NCAA

NFL Capsule: 49ers at Patriots

NFL Capsule: 49ers at Patriots

SAN FRANCISCO (9-3-1) at NEW ENGLAND (10-3)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m., NBC

OPENING LINE - Patriots by 5 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD - San Francisco 8-5; New England 8-5

SERIES RECORD - 49ers lead 7-4

AP PRO32 RANKING - 49ers No. 3; Patriots No. 1

LAST MEETING - Patriots beat 49ers 30-21, Oct. 5, 2008

LAST WEEK - 49ers beat Dolphins 27-13; Patriots beat Texans 42-14

49ers OFFENSE - OVERALL (12), RUSH (2), PASS (26)

49ers DEFENSE - OVERALL (2), RUSH (2T), PASS (2)

PATRIOTS OFFENSE - OVERALL (1), RUSH (7), PASS (5)

PATRIOTS DEFENSE - OVERALL (26), RUSH (8), PASS (29)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Patriots have highest-scoring offense in NFL, while 49ers have allowed fewest points. ... 49ers clinch AFC West with victory combined with Seattle loss. They clinch playoff berth with win even if Seahawks win. Patriots have locked up AFC East title. ... Both teams take care of ball with Patriots having fewest turnovers (10) and 49ers tied for second (12) ... 49ers' Colin Kaepernick first QB in NFL history to throw for 175 yards and run for 50 in consecutive games. ... San Francisco among best against run and pass, allowing second fewest yards against both. ... WR Randy Moss faces team he spent three seasons and part of a fourth with, making 259 catches for 50 TDs before being traded to Minnesota Vikings after fourth game in 2010. ... LB Aldon Smith leads NFL with 19 1/2 sacks. ... Frank Gore needs one rushing TD to pass Joe Perry and Roger Craig with franchise-record 51. ... San Francisco defense second best in league on third down, allowing conversions on 31.4 percent of plays. ... Patriots 21-0 in second half of seasons starting in 2010. ... Patriots won past 20 December home games. ... Tom Brady has thrown TD pass in 45 consecutive games, trailing only Drew Brees (54) and Johnny Unitas (47). ... Devin McCourty had second interception in end zone this season when he picked off Matt Schaub on Houston's first series Monday night. ... Wes Welker needs five catches to become first receiver with five seasons of at least 100. ... Stevan Ridley has rushing TD in each of last 6 games.

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

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USA TODAY Sports Images

VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Javonte Perkins had 25 points as Saint Louis topped VCU 80-62 on Friday night.

Hasahn French had 18 points for Saint Louis (19-8, 8-6 Atlantic 10 Conference). Terrence Hargrove Jr. added 11 points. Jordan Goodwin had 10 points.

Marcus Santos-Silva had 11 points for the Rams (17-10, 7-7), who have now lost four consecutive games. De'Riante Jenkins added 10 points.

Saint Louis plays Saint Joseph's at home on Wednesday. VCU faces UMass on the road on Wednesday.

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Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson spoke with reporters after the team's victory over the Wizards Friday night, praising Bradley Beal, who was snubbed from All-Star consideration this season despite averaging nearly 30 points-per-game.

The Cavaliers held the Wizards to just 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Thompson said their main focus was neutralizing Beal.

"The Wizards are really good offensively when they are making their runs," Thompson said postgame. "Bradley Beal is an All-Star in our league. One of the top-three two-guards in our league right now, so we were just trying to make it tough for him."

Beal finished the night with 26 points, but struggled from the floor. Beal shot 9-for-28 from the floor and the Cavaliers' stingy defense was clearly a factor.

Beal and the Wizards will have a chance to get back on track on Sunday night at Capital One Arena when they host the Chicago Bulls for the final time this season.

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