Vick KO'd as Eagles' skid hits 5

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Vick KO'd as Eagles' skid hits 5

From Comcast SportsNetPHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Nick Foles couldn't end the Eagles' worst losing streak in 15 years. He'll get another chance at a win if Michael Vick can't return from a concussion.Foles filled in for Vick and briefly rallied the Eagles until the Cowboys capitalized on turnovers and dominated the fourth quarter. The Eagles' 38-23 loss to Dallas on Sunday was their fifth straight, the longest losing streak in coach Andy Reid's 14 seasons.Reid might not make it to Year 15. Vick might not make it to Sunday in Washington.With a 3-6 record, it's likely too late for the Eagles, no matter who the quarterback is, to save their season."Not good enough to win," Foles said. "I made some mistakes and I can't turn the ball over. That's the most important thing to win games."Foles hit the field in the second quarter and was greeted by a loud ovation from a crowd that had become fed up with Vick's erratic play.Vick was knocked on his back by linebacker Ernie Sims on an incomplete pass and was slow to get up. He headed for the locker room and Foles started warming up. Vick, however, may have been injured on the previous play when he was driven from behind headfirst into the ground by tackle Jay Ratliff.Vick did not talk to reporters but appeared groggy in the locker room.The loss could speed up the countdown clock on Vick and Reid's time in Philadelphia.In the final minutes, fans behind Dallas' bench unrolled a banner that read, "Andy, Quit, Your Team Has!"Angry Eagles fans brought "Fire Andy!" and "This Is Not Acceptable" signs with them as they tailgated in the parking lots. There was at least one mobile billboard that read "Fire Andy Reid Now!!!" and "No Mas" with a pair of red Xs near the embattled coach's photo.The 1998 Eagles lost their first five games of the season under Ray Rhodes.Reid said he'd determine the starter for Sunday's game at Washington based on Vick's health"I was hoping he'd make it through without having a concussion, but that's where we sit right now with him," Reid said.Foles, a fan favorite without ever throwing a regular-season pass, looked like an instant hit and woke up a sleepy crowd in the third quarter when he hit Jeremy Maclin for a 44-yard TD and a 14-10 lead. Alex Henery's 40-yard field goal made it 17-10.Foles was rolling, the Eagles were scoring, and the good times were back at Lincoln Financial Field.But in a season unraveling with each bumbling defeat, the Eagles were knocked down to reality.Tony Romo threw two touchdown passes, Dwayne Harris had a 78-yard punt return TD, and Brandon Carr returned an interception 47 yards for a score for the Cowboys.The Cowboys (4-5) and are second in the NFC East, 1 games behind the New York Giants, who lost to Cincinnati earlier Sunday.The win, and a break in the schedule, could propel the Cowboys back in the thick of the division race. They will play five of their next six games at home, starting Sunday against Cleveland."Don't use words like desperate," Romo said. "The importance was at its highest level. I don't know if we are thinking anything more than we need another win."Romo, who finished 19 of 26 for 209 yards, tied it with that TD pass to Bryant.Dallas coach Jason Garrett had insisted the Cowboys weren't desperate after losing four of five. And they were dominant in the fourth period. The Cowboys need to keep playing like they did late on Sunday for a shot at catching the Giants.Owner Jerry Jones refused to call the win a season saver."I don't want to do that," he said. "You can, but I don't want to do it. I know how important the game is to us."Early in the final quarter, Foles had an interception return for a touchdown wiped out on a holding penalty. No worries, Dallas. Harris returned a punt 78 yards for a 24-17 lead that silenced the crowd.On the next drive, Foles had an interception returned for a score that counted, by Carr, returned 47 yards for a 31-17 lead. Foles was 22 of 32 for 219 yards.That was it for the fans in green, who fled for the exits. Stanley Havili had a 1-yard TD run with 1:55 left, but Henery missed the extra point.Then Foles fumbled after he was sacked and Mike Jenkins recovered for a touchdown."Critical win for us," Garrett said. "I thought the effort was there. I thought we were focused the whole game. When you have success, you have to play through it, you have adversity, you have to play through it, and today was a good example of that."The Eagles could have used some of that tenacity this season.Vick, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, has struggled this season and entered with 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions.He looked like his old self on the first drive, finishing it by connecting with Riley Cooper for a 2-yard TD. Cooper's sensational one-handed grab on a fade route gave the Eagles their first points on their opening drive all season.The fun was short-lived when Romo hit Felix Jones on an 11-yard TD pass. Dan Bailey kicked a 30-yard field goal to send the Cowboys into halftime with a 10-7 lead.NOTES:Foles was the first Eagles rookie QB to throw a TD pass since AJ Feely in 2001. Brian Westbrook, a running back, threw one in 2002. ... The Eagles had won six straight division games, including a sweep of the Cowboys. ... Eagles WR Jason Avant left with a hamstring injury. ... Sims started 15 games for the Eagles in 2010 and had two sacks.

