Another big night for Durant...Raptors end Nets' five-game streak
UNDATED (AP) — Kevin Durant enjoyed his sixth performance scoring at least 40 points in helping the Oklahoma City Thunder rally from a 14-point halftime deficit to beat Atlanta 111-109. Durant scored 41, including the game-winning jumper with 1.5 seconds left. That's the eighth straight win for the Thunder.
Durant has scored 30 or more points in 11 straight games. That's the longest such streak in the NBA since Tracy McGrady did it in 14 straight games in March and April 2003.
Reggie Jackson had 18 points for Oklahoma City (36-10), which takes the Western Conference's best record into a showdown Wednesday at Miami, the two-time defending NBA champion.
In other NBA action:
— The Toronto Raptors built their lead to two and a-half games over Brooklyn atop the Atlantic Division after nipping the Nets 104-103. The Raptors moved two games over .500 by rallying from three points down in the final 17 seconds. John Salmons cut the lead to one on a layup with 12 seconds left. Then Patrick Patterson stole Deron (DEHR'-ihn) Williams' inbounds pass and made the go-ahead jumper with 6 seconds left. Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 31 points and seven assists. The Nets had their five-game winning streak end.
— Kevin Love scored 31 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves over the Chicago Bulls 95-86. Carlos Boozer added 20 points and 14 boards.
__ Phoenix beat Philadelphia 124-113. Gerald Green led the Suns with 30 on very efficient 10 of 12 shooting from the field, and six of seven free throws.
__ The L.A. Clippers routed Milwaukee 114-86. Jamal Crawford led the Clippers with 25 and Blake Griffin added 20. The Clippers improved to 9-3 since losing the services of All-Star point guard Chris Paul, who has a separated shoulder.
— Derrick Favors had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Marvin Williams added 16 points and 11 rebounds to power the Utah Jazz past the Sacramento Kings 106-99.
Anthony's wife says he's staying in New York
NEW YORK (AP) — Knicks fans worried about free-agent-to-be superstar Carmelo Anthony leaving New York for greener pastures should relax. He's not going anywhere, a source close to Anthony says.
The source? His wife, La La Anthony, who said she "definitely" thinks Anthony will stay in New York. La La Anthony was speaking on "Watch What Happens Next Live" on Bravo.
Anthony has said he intends to become a free agent this summer. The Knicks can give him an extra year and some $30 million more than any other team, but their 17-27 record has created speculation he would consider leaving the team. Anthony, who recently scored 62 points in a game, is averaging 27.2 points for the Knicks. He is a native of Brooklyn.
Impressive road win for Duke
UNDATED (AP) — Duke prepped for its showdown at undefeated and second-ranked Syracuse on Saturday with an impressive 80-65 win at 18th-ranked Pittsburgh. The 19th-ranked Blue Devils were led by Jabari (juh-BAHR'-ee) Parker's 21 points. Andre Dawkins added 20. The Panthers had been unbeaten at home this season.
Amile Jefferson chipped in a season-high 14 points for the 17-4 Blue Devils, which brought Pitt's hot start in its first Atlantic Coast Conference season to an abrupt halt. Duke made 13 of 25 3-point attempts, including four during a 15-3 run midway through the second half that broke open a tight game.
In other AP Top-25 hoops:
— Oklahoma won bragging rights by upsetting eighth-ranked Oklahoma State 88-76. Ryan Spangler had 15 points and a career-high 17 rebounds for the Sooners, who claimed their third victory this year over a ranked conference opponent.
— James Bell scored 16 points, and No. 9 Villanova prevailed in a messy, foul-plagued game of stops and starts in a 65-60 victory over Georgetown. That's the Hoyas' fifth straight loss.
Sabres draw blanks in Pittsburgh
UNDATED (AP)— — Marc-Andre Fleury (marhk-ahn-dray FLOOR'-ee) stopped 24 shots for his fourth shutout and Chris Kunitz and Deryk Engelland scored second-period goals, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins blank the Buffalo Sabres 3-0. Kunitz scored his 26th goal and Engelland netted his fourth. Tanner Glass scored his first goal in 26 games, a late empty-netter.
Sidney Crosby, who leads the NHL with 73 points, added an assist to extend his points streak in games against Buffalo to 16 games, matching his longest streak against any team.
In other NHL action:
— The line of Patrice Bergeron (pah-TREES' BEHR'-zhehr-ahn), Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith combined for three goals and six assists to lead the Boston Bruins to a seesaw 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders.
__ Jordan Staal scored the tiebreaking goal with 5:55 remaining to help the Carolina Hurricanes rally for a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Trailing 2-0, the Hurricanes scored three goals in a span of 2:47, with Eric Staal getting both goals before his brother's game-winner.
— Alex Tanguay (TAN'-gay) scored the winning goal early in the third period of Colorado's 4-3 win over Dallas.
— Edmonton beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2. David Perron got his second career hat trick. He has 22 goals for the Oilers.
— The L.A. Kings blanked San Jose 1-0 as Anze Kopitar (AHN'-jay KOH'-pih-tar) scored the lone goal. Jonathan Quick got his 28th career shutout.
