Harden's 46 caps furious Houston comeback...Emotional win for Lakers
UNDATED (AP) — James Harden scored a career-high 46 points and Jeremy Lin added 29 as the Houston Rockets mounted a furious fourth-quarter comeback for a 122-119 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Houston was down by 14 points with about seven minutes left. The Rockets used a 21-4 run to erase the deficit and take a 114-111 lead with 1:46 remaining. Harden stepped back under heavy pressure from Serge Ibaka to sink a 3 to tie it, before Lin connected on one seconds later to give the Rockets their first lead of the second half.
In the rest of the NBA:
— Dwight Howard had 24 points and 12 rebounds in helping the Los Angeles Lakers to an emotional 113-99 victory over the Boston Celtics in their first game since the death of owner Jerry Buss. The 80-year-old Buss died on Monday after an 18-month struggle with cancer.
__ The Indiana Pacers moved within a half-game of second place in the NBA Eastern Conference by routing the New York Knicks 125-99 behind Paul George's 27 points. David West had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Lance Stephenson added 14 points.
— The Miami Heat ran their winning streak to eight by rallying to beat Atlanta 103-90 behind LeBron James' 24 points. Dwayne (dwayn) Wade scored 20 as the Heat scored the first 13 points of the fourth quarter to erase the Hawks' lead.
— Zach Randolph had 17 points and 18 rebounds, Mike Conley scored 17 points and the Memphis Grizzlies won their fifth straight game, beating the Toronto Raptors 88-82.
— Greg Monroe scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to spark the Detroit Pistons to a 105-99 victory over Charlotte. Brandon Knight had 21 for the Pistons before he left with a knee injury.
— Nikola Pekovic had 27 points and tied a career high with 18 rebounds to power the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 94-87 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
— Kyrie Irving scored 20 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 105-100 win over the New Orleans Hornets.
— Deron (DEH'-rihn) Williams scored 23 points and Brooklyn Nets escaped with a 97-94 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks after Monta Ellis missed on a chance to tie the game with three foul shots in the final seconds.
— Shawn Marion and Elton Brand scored 17 apiece and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Orlando Magic 111-96.
— Klay Thompson had 28 points and eight rebounds, David Lee finished with 19 points and 11 boards and the Golden State Warriors snapped a season-high, six-game losing streak by beating the Phoenix Suns 108-98.
Not too busy
UNDATED (AP) — The NBA trade deadline looms at 3 p.m. Eastern time today.
A person familiar with the situation says the Houston Rockets have reached separate agreements on trades that will send Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas to Sacramento and Marcus Morris to Phoenix.
The Rockets will receive Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt from the Kings, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced and was still pending league approval.
In the other deal, the person said the Rockets will receive a future second-round pick from the Suns in exchange for Morris, who will join his twin brother, Markieff, on the Phoenix roster.
Jayhawks escape in double-OT...9 straight for the 'Zags
UNDATED (AP) — Naadir Tharpe hit a short jumper in the lane with 16.5 seconds left in the second overtime to give ninth-ranked Kansas to a 68-67 win over No. 14 Oklahoma State.
Travis Releford scored 18 points and Jeff Withey had three double-overtime free throws among his 17 points for the Jayhawks, Kansas is tied with No. 13 Kansas State for the Big-12 lead with five games to go.
In other AP Top-25 hoops:
— Elias Harris scored 17 points and No. 3 Gonzaga crushed Santa Clara 85-42. That's the ninth win in a row for the 'Zags.
__ James Southerland scored 20 points, Michael Carter-Williams had 15 points and 12 assists, and eighth-ranked Syracuse pummeled Providence 84-59. The victory moves Syracuse into a first-place tie with Georgetown and Marquette in the Big East standings. Syracuse has won 38 straight home games, the longest active streak in Division I.
— D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored a career-high 33 points — the most by any Georgetown player this season — and the No. 11 Hoyas enjoyed a 90-66 win over DePaul. It's the most points scored by a Georgetown freshman in coach John Thompson III's nine seasons with the Hoyas.
__ No. 12 Arizona topped Washington 70-52. Solomon Hill had 19 points and Mark Lyons added 14 for the Wildcats, who are 22-4.
— Deshaun Thomas scored 19 points and No. 18 Ohio State used a 16-0 second-half run to rout Minnesota 71-45. The Buckeyes are 19-7 overall, and 9-5 in Big Ten play.
— Jared Berggren and Ben Brust each scored 12 points, and No. 19 Wisconsin shut down Northwestern 69-41 for its fifth win in six games.
__ Adonis Thomas scored 22 points, Chris Crawford had 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds as No. 21 Memphis beat Houston 81-74 for its 17th straight win.
— Anthony Marshall's short jumper just inside the free-throw line with 7 seconds left lifted UNLV to a 61-59 victory over No. 22 Colorado State.
Flyers win a wild one
UNDATED (AP) — On NHL ice, Jakub Voracek (YA'-kuhb VOHR'-rah-chehk) scored the go-ahead goal with 1:31 left to cap a hat trick and lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a wild 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Voracek's third goal came 33 seconds after Pittsburgh's Brandon Sutter tied the game on a wraparound as the Penguins rallied from a pair of two-goal deficits in the third period.
Voracek's first goal of the game came on the power play. That gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead with 9.9 seconds left in the second period. His second, the 200th point of his NHL career, put Philadelphia ahead by two goals 18 seconds into the third period.
