Update on the latest in sports:


Associated Press

Posted on April 7, 2014 at 5:35 AM


Heat win, Pacers fall

UNDATED (AP) — There's no longer a virtual first-place tie in the NBA's Eastern Conference. The Miami Heat have the top spot all to themselves.

LeBron James torched the Knicks once again, scoring a game-high 38 points in the Heat's 102-91 win over New York. James has scored at least 30 points four times against the Knicks this season.

Knicks swingman J.R. Smith going 10-for-22 from beyond the arc but was just 11-for-28 from the field overall. Carmelo Anthony had just 13 points on 4 of 17 shooting as New York fell two games behind Atlanta for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth.

The Hawks embarrassed the Pacers 107-88 as Jeff Teague (teeh) scored 25 points. The Pacers trailed by 30 after scoring a franchise-low 23 points in the first half.

Paul George scored 18 points for the Pacers, who've lost five of their last five.

Also in the NBA:

— P.J. Tucker set career highs with four 3-pointers and 22 points as Phoenix downed Oklahoma City 122-115 to move a game ahead of Memphis for the No. 8 seed in the West. Kevin Durant scored 38 points for the Thunder, who are 4 1/2 games behind West-leading San Antonio and just one game ahead of the third-place Los Angeles Clippers. Durant has scored at least 25 points in 41 straight games, the third-longest such streak in NBA history and longest since Oscar Robertson did it for 46 in a row in the 1963-64 season.

— Kawhi (kah-WY') Leonard matched his career high with 26 points and the Spurs claimed their 60th win by thumping Memphis 112-92. Manu Ginobili (jih-NOH'-blee) also had 26 points for the Spurs, who played the last three quarters without Tony Parker due to back spasms.

— Blake Griffin and Chris Paul each had 23 points in the Clippers' 120-97 blowout over the Lakers. The Clippers took three of four from the Lakers this season, outscoring their co-tenants by 107 points in the three victories.

— Klay Thompson scored 33 points and Golden State stayed 1 1/2 games behind fifth-place Portland in the West by trouncing Utah 130-102. Stephen Curry added 31 points and 16 assists for the Warriors, who are 19 games over .500 for the first time in 20 years.

— The Trail Blazers wrapped up their first playoff berth in three years as LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 18 rebounds in a 100-94 victory over New Orleans. Wesley Matthews added 21 points, Damian Lillard finished with 20 and Nicolas Batum had 16 points and 12 rebounds in the Blazers' 50th win.

— James Harden finished with 32 points and Chandler Parsons scored eight of his 15 in overtime to lead Houston's 130-125 win against Denver. The Nuggets were leading by one in OT before the Rockets made three consecutive 3-pointers to make it 130-122 with less than two minutes left.

— Monta (MAHN'-tay) Ellis scored eight of his 23 points in the fourth quarter of the Dallas Mavericks' third straight win, 93-91 at Sacramento. Vince Carter scored 17 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 15 points as the Mavericks stayed seventh in the West.


Tigers suffer first loss

UNDATED (AP) — The Detroit Tigers are the last major league team to suffer a loss this season.

Chris Tillman outpitched Justin Verlander as Baltimore downed the Tigers 3-1. Tillman came within two outs of a complete game and allowed just five hits, including Torii Hunter's solo homer in the fourth.

Nick Markakis (mahr-KAY'-kihs) tripled and scored on Adam Jones' sacrifice fly in the eighth to break a 1-1 tie.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— Yu Darvish allowed seven hits and struck out seven over seven innings in his season debut to pitch Texas past Tampa Bay 3-0. Elvis Andrus (AN'-droos) hit a two-run homer to help the Rangers avoid a three-game sweep.

— Chris Colabello drove in four runs and Brian Dozier scored three times as Minnesota topped Cleveland 10-7 in the rubber match of the three-game series. Colabello leads the AL with 11 RBIs after six games.

— Brandon Moss crushed a three-run homer and Yoenis Cespedes (yoh-EH'-nehs SEHS'-peh-dehs) added an eighth-inning blast as Oakland doubled up Seattle 6-3. Jim Johnson picked up the save after suffering back-to-back losses in his first two outings for the A's.

