Cowboys-Steelers ends in thrilling fashion...

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Cowboys-Steelers ends in thrilling fashion...

From Comcast SportsNetARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Brandon Carr found a way to silence thousands of Terrible Towel-waving Pittsburgh fans at Cowboys Stadium and send the Dallas crowd home happy.The Cowboys cornerback intercepted a Ben Roethlisberger pass in overtime, returned it 36 yards to the 1, and Dan Bailey kicked a 21-yard field goal for a 27-24 win over the Steelers on Sunday.Bailey's kick -- 1:24 into OT -- won a game for the second straight week since Dallas practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown was killed in a one-car accident that led to manslaughter charges against teammate Josh Brent.The win pulled the Cowboys (8-6) into a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East with the Giants and Redskins with two games left in the season. Dallas has won five of its last six."Those are the plays you dream about in the backyard, making the game-winning interception or touchdown," Carr said.Carr, who said he was anticipating Roethlisberger's throw to Mike Wallace because Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley was his coach in Kansas City, made a diving catch and jumped up along the Pittsburgh sideline. Legions of black-and-gold clad fans on that side of the stadium watched as Carr ran it back and was stopped inches short of the goal line.The winning kick came after Tony Romo, who broke the 25,000-yard passing milestone earlier in the game, took a knee to put Bailey in better position.Bailey beat Cincinnati 20-19 last week with a 40-yarder as time expired, just a day after the accident that killed Brown.The Steelers (7-7) lost for the fourth time in five games and trail AFC North rival Cincinnati by a game for the second wild card spot. They host the Bengals next week. Roethlisberger is 0-2 since returning from a three-game absence with shoulder and rib injuries."There won't be any quit from us, especially from me," Roethlisberger said. "This one is going to sting real bad. It will hopefully make me and make us better."The defining play came from a Dallas defense playing without six injured starters, the latest being Carr's playing partner on the other side, first-round pick Morris Claiborne. The rookie was sidelined after sustaining a concussion against the Bengals."I really can't explain it. It's something destined about this team," defensive end Jason Hatcher said. "You look back there and you don't know nobody back there behind you."The score was tied 24-all in the final two minutes of regulation. Pittsburgh quickly moved to its 46 after a completion by Roethlisberger and a roughing-the-passer penalty against DeMarcus Ware.But Sean Lissemore and Anthony Spencer sacked Roethlisberger on consecutive plays to give the Cowboys the ball back."Everyone has seen Ben do that in the fourth quarter multiple times," Dallas defensive end Marcus Spears said. "We knew we had to go back there and affect him in the pocket and at least try to get in his way. Fortunately, those turned into some sacks for us."Dallas, playing with Brent watching from the sideline and Brown's No. 53 jersey draped on their bench and his number on a helmet decal, couldn't do anything in the final minute.The drive stalled at the Steelers 43, and Bailey lined up for a 61-yard field goal attempt with 32 seconds left. But the Cowboys called timeout and punted instead. Roethlisberger took a knee, sending the game to overtime.Roethlisberger was sacked four times and finished 24 of 40 for 339 yards with two touchdowns and an interception."We're still in the same situation we started in before we came," said Wallace, who had 95 yards receiving, including a 60-yarder to set up a touchdown. "We know we win these last two games, we're still in the tournament."Earlier in the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh was driving for a go-ahead score when Ware and Spencer sacked Roethlisberger at the Dallas 40, forcing a punt with three minutes left. The Cowboys opted to punt at the two-minute warning after a third-down pass to Dwayne Harris was less than a yard short of the first down.Roethlisberger put the Steelers ahead 24-17 with a 7-yard scoring pass to Antonio Brown, and Brown was about to put Pittsburgh in control with a long punt return.But Brown fumbled when Victor Butler reached out and knocked the ball loose at the end of a 22-yard return. DeMarco Murray, who had 81 yards on 14 carries, then went in on a 3-yard run."There was about five or six guys, all in black and yellow," Butler said. "And I see the punter and me and the long snapper and I figure I am probably the best tackler out of the three. It was time to make a play."Dez Bryant extended his touchdown streak to six games while playing with a broken left index finger, a 24-yard score that put Romo over 25,000 yards for his career and gave Dallas a 10-0 lead.Roethlisberger pulled the Steelers even at 10 before halftime. He stepped away from pressure and used a couple of pump fakes to keep pass rushers away before finding Heath Miller wide open along the sideline on a 30-yard score."We still have a chance to right our wrongs here with two games left," Miller said. "We're just going to keep chipping away at it."NOTES:The first Dallas touchdown was the first scoring connection from Romo to Jason Witten this season. ... Steelers CB DeMarcus Van Dyke injured a shoulder on Pittsburgh's first punt less than two minutes into the game and didn't return. ... Dallas rookie TE James Hanna had two career catches for two key grabs on the Cowboys' first touchdown drive. ... The Grambling State band spelled out "JB" in honor of Brown at halftime. ... Cowboys LB Ernie Sims sustained a concussion in the first half and didn't return. ... Attendance was 95,595, a season high at Cowboys Stadium.

