Weekend Sports in Brief
MIAMI (AP) — The comeback Chiefs did it again and are Super Bowl champions.
Patrick Mahomes, named the game’s MVP, threw for a pair of touchdowns in the game’s final 6:13, helping the Kansas City Chiefs erase a 10-point deficit and beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in Super Bowl 54.
The go-ahead score: A 5-yard touchdown pass to Damien Williams with 2:44 left. Williams is a former Miami Dolphins running back and returned to his former field — Hard Rock Stadium — to enjoy the most significant night of his career.
Williams finished off the title march with a touchdown run with 1:12 left, a 38-yarder around the left end to seal the outcome.
It’s the first Super Bowl crown for Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who’ll no longer wear the distinction of being the winningest coach in NFL history without a championship. The Chiefs last won the Super Bowl 50 years ago.
The Chiefs had a comeback flair throughout the playoffs, getting down 24-0 to Houston in the divisional round and then rallying from deficits of 10-0 and 17-7 to beat Tennessee in the AFC championship game.
San Francisco was in the Super Bowl for the seventh time and fell just short of winning what would have been a record-tying sixth championship. Only New England and Pittsburgh have six titles, and the 49ers were about six minutes away from joining their club.
MIAMI (AP) — He grew his hair so long, it flowed out of his helmet and obscured the name on the back of his jersey.
Didn’t matter. Everyone knew where to find Troy Polamalu on Sundays.
The Steelers great earned a spot in the Hall of Fame on Saturday along with another hard-hitting safety, Steve Atwater of Denver. Also making it were receiver Isaac Bruce, running back Edgerrin James and guard Steve Hutchinson.
Selected in his first year of eligibility, Polamalu was a four-time All-Pro, was voted to eight Pro Bowls and finished with two Super Bowl rings in three trips.
Atwater made it — in his 16th year of eligibility, no less. — and became the first home-grown Broncos defender to join the hall.
James was a bastion of versatility and durability. A flashy first-round draft pick out of Miami, James made a name for himself with his ability to carve out room on the ground while playing in Peyton Manning’s offense with the Colts from 1999-2005. James also played three seasons with the Cardinals and a half-year with the Seahawks.
Bruce was a headliner in “The Greatest Show on Turf,” the pass-happy attack run by Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner when the Rams were in St. Louis. This was Bruce’s sixth season of eligibility and his fourth time as a finalist.
MIAMI (AP) — Lamar Jackson’s stunning season not only earned him The Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player Award, but he won it unanimously.
The second-year quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens joins Tom Brady as the only players to receive every vote for MVP. He drew all 50 votes from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league.
The Ravens were big winners at NFL Honors on Saturday. John Harbaugh won coaching honors, and his offensive coordinator, Greg Roman, took best assistant coach honors.
Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill earned the Comeback Player award by one vote over Jimmy Garoppolo, who will quarterback the 49ers in Sunday’s Super Bowl. New Orleans’ Michael Thomas took top offensive player honors, while New England’s Stephon Gilmore grabbed the defensive player award.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic won his record-extending eighth Australian Open championship and 17th Grand Slam title overall by beating Dominic Thiem in five sets in the final sUNDAY.
Djokovic’s 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory means he will return to No. 1 in the rankings, replacing Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic improved to 16-0 in semifinals and finals at Melbourne Park. No other man in the history of tennis has won this tournament more than six times.
Djokovic adds his Australian Open haul to his five titles from Wimbledon, three from the U.S. Open and one from the French Open.
Only Roger Federer, with 20, and Nadal, with 19, have won more men’s Grand Slam singles trophies. Thiem was appearing in his third major final. He has lost them all.
Sofia Kenin of the United States beat Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain to win the Australian Open for her first Grand Slam title.
The 21-year-old Kenin won by a score of 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 with the retractable roof at Rod Laver Arena closed because of rain.
Kenin was seeded 14th.
She had never been past the fourth round of a major tournament until now.
Kenin reached the first Grand Slam final of her career by beating No. 1 Ash Barty in the semifinals.
Muguruza is a former No. 1-ranked player who won the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Webb Simpson birdied the final two holes of regulation to force a playoff with Tony Finau, then won the Waste Management Phoenix Open with a 10-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole Sunday.
Finau, two strokes ahead with two holes left, missed an 18-foot birdie try in the playoff on the par-4 18th after driving left into the church pew bunkers.
Simpson two-putted for birdie from the fringe on the short par-4 17th and made a 17-footer for birdie from the edge of the green on the 18th. Finau, after hitting a 366-yard drive and an approach to 8 feet, missed a chance to win when his birdie try slid right.
Simpson closed with a 2-under 69 to match Finau at 17-under 267 at TPC Scottsdale. Finau shot 70.
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert got his 3,000th career victory when Thousand Words won the $100,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Saturday.
Thousand Words won by three-quarters of a length in the Grade 3 race named for Baffert’s late client. The colt ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.64 at Santa Anita to earn 10 points on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard that determines the 20-horse field for the race in May.
Baffert also won the Lewis Stakes for a record eighth time.
Dale Baird holds the career wins record by a trainer with 9,445.
TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo cut the ribbon on another new Olympic venue on Sunday, just under six months ahead of the games’ opening.
This time it was the Ariake Arena alongside Tokyo Bay, the venue for Olympic volleyball and wheelchair basketball at the Paralympics.
Only one new venue remains to be inaugurated. That’s the new swimming arena that will be ready in the next month.
Eight of the new permanent venues are being built by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The new $1.43 billion national stadium was opened late last year and is being built by an arm of the Japanese national government.
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — Thomas Dressen won the men’s World Cup downhill on the Kandahar course on Saturday, becoming the first German winner of the classic race in 28 years.
No German skier had been on the podium here since Markus Wasmeier triumphed in January 1992.
Dressen was especially strong on the bottom part of the course. While several rivals led the German’s time at the last split, none of them mastered the finish section as smoothly as he did.
Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde finished 0.16 seconds behind in second, followed by Johan Clarey in third. The Frenchman, who was the fastest in Friday’s training run, trailed Dressen by 0.17.
World Cup downhill leader Beat Feuz, who was on the podium in 17 of the previous 19 downhills, finished sixth.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Longtime scout and Washington Nationals senior adviser Phil Rizzo has died. He was 90.
The Nationals confirmed Rizzo’s death in a statement Saturday. Phil is the father of World Series-winning Washington general manager Mike Rizzo.
Phil Rizzo was named to the inaugural class of the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame in 2008. He scouted 2006 NL Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Brandon Webb while working for Arizona and signed the likes of Mike Matheny and Mark Loretta.
Rizzo joined the Nationals in 2009 and has served as an adviser to his son and the entire baseball operations department for the past 11 years.