Pro watch: Checking in with Kony Ealy, Otto Porter, Jr.
NFL: Kony Ealy, Carolina Panthers
The former New Madrid County Central star and Mizzou Tiger standout came up big for the Carolina Panthers defense Sunday helping to seal a 30-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Charlotte, N.C.
Ealy solidified the victory when the 6-4, 275-pound defensive end leaped to swat away a pass from Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer with three minutes left in the fourth quarter, that hit Ealy square in the chest.
The ball ricocheted into the air where Ealy tipped it with his right hand to himself and then secured the interception. He ran for seven yards before he was brought to the ground sealing the 10-point lead and the game.
It was Carolina’s second win of the season after starting the year 1-5. The Panthers are fourth in the NFC South which is topped by the Atlanta Falcons (5-3) and followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) and New Orleans Saints (3-4).
In seven games this season, Ealy has a total of 17 tackles (seven solo, 10 assists) with no sacks or forced fumbles. Sunday’s game-sealing interception was the second pick of his career.
Ealy, 24, was drafted 60th overall in the second round by the Panthers during the 2014 NFL draft.
The Panthers will be on the road Sunday where they will take on the Los Angeles Rams at 3:05 p.m.
NBA: Otto Porter, Jr., Washington Wizards
With the 2016-17 NBA season just getting underway, Otto Porter, Jr., is still trying to find his footing as a starting small forward with the Washington Wizards.
Porter, the former Scott County Central superstar and Big East Player of the Year at Georgetown, started in both of Washington’s first two games scoring in double figures each time.
He opened the year with 10 points on 5 of 7 shooting and six rebounds in 36 minutes during a 114-99 loss to the Atlanta Hawks Oct. 27. On Sunday, Porter scored 13 points on 6 of 15 shooting and grabbed four rebounds during a 112-103 overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Combined, Porter, the 6-8, 198-pound first round pick (third overall) to the Wizards in 2013, is averaging 31 minutes and shooting 50 percent from the field including 0 for 5 from 3-point range. He has 23 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and one assist during Washington’s first two games of the season.