Durant’s big night carries Thunder
NBA: Kevin Durant scored 41 points, with 10 rebounds and nine assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the New York Knicks 112-100 on Sunday.
Reggie Jackson had 19 points and six assists and Serge Ibaka had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Thunder, who were coming off a 103-102 loss to struggling Orlando on Friday.
Durant, the league’s leading scorer, got the best of his duel with New York’s Carmelo Anthony, the league’s No. 2 scorer. Anthony finished with 15 points on 5-for-19 shooting for the Knicks, who now have lost four of five.
Raymond Felton and Amare Stoudemire each scored 16 points for the host Knicks, who have lost four of five.
• Magic nip Pacers: Victor Oladipo had 23 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, and the Orlando Magic rallied to surprise the visiting Indiana Pacers 93-92. Indiana stole Orlando’s inbounds pass with 9 seconds left and Paul George was able to get off a 20-foot jumper. But it was deflected and rebounded by the Magic, who ran out the clock.
• Bulls withstand Lakers: Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points, Joakim Noah had 18 points and 13 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls held off the stubborn Los Angeles Lakers 92-86 in L.A. after nearly blowing a 19-point lead.
• Nets trump Pelicans: Rookie Mason Plumlee scored a season-high 22 points and matched his best with 13 rebounds in a high-flying performance, and the Brooklyn Nets used their best defensive first half in eight years as the springboard for a 93-81 victory over the visiting New Orleans Pelicans.
• Cavs take OT win: Kyrie Irving scored 28 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers won back-to-back games for the first time in a month with a 91-83 overtime victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in Cleveland.
• Mavs win fifth straight: Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points and Shawn Marion finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Dallas in a 102-91 win over the Boston Celtics, extending the Mavericks’ winning streak to a season-high five straight.
• Wizards shackle Kings: Nene scored 18 points and led a strong defensive effort to help the Washington Wizards beat the Sacramento Kings 93-84 in Washington.
• Clippers crush Sixers: Blake Griffin had 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, and the Los Angeles Clippers stormed out to a 31-point lead in the first quarter with Chris Paul back in the lineup and pummeled the Philadelphia 76ers 123-78 in L.A.
Unbeaten Syracuse beats Clemson
Men’s basketball: C.J. Fair scored 19 points, Jerami Grant added 12 and No. 1 Syracuse (23-0, 10-0 ACC) beat Clemson (15-7, 6-4) 57-44 to remain unbeaten.
• St. John’s stops Jays: D’Angelo Harrison scored 19 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:08 to play, and St. John’s (15-9, 5-6 Big East) upset No. 12 Creighton (19-4, 9-2) 70-65 in New York City for its sixth win in seven games.
• Badgers top Spartans: Traevon Jackson hit a pull-up jumper with 2.1 seconds left for Wisconsin, 10 seconds after Michigan State’s Adreian Payne tied it with a 3, and the Badgers 19-5, 6-5 Big Ten) beat the ninth-ranked Spartans (20-4, 9-2) 60-58 in Madison, Wis.
• Huskies win easy: Lasan Kromah and Shabazz Napier each had 17 points and seven rebounds, and No. 22 Connecticut (18-5, 6-4 American Athletic Conference) easily defeated Central Florida (9-11, 1-8) 75-55 in Orlando, Fla.
UConn women take top five showdown
Women’s basketball: Breanna Stewart had 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead top-ranked Connecticut (25-0, 12-0 American Athletic Conference) to an 81-64 victory over No. 4 Louisville (23-2, 11-1) in Storrs, Conn., in a rematch of last season’s national championship game.
• Irish crush Syracuse: Jewell Loyd scored 23 points, Kayla McBride added 18 and second-ranked Notre Dame opened a 33-point halftime lead en route to a 101-64 victory over visiting Syracuse (17-7, 6-5 ACC) to improve to 23-0 (10-0 ACC), matching the best start in school history.
• South Carolina rolls: Aleighsa Welch scored 16 points and had a career-best five blocks to lead No. 6 South Carolina (22-2, 10-1 SEC) to its sixth straight victory with a 67-49 win over Arkansas (16-8, 3-8) in Columbia, S.C.
• Penn State cruises: Maggie Lucas had 23 points, including 12 during a 21-3 run, to lead No. 9 Penn State (18-5, 9-2 Big Ten) past host Ohio State (14-13, 4-7) 74-54.
• Maryland routs Clemson: Alyssa Thomas had 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists as No. 10 Maryland (19-4, 7-3 ACC) breezed past visiting Clemson (11-14, 3-8) 95-43 to extend its winning streak over the Tigers to 14 games.
• Baylor defeats Cowgirls: Odyssey Sims scored 33 points with three 3-pointers and No. 7 Baylor (20-3, 10-1 Big 12) clinched its 14th consecutive 20-win season with an 81-64 victory over No. 12 Oklahoma State (19-4, 8-4) in Waco, Texas.
• Arizona smashes rival: Carissa Crutchfield scored a career-high 20 points to lead Arizona (5-8, 1-11 Pac-12) to a 68-49 upset over No. 11 Arizona State (20-4, 9-3) in Tucson, Ariz.
• Aggies tame Tigers: Courtney Walker scored 22 points, going 10 of 20 from the field and making a big layup in the game’s final minute as No. 19 Texas A&M (18-6, 8-2 SEC) edged No. 16 LSU (18-6, 7-4) 72-67 in College Station, Texas.
• Florida upsets Kentucky: January Miller scored 20 points, including 3 of 4 late free throws, to lead Florida (17-7, 7-4 SEC) in an 86-80 upset of No. 15 Kentucky (17-6, 5-5) in Gainesville, Fla.
Force is strong in NHRA’s first race
Auto racing: John Force won the season-opening NHRA Winternationals with a record-setting run. The 64-year-old Force beat Matt Hagan in the Funny Car final Sunday at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif., powering his Ford Mustang to a record time of 3.965 seconds at 323.58 mph.
Cilic wins Zagreb tourney on home turf
Tennis: Marin Cilic overcame problems with his serve to win the Zagreb Indoors tournament in his home country Croatia, defeating top-seeded Tommy Haas from Germany 6-3, 6-4.
• Monfils repels Gasquet: Gael Monfils beat top-seeded Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4 on in the final of the Open Sud de France in Montpellier to claim his fifth career title.
Three injured in soccer shooting
Soccer: Authorities say three fans were injured in a shooting after a soccer game at a World Cup stadium in Natal, Brazil. The fans’ injuries were not life-threatening.