AP Monday Sports Roundup
Cavs keep home win streak
UNDATED (AP) — The Cleveland Cavaliers were shut out over the final four minutes of today's game against lowly Philadelphia. Fortunately, they already had enough points to take another step toward the Central Division title and the No. 2 seed in the NBA's Eastern Conference playoffs.
LeBron James scored 20 points and Kyrie Irving added 17 as the Cavs earned their 16th consecutive home win, downing the 76ers 87-86. The Sixers had a chance to win it until Nerlens Noel missed a shot inside in the waning seconds.
The win moved the Cavaliers 2½ games ahead of Chicago for second place in the East and first place in the Central.
In other NBA finals:
— James Harden dropped in 24 points and Houston moved into second in the Western Conference by downing Washington 98-91. Dwight Howard had 11 points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes of his third game back from a right knee injury.
— Memphis has is a half-game behind Houston after Kawhi Leonard had 25 points and 10 rebounds in San Antonio's 103-89 victory over the Grizzlies. Tiago Splitter finished with 15 points for the Spurs, who never trailed and won for the 13th time in 16 games to move 1 ½ games ahead of Dallas for sixth place in the West.
— The Mavericks were beaten 104-99 at Indiana as C.J. Miles scored 28 points and made a key 3-pointer with a minute left to help the Indiana Pacers win for the second time in nine games. The Pacers are a half-game behind the Nets for the final East playoff berth.
— Russell Westbrook had 33 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in Oklahoma City's 109-97 verdict over the Suns in Phoenix. The Thunder trailed by 20 before staying 2 1/2 games ahead of New Orleans for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
— New Orleans knocked off Minnesota 110-88 as Anthony Davis had 28 points and nine rebounds in the Pelicans' second straight win. The Pelicans shot 57 percent and were never threatened after opening a double-digit lead early in the fourth quarter.
— One day after having fluid removed from his left knee, Dwyane Wade poured in 40 points and James Ennis matched his season best with 16 points in Miami's 109-102 downing of Detroit. Udonis Haslem set season highs with 18 points and 13 rebounds in the Heat's fifth straight win.
— Brook Lopez had 30 points and 11 rebounds in Brooklyn's 107-99 triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers. Joe Johnson added 18 points for the Nets, who picked up their third straight win and moved a half-game ahead of Boston for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth.
— The Los Angeles Clippers picked up their seventh straight win as J.J. Redick scored 27 points in a 119-106 victory over the Celtics. Chris Paul finished with 21 points and 10 assists for the Clippers, while Blake Griffin added 21 points and nine boards.
NCAA TOURNAMENT-REGIONAL FINALS
Blule Devils, Spartans advance
UNDATED (AP) — Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Michigan State's Tom Izzo are back in the Final Four. The Blue Devils ended Gonzaga's run in the NCAA men's basketball tournament after the Spartans ousted Louisville.
Freshman Justise Winslow drained a pair of 3-pointers down the stretch and finished with 16 points as top seed Duke beat Gonzaga 66-52 to win the South Region. The Blue Devils turned a four-point, second-half deficit into a 60-51 lead once Winslow hit a trey with 2:28 remaining.
Matt Jones finished with 16 points for Duke, which is in the Final Four for the first time since its 2010 title run. Tyus Jones had 15 points for the Blue Devils, while fellow freshman Jahlil Okafor chipped in nine points and eight rebounds.
Krzyzewski is going to the Final Four for the 12th time, matching UCLA's John Wooden for the most by a head coach.
Kyle Wiltjer had 16 points for the Bulldogs, who were seeking their first trip to the national semifinals.
Michigan State captured the East Region as the seventh seed, knocking off Louisville 76-70 in overtime. Bryn Forbes opened OT with a 3-pointer that put the Spartans ahead to stay. Travis Trice paced the Spartans with 17 points, Denzel Valentine added 15 and Forbes wound up with 14 as the Spartans won for the 12th time in their last 15 games.
Izzo has led Michigan State to seven Final Fours, including the 2000 national championship.
Wayne Blackshear scored 28 for Louisville, which was trying for its third Final Four berth in four years.
Duke and Michigan State will open the semifinals Saturday at Indianapolis before top-ranked and unbeaten Kentucky takes on No. 1 seed Wisconsin.
Leitao returns to DePaul.
CHICAGO (AP) — Dave Leitao returns as the men's basketball coach at DePaul, where he was 143-129 with three postseason tournament appearances from 2002-05. He replaces Oliver Purnell, who resigned this month after leading the Blue Demons to a 54-105 record in his five seasons.
Leitao was an assistant to Frank Haith the past three seasons at Missouri and Tulsa.
Barnes thought he was returning
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Fired Texas basketball coach Rick Barnes says athletic director Steve Patterson told him a week ago he'd return for another season, but "some things changed." Barnes said at a news conference he was "shocked" by what he said were athletic department leaks to the media in recent days that he was being pressured to fire his assistant coaches to save his own job. Barnes says he refused staff members' offers to quit.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-ALABAMA-TAYLOR ARRESTED
'Bama bounces Taylor
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban has dismissed Jonathan Taylor from the team following the second domestic violence arrest of the defensive lineman's college career.
Saban announced the decision a day after Taylor was arrested when a woman reported she was assaulted by her boyfriend. Taylor signed with the Crimson Tide about six months after his dismissal from Georgia following his arrest in a girlfriend's assault.
Hamlin wins at Martinsville
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — Denny Hamlin passed teammate Matt Kenseth for the lead with 28 laps to go and went on to end Toyota's 32-race winless streak in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway.