— Chris Sale gave up four singles in eight scoreless innings as the White Sox defeated the Royals 5-1. Alexei Ramirez and Tyler Flowers each drove in a pair of runs as the White Sox salvaged the series finale.

— Scott Feldman threw seven strong innings and Houston halted a three-game skid by belting five homers in a 7-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. Jason Castro, Matt Dominguez, Jesus Guzman and Alex Presley went deep off loser Jered Weaver before Jonathan Villar added a two-run shot in the seventh off Matt Shoemaker.

— CC Sabathia (suh-BATH'-ee-uh) gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings but still earned his first win of the year as the New York Yankees outscored Toronto 6-4. Brett Gardner hit a two-run homer, Kelly Johnson added a two-run double and Derek Jeter had two hits to pass Paul Molitor for eighth on the all-time list.

— Yovani Gallardo (gy-YAR'-doh) made his second straight scoreless start and the Brewers completed a three-game sweep of the Red Sox in a 4-0 victory. Khris Davis went 2-for-4 after getting four hits on Saturday against the Red Sox, whose three-game losing streak matches their longest of last season.

— Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez each homered twice to support Zack Greinke (GREHN'-kee) in the Dodgers' 6-2 win over San Francisco in Los Angeles. Greinke served up homers to Brandon Belt and Hunter Pence but just four other hits over six innings as the Dodgers avoided a three-game sweep.

— Tony Sanchez hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the seventh inning to push Pittsburgh past St. Louis 2-1. Edinson Volquez was sharp in his first start with the Pirates, holding the Cardinals to a run and three hits over 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision.

— The Chicago Cubs were 8-3 winners over Philadelphia as Ryan Kalish (KAY'-lish) supplied a two-run double and an RBI triple to help the Cubbies avoid a three-game sweep. The Cubs rocked A.J. Burnett for eight runs - four earned - in five 5/2 innings.

— Mark Trumbo homered for the fourth straight game and Arizona averted a sweep by beating Colorado 5-3. Wade Miley had a career-high three hits and limited the Rockies to two runs and seven hits in eight innings.

— Alfredo Simon pitched seven innings in his first start in more than two years and began the go-ahead rally for the Reds with his second career hit in a 2-1 win over the Mets in New York. Ryan Ludwick poked an RBI single to put the Reds ahead in a two-run sixth that allowed Cincinnati to avoid a three-game sweep.

— Pinch-hitter Alexi Amarista celebrated his 25th birthday by delivering a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning to lift San Diego past Miami 4-2. Winning pitcher Ian Kennedy gave up one run on three hits in six innings as the Padres stopped a four-game slide.

— Washington avoided a three-game sweep by downing Atlanta 2-1 on Ian Desmond's homer leading off the seventh. Taylor Jordan settled for a no-decision after allowing just one run over 6 2/3 innings.


Tommy John surgery for Mets closer

NEW YORK (AP) — Bobby Parnell's season has lasted all of 25 pitches. The New York Mets closer will have Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the year.

Parnell blew a save on opening day against Washington and the next day it was revealed he had partially torn right elbow ligament.


MRI to determine Zimmerman's fate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unable to make a regular, comfortable throw to first, Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was out of the lineup on Sunday as he awaited results of an MRI on his right shoulder. Zimmerman has already made two throwing errors this season, including a two-out misfire Saturday night that led to a pair of unearned runs in a 6-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Zimmerman's shoulder has been bothering him for two years, leading to 28 errors.


Phillies' opener postponed

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Phillies' home opener against Milwaukee on Monday has been postponed because of expected inclement weather. The game has been rescheduled for Tuesday at 4:05 p.m. The forecast Monday calls for heavy rain throughout the day.


Ducks, Blues fall

UNDATED (AP) — For the second straight game the Anaheim Ducks had a chance to pull within one point of St. Louis for first place in the NHL's Western Conference. And for the second straight game, the Ducks lost to a team that's been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoff race.

The Edmonton Oilers scored three unanswered goals in the second period of a 4-2 win over the visiting Ducks. Taylor Hall tied it with a power-play goal before David Perron's short-handed tally put the Oilers ahead to stay 3:04 later.

Former Anaheim netminder Viktor Fasth (fahst) stopped 34 shots for Edmonton.

