Steelers Crush Panthers, Curry Injured in Loss, Timbers Win Classic

 | Grace Higgins

The Pittsburgh Steelers were one of the NFL’s hottest teams ahead of their Thursday Night Football meeting with the Carolina Panthers. And from the very beginning, the Panthers felt the full weight of that. From their opening play from scrimmage, the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger would throw a bullet to JuJu Smith-Schuster that went 75 yards in total. That set the tone for the game and made it 7-7. Just 13 seconds later, they would take the lead by intercepting Cam Newton. The 14-7 lead, with all the points coming in the first five minutes, also marked the first time that 21 points were scored that quickly. The Steelers were truly off to the races, and they added another TD before the end of the quarter. And they just never let up, with Big Ben throwing for five touchdowns. They aren’t missing Le’Veon Bell very much right now, as you can tell by a ridiculous 52-21 scoreline against a good Panthers team.

In NBA action, the Golden State Warriors got a double whammy on Thursday night. They came into the home game with the Milwaukee Bucks having only lost once, but that was about to change, with the Bucks making it clear early on that it was their game to win. They won both of the opening two quarters, outscoring the defending champions by ten in the second, and were led by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 24 points in the rout. To add to the woes of the 134-111 loss, the Warriors lost Stephen Curry in the third quarter to an adductor injury in his leg. He will now have an MRI, and his status will then be determined. Not a good night in Oakland…

And in MLS Cup Playoffs action, there was an instant classic played out in the Western Conference on Thursday night. The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers, two massive rivals, met in the second leg of their tie, and it did not disappoint. Portland had a 2-1 lead coming in, but playing at CenturyLink is always very tough, and it proved to be on the night. The scoring was opening after 68 minutes when Raul Ruidiaz netted for the Sounders. It was 2-2, but if it remained that way, the Sounders would move on. Ten minutes later, it was Seb Blanco tying up the night’s fixture and putting the Timbers back ahead on aggregate. Just when it looked to be over, Seattle somehow got their goal, halfway into extra time, to tie up the series 3-3 thanks to a spectacular effort from Ruidiaz. Just two minutes into extra time David Asprilla headed in to give Portland a lead that Seattle came back from immediately, getting a penalty kick and scoring thanks to Nicolas Lodeiro. That took the series to penalty kicks, and Asprilla played hero again, netting the final kick to send Portland through on Seattle’s own turf.