The driver for Joe Gibbs Racing held off a five-lap, bumper-to-tail challenge from Brad Keselowski for his 25th career victory and his fifth at the smallest and oldest track in the premier series.
Pole sitter Joey Logano finished third, followed by Matt Kenseth and David Ragan.
The race also ended Kevin Harvick's streak of top-two finishes at eight, three shy of Richard Petty's record. Harvick finished eighth.
Vettel ends Mercedes streak
SEPANG, Malaysia (AP) — Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has won the Malaysian Grand Prix to end Mercedes' long Formula One winning streak.
Mercedes had won the previous eight races dating back to last season.
It was Ferrari's first victory since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix.
Bruins breathing easier
UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Bruins have regained control of the NHL's final Eastern Conference playoff berth.
The Bruins followed Saturday's win over the New York Rangers by beating Carolina 2-1 on David Pastrnak's goal at 4:34 of overtime. Tuukka Rask turned back 30 shots and blanked the Hurricanes after Nathan Gerbe scored with 22 seconds left in the second period.
Pastrnak also set up Ryan Spooner's goal as the Bruins picked up their second straight win since an 0-4-2 skid.
Boston is eighth in the East, three points behind Washington and Detroit, and three ahead of Ottawa.
Florida did the Bruins a favor and stayed within four points of a playoff berth by downing the Senators 4-2. Jaromir Jagr scored twice, including the game-winner to help the Panthers hand Ottawa its third straight loss since a seven-game winning streak.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— John Gibson made 26 saves and Anaheim took another step to securing the NHL's best regular-season record with a 2-1 victory over New Jersey. Ryan Kesler and Francois Beauchemin scored for the Ducks, who won their third straight and opened a three-point lead over Nashville and Montreal in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.
— Alex Ovechkin notched his league-high 48th and 49th goals in Washington's 5-2 triumph over the Rangers. Jason Chimera also tallied twice as the Capitals won for the fourth time in six games while cutting the Rangers' lead in the Metropolitan Division to six points over the New York Islanders.
— The Isles had dropped seven straight home games and trailed 2-0 after two minutes on Sunday before Brock Nelson, Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen scored power-play goals in New York's 5-4 comeback over Detroit. Cal Clutterbuck's short-handed goal was the game-winner as the Islanders won for just the second time in their last nine games overall to remain in a fourth-place tie with Pittsburgh in the East.
— The Penguins pulled out a 3-2 win over San Jose on shootout goals by David Perron and Sidney Crosby. The Penguins blew a 2-0 lead before winning for the second straight day since dropping six of seven.
— Jonathan Toews scored with 31 seconds left to lift Chicago past Winnipeg, putting the Blackhawks six points off the Central Division lead. Dustin Byfuglien scored twice in the second period to help the Jets take a 3-2 lead, but Patrick Sharp tied it in the third before the Hawks kept Winnipeg just two points ahead of Los Angeles for the final Western Conference playoff berth.
— Lance Bouma scored twice and Jiri Hudler had a goal and two assists as Calgary beat Nashville 5-2 to move a point ahead of Los Angeles for the final Western Conference playoff berth. The outcome keeps the Central Division-leading Predators three points ahead of St. Louis.
NCAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
Gamecocks, Irish reach Final Final
UNDATED (AP) — South Carolina and Notre Dame have reached the Final Four in women's basketball.
The top-seeded Gamecocks are in the semifinals for the first time after Tiffany Mitchell scored seven of her 21 points in the final 2 minutes on an 80-74 comeback win against Florida State in the Greensboro regional final. South Carolina trailed by 10 in the first half and didn't go ahead to stay until Mitchell's drive made it 69-67 with just under 2 minutes left.
Lindsay Allen scored 23 points to help top-seeded Notre Dame defeat Baylor 77-68 in the Oklahoma City regional final. Allen shot 10 of 16 and had seven assists to help the Irish reach the Final Four for the fifth consecutive year.
Pitching decisions made
UNDATED (AP) — Zach McAllister and T.J. House have won the two open jobs in the Cleveland Indians' starting rotation.
Manager Terry Francona told the pitchers on Sunday before House started an exhibition against the Chicago White Sox. The left-handed House and McAllister will follow Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer in a rotation the Indians hope can keep them in contention this season.
— Oakland Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick says he won't be ready for opening day because of his injured oblique. He will start the season at Class A Stockton for a brief injury rehabilitation assignment and plans to be activated by the sixth game of the regular season.
— Henderson Alvarez has been picked to start the Miami Marlins' opener against the Atlanta Braves on April 6. He went 12-7 with a 2.65 ERA for Miami last season.
Hometown boy makes good
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jimmy Walker birdied the 16th and 17th holes in closing out a four-shot victory over Jordan Spieth in the PGA's Texas Open.
The San Antonio native closed with a 2-under 70 for an 11-under total in his hometown tournament. Walker won the Sony Open in Hawaii by nine shots in January and has a tour-best five victories in the past two seasons.
FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel was third at 4 under after a 71.
Kerr beats Lee
CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) —Cristie Kerr was the winner of the LPGA's Kia Classic, finishing two shots ahead of Mirim Lee. Kerr closed with a 7-under 65 for to finish minus-20 for the tournament.
Lydia Ko was three shots back and one ahead of Alison Lee.
CHAMPIONS TOUR-MISSISSIPPI GULF RESORT CLASSIC
SAUCIER, Mississippi (AP) — David Frost shot a 4-under 68 in the final round to win the Champions Tour Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. His 10-under par was one shot better than Kevin Sutherland and Tom Lehman. Sutherland closed with a 72, Lehamn shot 70.
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