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The latest on Blake Griffin's health, future

The latest on Blake Griffin's health, future

From Comcast SportsNetLOS ANGELES (AP) -- All-Star Blake Griffin said Tuesday his left knee is healed after last month's surgery that forced him to miss the London Olympics, when he worked on his shot and free throws while his U.S. teammates were winning a gold medal.Griffin is doing drills and running this week as he continues rehabbing from the July 16 surgery to repair a medial meniscus tear of his knee that he suffered during practice with the U.S. national team in Las Vegas."I'm doing all my normal movements," he said. "I feel like I'm at 100 percent."The latest knee injury had nothing to do with the stress fracture of his left patella and surgery that forced him to miss the 2009-10 season.It's been a busy summer for Griffin. In addition to being with the national team until his injury and then his surgery, he signed a five-year contract extension in July that could be worth up to 95 million.After he got hurt, Griffin didn't watch any of the team's exhibition games, calling it "a little too fresh and a little too painful."But once the Olympics began, he watched his former U.S. teammates during their run to the gold medal."It was just good to see those guys get what they deserved and see how hard everybody worked from the time we got together to the end," he said.Griffin used his downtime "trying to become a more complete player, working on my shot and working on free throws," he said. "Those are two things that I was able to work on a lot even if it was stationary."The Clippers kept busy this summer, re-signing Chauncey Billups and bringing Lamar Odom back to the franchise in a deal with Dallas. They also landed free agents Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, Willie Green, Ronny Turiaf and Ryan Hollins."This is a great place to play and guys want to come here," Griffin said. "The fact that we've had guys toward the end of their careers, guys like Grant Hill, that chose to play here, I think that says a lot about our team and the direction we're heading in. It's great to be a part of something that has kind of turned the corner."Last season the Clippers got swept by San Antonio in four games in the second round of the playoffs after having the best regular-season winning percentage in franchise history."We laid the foundation," Griffin said. "This year we want to take a step forward and I think the pieces that we've added, the guys we have returning and the work guys have put in this offseason has been tremendous. We look to take that next step as a franchise."The Clippers' co-tenant at Staples Center pulled off its own big deals, adding Steve Nash from Phoenix and Dwight Howard from Orlando."It's great for LA, it's great for basketball," Griffin said. "It's going to bring a lot of excitement, but they still have to play just like everybody else."Griffin said he spoke on Monday to gold medal-winning teammate Chris Paul, who plans to return to Los Angeles next week to recuperate from the surgery he had last week to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb.Griffin endorsed Gary Sacks, the Clippers' director of player personnel, to replace Neil Olshey as the team's general manager. Olshey left to take on the same role in Portland."If he doesn't get the GM job I'll be shocked and definitely a little disappointed because he deserves it and I think everybody else thinks he deserves it," Griffin said. "I hope that it's going to be him."Griffin interacted with fans during an appearance at a West Los Angeles Subway restaurant, where he assembled a turkey sandwich and helped give away prizes to mark the chain's 47th anniversary.

Old Dominion stuns No. 25 Syracuse, pulls off Carrier Dome upset

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USA TODAY Sports

Old Dominion stuns No. 25 Syracuse, pulls off Carrier Dome upset

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- B.J. Stith felt it necessary to apologize to his Old Dominion teammates at halftime Saturday after going scoreless and committing five turnovers against Syracuse.

"I made up my mind I couldn't let my guys down," Stith said. "I took full responsibility. No points, five turnovers. I said, `Look, I apologize for how I played in the first half. I'm going to step it up in the second half. Let's do it.' That's exactly what we did and didn't look back."

No apologies were needed after the game.

Stith scored all of his 18 points in the second half on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and 10-of-11 at the foul line, and Old Dominion rallied to stun No. 25 Syracuse 68-62.

It was Old Dominion's first win over a ranked team since beating VCU 73-67 in 2014 and the Monarchs' first road win over a ranked team since defeating Georgetown in 2006.

"Number one, (Stith) was self-aware because he was right," Old Dominion coach Jeff Jones said. "In the second half, he wasn't trying to do his own thing. He stayed within the game plan. He got a couple of baskets and a couple of assists, found other guys and played stronger."

Xavier Green had 15 points and Marquis Godwin added 11 for the Monarchs (8-3), who trailed by 13 points late in the first half and by 11 early in the second before rallying for their sixth straight victory.

