NBA Hall of Famer passes away

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NBA Hall of Famer passes away

From Comcast SportsNet
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Ed Macauley, one of the NBA's first big stars who won a championship with the St. Louis Hawks and was traded by the Boston Celtics for Bill Russell, has died. He was 83. Saint Louis University announced Macauley's death on Tuesday. The school had no other details. "Easy Ed" was a standout player with the Billikens, leading them to the 1948 NIT title. Macauley was elected to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1960. A native of St. Louis, he was a territorial pick of that city's Basketball Association of America franchise, the Bombers. He played there for one season and then was selected by the Celtics in a 1950 dispersal draft. Macauley played for the Celtics from the 1950-51 season until 1955-56. He and the draft rights to future Hall of Famer Cliff Hagan were traded by Boston to the St. Louis Hawks on April 29, 1956, for the rights to Russell, a move that changed the power structure of the NBA. The Celtics went on to win 11 titles with Russell dominating in the paint. After the deal, Macauley and the Hawks faced Russell and the Celtics in consecutive NBA finals. Boston won in 1957, then the Hawks took the crown in 1958. The 6-foot-8 Macauley, who had his No. 22 retired by the Celtics, played three seasons with the Hawks before retiring with a career average of 17.5 points per game. He was a seven-time All-Star, six of the appearances with Boston. He was the MVP of the first NBA All-Star game in 1951. He coached the Hawks for two seasons, compiling an 89-48 record with two playoff appearances. Macauley scored 24 points as Saint Louis University, which finished with a 24-3 record under first-year coach Ed Hickey, beat New York University in the 1948 NIT championship game at Madison Square Garden. Three days later, the team arrived at Union Station by train and was greeted by 15,000 fans for a parade. "It was like a fairy tale," Macauley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "St. Louis never had seen anything like that. But we didn't really feel special. It was family, all those people, and you don't feel special with family." The next season Saint Louis, with Macauley starring inside, was ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press poll. He was a first-team All-America selection as a junior and senior. He still ranks 10th on Saint Louis' career scoring list with 1,402 points. After his basketball career ended, Macauley worked as an investment banker and a television sportscaster. In 1989, he co-authored a book about writing homilies. When he got his star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 2003, he told the story about how he got his nickname when he was a sophomore at Saint Louis. "It was the first time I was appointed captain," Macauley said. "We dressed in the basement of West Pine Gym and it was my role to lead the team from the basement locker room through the door. "But nobody followed me when I ran down the court and made a layup. Then I heard people shout, 'Take it easy, Ed.' I didn't realize it, but they were playing the national anthem. That 'Easy Ed' nickname helped me get a lot of attention."

Raiders 'continue to fight,' score 29 unanswered points in latest comeback

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Raiders 'continue to fight,' score 29 unanswered points in latest comeback

ALAMEDA – The Buffalo Bills were in firm control of the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. That was the case well into the third quarter.

Then this game turned upside down.

The Raiders scored 29 unanswered points in just over 15 minutes. They erased a two-score Buffalo lead in the second half by doing everything they couldn’t do at the start.

The 34-28 victory was the Raiders’ sixth fourth-quarter comeback of the season, but this one was special. They went from 0 to 60 in a snap.

The Raiders were down 24-9 before that big surge, but the mood was hardly somber.

“We don’t dwell too much on the score,” receiver Michael Crabtree said. “We don’t say, ‘we’re down 15, and we need this.’ We don’t panic. We don’t sweat. We just go out and play ball.”

The Raiders played some of their season’s best ball during that stretch.

They consistently halted drives on defense, including three straight three-and-outs to start the surge. They created turnovers in key moments. Special teams tightened up. And, of course, the offense got rolling after playing with pace.

“It felt like everything was smooth and working out,” left guard Kelechi Osemele said. “The confidence keeps building on this team.”

During that blitzkrieg, the Raiders out-gained Buffalo 212-8. It was all out dominance, the Raiders have been looking to play for four full quarters. That’s been largely elusive, but they’ve learned to clamp down and execute when it matters most.

Several Raiders were asked what was more impressive: The 29, or the 0.

Picking wasn’t a common response. Most focused on why this team is able to rally, and why they did so against Buffalo.

“We just continue to fight, continue to believe,” edge rusher Bruce Irvin said. “29 unanswered is hard to do in this league. Buffalo has an explosive offense. Hat’s off to us and to Derek Carr for continuing to believe in us, continuing to battle and put points on the board.”

Mack makes more clutch plays vs Bills: 'Those are moments you live for'

Mack makes more clutch plays vs Bills: 'Those are moments you live for'

OAKLAND – Khalil Mack had a strip sack and recovered his own forced fumble that virtually secured a Raiders victory.

The star edge rusher did that last week against Carolina, and again on Sunday to beat Buffalo. The box score displays them the same, but this clincher was different. Mack slow-played Jordan Mills, jogging toward him before a strong blow knocked the right tackle back.

He cut inside the space he created, chased Tyrod Taylor down and swung down on the quarterback’s throwing hand. The ball came free and lay on the ground before him, waiting for him to pick up.

Then the Oakland Coliseum showed its appreciation with this: “M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!”

Mack heard it, and wasn’t sure it was for him.

“Was Steph Curry in the crowd? I didn’t know he showed up today,” Mack said with a smile after Sunday's 38-24 victory over Buffalo. “It is what it is. I’m just ballin’ and trying to make plays.”

Mack is making tons of them. In addition to his strip sack and fumble recovery, he tipped a pass Nate Allen intercepted with ease. He finished with seven tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit, a pass defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Mack now has 58 tackles, 10 sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception on the season.

Many of those plays came in the clutch. Mack isn’t just a stat collector. He shows up in important moments, when his team needs them.

“Those are times you live for, making plays in those moments,” Mack said. “You want to step up and stamp the win. That’s what it’s all about for me.”

That makes him extremely valuable to the Raiders. Even so, the MVP is typically reserved for offensive players. Defensive Player of the Year? Mack has to be a frontrunner in that race.

“Khalil Mack is really making his mark on these ball games,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He just keeps showing up huge, and that’s what great players do. Khalil’s a great player."