Rockets take out Westbrook, Thunder
UNDATED (AP) -- The Houston Rockets have found a way to stop Russell Westbrook from getting triple-doubles - by ending the Oklahoma City Thunder's season.
The Rockets have advanced to the NBA's Western Conference semifinals by knocking off the Thunder, 105-99 in Game 5. James Harden had 34 points and Lou Williams added 22 to help Houston reach Round 2 for the second time in three seasons. Williams scored the last eight points in a 10-2 spurt that put the Rockets ahead 86-81 with nine minutes remaining.
Westbrook scored 20 of his game-high 47 points in the third quarter, but he shot just 2-for-11 in the final period while the Thunder were wasting a five-point lead. Westbrook also had 11 rebounds and nine assists to just miss recording his fourth triple-double of the series after setting an NBA record with 42 during the regular season.
The Rockets next face either San Antonio or Memphis in the second round.
The Spurs own a three-games-to-two lead in their series after Kawhi (kah-WY') Leonard scored 28 points in a 116-103 win over the Grizzlies. San Antonio was 14-for-28 from 3-point range, with Patty Mills hitting 5 of 7 while scoring 20 points.
Tony Parker finished with 16 points and six assists as the Spurs beat the Grizzlies for the ninth straight time in San Antonio.
Mike Conley scored 26 points and tried to keep the Grizzlies in the game by providing seven points during a 17-3 run that cut San Antonio's lead to 87-83 with nine minutes left. Marc Gasol (gah-SAHL') chipped in 17 points for the Grizzlies, who host Game 6 on Thursday.
Like the Spurs, the Jazz own a 3-2 series lead following a 96-92 win over the Clippers in Los Angeles. Gordon Hayward dropped in 27 points after missing most of Game 4 due to food poisoning that caused him to lose weight and energy.
The Jazz nailed five 3-pointers in the final period, with Rodney Hood hitting three on his way to a 16-point night.
Chris Paul had 27 points and J.J. Redick added 26 for the Clippers.
Game 6 is Friday in Salt Lake City.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NORTH CAROLINA-BERRY
Berry staying in school
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Joel Berry II will continue to play for the North Carolina Tar Heels after leading them to their seventh national championship earlier this month.
Berry has done an about-face and withdrawn from the NBA draft, one day after the school announced that he was leaving the Heels one year early. The most outstanding player in this year's Final Four says he had reversed course after conferring with his family, adding that he can prepare for the NBA by playing "against the best college competition in the country."
Berry averaged 14.7 points and 3.6 assists in 38 games as a junior for the Tar Heels the past season.
Bruins will bring back Bruce Cassidy as coach
BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Bruins are bringing Bruce Cassidy back as coach.
The team said on Wednesday it will drop the interim tag from Cassidy's title. Cassidy replaced Claude Julien in February and helped the team return to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.
Bruins went 18-8-1 after he took over to finish the regular season before losing to the Ottawa Senators in six games in the first round of the playoffs.
Cassidy's only previous NHL head coaching experience was more than a decade ago with the Washington Capitals.
Junior to retire at end of season
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- NASCAR is losing yet another popular driver due to retirement.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has announced that he will retire as a driver at the end of the season, saying he wants to go out on his own terms. The 42-year-old Earnhardt missed much of last season due to concussion-like symptoms, and he acknowledged Tuesday that the time off played a role in his decision. He's become an advocate for research of sports-related brain injuries.
The two-time Daytona 500 winner just got married and says he wants to start a family.
His decision comes months after Tony Stewart stopped driving and less than two years after Jeff Gordon's last full season.
Earnhardt says he is committed to participating in two Xfinity Series races in 2018 and that "even after this season, you have not seen the last of me on the racetrack."
Saints, Peterson agree on contract
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Adrian Peterson is now scheduled to be on the same field as the Minnesota Vikings for Week 1 of the NFL season, but he won't be wearing purple.