Don't expect to see Celtics shy away from 3-pointers

Don't expect to see Celtics shy away from 3-pointers

BOSTON – There were a bunch of numbers from Boston’s 121-114 loss to Detroit on Wednesday that stood out. 

Among the eye-grabbing stats was the fact that the Celtics had taken 42 3s (with 15 makes), an unusually high number of attempts that we may see matched or even surpassed tonight against the Sacramento Kings. 

Don’t count head coach Brad Stevens among those surprised to see the Celtics attempt a lot of three-pointers. 

Last season the Celtics took 26.1 three-pointers per game which ranked 11th in the NBA. 

This season they’re up to 31.2 three-pointers attempted and 11.3 made which both rank fifth in the NBA. 

You can count Kelly Olynyk among the Celtics pleased with the team's increased emphasis on shooting 3s. 

The 7-foot led the NBA in shooting percentage (.405) on 3s taken last season.

"We play a lot of spread offense with four shooters, four perimeter guys," Olynyk, who is shooting 38.1 percent on 3s this season, told CSNNE.com. "We're trying to make teams shrink their defense and spray out and hopefully make shots. You're making extra passes, giving up good ones for great ones. And we have some pretty good shooters on our team. That's the way we're trying to play. It's just a matter of us making shots."

And the Celtics face a Kings team ranks among the NBA’s worst at limiting 3-point attempts with Sacramento opponents averaging 28.4 three-pointers taken per game which ranks 25th in the league. 

One of Stevens’ main points about three-pointers is while it’s an important shot for them, they need to be the right shot, the right basketball play at the right time. 

And when asked about the 42 attempts against the Pistons, he was quick to acknowledge those were for the most part the right shots to be taken. 

“They are,” Stevens said. “At the end of the day we want lay-ups. And if we don’t get layups, we want the floor to be shrunk. If the defense shrinks in, you’re able to touch the paint and kick out. Two of our last three games, maybe three of the last four, two-thirds of our possessions we touched the paint or shrunk the defense with a roll. That’s our objective. We’re not a team that gets to the foul line a lot. We’re not a team that rebounds at a high rate. And we haven’t scored in transition. To be able to be sitting where we are offensively, a big reason is because we space the floor.”

Barnes, Cousins trying to keep 'emotions and energy focused'

Barnes, Cousins trying to keep 'emotions and energy focused'

BOSTON – No one is proclaiming DeMarcus Cousins’ demeanor is all that radically different than past seasons. 

But the volatile nature that has often overshadowed his on-the-court-brilliance, doesn’t seem to shine as brightly as it used to. 

Maybe he’s growing up. 

Maybe he’s finally comfortable with his team. 

And then there’s the almighty dollar which was the incentive for one of his teammates, Matt Barnes, to clean up his act as far as racking up technical fouls and being fined by the league. 

I asked Barnes whether there was a light bulb moment or a teammate or player that helped him get on track and not draw so much attention from officials and the league office. 

“It was all the money I was being fined,” he said. “I think I lost like $600,000 over my career for fines. It was time to kind of wake and say ‘hey, they don’t like you so you have to stick to the book.’”

With Barnes returning to Sacramento (he played for the Kings during the 2004-2005 season), he finds an intense, kindred spirit of sorts in Cousins who like Barnes has had his share of technical and fines handed down by the league office. 

This season, Cousins is the NBA’s leader in technical fouls with six. 

“I’ve always had a good head on my shoulders,” Barnes said. “I’m just a passionate player. I play with my emotion on my sleeve. I think DeMarcus does the same thing. What I’m trying to show him now, we have to keep our emotions and energy focused towards the right things. That could be detrimental to the team if it gets out of hand.”

First-year coach Dave Joerger has been pleased to see how different Cousins is to be around on a daily basis as opposed to how he’s perceived. 

“He gets credit for his talent. He gets credit that he’s improved in the league,” Joerger said. “I think he doesn’t get enough credit for the way that his approach to the game and the way that he’s carrying himself and conducting himself has greatly improved. He’s a good person. Now being with him, I see improvement over the last three years, the way that he goes about his business. I think that’s very positive.”