AP Sports SummaryBrief at 11:21 p.m. EST

Chiefs and 49ers have high-profile offenses, but defense should decide the Super Bowl winner

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Chiefs go as far as Patrick Mahomes takes them. The 49ers have Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and a star-studded group surrounding Brock Purdy. This Super Bowl will come down to the other side of the ball. Defense wins the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday. Kansas City is seeking to become the NFL’s first repeat champion in 19 years. San Francisco is aiming for a record-tying sixth Super Bowl title. Mahomes, Travis Kelce and coach Andy Reid get most of the attention on the Chiefs, but defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s unit deserves plenty of credit for carrying the team during various points of the season when the offense was inconsistent and out of sync.

Stephen Curry hits 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left, Warriors beat Suns 113-112

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stephen Curry made a 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left and the Golden State Warriors beat the Phoenix Suns 113-112 on Saturday night for their sixth victory in seven games. With the Warriors down 112-110 and 3.3 seconds to play, Curry caught the inbounds pass from Brandin Podziemski, turned and hit a 33-footer for his ninth 3-pointer of the night. He had 30 points. Devin Booker led Phoenix with 32 points, and Kevin Durant had 24. The Suns had two chances after Curry’s 3-pointer, but Booker was fouled under the basket and the first and Durant couldn’t get a shot off on the second.

It’s not just Purdy. Several late picks and undrafted players make an impact for Chiefs and 49ers

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Brock Purdy’s journey from Mr. Irrelevant to Super Bowl starting quarterback is one of the main subplots of this year’s Super Bowl. But a handful of other late draft picks and players who weren’t drafted at all have made contributions to the 49ers and Chiefs. All of them are reminders that you can build a memorable NFL career no matter how long it takes someone to choose you. Kansas City’s Nick Allegretti and Isiah Pacheco were taken in the seventh round. San Francisco’s Jake Brendel and Tashaun Gipson went undrafted.

49ers Pregame Routine: Nick Bosa makes big impact on San Francisco with weekly speeches

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Nick Bosa has been making a high-profile impact for the San Francisco 49ers on Sundays ever since entering the league as the No. 2 overall pick in 2019. Bosa also has been making more hidden contributions every Saturday the past two seasons by breaking down the team with a speech at the end of the final walkthrough before each game. The soft-spoken Bosa was given the assignment for the first time during the 2022 season as coach Kyle Shanahan liked to randomly call on players to keep them all on their toes. General manager John Lynch called the speeches “special.”

With the Super Bowl on deck, the Chiefs also are preparing for big changes on the horizon

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — The Super Bowl is the end point to a season for which every franchise strives. Yet for the Kansas City Chiefs, their game Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers could be the stopping point for an entire era, or at least the beginning of the end. The team could look much different next season with players such as Chris Jones and L’Jarius Sneed due to hit free agency. Many more critical pieces to their championship last season will do the same the following year. And that’s to say nothing of Chiefs coach Andy Reid and tight end Travis Kelce, who insist they want to continue and have spent the past week clapping back against talk of retirement.

Nick Taylor takes 1-shot lead into Sunday at raucous, waterlogged Phoenix Open

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Nick Taylor had a one-shot lead at 13 under with 12 holes left in the third round of the waterlogged Phoenix Open when play was suspended Saturday because of darkness. The Canadian continued to ride his fast start after matching the TPC Scottsdale record with an 11-under 60 to finish his first round Friday. Taylor completed just six holes Saturday, with one birdie and five pars. Sahith Theegala used five birdies on the back nine of the second round early Saturday to shoot a 64 and take a one-shot lead into the third. He bogeyed his first two holes of the third, but made a birdie on No. 4 to pull within a stroke. The 35-year-old Taylor is going for his fourth PGA Tour victory.

Dustin Johnson wins LIV Golf Las Vegas in windy and chilly conditions

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Dustin Johnson won LIV Golf Las Vegas on Saturday in windy and chilly conditions for his third victory on the Saudi-funded tour, pulling ahead with a birdie on No. 17 and closing with a par to edge Peter Uihlein and Talor Gooch by a stroke. Johnson shot a 1-under 69 to finish at 12-under 198 at Las Vegas Country Club, breaking out of a late six-way tie on another day with the temperature barely climbing into the 50s in the shadow of the Super Bowl. Johnson holed a 12-footer on the par-4 17th — and made the par save on the par-4 18th for the victory, hitting to 12 feet from the rough and two-putting. Gooch shot a 67, and Uihlein finished with a 68.

From SpongeBob to TikTok, leagues and broadcasters using many methods to attract, retain young fans

There were plenty of critics when CBS announced four years ago that it would produce a kids-centric broadcast of an NFL playoff game on Nickelodeon. Now, if a league or network isn’t doing something to appeal to younger fans, they are behind the times. Nickelodeon will air its fifth NFL game on Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs face the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl. It will also mark the first alternate broadcast of a Super Bowl game. The thought of SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star describing a Travis Kelce touchdown isn’t for everyone, but it does target an audience and demographic that is important to future success. In an age where viewing is measured more by minutes than hours any increases that leagues and networks can get is huge.

Chiefs put LG Joe Thuney on IR, activate RB Jerick McKinnon in finalizing Super Bowl roster

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs placed All-Pro left guard Joe Thuney on injured reserve and activated running back Jerick McKinnon on Saturday, finalizing the roster that they will take into the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers. McKinnon remains a longshot to play after having surgery in early January to repair a core muscle injury. The Chiefs designated defensive tackle Mike Pennel to be their lone practice squad elevation for the Super Bowl. The 49ers elevated defensive linemen Alex Barrett and T.Y. McGill from their practice squad.

For Native American activists, the Kansas City Chiefs have it all wrong

Dozens of Indigenous activists have traveled to Las Vegas to gather outside the Super Bowl and demand the Kansas City Chiefs change the team name and ditch its logo and gametime rituals. Rhonda LeValdo founded and leads a group called Not In Our Honor that is calling for the changes. The Acoma Pueblo journalist has been in the Kansas City area for more than two decades. The Chiefs have been the focus of her decadeslong activism against the use of Native American imagery and references in sports. She says the pain fueling her activism is rooted in her ancestors’ oppression and the lingering effects on her community.

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