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Brady’s two TDs, Succop’s four field goals lift Buccaneers over Giants – Sportsnet.ca

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Tom Brady has felt uncomfortable against the New York Giants before. Most notably in a couple of Super Bowl losses.

He recognized Monday night’s 25-23 victory by his Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasn’t very artistic. At least, for the star quarterback, it had a better ending.

“We obviously didn’t play the way we’re capable of, but it was good to get a win,” Brady said.

Lacklustre for much of the game, Brady did what he does best in the second half. He threw touchdowns passes to Rob Gronkowski and Mike Evans, giving him the career lead in TD throws once more.

The Saints’ Drew Brees had passed Brady on Sunday, but now the six-time Super Bowl champ is back on top with 561. Evans’ diving 8-yard catch provided the go-ahead points.

But Tampa Bay (6-2) had to sweat it out. Daniel Jones drove New York (1-7) 70 yards in 13 plays and connected with Golden Tate for a 19-yard touchdown with 28 seconds remaining. The 2-point conversion failed as the officials picked up a flag presumably for defensive pass interference.

“You never apologize for winning,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians said. “We made the plays that counted.”

Brady and Gronkowski earlier combined for a 3-yard scoring pass on which Gronk barely held onto the ball long enough. That made the old New England combination second in TDs for a duo with 93, 21 behind Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison of the Colts.

Unable to connect with Evans on a 2-point conversion, Brady still had the Bucs on top 15-14.

After New York went back ahead on Graham Gano’s 33-yard field goal, Daniel Jones was pressured into an unwise throw to Tate that Sean Murphy-Bunting picked off at the Tampa 33. That set the stage for the 66-yard drive to the touchdown by Evans.

Jones had two costly picks, helping negate a strong effort by New York’s defence.

“The interceptions were huge for us,” Brady said.

“The young quarterback, he’s still trying to do too much,” Arians added.

First-year Giants coach Joe Judge, who won three Super Bowls in New England with Brady, is not discouraged by the team’s record halfway through its schedule.

“I see a lot of improvement, our guys improving day by day,” first-year coach Joe Judge said. “We have a good foundation. I see the core of a team that is developing.”

New York got an early break _ and soon after a touchdown _ when Brady’s pass was tipped by Dalvin Tomlinson and caught by Bucs running back Ronald Jones. But he fumbled when hit by Blake Martinez and rookie Darnay Holmes recovered at the Tampa Bay 12.

Dion Lewis’ made a sliding catch in the corner of the end zone on third down for a 7-3 lead.

Ronald Jones was a nonfactor the rest of the half as Leonard Fournette got most of the action.

The Giants’ next scoring drive was a model of efficiency, featuring two gains of 11 yards, a 12-yarder, a 14-yarder and a 17-yard run by Wayne Gallman. He scored from the 2 to finish the 10-play series that covered 77 yards for a 14-3 lead.

Brady, as has been his custom for two decades, then guided his team to a score, but it was merely Ryan Succop’s second of four field goals, a 40-yarder with 7 seconds left in the half. Succop also had a 37-yard field goal on the game’s opening drive, a 43-yarder set up by Carlton Davis’ interception in early in the third quarter, and a 38-yarder with 3:41 to go for what turned out to be the decisive points.

Soon after Succop had made it 14-9, Gronkowski was in the end zone _ only to see Daniel Jones connect with his tight end, Evan Engram, for a 30-yard play. That set up Gano’s 33-yard kick and the 17-15 New York lead heading into the fourth period.

But that’s usually Brady time.

STATS PACK

Brady finished 28 for 40 for 279 yards, while Jones was 25 for 41 for 256 yards. … Evans led Tampa Bay with five catches for 55 yards, and Gronkowski wound up with four receptions for 41 yards. … Former Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul had one sack among his five tackles … Giants WR Sterling Shepard had eight receptions for 74 yards.

THROWBACK

The Giants donned uniforms similar to what the 1990 Super Bowl title team wore, white jerseys, and pants with blue and red stripes, a GIANTS helmet decal instead of the familiar “ny,” and white facemasks replacing the customary gray.

NEXT UP

Buccaneers: host Saints in battle for top spot in the NFC South. New Orleans beat Tampa Bay in the season opener 34-23.

Giants: at Washington next Sunday.

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A beaming smile behind the mask says it all for Russell – F1i.com

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George Russell broke out into a beaming smile that even his mask couldn’t hide when he tried out for size his Mercedes ride for next weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix.

Stepping up from perhaps the slowest car on the grid to F1’s fastest contender is a daunting task, but Russell will no doubt make the most of the unexpected but amazing opportunity to showcase his undisputable talent.

