Short-handed Bulls do it again…Birdman flies high against Brooklyn
UNDATED (AP) — Aaron Brooks scored seven of his season-high 31 points in overtime to help the short-handed Chicago Bulls beat the Philadelphia 76ers 104-95.
Pau Gasol (pow gah-SOHL’) had 27 points and 16 rebounds. Nikola Mirotic (NEE’-koh-luh MEER’-uh-tich) finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulls. They snapped a three-game skid without four regulars and three of their top five scorers — Derrick Rose, Joakim (JOH’-kihm) Noah and Jimmy Butler.
In other NBA games:
— The Portland Trail Blazers improved to 27-6 at home by beating Houston 105-100. LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 26 points and 14 rebounds. The win moves the Blazers within a game and a-half of Memphis for second seed in the West.
— Klay Thompson reached the 5,000-point milestone and knocked down two late 3-pointers in a 69-second span, leading the Golden State Warriors past the Detroit Pistons 105-98 for their fifth straight win.
— Dwyane (dwayn) Wade scored 28 points and added nine assists and the Miami Heat finished off a season sweep of the Brooklyn Nets, 104-98. Chris “Birdman” Andersen tied a career high with 18 points and set a season high with 14 rebounds.
— Khris Middleton matched his career high with 30 for the second time in three games to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 97-91 victory over the Orlando Magic.
— Danilo Gallinari had 23 points, Will Barton added 16 and the Denver Nuggets beat Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta 115-102 for their eighth straight home win over the Hawks.
— Ben McLemore scored 27 points, Rudy Gay added 26, and the Sacramento Kings snapped a four-game losing streak with a 113-106 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
— Markieff Morris scored 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting, helping Phoenix get a 9-point win over Minnesota. The Suns are 3 games back of the Pelicans for the 8 seed in the West.
— The Boston Celtics ended a five-game losing streak against the Memphis Grizzlies, 95-92. Marcus Smart converted a go-ahead, three-point play with 52 seconds left. Avery Bradley added a clutch jumper with eight seconds left.
Police investigating stabbing at Celtics arena
BOSTON (AP) — Police are investigating a stabbing that took place during an NBA game in Boston. Authorities say a man was stabbed Wednesday night at TD Garden, just before the end of the Celtics’ 95-92 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
It happened in the balcony of the arena.
The victim was taken to a Boston hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. His name was not immediately released.
No arrests have been made.
OKC coach says Durant back in another week or two
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks says Kevin Durant should return to the lineup in about “a week to two weeks.”
Brooks said before the Thunder’s game Wednesday night with the Los Angeles Clippers that Durant had been re-evaluated earlier in the day. Brooks says the 2014 NBA MVP “is progressing” and “had another good workout today” but isn’t ready to return to the lineup.
Durant has missed 36 games with an assortment of foot and ankle injuries.
Rangers take over division lead
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Rangers moved atop the Metropolitan Division by beating the Washington Capitals 3-1 while overcoming Alex Ovechkin’s league-leading 45th goal.
Martin St. Louis (mar-TAN’ san loo-EE’), Carl Hagelin and J.T. Miller each scored a goal for the Rangers.
Cam Talbot made 28 saves between the pipes for the Rangers.
In other hockey:
— Tyler Bozak tied the score late in regulation and then had the only goal in the shootout to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
— Calgary doubled up Anaheim 6-3. Sean Monahan notched his 25th goal for the Flames.
Suh gets record contract with Dolphins
UNDATED (AP) — The Dolphins have signed defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh (ehn-DAHM’-uh-kehn soo) to a record contract. The deal calls for $114 million over six seasons and makes Suh the highest paid defensive player in league history. The deal surpasses J.J. Watt’s six-year, $100 million deal with Houston.
In other moves:
— Jacksonville has landed its top free agent target, former Denver tight end Julius Thomas. The two sides have worked out a five-year contract worth $46 million that guarantees Thomas $24 million. His addition gives second-year quarterback Blake Bortles a reliable option to work the middle of the field.
— The Kansas City Chiefs have signed wide receiver Jeremy Maclin to a five-year deal. The contract is worth up to $55 million, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. Maclin started all 16 games for the Eagles last season setting career highs with 85 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns.
— The Green Bay Packers have re-signed starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga, ensuring that the highest-scoring team will keep its entire offense intact for the 2015 season. Terms were not disclosed, but the deal is believed to be for five years and worth about $34 million, including an $8 million signing bonus.
— The Colts have signed receiver Andre Johnson to a three-year deal, two days after the Texans released its longtime star.
— Cincinnati refortified its offensive line be re-signing guard Clint Boling and offensive tackle Eric Winston, the president of the players’ union.
