The Baltimore Ravens have overcome the injury issues to Joe Flacco to stay in the AFC Playoff contention, and are now even closer to another postseason run. Flacco threw for 237 yards and two touchdowns in a 23-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night. Justin Tucker kicked three field goals to keep the Ravens ahead, as Baltimore sits a win over the Cincinnati Bengals away from clinching a playoff spot. The Ravens have not been in the postseason since 2014, and have rallied into position after winning five of six following a 4-5 start. The Colts were as close as 16-13 in the third quarter, but a sack and a fourth-down incompletion from the Baltimore 10 in the fourth ended the comeback attempt. Flacco has bounced back smoothly since the injury, throwing for seven touchdowns and one interception in the past four games. The Colts fell to 3-12 on the season, including 1-7 away from home, as they have lost six in a row for the first time since 2011, when they began the year 0-13. They started Jacoby Brissett under center, as he finished 16-of-33 for 215 yards, while Adam Vinateri had three field goals of his own in the loss.
Nuggets Snap Warriors' Win Streak, Westbrook Leads OKC
The Golden State Warriors were hoping to go into their Christmas Day matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers on a double-digit win streak, but the Denver Nuggets put an end to those hopes on Saturday night. Gary Harris scored 19 points to help the Nuggets snap the Warriors' 11-game win streak with a 96-81 win at Oracle Arena. The Warriors were held to 38 percent shooting, including just 11 percent from three-point range in the loss. Nikola Jokic finished with 18 points and nine rebounds for the Nuggets, who have earned consecutive road wins over the Portland Trail Blazers and now the defending champs. Kevin Durant had just 18 points and six rebounds for the Warriors, who recorded a season-low in points in their fourth loss on their home floor. Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook turned to his play from last season to power the Oklahoma City Thunder at home. Westbrook recorded a triple-double of 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in the Thunder's 103-89 win over the Utah Jazz. OKC has now won four in a row, as Westbrook recorded his 11th triple-double of the year, while getting support from Paul George, who had 26 points, five rebounds, six steals, and two blocks. Carmelo Anthony added 16 points, as the Thunder now sit three games over 500 at 18-15. Rookie Donovan Mitchell finished with 29 points for Utah, as he now has 11 20-point games, which is the most among rookies.
Miami, Kentucky Fall in Major Upsets
College basketball saw two top-10 teams fall right before the holidays on Saturday night, first with No. 6 Miami suffering their first loss of the year, 63-54, to New Mexico State. Zach Lofton scored 15 points, including nine in the second half to help the Aggies hold off the Hurricanes. The win was the first for New Mexico State over a ranked team in 10 seasons, as they improved to 11-2 on the year. This leaves Villanova, Arizona State, and TCU as the only undefeated teams in the country. AJ Harris and Sidy N'Dir had 10 points apiece for New Mexico State, who took the lead for good with 3:43 to play in the first half. Miami got as close as 54-53 with 1:25 left, before the Aggies used free throws to seal the upset. Meanwhile, No. 7 Kentucky fell in New Orleans to UCLA, 83-75, in the CBS Sports Classic. Aaron Holiday had 20 points, including a key layup and two big free throws in the final 33 seconds. Kris Wilkes had 20 points of his own, while Thomas Welch added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the 9-3 Bruins. UCLA kept their historic rivalry against the Wildcats close, winning for the seventh time in 15 meetings between the two schools. The loss for Kentucky was their second of the season, and first in eight games, despite Hamidou Diallo's 18 points. Wenyen Gabriel put up a season-high 16 points for the Wildcats, who struggled from beyond the arc at 6-of-21 from downtown, including 2-of-10 in the first half. The Wildcats did used a 13-2 second half run to make things interesting, but were unable to avoid the upset.