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 determined to play better in conference semis

HOUSTON (AP) -- James Harden and the Houston Rockets are feeling great heading into the Western Conference semifinals for one big reason. They don't believe they played well so far despite downing the Russell Westbrook-led Thunder 4-1 in the first round. "That's what's exciting," Harden said. "We can play 10-times better, especially offensively." Houston will face either San Antonio or Memphis in the second round.

BC-AP Sports Digest

The supervisor is Jake Seiner, followed by Rebecca Miller 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. TOP STORIES CAR--NASCAR-AFTER EARNHARDT CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Now that Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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.

NBA Playoff Capsules

HOUSTON (AP) -- James Harden had 34 points and his supporting cast helped Houston overcome a 47-point game by Russell Westbrook to get a 105-99 victory over Oklahoma City 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.

Astros' Keuchel wins again; Altuve OK after scary collision

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Dallas Keuchel pitched another masterpiece and the Houston Astros endured a frightening collision in a 4-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night. Keuchel pitched a complete game to extend his promising start to the season, even as Jose Altuve and Teoscar Hernandez left after colliding in the eighth inning. The pair appeared to avoid serious injury and was in Houston's clubhouse following the game.

Chinese court sentences US businesswoman accused of spying

HOUSTON (AP) -- An American woman detained during a business trip to China was convicted of spying and sentenced Tuesday to 3 1/2 years in prison, raising the possibility that she may be allowed to return home soon. Phan Phan-Gillis has faced an uncertain fate since March 2015, when she disappeared from her group traveling in southern China. She was later accused of espionage, which carries a possible death sentence.

Aretha blasts Dionne Warwick but she declines to fire back

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Queen of Soul is coming out swinging against fellow legend Dionne Warwick, accusing her of making up a story that she was Whitney Houston's godmother, even though the alleged offense happened five years ago at Houston's funeral. "She blatantly lied on me ... fully well knowing what she was doing," Aretha Franklin said in a phone interview.

Baylor's Rhule back to Philly for NFL draft with former Owls

Baylor coach Matt Rhule is spending the rest of this week back in Philadelphia, where he will be at the NFL draft with his former Temple players while also touting the Bears. "I'm there to support my Temple kids, and I'm there to sell Baylor to future recruits, and make sure that all kids that I'm recruiting know that our process is doing things that no one thought was possible," Rhule said Tuesday.

DEFENSE, DEFENSE: This draft crop is loaded on that side

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE. That's going to be the area of concentration in this draft, in the first round and through much of the proceedings in Philadelphia. Indeed, the first half-dozen or so selections could come from that side of the ball. That's often the fallout when there are no slam-dunk quarterbacks available. Here's how we see Thursday night's first round falling, minus any trades. 1.

Tough court on immigration serves as model for Trump plans

DEL RIO, Texas (AP) -- One by one, the Mexican men stood in the jury box, shackles rattling as they fidgeted slightly and pleaded guilty to crossing the U.S. border illegally. They had come for better jobs, many to earn more money to help raise their children, their defense lawyer told a federal magistrate in a quiet west Texas courtroom about 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of the Mexican border.

BC-AP Sports Digest

The supervisor is Dennis Waszak at 1 a.m, 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. TOP STORIES BKN--WARRIORS ADVANCE PORTLAND, Ore.

Passengers in viral airline videos have same lawyer

DALLAS (AP) -- The woman seen sobbing in a viral video after an American Airlines flight attendant took away her stroller now has a lawyer -- the same attorney representing a man dragged off a United Express flight earlier this month. The Chicago lawyer, Thomas Demetrio, says the American flight attendant was "out of control" and nearly hit one of the woman's two young children with the stroller.

Houston's D'Antoni: Nene 1 of those players you have to have

HOUSTON (AP) -- Nene has spent 15 years in the NBA and many still struggle in pronouncing his name. Count ABC's broadcasting team of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson among the offenders. As Houston's backup center made play after play on Sunday they repeatedly called him "NAY-NAY," something many of his teammates also do routinely.

Cowboys honor Ware, ponder need with post-Romo future secure

FRISCO, Texas (AP) -- Jerry Jones honored DeMarcus Ware with a ceremonial signing Monday that allowed the franchise sacks leader to retire as a Dallas Cowboy on the same day the team owner discussed how the draft might help find the next dominant pass rusher. Whenever the Cowboys decide to pay homage to Tony Romo with their 10-year starter heading to the broadcast booth, they will do so feeling secure about their future under center.

Kawhi Leonard locked in a playoff duel with Mike Conley

Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale sat down behind the microphone after surviving a 110-108 overtime thriller that tied their first-round series with the San Antonio Spurs at two games apiece. After Marc Gasol hit the game-winner with 1 second to play, the only thing better than the shot to Fizdale was that there wasn't enough time left for Kawhi Leonard to get a chance of his own.