At the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the U.S. men's hockey team completed a perfect 3-0 run through the opening round with a 5-1 win over Slovenia. Phil Kessel recorded the first American hat trick in the Olympics since 2002. In hockey, that’s when a player is able to score three goals in a single game. Ryan Miller lost his shutout bid with 17.6 seconds left in the game. He made 17 saves in his Sochi debut. The Americans finished atop Group A and earned an automatic spot in the quarterfinals.
This came one day after the United States defeated Russia 3-2 in an amazing shootout win.
In the NBA, Carmelo Anthony had 24 points and nine rebounds in just 28 minutes, and the New York Knicks avenged an embarrassing home loss by beating the Boston Celtics 114-88 for their third straight victory.
Jeremy Tyler added a career-high 17 points. Fellow reserve J.R. Smith also scored 17 for the Knicks, who lost by 41 last time the Celtics came to Madison Square Garden.
Elsewhere, Kobe Bryant's recovery from a knee injury is taking longer than expected, and he's now expected to be out for at least three more weeks.
In the NBA, New York has a five-game winning streak after Carmelo Anthony provided 29 points and 16 rebounds in a 98-96 overtime win against Phoenix. Raymond Felton added 19 points for the Knicks.
Houston was a 104-92 winner at Boston behind Dwight Howard's 32 points and 11 rebounds. James Harden and Jeremy Lin each had 16 points as the Rockets moved into a tie for fifth with Golden State in the West.
In the NBA, Carmelo Anthony scored 13 of his 34 points in the third quarter and hit the game-clinching free throws with 2.9 seconds left in New York's 89-85 victory over Detroit. The Knicks outscored the Pistons 32-17 in the third period and handed Detroit its season-high fifth straight loss.
In the NFL, Phil Dawson drilled a 33-yard kick to give the San Francisco 49ers a 23-20 win over the Packers in Green Bay in the NFC wild-card game. Colin Kaepernick kept the winning drive alive by escaping a blitz on third-and-8 and scrambling for an 11-yard gain to the 27 with 1:13 left. Kaepernick was all over the field, rushing seven times for a team-high 98 yards and completing 16 of his 30 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown.
There were five games in the NBA on Christmas Day and it was not pretty for New York fans.
The first game of the day had the Bulls whipping the Nets 95-78 in Brooklyn, giving Chicago its first winning streak since mid-November. Taj Gibson finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Jimmy Butler chipped in 15 points. The Bulls trailed 50-49 early in the second half before Butler hit a 3-point to spark a 21-5 run that put Chicago in control the rest of the way.
Host Drake University outscored the University at Albany men’s basketball team 11-4 in the final three minutes to pull away for a 71-63 nonconference victory at in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday night. A 3-pointer from DJ Evans with 4:12 remaining pulled the (6-6) Danes to 60-59, but in the end Drake improved its record to 8-3.
Meanwhile, the Siena Saints had a 67-59 victory against Hofstra at Times Union Center. Junior Rob Poole, freshman Lavon Long and freshman Maurice White each scored 14 points to lead the Saints.