Thunder cool off Nuggets, Spurs keep pace with OKC
UNDATED (AP) — The Oklahoma City Thunder stayed atop the NBA's Western Conference standings by cooling off the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night.
Russell Westbrook poured in 32 points and the Thunder halted the Nuggets' six-game winning streak by whipping Denver 117-97. Kevin Martin and Kevin Durant each had 20 points for the Thunder, who built a 16-point lead in the first quarter and led wire-to-wire for the second time this season. Westbrook hit six of his first eight shots and had 16 points in the first 10 minutes.
Oklahoma City improved to a league-best 31-8 and moved one game ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers.
San Antonio remains two games behind the Thunder after Tony Parker's 17 points and 11 assists led the Spurs to a 103-82 rout of Memphis. Tim Duncan added 19 points for the Spurs, who shot 58 percent and extended their home winning streak to 13 games.
Also in the NBA, LeBron James contributed 25 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in just 30 minutes as Miami blasted Golden State 92-75. Dwyane (dwayn) Wade had 15 points, six assists, eight rebounds and five steals for the Heat, who led by 30 heading into the fourth quarter.
Chicago beat Toronto 107-105 on Luol Deng's (LOO'-ul dehngz) jumper with three seconds left in overtime. Carlos Boozer had a season-high 36 points and 12 rebounds, and Joakim (JOH'-kihm) Noah added 16 points and 14 boards in the Bulls' fourth consecutive road win.
Brooklyn's season-high seven-game winning streak is over after Jeff Teague scored a career-high 28 points and had 11 assists in Atlanta's 109-95 win over the Nets. Zaza Pachulia (ZAH'-zah pah-KOOL'-yah) finished two assists shy of a triple-double, providing 13 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high eight assists in the Hawks' second victory in eight games.
Orlando won for the first time in seven home games as Nikola Vucevic (VOO'-she-vihch) had 16 points and 15 rebounds in the Magic's 97-86 win over Indiana. The Magic led by as many as 22 points and connected on 12 of their 21 three-point attempts.
Son beat father in Boston as Greivis (GRAY'-vihz) Vasquez delivered 15 points and 11 rebounds in New Orleans' 90-78 win over Boston, ending the Celtics' season-best six-game winning streak. Hornets rookie Austin Rivers scored eight points to win his first matchup against his father, Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
Dallas has a season-high four-game winning streak after Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points in a 105-100 win over Houston. James Harden led the Rockets with 20 points but made just 5 of 23 from the field as Houston suffered its fifth consecutive loss.
Kyrie Irving had 31 points as Cleveland downed Portland 93-88. Tristan Thompson added 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who blew a 19-point lead before stopping a four-game skid.
Tyreke Evans scored 21 points, including the tiebreaking free throw with 11.4 seconds left in Sacramento's 95-94 win over Washington. DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 16 rebounds as the Kings ended the Wizards' season-high three-game winning streak.
TOP 25 BASKETBALL- SCORES
Terps nip Wolfpack...Bulldogs extend streak
UNDATED (AP) — The North Carolina Wolfpack were unable to maintain the momentum created when they knocked off previously-unbeaten Duke last weekend.
Alex Len's putback of a missed shot with 0.9 seconds left gave Maryland a 51-50 win over the 14th-ranked Wolfpack. It was the Terrapins' first win over a ranked opponent since March of 2010 against Duke.
Len had a team-high 10 points as Maryland halted N.C. State's 10-game winning streak.
Butler has a 12-game winning streak after Andrew Smith scored 15 points and Kellen Dunham added 11 to lead the 13th-rated Bulldogs past Richmond 62-47. Butler held the Spiders to 32.7 percent shooting and won easily despite the absence of leading scorer Rotnei Clarke, who is out with a severely sprained neck.
UNLV pulled off an 82-75 upset of No. 15 San Diego State as Justin Hawkins and Khem Birch scored off rebounds on consecutive possessions in the final 78 seconds. Anthony Marshall's season-high 20 points led the Runnin' Rebels.
Rodney McGruder scored 21 points and No. 16 Kansas State stretched its winning streak to seven games with a 67-54 victory at TCU. The Wildcats trailed early before putting together a 19-4 spurt that helped them improve to 14-2.
No. 17 Missouri was a 79-62 winner over Georgia behind Alex Oriakhi's (ohr-ee-AH'-keez) 13 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Earnest Ross had a team-high 15 points as the Tigers improved to 10-0 at home.
Adreian Payne scored 20 points and No. 18 Michigan State put together a 20-8 run in the second half of an 81-72 triumph at Penn State. Payne spent the first half on the bench following a morning scuffle with teammate Brandon Dawson in the lobby of a local hotel.
Tony Snell scored 22 points and Hugh Greenwood added 15 to lead No. 19 New Mexico to a 79-74 overtime victory over Boise State. Snell and Greenwood combined for nine of the Lobos' 16 points in the extra session.
Davante Gardner came off the bench to score 17 points as No. 25 Marquette topped Seton Hall 69-62. The Golden Eagles also got 12 points from Todd Mayo to win their season-high sixth straight game.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-TE'O HOAX
Notre Dame explains phony death of player's girlfriend
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A story that Notre Dame Heisman finalist Manti Te'o's (MAN'-ty TAY'-owz) girlfriend had died of leukemia turned out to be a hoax apparently perpetrated against the linebacker.
