NBA: Kevin Durant scored 26 points, James Harden led an outburst by the Thunder’s bench with 21, and host Oklahoma City evened its series with Memphis by beating the Grizzlies 111-102 in Game 2 on Tuesday night.
After scoring just 16 points in a Game 1 loss, the Thunder’s bench tripled that amount and put Oklahoma City firmly in control with an 18-6 run to start the fourth quarter.
Russell Westbrook scored 24 and his backup, Eric Maynor, added 15 for the Thunder.
Mike Conley scored 24 for Memphis, which cut a 21-point, fourth-quarter deficit to six in the final minutes.
Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol combined to score 28 points – just over half their total from the opener.
• Heat down Boston to take 2-0 series lead: LeBron James scored 24 of his 35 points in the second half, Dwyane Wade added 28 and the Heat used a late 14-0 run to beat the Boston Celtics 102-91 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series in Miami.
Chris Bosh finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds for Miami, which leads the best-of-7 series 2-0.
• Rose becomes youngest MVP: The NBA has made it official: Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is the MVP.
Rose, 22, officially became the NBA’s youngest MVP in league history. He joins Michael Jordan as the only Bulls players to win the award.
Rose averaged 25 points and 7.7 assists while leading Chicago to the best record in the league this season.
Orlando’s Dwight Howard finished second, Miami’s LeBron James was third, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant was fourth and Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant finished fifth.
• Griffin to be honored as top rookie: Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin will be named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year today, a person familiar with the news told the AP.
Griffin averaged 22.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists.
Kessler, Canucks outlast Nashville
NHL: Ryan Kesler scored his second power-play goal at 10:45 of overtime, and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Predators 3-2 and grabbed a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series at Nashville, Tenn.
Kesler scored his first two goals of the postseason and had an assist, and Chris Higgins had a goal for Vancouver.
• Lightning take 3-0 series lead on Caps: Steven Stamkos and Ryan Malone scored 24 seconds apart in the third period and the streaking Tampa Bay Lightning beat Washington 4-3 to push the top-seeded Capitals to the brink of elimination in the Eastern Conference semifinals in Tampa, Fla.
Boise State imposes football punishment
Miscellany: The Boise State University football team will have at least three fewer preseason practices as it prepares for this year’s season opener against Georgia in Atlanta.
The Broncos also will award three fewer scholarships during the course of the next two seasons and be allowed three fewer preseason practices before next year’s opener at Michigan State.
That’s the punishment the school has imposed for violating NCAA rules, according to documents obtained by the Idaho Statesman.
• Federal appeals court expedites request: A federal appeals court agreed to fast track the NFL’s request to put its labor lockout in place until a new deal is finally worked out.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis set a June 3 hearing, with 30 minutes of oral argument for each side, before Judges Duane Benton, Kermit Bye and Steven Colloton.
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson issued her injunction stopping the lockout on April 25 and denied the NFL’s appeal two days later.
The appeals court’s approval of an expedited stay gave the NFL at least some relief from the stern rebuke Nelson delivered.
• Indians outfielder Choo arrested for DUI: Shin-Soo Choo spent the afternoon talking to each of his teammates, one by one, to express how sorry he is for his off-field arrest on suspicion of drunken driving and the embarrassment it caused.
The Cleveland Indians outfielder was arrested Monday after a breathalyzer test showed he had a blood-alcohol level of .201 – more than double Ohio’s legal limit of .08.
• Barcelona defeats Real Madrid: Barcelona advanced to the Champions League final by dominating Real Madrid in a 1-1 tie at Barcelona, Spain, winning the semifinal on 3-1 aggregate as Pedro Rodriguez scored off a perfect through pass from Andres Iniesta in the 54th minute.
In the fourth match between the rivals in 18 days, Rodriguez gave Barcelona a three-goal lead in the home-and-home, total-goals series.