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Crawford’s 36 help Clippers quiet Thunder

Mon., Feb. 24, 2014

NBA: Jamal Crawford scored 36 points to help the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 125-117 on Sunday afternoon in Oklahoma City.

Matt Barnes scored 24 points, Chris Paul had 18 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, Blake Griffin scored 20 points and DeAndre Jordan added 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who snapped a two-game skid.

Kevin Durant had 42 points and 10 assists and Serge Ibaka added 20 points for the Thunder, who lost their second straight. It was the most points the Thunder have allowed this season.

Beverley’s 3 lifts Rockets: Patrick Beverley sank the go-ahead 3-pointer with 34.3 seconds to play and the visiting Houston Rockets escaped with 115-112 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

Dwight Howard scored 25, James Harden 23 and Beverley 20 for the Rockets, who trailed by 10 entering the fourth quarter. Goran Dragic scored a career-high 35 for the Suns.

Blazers rally past T-wolves: Damian Lillard had 32 points and the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers rallied to beat the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves 108-97. Kevin Love scored 31 for Minnesota.

Win over Michigan St. puts Michigan in first

Men’s basketball: Nik Stauskas scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half, and No. 20 Michigan beat No. 13 Michigan State 79-70 in Ann Arbor, Mich., to take over first place in the Big Ten.

Caris LeVert added 23 points for the Wolverines (19-7, 11-3), who won both regular-season meetings against their in-state rivals. Michigan has now won six of its last eight against Michigan State (22-6, 11-4).

Creighton edges Seton Hall: Doug McDermott had 29 points to become one of the top 10 scorers in college basketball history, and No. 11 Creighton (23-4, 13-2 Big East) survived shaky free-throw shooting at the end to post a hard-earned 72-71 victory over Seton Hall in Omaha, Neb. Fuquan Edwin had 21 points to lead the Pirates (14-13, 5-9).

SMU sweeps UConn: Nick Russell and Nic Moore each scored 15 points to lead SMU to a 64-55 win over No. 21 UConn in Storrs, Conn., and a sweep of their season series with the Huskies (21-6, 9-5 American Athletic Conference). The Mustangs (22-6, 11-4) have won 11 of their last 13 games.

No. 2 Notre Dame cruises past Duke

Women’s basketball: Kayla McBride scored 31 points and No. 2 Notre Dame jumped to an 18-point lead early and held on to beat seventh-ranked Duke 81-70 in South Bend, Ind., to claim the Atlantic Coast Conference title in its inaugural season in the league.

The Irish (27-0, 14-0) won their third straight regular-season league title, with the first two coming in the Big East. The Blue Devils (24-4, 11-3) saw their streak of four straight ACC regular-season titles end.

Stanford clinches Pac-12 title: Chiney Ogwumike scored 26 points and had 15 rebounds to help No. 5 Stanford beat UCLA 65-56 in Los Angeles.

Mikaela Ruef had seven points and 11 rebounds as the Cardinal (26-2, 15-1) clinched their 14th straight Pac-12 regular season title outright. They had already clinched the top seed for the Pac-12 tournament.

Nirra Fields led the Bruins (12-16, 6-10) with 24 points and shot 5 for 6 from 3-point range.

• Hokies upset Tar Heels: Vanessa Panousis tied a career-high with 24 points as Virginia Tech (13-14, 3-11 ACC) won for the first time in 10 tries at Chapel Hill, N.C., upsetting No. 11 North Carolina 50-47. Xylina McDaniel scored 13 points to lead the Tar Heels (21-7, 9-5).

Back feeling better, Nadal takes Rio title

Tennis: Rafael Nadal returned from a troublesome back injury to win the Rio Open in Rio de Janeiro, defeating Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Nadal’s victory comes four weeks after he lost the Australian Open, beaten in that final by underdog Stanislas Wawrinka after tweaking his back while warming up. Nadal improved his record on clay to 298-21, the best in the Open Era.

Gulbis stays perfect: Third-seeded Ernests Gulbis of Latvia beat defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-6 (5), 6-4 at the Open 13 in Marseille, France, to win his fifth career title and maintain his perfect record in finals.

Belmonte defends USBC Masters crown

Miscellany: Australia’s Jason Belmonte became the first bowler in nearly 50 years to successfully defend the U.S. Bowling Congress Masters title.

Belmonte beat EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., 221-177 in the final in North Brunswick, N.J.

Belmonte is the third player to successfully defend a Masters title, joining Dick Hoover (1956-57) and Billy Welu (1964-65).

Whiting takes shot put title: Ryan Whiting won the shot put in the USA Indoor Track & Field National Championships with a mark of 72 feet, 111/4 inches in Albuquerque, N.M.

Mary Cain, 17, successfully defended her title in the 1,500 meters, winning in 4:07.05. Nia Ali won the women’s 60 hurdles for the second straight year, finishing in 7.8 seconds.

Lopez Lemong won the men’s 1,500 in 3:43.09.

Howell wins Bassmaster : Alabama angler Randy Howell won the Bassmaster Classic in Birmingham, Ala., finishing with a three-day total of 67 pounds, 8 ounces on Lake Guntersville. Howell, from Springville, earned $300,000. He had a final-day total of 29-2.

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