Ailing James still too much for Lakers
NBA: LeBron James was sitting at his locker after the game, a bottle of cold medicine at his side.
The Los Angeles Lakers would be hard-pressed to believe it was needed.
James shook off flu-like symptoms to put up 31 points, eight rebounds and eight assists – hours after being told to stay away from the team’s shootaround practice after calling in with a cough and chest congestion – and the Heat topped the Lakers 98-87 on Thursday night in Miami. Chris Bosh scored 15 for Miami, which won its second straight after a three-game slide.
“A chest cold can get to you at times,” James said. “But I felt like I could help the team.”
Pau Gasol scored a season- high 26 for the Lakers, Kobe Bryant scored 24 and Andrew Bynum finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
• Westbrook, Thunder agree to extension: The Oklahoma City Thunder signed All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook to a multiyear contract extension.
Westbrook was set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season, meaning the Thunder would have had to match any offer he received from another team.
Terms were not disclosed, but Yahoo Sports reported the deal was worth $80 million over five years.
• Mavericks edge Jazz: Shawn Marion scored a season-high 22 points, including a late layup, as the Dallas Mavericks defeated Utah 94-91 in Salt Lake City to snap a two-game losing streak.
The Jazz lost at home for only the second time all season, and second time in 10 games overall.
• Rockets clip Hornets: Kevin Martin scored 27 of his 32 points in the first half, Samuel Dalembert grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds and the Rockets survived a seven-point fourth quarter to beat the visiting New Orleans Hornets 90-88 in overtime.
Duke wins 45th straight at Cameron
Men’s basketball: Andre Dawkins scored all 21 of his points in the first half, and No. 4 Duke beat Wake Forest 91-73 for its 45th straight victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Blue Devils moved within one victory of the school record for consecutive home victories and will match the mark if they beat Florida State in Durham, N.C., on Saturday.
• Tar Heels bounce back: Harrison Barnes scored nine of his 27 points during a 19-0 second-half run and No. 8 North Carolina bounced back from a 33-point loss at Florida State with an 82-68 victory over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
The Tar Heels, who trailed 44-36 before Barnes started the run with two free throws, a jumper and a dunk. Before it was over, it stretched to 31-5 and a 67-49 lead with 8:23 remaining.
• Penn State upsets Illinois: Tim Frazier hit a floater in the lane with 8 seconds left and Jermaine Marshall blocked Sam Maniscalco’s layup at the buzzer to give Penn State a 54-52 upset of No. 22 Illinois in State College, Pa.
Kentucky uses 9-0 run to beat Georgia
Women’s basketball: No. 6 Kentucky took the lead with a 9-0 run in the second half and wore down short- handed No. 15 Georgia, winning 69-64 in Athens, Ga. The Wildcats used 12 players while the Bulldogs, limited by injuries, used only seven.
• Buckeyes handle Huskers: Tayler Hill had 21 points and 10 rebounds, Samantha Prahalis added 19 points and nine assists and No. 10 Ohio State beat No. 20 Nebraska 82-68 in Columbus, Ohio.
• Arkansas drops Vandy: Sarah Watkins scored 21 points to lead Arkansas past No. 25 Vanderbilt 69-47 in Fayetteville, Ark. It was the Razorbacks’ first win over the Commodores since 2006, and Vanderbilt’s second straight loss.
Grabner scores as Islanders top Flyers
NHL: Evgeni Nabokov made 40 saves and the New York Islanders snapped a 13-game losing streak in Philadelphia with a 4-1 victory over the Flyers.
Josh Bailey, Matt Moulson, Mark Streit and former Spokane Chief Michael Grabner scored to help the Islanders also break an eight-game losing streak against Philadelphia, which had won 23 of its previous 24 games against the Islanders.
• Sabres extend streak: Ondrej Pavelec made 25 saves and Winnipeg extended Buffalo’s franchise-record road losing streak to 11 games with a 4-1 victory.
• Bertuzzi lifts Wings: Todd Bertuzzi scored in regulation, then spun in front of the net and made a spectacular backhand shot in a shootout and the Detroit Red Wings won their fifth in a row to take the NHL overall lead, beating the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 in Glendale, Ariz.
Braun begins appeal of positive drug test
Miscellany: Ryan Braun’s appeal of his positive drug test began Thursday before baseball arbitrator Shyam Das.
The start of the National League MVP’s appeal, first reported by the New York Daily News, was confirmed by a person familiar with the session who spoke on condition of anonymity because the proceeding was not to be made public.
Calls to Braun’s agent, Nez Balelo, and Major League Baseball spokesman Pat Courtney were not returned.
If the test is not overturned, Braun would be suspended for Milwaukee’s first 50 games.
When the positive drug test became public last month, Braun had a spokesman issue a statement saying there were circumstances supporting “Ryan’s complete innocence.”
Braun is to receive his MVP Award at a BBWAA dinner on Saturday.
• Oklahoma State’s Gundy honored: Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has won the Paul “Bear” Bryant College Coach of the Year Award.
Gundy, whose Cowboys finished the season 12-1, beat out eight other finalists for the award.
Former Iowa coach Hayden Fry was the ceremony’s other honoree, receiving the Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award given by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
• Toms and Villegas top Humana leaderboard: David Toms and Colombia’s Camilo Villegas both finished with 9-under-par 63s to top a leaderboard dotted with impressive scores in the opening round of the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, Calif.
Ted Potter Jr., Sang-moon Bae and Brandt Snedeker were one stroke behind at 8 under in postcard-perfect weather.
• Kearney bests Kissling’s mark: Olympic champion Hannah Kearney won a record 11th consecutive FIS Freestyle World Cup moguls event, besting the old record of Swiss star Conny Kissling.
World champion Patrick Deneen of Cle Elum, Wash., earned his first podium of the season, finishing second in the men’s event in Wilmington, N.Y.