Sports photos of the week, Dec. 23 to Dec. 29

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Sports photos of the week, Dec. 23 to Dec. 29
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton greets fans after the second half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Atlanta. The Carolina Panthers won 34-3. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Vancouver Canucks' Chris Tanev, front, and Anaheim Ducks' Devante Smith-Pelly fall to the ice in overtime of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Anaheim, Calif. The Ducks won 2-1. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) hangs onto the basket after a dunk during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014, in Miami. James was called for a technical foul on the play. The Heat won 101-91. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Carlos Sanchez of Aston Villa slides in on Adam Johnson of Sunderland during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Sunderland at Villa Park on December 28, 2014 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
MELSUNGEN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 23: Lars Kaufmann (C) of Flensburg-Handewitt is challenged by Michael Mueller (L) and Johannes Sellin of Melsungen during the DKB Handball Bundesliga match between MT Melsungen and SG Flensburg-Handewitt at Rothenbach-Halle on December 23, 2014 in Melsungen, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 25: A competitor in Christmas fancy dress jumps into the sea during the 105th Barcelona Traditional Christmas Swimming Cup at the Old Harbour of Barcelona on December 25, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. The Copa Nadal is organised by the Barcelona Swimming Club and involves competitors swimming across some 200 metres of water in the harbour. Launched in 1908 the event has only been suspended three times when the Spanish Civil War interrupted proceedings between 1936 and 1938. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Markus Wheaton (11) is hit by Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vincent Rey (57) after making a catch during the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Robin van Persie of Manchester United tangles with Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on December 28, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Mark Leech/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden, bottom, breaks up a pass-attempt to Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Ashley Barnes of Burnley beats Joe Hart of Manchester City to scpore the equalizing goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Burnley at Etihad Stadium on December 28, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - DECEMBER 23: Shinobu Ota (Red) and Kazuma Kuramoto (Blue) compete in Men's 59kg Greco Roman final match during 2014 Emperor's Cup All Japan Wresting Championship on December 23, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
Monmouth's Deon Jones, righ, and Rutgers' Rutgers' Bishop Daniels,left, battle for the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in West Long Branch, N.J. Rutgers won 59-58. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi, of Finland, is scored on by Los Angeles Kings center Tyler Toffoli during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Arkansas guard Rashad Madden, center, dives for a loose ball as Northwestern State guard Zeek Woodley, left, looks on from the floor during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Fayetteville, Ark. Arkansas won 100-92. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)
Buffalo Bills defenders Jarius Wynn, left, Preston Brown, second from left, and Jerry Hughes, right, sack New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Foxborough, Mass. The play was negated because of a penalty. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
OBERSTDORF, GERMANY - DECEMBER 27: The jump hill is reflected in the ski googles of Junshiro Kobayashi of Japan as he prepares for a jump during day 1 of the Four Hills Tournament Ski Jumping event at Schattenberg-Schanze Erdinger Arena on December 27, 2014 in Oberstdorf, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 27: The Penn State Nittany Lions take a selfie after defeating the Boston College Eagles in the 2014 New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on December 27, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
CHEPSTOW, WALES - DECEMBER 27: Runners clear a fence in The Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow racecourse on December 27, 2014 in Chepstow, Wales. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
North Carolina players, left to right, Desmond Hubert, J.P. Tokoto, Marcus Paige, Justin Jackson, Nate Britt, and Kennedy Meeks react during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against UAB, Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014, in Chapel Hill, N.C. North Carolina won 89-58. (AP Photo/Ellen Ozier)
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15) catches a pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Buffalo Sabres left wing Tyler Ennis (63) crashes into Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek (34) in the first period during an NHL hockey game in Detroit, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, left, of Lithuania, holds the ball away from Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov, of Russia, during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Denver. The Raptors won 116-102. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
OBERSTDORF, GERMANY - DECEMBER 28: Dawid Kubacki of Poland competes on day 2 of the Four Hills Tournament Ski Jumping event at Schattenberg-Schanze Erdinger Arena on December 28, 2014 in Oberstdorf, Germany. The event was cancelled during heavy snow and windy conditions. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic, below, of Slovenia, is fouled by Los Angeles Lakers guard Jeremy Lin during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Los Angeles. The Suns won 116-107. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
SUNBURY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22: David Probert riding Haines lead all the way to win The Visit And Dine In The Panoramic Handicap Stakes at Kempton Park racecourse on December 22, 2014 in Sunbury, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 23: (L-R) Fabian Wiede of Fuechse Berlin, Zarko Sesum and Manuel Spaeth of Frisch Auf Goeppingen in action during the game between Fuechse Berlin and Frisch Auf Goeppingen on December 23, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Jan-Philipp Burmann/City-Press via Getty Images)
Fans react as Florida Panthers right wing Jimmy Hayes (12) checks Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner (51) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Martin Demichelis of Manchester City signals as snow falls during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City at The Hawthorns on December 26, 2014 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
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The holiday season is as good as it gets for sports nuts and, luckily for you, we've got the best action shots of the week all gathered in the same place.

The NBA is in full flight and Christmas Day saw some of the best action yet. Likewise, the Barclays Premier League gets in on the festivities by laying down a seemingly endless slate of top-level matches.

On the gridiron, the last week of the NFL regular season saw teams desperately scrambling for the final playoff spots, while their collegiate counterparts went "Bowl-ing."

