Leading Off

December 22, 2014
PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY GREG NELSON FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDKyrie Eleison! Lord have mercy, indeed. It's not that Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving, all 6-foot-3 of him, ventured among the trees and took it strong to the hoop—he is Cleveland's second-leading scorer after all. It's that he got past the Thunder's Serge Ibaka (9), perhaps the NBA's most intimidating shot blocker, to do it. Irving led the LeBron-less Cavaliers (James sat with knee soreness) by scoring 20 points, but Oklahoma City cruised to an easy 103--94 win last Thursday. PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY ROBERT BECK SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDPipe Dreamers The Chargers don't exactly roll out the red carpet for opponents at 47-year-old Qualcomm Stadium. On Sunday, Peyton Manning (right), linebacker Lamin Barrow (57) and the rest of the Broncos waited under leaky pipes in a dingy corridor before hitting the field for pregame introductions. San Diego was a more gracious host once the game began: Denver won 22--10, handing the Chargers their second straight loss at home. PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY JEAN-YVES AHERN USA TODAY SPORTSJean Béliveau 1931--2014 Call it the French Canadian paradox: On the one hand, hockey prizes reckless men who can skate the line between gritty and nasty. On the other, it celebrates the ideal of the gentleman athlete like no other sport, with Jean Béliveau serving as the paradigm of hockey—and, by extension, Canadian—nobility. It's not just that the steward of the Montreal dynasty of the 1950s and '60s was an elite scorer (507 goals in 20 seasons) and won without peer (a record 17 Stanley Cups, 10 as a player plus seven more as a Canadiens executive between 1973 and '93). It's that Béliveau (who died on Dec. 2 and was honored with a pregame tribute at Montreal's Bell Centre on Dec. 9, left) did both with a soft-spoken grace that led Frank Selke, Montreal's GM for most of his career, to call him "probably the classiest hockey player I've ever seen." Béliveau's status as Canadian icon was such that in the 1980s, he was offered the chance to fill a vacant national senate seat. (Béliveau declined.) "Jean Béliveau was already a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said. "He is now a part of Canadian history."

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)