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Durant looking for answers against Tony Allen

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Thunder forward Kevin Durant said before Oklahoma City's series against Memphis that Grizzlies guard Tony Allen was one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA.

Allen has proven him right.

Durant scored 36 points in Game 2 on Monday night, but the man known for his smoothness and efficiency made just 12 of 28 shots and was uncomfortable all night against Allen.

The Grizzlies beat the Thunder 111-105 in overtime and tied the series at a win apiece heading into Game 3 Thursday in Memphis.

Allen gives up 5 inches to the 6-foot-9 Durant, but he makes up for it with toughness, speed, strength and unpredictability. The Thunder say Durant will need to move more and get deeper position to counter Allen's aggressive play the rest of the series.


GAC names softball player, pitcher of the week

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (AP) - The Great American Conference has named Southeastern Oklahoma State's Jessica Simmons and Arkansas Tech's Sydnee Clark the conference's softball Player and Pitcher of the Week.

Simmons had seven hits in 10 at bats in leading the Savage Storm to three wins against Southwestern Oklahoma State. She also stole six bases and scored seven runs.

Clark picked up a pair of complete-game victories against Henderson State. She struck out 10 in a 5-2 nine-inning victory on Friday and followed that with a three-hit shutout for the second win.


Big 12 coaches discuss state of college football

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The mercurial state of college football, and athletics in general, could be summed up by listening to Big 12 coaches respond to questions Monday as spring practices draw to a conclusion.

What was once an opportunity to discuss X's and O's, the hotshot freshman or a new starting quarterback instead became a discussion of whether players are employees, the perils and merits of transfers, and the money associated with the new format for college football's playoff.

None of the coaches asked said they viewed their players as employees, though many did acknowledge the time demands are such that it often seems like it.

As for the playoff, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy predicted that the four-team arrangement will soon be scrapped for eight teams.


Martinez recalled to make start

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The Texas Rangers activated right-hander Nick Martinez to make a start against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.

Martinez, drafted in the 18th round of the 2011 draft by the Rangers, will be making his second career start. Texas designated right-hander Hector Noesi for assignment to make room on the 25-man roster for Martinez.

In related news, an MRI done on Shin-Soo Choo's sprained left ankle showed no high sprain. He is expected to miss at least two games and will be re-evaluated when the Rangers travel to Seattle on Thursday.


Ducks, Getzlaf have to respond to physical Stars

DALLAS (AP) - Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf says it's obvious the Ducks have to compete "a little bit harder" against the Dallas Stars.

Getzlaf also talked about playing within the rules in Game 4 on Wednesday night in Dallas.

The Ducks clearly took exception to how the Stars came out in their first home playoff game in six years, especially how they confronted the Anaheim captain wearing a visor after taking a puck to the face in the series opener.

There were plenty of scrums and penalty minutes in Dallas' 3-0 win Monday night, including Getzlaf taking a punch to the head from Stars forward Antoine Roussel late in the second period.

Stars coach Lindy Ruff says he didn't see anything more than playoff hockey, and expects the best-of-seven series to get even more physical.


Baylor C Isaiah Austin entering NBA draft early

WACO, Texas (AP) - Baylor sophomore center Isaiah Austin has decided to forgo the remainder of his collegiate eligibility to enter the NBA draft.

The 7-foot-1 Austin, who has a prosthetic right eye, averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in his 73 games the past two seasons with the Bears.

Bears coach Scott Drew made the announcement Tuesday, five days before the early entry deadline and just more than a month after Baylor went the NCAA Sweet 16.

Austin might have been a first-round NBA pick after his freshman season last summer, but couldn't do pre-draft workouts because of a torn labrum in his shoulder.

NBA scouts at Baylor games this season said they already knew about Austin's eye issue before the player revealed his blindness publicly in January.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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