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Straight games below 100 points for Sixers before Friday’s win over Timberwolves

Eric Fisher imagines a place where you can escape all the bad news about the Phillies.

The first team looks terrific in building a 17-point first-half lead during a 31-21 preseason win over the visiting Steelers. But the Eagles receive injury scares regarding LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin.

The backups played so well during the Eagles’ 37-7 demolition of the Jets in their preseason final that Chip Kelly will have some difficult decisions to make, most notably at kicker, running back, receiver and linebacker, in cutting the roster to 53 by Saturday.

First-and-10

A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…

1. Superb matchup Seahawks try to become first team to successfully defend title since Patriots 10 years ago when they meet Patriots on Sunday in Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz. Seahawks boast ferocious defense, opportunistic offense. Patriots feature high-powered offense. Patriots still trying to shake off controversy from AFC Championship Game, when they were suspected of deflating footballs before 45-7 victory over Colts. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick denies any knowledge of deflated footballs until hearing about it Monday after game. Belichick says Patriots “followed every rule to the letter.” Patriots QB Tom Brady says, “I wouldn’t do anything to break the rules.” ESPN reports Patriots deflated 11 of 12 football they used on offense.

2. Flyers win 3rd straight Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn each register goal and assist, Steve Mason makes 36 saves in his first start since Jan. 10 as Flyers defeat visiting Jets, 5-2, for 3rd straight win. Chris VandeVelde, Nick Schultz, Sean Couturier (empty net) also score for Flyers. Schultz scores 3:18 into 2nd period — his first goal in 126 games — to break 2-2 tie. Recent callups Ryan White, Petr Straka assist on Schultz’s goal, with Straka registering 1st career point. Head coach Craig Berube says Kimmo Timonen returning, but GM Ron Hextall says decision not made yet, although it could come soon. Flyers shoot for 4th straight win Saturday (7 p.m.) against visiting Maple Leafs.

3. Eagles promote Marynowitz Eagles promote assistant director of personnel Ed Marynowitz to vice president of player personnel, the newly created position of vice president of player personnel. Marynowitz will report directly to head coach Chip Kelly, who has been put in charge of player personnel. Tom Gamble, who was ousted by former GM Howie Roseman, joins 49ers as personnel adviser. Gamble worked for 49ers for 8 seasons before returning to Eagles.

4. Gillick to remain Phillies president David Montgomery returns from medical leave, but gets new job. Pat Gillick, who has acted as Phillies’ interim president since Montgomery took leave this summer to recover from cancer surgery on his jaw, will remain team president. Montgomery becomes Phillies chairman. Former chairman Bill Giles becomes chairman emeritus. Gillick remains responsible for running organization.

5. MCW leads Sixers past Wolves Michael Carter-Williams scores 17 points, grabs 10 rebounds, dishes out 10 assists as Sixers defeat visiting Timberwolves, 103-94, to win 10th game of season. Luc Mbah a Moute leads Sixers with 18 points. Former Sixer Thaddeus Young scores 10 points, grabs 7 rebounds for Ti-Wolves (8-38). Sixers (10-37) return to action Saturday (7:30 p.m.) at Atlanta, the Eastern Conference leader.

6. MCW, Noel rising stars Sixers point guard Michael Carter-Williams, center/forward Nerlens Noel selected to be part of Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend in Brooklyn. Ten first- and second-year players from U.S. will face 10 first- and second-year international players on Fri., Feb. 13 (9 p.m.).

7. Bertoletti edges Schuyler at Wing Bowl Patrick Bertoletti consumes 444 chicken wings, edging defending champion Molly Schuyler by 4 wings Friday morning at Wing Bowl 23, WIP’s annual wing-eating contest, at Wells Fargo Center. Former WWE.

8. Penn defeats Dartsmouth Matt Howard scores 18 points to lead Penn to 58-51 triumph over visiting Dartmouth. Quakers, who have 2 straight games, host Harvard on Saturday (7 p.m.). All City Six teams in action Saturday.

9. Phillies sign Billingsley Phillies sign pitcher Chad Billingsley to 1-year, $1.5 million contract. Billingsley didn’t pitch last season and for most of 2013 after having Tommy John surgery.

10. Serena vs. Sharapova Top seed Serena Williams will face 2nd-seeded Maria Sharapova on Saturday in Australian Open final. Williams defeats 19-year-old Madison Keys, 7-6 (5), 6-2, in one semifinal, while Sharapova beats 10th-seeded Ekaterina Marakova, 6-3, 6-2, in other semifinal. In men’s draw, 6th-seeded Andy Murray rallies for 6-7 (6), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 victory over 7th-seeded Tomas Berdych to reach final. Murray will face top seed Novak Djokovic, a 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 winner over 4th-seeded Stan Wawrinka in the other semifinal.

(Listen live to PhillyPhanatics.com’s weekly Internet Blog Talk Radio program this Sunday from 6:30-7 p.m. — or call in to express your opinion or ask a question — by calling 805-727-7014. To listen to past shows, please click here)

LOCAL SCHEDULE

Monday
Pelicans 99, Sixers 74

Tuesday
Flyers 4, Coyotes 3 (OT)
Men’s Basketball
La Salle 53, St. Joseph’s 48

Wednesday
Sixrs 89, Pistons 69
Men’s Basketball
Drexel 65, Northeastern 60
Temple 86, C.Florida 62

Thursday
Flyers 5, Jets 2

Friday
Sixers 103, Timberwolves 94
Men’s Basketball
Penn 58, Dartmouth 51

Saturday
Maple Leafs at Flyers, 7 p.m.
Sixers at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
Men’s Basketball
Tulane at Temple, noon
Davidson at St. Joseph’s, noon
Villanova at DePaul, 2 p.m.
UNCW at Drexel, 4 p.m.
Harvard at Penn, 7 p.m.
La Salle at St. Bonaventure, 7 p.m.

Sunday
No games scheduled

FOR LEAGUE-WIDE SCORES AND STANDINGS, CLICK ON THE LINKS UNDER THE “STANDINGS” HEADING IN THE SIDEBAR TO THE RIGHT, OR IN THE HEADING AT THE UPPER-RIGHT OF THIS PAGE

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