GARY WASHBURN | ON BASKETBALL

Kyrie Irving called LeBron James to apologize for not following his advice, leadership

01-16-19: Boston: MA: The Celtics Kyrie Irving exhults to the crowd and they respond after he hit a fourth quarter shot that put Boston ahead 111-106. The Boston Celtics hosted the Toronto Raptors in a regular season NBA basketball game at the TD Garden. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

JIM DAVIS/GLOBE STAFF

Irving recently telephoned former teammate LeBron James, who had criticized him years ago.

01-16-19: Boston: MA: The Celtics Kyrie Irving gets tangled up with the RaptorsDanny Green, first quarter action. The Boston Celtics hosted the Toronto Raptors in a regular season NBA basketball game at the TD Garden. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

CELTICS 117, RAPTORS 108

Celtics beat first-place Raptors

Kyrie Irving had 27 points and 18 assists to lead Boston.

Philadelphia Flyers' Carter Hart, center, and Radko Gudas, right, cannot stop a goal by Boston Bruins' David Pastrnak during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

FLYERS 4, BRUINS 3

Bruins hand the game to Flyers

Left wing Peter Cehlarik scored twice in his first game of the season, but Boston has now lost three of its last four games.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/16/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/Chin011619PatriotsPractice_Spt6-25490.jpg With ice in their veins, Patriots are unafraid of the cold

Dire forecasts for Kansas City aren’t fazing players who are used to the cold and know how to prepare.

DAN SHAUGHNESSY

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/13/BostonGlobe.com/ReceivedContent/Images/jimpats8.jpg Tom Brady and the Patriots as scrappy underdogs? Give me a break

Brady’s comment about being disrespected played well locally, but it was the ultimate straw-man knockdown.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/15/BostonGlobe.com/ReceivedContent/Images/davisbradycold3spts.jpg How Tom Brady and the Patriots have fared when it’s 20 degrees or colder

Brady has played in six such games, including four in the postseason.

PATRIOTS NOTEBOOK

Tom Brady assures focus is on Chiefs, not Patriots doubters

Foxborough, MA - 1/16/2019 -New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) works on loosening up his arm during today's New England Patriots practice at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. - (Barry Chin/Globe Staff), Section: Sports, Reporter: Jim McBride, Topic: 17Patriots, LOID: 8.5.137106004.

Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Extra motivation is hardly needed as QB readies for his 13th AFC title tilt.

Boston-10/11/18 Boston Bruins vs Edmonton Oilers- Bruins David Backes and Oilers Drake Caggiula get tangled up in the 2nd period. Photo by John Tlumacki/Globe Staff(sports)

john tlumacki/globe staff file

KEVIN PAUL DUPONT

David Backes forced to deal with being a healthy scratch

The Bruins veteran acknowledged that it’s been difficult for him to keep up with today’s fast-paced NHL game.

BRUINS NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1089555958-25500.jpg Could the Bruins afford asking price for Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds?

Winger leads most informal polls on the most-likely-be-dealt list as Feb. 25 trade deadline approaches, but the cost could be a first-round pick plus a prospect or two.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/16/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/90295021ad2b46d19d4be54b7b87a952-90295021ad2b46d19d4be54b7b87a952-0.jpg Damien Williams was the answer when the Chiefs had to fill a hole at running back

Williams became a starter in Week 15, scoring twice against the Chargers, and stepped into the playoff spotlight last week with 129 yards and a TD against the Colts.

CELTICS NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1091942864.jpg Jayson Tatum’s new shoes a look at the future

“They don’t have laces, but they fit like a glove,” Tatum said.

Bruins at Flyers | 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/16/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/edb47ae1c55a46b688a34fc004316335-edb47ae1c55a46b688a34fc004316335-0.jpg Bruins fans should keep an eye on Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds

Simmonds has 15 goals for a Philadelphia team that is floundering and may be a seller at the trade deadline.