The longtime Vikings running back has worked out a two-year contract with the New Orleans Saints, who open their season at Minnesota on Sept. 11. The 10-year veteran has posted seven 1,000-yard seasons with the Vikes and once eclipsed 2,000 yards, but he has played just 21 games over the last three seasons. Peterson's last full season was in 2015, when he had 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing. He played just three games last year before being sidelined by a knee injury that required surgery.
The Saints run a pass-first offense and already have Mark Ingram as their starting running back. However, Saints coach Sean Payton says he envisions a productive role for Peterson.
NFL prospect denies rape report made to police, no charges
CLEVELAND (AP) -- An attorney for former Ohio State football star Gareon Conley says the player denies an accusation made in a police report that he sexually assaulted a woman. No charges have been filed.
A Cleveland police report released Tuesday says the 23-year-old woman told officers that Conley sexually assaulted her in a hotel bathroom this month.
The 21-year-old Conley started at cornerback for Ohio State for two years and was a team captain last season. He was expected to be chosen in the first round of the NFL draft that begins Thursday.
MICHIGAN ST-ASSAULT INVESTIGATION
Ex-Spartan football player returned to Michigan in sex case
MASON, Mich. (AP) -- Former Michigan State defensive end Auston Robertson is jailed on a $250,000 bond after being returned to Michigan from Indiana to face a third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge.
The 19-year-old Robertson was arraigned in 55th District Court in Mason on Tuesday via videoconference from the Ingham County Jail. He is scheduled to return to court next month.
Robertson is accused of forcing a woman to have sex with him at her Meridian Township apartment on April 8. Shortly after prosecutors announced the charge on Friday, Michigan State said Robertson had been dismissed from the football team.
Dallas looking good for Houston
UNDATED (AP) -- Dallas Keuchel (KY'-kul) is back to his 2015 Cy Young form after struggling last season.
Keuchel is 4-0 with a 1.22 ERA after tossing a six-hitter in Houston's 4-2 victory at Cleveland. He gave up solo homers to Austin Jackson and Michael Brantley before becoming the year's first four-game winner.
Josh Reddick had three RBIs, including a tiebreaking, two-run single in the fifth to help the Astros improve to 14-6 overall and 7-2 on the road.
Houston's Jose Altuve (al-TOO'-vay) and Teoscar (tay-AHS'-kur) Hernandez left following a frightening collision in the eighth inning. They were chasing a popup when Altuve appeared to get hit near his chin by Hernandez's arm.
Meanwhile, another former Cy Young Award winner didn't fare as well as Keuchel. Felix Hernandez lasted just two innings in the Mariners' 19-9 loss to the Tigers in Detroit, yielding four runs and six hits. The Mariners announced after the game that King Felix will head back to Seattle after complaining of a stiff right shoulder.
James McCann hit a two-run blast off Hernandez before Justin Upton, Mikie Mahtook and Alex Avila went deep against the Mariners' bullpen.
The Tigers rapped out 24 hits despite playing without the injured Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez and Jose Iglesias.
The star of the night may have been Nationals shortstop Trea (tray) Turner, who hit for the cycle and collected a career-high seven RBIs in a 15-12 slugfest win over Colorado. Turner's bases-loaded triple in the seventh made him the third place in Nats history and the first since 2008 to hit for the cycle. Daniel Murphy tied a career best with five ribbies in Washington's eighth win in nine games.
Elsewhere in the majors:
-- Kyle Hendricks outdueled Gerrit Cole by holding the Pirates to four hits over six innings of the Cubs' 1-0 shutout. Addison Russell doubled in the second off Cole and scored when second baseman Alen (AL'-ehn) Hanson overthrew Jason Heyward's grounder.
-- Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Owings each drove in three runs and Patrick Corbin struck out nine while allowing two runs over seven innings of Arizona's 9-3 pounding of San Diego. Goldschmidt's homer made the Diamondbacks the first team in 12 years to homer in the first inning of five consecutive games.
-- The Dodgers had dropped four straight to the Giants until Clayton Kershaw struck out seven over seven innings to send Los Angeles to a 2-1 victory at San Francisco. Kershaw and the L.A. bullpen blanked the Giants following Buster Posey's RBI single in the third.
