Seven straight for the Thunder...Sixers work overtime...You can go home again, Mark Jackson
UNDATED (AP) — It was billed as a showdown between the NBA's two leading scorers, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. But Russell Westbrook stole the show -- at least in the first half.
The Oklahoma City point guard poured in 33 points -- including 27 in the first half -- in helping the Thunder to their seventh straight victory, 114-108 over the L.A. Lakers. Helped by Westbrook's big first half, the Thunder raced to a 19-point lead. The Lakers cut it to four in the final minute but never got closer.
Durant finished with 36 points, one more than Bryant, the leading scorer in the NBA. The bad news for the Lakers is this: the Lakers have lost the last six times Bryant has scored 30 or more.
The Lakers fell to 9-11 overall, including a 2-6 road record. The Thunder are 16-4 overall and have won 15 of 17.
In other NBA action:
— The Philadelphia 76ers overcame a triple-double from Rajon Rondo (RAH'-zhahn RAHN'-doh) to win their fourth straight, 95-94 in overtime over Boston. Evan Turner scored a season-high 28, including the game-winning jumper with 3.9 seconds left in overtime. Thaddeus Young added 17 points and 12 rebounds. Rondo finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists. But he missed potentially game-winning shots at the end of regulation and overtime.
— David Lee had 30 points and 15 rebounds, Stephen Curry scored 28 points, and the Golden State Warriors gave coach Mark Jackson a winning return to Brooklyn by beating the Nets 109-102. The game was played at the Barclays Center, not far from where Jackson was a legendary New York City star point guard.
__ The Memphis Grizzlies improved to an NBA-best 14-3 by beating New Orleans 96-89. Rudy Gay tied his season high with 28 points. Former Hornets first-round draft choice Quincy Pondexter tied a season high with 16 points for the Grizzlies.
— Joakim (JOH'-kihm) Noah had 30 points and 23 rebounds, setting career highs in both categories in helping the Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons for the 16th straight time, 108-104. Chicago trailed by as many as 17 points in the second quarter, but the Bulls rallied as all five Chicago starters reached double figures.
— Tony Parker had 17 points and seven assists, and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed in a 114-92 victory over the Houston Rockets. Six Spurs hit double figures.
__ Milwaukee topped Charlotte 108-93. Ersan Ilyasova (UR'-sahn ee-yah-SOH'-vuh) scored a season-high 21 points and Marquis Daniels had season highs with 18 points and six rebounds.
__ Sacramento rallied to beat Orlando 91-82. DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas each had 17 for the Kings.
— Paul Millsap scored 20 points, Enes Kanter had 18 in his first career start and the Utah Jazz hit 13 3-pointers to rout the Toronto Raptors 131-99.
— Josh Smith had 23 points and 15 rebounds, Al Horford also posted a double-double and the Atlanta Hawks beat Washington 104-95 to keep the Wizards winless on the road. Washington is 2-14 overall, 0-8 on the road.
— Denver's Andre Miller brought back a blast from the past in leading Denver past Indiana 92-89. The 36-year-old backup guard scored eight of his 15 points during a 10-0 run in the final three minutes to rally the Nuggets.
— Kevin Love had 36 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 91-73 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Out of ideas and patience
NEW YORK (AP) — On the 83rd day of the NHL labor lockout, ideas of how to settle the dispute evaporated.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly says he is out of ideas how to get negotiations back on track to save the hockey season.
Talks fell apart on Thursday night amid back-and-forth accusations, and the fallout was still being felt Friday. The two sides had no contact with each other on the 83rd day of the owners' lockout of players.
Daly says he has "no reason, nor any intention" of reaching out to the union right now.
If the players do have a suggestion, they haven't offered it yet. Their most recent proposal was turned down quickly on Thursday by the NHL.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-COACHING NEWS
Vols hire Jones to revitalize their football program
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Butch Jones vows to get Tennessee back to the top of the college football hierarchy. He's been hired away from Cincinnati to revitalize a Volunteers' program that suffered three straight losing seasons under Derek Dooley. Jones is the Vols' fourth coach in six years.
The 44-year-old Jones has a 50-27 record in six seasons as a head coach, three each at Cincinnati and Central Michigan.
He's taking over a team that went 15-21 during Dooley's stay in Knoxville.
Braves re-sign Johnson...Haren heads to Nationals
UNDATED (AP) — The top pinch hitter in the National League last season is staying with the Braves. Reed Johnson has inked a $1.75 million, one-year contract that includes a club option for 2014.
Atlanta acquired Johnson from the Chicago Cubs on July 30. He hit a combined .290 with three home runs and 20 RBIs last season while going 18 for 43 as a pinch hitter.
Johnson is a career .284 hitter with 62 home runs since making his major league debut in 2003.
Elsewhere around the majors:
— Veteran pitcher Dan Haren has agreed to a one-year contract with the NL East champion Nationals. The 32-year-old right-hander was a free agent after going 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA in 30 starts for the Los Angeles Angels in 2012. Haren is 119-97 with a 3.66 ERA with four clubs in the majors and was an All-Star in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
— Brett Gardner and the New York Yankees have agreed to a $2.85 million, one-year contract that avoids salary arbitration. That's just a little more than what the speedy outfielder made this year when he was limited to 31 at-bats because of a right elbow injury that sidelined him from mid-April until late September.
