Collison, Crawford lead Clippers past Grizzlies
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Reserves Darren Collison and Jamal Crawford scored 15 points each and the Los Angeles Clippers used a strong second half to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 101-81 on Thursday night.
Chris Paul also had 15 points and eight assists for the Clippers, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Blake Griffin added 14 points and nine rebounds, while DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and 14 boards for Los Angeles.
Kosta Koufos led Memphis with 17 points, while Mike Conley had 16 on 6-for-8 shooting. Quincy Pondexter scored 15, and Zach Randolph - back after missing two games following ingrown toenail surgery - had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Clippers shot 13 for 20 in the fourth quarter as Paul and Griffin sat on the bench, leaving the game to the reserves.
Seattle downs Cal State Northridge 58-53
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. (AP) - Jarell Flora shot 5-of-7 from beyond the 3-point arc and scored 23 points as Seattle beat Cal State Northridge 58-53 on Thursday night.
Trailing 50-47 with under five minutes to play, Seattle (5-3) scored nine straight points to take a 56-50 lead with 53 seconds remaining.
Landon Drew made a 3-pointer for Northridge (5-5) with 40 seconds left to cut the Redhawks' lead to 3, but Clarence Trent hit two free throws for Seattle with 8 seconds remaining to make it a two-possession game.
The Redhawks shot just 38.2 percent from the field, but hit 8 of 9 free throws while Cal State Northridge made just 6 of 13.
Isiah Umipig scored 12 points for Seattle and Clarence Trent added 11.
Stephan Hicks led Cal State Northridge with 13 points but was just 1 of 5 on free throws. It was the Matadors' fewest points since Feb. 18, 2012.
LA VERNE-UC RIVERSIDE
UC Riverside beats La Verne 92-77
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) - Chris Patton scored 20 points and four teammates scored in double figures Thursday night and UC Riverside beat Division III University of La Verne 92-77.
Both teams came out running and La Verne (3-2) led 19-16 at the 13:32 mark. UC Riverside (3-4), shooting 59.3 percent from the field in the half, soon pulled away for a 44-33 halftime lead. Patton scored 14 in the half on 7-of-10 shooting.
The Highlanders widened their lead to 18 with 8:12 to play in the second half and La Verne never got closer than 12. UC Riverside finished shooting 54.2 percent from the field, 92.6 percent from the line and all 11 players who played scored.
Sam Finley scored a career-high 16 points, Nick Gruninger scored a career-high 15 and shot 10 for 10 from the line, Taylor Johns scored 12 and Lucas Devenny added 10.
Cruz Mertens led La Verne with 13.
SANTA CLARA-CS BAKERSFIELD
Santa Clara beats Cal State Bakersfield, 60-42
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) - Nate Kratch and Evan Roquemore each buried a pair of 3-pointers to start the second half and spark a 37-18 run that led to Santa Clara's 60-42 win over Cal State Bakersfield Thursday night.
By the time Robert Garrett converted a three-point play with 10:51 remaining the Broncos held a 15-point lead.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Santa Clara (3-4), who lost a pair of games last week in the Cable Car Classic, falling to North Dakota State and Rice.
Roquemore, who missed the first three games with back issues, led the Broncos with 12 points. Kratch added 11 points and Jerry Brown another 10.
Brandon Barnes came off the bench to score nine points and grab six rebounds to lead the Roadrunners (5-4), who did not have a player score in double figures.
Top-ranked UConn routs UC Davis 97-37
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Bria Hartley scored 20 of her 25 points before halftime and top-ranked Connecticut routed UC Davis 97-37 on Thursday night.
Breanna Stewart had 19 points, 13 rebounds and five assists for the Huskies (10-0), who were playing with just six scholarship players because of injuries. It was the Huskies' final tuneup before a showdown later this month with No. 2 Duke.
Sydnee Fipps scored 13 points and Kelsey Harris had 12 to lead UC Davis (2-5).
The Huskies used an early 22-0 run to break the game open and led by 43 points at halftime.
Hartley outscored UC Davis 20-17 by herself in the first half. The senior guard was 8 of 9 from the floor during the game, including all five she attempted from 3-point range. Hartley became the 19th player at UConn to reach 1,500 points in her career.
Sparks sign head coach Ross to contract extension
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Sparks say they have signed head coach Carol Ross to a multi-year contract extension.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed Thursday.
Ross led Los Angeles to back-to-back 24-10 regular season records and consecutive WNBA playoff appearances in her first two seasons as head coach. She was the 2012 WNBA Coach of the Year.
