- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - NBA

Russell Westbrook became the first player since Michael Jordan in 1989 to have four consecutive triple-doubles, according to STATS, and the first since Jordan that year to have back-to-back triple-doubles with at least 40 points.

Westbrook set career highs with 49 points and 16 rebounds, and added 10 assists, helping the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Philadelphia 76ers 123-118 in overtime Wednesday night.

Jordan had seven straight triple-doubles and 10 in an 11-game span in 1989 for Chicago.

It was the most points by any player with a triple-double since Larry Bird also had 49 in 1992.

Westbrook wore a mask and a headband after fracturing a bone in his right cheek Friday night against Portland. He had surgery Saturday and missed a game Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

NFL

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Hold that gold watch. Peyton Manning is taking one more shot at the silver trophy.

Weeks of speculation about the five-time MVP’s future ended Wednesday with word that he’s returning for an 18th season in the NFL and fourth in Denver.

A person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that Manning will take a $4 million pay cut, from $19 million to $15 million, but that he can make it all back through performance incentives. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement of the deal.

Manning, who is still scheduled to make $19 million in 2016 in the final season of the five-year contract he signed in 2012, will take his physical and sign his revised contract Thursday.

HOUSTON (AP) - The Minnesota Vikings have made their in-person pitch to Adrian Peterson, the latest step toward resolving the star running back’s unclear status.

Whether it’s keeping him or turning to a trade, the Vikings will likely make up their minds soon about whether Peterson will continue his NFL career in purple.

General manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer spent about four hours Wednesday afternoon at Peterson’s home north of Houston. KHOU-TV recorded video of Peterson emerging from the gated mansion wearing a white T-shirt and black workout pants to greet the pair with a hug. Spielman and Zimmer left together later, dressed in sport coats and blue jeans, while photographers from several media outlets captured on camera their departure in a gray car.

This was the first time they’ve had with Peterson since he was placed on paid leave in mid-September following his indictment in a child abuse case involving his 4-year-old son that was resolved with a plea bargain.

SOCCER

NEW YORK (AP) - Major League Soccer and its players’ union agreed in principle to a five-year labor contract, establishing free agency for the first time and averting a possible strike ahead of Friday’s season opener.

The deal, the culmination of talks that began last weekend in Washington, D.C., was announced Wednesday night and would replace the contract that expired Jan. 31.

Under the agreement, players 28 and older could become free agents if they have eight seasons of MLS service and their contracts have expired, a person familiar with the details said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the details had not yet been announced.

The minimum salary would rise to $60,000, with a provision that some players could have a $50,000 minimum, the person said. The minimum was $48,500 for the first 24 roster spots on each team last year and $36,500 for the last six, with a requirement players at the lower figure had to be under 25 years old.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Freshman Grayson Allen scored a season-best 27 points, and No. 3 Duke routed Wake Forest 94-51 on Wednesday night for its 10th straight win.

Matt Jones added 17 points for the Blue Devils (27-3, 14-3), who shot 58 percent and forced 19 turnovers in locking up the No. 2 seed in next week’s Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

Duke had a double-figure lead before the Demon Deacons managed their first basket, scoring the first 12 points and rolling to their 16th straight home victory in the ACC’s oldest series.

Codi Miller-McIntyre scored 20 points for Wake Forest (13-17, 5-12), which has lost four of five.

Quinn Cook had 13 points in his Cameron Indoor Stadium farewell and Justise Winslow also had 13. Jahlil Okafor finished with six - his first single-digit scoring game - after some early foul trouble.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Eight days off gave No. 12 Notre Dame plenty of time to address several areas and recharge, and the only concern was whether the Fighting Irish might be rusty against No. 16 Louisville.

The Irish took care of that by erasing a 6-0 deficit with a 10-0 run, setting the tone for a night of strong offensive confidence that paid off big down the stretch in a hostile environment where they’ve often struggled.

Demetrius Jackson scored 21 points and Notre Dame made its final seven shots to pull away for a 71-59 victory over Louisville Wednesday night to clinch third place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

OLYMPICS

TOKYO (AP) - Demolition of Tokyo’s old National Stadium will be completed by September and construction of the new main stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will start in October, the venue’s management group said Thursday.

Demolition was supposed to begin last July but was delayed by irregularities in the bid process and missteps by the Japan Sports Council, which manages the stadium.

The new 80,000-seat stadium is slated to host the opening and final of the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

Plans for the stadium, designed by award-winning British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, have been plagued by problems, including complaints from some prominent architects, who say the design is too big and expensive.

The old National Stadium was the centerpiece of the 1964 Olympic Games.

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