Howard leads Rockets over Bulls 109-94
HOUSTON (AP) - Dwight Howard scored 23 points and James Harden and Chandler Parsons added 19 each as the Houston Rockets used a big third-quarter run to pull away for a 109-94 win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.
The Bulls trailed by three with 5½ minutes left in the third before their offense went cold. Houston took advantage of the scoring drought, using a 15-1 spurt to make it 83-66 entering the final period.
Chicago missed six shots and had five turnovers in that span, while Omri Casspi scored seven points to power Houston's offense.
The Rockets picked up the victory in the return of coach Kevin McHale, who had missed the previous three games following the death of his mother.
Ginobili, Spurs snap Suns' 5-game winning streak
PHOENIX (AP) - Manu Ginobili scored 11 of his 24 points in the final four-plus minutes, and the San Antonio Spurs pulled away for a 108-101 victory over Phoenix on Wednesday night, snapping the Suns' five-game winning streak.
Tim Duncan added 17 points and 13 rebounds and Kawhi Leonard scored 14 for the Spurs, who were without injured point guard Tony Parker.
Channing Frye scored 15 of his 22 points in the first quarter for the Suns. Goran Dragic had 18 points and Eric Bledsoe 15, but the two guards were a combined 12 of 33 from the field.
Miles Plumlee had 13 points and 13 rebounds for Phoenix.
Led by Ginobili, the Spurs outscored the Suns 15-6 over the final 4:11 after Phoenix took a 95-93 lead.
Nowitzki leads Mavs past depleted Grizzlies 105-88
DALLAS (AP) - Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points in his return to the lineup and the Dallas Mavericks defeated the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies 105-88 on Wednesday night.
The Mavericks (15-10) have won two straight to equal their season high of five games over .500. Memphis (10-15) has lost five in a row and seven of eight.
Nowitzki added six rebounds, five assists, two steals and one blocked shot. He had four points during a 10-2 run after the Grizzlies cut a 16-point deficit to four in the third quarter.
While the Mavericks got their star forward back following a one-game absence due to a stomach virus, Memphis was without three injured starters.
No. 12 Baylor beats Northwestern State 91-84 in OT
WACO, Texas (AP) - Kenny Chery scored 12 of his 20 points in overtime and No. 12 Baylor returned from an extended break with a 91-84 victory over Northwestern State on Wednesday night.
Chery had a steal in the first minute of overtime after Sabri Thompson lost control of the ball. Chery picked it up and drove to make a tough short jumper while being fouled. He shouted out while still sitting on the court after the ball went through the hoop to put the Bears (9-1) ahead to stay. He added the free throw.
There was an assist for Chery on Gary Franklin's 3-pointer in the extra period. After Brison White's jumper got Northwestern State within 82-80 with 2 minutes left, Chery drove for a layup and then made a 3-pointer after a shot-clock violation by the Demons (4-6).
Cory Jefferson had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Baylor, which was playing for the first time in 12 days. Rico Gathers had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Franklin added 11 points.
Jalan West had 26 points for Northwestern State.
Texas upends No. 14 North Carolina 86-83
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Demarcus Holland scored on a stickback of his own free throw with 4.1 seconds left to help Texas hold on and beat No. 14 North Carolina 86-83 on Wednesday night.
Holland finished with 15 points for the Longhorns (10-1), who survived a missed 3-pointer from UNC's Marcus Paige on the final play to earn their sixth straight win.
Isaiah Taylor scored 16 points to lead Texas, while Javan Felix added 12 - including two key baskets in the final 2 minutes to answer a tying spurt from the Tar Heels (7-3).
Texas shot 38 percent after halftime and 40 percent for the game, but dominated the boards and scored 21 second-chance points to beat the Tar Heels for the sixth time in seven meetings.
Paige scored 23 points to lead UNC, which got senior Leslie McDonald back for the first time after missing the first nine games due to NCAA eligibility issues.
Sims, No. 9 Baylor women beat Mississippi 87-80
WACO, Texas (AP) - Odyssey Sims scored 39 points, including six the final minute, and No. 9 Baylor held off Mississippi 87-80 on Wednesday night to extend its home winning streak to 66 games.
Despite a tough shooting night (11 of 32), the nation's top scorer made baskets when Baylor (9-1) needed them. Her floater with 36 seconds left made it 83-79, and she then added four free throws after that.
Nina Davis had 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Lady Bears.
Ole Miss (8-5), which had its seven-game winning streak snapped, jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first half. The Rebels had five players score in double figures.
Tia Faleru had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Rebels before fouling out. Valencia McFarland had 17 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.
LSU holds on to defeat Texas Tech 71-69
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Anthony Hickey scored 16 points and sank four 3-pointers to lead LSU past Texas Tech 71-69 Wednesday night.
Shavon Coleman added 13 points for the Tigers (7-2) and hit three 3-pointers of his own, while Andre Stringer added 12 points and dished out four assists. Johnny O'Bryant III also had 12 points.
Jaye Crockett led Texas Tech (7-4) with 18 points and Rob Turner contributed 14.
LSU out-shot Texas Tech from the field 52 percent to 36 percent. The Tigers got out on top early and led by as many as 11 points, 29-18, with 9:20 left in the first half on a jumper by Malik Morgan.
The Red Raiders would fight back and tie it up 44-44 on a Toddrick Gotcher 3-pointer with 18:47 left in the second half but couldn't break away.
In the final minute Texas Tech would pull within two points, but LSU held on.
Cowboys' league-worst defense scrambling at LB
IRVING, Texas (AP) - Bruce Carter was benched for a game over spotty play early in the season. Now it's hard to tell what the Dallas Cowboys would do without him at linebacker.
Carter's return to practice Wednesday after missing the loss to Green Bay with a hamstring injury was good news for the league's worst defense.
Sean Lee is probably out Sunday against Washington with a neck sprain. Justin Durant's season is over because of a hamstring injury.
Ernie Sims isn't practicing because of a hip and groin problem.
Among the replacements, Kyle Wilber is the only one who has started a game. And he began the season as a defensive end.
Coach Jason Garrett says the first task is figuring out who's available against the Redskins.
Schaub to start at QB for Texans vs Broncos
HOUSTON (AP) - Matt Schaub will start at quarterback for an injured Case Keenum on Sunday against Denver when the Houston Texans try to end a 12-game skid.
Schaub, who was benched after six games, will start for the first time since Oct. 13. Keenum has an injury to a ligament in his right thumb and was unable to grip the football on Tuesday. Interim coach Wade Phillips says he will wear a splint this week.
Also on Wednesday, Phillips announced that running back Ben Tate will be placed on the injured reserve after another injury to his ribs. Tate has been playing with four broken ribs since October. Already without Arian Foster, the team signed Jonathan Grimes to take Tate's roster spot and add depth at running back.
T25-TEXAS A&M-BOWL PREPARATIONS
A&M prepares for what could be Manziel's last game
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin balked when asked to reflect on Johnny Manziel's career as he and the Aggies prepare for what could be the quarterback's last college game.
The Aggies will face Duke in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31. Manziel hasn't revealed his plans for the future, but most believe the redshirt sophomore will declare for the NFL draft next month.
Sumlin says: "I'm not going to reflect on that until it is his last game. All I can tell you is what he's done for the university up to this point (is) well-documented. His numbers speak for themselves. He is without a doubt the most exciting player in America."
Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy last season and came in fifth in this year's voting.
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