Nuggets' Faried blocks, dunks Wizards, 75-74
WASHINGTON (AP) - Wilson Chandler scored 17 points, Nate Robinson added 16, and Kenneth Faried had a key block and transition dunk with 33 seconds left to lift the Denver Nuggets to 75-74 victory over the Washington Wizards on Monday night.
Washington had three possessions after Faried put Denver ahead, but John Wall missed a layup, Trevor Ariza missed a 3-pointer, Chandler blocked a layup try by Garrett Temple, and Robinson stripped the ball from Wall in the closing seconds.
Chandler also had eight rebounds to help the Nuggets rally from 12 points down in the second half, and Robinson helped the Denver reserves outscore their depleted Washington counterparts 34-5.
Wall finished with 20 points and eight assists, Marcin Gortat scored 16 points, and Trevor Booker added 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards.
WESTERN ST (COL)-AIR FORCE
Air Force runs past Western State (Colo.) 94-53
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Justin Hammonds had 14 points, 10 rebounds and Air Force scored 55 second-half points on Monday night in a 94-53 victory over Western State.
Marek Olesinski led Air Force (5-4) in scoring with 16 points, including three 3-pointers. Max Yon added eight points, nine rebounds and six assists and Tre' Coggins had 13 points. Zach Kocur and Hayden Graham came off the bench to score 15 and 13, respectively.
The Falcons led 39-22 at the break and opened the second half on a 14-6 run capped by Olesinski's jumper to go ahead 53-28 with 13:53 left in the game.
Western State won the first meeting between the schools in 1957, but Air Force has won 19 straight in the all-time series. Dominique Wright was the Mountaineers' only double-digit scorer with 11 points.
Steam from Manning's nostrils not just from cold
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Even after coming in from the cold, Peyton Manning was hot.
Following one of the best cold-weather performances by a quarterback in the past decade, Manning issued an icy retort for all his critics who say he crumbles in the cold.
He had a salty response to his critics during a postgame interview with Broncos' flagship radio station KOA in Denver following the Broncos' 51-28 dismantling of the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
This after lecturing his receivers when they dropped passes and getting into some heated discussions with offensive coordinator Adam Gase on the bench after the Broncos had trouble finishing off drives.
Manning said it was just the fire the burns in both of their bellies and "we were both frustrated when we're down there close and have to settle for a field goal."
Welker unlikely to play against Chargers
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Wes Welker is unlikely to suit up for Denver's game Thursday against San Diego after leaving Sunday's win over Tennessee with his second concussion in four games.
Speaking to reporters Monday, coach John Fox didn't rule out his receiver but said Welker's health is the top priority and he would go through the standard NFL protocol for players who have endured concussions.
Though there are no hard-and-fast guidelines for returning, the best-case scenario for players who pass their post-concussion tests early in the week is to return to light practice Thursday, full practice Friday and be listed as probable for the game.
Welker will be under more scrutiny because this is his second concussion since Nov. 17.
Jacob Tamme would be a candidate to substitute for Welker as slot receiver.
Chargers' playoff hopes mathematically alive
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Eli Manning and the New York Giants are out of the way. Now the San Diego Chargers need to take care of older brother Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos if they want to keep their long-shot playoff chances alive.
While rookie coach Mike McCoy is loath to discuss things like playoffs, his players will acknowledge they've got something to play for, even if they need some help.
Of course, it likely won't mean anything if they don't upset the Broncos in Denver on Thursday night.
Says outside linebacker Jarret Johnson: "In my mind it's a playoff scenario for us. ... We worked ourselves into a hole and we have to depend on other people, but the only thing we're focusing on is what we can control, and right now that's Denver."
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