The Seattle Seahawks have had an up and down type of season so far, and Thursday night was an up and down type of game in a 22-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Russell Wilson found Jimmy Graham for two touchdown passes in the Seahawks' sixth win of the season, pulling them within a half game of the Los Angeles Ram for the top spot in the NFC West. The one downside of the night was the loss of cornerback Richard Sherman in the third quarter. He was among seven players who left with injuries, but his was the most serious, as it was announced as a ruptured Achilles tendon. The star defender knew it at the time, as he was seen mouthing that he torn his Achilles on the sideline. Wilson also left the game momentarily after taking a blow the head. He was adamant that he was fine, but the official forced to him to miss a play. The quarterback seemed to have faked concussion protocol and returned immediately. Seattle was able to hold Adrian Peterson to just 29 yards on 21 carries, including Kam Chancellor forcing a Peterson fumble late to seal the victory. The Seahawks improved to 4-0-1 against the Bruce Arians-coached Cardinals team, who fell to 4-5 on the season. They will visit the Houston Texans next week, while the Seahawks set up for a showdown at home with Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football.
Kucherov, Lightning Beat Up on Kings
The Tampa Bay Lightning officially solidified themselves as the NHL's best team in the early goings of the season on Thursday night by beating up on the second-best team on their home ice. Nikita Kucherov scored his 16th goal, while Steven Stamkos added a goal and an assists in a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Kucherov also had an assist on the night, while Alex Killorn had a goal and an assist to lead Tampa Bay to an impressive road win for a second straight night. Just one night after taking down the San Jose Sharks 5-1, the Lightning came out with four goals in a span of 2:02 in the first period. During that streak was Kucherov's team-leading goal in a 4-on-4 situation. Victor Hedman also added to the goal barrage against Jonathan Quick and the Kings, who lost at home in regulation for the first time this season. Peter Budaj enjoyed the support while making 22 saves, while Vladislav Namestnikov scored for a second straight game in the Lightning's third straight win, improving them to 13-2-2 overall. The Atlantic Division Leaders will continue their road trip on Sunday night in Anaheim against the Ducks. The Kings look to regroup when they host the San Jose Sharks that same night.
Harden, Rockets Get Best of LeBron, Cavs
James Harden wasn't having any of LeBron James's complaining, or the Cavs at all on Thursday night, as the bearded one led his team the entire way at home. Harden scored 35 points and added 12 rebounds and 13 assists in a triple-double effort to lead the Houston Rockets over the Cleveland Cavaliers, 117-113. James had 33 points for the defending two-time Eastern Conference Champions, but it was not enough as his team fell to 5-7 on the season. Cleveland made a late comeback attempt with a 13-1 run to cut their deficit to one with 90 seconds left. Houston would then score the next six points to seal the game, as they improved to 9-3 with their third win in five home games. Jeff Green chipped in with 27 points for Cleveland, who have dropped three of five on the road to begin the year. James was blocked by Cilnt Capela late to stop the Cavs' comeback attempt, and the big man finished with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks for Houston. Harden recorded at least 30 points for the third time in four games and put up his 33rd career triple-double, including two this season. The Rockets will host the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night, while the Cavs will take their inconsistent play to Dallas for a matchup with the Mavericks on Saturday.