12.22.14:  Stafford, Suh lead Lions over Bears 20-14


CHICAGO (AP) — Joique Bell scored the go-ahead touchdown on a sweet run in the fourth quarter, Ndamukong Suh had two sacks and the playoff-bound Detroit Lions beat Jimmy Clausen and the Chicago Bears 20-14 on Sunday.


Calvin Johnson added six catches for 103 yards for Detroit (11-4), which came away with a narrow victory over a struggling team after locking up its second trip to the postseason in 15 years. The Bears benched quarterback Jay Cutler last week in favor of the undistinguished Clausen.


The Lions secured a playoff spot with Philadelphia’s loss to Washington on Saturday. They were hoping to lock up their first division championship since 1993. But because the Packers beat Tampa Bay, the NFC North race will come down to next week’s game at Green Bay.


Matthew Stafford overcame two interceptions and completed 22 of 39 passes for 243 yards. He hit the 4,000-yard mark for the fourth straight year, but it was hardly an easy afternoon for him.

12.19.14:  Lions preparing for the cold


ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions like to call themselves an indoor team with an outdoor mentality.

Now it’s time to put that mantra to the test.

Needing one win to clinch a playoff spot, the Lions will play at Chicago on Sunday against the struggling Bears. Although Detroit is heavily favored the weekend, the price for a loss could be severe: The regular-season finale the following weekend is at Green Bay, where the Lions have not won since 1991.

Detroit plays its home games indoors at Ford Field, but the race for postseason position will come down to two outdoor games against division rivals, in potentially difficult conditions.


12.18.14:  Pistons fall to Dallas but MSU beats EMU


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Chandler Parsons scored a season-high 32 points as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Detroit Pistons 117-106 last night. Parsons fell two points short of a career high as he helped the Mavericks win a second road game in two nights. Dirk Nowitzki contributed 18 points and 10 rebounds. Andre Drummond had 19 points and 24 rebounds.


EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Bryn Forbes scored 14 points as No. 25 Michigan State dispatched Eastern Michigan 66-46 last night. Eastern Michigan beat Michigan in Ann Arbor last week. Eastern Michigan shot 23 percent from the field. Raven Lee led the Eagles with 12 points.

12.17.14:  Jenner, Johansen lift Columbus over Detroit in SO


DETROIT (AP) — Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 30 shots through overtime and two more in a shootout as the Columbus Blue Jackets outlasted the Detroit Red Wings 1-0 on Tuesday night for their seventh straight win.

Boone Jenner and Ryan Johansen both scored in the tiebreaker for Columbus against Jimmy Howard, who made 29 saves. Detroit has lost four straight.

Columbus has three shootout wins during its streak.

Pavel Datsyuk had the lone shootout goal for Detroit, which has dropped three consecutive home games in shootouts.

Bobrovsky allowed five goals to Detroit in a Nov. 18 shutout loss in Columbus.

12.16.14:  Saints pound Bears to move back into first place


CHICAGO (AP) — The New Orleans Saints are back atop the NFC South following a convincing victory over the hapless Bears in Chicago.

Drew Brees (breez) completed 29 of his 36 passes for 375 yards and three touchdowns as the Saints hammered the Bears 31-15. Brees threw his scoring strikes while New Orleans was building a 21-0 lead that was more than enough against the 5-9 Bears. Josh Hill had two TD receptions and Pierre Thomas caught five passes for 83 yards as the 6-8 Saints moved one win ahead of Carolina for the division lead.

David Hawthorne had three of New Orleans’ seven sacks and the Saints intercepted three of Jay Cutler’s passes to bring his NFL-leading turnover total to 24. Cutler completed 17 of 31 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns, but he couldn’t get the Bears into the end zone until the fourth quarter.


12.16.14:  Griffin, Jordan lead Clippers over Pistons 113-91


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin scored 18 points, DeAndre Jordan had 16 points and 15 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers breezed to a 113-99 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night.

Chris Paul had 11 points and eight assists. He committed one turnover in 24 minutes, after getting six in each of his previous two games. Paul finished last season with a league-best 4.57 assist-to-turnover ratio. Jodie Meeks had 20 points for Detroit.

J.J. Redick scored 14 points, and his streak of 29 games with a 3-pointer ended one game shy of teammate Matt Barnes’ franchise record.

Jodie Meeks had 20 points and Andre Drummond had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Pistons, who were coming off road wins against Phoenix and Sacramento after losing 13 straight.

The Clippers led 55-44 at halftime. Griffin set up a pair of alley-oop dunks by Jordan 68 seconds apart, capping a 16-4 run that turned a one-point deficit into a 47-36 lead with 4:41 left in the second quarter.

12/15/14:  Detroit Lions beat the Vikings


DETROIT (AP) — Matt Prater’s 33-yard field goal with 3:38 remaining lifted Detroit to a 16-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, pulling the Lions into a tie for first place in the NFC North.


The Lions (10-4) are now even atop the division with Green Bay, which lost to Buffalo earlier in the day, but Detroit didn’t have an easy time, spotting the Vikings (6-8) a 14-0 lead before a pair of second-quarter interceptions helped the Lions start their rally.

Even at the end, Detroit had to sweat out a 68-yard field goal attempt by Minnesota’s Blair Walsh on the game’s final play. The kick was short.


The Detroit Lions take on the Bears next Sunday.

12.12.14:  Arizona beat St. Louis and Lions get ready for Minnesota


ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals are closing in on their first playoff berth since 2009, thanks to their 12-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams in a touchdown-less Thursday night game. Chandler Catanzaro kicked four field goals for 11-3 Arizona, which has tied a franchise record for victories.


The Detroit Lions get ready to host Minnesota Sunday afternoon.


12.11.14:  The Detroit Red Wings fall to Toronto


DETROIT (AP) — Mike Santorelli scored Toronto’s second shootout goal, and the Maple Leafs beat the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Santorelli, the Maple Leafs’ third shooter, got the puck past Jimmy Howard to lift Toronto to its third straight win and even the season series with its Atlantic Division rival.

Tyler Bozak also had a shootout goal for Toronto. Pavel Datsyuk netted the lone goal for the Red Wings in the tiebreaker.

Detroit broke a scoreless tie late in the second period when Tomas Jurco flicked a rebound of his shot to Gustav Nyquist, who spun and wristed the puck past prone goalie James Reimer.

Toronto made it 1-1 early in the third when Phil Kessel tapped in James van Riemsdyk’s centering pass for his 15th goal.

Reimer made 41 saves. Howard stopped 18 shots.

12.10.14:  Eastern Michigan beats Michigan 45-42


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Eastern Michigan, led by 11 points from Jordan Price, used strong rebounding and a slow shooting night from Michigan to hand the Wolverines their second upset loss at home in four days, beating the crosstown foe 45-42 on Tuesday night.

The Eagles (8-1) shot just 15 of 46 from the field, but hauled in nine offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive and stay within striking distance. Mike Talley added nine points, and Karrington Ward finished with seven, including a 3-pointer with 3 minutes to go that put the Eagles up by three down the stretch.

Caris LeVert scored seven of his 10 points in the second half, but missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game with 22 seconds to go. Zak Irvin finished with 10, after missing all four of his first-half shots. Derrick Walton added nine, and the Wolverines shot just 32.6 percent from the field.

The Wolverines (6-3) are left reeling. After beating Syracuse 68-65 last Tuesday, they have dropped two straight to New Jersey Institute of Technology and Eastern Michigan.