NBA: Sacramento Kings at Golden State Warriors

Good morning to everyone but especially to…


Two countries have repeated as World Cup champions: Italy in 1934 and 1938 and Brazil in 1958 and 1962. France is one match away from joining that very exclusive group.

Les Bleus beat Morocco2-0, in a highly entertaining semifinal and will face Argentina in the final Sunday.

  • Theo Hernández scored the opening goal just five minutes in with an athletic half-volley off Kylian Mbappé‘s blocked shot.
  • Morocco threatened time and time again — including Jawad El Yamiq‘s bicycle kick hitting the post — but could not find a breakthrough.
  • Substitute Randal Kolo Muani doubled Les Bleus’ lead in the 79th minute, tucking one home from close range, again after an Mbappé shot was blocked.

While far from its best effort, France showed the mettle of a champion. Morocco had only allowed one goal all tournament before Didier Deschamps‘ team scored two. France also registered its first clean sheet of the tournament, and for that, Raphael Varane deserves enormous credit, writes Jonathan Johnson.

  • Johnson: “He has rediscovered his former self in Qatar just in time for another shot at title glory. As Deschamps has done with Antoine Griezmann, he has also done with Varane and stripped his game back down to the basics and rebuilt one of his most trusted on-pitch lieutenants. … Varane has done brilliantly to bring shape and discipline to a largely unbalanced French defense given Theo Hernandez‘s attack-minded approach, Jules Kounde‘s awkwardness as a makeshift right back and Dayot Upamecano‘s continued jitters.”

Morocco, meanwhile, saw its dream run come to an end, but the Atlas Lions showed they very much belonged, writes James Benge.

Now, the final is set, and it’s a terrific matchup. Mbappé and Lionel Messi — two of the game’s brightest stars and teammates at Paris Saint-Germain — will lead their respective attacks. We’ll have more preview content tomorrow, but rest assured: This has the potential to be an all-time great final.

Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for…


The Warriors lost to the Pacers, 125-119, last night to fall below .500 on the season, but the reigning champs may have suffered a loss much worse than what the scoreboard read: Stephen Curry appeared to injure his left shoulder in the third quarter and did not return. He’ll undergo an MRI today.

Though the Warriors have struggled, Curry has been terrific — Brad Botkin explained Curry’s dominance Monday.

  • He was on his way to another huge game, with 38 points, seven rebounds and seven assists before exiting.
  • This season, the Warriors outscore opponents by seven points per 100 possessions with Curry on the court. They get outscored by 11.1 points per 100 possessions without him.
  • Golden State has also lost all three games Curry has missed this year.

Previewing huge TNF matchup between 49ers and Seahawks 🏈



When the season started, you probably didn’t expect Brock Purdy — the last pick in April’s draft — to be the starting quarterback for one of the league’s best teams and Geno Smith to have his team in playoff contention while putting up some of the league’s best numbers.

Yet here we are in Week 15, and both are true as the 49ers visit the Seahawks in a crucial matchup.

Purdy’s coming off a tremendous performance in which he became the first quarterback to beat Tom Brady in his first career start (it also helped that the 49ers’ league-best defense dominated). It was the 49ers’ league-best sixth straight win, and, at 9-4, they have a 93% chance to win the NFC West, according to SportsLine projections.

Smith and the Seahawks, meanwhile, have lost three of four but still sit at 7-6. While SportsLine gives Seattle a 57% chance to make the postseason, tonight’s game kicks off a crucial stretch: After the 49ers, the Seahawks face the Chiefs and the Jets before finishing with Rams.

Deebo Samuel will be out for this one, but expect a big day from another one of San Francisco’s stars, writes Jared Dubin.

  • Dubin: Christian McCaffrey has 41 touches for 299 yards and two scores over the Niners’ last two games, and Kyle Shanahan has seemingly delighted in moving him around the formation to create advantageous matchups. The opportunity to do that should be there for him again on Thursday night against a Seattle defense that has yielded at least 161 rushing yards in each of its last four games and allowed the NFL‘s sixth-most receptions and third-most receiving yards to enemy running backs so far this season.”

NFL owners get defensive over Troy Vincent comparing scouting combine to ‘slave auction’ 🏈

Key Speakers At The 2017 Milken Conference

Getty Images

Former NFL player and current executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent shared his thoughts about the scouting combine process at a league meeting on Wednesday, and multiple team owners are not happy.

Vincent referred to the NFL scouting combine as having characteristics of a “slave auction,” multiple people who attended the meeting told CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones. Vincent’s comments came as he announced changes to the combine that would involve a less tedious medical evaluation process and a closer look at questions teams ask of draft prospects.

The slave auction comparison was met with pushback from multiple team owners, including Arthur Blank of the Falcons, Jerry Jones of the Cowboys and Art Rooney II of the Steelers. As our Jonathan Jones explained, this is not the first time Vincent has been brutally honest in hopes to better the lives of players and coaches.

  • Jonathan Jones: “The conversation was not wholly new, as the combine process has been discussed and changed over time. But the tone of this discussion was noteworthy. Vincent, a former Pro Bowler as a player, has been with the NFL since 2014 as a leader in football operations, and he has addressed topics such as kneeling during the national anthem and coaching hiring discrepancies while serving as, in words he used in an interview with The Root, a ‘bridge builder’ from inside the league office.” 

NHL Power Rankings: The Great Eight has Capitals rising 🏒


CBS Sports

Way back in 2006, in his second year in the NHL, Alex Ovechkin got hit by a puck during a game and had to be helped off the ice. The next day in practice, when asked about the injury, Ovechkin responded: “I’m ok. Russian Machine never breaks.”

All these years later, Russian Machine is running as smoothly as ever. Ovechkin has seven goals in his last four games — including three Tuesday when he reached 800 for his career — and his Capitals have won five straight to jump from 23rd to 16th in our Austin Nivison’s latest Power Rankings.

  • Nivison: “Just a few weeks ago, Ovechkin and the Capitals looked dead in the water. Injuries were piling up, and the team was sliding in the standings. But in the face of adversity, Washington has risen to the challenge… Will the Capitals be able to keep this hot streak going? I don’t know. Even if they do put themselves back in playoff position, can they be a real contender? I don’t know. What I do know is that this team has become incredibly fun to watch as it rallies around Ovechkin’s pursuit of history, and that might be enough to make this season a special one.”

Ovechkin can tie (or pass) Gordie Howe‘s 801 career goals — second in NHL history behind Wayne Gretzky‘s 894 — tonight against the Stars. As for the top of the rankings…

  • 1. Bruins (prev: 1)
  • 2. Maple Leafs (prev: 3)
  • 3. Devils (prev: 2)
  • 4. Lightning (prev: 4)
  • 5. Hurricanes (prev: 6)

You can see all 32 here.

What we’re watching Thursday 📺

🏀 Bucks at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. on NBA TV
🏈 49ers at Seahawks, 8:15 p.m. on Prime Video
🏀 Suns at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. on NBA TV