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Associated Press

Posted on December 28, 2013 at 7:04 PM

CLIPPERS-TRAIL BLAZERS

Blazers beat Clippers 116-112 in OT win

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and 10 rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers held on for a 116-112 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.

The Blazers have won seven of their last eight games and they've dropped just two games at home this season.

But the Clippers, playing the second of a back-to-back, mounted a challenge after trailing by as many as 11 points early in the second half. Blake Griffin had 35 points and 11 rebounds, while Chris Paul finished with 34 points and 16 assists.

Portland clung to a 114-112 lead with 13.4 seconds left and padded it with Wesley Matthews' foul shots. Paul missed a 3-point attempt as time ran out.

SEAHAWKS-PUNT RECORD

Seahawks punt strategy on verge of NFL record

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — For most of his career, Jon Ryan's task was to change field position with booming punts.

And then the Seattle Seahawks decided they wanted to change their punting approach. They wanted Ryan to pull back and use hang time and directional punting to take away the danger of giving up long returns.

The Seahawks have been exceptional with achieving their goal this season. Entering the season finale against St. Louis, the Seahawks have allowed only 25 punt return yards on 16 returns this season. They're on pace to set an NFL record for fewest return yards allowed in a 16-game season.

It's an obscure record but highlights the importance Seattle has put on its special teams.

RAMS-AUSTIN

Rams' Austin out again with left ankle injury

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rookie Tavon Austin has missed another day of practice, lessening the odds he'll be ready for the St. Louis Rams' season finale at Seattle.

The eighth overall pick of the draft has missed the last two games. Earlier in the week, coach Jeff Fisher said Austin was improved.

Rookie safety T.J. McDonald also did not practice Thursday because of illness, and running back Daryl Richardson (hamstring) was out after being limited Wednesday.

Defensive end Chris Long (thigh) was a full participant after being held out Wednesday.

FIGHT HUNGER BOWL

Washington to face BYU at Fight Hunger Bowl

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Marques Tuiasosopo is looking to get Washington back to a level it hasn't reached since he was the star quarterback more than a decade ago.

Tuiasosopo leads the Huskies into the Fight Hunger Bowl against BYU on Friday night as interim coach after a whirlwind month that started with coach Steve Sarkisian leaving for Southern California and Chris Petersen being hired away from Boise State.

Tuiasosopo moved up from quarterbacks coach to interim coach to lead the Huskies (8-4) in their bowl preparation against BYU (8-4). Washington is trying to win nine games in a season for the first time since going 11-1 — capped by a Rose Bowl win over Purdue in January 2001 with Tuiasosopo at quarterback.

COWBOYS-KITNA

Kitna to donate Cowboys salary to high school

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Jon Kitna will earn $53,000 to serve as the Cowboys' third-string quarterback for one week — and he plans to donate that money to the Seattle-area high school where he's now a coach.

Kitna told The Dallas Morning News of his plans Wednesday.

The 41-year-old Kitna was running the scout team at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Wash., when he heard about Cowboys starter Tony Romo's injury. He'll suit up Sunday as the backup to Kyle Orton if Romo can't play.

Kitna retired after the 2011 season, his 15th in the league. He says he sent a text message to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett on Tuesday and told him he could play this week if needed.

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