Durant’s shot caps dramatic Thunder rally
NBA: Kevin Durant scored 22 points and rattled in the go-ahead basket on a baseline runner with 18 seconds left, and the Oklahoma City Thunder scored the final nine points to rally for a 77-75 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals Wednesday night.
Oklahoma City trailed by seven with 2 minutes left before surging back with a series of defensive stops by its stars to take a 2-0 lead.
Game 3 is Friday night in Los Angeles.
Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum scored 20 points apiece for the Lakers, who came up empty on their last six possessions after Bynum’s hook shot made it 75-68 with 2:09 remaining.
Russell Westbrook added 15 points for Oklahoma City.
• Garnett leads Celtics: Kevin Garnett scored 27 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and used a dominant second quarter to help the visiting Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 107-91 and take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Whistled for a costly illegal pick late in a Game 2 loss, Garnett crushed the Sixers early and never let them think about a fourth-quarter rally.
Garnett scored 13 of Boston’s 32 points in the second quarter and the Celtics became the first team to win by double digits. Game 1 and Game 2 were each decided by one point.
Rajon Rondo had 23 points and 14 assists. Paul Pierce, playing with a banged-up knee, had 24 points and 12 rebounds.
Game 4 is Friday in Philadelphia.
• Bird honored : Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird was voted the NBA’s Executive of the Year, becoming the first person to win that award, plus the MVP and Coach of the Year honors.
The Pacers went 42-24 and are tied 1-1 with Miami in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Bird’s moves to strengthen the team during the offseason included promoting Frank Vogel from interim to head coach and signing starting forward David West.
Clarkson’s goal sends Devils past Rangers
NHL: David Clarkson’s deflected goal 2:31 into the third period snapped a tie and lifted the visiting New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers that evened the Eastern Conference finals at one game apiece.
Clarkson built off the momentum created by Ryan Carter’s goal late in the second period that tied the game 2-2. Ilya Kovalchuk had given the Devils a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal in the first. Defenseman Bryce Salvador added two assists, and Martin Brodeur stopped 23 saves for the win.
Marc Staal and Chris Kreider scored in the second for the Rangers, who lost their third straight Game 2 after winning the series opener. Top-seeded New York, which had 24 saves by Henrik Lundqvist, hasn’t had a two-game lead at any point in these playoffs.
Game 3 will be Saturday in New Jersey.
Arbitrator hears from NFL, players
NFL: Arbitrator Shyam Das heard arguments from NFL and players union lawyers on whether Commissioner Roger Goodell can discipline players for actions that occurred before the league’s current labor agreement was signed last August.
The hearing, which stemmed from the NFL’s bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints, lasted more than two hours. Outside counsel Dan Nash argued the NFL’s position and lawyer Jeff Kessler spoke for the NFL Players Association.
Das did not say when he would rule.
Newgarden continues fast times at Indy
AUTO RACING : Josef Newgarden is getting used to finishing first.
The American rookie topped the Indianapolis 500 speed chart, posting the fastest lap of the day at 222.785 mph. It’s the third time he has led in five practice sessions.
Marco Andretti was second at 222.108. He has the fastest lap this week at 223.676 on Tuesday.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, another American, was third at 221.763.
Qualifying will be Saturday and Sunday, and the race is May 27.
Grizzlies backup QB Montana transfers
MISCELLANY: Montana football coach Mick Delaney says backup quarterback Nate Montana has decided to transfer to an NCAA Division II football team with the hope of getting more playing time.
Delaney said the son of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana asked for a waiver as a fifth-year senior transfer and is going to play at West Virginia Wesleyan.
Montana played in nine games for the Grizzlies last season, completing 26 of 42 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns.
Montana came to UM last spring from Notre Dame.
• Irish football player charged: Prosecutors charged Notre Dame linebacker Carlo Calabrese with a misdemeanor count of intimidation for allegedly making threatening remarks to a police officer after quarterback Tommy Rees was arrested near an off-campus party.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has acknowledged the incident and the school has said any discipline will be handled internally.
• Coach’s wife blasts ESPN: The wife of fired Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine claimed ESPN maliciously trampled her reputation by broadcasting salacious stories about her and about claims that her husband molested ball boys.
Laurie Fine held a news conference and threatened to file a libel lawsuit in federal court against the cable network and two employees. ESPN in November broke the story of two former Syracuse ball boys, Robert Davis and Michael Lang, who claimed they were molested by Bernie Fine decades ago.
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said the complaint is without merit and the network stands by its reporting.
• Sagan increases cycling lead: Slovakia’s Peter Sagan of Slovakia raced to his event-opening fourth straight stage victory – 130 miles from Sonora to Clovis – in the Tour of California to increase his overall lead to 16 seconds.
Jeff Louder, the United Healthcare rider from Salt Lake City, was 34 seconds back in third place with four stages left.
• Ferrari takes stage win: Roberto Ferrari sprinted to his first Grand Tour stage victory in the 11th and longest leg of the Giro d’Italia, while Joaquin Rodriguez retained the overall lead.
Francesco Chicchi was second, with Tomas Vaitkus third. World champion Mark Cavendish finished in fourth.