Thunder wins playoff preview...Nuggets win but lose Gallinari
UNDATED (AP)_In what could be a preview for the NBA Western Conference title, Oklahoma City opened a 20-point lead and beat slumping San Antonio 100-88 to climb within a half-game of the West-leading Spurs. San Antonio has lost four of its last eight games.
Russell Westbrook led the way with 27 for the Thunder. Kevin Durant added 25.
Oklahoma City trails San Antonio by a half-game in the standings, but pulled even in the loss column. Oklahoma City would control the tiebreaker if both teams won out because of its better record against the West.
In other NBA action:
— Corey Brewer scored 23 points and got a hand on Anthony Morrow's last-second shot to preserve the Denver Nuggets' 19th straight home win, 95-94 over the Dallas Mavericks. Denver's win was bittersweet, though. Denver's dreams of a deep playoff run might have taken a huge hit when they lost forward Danilo Gallinari to what looked like serious knee injury in the second quarter. Gallinari is scheduled for an MRI on Friday.
— Carlos Boozer had 29 points and 18 rebounds, Nate Robinson made the go-ahead basket with 22 seconds left, and the Chicago Bulls overcame a 16-point deficit to beat the Brooklyn Nets 92-90. Deron (DEHR'-ihn) Williams had 30 points and 10 assists to lead the Nets.
Jagr pays immediate dividends for B's...Caps in first
UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Bruins' acquisition of 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr (YAH'-roh-meer YAH'-gur) has paid immediate dividends. Jagr scored off his skate in his Bruins debut and Tuukka Rask (TOO'-kah rask) stopped 40 shots to lead Boston to a 1-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils.
Acquired from Dallas at the trade deadline on Wednesday, Jagr joined the Bruins for the pregame skate Thursday morning and quickly endeared himself to the Boston fans. Brad Marchand's centering pass went off Jagr's left skate and past Martin Brodeur (mar-TAN' broh-DYOOR') to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead with 80 seconds gone in the second period. Rask made it stand up.
In other hockey news:
__ Washington climbed into a tie for the Southeast Division lead with a 2-1 shootout victory over the New York Islanders. Alex Ovechkin (oh-VECH'-kin) scored the lone goal in the shootout. The Caps have two games in hand over Winnipeg, which has lost five straight.
__ Montreal beat Winnipeg 4-1 to drop the Jets a tie with Washington in the Southeast Division. The Canadiens are a point ahead of Boston in the Northeast race. Michael Ryder scored twice.
__ Ben Bishop earned a shutout in his debut with Tampa Bay and the Lightning routed Carolina 5-0. Bishop, acquired a day earlier from Ottawa in exchange for promising rookie Cory Conacher, stopped a career-high 45 shots.
__ Former Maple Leafs enforcer Jay Rosehill scored the winning goal, and Ilya Bryzgalov (IHL'-yuh brihs-GAH'-lahf) made 25 saves for the surging Philadelphia Flyers, who beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 for their fourth straight victory.
__ Newly acquired Marian Gaborik scored the go-ahead goal at 4:16 of the third period and added an assist in his debut with Columbus, helping the Blue Jackets beat the Predators 3-1.
__ Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk scored the deciding goal in the sixth round of the shootout and the St. Louis Blues came back for a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
__ Chris Conner scored in his Phoenix debut, Mikkel Boedker had a pair of assists, and the Coyotes held off the Detroit Red Wings 4-2.
__ Jeff Carter scored his 21st goal in the L.A. Kings' 3-0 win over Minnesota. Justin Williams scored the other two goals.
__ Vancouver beat Edmonton 4-0. Henrik Sedin (seh-DEEN') and Chris Higgins each notched their 10th goal for the Canucks.
Yanks salvage finale...Nats are 3-0
UNDATED (AP) — It was an old fashioned combination of 40-somethings who combined to help give the New York Yankees their first win of the season. Andy Pettitte pitched the Yanks to their first win of the season and Mariano Rivera made a successful return to the mound in New York's 4-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli homered for the Yankees, who had dropped their first two games.
In other major league action:
— The Washington Nationals are 3-0 following their 6-1 victory over Miami. Jordan Zimmermann got the win with six innings of one-run ball. Jayson Werth broke it open with a three-run homer in the seventh. The Nats outscored the Marlins 11-1 in the three-game sweep.
— Cliff Lee allowed two hits in eight scoreless innings and the Philadelphia Phillies scored twice in the second inning to win their first game of the season with a 2-0 victory over Atlanta.
__Shin-Soo Choo got things started with a home run on Joe Blanton's first pitch of the game, and the Reds hit two more off of the right-hander in a 5-4 win over the Angels.
— Chris Davis homered for the third straight day and drove in four runs to lead Baltimore to a 6-3 victory over Tampa Bay. Davis went 7 of 11 with three homers, three doubles and a major league-leading 11 RBIs in the series.
— Jeremy Guthrie struck out nine and gave up one run in six innings to help Kansas City to its first win of the season, 3-1 over the White Sox. Guthrie scattered five hits and walked one.
— Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes (yoh-EHN'-ehs SEHS'-peh-dehs) tagged Seattle rookie Brandon Maurer for a pair of two-run homers in Oakland's 8-2 victory that earned the Athletics a split of the season-opening series. Michael Morse homered for the third straight day and joined Ken Griffey Jr. in 1997 as the only Mariners to homer four times in the first four games.
— Jedd Gyorko doubled in the go-ahead run in the fourth inning for his first major league RBI to give San Diego a 2-1 win over the Mets. Eric Stults and five relievers combined on a five-hitter and struck out 14 for the Padres, who won their first game of the season.
— Mike Pelfrey pitched into the sixth inning in his Minnesota debut less than a year after Tommy John surgery and Minnesota went on to top the Tigers 8-2. Josh Willingham and Trevor Plouffe hit home runs as the Twins took the season-opening series from Detroit. Pelfrey did not allow an earned run.
__J.P. Arencibia hit two solo homers, Edwin Encarnacion (ehn-kar-nah-see-OHN') added a three-run shot and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Cleveland Indians 10-8, avoiding their first 0-3 start since 2004.
— Travis Wood allowed just one hit in six innings and Nate Schierholtz hit a two-run homer as the Cubs hung on to edge Pittsburgh 3-2.
Orioles' Roberts will get MRI exam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts will undergo an MRI after injuring his right hamstring while stealing second base in the ninth inning of their 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Roberts was limited to 17 games because of injuries last season.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-AP COACH OF THE YEAR
Miami's Larranaga lands AP honors
ATLANTA (AP) —Miami's Jim Larranaga has captured The Associated Press college basketball coach of the year award, after leading the Hurricanes to new heights in just his second season. He guided the Hurricanes to their first Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and tournament titles and a No. 2 ranking.
Larranaga received 29 votes Thursday from the same 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. Jim Crews of Saint Louis got 19 votes and Mark Few of Gonzaga had 11. The voting ended on Selection Sunday.
The 63-year-old Larranaga posted a 29-7 record with the Hurricanes who were a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament where they reached the Sweet Sixteen.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-AP PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Michigan's Burke runs away with AP award
ATLANTA (AP) —Michigan's Trey Burke is the winner of The Associated Press college basketball player of the year award. The sophomore guard sparked Michigan to the Final Four, as the leader of a team that sometimes had four freshmen on the court.
The Big Ten player of the year averaged 19.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.7 assists. He shot 40.1 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Burke received 31 votes from the same 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. Otto Porter Jr. of Georgetown was second with 16 votes and Victor Oladipo of Indiana got 10.
Baylor wins first NIT
NEW YORK (AP) — Pierre Jackson had his fourth straight double-double with 17 points and 10 assists to lead Baylor to the first National Invitation Tournament title in school history with a 74-54 win over Iowa.
Cory Jefferson scored 23 points and Isaiah Austin had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Bears. The Bears had reached the NIT final five years ago but never had won it before.
"Phi Slama Jama" coach finally gets Hall call...Thomas heading to the NBA
UNDATED (AP) — Guy Lewis finally got the call from the hall. Lewis, the coach of Houston's Phi Slama Jama teams in the 1980s, was informed on Thursday that he'll be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, his wife, Dena, told The Associated Press. The official announcement will come at the Final Four on Monday. The 91-year-old Lewis won 592 games in a 30-year career at Houston.
In other college hoops news:
— Memphis forward-guard Adonis Thomas plans to forego his final two seasons with the Tigers to sign with an agent and declare for the NBA draft. The 6-foot-7, 240-pound Thomas helped the Tigers go 31-5 this season before losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament to Michigan State. Thomas was the team's second-leading scorer averaging 11.7 points per game.
— Ed Rush has resigned as the Pac-12 Conference's coordinator of officials following comments that he targeted Arizona coach Sean Miller during internal meetings before the league tournament.
Bettencourt and Tomasula lead at Texas Open
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Matt Bettencourt and Peter Tomasula fired a 5-under 67 and lead Padraig Harrington and three others by one shot after the first round at the Texas Open.
Rory McIlroy, who entered the tournament last week as a final opportunity to prep for next week's Masters, opened with an even-par 72.
Three-way tie in the desert
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Playing partners Suzann Pettersen and Na Yeon Choi took advantage of perfect morning conditions to share the first-round lead with Jodi Ewart Shadoff in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Longtime kicker ends NFL career
UNDATED (AP) — Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson is retiring after 21 seasons, prompted to call it a career by a troublesome heel problem. The 42-year-old became the first player to play 300 games with one franchise and set an NFL record last year when he played his 21st season with the same team.
Hanson made a record 52 field goals from at least 50 yards. He's third on the career scoring list at 2,150 points and third in field goals with 495.
Isner to face No. 1 Djokovic in Davis Cup in Boise
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — John Isner (IHZ'-nur) will play top-ranked Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak YOH'-koh-vihch) in the first match Friday of the Davis Cup quarterfinal between the United States and Serbia.
Sam Querrey, the top-ranked American at No. 20, will face Viktor Troicki in the second match in Boise, Idaho.
The top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan will play Saturday.
In reverse singles on Sunday, Querrey and Djokovic will play the first match followed by Isner and Troicki.