Last Update on April 25, 2015 04:26 GMT
UNDATED (AP)---- James Harden scored a playoff career-high 42 points, Dwight Howard had his postseason best with 26 rebounds to go with his 13 points and the Houston Rockets beat the Dallas Mavericks 130-128 a 3-0 lead in their first-round series.
The Rockets are on the verge of their first playoff series victory since Howard joined Harden two years ago. They go for the sweep Sunday night at Dallas.
The high-scoring game was Dallas' first without effectively banished point guard Rajon Rondo (RAH'-zhahn RAHN'-doh). Monta Ellis had a playoff career-high 34 points to match Dirk Nowitzki (noh-VIHT'-skee), but no other Dallas player had more than 15.
UNDATED (AP) -- Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic's (NEE'-koh-luh MEER'-uh-tich-ehz) bruised left knee is feeling better, though coach Tom Thibodeau is unsure whether the rookie will be available for Game 4 of the team's first-round playoff series at Milwaukee on Saturday. Mirotic sat out Game 3 Thursday after getting hurt during a scrum for a loose ball in Game 2 this week in Chicago. Mirotic also strained his quadriceps.
Portland guard Arron Afflalo is expected to play Saturday when the Trail Blazers host the Grizzlies in Game 3 of their playoff series. He's been sidelined with a right shoulder strain that kept him out of the first two games of the series, both Portland losses in Memphis.
UNDATED (AP)-- Carl Hagelin scored at 10:52 of overtime to give the New York Rangers a series-clinching 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh that eliminated the Penguins in five games. Henrik Lundqvist turned back 37 shots between the pipes for the defending Eastern Conference-champion Rangers.
The Rangers advanced despite scoring just 11 goals in five games against Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (marhk-ahn-dray FLOOR'-ee). All four Rangers victories were by 2-1 scores.
That's the seventh consecutive overtime playoff loss for the Penguins.
The Rangers now await the winner of the Washington-New York Islanders series.
In other first-round NHL playoffs:
-- Ottawa cut Montreal's series lead to 3-2 with a 5-1 victory on the Canadiens' home ice. Craig Anderson made 45 saves.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Defenseman Shea (SHAY) Weber of the Nashville Predators will miss the rest of the team's Western Conference quarterfinal series with Chicago. The defenseman is suffering from a lower-body injury. Weber, the Predators' team captain, hasn't played since getting hurt last week in Game 2 of the series.
UNDATED (AP) -- Mark Teixeira (teh-SHEHR'-uh) hit a pair of two-run homers and Michael Pineda pitched impressively into the eighth inning to help the New York Yankees end the crosstown rival Mets' 11-game winning streak with a 6-1 victory in the Subway Series opener at Yankee Stadium.
Jacoby Ellsbury also connected off Jacob deGrom, who fell to 2-2 with the loss. Pineda is 3-0.
In other baseball:
-- Tampa Bay scoured Toronto 12-3. James Loney, Rene Rivera and Tim Beckham each hit two-run homers
-- Brandon Moss homered twice and drove in seven runs, Danny Salazar struck out a career-high 11 and the Cleveland Indians routed the Detroit Tigers 13-1.
-- Freddie Freeman mishandled Ben Revere's ground ball to first, allowing Freddy Galvis to score in the ninth to give the Philadelphia Phillies a 1-0 win over the Atlanta Braves.
-- Miami handed the Washington Nationals their third straight loss, 3-2. Martin (mahr-TEEN') Prado delivered the go-ahead RBI single in the eighth.
UNDATED (AP) -- Left fielder Chris Yelich (YEHL'-itch) of the Miami Marlins has been placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Monday because of a lower back strain. Yelich, who is hitting just .200 with 13 strikeouts in 11 games, also spent a two-week stint on the disabled list last season with a similar injury.
The Orioles have placed infielder Ryan Flaherty on the 15-day disabled list with a right groin strain. He sustained the injury running the bases on the final play in a 4-2 loss to Toronto on Wednesday night. Flaherty was batting .300 with two homers and four RBIs in nine games this season.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) --Defending champion Joey Logano earned the pole for Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway with a fast lap of just over 127 miles per hour.
The pole is the season-best third of the season for Logano in nine races. He will begin the 400-lap race 30 points behind Kevin Harvick for the series lead. Denny Hamlin runs from the outside of the front row. Kurt Busch and A.J. Allmendinger comprise the second row.
Mother Nature could be a factor in this race. Rain is forecast for Saturday night in Richmond. Last Sunday, rain caused repeated delays in running the spring race at Bristol International Speedway.
NEW YORK (AP) -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL') says the two stadium projects in the Los Angeles area look promising enough to lead to the return of the NFL to the nation's second-largest city. Goodell tells the Associated Press Sports Editors group that he thinks the projects in Englewood and Carson are "viable," and have a "great deal of potential to be successful."
St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is involved in the Englewood project, while the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders have combined to work on the Carson proposal.
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- There's good news for fans of the Oklahoma men's basketball team as Big 12 player of the year Buddy Hield has announced he's coming back for his senior season. The 6-foot-4 Hield averaged 17.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season while shooting 41 percent from the field. With Hield's return, Oklahoma will return four starters from a team that finished with a 24-11 record and reached the Sweet 16.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The NCAA has put Oklahoma State's football program on a year of probation for failing to follow its own drug-testing policies. The Committee on Infractions also ordered Oklahoma State to suspend its Orange Pride student group after determining its all-female membership violated recruiting rules.
The penalties follow a Sports Illustrated expose in 2013 that included allegations of widespread misconduct. The NCAA and Oklahoma State said last October that the allegations were "fundamentally unfounded."
AVONDALE, La. (AP) -- Threatening weather has suspended the second round of the Zurich Classic. Hudson Swafford is the overnight clubhouse leader after his 6-under 66 put him at 11-under par for the 36 holes. First round leader Boo Weekley is also 11 under with three holes to play. Among those that completed their rounds, Brendon de Jonge (deh-YAHNG') and Cameron Tringale are tied for second just a shot back. De Jonge shot a 70, while Tringale came in with a 65. Marc Leishman is 10-under par for his round through 17 holes. That leaves him 8-under for the tournament.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Tiger Woods has added The Players Championship to his schedule. After a good showing at the Masters the former world No.1 has announced he will play in the TPC, an event he won two years ago. He missed last year's tournament recovering from back surgery.
Jack Nicklaus said earlier this week that Woods told him he would be at the Memorial, which is June 4-7.