Oklahoma City gains control of the West with win over Spurs
Oklahoma City beat San Antonio 100-88 Thursday night to gain control of home court through the Western Conference playoffs. The Thunder (55-20) still trail the Spurs (56-20) by half a game but last night’s win clinched the season series for OKC, the first tie-breaker if both teams finished the season tied. Both teams are four games clear of the Denver Nuggets in the loss column with two weeks left in the regular season making it unlikely that the Spurs and Thunder would meet before the conference finals. On the court, Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 27 points and seven helpers. Kevin Durant chipped in with 25.
Baylor spanks Iowa to win the NIT
Pierre Jackson scored 17 points and dished out 10 assists as the baylor Bear captured their first ever NIT crown with a 75-55 thumping of the Iowa Hawkeyes. It was Jackson’s fourth double-double of the tournament. Cory Jefferson scored 23 points and Isaiah Austin had 15 points and nine rebounds for the 23-14 Bears who lost in this final five years ago. Iowa was never in the hunt, picking the wrong night to shoot 26% (18-69) from the field. Hawkeye star Devyn Marble managed just six points on 3-12 shooting.
Ed Rush resigns as coordinator of Pac 12 officials
Ed Rush has resigned his post as coordinator of Pac 12 officials after it came to light that he had put a bounty on the head of Arizona wildcat head coach Sean Miller during the Pac 12 tournament three weeks ago in Las Vegas. In officials meetings Friday and Saturday of the tournament, Rush reportedly offered $5000 and/or a trip to Cancun to any official that hit Miller with a technical or ran him (threw him out) from the game. Rush claimed it was all a joke but Miller was hit with a technical late in the Wildcats 66-64 loss to UCLA in the tournament semis.
Jaromir Jagr scores in Bruins debut
Jaromir Jagr’s first goal as a Boston Bruin wasn’t pretty but …. it counted and was the only one of the game as Boston blanked the New Jersey Devils 1-0. Jagr’s 680th career goal came on a deflection off his skate in the second period but 40 saves by Bruin netminder Tuukka Rask made it stand up. The only other time Jagr had scored in a 1-0 game during his 18-year 1381 game career was back in 1997.
Jason Hanson retires after 21 years with the Lions
The longest tenured player in the NFL has final hung up his spikes. Jason Hanson, two months shy of his 43rd birthday, retired Thursday after 21 years with the Detroit Lions. Hanson had previously announced that he would like to play another year but turned down Detroit’s $1 million dollar take it or leave offer. Hanson was the second-round pick by Detroit in 1992 and played his entire career in Motown. Hanson holds NFL records for most 50-yard field goals (52) and games played with one team (327), and ranks third in league history in total field goals (495) and points (2,150).
Mariano gets the save as the Yankees avoid sweep
Andy Pettitte pitched eight gritty innings and Mariano Rivera picked up his first save since injuring his knee early last year in the Yankees 4-2 win over the hated Boston Red Sox. It was Pettitte’s 246 career win as he improved to 19-10 vs Boston. It was Rivera’s 609th career save and his 69th preserving a win by Pettitte. Rivera also became the first Yankee to play 19 seasons for the Bombers breaking a tie with Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle. Derek Jeter will tie that mark when he makes his first start when his surgically repaired ankle is ready to go.
(NBA) Milwaukee +7.5 over New York (Friday, April 5, 7:35 PM EST )