Kyler Murray suited up for batting practice after signing with the A’s last June, a contract that allowed him to play college football one more season.

jeff chiu/AP file

NICK CAFARDO | ON BASEBALL

Why Kyler Murray should choose baseball over football

Whatever Major League Baseball needs to do to keep the two-sport Oklahoma star, it should do.

ADAM HIMMELSBACH

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/50ff1056e2404ce1b99a11c5707ed4fa-50ff1056e2404ce1b99a11c5707ed4fa-0.jpg Was Jaylen Brown calling out Kyrie Irving?

On Monday night, Brown repeatedly made statements that sounded increasingly like references to his own frustrations with Irving’s recent comments.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/2014-04-01T162718Z_55579922_GM1EA42017Q01_RTRMADP_3_OBAMA.jpg Red Sox are scheduled for a White House visit Feb. 15

Team president Sam Kennedy left open the possibility that a lingering government shutdown could affect the plans.

Chad Finn

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davis_neden9_spts-001.jpg Where will Patrick Mahomes rank among the QBs Tom Brady has faced in the AFC title game?

The Kansas City signal caller will be the eighth different quarteback to oppose Brady in 13 conference championship games.

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 12: Justin Houston #50 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates a sack against the Indianapolis Colts with teammate Chris Jones #95 during the third quarter of the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

BEN VOLIN | ON FOOTBALL

What to expect from the Chiefs defense, and how the Patriots should attack it

The Chiefs are stingy at home, play a multitude of complex coverage schemes, and have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.

Kansas City, MO - 09/29/14 - (3rd quarter) With the score 17-0 in the third quarter, Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91)strips the ball from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) which the chiefs recovered at the New England 9 yard line. the Kansas City Chiefs went on to score two plays later to go up 24-0. The New England Patriots take on the Kansas City Chiefs in a Monday Night Football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. - (Barry Chin/Globe Staff), Section: Sports, Reporter: Shalise Manza Young, Topic: 30Patriots-Chiefs, LOID: 7.4.2274830836.

barry chin/globe staff file

CHRISTOPHER L. GASPER

Patriots were shellacked in Kansas City in 2014, but it meant little

Though many people saw the rout as a death knell for the dynasty, Bill Belichick was simply “on to Cincinnati.”

ALEX SPEIER

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1093395522.jpg How might home-field advantage and frigid temperatures affect Patriots-Chiefs?

What the numbers say about home field, frigid playoff games, and other factors at play in the AFC Championship.

BRUINS NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1c23c4ee571543bbb3e04e4350facd33-1c23c4ee571543bbb3e04e4350facd33-0.jpg Bruins recall winger Peter Cehlarik from Providence

Cehlarik, who is Providence’s leading scorer, may be the latest option the Bruins try on David Krejci’s line.

Foxborough, MA - 10/14/2018 - (4th quarter) Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) gets off a pass under pressure from the New England defense. The New England Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs in a Sunday night NFL game at Gillette stadium in Foxborough. - (Barry Chin/Globe Staff), Section: Sports, Reporter: Jim McBride, Topic: 15Patriots-Chiefs, LOID: 8.4.3482575762.

barry chin/globe staff

BEN VOLIN | ON FOOTBALL

How the Patriots should defend against Patrick Mahomes this time around

We go deep inside the numbers and the All-22 coaches film to see what to expect from Mahomes and what’s changed since the last time they met.

PATRIOTS NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1081680654.jpg Chiefs defense is far different from the one Patriots lit up in October

Kansas City was without multiple critical parts when the teams met in Week 6.

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 07: Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide attempts a pass against the Clemson Tigers in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi's Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

SPORTS LOG

Alabama backup QB Jalen Hurts to transfer to Oklahoma

Hurts, a graduate transfer who led the Tide to two national title games, can play next season for the Sooners.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/09/29/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/wiggs_Football_08.jpg Boston College releases 2019 football schedule

BC opens the season at home on Aug. 31 against Virginia Tech, and will hit the road to face defending national champion Clemson.

