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Last Update on April 17, 2014 04:49 GMT


UNDATED (AP)-- The NBA's regular season ended Wednesday night. The playoffs start Saturday but a few teams improved their playoff positions or took time to rest their stars in anticipation of the playoffs.

Kevin Durant scored 42 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, and the Oklahoma City Thunder secured the No. 2 playoff seed in the Western Conference, rallying from 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Detroit Pistons 112-111

In other action on the final night of the NBA regular season:

-- Mike Conley hit two free throws with 1.1 seconds left in overtime, and the Memphis Grizzlies grabbed the Western Conference's No. 7 seed away from Dallas by edging the Mavericks 106-105.

-- Rasual Butler and Chris Copeland each scored 19 points as the Indiana Pacers rested their key players and cruised to a 101-86 victory over the Orlando Magic in the regular-season finale for both teams. Indiana held out starters Paul George, Lance Stephenson and David West. Indiana, top seed in the East, opens against Atlanta.

-- The New York Knicks finished their disappointing season with a 95-92 victory over the Toronto Raptors, who blew a 21-point lead but earned the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

-- Bradley Beal scored 27 points and Washington clinched the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 118-102 win over the Boston Celtics. The Wizards will be facing Chicago in their first playoff appearance since 2008.

-- Kemba Walker scored eight of his 22 points in overtime to help the Charlotte Bobcats defeat the Chicago Bulls 91-86.

---- Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd sat his starters for the playoffs and the Nets closed the regular season with a 114-85 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tyler Zeller scored 22 points with 11 rebounds for the Cavs.

-- Tyreke (ty-REEK') Evans had 25 points and 10 assists, and the New Orleans Pelicans closed out a difficult season with a 105-100 victory over the playoff-bound Houston Rockets.

-- Utah won a double-overtime crowd pleaser with a 136-130 win over Minnesota in a matchup of two teams playing out the string. Trey Burke had 32 for the Jazz.

-- The Philadelphia 76ers wrapped up a dismal season by topping the Miami Heat 100-87. Thaddeus Young scored 20.

-- Jordan Hill had 18 points and 14 rebounds and the Lakers closed their worst season since they moved to Los Angeles with a 113-100 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Los Angeles closed the season with a two-game winning streak to finish 27-55.

---- Mike Scott scored 17 points and the Atlanta Hawks ended the regular season with a 111-103 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, who finished an NBA-worst 15-67.


MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Bucks are changing hands.

Herb Kohl has reached a deal to sell the franchise to New York investment firm executives Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens. With the worst record in the NBA, Milwaukee is in position for a high draft pick.


UNDATED (AP)-- The chase for the Stanley Cup has begun, and playoff-style hockey did not disappoint on opening night.

Brandon Sutter (SUHT'-ur) scored on a wrist shot from the left circle 8:18 into the third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rally for a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the opener of the NHL postseason. Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (marhk-ahn-dray FLOOR'-ee) overcame some shaky defense to stop 31 shots. Game 2 is Saturday night.

In other opening-night Stanley Cup playoff action:

-- The Montreal Canadiens captured the opener of their series on the road with a 5-4 overtime victory at Tampa Bay. Dale Weise (WEES') scored the game-winner at 18:08 of OT. Montreal outshot Tampa Bay 44-25. Game 2 is Friday night.


UNDATED (AP) -- Masahiro Tanaka (mah-sah-HEE'-roh tah-NAH'-kah) was outstanding in the New York Yankees' 3-0 win over the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader, striking out 10 while allowing just two hits in eight innings. The Yanks won the nightcap, 2-0. Michael Pineda and three relievers combined on a six-hitter.

The Cubs were blanked twice on the same day for the first time since 1962.

In other baseball:

-- Leonys Martin had a game-winning RBI single in the ninth inning as the Texas Rangers scored two unearned runs in a two-out rally against Fernando Rodney, beating the Seattle Mariners 3-2 in a game that started as a battle of aces. Yu Darvish fanned eight in seven innings for the Rangers and Felix Hernandez fanned nine in his seven innings, but neither was involved in the decision.

-- Washington scored a come-from-behind 6-3 win over Miami. Jayson Werth hit a three-run home run. Zach Walters delivered a pinch-hit go-ahead home run in a three-run eighth inning for the Nationals.

-- Atlanta blanked Philadelphia 1-0 on a Julio Teheran three-hitter. Evan Gattis homered for the lone run. Teheran is 3-1.

-- Johnny Cueto (KWAY'-toh) allowed three hits while recording a career-high 12 strikeouts as the Reds beat Pittsburgh 4-0 in Cincinnati. Despite the high strikeout total, Cueto threw just 107 pitches in his third career shutout and first since 2011. He also singled and scored on Joey Votto's (VAH'-tohz) two-run homer in the seventh, which gave the Reds a 3-0 lead.

Yan Gomes hit a two-run triple, Zach McAllister allowed a run and four hits in six innings and the Cleveland Indians held on for a 3-2 win over the Detroit Tigers

-- Miguel Gonzalez worked five innings and combined with two relievers on a six-hitter in Baltimore's 3-0 shutout of Tampa Bay. The Orioles' runs came on Matt Wieters' (WEE'-turz) sacrifice fly, J.J. Hardy's RBI grounder and one of Adam Jones' two infield singles.

-- Wily Peralta (WIH'-lee peh-RAHL'-tah) held St. Louis to a run and six hits over 6 1/3 innings to pitch Milwaukee to a 5-1 win over the Cardinals. Jonathan LuCroy hit a two-run single and Aramis (ah-RAH'-mihs) Ramirez was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

-- The New York Mets are over .500 for the first time this season after Dillon Gee (jee) scattered three hits in seven shutout innings of a 5-2 win at Arizona. Gee also drove in a run and batterymate Anthony Recker hit a solo homer to help the Mets complete a three-game sweep.

-- Kansas City beat Houston 6-4 in 11 innings. Mike Moustakas delivered a home run in the Royals' two-run 11th inning.

-- In Minnesota, the Twins' game against visiting Toronto was postponed with rain and snow in the forecast. It will be made up Thursday as the second game of a day-night doubleheader.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A federal judge in Philadelphia has again denied preliminary approval of the proposed $765 million settlement of NFL concussion claims.

U.S. District Judge Anita Brody's order also denies class-action status to lawsuits filed by thousands of retired players, at least for now.

The ruling comes after Brody asked lawyers for more details to support claims the fund would cover up to 20,000 players for 65 years. Young players with severe brain injuries would get up to $5 million under the deal, though most players would get far less.

Brody has also sought help from a financial expert to help her analyze the deal.

She is expected to conduct more extensive hearings this year.


Last Update on April 16, 2014 19:08 GMT

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