Harden's 44 Lead Rockets Over Blazers, 110-95

James Harden scored a season-high 44 points to help the Houston Rockets cruise to a 110-95 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night and snap a two-game skid. The Trail Blazers were without leading scorer and rebounder LaMarcus Aldridge, who missed the game with an upper-respiratory illness, and had their five-game winning streak snapped. Harden had 31 in the first half to help the Rockets erase an early eight-point deficit and take a 20-point halftime lead. The Blazers didn't threaten after that and Harden went to the bench for good with about 4 minutes left and Houston up 107-86. It was Harden's NBA-leading third 40-point game this season, with all of them coming this month. Damian Lillard led Portland with 18 points and CJ McCollum added 17. HOUSTON (AP) – December 23, 2014

Gaines Improved, Rams Sticking With Wells In Finale

It'll be later in the week before the St. Louis Rams learn whether rookie cornerback E.J. Gaines can recover from a concussion in time for the season finale. Fisher also said Monday he's sticking with center Scott Wells, who botched two critical shotgun snaps in Sunday's 37-27 loss to the Giants. Wells has worn a brace on his right elbow half the season. Fisher said Gaines was improved, but the rookie will follow the concussion evaluation protocol. Gaines had his helmet knocked off in a collision with teammate T.J. McDonald. Gaines had been diving to defend a pass as McDonald also converged on Odell Beckham Jr. Fisher said the Rams (6-9) had no other serious injury concerns heading into this week's game at Seattle. ST. LOUIS (AP) – December 23, 2014

Seahawks Close In On NFC West Title

lynchdec2114Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, Seattle set a franchise record with 596 yards of offense, and the streaking Seahawks closed in on another NFC West title with a 35-6 romp over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night. Seattle moved into a tie with Arizona for first in the NFC West and the Seahawks hold the tiebreaker by virtue of two wins over the Cardinals.

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Hawkinson Scores 25; Washington St Beats San Jose St 82-53

Josh Hawkinson scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds Sunday as Washington State defeated short-handed San Jose State 82-53. Hawkinson made 12 of 17 field goals. San Jose State only suited seven players for the game. On Dec. 13, coach Dave Wojcik suspended five players — including the team's top four scorers — for violating team rules. Wojcik brought players from the football team just to have enough bodies Sunday. The Cougars were trailing 11-6 before Hawkinson made three straight shots, which sparked a 25-5 run by Washington State. Hawkinson's 3-pointer from the right wing put an exclamation point on the run, making it 31-16. Washington State finished the first half with a 53-35 lead. PULLMAN, Wash. (AP)— December 22, 2014

Flora Leads Seattle Past Sacramento St, 66-47

Jarell Flora scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, both career highs, to lead Seattle to a 66-47 win over Sacramento State on Sunday night. Flora made 10 of 18 field goals, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range. Isiah Umipig added 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including five 3's of his own, and Jack Crook had nine points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Sacramento State made just 17 of 56 shots and was outrebounded 40-28. Seattle slowly pulled away over the first 20 minutes, taking a 30-17 lead into halftime. Sacramento State's Dylan Garrity made a 3-pointer with 10:44 remaining to make it 46-39, but a layup by Flora and back-to-back 3's by Umipig pushed the Seattle lead back to 15 with 7 minutes to play and the Hornets never again threatened. SEATTLE (AP) — December 22, 2014