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Blake Griffin reacts after trade to Pistons

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As he leaves the only team and city he has known since beginning his professional career nearly eight years ago, Blake Griffin expressed gratitude Tuesday to Los Angeles, the Clippers and their fans.

Griffin posted a brief statement on Twitter the morning after the stunning trade that sent him to the Pistons along with Willie Reed and Brice Johnson for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and a first- and second-round draft pick.

“From being a #1 pick, to Lob City, to six straight Playoff appearances, I am so proud to have been part of the success of the Clippers organization,” he wrote. “LA has been my home since I started in the league and I will be forever grateful to the city for embracing me and supporting me.”

Bennett scored 5:35 in after a Sabres breakdown in front of their own net. Bennett drove to the net to collect a loose puck and snapped it over goalie Chad Johnson, who was flat on his back.

Three minutes later, Bennett set up Jankowski’s goal by driving up the left wing and entering the Sabres zone. He fed a pass into the middle, where Jankowski used Nelson as a screen and snapped a 40-footer that sneaked in under Johnson’s left arm.

According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, Hood has drawn interest from a number of teams in the market for a scoring wing. Hood’s production has made him an attractive piece for a team to acquire ahead of the season’s final stretch. In entertaining offers for Hood, the Jazz appear to be heading in a different direction, while Hood is set for a large payday during the 2018 free agency period.

Provided Hood does not elect to play out the final season of his rookie contract under a qualifying offer, the team that makes a play to acquire him would essentially be making a move to include Hood in their long-term plans.

Two teams that have inquired about Hood are the Pistons and Bulls. The Pistons made headlines with the report that they have put Avery Bradley’s name in the trade rumor mill, while the Bulls and Jazz have been linked in trade rumblings surrounding Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic. Because of Hood’s contract figures, Utah might need to add a player with an expiring contract like Derrick Favors or Joe Johnson to make a deal work.lions_084

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Clippers end Raptors’ streak with 96-91 victory

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With Blake Griffin, Patrick Beverley and Danilo Gallinari sidelined by injuries, playing hard has to be the Los Angeles Clippers’ calling card.

“We kept a high-scoring team under 100 points. That’s pretty good, man,” Austin Rivers said. “This is the biggest win for us. We kept playing and fighting.”

The Cardinals also said Stanton had declined to accept a deal to St. Louis.

Replay correctly awarded the ball to the Jaguars, but, without the touchdown, Jacksonville was still up just six points and the Browns had all three of their timeouts. With the Jaguars playing things conservatively, that meant Cleveland would probably get at least one more shot to score a touchdown and win the game.

Or, as it turns out, at least one more play.

Only 24 seconds came off the clock before the Browns got the ball back again. Starting from their 20-yard line, they had 1:24 to go 80 yards to pay dirt.

Of those five teams, four had chances make the playoffs by winning their respective divisions. The Vikings (vs. Panthers), Eagles (vs. Rams), Steelers (vs. Ravens) and Patriots (Monday night vs. Dolphins) simply needed victories this week to win the NFC North, NFC East, AFC North and AFC East, respectively. The Jaguars need a bunch of help from other teams, but they could clinch a playoff berth in Week 14.

The growing list of scenarios in which teams can clinch playoff spots makes each remaining week of the 2017 regular season that much more exciting. That’s why many eyes were on Vikings vs. Panthers in Carolina, Seahawks vs. Jaguars in Jacksonville and Eagles vs. Rams in Los Angeles. And Sunday’s nightcap, Ravens vs. Steelers in Pittsburgh, was far from a dud.

Ngakoue swooped in, relieved Kizer of the ball, and effectively ended the game. Smith would eventually fall on that fumble in the end zone for a touchdown that finally put the game out of reach for Cleveland. It wasn’t quite a walk-off sack and caused fumble, but it was damned close.

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