"What this game showed is that we can play with, if not better, than any team in the country on any given day," Stith said. "To come here into the (Carrier) Dome is a big-time win."

Said Jones: "I don't know what it will do for the program, but it's a certainly good win for our basketball team. Syracuse is a good team. A top 25 team. Doing it in this Carrier Dome. This program is a storied program."

After Elijah Hughes made a 3-pointer to put the Orange (7-3) ahead 39-28, Old Dominion went on a 13-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Goodwin that tied it at 41 with 10:19 remaining.

"We made a couple of adjustments (in the second half) but it was more about the players' mentality, playing with toughness and being strong with the ball," Jones said. "We stuck to the script a little bit better. We got the ball in some, it was hard to do, but we got it into the high post and were able to manufacture some baskets from there."

Syracuse pulled back ahead and led 50-46, but a jumper by Godwin and a 3-pointer by Ahmad Carter put the Monarchs on top again. Syracuse went ahead 53-51 with 4:15 to go, but that was the Orange's last lead of the game.

Three foul shots by Stith and five straight points by Green extended the Monarchs to a 59-53 margin with under three minutes to go. Six points by Stith down the stretch sealed the upset.

Tyus Battle led Syracuse with 23 points on just 5-of-14 shooting. Hughes had 15. Oshae Brissett had just nine, going 3 of 11 from the field.

Syracuse shot just 33 percent from the field for the game and 8 of 22 from 3-point range.

For the Orange, the offensive struggles were familiar. But something new was added against the Monarchs: missed opportunities at the foul line. Syracuse missed 12 of 34 free throws.

"We're not making anything," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "We missed so many key shots. Playing at home, you have to make those shots. You can't miss 12 free throws."

Syracuse closed on a 12-3 run to take a 33-23 halftime lead. Battle, who scored 13 in the first 20 minutes, accounted for eight straight points during the run.

"We have to focus on every free throw," Brissett said. "We're a good free-throw shooting team, but we just haven't been able to find it the last two games."

BIG PICTURE

Old Dominion: The Monarchs are flying high. Six straight wins and a huge comeback at the Carrier Dome give Old Dominion momentum heading into its matchup with in-state rival Richmond.

Syracuse: Frank Howard isn't himself and Syracuse won't go far if its point guard doesn't contribute.

CENTER OF ATTENTION

Syracuse centers Paschal Chukwu and Bourama Sidibe accounted for zero points and seven rebounds.

GREEN WITH ENVY

ODU's Green entered the game hitting 38 percent from 3-point range. He was 3-of-4 Saturday.

DESPERATE TIMES

Syracuse will be desperate for a win over No. 14 Buffalo on Tuesday. A defeat would damage the Orange's NCAA Tournament chances.

UP NEXT

Old Dominion travels to Richmond Wednesday.

Syracuse hosts Buffalo on Tuesday.

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Where will Joe Flacco end up in 2019? Ravens reportedly set to move on from longtime QB

Where will Joe Flacco end up in 2019? Ravens reportedly set to move on from longtime QB

A new era kicks off in Baltimore, Md.,  Sunday when Lamar Jackson leads the Ravens as QB1 with Super Bowl champion Joe Flacco as the healthy backup.

Now that the "who's going to be the team's starter?" question is answered, for now, the next big question is what does Flacco's future hold?

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Ravens are expected to move on from Flacco in the offseason.

This news shouldn't come as that much of a surprise. Even before Jackson took over the reins, questions on whether or not Flacco would be with the team in 2019 were being tossed around. Flacco is set to make $18.5 million next year and the team would incur $16 million of dead money moving on from him. 

When asked on whether or not he's contemplated his future now that he's their No. 2 QB, Flacco had this to say,

“There’s plenty of time for that. Obviously, I think it’s only natural for people to talk to you about that and all that stuff. There’s plenty of time for that. There are plenty of months in the NFL offseason to think about what it’s going to mean and all that. But for now, like I said, I’m excited about what I can do and how I can help this group out.”

A lot could change for Flacco over the next three weeks as the Ravens chase January football.

Rapoport is also reporting that trading Flacco to a team of his choice is a possibility after leading the team for 11 seasons and a Super Bowl win. Whether his future is in Baltimore or not, plenty of NFL team's would kill to have a veteran quarterback of his caliber. 

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