NBA: Kevin Durant scored 36 points, Russell Westbrook added 32 in his fourth career triple-double and the Oklahoma City Thunder fought off the visiting Orlando Magic 125-124 Thursday night for their fourth straight win.
Westbrook also had 13 assists and 10 rebounds in Oklahoma City’s highest-scoring game of the season.
Dwight Howard led Orlando with 39 points and 18 rebounds, and J.J. Redick made four 3-pointers and scored 18 points.
• Smith, Nuggets beat James-less Heat: Reserve J.R. Smith scored 28 points and Carmelo Anthony added 21, leading the host Denver Nuggets to a 130-102 win over a Miami Heat team missing LeBron James.
Nene contributed 17 points and the Nuggets routed a second straight opponent. They beat Phoenix by 34 points two nights ago.
James sat out after spraining his left ankle the night before in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Hoffarber, Minnesota take down Purdue
Men’s basketball: Blake Hoffarber’s 26 points and sharpened perimeter defense helped the Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-4, 2-3 Big Ten) outlast eighth-ranked Purdue 70-67 in Minneapolis.
JaJuan Johnson had 29 points and 11 rebounds for the Boilermakers (15-2, 4-1 Big Ten), whose 10-game winning streak ended. They also lost for the first time in nine conference road games, dating to last January.
Wolski leads Rangers past sizzling Canucks
NHL: Wojtek Wolski scored his first goal with the Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves and New York beat visiting Vancouver 1-0 to end the Canucks’ 17-game unbeaten streak in regulation time.
The NHL-best Canucks hadn’t lost before overtime since Dec. 5. Lundqvist made a point-blank save on Alexandre Burrows in the closing seconds to help the Rangers improve to a season-best 10 games over .500.
• Bruins rally to beat Flyers: Steve Kampfer broke a tie with 1:14 left in Boston’s five-goal third period to help the Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 7-5 in Boston.
Brad Marchand tied it at 5 at 11:26 of the third and Kampfer gave the Bruins the lead for good when he slapped in a shot that went inside the right post past a stunned Brian Boucher.
• Blues snap 5-game skid with win over Kings: At Los Angeles, Ryan Reaves put the Blues ahead with his second NHL goal, Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves, and St. Louis snapped a five-game skid with a 3-1 victory over the struggling Los Angeles Kings.
B.J. Crombeen and Alexander Steen also scored for St. Louis, which finally won a game in January with a solid defensive effort against the Kings, who have lost seven of eight.
Broncos hire former Panthers coach Fox
NFL: John Fox turned around a bumbling team before. The Denver Broncos are counting on him to do it again.
Fox was picked over four other candidates to replace Josh McDaniels, who was fired Dec. 6 amid the Broncos’ worst slide in four decades and the embarrassing Spygate II videotaping scandal.
Newly hired chief football executive John Elway hired Fox, the 55-year-old former Carolina Panthers coach.
• Browns’ hire Shurmur as new coach: Pat Shurmur, St. Louis’ offensive coordinator the past two years, was hired by the Browns, ending a search for their fifth coach since 1999 that began when team president Mike Holmgren fired Eric Mangini on Jan. 3 after his second straight 11-loss season.
Shurmur’s late uncle, Fritz, was Holmgren’s defensive coordinator in Green Bay when the Packers won the Super Bowl in 1996.
Sounders make five picks in SuperDraft
MLS: The Seattle Sounders FC traded away their first-round pick but ended up with five players from the MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore.
Seattle was slated to pick 11th overall but sent that selection and an international roster spot to the Portland Timbers in exchange for the 20th overall pick and allocation money.
The move gave Sounders FC four second-round picks from which the team drafted defender/midfielder Michael Tetteh of UC Santa Barbara (20th overall), defender Juan Leone Cruz of Southern Methodist (21), California midfielder Servando Carrasco (27) and Monmouth goalkeeper Bryan Meredith (29). With a final pick in the third round the team selected midfielder Alex Caskey of Davidson College.
• Vancouver selects Salgado first pick in draft: Omar Salgado, a 17-year-old forward on the U.S. Under-20 team, was selected by the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps with the first pick in the Major League Soccer draft.
Darlington Nagbe, a junior midfielder who helped Akron win its first NCAA title, went with the No. 2 pick to the expansion Portland Timbers. Akron’s Perry Kitchen was taken by D.C. United with the third pick, followed by Chivas USA taking his teammate, defender Zarek Valentin fourth. Philadelphia took Maryland goalkeeper Zac MacMath fifth.
Taylor pleads guilty to two misdemeanors
Miscellany: Former NFL star Lawrence Taylor pleaded guilty in a New City, N.Y., courtroom to sexual misconduct and patronizing a prostitute, misdemeanor charges that carry no jail time but require him to register as a sex offender.
The 51-year-old ex-linebacker, who led the New York Giants to Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991, will serve six years probation.
“She told me she was 19,” Taylor said in court as he admitted having sex with a prostitute who turned out to be a 16-year-old Bronx runaway.
• Play washed out at Sony Open in Hawaii: The opening round of the Sony Open, the first full-field event of the PGA Tour season, was washed out because of heavy overnight rain that left too much water on Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.
The plan is to play the opening two rounds today and Saturday, with 36 holes on Sunday.
• NCAA squashes proposal on early scholarship offers: The NCAA won’t put restrictions on how early coaches can offer scholarships to young players.
In a meeting in San Antonio the NCAA’s legislative council defeated a proposal that would have prohibited coaches from making scholarship offers until after a student’s junior year of high school.
Click here to comment on this story »