Durant’s hot hand sparks Thunder win
NBA: Kevin Durant scored eight of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Chicago Bulls 97-91 in NBA action on Thursday night in Chicago.
Serge Ibaka scored 15 of his 21 points in the first half, and had a team-high nine rebounds for the Thunder, who beat the Bulls for the third time in their last four games in Chicago. Russell Westbrook chipped in with 16 points and 12 assists.
Luol Deng led the Bulls with 27 points.
• Clippers thump Trail Blazers: Jamal Crawford scored 25 points and the Los Angeles Clippers held off the Portland Trail Blazers for a 103-90 victory in Portland.
De’Andre Jordan and Chris Paul had 21 points apiece for the Clippers, who led by 25 in the first half.
Nicolas Batum had 23 points and nine rebounds for Portland.
• Kings’ Robinson suspended: The NBA suspended Sacramento Kings rookie forward Thomas Robinson for two games for elbowing Detroit’s Jonas Jerebko in the neck during the Kings’ 105-103 victory on Wednesday night.
Robinson was the fifth overall pick out of Kansas in this year’s draft.
Wi leads in PGA Tour season finale
Golf: Charlie Wi ended his opening round with back-to- back birdies for an 8-under-par 64 on the easier Palm Course at Disney to take a one-shot lead in the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
It’s the eighth time Wi has had the 18-hole lead on the PGA Tour, and the third time this year. But the 40-year-old Wi has yet to win on the PGA Tour.
Wi has a one-shot lead over Camilo Villegas and Tommy Gainey.
• Wie grabs share of first place: Michelle Wie shot a 6-under 66 for a share of the first-round lead with Angela Stanford and Candie Kung in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Wie birdied the first two holes at Guadalajara Country Club and opened the back nine with four straight birdies to match her lowest score of the year.
Rattlers head coach Taylor steps down
College football: Florida A&M coach Joe Taylor announced in Tallahassee, Fla., he’s stepping down immediately.
Taylor leaves with two games remaining in his fifth season at the school in what was a disappointing season for the Rattlers (3-6, 3-3 MEAC). Defensive coordinator Earl Holmes, a Tallahassee native, will be the acting head coach for Saturday’s homecoming game against North Carolina Central and the season finale in Orlando on Nov. 17 against Bethune-Cookman.
Taylor concludes his coaching career with a 233-96-4 record that includes a 35-19 mark in five seasons at FAMU.
• Houston’s Hayden tears vein: Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden remains hospitalized in “stable, yet critical” condition after tearing a vein in a collision with a teammate during practice.
Hayden was rushed into immediate surgery for a tear of the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body to the heart.
• Tennessee State player dies: Tennessee State freshman defensive back William Wayne Jones III collapsed during practice and was later declared dead at a hospital in Nashville, Tenn.
Jones, a freshman walk-on from Smyrna, Tenn., had just caught a ball and was throwing it to defensive backs coach Ed Sanders when he collapsed.
NHL, players union will meet again today
Hockey: The best that can be said about the ongoing NHL labor negotiations is that they are still going, and will continue for at least a fourth straight day in New York.
“I am not going to discuss the negotiations or the substance of what we’re talking about,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. “I really don’t think that would be helpful to the process. We have work to do, and my hope is that we can achieve the goal of getting a long-term, fair agreement in place quickly so we can play hockey.”
• NHL fights Canadian sports-betting bill: The NHL is fighting proposed legislation that would make it legal in Canada to bet on the outcome of a game. The bill would repeal the criminal code section that prohibits wagering on a single sporting event.
If passed into law, each province would decide whether to allow single-game betting. Currently, provinces only allow betting on multiple outcomes on a single ticket. If the bill passes a third and final reading in the senate it will become law.
DeLeon leads D.C. United to victory
Miscellany: Nick DeLeon scored in the 88th minute to give D.C. United a 1-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls in Harrison, N.J., in the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Red Bulls appeared poised to take the lead in the 69th when they were awarded a penalty kick as D.C. United goalie Bill Hamid was given a red card.
In a wild series of events, the Red Bulls scored a goal that was taken back before D.C. backup keeper Joe Willis made a crucial save on the second attempt. Kenny Cooper put his initial penalty kick past Willis, but the goal was called off because the Red Bulls had entered the penalty area early.
D.C. United travels to meet the Houston Dynamo on Sunday in the Eastern Conference finals.
• Federer reaches semifinals: Roger Federer advanced to the semifinals at the ATP tennis finals in London with a match to spare.
The six-time champion earned his second straight victory at the season-ending tournament, this time beating David Ferrer 6-4, 7-6 (5).
• Force top qualifier: Courtney Force strengthened her bid for the NHRA Rookie of the Year award, while Funny Car points leaders Jack Beckman and Ron Cappsstruggled in the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif.
Force, the youngest of Funny Car star John Force’s four daughters, moved into position to claim her third No. 1 qualifying award of the season with 4.032-second run at 315.93 mph in a Ford Mustang.
• Eastern Michigan on probation: The NCAA has ruled that Eastern Michigan didn’t monitor its women’s basketball team under former coach AnnMarie Gilbert and has put the program on an additional two years of probation.
The NCAA determined the Ypsilanti, Mich., school practiced too much and violated rules regarding workouts with recruits while Gilbert was leading Eastern Michigan.