In the rest of the abbreviated three-game NHL slate:
— David Jones scored at 4:43 of overtime and Semyon Varlamov stopped 33 shots, leading the Colorado Avalanche to a 1-0 win over the St. Louis Blues in front of a smattering of boisterous fans that braved a winter storm in Denver.
__ The L.A. Kings posted a 3-1 road win at Calgary. Trevor Lewis scored the go-ahead goal for the Kings, who swept back-to-back games in Alberta.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres have fired coach Lindy Ruff as a result of the team's inconsistent start to the season. Ruff was the longest-tenured coach in the NHL, hired in 1997. Ruff was the Sabres' winningest coach, posting a 571-432-162 record.
Ruff was relieved of his duties shortly after the team held a 90-minute practice, and a day after the Sabres were booed several times by their home fans during a 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets.
The 6-10-1 Sabres have gone 4-10-1 since opening the season with back-to-back wins.
Ron Rolston has been hired as the Sabres interim coach for the remainder of the season. He was in his second season as coach of AHL Rochester, the Sabres' minor-league affiliate.
In other NHL news:
— Goalie Viktor Fasth (fahst) has agreed to a two-year, $5.8 million contract extension with the Anaheim Ducks after an 8-0-0 start to his first NHL season. The Pacific Division-leading Ducks have the NHL's second-best record at 12-2-1.
— The Carolina Hurricanes say forward Jeff Skinner has a concussion and is day to day. The NHL's 2011 rookie of the year missed the Hurricanes' loss at Montreal on Monday night with what was initially described as an upper body injury.
— Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen has been suspended for Thursday's game against Dallas by the NHL for roughing Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa (HOH'-sah).
NCAA sues over Penn State penalty
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The NCAA wasted no time in challenging a new Pennsylvania law designed to keep the $60 million Penn State fine over the Jerry Sandusky scandal in the state, filing a federal challenge to the legislation hours after Gov. Tom Corbett signed it into law Wednesday.
State and congressional lawmakers have objected to use of the NCAA fine to finance child abuse prevention efforts in other states.
The NCAA claims the state's action is unconstitutional.
WGC-MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP
Snowed out in Arizona
MARANA, Ariz. (AP) — In the most bizarre episode of a PGA Tour season already filled with wacky weather, the opening round of the Match Play Championship lasted only 3½ hours until it was suspended by a winter storm that covered Dove Mountain with nearly two inches of snow. They'll try again today.
This is the latest in a series of weather incidents on the PGA Tour this year, following high wind on Maui, fog at Torrey Pines and frost in Phoenix.
Armstrong not talking
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lance Armstrong won't do a tell-all interview under oath with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to reveal everything he knows about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in cycling.
USADA (yoo-SAH'-duh) officials had told Armstrong he must speak with them if he wanted to reduce his lifetime ban from sports. Wednesday was the deadline for the disgraced cyclist to agree to the interview.
Armstrong attorney Tim Herman says that, after two months of negotiations, the cyclist is refusing to participate in a process designed "only to demonize selected individuals."
AP source says 3 former assistant coaches misled investigators
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — A person familiar with the situation tells the AP that the NCAA believes former Miami assistant coaches Clint Hurtt, Aubrey Hill and Jorge Fernandez provided false or misleading information during the probe into the Hurricanes' athletic programs.
The person says the NCAA has accused all three of violating "principles of ethical conduct" as part of the notice of allegations served against the Hurricanes.
Hurtt and Hill were members of Miami's football staff. Fernandez worked on the men's basketball staff.
Several other coaches are named in the allegations, including Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith. But only Hurtt, Hill and Fernandez are facing the ethical-conduct charge.
Garagiola hangs up the mic...Murphy gets a shot...Hughes on medication
UNDATED (AP) — Joe Garagiola (guh-rah-jee-OH'-lah), the ballplayer-turned-announcer who was honored by the Hall of Fame for his on-air work, is ending his broadcast career after nearly six decades.
The 87-year-old Garagiola says he's retiring as a part-time television analyst for the Arizona Diamondbacks after 15 years. He said goodbye at a 30-minute news conference at the team's spring training facility, a session marked by his trademark one-liners and a bit of emotion.
In other news from around spring training camps:
— New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy has a strained muscle on his right side and is day-to-day after receiving a cortisone shot in New York. Murphy returned to the club's Florida training camp this morning and said he doesn't have a timetable for his return to regular workouts.
— New York Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes is sidelined for two weeks because of a bulging disk that will be treated with anti-inflammatory medication for four or five days. Yanks general manager Brian Cashman says it could be two weeks before Hughes could resume throwing off a mound.
— The Boston Red Sox have acquired Mike Carp from the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later or cash. Seattle designated the 26-year-old first baseman and outfielder for assignment earlier this month. Carp appeared in 173 games over four seasons with Seattle from 2009-2012 and batted .255 with 28 doubles and 18 home runs.
— Two relievers brought in to upgrade the Angels bullpen are getting a little closer to being ready, says manager Mike Scioscia (SOH'-shuh). Right-handed closer Ryan Madson has begun throwing again while left-handed reliever Sean Burnett is likely a week away.
— Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has named veteran righthander A.J. Burnett the team's starter when the Pirates begin the 2013 season at home on April 1 against the Chicago Cubs.
— The Boston Red Sox open the Grapefruit League season today with a game against Northeastern University in Fort Myers, Fla. There are four spring training games scheduled for Friday and a full slate of games set for Saturday, a sure sign that spring is approaching.