From Comcast SportsNetKANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The new starting quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs is a former first-round draft pick on a one-year deal whose career thus far has been a disappointment.His backup is a team captain whose long-term contract made him the face of the franchise.Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel announced Monday that Brady Quinn will be under center when the Chiefs play Oakland on Sunday, and Matt Cassel will serve as the backup for the foreseeable future after struggling mightily through the first five games of the season."I felt like the most impactful move I could make to get everybody's attention was to change the quarterback," Crennel said. "I think that will get everybody's attention, and hopefully that impacts the team because the quarterback position is the one that has the spotlight on him."Crennel said he informed both quarterbacks he was making a change Monday morning. The rest of the team learned of the move shortly before practice."Look, I'm excited about the opportunity," Quinn said. "There's always pressure, but pressure is what you make of it. As a quarterback in this league, you're used to it."The acquisition of Cassel in a trade with New England was the first major move that Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli made after taking the job in Kansas City. His second was to sign Cassel to a 63 million, six-year deal that still has two years remaining.Quinn is playing on a one-year deal worth 1.5 million."Am I going to say I'm happy about the situation? Absolutely not. I'm frustrated," Cassel said after practice. "But at the same time, I'm a team captain on this team. I care about this team and again, as we move forward, I'm a big boy. I'm not going to hang my head. I'm going to do what I've always done, which is work hard -- work tremendously hard."Quinn started for the first time since 2009 in a loss at Tampa Bay two weeks ago, when Cassel was still feeling the effects of a concussion sustained the previous week against Baltimore.Crennel said at the time he wasn't planning to make a permanent move, but he reconsidered after spending the bye week evaluating both quarterbacks, and coming to the realization that Kansas City desperately needed a spark following a 1-5 start."I'm not saying Matt Cassel is the reason we are where we are," Crennel said. "We need to coach better and we need to play better, and if we do those things, we can be better, but my biggest deal was my gut was telling me we need to impact that team by changing that dynamic."Cassel, who missed the end of last season with a hand injury, hasn't been nearly as good as he was two years ago, when he led the Chiefs to the AFC West title and was voted to the Pro Bowl.He was completing just 58.5 percent of his passes for 230 yards per game, and had thrown nine interceptions against five touchdown passes. He'd also lost five fumbles, and his 14 turnovers in total are more than all but five teams in the league."I can't tell you I saw this coming," Cassel said, "but at the same time, when you're 1-5 and your team is struggling and your coach wants to find some way to spark the team, he felt like this was the best way to do it, so he made the decision."Quinn was just 22 of 38 for 180 yards with two interceptions in a 38-10 loss to Tampa Bay. But the former first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns also seemed to show more poise and arm strength, and the two interceptions were passes that could just as easily have been caught by his own guys."Maybe there was a little rust because I hadn't been in a full-game scenario in the regular season in a few years," Quinn said, "but I felt pretty good out there."Crennel said he doesn't want Quinn to be looking over his shoulder, so "there will be no quick hook or anything like that." After playing the Raiders on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City hits the road for games against San Diego and Pittsburgh."I don't think the team has lost confidence in Matt," Crennel said. "It's just one of those things where the circumstances we're in, you have to decide what you want to do to change it, and I decided to change the quarterback."Crennel also said he wasn't considering long-term ramifications when making his decision, such as whether the franchise will trade for a quarterback or select one early in the draft. His focus in making the change was simply to give the team an immediate, much-needed boost."The only future I thought about was this coming Sunday," he said.
Superman has his phone booth, Popeye his spinach and Ali had his rope-a-dope. The greats often have a secret weapon to be unleashed upon opponents who dare pose a threat.
The Warriors of the NBA have the third quarter.
Twelve masterful minutes, customarily the third quarter, is all they need to turn all anxieties to swagger and perspiration into perfume.
It was, on cue, the third quarter that doomed the temporarily uppity Magic in a 118-98 victory on Sunday at Amway Center in Orlando.
Tied 50-50 and down five (55-50) 90 seconds into the third quarter, the Warriors went on a 19-2 tear to go up 12 with 6:54 left. Orlando, which had been encouraged by outplaying the Warriors for the first 25-plus minutes, was powerless to prevent the onslaught.
“We found our energy and execution and stopped turning the ball over,” Stephen Curry, who scored a game-high 27 points, including 7-of-13 shooting from deep, told reporters in Florida. “And after that, we got stops and our talent plays over on the offensive end. It is nice to see shots going in obviously, but you have to get stops and take care of the basketball to get that done.”
The Warriors (38-6) shot 41.9 percent for the field and committed 12 turnovers in the first half, leading to 13 Magic points. Only one Orlando starter, point guard Elfrid Payton, shot less than 50 percent and he was 3-of-8.
