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Associated Press

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 21 at 5:03 PM


Trail Blazers down Wizards 116-103

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Wesley Matthews had 28 points, including four 3-pointers, and the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Washington Wizards 116-103 on Thursday night.

Damian Lillard added 23 points and 10 assists for the Blazers, who are still playing without injured All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge. Portland (45-24) remained in fifth place in the Western Conference with three victories in their last four games after a four-game losing streak.

The Wizards (35-33) have lost two straight to open four-game swing against the Western Conference while they vie for a playoff spot in the East to end a five-year absence.

John Wall had 24 points and 14 assists for Washington, which trailed by as many as 17 points in the second half.


Oregon beats BYU 87-68 in NCAA tournament

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Elgin Cook scored a career-high 23 points in a very happy homecoming, helping seventh-seeded Oregon beat 10th-seeded BYU 87-68 the NCAA tournament on Thursday.

Joseph Young had 19 points for the Ducks (24-9), who had to stage a big comeback to beat the Cougars 100-96 in overtime in December. There was no comeback needed this time, with Oregon turning away every charge by BYU in the second half.

Led by Cook, a Milwaukee native who starred at nearby Hamilton High School, the Ducks advanced to a third-round game against No. 2 seed Wisconsin on Saturday in the West Regional.

Tyler Haws scored 19 points for BYU (23-12), which returned to the NCAA tournament after a one-year absence. Matt Carlino added 15 points.


Smart ready to lead Oklahoma St against Gonzaga

SAN DIEGO (AP) — This is a big reason why Marcus Smart passed up the NBA draft and returned for his sophomore season at Oklahoma State.

The NCAA tournament is here, and the ninth-seeded Cowboys (21-12) will face eighth-seeded Gonzaga (28-6) on Friday, with both teams hoping to erase bad memories of earlier-than-expected exits last March.

For Smart, it's the final chapter of his college career. He says he doesn't regret bucking the one-and-done trend in college basketball and returning to school. He says he learned from his three-game suspension for shoving a Texas Tech fan.

Smart says the Cowboys will go out and have fun.

During Thursday's light practice at Viejas Arena, they took half-court shots and then, led by Smart, greeted Cowboys fans in the stands, posing for pictures and signing autographs.


Cano has 2 hits, Ramirez sharp in Mariners' win

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Robinson Cano had two more hits and Erasmo Ramirez pitched four-hit ball for six innings Thursday, enhancing his chance of earning a spot in the Mariners' rotation and helping Seattle beat the Chicago Cubs 3-0.

Ramirez, who has a 0.96 ERA, struck out four without allowing a walk. He hit one batter. Cano was 2 for 3 to raise his average to .567.

Jeff Samardzija, in his next-to-last spring outing before his opening-day start for the Cubs, gave up two runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings.

Another Cactus League attendance record was set at Cubs Park with an overflow crowd of 15,191.


Seattle Seahawks sign OL Stephen Schilling

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks have signed free agent offensive lineman Stephen Schilling.

Seattle announced the signing on Thursday. Schilling had been a sixth-round draft pick of San Diego in the 2011 draft. In three seasons with the Chargers, Schilling appeared in 18 games with three starts. He played at both left and right guard during his time in San Diego.

Prior to being drafted by the Chargers, Schilling was an honorable mention all-Big Ten selection at Michigan. He was a prep standout at Bellevue High in Bellevue, Wash., just a few miles from the Seahawks facility, before playing his college ball at Michigan.


Sounders, Seahawks to separate business operations

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders will separate their business operations after working jointly since the city was awarded an MLS expansion franchise in 2007.

The franchises made the announcement Thursday. The separate businesses will begin on April 30 with the Sounders relocating their operations to the Pioneer Square area of Seattle. The Sounders and Seahawks will continue to share CenturyLink Field as their home venue.

The Sounders began play in March 2009 and have become a model for the successful launch of an expansion franchise. The club has led the MLS in attendance in each of its five seasons and has a season ticket base of 34,500.

Sounders majority owner Joe Roth says it's a sensible decision for the franchise in its attempts to grow the business domestically and abroad.