits. Each lawsuit is seeking $2 million in damages from Fernandez's estate. One lawsuit was filed on Friday, and a second will become official on Monday.

Eduardo Rivero and Emilio Jesus Macias were the other men with Fernandez on his boat that evening. Rivero who was 25 and Macias who was 27 had alcohol in their systems at the time of the crash, but were not over the legal limit. Rivero's toxicology report showed cocaine, but Macias' did not. Fernandez however was legally drunk and also had cocaine in his body. Both families are being represented by attorney Christopher Royer.

Fernandez's career was brief, and therefore his earnings were minimal compared to his potential. Estimates of the value of his estate hover around $2.5 million, which would be lower than the demands in the lawsuits combined. A settlement however could be possible and is something Royer mentioned in a statement. 

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“We remain open to a settlement and are hopeful a prompt resolution can be achieved to spare these families, and that of Jose Fernandez too, from any additional suffering,” said Royer.

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding that tragic evening, has been the identity of the boat's driver. Ralph Fernandez, who is representing Fernandez's estate believes Fernandez was not driving the boat. A final report on the accident is still pending. The identity of the driver may be a part of that report. The estate's attorney also questions the use of cocaine by Fernandez.

“There are indications that his cocaine use that night was not voluntary,” Fernandez stated.

In addition to the tragic losses that evening of the three men, Fernandez left behind a pregnant girlfriend. 

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Hold Off Nets for 13th Straight Win]]> Fri, 10 Feb 2017 21:56:40 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-632732350.jpg

The Miami Heat have the longest NBA win streak of the season after their 108-99 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday.

The Heat have won 13 games straight and have improved their overall record on the season to 24-30. The remarkable run by Miami has come out of nowhere, and has propelled it right into the postseason discussion. This victory did not come easy however, despite Brooklyn's NBA-worst 9-45 record.

While Miami entered with 12 wins in a row, Brooklyn is on a streak as well. The Nets have now lost a dozen straight, but played competitively throughout this one. The Nets led at the half, and padded their lead some early in the third quarter of play. Miami would turn things around however, and took a lead into the fourth quarter. In the final quarter, the Heat outscored the Nets by seven to put the game away.

The Heat were without the services of Dion Waiters for a second straight contest, and it was a noticeable difference. Waiters not only gives Miami consistent production, but he improves the depth of the team. Without Waiters, the Heat had to turn to Wayne Ellington, Rodney McGruder and Tyler Johnson for bigger minutes once again.

James Johnson led the team in points, even though he came off the bench. Johnson had 26 points to go along with eight rebounds and three blocks. The forward also added a pair of assists and a steal in an all-around terrific effort.

Goran Dragic was the highest scorer in the starting lineup with his 21 points. Dragic also chipped in five assists, four rebounds and a steal.

While Hassan Whiteside had a slow night in terms of points with eight, the center was strong defensively. Whiteside added four blocks to his season total to help Miami come out on top.

Miami will play the second-half of a back-to-back on Saturday in Philadelphia against the 76ers.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins to Wear Jersey Patch to Honor Jose Fernandez]]> Fri, 10 Feb 2017 16:23:02 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-610592294.jpg

The Miami Marlins unveiled their new jersey patch that will pay tribute to Jose Fernandez on Friday.

The team will wear a black circle with Fernandez's #16 stitched on their jerseys for the duration of the season. This patch is similar to the one worn by the team at the end of the 2016 season, except the location has changed. At the end of last season, Miami had the patch on each player's sleeve. Now, it will rest symbolically over the heart of each man.

With the team wearing a patch for the 2017 All-Star Game on the sleeve, jersey real estate is hard to come by this season. The Marlins however wanted to honor their former ace in a big and meaningful way. Due to the timing of Fernandez's death, Miami only played three games last year with a patch. The team will have the patch on every jersey during spring training, the regular season and the postseason if they qualify.

There should be more tributes announced for Fernandez as time goes by, but thus far the team has remained tight-lipped on any plans. Miami may opt to remember Fernandez on Opening Day and at the All-Star Game in some manner. The Marlins will also formally retire the #16 at some point in the future.

Fans can spend time with the players and see the new-look jerseys this weekend at Marlins Park, where the Marlins will host a two-day version of their annual FanFest.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>