US Sports Roundup: Saints halt the Rams, Brady on top, Warriors tighten grip

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas
The Saints finally brought an end to the LA Rams unbeaten run on Sunday
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Sunday saw the halfway stage of the regular NFL season as the Rams finally tasted defeat against the Saints. Matthew Crist looks back at all the action from a busy weekend...

Tom Brady threw for 294 yards - becoming the first player to account for 80,000 total yards - and a touchdown to take the New England Patriots to a 31-17 victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.

Rams suffer first loss in high-scoring epic

The New Orleans Saints inflicted a first defeat of the season on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, surviving a second-half comeback from the visitors to claim a 45-35 victory in a high-scoring encounter at the Superdome.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees completed 25 of 36 passes for 346 yards and four touchdowns, including a 72-yard bomb to Michael Thomas with less than four minutes remaining to put the Saints 45-35 up after the Rams had tied the game up earlier in the fourth quarter thanks to 21 unanswered points.

The win means the Saints now move to 7-1 for the season, only a game back from the 8-1 Rams who are still seen as favourites for the Super Bowl in Atlanta next February.

Brady the victor as Pats win again

Tom Brady threw for 294 yards - becoming the first player to account for 80,000 total yards - and a touchdown to take the New England Patriots to a 31-17 victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.

Rodgers also threw for 259 yards and two TDs in only the second matchup between these two great quarterbacks, but it wasn't enough for the Packers as New England secured their sixth-straight victory of the season while Green Bay lose further ground in the NFC North.

Meanwhile on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers took a firm grip on the AFC North with a hard-fought 23-16 win over divisional rivals the Baltimore Ravens, a resilient defence helped the Miami Dolphins beat the Jets and Matt Ryan threw for 350 yards and four scores as the Atlanta Falcons extended their winning streak to three games by beating the Washington Redskins.

Patrick Mahomes passed for 375 yards, threw three touchdown passes as the Kansas City Chiefs moved to 8-1 with a 37-21 victory over the hapless Cleveland Browns. A 19-17 win over the Denver Broncos saw the Houston Texans win their sixth straight game and Chicago hammered the Bufallo Bills 41-9 to move to 5-3.

The Carolina Panthers scored a team record 35 first-half points during a 42-28 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to earn their fifth win in six games and Cam Newton's Panthers are now at 6-2 and look at least good enough for a wildcard spot while they're still in touch with the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South.

Wins for Warriors, Nuggets, Rockets and Pacers

The Golden State Warriors made it seven straight wins with a 116-99 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night to tighten their grip on the Western Conference as Kevin Durant scored 33 points while Stephen Curry chipped-in with 28.

Victor Oladipo scored a go-ahead three-pointer with 3.4 seconds left in a crazy finish to seal a 102-101 win for the Indiana Pacers over the Boston Celtics. Boston, currently favourites to win the Eastern Conference, looked set for the win when Kyrie Irving hit consecutive three-pointers with a minute remaining to put Boston up 101-97 up, but Oladipo halved the deficit with two free throws with 29.2 seconds left before grabbing the game winner from 27 feet.

James Harden scored 25 points and added four steals as the Houston Rockets recorded a 96-88 win over the Chicago Bulls. Carmelo Anthony (17 points) and James Ennis III (15 points) were among three other Rockets to finish in double figures as Houston won their second straight game after four defeats on the bounce.

Meanwhile, in the mile high city, the Denver Nuggets won their fourth game in a row with a 103-88 win against the Utah Jazz, coming back from a third-quarter deficit to remain undefeated at home this season and LeBron James helped the LA Lakers end a 16-game losing streak against the Blazers in the early hours on Sunday morning with the 33-year-old helping his side prevail 114-110 to propel them to 11th place in the Western Conference table.

Orlando snap losing streak

The Orlando Magic snapped a four-game losing streak on Sunday with a 117-110 win over the San Antonio Spurs as Aaron Gordon scored 26 points - one of six Orlando players to reach double figures, while there were also wins for Phoenix over Memphis, Brooklyn over the Philadelphia 76ers, Washington and Portland.

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