ATLANTA - Patrick Peterson wanted to cover Julio Jones again, adding he had won most of their earlier matchups.Peterson got his wish, and this time he couldnt deny Jones got the best of him.Jones career-best game helped lead the Atlanta Falcons to a 29-18 win over Peterson and the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in an improbable matchup of first-place teams.Jones had 10 catches for a career-high 189 yards and a touchdown for the Falcons (5-7), the NFC South leaders.The Cardinals (9-3) have lost two straight, cutting their lead to one game over Seattle in the NFC West.Its going to be a long plane ride home, Peterson said.Peterson played for LSU, Jones played for Alabama, and the rivalry that started in college has continued in the NFL.He won a couple battles, and I won a couple battles, but for the most part I believe I won the majority of those battles, Peterson had said on Wednesday.That boast caught Jones attention.Supposedly, Pat said he won most of the battles between me and him, Jones said, adding he made sure he had proper rest to ensure everything was down in his timing with quarterback Matt Ryan.I am pretty sure it was a statement game for Julio, Atlantas Devin Hester said. He told me that every night, and every day he thought about it, so I do not know if it stirred him up, but he showed it on the field.Cardinals coach Bruce Arians clearly wasnt happy Peterson couldnt back up his boast.You better watch out when you call people out, Arians said after the game. You better be ready to play. If you want to call him out, call him out, but dont give up ... a career day.Peterson said Jones won the matchup today and added, I mean, Cy Young winners give up home runs.The Falcons took a 17-0 lead in the first quarter.Steven Jacksons 55-yard run — his longest run since 2009 — set up Ryans 1-yard touchdown pass to Levine Toilolo. Ryan threw a 32-yard scoring pass to Jones later in the quarter.Ryan was 30 of 41 for 361 yards and a pair of TDs.Arizonas only touchdown until late in the game came on an 88-yard interception return by safety Rashad Johnson in the second quarter.The Cardinals went more than 11 quarters without an offensive touchdown until Drew Stantons 3-yard scoring pass to running back Stepfan Taylor with just over a minute remaining.Here are some things to know about the Falcons first win over a team with a winning record:CALL IT BACK: Hester had an apparent 70-yard punt return for a touchdown called back when he was flagged for an offensive facemask penalty as he threw a stiff-arm on Cardinals punter Drew Butler. The replays showed Butler grabbed Hesters facemask.Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for protesting the call.CARDINALS HURTING: The Cardinals were without receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who missed his second straight game with a strained left knee. Running back Andre Ellington didnt return after leaving with a hip injury in the first half.Arians said starting right guard Paul Fanaika has a high ankle sprain, and safety Tyrann Mathieu has a broken left thumb. Mathieus thumb was in a cast after the game.JACKSON HITS 100: Jackson had 18 carries for 101 yards, his first 100-yard game since Nov. 25, 2012, for the Rams at Arizona. Just another day at the office, he said.CAREER DAY FOR BRYANT: Matt Bryant kicked a career-best five field goals without a miss for Atlanta. He was good from 20, 23, 21, 45 and 28 yards.In a perfect world, you hope youre kicking 17 extra points, but if they count on you to get a field goal, I just go out there and do it, he said.NO OFFENSE: Stanton completed 24 of 39 passes for 294 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Cardinals were successful on only 1 of 7 third-down plays.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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. Pierre last November, only to watch St. Pierre leave the UFC octagon with his welterweight title belt and a split-decision victory.With the playoffs around the corner, catch a doubleheader of action from the hardcourt tonight on TSN2. First, the Miami Heat will continue their march toward the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference when they welcome the Brooklyn Nets to AmericanAirlines Arena. Then with a playoff spot already locked up, the Houston Rockets can focus on postseason positioning when they open a three-game road trip against the Los Angeles Lakers. All the action gets underway on TSN2 at 8pm et/5pm pt. The Heat have won five of their last six and are one game clear of the Indiana Pacers for Eastern Conference supremacy. The two-time defending NBA champs have clinched a fourth straight Southeast Division title. After a heartbreaking one-point home loss in double-overtime to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, the Heat dispatched the New York Knicks on Sunday afternoon. Miami prevailed, 102-91, and overcame an NBA record 10 made 3-pointers by New Yorks J.R. Smith. "You do your job and you live with the results," Miami forward LeBron James said. "We lived with the result of J.R. making some of those bombs." James led Miami with 38 points and six assists. Mario Chalmers and Chris Bosh added 15 and 14 points, respectively for the Heat, while Ray Allen went 4- for-9 from