The Dallas Cowboys have struggled since Ezekiel Elliott began serving his suspension, losing three in a row, including a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Thanksgiving. They put an end to that skid on Thursday night, as Alfred Morris stepped up and ran for 127 yards and a touchdown in a 38-14 win over the Washington Redskins. Dak Prescott threw for two touchdowns, including one to Ryan Switzer for the first of his career, to help Dallas win their first game without Elliott this season. The other scoring pass went to Dez Bryant, which was the receiver's 72nd of his career, setting a Cowboys' franchise record. Despite the record breaker, Bryant's TD was just his first in the past six games. "America's Team" never trailed in this one as they kept their playoff hopes alive by improving to 6-6 on the year. They can thank their defense for that by forcing four turnovers, three of which came in the first half. The Cowboys' win also keeps the Philadelphia Eagles' magic number to clinch the NFC East at one, as they will look to do so on Sunday Night Football against the Seahawks in Seattle. The Redskins dropped to 5-7 on the year and have now lost four in a row against the Cowboys, which is their longest drought in the series since 2003-2004. The Cowboys will look to stay on the winning track when they visit the New York Giants next week, while the Redskins head to Los Angeles to battle the Chargers.
LeBron, Love Power Cavs to 10th Straight Win
The Cleveland Cavaliers are taking a page out of the Boston Celtics' playbook, as they extended their win streak to double digits with a 121-114 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Kevin Love led the Cavs with 25 points and 16 rebounds, while LeBron James added 24 points and 12 assists in their 10th consecutive victory. After trailing by two at the half, the Cavs outscored the Hawks by 13 in the third quarter, pulling away for good. James's performance was his 14th double-double in the past 22 games, helping his team hang on to the longest active win streak in the NBA. Atlanta had to feel good about themselves coming in after beating the Cavaliers in Cleveland on November 4th, as they were able to build a nine-point lead in the first half. James and the Cavs would then take over for the rest of the night, sending Atlanta to their 17th loss of the season. Dennis Schroder led Atlanta with 27 points in a losing effort. Love exploded during the Cavs' dominant third quarter, scoring 13 of his points, including three 3-pointers to down the Hawks. Cleveland now sits at 15-7 on the season after starting 5-7, and they will look to keep their win streak alive back at home against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night. The Hawks will head to Brooklyn Saturday afternoon to battle the Nets.
MSU Cruises in Top-5 Showdown With Notre Dame
The Michigan State Spartans suffered an early-season loss to top-ranked Duke about a month ago, but they have since proved why they are still a top team in the country. That included on Thursday night, as the Spartans won their fifth straight game with an 81-63 blowout of the fifth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Joshua Langford and Cassius Winston had 17 points apiece and led Michigan State's quick start, as they finished shooting 51 percent from the floor. Langford had 12 of his 17 points come in the first half, helping his team hold a 20-points lead at halftime. The Irish would make things interesting early on in the second half, getting their deficit down to seven at one points. The Spartans struggled hanging on to the ball, with a majority of their 13 turnovers coming in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Bonzie Colson finished with 17 points in what was the first loss for Notre Dame. The Spartans improved to 6-1, including 3-0 at home, as they were coming off another dominant win over then No. 9 North Carolina, whom they held to 24 percent shooting.