FRANK DELL’APA | SOCCER NOTEBOOK

New England region again well-represented in MLS SuperDraft

Siad Haji, who went to school in New Hampshire and played at Lawrence Academy, was taken No. 2 overall by San Jose.

Concord MA 1/14/19 Concord-Carlisle girls' basketball sophomore standout Kori Baruch leading the fast break during practice at Concord-Carlisle High School (photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) topic: reporter:

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS’ BASKETBALL NOTES

Kori Barach leads the charge at Concord-Carlisle: ‘I wanted to step it up and help us succeed.’

The 5-foot-10 sophomore has led the No. 12 Patriots (9-1) with 20.2 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals per game.

Canton’s Xavier Machuga gets a hug from his mother, Katrina, before the start of Tuesday’s game.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

‘Basketball taught me.’ How Canton’s Xavier Machuga returned to the court after a brain aneurysm

After months of rehab, Xavier Machuga realized his dream by starting for Canton and scoring the first basket Tuesday.

TARA SULLIVAN

/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/14/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/Tara_Sullivan.tif Is this the NFL’s best championship weekend ever coming up?

There are terrific story lines in each game, highlighted by the quarterback and coaching matchups.

australian open

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/AFP_1C91XT.jpg Simona Halep rallies to turn back Kaia Kanepi

The top seed at the Australian Open played consistent, rugged defense against the player who ousted her from the US Open.

SPORTS LOG

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/16/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/AFP_1C93HB.jpg Mikaela Shiffrin notches 10th World Cup win of season

The Olympic champion is within striking distance of the all-time record of 14 wins in a single season.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1083181960.jpg Americans serve notice

On a tough day for his countrymen, the 20-year-old ousted No. 5 seed Kevin Anderson.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/16/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1094755494.jpg Sixers open with bang; Warriors have NBA-record first quarter

The Warriors had an NBA-record 51-point first quarter in Denver, while the Sixers torched the T’Wolves for 83 points in the first half.

NFL notebook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/11/05/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/Lee_patchiefpre10_spts[1].jpg Colts fire offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo

The former Patriots assistant signed last year when Josh McDaniels was going to be coach.

01-14-18: Boston, MA: The Bruins Jake DeBrusk (74) starts the celebration after teammate David Krejci (not pictured) put the puck by Montreal goalie Carey Price (31) late in the third period to send the game into a very short overtime period. The Boston Bruins hosted the Montreal Canadiens in a regular season NHL hockey game at the TD Garden. (jim Davis/Globe Staff)

jim davis/Globe staff

kevin paul dupont | ON HOCKEY

Wanted: Second-line scoring punch for Bruins

To have success in the playoffs, Boston needs to get scoring from a second line centered by David Krejci.

BRUINS NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/01/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1090298114.jpg Bruins defenseman John Moore, watching from press box, takes team-first attitude

Moore has handled his second straight benching like a professional.

1/16/11 Foxborough, MA:Patriots quarterback Tom Brady walks to the bench after his final play of ther season. The New England Patriots hosted the New York Jets in an NFL AFC Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium. slug: unknown section:sports (Globe Staff Photo/Jim Davis) Library Tag 01172011

file/jim davis/Globe staff

Chad Finn

Some history since the last time the Patriots did not make the AFC Championship game

It was the 2010, and an upset loss at home to the Jets marked a sixth straight season without a Lombardi Trophy for the Patriots.

Northeastern coach Bill Coen cheers on his team during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va,, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. (Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP)

daniel lin/via AP

JOE SULLIVAN | COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Northeastern vs. Charleston basketball should be a good one

Thursday’s rematch of last year’s conference championship will be a good barometer of where the Huskies stand.

Other sports

Kevin Paul Dupont

/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/05/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/dupont-13978.tif More from Dupont

Read his recent “On Second Thought” columns and more features from the longtime Globe writer.