Newton throws for four TDs as Panthers rout Dolphins
Newton throws for four TDs as Panthers rout Dolphins
Newton completed 21 of 35 passes while Jonathan Stewart ran 17 times for 110 yards to spark the host Panthers, who improved to 7-3, just behind first-place New Orleans (7-2) in the NFC South division.
It’s the first three-game win streak for Carolina since a 14-0 start in 2015.
“Being able to do this at home made it a little bit more special,” said Christian McCaffrey, who ran for one touchdown and caught a pass for another. “Our offense is at our best when we’re in a rhythm and flowing.”
The Dolphins fell to 4-5, missing a chance to match Buffalo for second in the AFC East with their third loss in a row.
Carolina’s Graham Gano kicked a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter to open the scoring and the Panthers jumped ahead 10-0 on McCaffrey’s 4-yard touchdown run, which capped a 12-play, 85-yard march with 7:05 remaining in the second quarter.
Miami answered with a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ended on Jay Cutler’s 2-yard pass to Julius Thomas, pulling the Dolphins within 10-7.
But Carolina’s Luke Kuechly intercepted a Cutler pass and four plays later, Newton tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to Ed Dickson with 19 seconds remaining in the second quarter and the Panthers seized a 17-7 half-time lead.
Newton flipped a screen pass to Devin Funchess and he rambled into the end zone on a 28-yard touchdown reception only 3:10 into the third quarter.
After Carolina’s defenders stopped Miami on downs to force a turnover, the Panthers struck again with Cameron Artis-Payne rushing 12 yards for a touchdown as the Panthers stretched their lead to 31-7.
The Dolphins responded with their longest play of the season, a 66-yard touchdown run by Kenyan Drake. The play snapped Miami’s club-record nine-game touchdown run drought.
But Newton led the Panthers to answer quickly, his 69-yard run to the Miami 18-yard line setting up his 2-yard touchdown pass to McCaffrey four plays later as Carolina stretched the lead to 38-14.
Newton connected with Funchess on a 32-yard touchdown pass with 8:20 remaining but Miami answered with Cutler finding Jarvis Landry on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 4:13 to play.
LeBron James' last-second shot gives Cavs 98-95 win over Pacers in Game 5
- James' 3-pointer buzzer beater puts Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs
- James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists.
CLEVELAND: LeBron James hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, a crowning moment for another brilliant performance, to give Cleveland a 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in Game 5, putting the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Moments after blocking Victor Oladipo’s possible go-ahead driving layup, James caught the inbounds pass, took two dribbles and dropped the winner over Thaddeus Young.
As Cleveland’s sellout crowd exploded, James hugged rookie teammate Cedi Osman before jumping on the scorer’s table to celebrate another of those moments that will define his career.
James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and went 15 of 15 from the line.
Kyle Korver added 19 points and Cleveland’s much-maligned defense tightened just in time as the Cavaliers seized their first lead in the first-round series after being down 1-0 and 2-1.
Cleveland can close out Indiana with a win Friday night in Indianapolis.
Domantas Sabonis scored 22 points, and Young had 16 for the Pacers, who battled back to tie it 95-all on Sabonis’ 15-foot jumper with 33 seconds left. Indiana, which held Cleveland without a field goal for more than seven minutes during their fourth-quarter rally forced James into a turnover and had a chance to re-take the lead.
Oladipo, who shot just 2 of 15, drove the left side and was at the rim when James swooped in for a block on a play reminiscent of his Game 7 block on Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Oladipo’s shooting woes continued. He’s only 12 of 50 from the field in the last three games. He scored 32 in the Pacers’ Game 1 win, but the Cavs have been double-teaming him ever since.
The third quarter has been a major problem for Cleveland all season. The Cavs had tried everything to try and shake things up after halftime, even doing layup lines at the break in Game 4 like a high school squad.
Turns out, all it took was some defensive intensity.
Down by seven at half, the Cavs swarmed the Pacers in the third quarter, forcing five turnovers in the first six minutes and holding Indiana to one field goal over the first 6:52 while opening with a 19-3 run.
Cleveland outscored Indiana 32-17 in the third, when the Pacers shot just 5 for 16 (31 percent) and committed seven turnovers.
The Cavs were again without starting point guard George Hill, who missed his second straight game with back spasms.
James had enough to worry about with the Pacers that he didn’t want to discuss close friend Dwyane Wade’s future.
Miami’s star is mulling retirement after the Heat were eliminated Tuesday in Philadelphia. James spent four years playing in Miami with Wade, who began this season with the Cavs before being traded.
James said that following his last game against Wade he told him, “’If it’s like our last time going against each other, then it’s been everything and more.” James wants to wait for Wade to make his decision and will then “give a more in-depth analysis of his career if he decides to hang ‘em up.”
Pacers: Following Lance Stephenson’s aggressive, wrestling-like takedown of Jeff Green in the waning moments of Game 4, coach Nate McMillan said he reminded the fiery forward to be careful. “The officials are going to be watching that, Lance knows that and there are some times where I think they (the Cavs) are taking advantage.” ... Dropped to 2-12 in their last 14 games in Cleveland. ... James’ triple-double in Game 4 was the sixth against Indiana in the playoffs. James has done it to the Pacers three times.
Cavaliers: With his 21st 40-point game in the playoff, James tied the logo — Jerry West — for the second-most all-time. Michael Jordan scored at least 40 in 38 postseason games. .... Hill’s back has improved in the past few days, but he didn’t look close to playing while sitting stiffly in his locker-room chair before the game. ... Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown sat courtside.
Game 6 is Friday night at Indianapolis.