From team competitions to individual events, ice rinks to ski slopes -- and a little Santa-themed fun thrown in -- check out the gallery above to see the coolest and craziest from this week in sports.

And if you missed them, be sure to check out the best photos from the entire year in sports after catching up with last week's collection below.



29 PHOTOS
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Sports photos of the week, Dec. 23 to Dec. 29
A member of the St. Louis Rams is introduced before an NFL football game between the St. Louis Rams and the New York Giants, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
MARRAKECH, MOROCCO - DECEMBER 17: Kearyn Baccus of WS Wanderers FC runs with the ball during the FIFA Club World Cup 5th place match between ES Setif and WS Wanderers FC at Le Grand Stade de Marrakech on December 16, 2014 in Marrakech, Morocco. (Photo by Lars Baron - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Chicago Bears wide receiver Marquess Wilson (10) celebrates touchdown with Chicago Bears tackle Jordan Mills (67) during the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Dallas Mavericks' Tyson Chandler (6), Jameer Nelson (14) and Dirk Nowitzki (41) defend New York Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire (1) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, in New York. The Mavericks won 107-87. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 17: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Image converted into Black and White). A silhouette of Northampton Saints practicing their lineouts during the Northampton Saints training session held at Franklin's Gardens on December 17, 2014 in Northampton, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins (85) catches a 50-yard pass in front of Buffalo Bills cornerback Aaron Williams during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
POKLJUKA, SLOVENIA - DECEMBER 19: (FRANCE OUT) Daniel Boehm of Germany competes during the IBU Biathlon World Cup Men's Sprint on December 19, 2014 in Pokljuka, Slovenia. (Photo by Stanko Gruden/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
Bowling Green coach Dino Babers is dunked by players after Bowling Green won the Camellia Bowl NCAA college football game against South Alabama, 33-28, early Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) dives as Minnesota Timberwolves forward Robbie Hummel picks up the loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. The Celtics defeated the Timberwolves 114-98. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
NORTH SHORE, HI - DECEMBER 19: Filipe Toled of Brasil placed equal 5th in the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons after placing second to his good friend and 2014 ASP World Champion Gabriel Medina of Brasil in the quarter finals on December 19, 2014 in North Shore, Hawaii. (Photo by Kelly Cestari/ASP via Getty Images)
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 17: Kidambi Srikanth of India in action against Kento Momota of Japan in the Mens Singles during day one of the BWF Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals at the Hamdan Sports Complex on December 17, 2014 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images for Falcon)
New York Rangers' Mats Zuccarello dives during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Cleveland Cavaliers' Dion Waiters puts up a shot against Charlotte Hornets' Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Sunderland's Steven Fletcher, right, vies for the ball with Newcastle United's Sammy Ameobi, left, during their English Premier League soccer match at St James' Park, Newcastle, England, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
TOWCESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Tom Messenger riding Legendary Hop is unseated at the last in The Free Tips Every Day On gg.com Handicap Steeple Chase at Towcester racecourse on December 18, 2014 in Towcester, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 21: Wide receiver Danny Amendola #80 of the New England Patriots is tackled by free safety Calvin Pryor #25 of the New York Jets in the first quarter during a game at MetLife Stadium on December 21, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 17: Nabil Bentaleb of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Capital One Cup Quarter-Final match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at White Hart Lane on December 17, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 18: Marcedes Lewis #89 of the Jacksonville Jaguars catches a touchdown pass during the second quarter of the game against the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Field on December 18, 2014 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, right, goes after Arizona Coyotes right wing Shane Doan after an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014, in Los Angeles. The Kings won 4-2. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Milwaukee Bucks' Khris Middleton, is picked up by teammate Brandon Knight (11) after scoring the game-winning basket against the Phoenix Suns after an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, in Phoenix. The Bucks won 96-94. (AP Photo/Matt York)
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 16: Bruce Djite of United reacts after the FFA Cup Final match between Adelaide United and Perth Glory at Coopers Stadium on December 16, 2014 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 21: Luke Sarantos walks on a slackline as he highlines between two cliffs at Diamond Bay on December 21, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. Slacklining is a balance sport in which participants walk on a flat nylon webbing anchored between two points with the tension adjusted to allow for slack, providing an experience similar to that of walking on a trampoline. Highlining is a style of slacklining where the two anchor points are set up with significant elevation from the ground or water. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - DECEMBER 20: Deanna Lockett of Australia competes in the Ladies 3000M Semifinals during the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating 2014/15 - Seoul at Mokdong Ice Rink on December 20, 2014 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun - ISU/ISU via Getty Images)
Nantes' French forward Yacine Bammou flips as he celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match Lorient (FCL) vs Nantes (FCN) on December 20, 2014 at the Moustoir stadium in Lorient, western France. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD (Photo credit should read JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - December 19: Jeremy Evans #40 of the Utah Jazz warms up before the game against the Orlando Magic on December 19, 2014 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 19 : Russian Olympic champions in synchronized swimming performs during the synchronised swimming show at the Olimpiysky Sports Complex in Moscow, Russia on December 19, 2014. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
STATE COLLEGE, PA -DECEMBER 19: 285 pounder Jimmy Lawson of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates after winning his match in overtime on December 19, 2014 at Recreation Hall on the campus of Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania. Penn State won 20-15. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
VAL D'ISERE, FRANCE - DECEMBER 19: (FRANCE OUT) Ambiance during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Downhill Training on December 19, 2014 in Val d'Isere, France. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
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