May 22, 2012 in Sports

OKC advances with victory over Lakers

From Staff And Wire Reports
Associated Press photo

Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant, right, helped the Thunder reach the Western Conference finals for the second straight year.
(Full-size photo)

NBA Playoffs: Russell Westbrook scored 28 points, Kevin Durant added 25 points and 10 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder surged ahead in the second half to beat Los Angeles 106-90 in Game 5 on Monday night at Oklahoma City, and eliminate the Lakers from the playoffs.

The two All-Stars both bypassed their breaks in the second half and used the time they’d normally be resting to fuel the big run that put away the game and ended the Lakers’ season.

Westbrook had a pair of three-point plays during a 14-3 burst that put Oklahoma City ahead to stay late in the third quarter, and Durant hit two 3-pointers as the Thunder scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to push their lead to 93-77.

Kobe Bryant scored 42 points for the Lakers.

The Thunder open the Western Conference finals on Sunday at top-seeded San Antonio.

After getting eliminated by Los Angeles in 2010 and Dallas in 2011 before both of those teams went on to win it all, the Thunder knocked both out on their way to the West finals for the second straight year.

Bass leads Boston past Philadelphia: Brandon Bass scored 18 of his postseason career-high 27 points in the third quarter as the Celtics pulled away from the Philadelphia 76ers to win 101-85 in Boston and take a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Kevin Garnett added 20 points and Rajon Rondo had 13 points and 14 assists for the Celtics, who can advance to the East finals with a victory in Philadelphia in Game 6 on Wednesday.

Magic fire Van Gundy: The Orlando Magic have fired coach Stan Van Gundy after a rocky season.

The Magic also have mutually agreed to part ways with general manager Otis Smith.

Orlando went 37-29 in the regular season, but stumbled in the Eastern Conference playoffs following a rash of late-season injuries that included back surgery for All-Star Dwight Howard.

Devils even series with Rangers

NHL Playoffs: Martin Brodeur made 27 saves and survived a third-period punch to the chest by old buddy Mike Rupp as the New Jersey Devils defeated the New York Rangers 3-1 at Newark, N.J., evening the Eastern Conference finals, 2-2.

Zach Parise had two goals and an assist and Bryce Salvador and Travis Zajac beat Henrik Lundqvist less than four minutes apart in the first period in a series where the intensity and the emotions are picking up.

Patriots, Welker make deal official

NFL: The New England Patriots have announced that Wes Welker has signed a franchise tender contract.

The team’s announcement comes about a week after Welker posted on his Twitter account that he inked the $9.5 million deal.

Welker, who has earned four straight Pro Bowl selections, leads the NFL with 554 receptions since joining the Patriots in 2007.

Houston’s Johnson out: Texans star receiver Andre Johnson says he’ll be sidelined for three to four weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

Johnson sat out Houston’s first organized team practice after having the procedure two weeks ago.

Jets’ Ellis pleads guilty: New York Jets defensive lineman Kenrick Ellis pleaded guilty to assault and battery stemming from a 2010 fight while attending college in Hampton, Va.

His attorney, Timothy Clancy, said Ellis likely would serve 45 days when he reports to jail on June 15 and said that he shouldn’t miss any of the NFL season.

McNamee testifies about other players

MLB: The key witness in the Roger Clemens perjury trial testified in Washington about three other baseball players who he said took human growth hormone.

Brian McNamee, Clemens’ longtime strength and conditioning coach, told jurors that he provided HGH to current Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte and former Yankees infielder Chuck Knoblauch. McNamee also testified that former Yankees pitcher Mike Stanton obtained HGH from drug dealer Kirk Radomski, after McNamee put them in touch.

Nadal bests Djokovic to win Italian Open

Miscellany: Rafael Nadal showed he’s still the man to beat on clay, defeating Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-3 in a rain-delayed final in Rome, to win his record sixth Italian Open and regain the No. 2 ranking.

After losing to Djokovic in seven straight finals – including Rome last year – Nadal has won two straight against the top-ranked Serb.

Pacific’s Thomason to retire after season: University of the Pacific men’s basketball coach Bob Thomason has announced he will retire after next season.

Thomason said that his 25th year as head coach at his alma mater will be his last.

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