Rockets advance, overcome Westbrook's 47

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

HOUSTON (AP) James Harden had 34 points and his supporting cast helped the Houston Rockets overcome a 47-point game by Russell Westbrook to get a 105-99 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night to advance to the Western Conference semifinals.

The Thunder head home a year after advancing to the Western Conference finals after Houston took this series 4-1.

The Rockets used a 5-1 run, with all their points coming on free throws, to pull away from the Thunder and make it 98-91. Victor Oladipo threw a pass about 5 feet above Westbrook's head and out of bounds on the next possession and Harden made a layup on the other end with about 3 minutes left.

Hayward has 27, Jazz push Clips to brink

LOS ANGELES (AP) Still weak and lacking his usual energy after a bout with food poisoning, Gordon Hayward leaned on his teammates. They came up big.

Hayward scored 27 points, Utah controlled the paint and the Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers 96-92 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series. (MORE)

Leonard helps Spurs go up 3-2 on Memphis

SAN ANTONIO (AP) The Spurs turned to their "grandpa" for the lift their young stars have struggled to provide in the past two games.

Manu Ginobili hit the court, literally, providing an early spark that helped carry San Antonio to a 116-103 victory over Memphis. (MORE)

Bruins bringing back Cassidy as coach

BOSTON (AP) The Boston Bruins are bringing Bruce Cassidy back next season, dropping the interim tag from his title as a reward for leading the team back to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.

Cassidy replaced Claude Julien, the winningest coach in the history of the Original Six franchise, on Feb. 8 and led the team to an 18-8-1 record to finish out the season and earn a postseason berth. They were eliminated on Sunday by the Ottawa Senators in six games in the first round. (MORE)

Earnhardt to retire after 2017 season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) It's never easy to be the son of a legend, especially when he is a tough-as-nails hero and the most feared man in his profession.

Follow in his footsteps? Forget it. (MORE)

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