— The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms with free-agent wide receiver Harry Douglas. He has spent his entire six-year career with Atlanta, where he caught 51 passes for 556 yards and two touchdowns last season.
— The Jets have acquired veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick from Houston for a conditional late-round draft pick. The 32-year-old quarterback will provide Geno Smith competition for the starting job.
— The Chicago Bears have agreed to a five-year contract with linebacker Pernell McPhee. The 26-year-old spent four seasons in Baltimore and played for a Super Bowl champion. McPhee set career highs for Baltimore last season with 27 tackles, 7 1/2 sacks, four pass breakups and 11 tackles for loss
— Arizona has agreed to terms on contracts with free agent guard Mike Iupati (yoo-PAH’-tee). Iupati spent all five of his NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.
— The Minnesota Vikings have finalized a two-year contract with quarterback Shaun Hill, securing their backup for Teddy Bridgewater and bringing the veteran to his original NFL team. The Vikings also re-signed defensive tackle Tom Johnson and agreed to terms on new deals with two of their other unrestricted free agents, offensive lineman Joe Berger and long snapper Cullen Loeffler.
— The Atlanta Falcons added depth at wide receiver by signing free agent Leonard Hankerson, who fought two serious injuries in his four seasons with the Washington Redskins.
— Two people familiar with the decision say the Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to a three-year contract with former Pro Bowl running back Ryan Mathews. The contract is reportedly worth $11.5 million with $5 million guaranteed. Mathews twice rushed for 1,000 yards in five seasons in San Diego.
Busch is back
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR has lifted its suspension of Kurt Busch and the former champion is expected to compete at Phoenix this weekend. He can also compete in the championship Chase this season should he qualify. Busch missed the first three races of the season when NASCAR suspended him for an alleged domestic assault on his ex-girlfriend.
The Delaware attorney general last week declined to charge Busch for the September incident with Patricia Driscoll.
Daytona making safety changes
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Daytona International Speedway will install energy-absorbing SAFER barriers to the concrete wall that Kyle Busch hit last month before NASCAR returns in July.
Busch broke his right leg and left foot Feb. 20 when he crashed into a retaining wall that lacked a SAFER barrier. Daytona president Joie Chitwood says the track completed an extensive safety review after Busch’s accident and will make numerous changes before the race in July.
The track also will install SAFER barrier on the outside backstretch wall.
Lafayette wins Patriot League
EASTON, Pa. (AP) — Lafayette’s basketball team is going to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2000. The Leopards held off American University 65-63 to win the Patriot League and earn the automatic bid. Point guard Nick Lindner led the Leopards with 25. Lindner, a sophomore point guard, was named tournament MVP.
Tar Heels advance in ACC tourney
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige each scored 17 points to help No. 19 North Carolina beat Boston College 81-63 in the second round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. The Tar Heels improved to 22-10 and set up a meeting with No. 14 Louisville in the quarterfinals. The Eagles close out the season with a 13-19 mark.
Wolf Pack sack coach
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada basketball coach David Carter has been fired after posting losing records four of the last five seasons.
Athletic director Doug Knuth announced the move Wednesday night after Nevada lost to UNLV 67-46 in the first round of the Mountain West Conference tournament to finish the season 9-22. The Wolf Pack were 5-13 in league play.
New contract for Cy Young winner
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (KLOO’-bur) has signed a one-year contract for the season with the Cleveland. No financial terms were immediately available. The Indians have expressed interest in signing the right-hander to a long-term contract extension.
Kluber vaulted from the middle of Cleveland’s rotation to become the league’s top pitcher last season, going 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA and 269 strikeouts.
A-Rod goes deep
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Alex Rodriguez hit his first home run since returning to the Yankees following a season-long drug suspension in New York’s 10-6 exhibition loss to the Boston Red Sox. Rodriguez hit a long drive to left-center off of right-hander Brandon Workman leading off the fourth inning. Rodriguez has five hits in 11 at-bats (.455) this spring training.
US claims 10th title
UNDATED (AP) — The U.S. women’s national soccer team tuned-up for the World Cup by beating France 2-0 to win its 10th Algarve Cup. Julie Johnson and Christen Press scored for the winners, while Hope Solo stopped a late penalty kick for her third shutout of the tournament and 81st internationally.
Zimbabwe banned from 2018 World Cup
ZURICH (AP) — Zimbabwe was thrown out of 2018 World Cup qualifying for failing to pay its national team coach.
FIFA’s disciplinary committee said it took the action “as a result of the non-payment of an outstanding debt” by Zimbabwe’s soccer federation to coach Jose Claudinei Georgini.