So the Warriors, whose sloppy first half could be attributed to the usually early start (9 a.m. Pacific), reached for the prescription that best cures their every ailment. They turned to ferocious defense, which generated torrential offense. They outscored the Magic 42-24 in the third quarter, pretty much putting away the game.
“For whatever reason, we’ve had a bunch really good third quarters in the last couple of weeks,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It seems to be the time when we pick up our defense and it translates into some transition hoops and 3-pointers. I don’t know why, but that seems to be the key time for us these days.”
The third-quarter blitzes are more than a trend. It’s becoming an almost predictable act of magic.
The Warriors have outscored opponents in the third in 17 of their last 19 games -- with the margin double digits on nine of those occasions. In seven of those 17 games, they were tied or trailing at the half. They lost only two of those games, to the Cavs and the Grizzlies, to both of whom they blew sizable fourth-quarter leads.
Furthermore, the Warriors’ plus-268 points differential in the third quarter is by far the best in the NBA.
It was, indeed, the third quarter that shook them from the stupor of those early Sunday wakeup calls.
“There was no morning,” Draymond Green said. “It was wake up, grab some food, put on some sweats, and get out of there. I think my bus was 9:30 a.m. That’s 6:30 a.m. West Coast time . . . it was brutal.”
Must be nice to know that even on brutal days, and even after a throwaway first half, they can usually find enough lightning in the third quarter to find victory.
DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks had something to prove on Sunday following two straight tough losses.
Coming off a three-point effort in an overtime loss on Friday, Nowitzki scored all 13 of his points in the first half and Dallas gave the Los Angeles Lakers the worst loss in their history, 122-73.
"We didn't show up to play," Lakers coach Luke Walton said. "It's embarrassing for us as a team and for us as an organization. The effort just wasn't there tonight, which I don't understand."
The 49-point defeat just edged Los Angeles' two previous worst losses at 48 points, most recently 123-75 at Utah on March 28, 2016.
Lakers scored 73 points, lost by 49 (worst loss in franchise history) on 11th anniversary of Kobe Bryant's 81-point game pic.twitter.com/L3KbG3808L— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 22, 2017
The Mavericks' winning margin was the third-largest in their history.
It was Dallas' 13th straight win over the Lakers, who have lost six of their last seven games overall.
After a season-best three-game winning streak, the Mavericks had blown a nine-point halftime lead at Miami on Thursday and lost to Utah on Friday.
Nowitzki was 1 for 13 against the Jazz, including a missed 3-pointer that would have tied the game in overtime.
"I looked sluggish the other night on that back-to-back," Nowitzki said, "but took a day off yesterday, didn't do anything. Felt a lot better today."
The game was close for 10 minutes, with Dallas leading 23-22 before the Mavericks scored the next 15 points to blow it open. Nowitzki had seven points during the run. He played just 20 minutes.
Justin Anderson led seven Mavericks in double figures with a game-high 19 points in 16 minutes, his most playing time since Dec. 27.
The Mavericks led 67-33 at the half and never looked back. They both scored their most points and allowed the fewest in a half and a game this season. The 34-point halftime lead was the third-largest in franchise history.
The Lakers scored their fewest points in a quarter, a first half and a game.
"What's deflating is that we didn't guard anybody tonight," Lakers forward Julius Randle said.
Lou Williams led the Lakers with 15 points.
Dallas' Seth Curry scored 14 points, including seven straight in the first quarter.
Lakers: They played without D'Angelo Russell, second on the team at 14.3 points per game. An MRI taken Saturday showed a mildly sprained right MCL and strained right calf. That left the Lakers with rookie Brandon Ingram starting at point guard, and they had a season-low 10 assists. ... Larry Nance Jr. (bone bruise, left knee) returned after missing 16 games and scored four points.
Mavericks: Dallas' record winning margin was 123-70 win at home over the 76ers on Nov. 13, 2014. They beat the Knicks 128-78 in New York on Jan. 24, 2010. ... J.J. Barea missed his 26th game this season because of a strained left calf aggravated on Friday. Coach Rick Carlisle said he didn't expect Barea back until after the All-Star break (Feb. 24 at the earliest). Andrew Bogut (strained right hamstring) could return this week, according to Carlisle.
LENDING A HAND:
Mavericks G Deron Williams moved into 20th place in NBA history with 6,715 assists, passing Kevin Johnson. Williams has had at least seven assists in seven straight games; on Sunday, he had eight, seven by halftime.
Nowitzki tied J.R. Smith for 15th place in 3-point field goals by making one for a total of 1,729.
Lakers: Travel to Portland for the second game of a three-game trip on Wednesday night.
Mavericks: Complete a three-game homestand on Wednesday night against New York.