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Associated Press

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 3:33 PM


Bobcats rout Trail Blazers 124-94

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Al Jefferson scored 28 points and two others finished with more than 20 as the Charlotte Bobcats routed the Portland Trail Blazers 124-94 on Saturday night.

Kemba Walker added 26 points, Gerald Henderson had 23 and Chris Douglas-Roberts 11 for the Bobcats, who finished with their highest-scoring game and most-lopsided victory in snapping a two-game losing streak.

Damian Lillard scored 20 points, Dorell Wright added 17 and Wesley Matthews 15 for the Trail Blazers, who trailed by as many as 34 points late in the second half in their worst loss this season.

Charlotte shot 52 percent from the field, outscored Portland in the paint 54-32 and held a 50-36 rebounding advantage over the Trail Blazers, who had won their last four games against the Bobcats.


Zags and Wildcats playing for Sweet 16 spot

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Gonzaga went into last year's NCAA tournament as the No. 1 overall seed and the pressure took its toll, sending the Zags home after two games.

This year, they're in a different frame of mind, back to their familiar underdog role and hoping to use it to their advantage against Arizona on Sunday and, hopefully, beyond.

To have a chance at matching Wichita State's run to the 2013 Final Four, the Bulldogs will have to go through one of this year's No. 1 seeds.

Though not the top overall seed like Gonzaga was a year ago, Arizona still felt the pressure of being the West's top team in its opener on Friday.

The Wildcats started off jittery against Weber State, failing to hit a field goal in the game's opening 5 minutes and blowing most of a 21-point lead before pulling out 68-59 victory.

Arizona was solid as a higher seed last year when it reached the Sweet 16 for the second time in three years and has felt the pressure of being the chased this season after spending two months at No. 1 in The Associated Press poll.

Arizona will certainly face a tough challenge against the Zags.

The Wildcats were a popular pick to get knocked off in the third round against Oklahoma State, but Gonzaga beat the Cowboys and the calls for an upset have not waned much.


Wisconsin wins 85-77 thriller over Oregon

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ben Brust hit a 3-pointer with 1:07 left and second-seeded Wisconsin overcame seventh-seeded Oregon for a thrilling 85-77 win Saturday night to get into the Sweet 16.

Brust's clutch 3 from the corner gave the Badgers the lead for good in a heavyweight fight of an NCAA tournament game.

Traevon Jackson followed with three free throws, but missed one with 21 seconds left to give the Ducks (24-10) one more chance to tie trailing by three.

Oregon gave it to Joseph Young, who had made big shots all night and scored 29 points. But he missed a rushed 3 from the wing, and the Badgers sealed it at the foul line.


Kazmir recovers, Vogt leads A's past Mariners 6-5

PHOENIX (AP) — Scott Kazmir recovered from a shaky start and Stephen Vogt hit a pair of two-run homers to lead the Oakland Athletics over a Seattle Mariners split squad 6-5 on Saturday.

Kazmir, scratched from his previous scheduled outing with triceps tightness, gave up two runs and four hits in the first inning but only one run and no hits the rest of the way. He struck out five and walked three in 4 1-3 innings.

Vogt, a catcher who was serving as the designated hitter, connected in the third and fifth off right-hander Scott Baker, bidding for a spot in the rotation.

Logan Morrison drove in three runs for Seattle. He hit a run-scoring single in the first inning and a two-run homer in the fifth.


Elias makes rotation case; Rockies nip Rockies 4-3

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Roenis Elias impressed again in his improbable quest for a spot in Seattle's rotation, throwing 5 1-3 strong innings for the Mariners in a 4-3 loss Saturday to the Colorado Rockies in a game between split squads.

The 25-year-old Cuban defector was a non-roster invitee. He's pitched in only 59 games, nothing above Double-A. But injuries have created holes for Seattle, and Elias has shined.

Wilin Rosario's two-run home run in the fourth was the lone blemish for Elias, who allowed four hits and struck out four. His spring ERA is 2.04.

Brett Anderson labored through six innings for Colorado, giving up 12 hits but only three runs.

Justin Smoak hit a solo home run for Seattle. Robinson Cano went 0 for 4, lowering his average to .500.


Rapids use PKs to defeat Timbers 2-0

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) — Vicente Sanchez and Deshorn Brown scored on penalty kicks two minutes apart in the second half to lead the Colorado Rapids to a 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers on Saturday.

Sanchez scored his second penalty kick in as many games in the 73rd minute and Brown got his in the 75th for Colorado.

Portland has never beaten the Rapids in Colorado, going 0-3-1 in their road games with Colorado.

Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts earned a red card when he made contact with Brown while trying to contest him for the ball.

Ricketts left the game with a leg injury and was replaced by Andrew Weber. Sanchez faked Weber into the left post before punching the ball into the center of the net.

Weber hauled down Sanchez moments later. Brown's penalty kick was stopped by Weber, but Brown converted on the rebound.