The Blues lost for the second straight afternoon as rookie Jeremy Morin collected a goal and an assist in the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-2 win over St. Louis. Patrick Sharp scored the go-ahead goal for the Hawks, who picked up their third straight win and bolstered their chances for home-ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

St. Louis leads the West by three points over Anaheim and by four over San Jose and Colorado.

Elsewhere on ice:

— Pittsburgh blew a 2-0 lead in the third period before Jussi Jokinen (YOO'-see YOH'-kih-nehn) scored the lone shootout goal to lead the Penguins past the Avalanche 3-2. Brandon Sutter scored twice in the second period for the Penguins.

— Brayden Schenn scored twice and Vincent Lecavalier (leh-KAV'-ul-yay) had a goal and an assist as Philadelphia dumped Buffalo 5-2 to end a four-game losing streak. Mark Streit (stryt) set up three goals as the Flyers pulled within two points of the Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

— Dallas suffered a 3-2 loss to Florida to stay just one point ahead of Phoenix for the final Western Conference playoff berth. Roberto Luongo turned back 35 shots and Sean Bergenheim scored the go-ahead goal with 4:31 remaining as the Panthers ended a five-game losing streak.

— Columbus solidified its hold in the eighth and final playoff seed in the East as Sergei Bobrovsky (bah-BRAHV'-skee) stopped 31 shots in the Blue Jackets' 4-0 shutout of the New York Islanders. Boone Jenner and Mark Letestu each had a goal and an assist in helping the Jackets move three points ahead of Toronto and New Jersey.


Browns get a deep threat

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns have agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent wide receiver Nate Burleson.

Burleson has made 103 career starts over 12 NFL seasons. He finished last season with 39 catches for 461 yards for Detroit but missed half the year after breaking his arm in a car accident when he tried to stop a pizza from sliding off the passenger seat.


Women's national semifinals

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — It will be the battle of unbeatens in the championship game of the NCAA women's basketball tournament.

Kayla McBride scored 28 points and Jewell Loyd added 16 as Notre Dame clobbered Maryland 87-61 to advance to Tuesday's title game in Nashville. The 37-0 Irish jumped out to a 17-point halftime lead and outrebounded the Terrapins 50-21.

Connecticut pulled away late in the first half before dominating the remainder of a 75-56 win over Stanford. Breanna Stewart finished with 18 points and seven rebounds, while Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 15 for the 39-0 Huskies.


Rain in Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The start of the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup race has been postponed by rain and is now scheduled to begin Monday at 11 a.m.

It's the third time in seven Sprint Cup Series races this season that rain has hampered the event. The season-opening Daytona 500 was stopped for more than six hours, and the race at Bristol Motor Speedway had two delays totaling more than five hours.

Tony Stewart has the pole for the race after a qualifying lap of 195.454 miles per hour.


Tight finish in Bahrain

SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) — It was a 1-2 Mercedes sweep at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton finished first for the second straight win, with Nico (NEE'-koh) Rosberg coming in second. The margin between the two was just one second.


Jones roars back to win

HUMBLE, Texas (AP) — Matt Jones sank a 42-yard chip-in on the first playoff hole to win the PGA's Houston Open. Jones made up a six-shot margin with a 6-under-par 66 while third-round leader Matt Kuchar (KOO'-chur) shot a 72. The two finished the final round tied at 15-under par at the Golf Club of Houston, with Jones securing a trip to his first Masters.


Thompson takes Kraft Nabisco

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Lexi Thompson got off to a fast start on Sunday and cruised to a three-stroke victory over Michelle Wie (wee) at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major of the LPGA season.

The 19-year-old Thompson birdied four of the first nine holes in the final round to open a five-shot edge over Wie. She settled for a 4-under 68 that left her 14-under for her first major title and fourth LPGA victory.


Bobcats name a new coach

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio University has hired North Dakota State's Saul Phillips as its men's basketball coach. Phillips led the Bison to an upset of fifth-seeded Oklahoma in the NCAA tournament last month and was 134-84 in seven seasons at North Dakota State. Phillips replaces Jim Christian, who left for Boston College after going 49-22 in two seasons with the Bobcats.