Created: Thu, 08 May 2014 05:15:25 EST
Updated: Thu, 08 May 2014 05:15:25 EST
UNDATED (AP) — Indiana fans can exhale now. Their 7-foot center Roy Hibbert has emerged from his playoff funk.
The big man had a season-best 28 points and nine rebounds in leading the Pacers to an 86-82 victory over Washington to square their second-round playoff series at a game apiece with the Wizards.
But after hearing 48 hours of constant criticism and continual questions, Hibbert responded with the kind of game Indiana desperately needed. He made his first four shots, dominated the middle and produced big basket after big basket.
Marcin Gortat (MAHR'-chin GOHR'-tot) had 21 points and Bradley Beal added 17 for the Wizards.
The series shifts to Washington for Game 3 Friday night. The Pacers have announced that backup center Andrew Bynum will miss the rest of the playoffs. He has battled a sore right knee pretty much all season.
In Oklahoma City, the Thunder achieved a split in the first two games of their Western Conference series by beating the Los Angeles Clippers 112-101. NBA MVP Kevin Durant had 32 points while backcourt mate Russell Westbrook had his fourth career playoff triple-double with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Serge Ibaka (ih-BAH'-kah) added 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
J.J. Redick was high man for the Clippers. Chris Paul, hampered by foul problems, was held to 17 points on 6 of 13 shooting.
The series moves to Los Angeles for the third game Friday night.
NBA-EXEC OF THE YEAR
Spurs' exec lands award
UNDATED (AP) — San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford has been named the NBA's Executive of the Year. In his 12th season as GM and 23rd with the franchise, Buford has seen the team become one of the dominate clubs in the NBA. This season the Spurs won a league-best 62 games. They are playing Portland in the second round of the playoffs.
Owners discuss plans on Clippers' owner
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA owners have held their second discussions about ending Donald Sterling's ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers. The advisory/finance committee held a conference call as owners work to force Sterling to sell the franchise following his lifetime ban for making racist comments. The owners plan to meet again next week.
Penguins in control
NEW YORK (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins are one victory away from reaching the NHL Eastern Conference finals.
Brandon Sutter (SUHT'-ur) scored a short-handed goal to break a second-period tie in the Penguins' 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers.
Evgeni Malkin scored at 2:31 of the first period, and Jussi Jokinen (YOO'-see YOH'-kih-nehn) made it 3-1 at 7:02 of the third before the teams traded late goals. Marc-Andre Fleury (marhk-ahn-dray FLOOR'-ee) stopped 13 shots.
The only negative for the Penguins was that Fleury allowed a goal for the first time in three games. Carl Hagelin's tying tally in the second period was the Rangers' first goal in 145 minutes, 30 seconds of playing time.
Pittsburgh, which has won three straight following a series-opening loss, can advance with a Game 5 victory at home Friday night.
Front office shake-up for the Flyers
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ron Hextall has been promoted to general manager by the Philadelphia Flyers and Paul Holmgren was elevated to president. Hextall, Philadelphia's all-time winningest goalie, served as assistant GM last year to Holmgren, who moves up to president. Hextall previously spent seven seasons as vice president and assistant GM with the Los Angeles Kings.
Strasburg recovers to win...Eight straight for Tigers...Jeter connects
UNDATED (AP) — Stephen Strasburg recovered from another rough first inning to pitch into the eighth as Washington outlasted the Dodgers 3-2. Strasburg's season-long first-inning struggles continued when he gave up four consecutive singles including RBI hits by Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig (yah-SEEL' pweeg).
Then Strasburg got into a groove, while his teammates scored three runs off former Nationals pitcher Dan Haren who took his first loss of the season.
Wilson Ramos provided the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in his first game since opening day. He missed 32 games after breaking a bone in his wrist in the first game of the season.
In other MLB action:
— The Detroit Tigers' winning streak is eight after beating Houston 3-2 to sweep a three-game series. Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and Rick Porcello improved to 5-1 with the win. The Astros have lost five straight and seven of eight.
— The New York Yankees erupted with five runs in the first inning and routed the L.A. Angels 9-2. Derek Jeter had two hits, including his first home run since last July 28.
— Colorado whacked Texas 9-2. Nolan Arenado had three hits and tied the Rockies team record by hitting safely in 27 straight games. Adrian Beltre (BEHL'-tray) hit his 100th career homer while playing for Texas. He's only the fifth player in major league history to hit 100 home runs for three different teams.
— Adam Wainwright is 6-2 after pitching the St. Louis Cardinals past Atlanta 7-1. Matt Holliday drove in three runs and Peter Bourjos (BOHR'-jus) homered. Wainwright helped his cause at the plate, leading off the third with a double and coming around to score.
— Mark Buehrle (BUR'-lee) joined Wainwright as a six-game winner after blanking Philadelphia for six and a-third innings in Toronto's 10-0 rout of the Phillies. Buehrle is 6-1. Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run home run as the Blue Jays beat the Phillies for the seventh straight time.
— The Seattle Mariners split a doubleheader against Oakland -- Justin Smoak hit an RBI single with two outs in the 10th inning to drive in the go-ahead run in the Mariners' 4-2 win in the opener. In the nightcap, Oakland won 2-0 as fill-in starter Drew Pomeranz and two relievers combined on the nine-hit shutout.
— Adam Jones hit a pair of solo homers and Jonathan Schoop launched a tiebreaking, two-run shot in the seventh that sent the Baltimore Orioles over the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3.
— James Shields scattered seven hits over seven innings, Eric Hosmer drove in a season-high four runs and the Kansas City Royals blanked the San Diego Padres 8-0.
— Gordon Beckham homered for the second straight night and Paul Konerko had a big three-run double in the Chicago White Sox' 8-3 victory over the crosstown Cubs.
— Marcell Ozuna drove in the game winning run on a sac fly in the bottom of the ninth giving Miami a 1-0 win over the Mets. The victory gave the Marlins a three-game sweep of New York and helped them finish up an 8-1 homestand. Miami boasts the best home record in the majors at 17-5.
— Gerrit Cole picked up his first win in nearly a month, helping the Pirates top San Francisco 4-3. Cole worked eight innings to help Pittsburgh win for the fourth time in six games after losing six of seven.
— Paul Goldschmidt continues his hot hitting with a two-run homer in Arizona's 3-2 win over Milwaukee. Goldschmidt went 7-for-15 in the three game series. Bronson Arroyo got the win, giving up an unearned run in 7 1/3 innings. Arizona took two of three in the series.
— Mike Aviles's two-out single in the ninth inning gave the Cleveland Indians a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
— Will Middlebrooks hit an RBI single with the bases loaded, capping a two-run rally in the eighth inning that sent the Boston Red Sox over the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 for a sweep of the two-game interleague series.
Super Bowl champs lock up Sherman
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The NFL champion Seattle Seahawks have wrapped up the services of cornerback Richard Sherman. The All-Pro has announced on his website that he has signed a four-year contract extension worth $57.4 million with $40 million guaranteed.
NEW YORK (AP) — The annual NFL draft of players starts tonight with the first round at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The Houston Texas, by virtue of their 2-14 record last season, will have the first pick with St. Louis, Jacksonville, Cleveland and Oakland following. The Rams landed the second spot because of a trade they made a few years ago with Washington. That deal gave the Redskins the draft pick they wanted to choose quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Network lands more Olympic rights
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — If you like the coverage NBC provides of the Olympics, you'll welcome the news that the network has secured the U.S. broadcast rights to the Olympics through 2032 in a record six-games deal worth $7.75 billion.