Tuesday, March 24
Harden scores 44, Rockets pull away from Pacers 110-100
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — James Harden scored 19 of his 44 points in the fourth quarter and Josh Smith added 18 to help the Houston Rockets beat Indiana 110-100 on Monday night, handing the Pacers their sixth straight loss.
The Rockets (47-23) have won four of five.
Indiana's sinking playoff hopes took another big hit despite 23 points from C.J. Watson. George Hill had 20 points for the Pacers (30-40).
It looked as though Houston would run away after jumping to an early double-digit lead and extending the margin to 41-20 early in the second quarter.
Indiana finally rallied in the third, using a 16-4 spurt to get as close as 68-66 in the final 2 minutes.
But the Rockets closed the quarter on an 8-2 run to take a 76-68 lead. They rebuilt a double-digit margin early in the fourth and then Harden sealed the win by scoring 12 points in a 4-minute flurry.
Pacers still have no timetable for Paul George's return
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Paul George's long-awaited return is still on hold.
The Pacers say their two-time All-Star will not make his season debut Monday night against Houston -- and that they still have not established a timetable for his return. George has not played since his right leg gruesomely snapped after he ran into a basketball stanchion Aug. 1.
George told reporters after Monday morning's shootaround that he does feel closer to being fully healthy, but that he was surprised by a report last weekend that he could have returned Saturday against Brooklyn or sometime this week.
Coach Frank Vogel says the team has had conversations all season about possible target dates. He did not provide those dates, but reiterated George will not be rushed back.
Indianapolis signs cornerback Deveron Carr
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis has added cornerback Deveron Carr, signing the NFL veteran who is trying to restart his career.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Arizona State alum played nine games with Tampa Bay in 2013. He was primarily a special teams player before he was waived in August.
Indy decided to give him a chance after he performed well at the NFL's veterans scouting combine in Arizona.
The Colts have been trying to reinforce their secondary during the offseason after releasing safety LaRon Landry and losing another safety, Sergio Brown, in free agency. Indy has already re-signed its other starting safety, Mike Adams.
INDYCAR-RAHAL-STEAK 'N SHAKE
Rahal signs Steak 'N Shake for 5 races including Indy 500
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Steak n' Shake will enter IndyCar this year as primary sponsor for Graham Rahal for five races, including the Indianapolis 500.
It's the first foray into racing for the Indianapolis-based company, which claims to be "the home of the original Steakburger."
The partnership with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing begins next month at Long Beach and includes both races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Detroit and Mid-Ohio.
Joked team co-owner and Indiana native David Letterman: "I've been eating them since I was 11. Finally, free Steakburgers!"
Bobby Rahal said he'd never imagined in all his visits to Steak 'n Shake that the company could be a potential sponsor.
Maxim Magazine branding will also be featured on the race car. Maxim and Steak 'n Shake are both owned by Biglari Holdings Inc.
UIC hires Indiana assistant McClain as coach
CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois-Chicago has hired Indiana assistant Steve McClain as its head coach.
UIC athletic director Jim Schmidt says in a statement Monday that he is "looking forward to the Flames rising quickly" under McClain, who replaces the fired Howard Moore.
McClain has 33 years of college coaching experience and spent the past five seasons on Tom Crean's staff at Indiana, helping the Hoosiers reach back-to-back Sweet 16s.
He also spent three years as an assistant at Colorado and nine as head coach at Wyoming, leading the program to a 157-115 record. The Cowboys reached the postseason four times and upset Gonzaga in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament.
Moore was fired two weeks ago after five seasons and a 49-111 record.
Wichita State back in Sweet 16 for second time in 3 years
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — When the NCAA Tournament field was first set, all anybody wanted to talk about was the Wichita state Shockers finally getting a shot at Kansas. Nobody wanted to mention that they first had to take care of Indiana just to give the game a chance of happening.
It came to pass. And behind a stellar effort on both ends of the floor, the No. 7 seed Shockers beat the Jayhawks 78-65 on Sunday night, advancing to the Sweet 16.
Now, all anybody will talk about is a potential rematch with overall No. 1 seed Kentucky, the same team that ruined the Shockers' perfect season in the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
Except that Wichita State first has to beat No. 3 seed Notre Dame.