James’ streak ends as Heat beat Thunder
NBA: LeBron James had 39 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, and the visiting Miami Heat trampled the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-100 in a Thursday night showcase before the All-Star break.
James was in position to continue his NBA record run of games with at least 30 points and 60 percent shooting to seven, but missed from a couple steps beyond the 3-point line as the shot clock ran down with just over a minute left.
That dropped him to 14 for 24 in the game, or 58 percent.
• Clippers top team in Los Angeles: Chris Paul had 24 points and 13 assists, Blake Griffin scored 18 of his 22 points in a spectacular first quarter, and the Clippers cemented their supremacy in Los Angeles with a 125-101 victory over the Lakers.
Chauncey Billups hit five 3-pointers while scoring 21 for the Clippers, who never trailed as they roared into the All-Star break by clinching the season series in their city rivalry for the first time in 20 years.
Isles’ Tavares nets winner in shootout
NHL: John Tavares scored one of the New York Islanders’ three-second period goals and then netted the winner in a shootout as the Islanders ended a five-game skid with a 4-3 win over the Rangers in New York.
Tavares followed Frans Nielsen’s goal in the opening round of the tiebreaker with one of his own, and Evgeni Nabokov stopped Marian Gaborik and Rick Nash to give the Islanders the elusive win.
• Avalanche top Wild in shootout: Milan Hejduk and Matt Duchene scored in the shootout and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 in St. Paul, Minn.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu in the shootout to secure the victory.
• Bourque lifts Canadiens over Panthers: Rene Bourque scored 2:10 into overtime and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Florida Panthers 1-0 in Sunrise, Fla.
• No decision on players in Olympics: A decision on whether NHL players will head to the 2014 Sochi Olympics isn’t likely this week.
Discussions were set for Thursday and today between the NHL, the NHL players’ association, and officials from the International Ice Hockey Federation and the International Olympic Committee to see if it makes sense for North American professional hockey players to go to the Olympics for a fifth straight time.
After enduring a long lockout that produced a shortened regular season this year, the NHL is weighing whether it is worth shutting down the game for more than two weeks next season to allow its players to go to Russia for the Olympics.
Gophers bounce Badgers in OT
Men’s basketball: Andre Hollins hit the go-ahead 3-pointer midway through overtime to finish with 21 points and lead Minnesota (18-7, 6-6 Big Ten) to a 58-53 victory over No. 20 Wisconsin in Minneapolis.
The Badgers (17-8, 8-4) were 7 for 28 from 3-point range, negating their 18 offensive rebounds, and scored a total of four points over the last 10-plus minutes of the game.
N.C. State holds off No. 19 Florida State
Women’s basketball: Kody Burke scored 26 points, tying her career high, to lead North Carolina State (13-12, 5-8 ACC) to a 76-69 victory over No. 19 Florida (19-5, 9-4) in Tallahassee, Fla.
Len’Nique Brown added 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Wolfpack, who shot 52.6 percent (30 of 57) in their first road win over a ranked team since 2006.
• Kentucky rallies past South Carolina: Kastine Evans hit two free throws with 8.8 seconds left, and No. 9 Kentucky (22-3, 10-2 SEC) fought back from a 14-point halftime deficit to earn a 78-74 win over No. 14 South Carolina (20-5, 8-4) in Lexington, Ky.
Serena a win away from making history
Tennis: Serena Williams moved with a victory of becoming the oldest top-ranked women’s player, sweeping aside Urszula Radwanska 6-0, 6-3 to reach the Qatar Open quarterfinals in Doha, Qatar.
If the 31-year-old Williams reaches the semifinals by beating seventh-seeded Petra Kvitova she will return to No. 1 for the first time in 2 1/2 years. Chris Evert was No. 1 in 1985 while just shy of turning 31.
France’s Worley wins giant slalom
Miscellany: Tessa Worley won the giant slalom in Schladming, Austria, earning France its fourth medal of the world championships.
Worley held on to her lead after the first run and finished in a combined time of 2 minutes, 8.06 seconds to lead the field by over a second.
Tina Maze of Slovenia came 1.12 back in second for her third medal of the worlds. Anna Fenninger of Austria was third, 1.18 behind.
• Too early for Rachel Alexander prognosis: Rachel Alexandra remains in serious but stable condition following surgery related to difficulties from the birth of her filly.
Doctors at Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic in Lexington, Ky., said that it’s “too early” to determine the prognosis for the 2009 Horse of the Year, adding that they’re monitoring her response to treatment.
Attending surgeon Brett Woodie says that Rachel Alexandra is “doing about as well as can be expected” at this stage of recovery.
• Redskins GM not up to modifying moniker: Bruce Allen, the Washington Redskins general manager, says the team isn’t considering a new nickname, adding that it’s “ludicrous” to suggest the franchise is trying to upset Native Americans.
Opposition to “Redskins” has gained momentum following last week’s symposium at the Smithsonian that was heavily critical of the use of the word, citing its history as an offensive term. Local columnists and commentators have called for the team to change its name in recent days.
• Spurrier says Clowney not finished: South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier says star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney doesn’t want to quit on his team and is looking forward to playing football for the Gamecocks.
Clowney’s status become a trending topic this week, with some columnist suggesting the sophomore sit out the season to protect his health and likely high draft position in 2014. Spurrier says Clowney wants to improve himself this fall.
Clowney is expected to be on the field when the Gamecocks open spring practice March 5.
• U.S. falls to No. 32 in FIFA rankings: The United States men’s soccer squad dropped four spots to No. 32 in FIFA’s February rankings after losing a World Cup qualifier at Honduras.