Raiders hope to get boost from healthy Branch
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - The Oakland Raiders finally might be getting one of the anchors of their defense back.
Strong safety Tyvon Branch has returned to practice this week for the first time since breaking his right leg Sept. 15 against Jacksonville.
Branch is still limited at practice but hopes to be able to play Sunday against the New York Jets. Branch was one of only two returning starters on Oakland's overhauled defense but only played one game before getting hurt in the first quarter against the Jaguars in Week 2.
While Brandian Ross is still slated to start this week, Branch could get some time, which would provide a big boost for the Raiders (4-8), who have lost four of their last five games.
Dorsey doing all the little things to make strides
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Glenn Dorsey quickly emerged as a stabilizing force in the middle of San Francisco's dominant, imposing defensive line.
An emergency fill-in at first, Dorsey has made significant strides each week that tell him and his coaches he is becoming comfortable with the defensive scheme and his technique in San Francisco's system.
For a sixth-year veteran who arrived uncertain of landing a starting job, Dorsey worked quietly until called upon to take a larger role. He took over at nose tackle after Ian Williams' season ended with a broken left ankle in Week 2 at Seattle.
Dorsey sacked Russell Wilson that day, his first with the 49ers.
San Francisco is counting on him to put the pressure on again Sunday when the Seahawks (11-1) come to Candlestick Park.
Kunitz scores 2, powers Penguins past Sharks 5-1
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Chris Kunitz scored twice during a four-goal second period and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks 5-1 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.
Pascal Dupuis, Jayson Megna and Kris Letang also scored for Pittsburgh, which snapped San Jose's six-game winning streak. Sidney Crosby added three assists in his 500th career game to push his point total to an NHL-leading 42.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 44 saves for the Penguins against the league's highest-scoring team. Pittsburgh played without star Evgeni Malkin, scratched after sustaining a lower-body injury during the morning skate.
Tomas Hertl got his 14th goal for San Jose. Antti Niemi made 23 saves but was pulled after two periods, and the Sharks lost in regulation for only the fourth time this season.
Ledecky wins 500 freestyle at Winter Nationals
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Katie Ledecky beat Missy Franklin in a 500-yard freestyle matchup between Olympic gold medalists Thursday to highlight the first day of the Winter National Championships.
Ledecky, a 16-year-old from Bethesda, Md., won in 4 minutes, 32.37 seconds. Franklin, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, was second at 4:34.63.
Franklin also swam with her University of California teammates on the winning 400 medley relay team (3:29.91) and the second-place 200 freestyle relay team (1:28.44). Franklin, Elizabeth Pelton, Rachel Bootsma and Marina Garcia set a meet record in the 400 medley relay.
Pelton also won the women's 200 individual medley in 1:54.15.
Other individual winners included Nathan Adrian in the men's 50 freestyle (18.89), Natalie Coughlin in the women's 50 freestyle (21.51), Darian Townsend in the men's 200 individual medley (1:41.88) and Connor Jaeger in the men's 500 freestyle (4:14.05).
Zach Johnson takes lead in Sherwood swan song
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) - Zach Johnson birdied four of the par 5s and shot a 5-under 67 to take a one-shot lead Thursday over Matt Kuchar in the World Challenge.
Only five players in the elite 18-man field managed to break par at Sherwood Country Club. One of them was tournament host Tiger Woods, who had a new driver in the bag and missed only two fairways. The problem was his putter, including a short birdie attempt that missed on the last hole. He had a 71.
Kuchar hit his approach to 2 feet on the final hole for a 68.
Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson were at 70. They are among seven players who have yet to win a tournament this year, even though everyone at Sherwood is among the top 30 in the world.
Driver pleads no contest in Calif. crosswalk death
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A driver whose car hit and killed former Australian rugby player Gary Mara in a California crosswalk has pleaded no contest to vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Prosecutors say 28-year-old Cara Cameron entered the plea Thursday and is free on bail. She agreed to a sentence of up to four years in prison and to pay $100,000 in restitution to Mara's family.
Authorities say the 50-year-old Mara, his wife and 8-year-old daughter were vacationing in Southern California in August 2012 when they entered a crosswalk in Santa Monica against a "no walk" signal.
Cameron, who has a history of drunken driving, struck Mara and he died at a hospital.
Mara played for the Balmain Tigers and the Parramatta Eels in the 1980s. He retired in 1985.
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