Field Level Media
HOUSTON -- Andrew Luck paced an efficient offense and the visiting Indianapolis Colts continued their torrid play, defeating the Houston Texans 21-7 on Saturday, Jan. 5, in an AFC wild-card playoff game. With the win, the sixth-seeded Colts will face the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs next Saturday, Jan. 12, at 4:35 p.m. ET at Arrowhead Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jeff Teague's return from an ankle injury boosted the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 120-103 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday night, Jan. 4. Teague was back in the starting lineup after a nine-game absence, and he had 23 points and 10 assists in 28 minutes. Karl-Anthony Towns added 29 points and 15 rebounds for Minnesota. Towns is averaging 28.3 points and 16.8 rebounds over his past six games. The Timberwolves are 5-9 in their past 14 games but have now won four of their past seven.
MADISON, Wis. -- Minnesota forward Amir Coffey was nearly a one-man team in the first half on Thursday, Jan. 3. After outscoring Wisconsin in the first half, Coffey finished with a game-high 21 points and added six rebounds to lead the visiting Golden Gophers to a 59-52 win over the No. 22 Badgers in Big Ten Conference play. Dupree McBrayer added 14 points as the Gophers (12-2, 2-1 Big Ten) snapped an eight-game series losing streak to the Badgers (10-4, 2-1). Minnesota shot 6-for-14 on 3-pointers.
TORONTO -- Zach Parise scored early in the third period and the visiting Minnesota Wild held on to earn a 4-3 comeback win against the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday afternoon, Jan. 3. Jared Spurgeon notched a goal and two assists for the Wild and Charlie Coyle had a goal and an assist. Mikki Koivu added a goal and Parise also had an assist. Mitch Marner scored twice for the Maple Leafs, who led 2-0 and 3-2. William Nylander also scored a goal and John Tavares added two assists for Toronto. Devan Dubnyk made 38 saves for Minnesota, including 19 in the third period.
BOSTON -- Gordon Hayward scored a season-high 35 points and Terry Rozier got the start for an injured Kyrie Irving and scored 16 points on Wednesday, Jan. 2, to lead the Boston Celtics to a 115-102 home win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Irving suffered a right eye injury in a loss to San Antonio on New Year's Eve and his status remains day-to-day. Minnesota also was short-handed without Jeff Teague, Derrick Rose and Robert Covington dressing.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Sean Kuraly's tiebreaking goal midway through the third period carried the Boston Bruins to a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2019 Bridgestone Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium on Tuesday, Jan. 1. Kuraly broke a 2-2 tie when he backhanded in his fourth goal at 10:20 after it bounced off fourth-line teammate Chris Wagner as Boston won the 11th Winter Classic in front of a sellout crowd of 76,126, the second-largest in event history.
NEW ORLEANS -- Julius Randle had 33 points and 11 rebounds as the host New Orleans Pelicans overcame the absence of Anthony Davis to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 123-114 on Monday night, Dec. 31. Davis was a last-minute scratch because of illness, but Randle and the Pelicans' 3-point shooting made up for the loss of the All-Star forward. The Pelicans made 14 of 25 3-pointers and the Timberwolves, who had won the previous five meetings with New Orleans, made 9 of 28.
ST. PAUL -- Phil Kessel had a goal and two assists, and Sidney Crosby added a goal and an assist Monday, Dec. 31, as the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins won their sixth straight game, 3-2 over the slumping Minnesota Wild. Kessel has three goals and 10 points in the past four games. Crosby, playing in his 900th career game, had his fourth straight multiple-point game and has 16 points over his past nine games. Riley Sheahan scored what stood as the winner for Pittsburgh, making it 3-1 in the second period. Goaltender Casey DeSmith made 31 saves for the Penguins.
With a fully guaranteed, $86 million contract, Kirk Cousins will shoulder plenty of blame for the Minnesota Vikings' failure to make the playoffs, and much of it will be justified. Sunday's feeble loss at home to the Chicago Bears dropped Cousins to 4-25 in his career against teams with winning records, and his stat line (20 of 33 for just 132 yards, one TD) was far from inspiring. He misfired on a few deep attempts, failed to spot open receivers and had a would-be pick-six dropped by Prince Amukamara.
EAGAN, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer will return as head coach next season. NFL Network reported Monday, Dec. 31, that Zimmer met with team officials and was informed the Vikings plan to retain him for 2019. Zimmer led the Vikings to the NFC championship game in 2017, but Minnesota was bounced from the playoffs by the Philadelphia Eagles, who went on to win the Super Bowl.