-- Austin Pruitt combined with four relievers on a two-hitter and Tampa Bay scored twice in the fourth to beat the Orioles, 2-0 in Baltimore. The Rays retired 17 straight batters before Chris Davis drew a two-out walk in the ninth.
-- Minnesota hammered Texas, 8-1 as Ervin Santana held the Rangers to a run and four hits with six strikeouts over seven innings. Miguel Sano (sah-NOH') had three hits, including a solo homer that sparked a seven-run fifth by the Twins.
-- The Angels pulled out a 2-1 win over Oakland on Kole Calhoun's RBI single with two out in the bottom of the 11th. Pinch-hitter Josh Phegley's solo homer broke a scoreless tie in the 10th, but Los Angeles extended the game on Mike Trout's solo blast.
-- Todd Frazier had three RBIs and the White Sox following Monday's 12-1 trouncing of Kansas City by pinning a 10-5 loss on their division rivals. Avasail Garcia was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI to help Chicago drop the Royals to 0-6 on their seven-game road trip.
-- Eric Thames hit his major league-leading 11th homer to cap Milwaukee's five-run sixth in a 9-1 rout of Cincinnati. Hernan Perez had a pair of RBI triples and also homered for the Brewers, who also got a couple of RBI singles from Jonathan Villar (vee-AHR').
-- Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman collected his first major league hit with an 11th-inning double off the bench before scoring the go-ahead run in Toronto's 6-5 win at St. Louis. Cardinals shortstop Aledmys (ah-LEHD'-mihs) Diaz threw wildly following a grounder by Steve Pearce, allowing the Blue Jays to win for just the sixth time in 20 games.
-- The Red Sox-Yankees game in Boston has been washed out and rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader on July 16.
-- The Mets and Braves were rained out in New York, leading to a single-admission twinbill on Sept. 25.
-- Philadelphia's wet weather has led to the postponement of the Phillies-Marlins game. No makeup date was immediately announced.
Manfred says no deal for Marlins
UNDATED (AP) -- Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has shot down a Bloomberg report that says a group led by former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have won an auction to buy the Florida Marlins.
Manfred says multiple groups have submitted bids, but added that none have been accepted. Bloomberg said the Bush-Jeter bid was $1.3 billion.
Completion of any sale by Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria could take months and would require approval by at least 75 percent of the major league teams. MLB's debt service rule could require that more than half of the winning bid involve cash, meaning the Bush-Jeter group would need to raise a lot of money.
Bush and Jeter initially had competing interests in efforts to buy the team before joining forces.
In other major league news:
-- Giants ace Madison Bumgarner doesn't need shoulder surgery and is scheduled to begin light rehab activities in four or five days. Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a sprained AC joint in his pitching shoulder from a dirt bike accident during last Thursday's off day in Colorado.
-- Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter is serving a one-game suspension for making contact with an umpire following his ejection during Sunday's game against the Brewers in Milwaukee. Carpenter threw his bat and was ejected after being called out on strikes by plate umpire John Tumpane.
-- Twins reliever Ryan O'Rourke will have surgery for a partially torn ligament in his left elbow. There is no timetable for his return. O'Rourke has compiled a 4.98 ERA in 54 games for the Twins over the last two years.
-- Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick has been placed on the seven-day concussion list after running into a wall. Marisnick was chasing a fly ball on Sunday at Tampa Bay when he hit a fence and fell to the ground.
Sharapova returns to tennis after 15-month doping ban
STUTTGART, Germany (AP) -- Maria Sharapova returned to professional tennis today after a 15-month doping ban. She completed a one-hour training session on an empty center court in Stuttgart, Germany, less than 10 hours before her first competitive match since January 2016.
Handed a much-debated wild card, Sharapova will play Roberta Vinci in the opening round of the Porsche Grand Prix.
The five-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1 hasn't played since losing to Serena Williams in the quarterfinals of last year's Australian Open. Today's match will be her first on clay since the 2015 French Open.
Sharapova will find out next month if she can compete at the French Open.