long range for 12 points. Miami was without the services of Dwyane Wade (hamstring), Greg Oden (back) and Chris Andersen (back/knee). The Heat shot 55.7 percent from the floor and 44 percent from long range. They held the Knicks under 38 percent and will play three of their remaining five after Tuesday on the road. The Nets are also headed to the playoffs, but their seeding is still up in the air. They trail the Toronto Raptors by 2 1/2 games not only for the Atlantic Division lead, but also for the third seed in the Eastern Conference. The Chicago Bulls are tied with the Raps for the No. 3 spot. Brooklyn has won two straight and five of its last six. The Nets started this three-game road trip with a four-point win in Philadelphia on Saturday night and will close out the sojourn in Orlando on Wednesday. The Nets snapped a three-game road losing streak with a 105-101 victory over the 76ers on Saturday. The Nets led by as many as 21 points in the second half but stumbled down the stretch, allowing Philly to pull within a point in the final minutes. Head coach Jason Kidd ran his bench players out late and that was the unit that nearly coughed up the huge lead. Mirza Teletovic, moments after air-balling a similar shot, drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing for a 99-95 margin with 48.9 seconds to play, and Brooklyn hit 6-of-6 from the foul line in the final 30 seconds to hang on for the win. "I felt it gave us the opportunity to execute on some late-game stuff," said Kidd. "Guys made free throws and we got stops when we had to." Deron Williams posted 19 points and nine assists to lead the Nets. Mason Plumlee scored 16 points off the bench for Brooklyn, winners in five of six. Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce deposited 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Nets have taken all three meetings with the Heat this season and those wins halted a 13-game series losing streak. They could sweep the season series against thhe Heat for the first time since the 2002-03 season.dddddddddddd The Nets are the only team the Heat havent beaten yet in the 2013-14 campaign. Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers (TSN2, 10:30pm et/7:30pm pt) With a playoff spot already locked up, the Houston Rockets can focus on postseason positioning when they open a three-game road trip Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Rockets will makes stops in Denver and Minnesota on this trip and have a 20-17 record on the road. They are currently fourth in the Western Conference, sitting two games ahead of Portland and three behind the L.A. Clippers. Houston posted its seventh win in 10 tries with Sundays 130-125 overtime triumph against the Nuggets. James Harden scored 15 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, while Chandler Parsons scored eight points in the extra session and finished with 15 for the Rockets, who clinched a playoff berth in Fridays win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Harden scored 10 points in the final 3:55 of the fourth as part of a 16-3 quarter-closing run to help force overtime. Harden tied the game with 7.1 seconds left in regulation for Houston, which scored 13 of the 21 in OT. "Well we battled," said Rockets coach Kevin McHale. "We were not ready starting that game off. Our guys kept battling and James (Harden) made the huge 3 to get it to overtime, but other than that we were shaky." Harden is averaging 31.1 points in his last eight games. Dwight Howard (ankle) missed another game and is questionable Tuesday. Omer Asik has been filling in nicely for Howard and is posting an average of 12.0 points and 16.8 rebounds in his last five games -- all starts. He has three double-doubles in that stretch. A disappointing season for the Lakers couldnt end any sooner, but they still have five games left. Los Angeles is 25-52 on the season and has lost four in a row and 13 of the last 17 games. In Sundays 120-97 blowout loss to the rival Clippers, Jordan Hill had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead the way. Nick Young scored 17 of his 18 points in the first half and was bothered by a balky knee. "We battled," said Lakers head coach Mike DAntoni. "We didnt have enough to win today. They focused more. They upped the ante and got us." Jodie Meeks had 17 points in defeat. L.A. was outrebounded by a 52-38 margin and committed 15 turnovers, leading to 24 Clippers points. Hill, meanwhile, is averaging 16.9 points and 9.8 rebounds in his last eight games -- all starts. The Lakers are opening a three-game homestand Tuesday versus Houston, Golden State and Memphis, and are 14-24 as the host. Lakers guard Kent Bazemore (foot) is done for the year and center Pau Gasol is expected to miss another game with vertigo. Gasol hasnt played since April 1 and has missed several games over the past few weeks. Guard Steve Nash (back) is probable versus the Rockets. Nash needs five assists to pass Mark Jackson for third on the NBAs all-time list. Only John Stockton (15,806), Jason Kidd (12,091) and Jackson (10,334) have dished out more assists than Nash (10,330). Houston is 2-1 against the Lakers this season, but has lost six of the previous eight as the guest in this series. 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