Duke Downs Gonzaga To Reach Final Four
(Houston, TX) -- Duke claimed the last spot in the Final Four with a 66-52 win over Gonzaga in the South Regional final in Houston. Justise Winslow and Matt Jones netted 16 points apiece for the top-seeded Blue Devils, who will battle MichiganState in the national semifinals in Indianapolis on Saturday. Tyus Jones finished with 15 points and six assists for Duke, which had only three turnovers in the victory. Kyle Wiltjer scored 16 points for the Bulldogs, who end the year with a record of 35-and-3. Gonzaga went without a field goal over the final six-plus minutes in the loss.
Spartans Slip Past Cardinals In OT To Reach Final Four
(Syracuse, NY) -- Travis Trice netted 17 points as seventh-seeded Michigan State secured a spot in the Final Four with a 76-70 overtime win over fourth-seeded Louisville in the East Regional final. Denzel Valentine added 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Spartans, who will be appearing in the Final Four for the seventh time since 1999. Bryn Forbes dropped in 14 points off the bench in the win. The Spartans will square off with Duke in the national semifinals in Indianapolis next Saturday. Wayne Blackshear led all scorers with 28 points for the Cardinals, who end the year 27-and-9. Montrezl Harrell had 16 points and nine boards in the loss.
Cavs Sneak By Sixers
(Cleveland, OH) -- The Cavaliers are breathing a sigh of relief after an 87-86 nail-biting victory over the Sixers at Quicken Loans Arena. LeBron James had 20 points and 11 rebounds as Cleveland improved to 27-and-9 at home. Kyrie Irving scored 17 as the Cavs won its fifth game in six tries. Philly had a chance to take the lead late, but the Nerlens Noel missed the potential game-winner with less than 10 seconds left. Robert Covington led Philly with 19 points. The Sixers fell to 18-and-56.
Heat Hold Off Pistons
(Miami, FL) -- Dwyane Wade poured in 40 points as the Heat held off the Pistons, 109-102, in Miami. Udonis Haslem added 18 points and 13 rebounds for Miami, which is a game-and-a-half ahead of Brooklyn for seventh in the East. James Ennis chipped in 16 points and six boards off the bench in the victory. Andre Drummond dropped in 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Detroit, which had won its previous four. Reggie Jackson had 31 points, six rebounds and nine assists.
Pacers Rally Past Mavs
(Indianapolis, IN) -- C.J. Miles hit five threes on his way to 28 points helping the Pacers sink the Mavericks, 104-99, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana outscored Dallas by six in the fourth quarter to pull within a half-game of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. The Nets currently hold the edge. Roy Hibbert and George Hill each added 14 points for Indiana. Chandler Parsons paced the Mavs with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Rajon Rondo filled up the stat sheet putting up 17 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds as Dallas has lost four of five.
Rockets Down Wizards
(Washington, DC) -- James Harden had 24 points and six assists to lead the Rockets to a 99-91 win over the Wizards in Washington. Corey Brewer came off the bench to score 15 points for Houston, which has reeled off four straight wins. Josh Smith finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds in the win. John Wall collected 25 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists for the Wizards, who have lost five-of-six. Otto Porter and Bradley Beal had 15 points apiece in defeat.
Nets Thump Lakers
(Brooklyn, NY) -- The Nets continued their battle for the final playoff spot, defeating the Lakers 107-99 at the BarclaysCenter. Brook Lopez led the charge with 30 points and 11 boards, while Joe Johnson put up 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Jordan Hill led the Lakers with 22 points and 16 rebounds. Jordan Clarkson added 18 for L.A., which is two losses from tying the last year's franchise record for losses in a season with 55.
Pelicans Too Much For T-Wolves
(New Orleans, LA) - New Orleans took a 14-point lead in the first quarter en route to a 110-88 victory over Minnesota at the Smoothie KingCenter. Anthony Davis had 28 points and nine rebounds to lead the Pelicans, who shot 57-percent from the field as a team. Omar Asik added 15 points for New Orleans, which is two-and-a-half games behind the Thunder for the eighth seed in the West with just nine games left. The T-Wolves got 20 points from Andrew Wiggins, and 17 more from Zach LaVine. They are 7-and-30 on the road this season.