NBA Gameday: Smiling Kings look to pounce on stumbling Hornets

NBA Gameday: Smiling Kings look to pounce on stumbling Hornets

SACRAMENTO -- The new-look Sacramento Kings stunned the Denver Nuggets Thursday night in their first game without DeMarcus Cousins. They look to make it two straight Saturday afternoon when Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets drop by Golden 1 Center for a 2pm matinee.

Welcome to the big leagues Willie Cauley-Stein. The second-year big man went off for a career-high 29 points against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets last time out. Highlight reel dunks are becoming the norm for the athletic 7-footer as he tries to fill some of the void left by Cousins’ departure.

The Hornets are on a slide. Losers of 12-of-13, including an overtime stumble against the Pistons on Thursday, Charlotte sits 3.5 games out of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

OPENING LINE
Hornets by 2.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH
Tyreke Evans vs. Nic Batum -- Evans will likely come off the bench in his second game back in Sacramento. The former top pick of the Kings is still playing himself into game shape after missing most of the first half of the season with a knee injury. He dropped in 15 points, three assists in four rebounds against Denver as a point forward. Batum is a versatile wing that loves to stuff the stat sheet. Walker is the primary scorer, but Batum is the player that make the Hornets go.  

WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 25-33, third place in Pacific

Hornets: 24-33, fourth place in Central

INJURY REPORT
Kings: SG Arron Afflalo (hamstring) out, SG Malachi Richardson (right hamstring partial tear) out, G/F Garrett Temple  (left hamstring partial tear) out, F Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) out for season.

Hornets: C Cody Zeller (quad contusion) questionable, C Miles Plumlee (calf) out, PG Ramon Sessions (knee) out.

SERIES HISTORY
The Hornets swept the season series 2-0 last season, but Sacramento came away with a 109-106 win in the only matchup this year.  Charlotte holds a 13-11 lead in the all-time series between the two clubs.  

QUOTE
“We’ve got a very solid locker room. Even though a couple people aren’t there, guys have an opportunity to step forward in leadership and hug on each other and there’s lots of smiles and hugs right now and [we got] the first one out of the way. That’s a positive vibe to have just to come to work every day. So I think that’s positive.” -Dave Joerger following the win over Denver

 

Hendriks cites travel, readiness as reasons he withdrew from WBC

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Hendriks cites travel, readiness as reasons he withdrew from WBC

MESA, Ariz. — In his heart, Liam Hendriks wanted to pitch for his national team in the World Baseball Classic. In reality, the A’s reliever just couldn’t justify it.

So Hendriks withdrew from joining Team Australia for its first-round games in Tokyo. He becomes the second Athletic to bow out of the WBC after left fielder Khris Davis decided not to play for Mexico. Relievers John Axford (Canada) and Santiago Casilla (Dominican Republic), and starter Sonny Gray (United States) are still slated to play, though Gray wouldn’t join the American squad unless it advances to Round 2 and Casilla still hasn’t reported to A’s camp because of visa issues, so his exact plans aren’t known.

“When I really sat down and thought about it, I’m not quite where I want to be to be pitching in competitive games yet,” Hendriks said Saturday morning. “I’m not hurt or anything like that. There’s no issues, I feel great physically. But it’s one of those things, I’m not quite ready to go into a game, and I know if I get into a situation where if I push it a little bit more, I’m going to overextend myself and I don’t want to do that. And I don’t want to risk this season coming up with Oakland.”

Hendriks told Australian officials he could be available for Round 2, but it will be a joint decision between how he was feeling and whether the Aussie pitching staff needs him.

The right-hander was originally scheduled to pitch in Saturday’s Cactus League opener, in an effort to get him into game shape for the WBC. Now that he’s not playing in the first round, the A’s are slowing him down just a bit. Hendriks will throw on the side a bit more and then throw live batting practice before pitching in an exhibition.

“I could pitch in a game right now … but I’m not confident in all my pitches,” he said. “I’m confident in my spring training pitches, but it’s not midseason form like I’d want to be to be able to perform for that (Australian) team.”

The 30-hour round trip travel to Tokyo also complicated things, with Hendriks saying his throwing schedule would have been thrown out of whack upon his return.

Now 28, Hendriks pointed out that he got to pitch in the 2009 WBC as a wide-eyed 20-year-old, getting his roster spot because a veteran backed out. He’s hopeful another youngster now gets the same opportunity.

Hendriks posted a 3.76 ERA in 53 appearances last season, but pitched particularly well over the second half of the season, setting him up as an important piece of this year’s A's bullpen.

“It’s just a better decision for my career and my season,” he said.