— From St. Louis we get word that the Cardinals and Randy Choate have finalized a $7.5 million, three-year contract. The 37-year-old left-hander tied for the major league lead with 80 pitching appearances this year while playing for the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers.
— The Chicago Cubs have finalized a $9.5 million, two-year contract with Japanese pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa. The 32-year-old right-hander had 220 saves in 12 seasons with the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Central League.
--The Boston Red Sox have obtained right-hander Graham Godfrey from the Oakland Athletics, completing a trade for right-hander Sandy Rosario. Godfrey was 9-2 with a 3.29 ERA and one save last season with Triple-A Sacramento.
—Right-hander Brandon McCarthy has reached agreement with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a $15.5 million, two-year contract, pending a physical. That's according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations. McCarthy, who was hit in the right side of the head by a line drive on Sept. 5, sustained an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture, then underwent a two-hour surgery. McCarthy went 8-6 with a 3.24 ERA this year.
Average salary a record $3.2 million
NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball's average salary increased 3.8 percent this year to a record $3.2 million.
According to final figures released by the Major League Baseball Players Association, the rise is the steepest since 2007. The boost was helped by an increase in the minimum salary from $414,000 to $480,000.
The New York Yankees had the highest average for the 14th consecutive season at $6.88 million.
The Los Angeles Dodgers rose from 13th to second at $5.55 million and Texas from 15th to fifth at $4.89 million.
At nearly $685,000 Houston had the lowest average since the 2006 Florida Marlins.
Love-Snedeker shoot a 62
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III and Brandt Snedeker (SNEH'-deh-kur) shot a 10-under 62 in modified alternate-shot play to take the first-round lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout.
Love and Snedeker made 10 birdies for the lowest score in the modified alternate-shot format in the 24-year-old tournament's 12 years in Naples. They tied the third-lowest score overall.
Kenny Perry and Sean O'Hair were two strokes back in the team event.
SKIING-WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
DNF for Vonn
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) — Tina Maze (MAH'-zeh) of Slovenia won her third race of the season by finishing first in both runs of a World Cup super-combined event in Switzerland. Lindsey Vonn failed to finish in St. Moritz.
The American star was fourth in the Super-G but lost control of a ski during an early turn in her slalom run and failed to finish.
Bears' Urlacher fined for second straight week
NEW YORK (AP) — Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was fined $21,000 by the NFL for a horse-collar tackle on Seattle's Leon Washington, his second fine in two weeks.
Urlacher, penalized for the tackle in the Bears' 23-17 loss last Sunday, also was fined last week for a horse-collar tackle of Minnesota's Adrian Peterson.
Green Bay's Tramon Williams was fined $21,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Minnesota's Toby Gerhart last Sunday.
Detroit defensive tackle Nick Fairley was fined $15,750 for his horse-collar tackle of Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck late in the Lions' 35-33 loss.
Washington center Will Montgomery was fined $10,000 for kicking New York Giants defensive lineman Linval Joseph, who was docked $7,875 for unnecessary roughness. He raised his right foot to kick at Montgomery, but stopped himself before doing so.
New baby for Brady and wife
UNDATED (AP) — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen (jih-ZEHL' BUN'-chen), have announced the birth of their second child. They've named the girl Vivian Lake.
Bundchen announced the birth on her Facebook page, saying their daughter was born at home on Wednesday and is "healthy and full of life."
The couple also has a son, Benjamin, who turns 3 on Saturday. Brady also has a 5-year-old son, John, with actress Bridget Moynahan.
In other NFL doings:
— Oakland police say a football fan appeared to deliberately jump from the upper deck at the Oakland Coliseum during Thursday night's NFL game between the Raiders and Denver Broncos. The unidentified man is in a hospital in serious condition with non-life threatening injuries.
— Former NFL wide receiver David Boston has been sentenced to six months in jail and five years of probation for punching a woman last year. Authorities say Boston had been drinking at a Boca Raton home in November 2011 when he punched a woman twice in the head, leaving a wound requiring 10 stiches. Boston, an Ohio State product, went to the Pro Bowl with the Arizona Cardinals in 2001. He played for San Diego and Miami as well.
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Georgetown goalkeeper Tomas Gomez blocked a shot in the final round of a shootout, lifting the Hoyas over Maryland 4-3 on penalty kicks following a 4-4 tie in the NCAA soccer semifinals.
Georgetown beat Maryland for the first time in 29 tries. The Hoyas and will face seven-time NCAA soccer champ Indiana in Sunday's final. The Hoosiers blanked Creighton (KRAY'-tuhn) 1-0 in the other semifinal.
Memorial at SLU honors Rick Majerus
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Hundreds of well-wishers turned out in St. Louis to honor Saint Louis University men's basketball coach Rick Majerus (mah-JEHR'-uhs).
The university hosted a memorial service Friday for Majerus, who died Dec. 1 of heart failure. He was 64.
Majerus coached for 25 years. He was 517-216 at Marquette, Ball State, Utah and SLU, where he spent the last five seasons.
A funeral Mass is Saturday in his hometown of Milwaukee.