Clippers Crush Celtics
(Boston, MA) -- J.J. Redick scored 27 points on 11-of-15 shooting as the Clippers cruised to a 119-106 win over the Celtics in Boston. Blake Griffin added 21 points and nine rebounds for Los Angeles, which has reeled off seven straight wins heading into Tuesday's showdown with the Warriors. DeAndre Jordan collected 15 points and 14 boards and Chris Paul posted 21 points and 10 assists in the victory. Isaiah Thomas had 19 points and seven assists off the bench for the Celtics, who fell a half-game behind the Nets for the final playoff spot in the East. Evan Turner ended with nine points, seven rebounds and 10 assists in defeat.
Spurs Dump Grizzlies
(San Antonio, TX) -- The Spurs never trailed as they cruised to a 103-89 win over Memphis. Kawhi Leonard had 25 points and 10 rebounds to lead San Antonio. Tony Parker added 17 for the Spurs, who hold the sixth seed in the Western Conference. Zach Randolph led Memphis with 20 points and 13 boards. Jeff Green scored 19 as Memphis falls to 50-and-24. The Grizz are the third seed in the Western Conference.
Thunder Storm Past Suns
(Phoenix, AZ) -- The Thunder pretty much ended any hope the Suns had at the playoffs with a 109-97 win at US Airways Center behind 33 points, nine rebounds and seven assists from Russell Westbrook. Phoenix trails Oklahoma City by four games with eight to play for each team, plus the Thunder hold the tie-breaker by virtue of winning the season series three-to-one. OKC outscored the Suns by 23 following the first quarter. Steven Adams added 13 points and 16 rebounds in the victory. Markieff Morris had a team-high 24 points for Phoenix. Brandon Knight returned to the lineup following eight games missed with an ankle injury and shot 1-for-10 form the field. Knight had to leave with an ankle injury again after playing 22 minutes.
>>Islanders Nip Red Wings
(Uniondale, NY) -- Cal Clutterbuck's shorthanded goal in the second period turned out to be the difference as the Islanders nipped the Red Wings, 5-4, in New York. Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome and Kyle Okposo all scored in the first, while Frans Nielsen added a power-play strike in the second for the Isles, who stopped their seven-game home losing streak. Jaroslav Halak made 21 saves in the win. Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Tatar had a goal and an assist apiece for Detroit, which has dropped three-of-four. Petr Mrazek was pulled 16 seconds into the second period after allowing four goals on 11 shots.
Juan Pablo Montoya takes Indy Car opener
(St. Petersburg, FL) -- Juan Pablo Montoya grabbed the lead from teammate Will Power during green-flag pit stops, then slammed the door closed on Power's lone attempt to get back to the front.
Montoya won his second race since his return last season to IndyCar, and it came at a track in which he struggled mightily a year ago. This race in 2014 was his first after seven seasons in NASCAR, and he found the feel he needed to get comfortable in his new Penske ride.
Montoya's only win last year came on the oval at Pocono. This win at St. Pete was his first IndyCar victory on a road or street course since Vancouver in 1999.
Power, the reigning IndyCar champion, settled for second after leading 75 laps.
He lost the lead when Montoya made a routine pit stop one lap before Power's scheduled stop. The Australian chased his teammate for several laps before seizing what he believed was his only shot to reclaim the lead.
Power dipped inside of Montoya as they entered the 10th turn with 11 laps remaining, but Montoya quickly closed the opening. The two Chevrolets made contact, which broke off a piece of Power's wing.
The Penske organization celebrated a 1-2 finish, and one of the most dominating weekends in recent series history.
The four-car contingent was the heavy race favorites since arriving in St. Petersburg. All four Penske drivers were fast in every session, and they swept the top four starting spots for Sunday's race.
Tony Kanaan broke up the Penske party with a third-place finish Chip Ganassi Racing, and but he was followed by Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud as Penske put all four drivers in the top five.
The new aero kits contributed to many yellow flags because contact between the cars caused broken parts to fly onto the racing surface in several instances. Much of the damage was from front and rear wings being clipped.
Hamlin Wins At Martinsville
(Martinsville, VA) -- Denny Hamlin snapped a 31-race winless streak by taking the checkered flag at the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Hamlin nipped Brad Keselowski at the finish line to capture the 25th victory over his Sprint Cup career. Hamlin also earned his fifth all-time win at Martinsville. Pole-sitter Joey Logano finished third, while Matt Kenseth and David Ragan rounded out the top-five. Danica Patrick came in seventh to earn the fifth top-10 finish of her career.