And who knows, this weekend’s one-off could be the harbinger of a full-time involvement with the mighty Mercedes team after 2021, a fantastic warm up of sorts for the 22-year-old charger.

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Lakers make re-signings of LeBron James, Anthony Davis official – Sportsnet.ca

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The Los Angeles Lakers announced Thursday that they have officially re-signed both LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

James’ deal was announced first, with the four-time MVP inking a two-year, $85 million contract through the 2022-23 season on Wednesday. The extension will take him into his age 39/40 season, and yet was a no-brainer for the Lakers, who are coming off a championship in which James was the Finals MVP.

“LeBron James is a transcendent basketball player, and human being,” said vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka in a press release. “LeBron put his trust in the Lakers in 2018, and now this contract extension paves the way for LeBron to further solidify his legacy as an all-time Lakers great. We could not be more honoured by this commitment.”

Davis, who was a free agent this off-season, signed his new deal with the Lakers only hours after James on Thursday morning, opting for a five-year contract worth up to $190 million. Many thought the 27-year-old would sign for two years with a player option for the third season, as that would have given him the most flexibility possible and allowed him to re-enter the market for his next deal having just met the criteria (10 years of service) to earn up to 35 per cent of the cap.

Instead, Davis took the largest contract he could in the present moment — a win for both sides, certainly, but one that also shows trust from Davis in the Lakers organization.

“In the Orlando bubble, Anthony Davis proved he is one of the game’s most complete and dominant two-way players,” Pelinka said of the big man. “Now, Lakers fans get to watch AD continue to grow and lead our franchise for years to come. This is truly a blessed moment for Lakers Nation.”

Both players, it seems, expect to play the rest of (or, at least, most of) their respective careers in purple and gold.

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New Rockets’ coach expects Harden to be ‘all in’ this season – Sportsnet.ca

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HOUSTON — New Rockets coach Stephen Silas didn’t talk a lot about James Harden and the rumours that he’s unhappy in Houston on Thursday.

But he was clear about one thing — he expects Harden to be there when the Rockets open camp this weekend.

“I’m confident that he will be all in,” Silas said. “That’s where I’m leaving it. As I said, I’ve given him the space to to do his thing. But I’m confident he’ll be here when we get started.”

Reports that Harden wants out of Houston have swirled since another early playoff exit by the Rockets when they were eliminated by the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals. It was rumoured that both Harden and Westbrook wanted to leave the team. Westbrook got his wish Wednesday night when he was shipped to Washington for John Wall and a first-round pick.

Westbrook lasted just one season in Houston playing with Harden and an unconventional small-ball lineup. Now both Westbrook and that small-ball lineup are a thing of the past, with Westbrook heading to the nation’s capital and centre DeMarcus Cousins joining the Rockets.

Silas is a longtime NBA assistant in his first job as a head coach after being hired to replace Mike D’Antoni, who told the Rockets he wasn’t returning at the end of the season. Silas said he hasn’t spoken to Harden since the trade and that he’s employed a hands-off approach with the superstar so far.

“When stuff like this kind of happens, where there’s a little indecision and stuff going on, I kind of take a step back and allow guys some space,” Silas said. “So from my perspective, my communication has been I’m giving you space. And that’s kind of where it’s been as far as my communication with him. And guys like that need that.”

Silas is excited to add a player of Wall’s calibre to his team, but admitted that he had some mixed emotions when he learned of the trade.

“If it weren’t for Russell Westbrook, I probably wouldn’t have this job,” Silas said. “So the fact that he vouched for me in the interview process was one of the first things that I thought of when the trade was made.”

Then he remembered all his years as an assistant in Charlotte when he had to plan to defend Wall four times a year.

“The second part of it is how dynamic John Wall has been in his career and some of the nightmares that I’ve had trying to defend him and pick and roll and all the pick and roll passes that he’s able to make,” Silas said.

Also on Thursday, Cousins spoke to reporters for the first time since signing with the Rockets earlier in the week. The 30-year-old said he’s healthy and can’t wait to get started after missing all of last season recovering from a knee injury.

“It was a tough task, mentally, physically, but at the same time, I was able to rest my body and it was much-needed rest,” Cousins said. “Coming back off of that, I feel incredible, my body is in a great place, my mind is in a great place and I’m just ready to get back on the floor and play the game that I love.”

He’s also ecstatic about being reunited with Wall, his college teammate at Kentucky. Cousins said he’s known Wall since he was 14 and that the point guard was a groomsman in his wedding.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” Cousins said. “It’s something me and him planned and dreamed about for a long time. So I’m pretty sure he’s just grateful for his moment as I am.”

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