Calling it incredibly embarrassing to talk about, T'eo said in a statement Wednesday that he developed an emotional relationship with a woman he met online and maintained that relationship through computers and phones. He said it's painful and humiliating to realize he was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies.
Te'o had said during the season that the loss of his girlfriend inspired him to help lead the Irish to the BCS title game.
The university also issued a news release after Deadspin.com reported it could find no record of Lennay Kekua existing.
The university says that Notre Dame coaches were informed by Te'o and his parents on Dec. 26 that Te'o had been the victim of what appeared to be a hoax. Someone using a fictitious name "apparently ingratiated herself" with Te'o, the school said, then conspired with others to lead him to believe she had died of leukemia.
The university said "the proper authorities" are investigating a "very cruel deception."
SAN DIEGO STATE-MOUNTAIN WEST
Aztecs stay put
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — San Diego State is staying in the Mountain West and backing out on the Big East, just as Boise State did last month.
San Diego State had committed to join the Big East for football only, with Boise State, starting next season. San Diego State's other teams were going to compete in the Big West.
But recent defections from the Big East caused Boise State to reconsider and strike a deal to stay in the Mountain West. Without a western partner, San Diego State retreated, too.
Eagles finally get their man
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — After interviewing at least 11 candidates, the Philadelphia Eagles have hired Chip Kelly as their new coach after he originally chose to stay at Oregon.
He replaces Andy Reid, who was fired on Dec. 31 after a 4-12 season
Philadelphia has won just 12 games the past two years, after winning the NFC East in 2010.
Kelly was 46-7 in four years at Oregon. He interviewed with the Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills after leading the Ducks to a victory over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. But he opted to remain at Oregon before changing his mind.
Trestman wins Chicago coaching sweepstakes
CHICAGO (AP) — After spending five seasons with the Montreal Alouettes and winning two Canadian Football League championships, Marc Trestman is getting his first shot as an NFL head coach with the Bears.
Chicago general manager Phil Emery is going with the 57-year-old Trestman after interviewing at least 13 candidates in the search to replace Lovie Smith.
The Bears hope the former NFL offensive coordinator can get the most out of quarterback Jay Cutler and help them reach the postseason on a consistent basis. Smith was fired after Chicago missed the playoffs for the fifth time in six years.
The Bears also have hired New Orleans offensive line coach Aaron Kromer as their offensive coordinator, according to a person familiar with the situation.
A-Rod has hip surgery/new deal for Hughes...M's reacquire Morse
UNDATED (AP) — Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez has undergone surgery on his left hip and is expected to be sidelined until after the All-Star break.
The team says the 37-year-old former All-Star third baseman is expected to be released from the hospital on Thursday and the anticipated time for a full recovery is six months.
The Yankees also worked out a one-year, $7.15 million contract with Phil Hughes, a raise of $3.75 million. Hughes went 16-13 last year, two seasons after winning 18 games.
Also in the majors, the Washington Nationals have shipped power-hitting outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse to Seattle as part of a three-team deal that would move catcher John Jaso (JAY'-soh) from the Mariners to the Athletics and pitcher A.J. Cole from Oakland to the Nationals. Morse hit .291 with 18 home runs and 62 RBIs for the Nationals in an injury-plagued season, playing mostly as an outfielder.
The Baltimore Orioles have extended the contracts of executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter through 2018. The Orioles are coming off their first playoff appearance in 15 years, going 93-69 to earn an AL wild-card berth.
Right-hander Jerome Williams and the Los Angeles Angels avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a $2 million, one-year contract that more than doubles his pay. The 31-year-old went 6-8 with a 4.58 ERA for the Angels last season in 15 starts and 17 relief appearances.
Right-handers Aaron Cook, Juan Cruz and Rodrigo Lopez have agreed to minor league contracts with the Philadelphia Phillies and will report to spring training as non-roster players.
Free-agent pitcher Vicente Padilla has signed with The Softbank Hawks of Japan's Pacific League. The 35-year-old right-hander was 4-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 56 relief appearances for the Boston Red Sox last season.
And Major League Baseball's spring training schedule opens when the Boston Red Sox host Northeastern University on Feb. 21 at Fort Myers, Florida.
Federer, defending women's champ advance
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer continued his bid for a fifth title at Melbourne Park, advancing to the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Russian veteran Nikolay Davydenko on Thursday night.
The second-ranked Federer, who has four Australian titles among his 17 Grand Slams, extended his career record to 18-2 against Davydenko.
Meanwhile, defending women's champ Victoria Azarenka (az-ah-REHN'-kah) cruised into the third round. She's on track for a semifinal meeting with Serena Williams.
No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki (wohz-nee-AK'-kee) also advanced, as have men's third seed Andy Murray and No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Blues GM gets added job security
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The NHL's Blues have signed general manager Doug Armstrong to a five-year contract extension.
Armstrong was named NHL general manager of the year last season after the team won its first Central Division title since 2000 and tied for the second-best point total in the league.
New deal for Zajac
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Devils have signed center Travis Zajac (ZAY'-jak) to a long-term contract. The deal will run eight years, and pay Zajac $46 million.