NBA PLAYOFFS-LATEST SCORES
Thunder and Pacers go 2-up...Spurs lead Lakers at halftime
UNDATED (AP) — They squandered a 15-point lead late and it was probably closer than Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks would have preferred, but the Thunder nonetheless own a 2-0 series lead over Houston following their 105-102 victory over the Rockets. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook each scored 29.
Durant hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:28 to play, and the Thunder didn't relinquish the lead after that. Durant missed a free throw with 1 second left, but Houston was out of timeouts and Carlos Delfino couldn't connect on a desperation shot at the final buzzer. Game 3 is Saturday night in Houston.
In other first-round playoffs:
— Paul George followed his triple-double by scoring a playoff career-high 27 points to lead Indiana past Atlanta 113-98. The Pacers lead the series 2-0 and have won four straight home games over the Hawks, who now are home for the next two games starting Saturday.
__ The final game of the night has San Antonio leading the L.A. Lakers at halftime, 56-48. The Spurs are trying to take a 2-0 series lead.
Grizzlies' Gasol is top defender
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (guh-SAWL) insists he isn't being charitable when he credits his teammates for winning his first NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. He says playing great defense is just what they do in Memphis.
Gasol anchored that defense, and he received 212 points and 30 first-place votes to edge Miami's LeBron James, who had 149 points and 18 first-place votes. Gasol appeared on only 60 of the 121 ballots cast, with James on 47 ballots despite his 129 steals and 67 blocked shots.
OTHER NBA NEWS
Cavs rehire Mike Brown
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Cavaliers have officially rehired Mike Brown as their coach. Brown, who led the Cavs to five consecutive playoff appearances before he was fired in 2010, is returning to the team for a second time. He replaces Byron Scott, the man who replaced him three years ago but was fired last week following Cleveland's third straight losing season.
Lightning strikes Maple Leafs...Red Wings move up
UNDATED (AP) — Right now the Toronto Maple Leafs are sitting in fifth place in the NHL Eastern Conference, and are on track to open next week's playoffs against arch-rival Montreal. Leafs fans are hoping their team puts on a better showing next week.
Tampa Bay, with the next-to-worst record in the East, whacked the Maple Leafs 5-2 less than a week before the playoffs are to start. Steven Stamkos notched his 29th goal, two behind NHL scoring leader Alex Ovechkin of Washington. Martin St. Louis (mar-TAN' san loo-EE') had the hat trick.
In other NHL action:
__ Jordin Tootoo netted the go-ahead goal early in the third period, and Johan Franzen scored on a power play with 6:26 left in the Detroit Red Wings' 3-1 win over the L.A. Kings and into eighth place in the Western Conference. Detroit is one point ahead of Columbus and one behind seventh-place Minnesota with two games left.
Rockies work overtime at Coors Field...Mets slam Dodgers
UNDATED (AP) — Wilin Rosario scored from second on Yorvit Torrealba's (yohr-VEET' tohr-ee-AL'-bahz) single to left and the Colorado Rockies rallied to beat the Atlanta Braves 6-5 in 12 innings this afternoon at Coors Field. Michael Cuddyer (kuh-DY'-ur) and Josh Rutledge homered for the Rockies.
In other NL action:
__ The New York Mets edged the L.A. Dodgers 7-3 in 10 innings. Jordany Valdespin (VAHL'-dehs-speen) delivered the game-winning walk-off grand slam in the 10th.
__ Pinch hitter Brandon Inge (ihnj) hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-3.
__Mat Latos (LAY'-tohs) continued the stingy pace of Cincinnati starting pitchers. He retired the first 10 batters and 15 of the first 16 he faced, on the way to a 1-0 Reds win over the Chicago Cubs. Latos pitched into the eighth, giving up four hits and a walk, while striking out four. He and the other Cincinnati starters were a combined 5-0 with a 1.54 ERA in the completed 10-game homestand. Todd Frazier homered for the lone run.
