OKC sends Kobe, Lakers home for the summer

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OKC sends Kobe, Lakers home for the summer

From Comcast SportsNet
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- With the Oklahoma City Thunder just starting to come to life, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant didn't need to take a break. They will have enough time to rest as they get ready for a second straight trip to the Western Conference finals. Westbrook scored 28 points, Durant added 25 points and 10 rebounds, and the two All-Stars skipped their usual rest periods to power the Thunder ahead in the second half for a 106-90 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 of the West semifinals on Monday night. "We know that's the most important time of the game, especially in a tight game," Durant said. "I think that we kept our composure throughout the fourth, and our poise and we made plays." Kobe Bryant scored 42 points for the Lakers and took the briefest of rest -- less than 2 minutes -- in the second half. It didn't even take that long for the game, and their season, to slip away. After getting eliminated by Los Angeles in 2010 and Dallas in 2011 before both of those teams went on to win it all, the Thunder knocked both out on their way to the West finals for the second straight year. The only other time the franchise made consecutive conference finals was from 1978-80, including Seattle's only NBA title in 1979. Once there, they'll face the top-seeded Spurs, the only team other than the Lakers or Mavs to win the West in the past 13 years and currently riding an 18-game winning streak. The series starts Sunday night in San Antonio. After Westbrook's pair of three-point plays fueled a 14-3 burst that put Oklahoma City ahead to stay late in the third quarter, Durant hit two 3-pointers as the Thunder scored the first 10 points of the fourth to push their lead to 93-77. Bryant was waiting to check in when Durant connected on his second 3-pointer, just 89 seconds into the fourth quarter. But by the time he got in, there was little he could do -- despite the 13th 40-point game of his playoff career. "That what we do. That's our rotations and that's the right rotation to make," Bryant said. "You have to trust that unit coming in there to hold the fort down." Lakers coach Mike Brown said he trusted that unit -- including starters Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum -- after it had turned a five-point deficit into a lead to start the second quarter. "I've got to be able to rest Kobe a few minutes here and there, and we didn't do a good job of handling it at that point in the game," Brown said, adding that he didn't keep Bryant out as long as he had planned. Westbrook went running to the scorer's table and pumped his fist in the air after his first energizing three-point play, when he was able to flip the ball in after Ramon Sessions fouled him on the fast break. "I just tried to throw it to the rim and luckily it went in. That kind of sparked us, and everybody else kept it going from there," Westbrook said. Westbrook converted another after banking in a jumper from the left side despite Sessions slapping him on the arm to make it 82-76 with 1:29 left in the third quarter. Durant extended the lead with a 3-pointer in the opening minute of the fourth and then hit another 32 seconds later -- just after Bryant had stepped to the scorer's table to check in after a brief rest. Bryant described it as "tough, to say the least." After blowing a fourth-quarter lead in Game 4, Bryant had called out forward Pau Gasol to be more aggressive -- much as he had with Gasol and Bynum before the Lakers faced elimination in Game 7 of the first round against Denver. Gasol came through with a monster game -- 23 points, 17 rebounds and six assists -- and Steve Blake scored a playoff career-best 19 points to save the Lakers that time. Bryant didn't get nearly as much help against the Thunder. Gasol took 14 shots, his most of the series, but made only five to finish with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Metta World Peace scored 11 and Bynum 10. James Harden added 17 points as Oklahoma City's bench outscored the Lakers' 35-5. The Thunder also had a 30-6 edge in fast-break scoring. The Lakers were outrebounded 51-35 and had only three offensive rebounds, two from Gasol and none from Bynum. "We're asking our bigs to do a lot but I know for sure we could have gotten more scoring from those two guys in the offensive rebounding category ... and we could have gotten more from our bench," Brown said. The Thunder got five of their first eight baskets on dunks and controlled the boards early on, grabbing 16 of the game's first 22 rebounds while keeping Los Angeles off the offensive glass for the first 11 minutes. Bryant had to create all of the offense, scoring 15 of the Lakers' first 19 points and getting all six of his baskets without the benefit of an assist. When others started chipping in, the Lakers went on a 16-7 run to go up 35-32 following Bynum's three-point play. Oklahoma City scored the next eight points, including Harden's fast-break dunk, before Bryant got past him for a pair of dunks of his own -- the first a driving, two-handed reverse jam and the second a two-handed alley-oop slam over Harden. But Bryant and World Peace both drew technical fouls as the Lakers lost their cool with 31.9 seconds left before halftime when World Peace was called for a flagrant foul against Thabo Sefolosha on a fast break. World Peace used his right hand to strip the ball from Sefolosha as he went up to the basket but then shoved him out of bounds with his left hand. Sefolosha hit both free throws and Durant capitalized on both shots from the technicals World Peace and Bryant got for arguing the flagrant call to put the Thunder 54-51 ahead at halftime despite shooting less than 40 percent. Notes: The Lakers had baskets just after the buzzer at the end of the second and third quarters that both got reviewed on instant replay. ... Westbrook got a technical foul for cursing at an official after a no-call midway through the first quarter. ... The Thunder's Nick Collison needed stitches to close a cut on the back of his head that he sustained during Game 4. ... Los Angeles is 10-3 when Bryant scores 40 points in the playoffs, losing both times he did it this season.

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Orioles' seven-game losing streak ends Monday largely thanks to Dylan Bundy

Orioles' seven-game losing streak ends Monday largely thanks to Dylan Bundy

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Dylan Bundy allowed two runs over seven innings in another strong start at Camden Yards, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees 3-2 Monday to snap a seven-game losing streak.

Jonathan Schoop had two RBIs to help the Orioles end their longest skid since a nine-game drought in 2011. Baltimore took a 3-1 lead with two unearned runs in the third inning and held on to improve the AL's best home record to 16-7.

Aaron Judge hit his major league-leading 17th home run for the first-place Yankees in this AL East matchup.

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Bundy (6-3) gave up seven hits, struck out three and walked one. The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA in six home starts this season.

Darren O'Day worked a perfect eighth and Brad Brach got three straight outs for his 10th save in 13 tries.

Yankees rookie Jordan Montgomery (2-4) allowed three runs, one earned, in 4 1-3 innings.

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With two championships in two days, Maryland's lacrosse teams join unique club

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With two championships in two days, Maryland's lacrosse teams join unique club

Any NCAA Championship deserves an explosive celebration because of the guaranteed adversity faced and collective team effort to go all the way. The Maryland men's lacrosse team — in addition to its challenging 16-3 season — has been fighting four decades' worth of adversity on its way to its first title since the 1975 season.

But when the Terrapins took down Ohio State — which handed Maryland one of its losses in overtime this season — on Monday, 9-6, for the championship, they gave the school, the athletic department and its fan base an extra boost of Terps pride after the women's team claimed its third title in four seasons Sunday. It's also just the third time in NCAA lacrosse history — or since the women began playing in 1982 — a school's men's and women's teams returned to the same campus as champions in the same season. 

Last season, both North Carolina teams won their respective championships, and before that, there was only Princeton in 1994. 

Topping Boston College on Sunday to cap a perfect, undefeated season, the women's program reaffirmed its power, earning its 13th championship — the most of any school and six more than second-place Northwestern — while the men opened what could be a new era of Terrapin dominance. 

It's a special lacrosse weekend for Maryland, and its fans should cherish the rarity of their men's and women's teams rising to the top of the NCAA. UConn's basketball teams have done it a couple times, and it happens in sports like swimming relatively often. But in lacrosse, both teams being the best in the nation is truly exceptional, and it deserves to be celebrated as much as the individual championships themselves.

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