Happy Monday! Welcome back to Axios Sports, that newsletter written by that guy.
It took me an extra 30 minutes to get them pointing at each other, but it was so worth it. Photos: Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images; Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Patriots 41, Chargers 28: Sony Michel ran for 129 yards and 3 TDs as the Patriots rolled in Foxborough to earn their 8th straight trip to the AFC Championship Game.
Chiefs 31, Colts 13: The Chiefs won their first playoff game in Arrowhead since 1993(!) thanks to a suddenly lights-out defense and veteran-like play from QB Patrick Mahomes.
🗓 AFC Champ. Game: Patriots at Chiefs, 6:40 pm ET next Sunday
Poor Alshon. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Rams 30, Cowboys 22: The Rams' unstoppable rushing attack was just too much for the Cowboys. Plain and simple. (Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson both had 100+ rushing yards, the first teammates to do that in a playoff game since 1997.)
🗓 NFC Champ. Game: Rams at Saints, 3:05 pm ET next Sunday
P.S. The top four teams in points per game this season: Chiefs (35.3), Rams (32.9), Saints (31.5) and Patriots (27.3)...
Entering the season, few people would have put Paul George above Kevin Durant on a "best small forwards in the West" list. Three months later, plenty of fans are doing just that, Axios' Michael Sykes writes.
What's happening: The NBA released the latest All-Star fan voting totals, and Paul George has supplanted Kevin Durant as a starter.
Be smart: In many ways, fan voting — which accounts for 50% of final tallies, with players and media making up the other 50% — says more about fan bases and marketing departments than it does about who the best players are.
P.S. LeBron will likely be the other starting forward. His numbers for comparison: 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.3 steals, 58.5% 2PT, 35% 3PT.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Major League Baseball is prepared to "waive a rule that prevents teams from giving major league contracts to recently drafted players if Kyler Murray and the Oakland A's can strike a deal that would have him choose baseball over football," ESPN's Jeff Passan reports.
The bottom line: The MLB is prepared to do some unprecedented things in order to convince Murray to play baseball, and that should come as no surprise.
🇪🇸 La Liga: Lionel Messi scored his 400th La Liga goal in Barcelona's 3-0 win over Eibar, which is by far the most in league history. Cristiano Ronaldo is 2nd with 311 goals and former Athletic Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra is 3rd with 251.
🇬🇧 Premier League: David De Gea did his best Gandalf "You shall not pass" impression yesterday, making 11 saves — many of them spectacular — in Manchester United's 1-0 victory over Tottenham. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now 6-0 as United's manager.
🇺🇸 MLS: FC Cincinnati took UCLA freshman midfielder Frankie Amaya with the first pick of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. See all the picks.
Fans show their support for Australian Ashleigh Barty in her first round match, which she won. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
The Australian Open is underway in Melbourne.
Steph Curry and Kyle Korver both leapfrogged Jason Terry on the career 3-pointers list this weekend, with Steph (2,296) now in 3rd and Korver (2,284) in 4th.
Luca Brecel stunned the defending champ in the opening round of the 2019 Masters in London. Photo: Nigel French/Getty Images
In pool, the goal is to clear all the balls from the table. In snooker, the goal is to score the most points by pocketing balls worth different point values.
🚨 Happening now: The 2019 Masters, snooker's most prestigious tournament, is taking place in London as we speak.
Ted Turner playing manager for a day. Photo: George Gojkovich/Getty Images
Forty-three years ago today, CNN founder Ted Turner became CEO of the Atlanta Braves, a position he held until 1996.
Fun fact: Did you know Turner once managed the Braves for a night? Unfortunately, his 24-hour stint (which was more of a stunt) ended in a 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Go deeper.
🏒 Snoop Dogg was in the broadcast booth for the Los Angeles Kings' home game yesterday and it was pure entertainment.
⛳️ Matt Kuchar overcame a sloppy start (3 bogeys in 5 holes) with near-perfect golf the rest of the way (putted for birdie on the final 13 holes) to win the Sony Open, his ninth career tour victory.
🏀 Up by 3 with 11.8 seconds left, Northern Kentucky literally ran a football play to ensure that they got the ball inbounds. Why don't more teams do this?
📖 Best thing I read: Read this.
Kendall "Tell your friends to sign up" Baker
Trivia Answer #1: Ray Allen (2,973) and Reggie Miller (2,560) — #2: Jamal Crawford (2,180) is 6th and Vince Carter (2,166) is 7th