Oklahoma City wins Western showdown
NBA: Russell Westbrook scored 27 points, Kevin Durant had 25 and the Thunder seized control of the race for home-court advantage in the Western Conference playoffs by beating the San Antonio Spurs 100-88 on Thursday night at Oklahoma City.
Derek Fisher hit a season-high five 3-pointers and had 17 points, his most since joining Oklahoma City in late February, while fueling a big first-half run that put the Thunder ahead to stay.
Oklahoma City still trails San Antonio by a half-game in the standings, but pulled even in the loss column and would control the tiebreaker if both teams won out because of a better record against the West.
Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan each scored 24 points and had double-doubles for the Spurs. Tony Parker had just two points in 25 minutes and did not play in the final 7 minutes.
• Denver loses Gallinari in win over Dallas: Corey Brewer scored 23 points and got a hand on Anthony Morrow’s last-second shot to preserve the Denver Nuggets’ 19th straight home win, 95-94 over the Dallas Mavericks.
Andre Iguodala’s layup with 2.8 seconds put Denver ahead in a game that Dallas dominated.
The win was bittersweet, though. Denver’s dreams of a deep playoff run might have taken a huge hit when they lost forward Danilo Gallinari to what looked like a serious knee injury in the second quarter.
• Boozer, Robinson spur Chicago comeback: Carlos Boozer had 29 points and 18 rebounds, Nate Robinson made the go-ahead basket with 22 seconds left, and the Chicago Bulls overcame a 16-point deficit to beat the Brooklyn Nets 92-90 at New York.
Luol Deng scored 18 points and Robinson finished with 12 as the Bulls shook off the absences of five key players to keep Indiana from clinching the Central Division title they’ve won the last two years.
• Thieves rob home of Heat’s Chris Bosh: While Miami Heat star Chris Bosh was out celebrating his birthday at a Morocco-themed party complete with live camels, police said that thieves made off with about $340,000 in jewelry and cash from the player’s nearby home.
Calgary takes series lead over Red Deer
WHL: Brady Brassart had a hat trick to lead the Hitmen to a 4-2 win over the Red Deer Rebels in the opening game of their Western Hockey League second-round playoff series at Calgary.
Alex Roach also scored for the Hitmen, and Cody Sylvester helped out with three assists.
St. Louis edges Chicago in shootout
NHL: Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk scored the deciding goal in the sixth round of the shootout and the St. Louis Blues came back for a 4-3 win over the Blackhawks at Chicago.
With the tiebreaker knotted at 3-3, Shattenkirk beat Corey Crawford with a high shot on the goalie’s left side.
• Montreal hands Winnipeg fifth straight loss: Michael Ryder scored two goals and set up another, and the Canadiens downed Winnipeg 4-1 at Montreal to hand the Jets their fifth straight loss.
Auburn reviewing alleged violations
College football: Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs says the school is reviewing allegations of rules violations in the football program during its 2010 national championship season but doesn’t believe they’re credible.
Jacobs issued a statement in response to a report a day earlier by former New York Times and Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts that was posted on roopstigo.com.
McIlroy five shots back at Texas Open
Golf: Matt Bettencourt and Peter Tomasulo shot 5-under par 67s to earn the surprising lead after the first round of the Texas Open at San Antonio, holding off a field that includes world No. 2 Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy opened with an even-par 72 and is tied for 45th.
• Three tied for lead at Kraft Nabisco Championship: Playing partners Suzann Pettersen and Na Yeon Choi took advantage of perfect morning conditions to share the first-round lead at 68 with Jodi Ewart Shadoff in the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Williams sisters’ matches postponed
Tennis: Matches for top-ranked Serena Williams and her sister Venus at the Family Circle Cup were postponed after a rain delay of nearly 7 1/2 hours.
The long wait wiped out most matches in the busy round of 16.
Armstrong drops out of swimming event
Swimming: U.S. Masters Swimming Executive Director Rob Butcher says Lance Armstrong has decided not to try to swim in the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships at the University of Texas this weekend after swimming’s international governing body raised objections.
Armstrong had been entered in three distance events. But Switzerland-based FINA sent a letter to U.S. Masters officials Thursday saying the event is under the umbrella of the World Anti-Doping Code and subject to the lifetime ban given to Armstrong by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.