Bengals getting backlash over drafting RB Joe Mixon

CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Bengals are facing a backlash over their decision to draft running back Joe Mixon, who punched a woman in the face while at Oklahoma. Cincinnati added to its reputation for embracing players with troubled histories when it took Mixon in the second round. Even before Mixon arrived in town on Saturday, the choice was getting panned.

Witnessing death: AP reporters describe problem executions

The sedative midazolam is supposed to prevent condemned prisoners from suffering while they die, but opponents say several problematic executions involving the drug are evidence that it does not work consistently. They raised new concerns after an execution Thursday in Arkansas left the prisoner convulsing and pressing against his restraints.

Urias makes 1st start of 2017, Dodgers option Liberatore

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Julio Urias made his first start of the season for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday after being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City, and the Dodgers optioned reliever Adam Liberatore to Oklahoma City. The 20-year-old Urias went 5-2 in four stints with the Dodgers last season.

Oklahoma struggles to pay for schools after slashing taxes

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Four years ago, Oklahoma's oil patch was booming, unemployment was falling and state lawmakers were debating what to do with $200 million in surplus revenue. Republicans who control state government successfully pushed to reduce the state's top income tax rate, slash the oil and gas production tax rate from 7 percent to 2 percent and give more tax incentives to industry. But the boom ended and the money dried up.

Dem Senator accuses EPA chief Pruitt of violating ethics law

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Senate Democrat is accusing the head of the Environmental Protection Agency of violating federal law by agreeing to headline a state GOP fundraiser. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse filed an ethics complaint Tuesday against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt over a planned May 5 appearance as the keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Republican Party's annual gala dinner.

Some high plains farmers struggling after fires, drought

DENVER (AP) -- Deep snow is melting into Western mountain streams, but some farmers and ranchers on the high plains are struggling amid a lengthy dry spell and the aftermath of destructive wildfires. A swath of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas has been in a drought or near-drought condition for six months, putting some of the winter wheat crop in doubt.

Rockets advance with 105-99 win over Thunder

HOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston Rockets are headed to the Western Conference semifinals after using strong defense and a balanced scoring attack to overcome another big game by Russell Westbrook and eliminate the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 105-99 victory in Game 5 on Tuesday night. James Harden had 34 points while Westbrook piled up 47 and came up just one assist shy of his fourth straight triple-double.

Rockets advance with 105-99 win over Thunder

HOUSTON (AP) -- James Harden had 34 points and his supporting cast helped the Houston Rockets overcome a 47-point game by Russell Westbrook to get a 105-99 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night to advance to the Western Conference semifinals. The Thunder head home a year after advancing to the Western Conference finals after Houston took this series 4-1.

The old guys are coming up big so far in these playoffs

George W. Bush was early in his first term as president. Seattle was years away from losing the SuperSonics. "Arrested Development" hadn't even started airing yet. That's how long ago Utah's Joe Johnson and Houston's Nene made their NBA debuts. So-called old guys like them are delivering all across these playoffs thus far.

Oklahoma, St. John's to play in Hall of Fame Classic

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Oklahoma will play Southern California and St. John's will take on Arizona State in the second annual Basketball Hall of Fame Classic this fall. The one-day doubleheader will be played Dec. 8 at Staples Center. Tickets go on sale May 6. Game times and television broadcast information will be announced later.

Nene's 28 lead Rockets past Thunder for 3-1 series lead

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- James Harden's shot was off, and one of the most unlikely players on Houston's roster came to the rescue. Nene scored 28 points on perfect shooting from the field, and the Rockets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-109 on Sunday to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series. The 6-foot-11 center from Brazil made all 12 of his shots and had 10 rebounds.

Westbrook goes on rant defending Thunder teammates

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Thunder guard Russell Westbrook went on a rant defending his teammates after Sunday's 113-109 loss to the Houston Rockets. A recurring theme throughout the series has been Oklahoma City's tendency to lose leads when Westbrook sits in the second half. It happened again on Sunday __ the Thunder were outscored 13-4 in a stretch that lasted from late in the third quarter to early in the fourth.

Update on the latest sports

NBA PLAYOFFS-CAVALIERS-PACERS James helps Cavs hold off Pacers, earn sweep into 2nd round INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- LeBron James made a 3-pointer with 68 seconds left Sunday and the Cleveland Cavaliers hung on for a 106-102 series-clinching victory at Indiana. James finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds as he became the first player under the current playoff format to win 21 straight first-round games.

Westbrook clinches triple-double in first half vs. Rockets

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Thunder guard Russell Westbrook achieved a triple-double in the first half of Sunday's playoff game against the Houston Rockets. Westbrook had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists at halftime. He grabbed the 10th rebound in the final second of the second quarter. The Thunder led 58-54 at the break. According to the Thunder, Westbrook became the second player to claim three consecutive triple-doubles in the playoffs.

Rockets' Beverley fined $25,000 for confronting fan

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The NBA has fined Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley $25,000 for confronting a fan after Game 3 of the team's first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The league announced the fine about two hours before Game 4 tipped off Sunday. Beverley had two incidents with the same fan Friday night in Oklahoma City.

Rites of postseason: LeBron looks for sweep, Clippers ailing

They seem like postseason traditions: LeBron James is going for a sweep, and the Los Angeles Clippers have big problems. James is one win from the second round and the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers might be on the cusp of getting several rest days. Meanwhile, Blake Griffin will miss the rest of the season in a major blow for a Clippers team that now faces playoff drama for the fifth consecutive year.

Oklahoman author, Texas dispute ownership of 'lunar Bibles'

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Ten microfilm Bibles once launched hundreds of thousands of miles into space sit landlocked today inside an Oklahoma courthouse while a legal battle rages in two states over who is the rightful owner of the celestial keepsakes. Eight of the 10 tiny holy books in dispute landed on the surface of the moon during NASA's 1971 Apollo 14 mission, carried in a pouch by astronaut Edgar Mitchell.

BC-AP Sports Digest

The supervisor is Jake Seiner, followed by Fred Lief at 9 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports Photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. AP stories and accompanying photos also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com For reruns, call the Service Desk (800 838-4616) or your local AP bureau. All times EDT.

Westbrook's triple-double leads Thunder past Rockets 115-113

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Russell Westbrook figured out that he didn't have to do it all. Once that happened, the Thunder figured out how to beat the Houston Rockets. Westbrook scored 32 points in a triple-double and the Thunder held off the Rockets 115-113 on Friday night to cut their deficit to 2-1 in the first-round Western Conference playoff series.

Update on the latest sports

NBA PLAYOFFS-SCHEDULE Celtics thump Bulls to get back in series. UNDATED (AP) -- Homecourt advantage has meant absolutely nothing to the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The top-seeded Celtics have bounced back from consecutive home losses to whip the Bulls, 104-87 and get within two games to one in the series.