- Associated Press - Monday, February 16, 2015

NBA

NEW YORK (AP) - Russell Westbrook scored 41 points, one shy of the All-Star record, and the Western Conference beat the East 163-158 on Sunday night in the highest-scoring NBA All-Star Game.

The Oklahoma City speedster had a record 27 points by halftime and closed out the scoring with two free throws, falling one point shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s 42 points in the 1962 game. He was voted the game’s MVP at Madison Square Garden.

James Harden added 29 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the West, which built a 20-point lead in the first half and then pulled away after it was tied at 148 with a little more than 4 minutes remaining.

The combined 321 points surpassed the 318 scored last season, and the 48 3-pointers smashed last year’s record of 30.



LeBron James finished with 30 points, but couldn’t lead the East to the victory in his favorite NBA arena.

NEW YORK (AP) - Stephen Curry bested Golden State Warriors teammate Klay Thompson and six others to win his first 3-point contest, and Zach LaVine put on a spectacular aerial display to take home the dunk competition during a memorable All-Star Saturday night.

Curry paid homage to one of the three victims of the shooting in North Carolina, writing a message to Deah Shaddy Barakat on his sneakers for the shooting stars competition, then swapping those for a different color pair for the 3-point contest. Barakat was one of three Muslim college students killed Tuesday in Curry’s home state.

Chris Bosh, Dominique Wilkins and Swin Cash won their third straight shooting stars competition earlier. Houston’s Patrick Beverley won the skills competition.

GOLF

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Coming off the worst season of his career, Brandt Snedeker’s mission was to become relevant again. He was eligible for only one major and none of the World Golf Championships, and he hated the idea of the world’s best players competing without him.

That’s what made Sunday at Pebble Beach so sweet. The view walking up the 18th fairway was spectacular for so many reasons.

Snedeker polished off a week that was close to perfect on the Monterey Peninsula by closing with 5-under 67 for a three-shot victory over Nick Watney. With only one bogey all week - yes, that still gnaws at him - Snedeker broke his own scoring record in the AT&T; Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Snedeker finished at 22-under 265, breaking by two shots the record he set two years ago at Pebble Beach, and by two shots the winning score under par held by Phil Mickelson (2007) and Mark O’Meara (1997).

It was the seventh win of his career, his second title in three years at Pebble Beach.

GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) - South Korean-born Australian teenager Su Oh shot a 4-under 69 Sunday to win the Australian Ladies Masters by three strokes in only her second start as a professional.

Oh, the co-leader after the first round, finished with a 7-under total of 285 on the Royal Pines resort course, making birdies on her final four holes.

Katherine Kirk of Australia and Florentyna Parker each shot 69s while Parker’s English countrywoman Charley Hull, one of the overnight leaders, had a closing 73. They all finished tied for second.

Defending champion Cheyenne Woods, Tiger Woods’ niece, shot 71 to finish tied for 26th, 10 strokes behind Oh.

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - Lee Janzen had a good feeling about his 8-foot putt on the No. 18 hole.

Janzen made the putt, then topped Bart Bryant in a playoff to win the ACE Group Classic at TwinEagles Golf Club.

Bryant fought his way back into contention when he shot a 10-under 62 Sunday, tying a course record while Janzen had a 5-under 67. Both were 16 under in regulation play.

SKIING

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) - For the longest time, Jean-Baptiste Grange of France absolutely loved this course. Then, he wrecked his knee here.

Now his feelings have flip-flopped again. Funny how a win - a big win at that - can change perceptions.

Skiing into heavy snowfall, Grange won the slalom title Sunday at the world championships after first-run leader Marcel Hirscher of Austria straddled a gate in the deteriorating conditions.

Trailing by 0.88 seconds heading into the final run of the last race, Grange had no trouble with the low visibility and snow sticking to goggles as he finished in a combined time of 1 minute, 57.47 seconds. Fritz Dopfer of Germany was second, 0.35 seconds behind, and teammate Felix Neureuther earned bronze.

AUTO RACING

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson outsmarted the field to sweep the front row for the Daytona 500, with Gordon earning the pole in what will be his final start in “The Great American Race.”

Gordon announced last month this will be his final full-time season as driver of the famed No. 24 Chevrolet, and he’s been adamant next Sunday’s season-opening Daytona 500 will be the last of his storied career. The four-time NASCAR champion is a three-time 500 winner.

Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Johnson locked down the front row in Sunday’s qualifying session, which was done in knockout rounds for the first time in 57 years.

The qualifying was blasted by most of the drivers.

TENNIS

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Kei Nishikori of Japan became the first man to win three straight Memphis Open titles, beating South African Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4 in the final.

Nishikori improved to 13-1 at the indoor tournament, where Jimmy Connors failed not once but twice to win three straight championships. Tommy Haas and Todd Martin also missed out on a three-peat. Now only Connors has more titles at The Racquet Club than Nishikori, who is tied with Haas and Andy Roddick at three apiece.

The fifth-ranked Nishikori won his eighth career ATP title and first since Tokyo last year.

Mariusz Fyrstenberg of Poland and Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico won the doubles title, beating Artem Sitak of New Zealand and American Donald Young 5-7, 7-6 (1), 10-8.

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