'Zona and 'Cuse still 1-2
UNDATED (AP) — The new Associated Press men's basketball poll is unchanged at the top from last week as both No. 1 Arizona and second-ranked Syracuse won their games. The Wildcats are 20-0 while the Orange check in at 19-0. This marks the eighth straight week they've topped the poll.
Arizona received 63 of the 64 first place votes with Syracuse getting the remaining nod.
Florida jumped from sixth to third while Wichita State, the other undefeated Division I team, moved up one spot to fourth. The fifth-ranked school this week is San Diego State.
The next five consists of Kansas, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Villanova and Michigan.
T25 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL-POLL
UConn remains No. 1
UNDATED (AP) — Connecticut is still the top team in the women's Associated Press basketball poll. The Huskies, who received all 36 first place votes, routed both Memphis and South Florida last week to improve to 21-0 this season. Notre Dame, Duke, Stanford and Louisville complete the first-five this week. The second-ten features North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Baylor and Tennessee.
Carroll supports medicinal pot, if science supports it
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) __ Sunday's Super Bowl matchup between the Seahawks and Broncos features the two states where recreational marijuana use is legal: Washington and Colorado.
So it figures that one of the coaches would weigh in on the subject of medicinal marijuana.
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is in support of the NFL's looking further into whether medicinal marijuana could be beneficial for players.
That jibes with Commissioner Roger Goodell's message last week that the league could consider medicinal marijuana as a treatment if science proved it could be beneficial for players who have suffered concussions.
Carroll says regardless of the stigmas involved, the medicinal value should be examined, "because the world of medicine is trying to do the exact same thing and figure it out and they're coming to some conclusions."
Super week has arrived; bet on it
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Both the Seahawks and Broncos have settled into their New York area digs to start the final preparations for Super Bowl 48.
The big game has some very public backing from the team's respective cities.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has a friendly wager with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. If the Broncos win, Murray will send Hancock salmon, Dungeness crab, a bicycle made by Rodriguez Bicycles in Seattle and auction off a blown-glass piece by internationally known Seattle artist Dale Chihuly (shuh-HOO'-lee) to benefit a Denver program for the homeless. Murray will also wear Broncos pajamas in public if the Broncos win.
Hancock is putting up green chile, Denver's favorite fiery stew; a hoodie; ball cap; and handmade skis. Should the Broncos lose, Hancock will also auction off a Denver-themed item to support the Seattle-based Lifelong AIDS Alliance and wear an ensemble put together by the Lifelong AIDS Alliance thrift shop.
Even the directors of art museums in the two cities have a wager on the game.
Seasonal forecast for Super Bowl 48
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The weather forecast for the first Super Bowl in an outdoor stadium in a cold-weather city is nothing out of the ordinary.
National Weather Service meteorologist Anthony Gigi says the forecast for Sunday's NFL title game at MetLife Stadium calls for temperatures to reach a high of 39 with a low of 27, which is average for the area. There is little threat of precipitation.
Gigi says a system is expected to pass through the region on Saturday night with the potential for a mixture of snow and rain.
Kubiak to Baltimore...Pettine picks O'Neil as Browns DC
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Former Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak (KOO'-bee-ak) has found a new job. He's been hired to be the Baltimore Ravens' new offensive coordinator, replacing Jim Caldwell who left to coach the Lions.
Kubiak had a 61-64 regular season record and went 2-2 in the postseason with Houston. He was fired Dec. 6 with a record of 2-11.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine (PET'-ihn) has hired Jim O'Neil as his defensive coordinator, reuniting him with the coach who helped him turn around Buffalo's defense last season.
Pettine also retained special teams coordinator Chris Tabor from Rob Chudzinski's staff.
Seau family objects to proposed settlement
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The family of the late NFL star Junior Seau (SAY'-ow) plans to object to the proposed $765 million settlement of player concussion claims because the fund would not pay wrongful death claims to survivors. The NFL settlement, if approved in court, would be capped at $4 million on behalf of players diagnosed after their deaths with traumatic brain injury.
Lefty looks for back relief
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Phil Mickelson's aching back is getting some attention.
The British Open champ has flown to Georgia to see a doctor about his lower back pain, hoping to be able to defend his Phoenix Open title, this week.
Mickelson withdrew from last week's tournament after making the cut because of his back injury.
He says joints had locked up and specialist Tom Boers has restored his mobility. Mickelson says he still has some inflammation that will take a week or two to subside. He plans to fly to Arizona on Wednesday with hopes of playing the Phoenix Open.
Zambrano apologizes for Venezuela dustup
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Former major league pitcher Carlos Zambrano is apologizing for starting a brawl during Venezuela's winter series final.
The Saturday night fight happened during the third game of the series. Zambrano struck an opposing pitcher after a teammate was hit by a pitch, Zambrano asked forgiveness of Venezuelans for the "very embarrassing incident." The Venezuelan League of Professional Baseball is investigating.
When Zambrano was in the majors with the Chicago Cubs he was suspended for 30 days in 2011 after a shouting match with teammate Derrek Lee.