OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma City Thunder have put an end to San Antonio’s team-record 19-game winning streak by downing the Spurs 106-94. Kevin Durant finished with 28 points and Russell Westbrook added 27 as the Thunder pulled within three games of the NBA’s Western Conference-leading Spurs with eight games remaining. Durant scored at least 25 points for the 39th consecutive game, the longest streak since Michael Jordan did it in 40 straight during the 1986-87 season.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Creighton’s Doug McDermott is a near-unanimous selection as The Associated Press’ player of the year. He got 64 out of 65 votes after finishing his career as college basketball’s fifth-leading scorer. And Gregg Marshall is The Associated Press men’s basketball coach of the year after leading Wichita State to a 35-1 record.
HOUSTON (AP) — Kelvin Sampson is taking over as Houston’s new basketball coach, vowing that NCAA compliance will be his staff’s highest priority. Sampson committed numerous NCAA violations regarding impermissible calls to recruits at both Oklahoma and Indiana. The infractions resulted in a five-year show cause order from the NCAA in 2008, which effectively barred him from coaching in college.
HUMBLE, Texas — Phil Mickelson shot a bogey-free 4-under par 68 in his opening round of the Houston Open, showing no effects of the muscle pull that forced him to withdraw from last week’s Texas Open. The five-time major winner is three shots in back of Bill Haas and Charley Hoffman, who own a one-stroke advantage over Keegan Bradley, J.B. Holmes, Erik Compton, Bill Haas and Matt Kuchar. Mickelson practiced at Augusta National for two days this week in advance of the Masters.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Shanshan Feng has the lead through 18 holes of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major tournament of the LPGA season. Feng opened with a 6-under-par 66 for a one-shot edge over Se Ri Pak (say ree pahk) and Michelle Wie (wee). The 24-year-old Chinese player had seven birdies and a bogey in her morning round in perfect conditions at Mission Hills.