— Yadier (YA'-dee-ur) Molina hit a two-run single off Stephen Strasburg during St. Louis' three-run first inning, and the Cardinals went on to beat Washington 4-2. Strasburg's loss gives Washington's All-Star ace the only four-start losing streak of his young career. The Nationals only scored four runs in the Cardinals three-game sweep.
— Pinch hitter Wil Nieves (nee-EH'-vehs) delivered a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to lift the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Over in the AL:
__ Alex Cobb scattered three hits over 8 1/3 innings, Ben Zobrist drove in two runs and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 3-0. Cobb is 3-1.
— Stephen Drew hit a two-run triple, David Ortiz had two hits and drove in a run and the Boston Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 6-5 to take two of three from the A's. It was Boston's ninth win in 12 games.
— Jim Johnson walked Maicer Izturis (may-SEER' ihz-TOOR'-is) with the bases loaded in the 11th inning, and the Blue Jays beat the Orioles 6-5 to avoid a three-game sweep. The loss ends Baltimore's run of consecutive extra-inning victories at 17.
— Chris Carter, Ronny Cedeno and Brandon Laird homered to lead Houston to a 10-3 win over Seattle. The Astros took two of three in the series, and four of their seven wins this season have come against the Mariners, their new AL West foe.
— Alex Rios (REE'-ohs) hit a two-run homer to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 3-2 win over Cleveland that stopped Chicago's four-game losing streak.
— Jose Valverde (val-VAYR'-day) returned to Detroit with a save and Victor Martinez drove in a pair of runs to help the Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 7-5. Max Scherzer is 2-0 with the win, allowing five runs in five innings, with three Tigers relievers finishing the game. Valverde, called up earlier in the day, returned to the Tigers with a perfect ninth inning.
Tight security for everyone involved in the draft
NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL is increasing security for this week's draft in New York. The league says everyone entering Radio City Music Hall will be subject to screening measures including metal detectors, pat-downs and searches of personal property. And that includes league officials, players and their families.
The draft begins Thursday night and has sessions on Friday and Saturday afternoon.
The additional security comes after the Boston Marathon bombings raised concerns among those organizing other sporting events.
NFL DRAFT -TRAGEDIES
NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL will also hold a moment of silence at the start of the draft for the victims of the Boston Marathon attacks and Texas fertilizer plant explosion. Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league would recognize the two tragedies that took place last week.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has met with Commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL') about the IRS and FBI investigation of his family owned company, Pilot Flying J.
Goodell met Tuesday with Haslam and says he has cooperated with federal investigators looking into allegations that sales people withheld rebates to customers in order to pad their commissions and boost company profits.
Haslam says he was greatly embarrassed after reading the affidavit filed by investigators. But he says he won't step down from the Browns or the company.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL- CHAMPIONSHIP
The House that Jerry built lands first title game
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The first championship game in the College Football Playoff will be held at Cowboys Stadium in January of 2015.
The final three sites for the semifinal rotation will be Cowboys Stadium, home of the Cotton Bowl, the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta and the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.
The Rose, Orange and Sugar bowls are already part of the six-bowl semifinal rotation. The Rose and Sugar will host the first semifinals on Jan. 1, 2015. The championship game will be played on January 12, 2015.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Three grams underweight proves pricey for Joe Gibbs Racing.
NASCAR is coming down hard on the team, stripping driver Matt Kenseth of everything but the trophy from his victory at Kansas after his engine failed a post-race inspection. NASCAR says one of eight connecting rods did not meet the minimum weight requirement. Toyota Racing Development says the rod came in three grams underweight.
Kenseth has been docked 50 drivers points, lost his pole points from the race and has dropped from 8th to 14th in the standings. His crew chief, Jason Ratcliff has been fined $200,000, suspended for 6 races and put on probation for the rest of the year. Team owner Joe Gibbs loses his licenses for the next 6 races and has also lost 50 owners points.
The team says it will appeal the decision.