Kobe hits 40, but Pacers win on Hill’s shot
NBA: George Hill’s high-arching shot over Dwight Howard went in with 0.1 seconds left, and the visiting Indiana Pacers withstood Kobe Bryant’s 40-point performance and the Lakers’ last-minute rally for a 79-77 victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
Hill scored 19 points and hit that enormous clutch shot for the Pacers, who won their third straight road game over the Lakers after losing 11 consecutive regular-season games since the Staples Center opened in 1999.
The Pacers’ sturdy defense stifled the Lakers’ up-tempo offense for most of the night, turning the game into an ugly grind before the thrilling finish.
Bryant hit a tying 3-pointer with 24.5 seconds left.
The Lakers dropped to 2-3 under new coach Mike D’Antoni.
• Harden leads Rockets: James Harden scored 24 points and matched a career high with 12 assists, Patrick Patterson added 22 points and the Houston Rockets beat the visiting Toronto Raptors 117-101.
The Rockets planned to fly to Minneapolis immediately after the game to attend today’s funeral for Sasha McHale, the 23-year-old daughter of coach Kevin McHale. Sasha McHale died on Saturday from complications of lupus.
College football: Kentucky has hired Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops as the Wildcats’ football coach.
Stoops replaces Joker Phillips, who was fired on Nov. 4. Phillips went 13-24 in three seasons at Kentucky and the Wildcats were 0-8 in the Southeastern Conference this year.
The 45-year-old Stoops will be introduced at a news conference in Lexington, Ky., on Sunday. No. 13 Florida State (10-2) plays Georgia Tech Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
Stoops becomes the third brother in college football’s famed coaching family to lead his own program. Older brother Bob Stoops is the head coach at Oklahoma and Mike Stoops is the Sooners’ defensive coordinator.
Before joining the Oklahoma staff this year, Mike was the head coach at Arizona.
• Ole Miss fined for storming field: Mississippi has been fined $5,000 by the Southeastern Conference after “fans entered the competition area” following the football team’s 41-24 victory over No. 25 Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl on Saturday.
Fans rushed the field after Ole Miss’ victory over the Bulldogs.
The conference said in a statement that this was the university’s first violation of the competition area policy – which covers football, men’s and women’s basketball – since it went into effect in 2004. A second violation would cost the school $25,000 while a third and any subsequent violations would be a $50,000 penalty.
No. 2 Baylor rolls to easy victory
Women’s basketball: Grittney Griner scored a season-high 35 points and third-ranked Baylor cruised to an 89-49 victory over Rice.
Playing a college basketball game in her hometown of Houston for the first time, Griner received a standing ovation from the predominantly Baylor-backing crowd when she was announced before the game.
The 6-foot-8 senior added nine rebounds and four blocks as Baylor (6-1) raced to a 46-17 halftime lead.
• NCAA hires former WNBA president: Former WNBA President Val Ackerman has been hired as a consultant and adviser by the NCAA for women’s basketball.
Chan, Wagner among Grand Prix skaters
Miscellany: Two-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada and U.S. national champ Ashley Wagner are among the skaters who have qualified for the Grand Prix finals.
The finals will be held Dec. 6-9 in Sochi, Russia.
Chan and world bronze medalist Yuzuru Hanyu and Takahiko Kozuka, both of Japan, each won one event and finished second in the other to advance from the six-event international series.
Wagner and Japan’s Mao Asada each had two victories to qualify, with Wagner winning Skate America and Trophee Bompard. Asada won Cup of China and NHK Trophy.
Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White and 2010 Olympic gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada made the dance finals.
• Deal approved to keep Coyotes: Glendale, Ariz., officials approved a $320 million deal to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in the city’s arena.
The City Council approved a 20-year, $324 million deal for Jobing.com Arena in June, but leaders sought to renegotiate it. The newly approved proposal reduces payments in the early years of the 20-year deal and save the city $4 million.