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UPI NewsTrack Sports

Dec. 19, 2012 at 11:00 PM   |   Comments

Oklahoma City win streak reaches a dozen

ATLANTA, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- A huge game from Kevin Durant Wednesday carried Oklahoma City to its 12th consecutive victory, 100-92 over Atlanta.

Oklahoma City has not lost in the month of December, its last setback having come on Nov. 23 in Boston. The Thunder have captured 15 of their last 16.

Durant scored a season-best 41 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, hitting 14-of-24 shots from the field. Russell Westbrook added 27 points with 11 assists. Serge Ibaka added 14 rebounds for the Thunder, who missed only one of their 20 free throw attempts.

Josh Teague led Atlanta with 19 points and Josh Smith had 17 points to go with 12 rebounds.

Oklahoma City led by as many as 17 points in the third period and then held off an Atlanta charge that saw the Hawks close within five midway through the final quarter.


Duke backs up inherited No. 1 ranking

DURHAM, N.C., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Seth Curry helped No. 1 Duke overcome a slow start Wednesday and the Blue Devils eventually ran away from Cornell 88-47.

It was the first game for Duke since it assumed the top spot in the national rankings and the Blue Devils (10-0) remained one of eight unbeaten teams in major college basketball.

Duke led by only four points inside the 4-minute mark of the first half, but the Blue Devils held Cornell scoreless for the final 1:43 of the opening period and for the first 6:26 of the second.

Duke scored 23 points in that stretch and Curry finished with 20. He made three of the Blue Devils' seven 3-pointers and his 7-of-10 from the field paced Duke to a 53 percent shooting night.

Mason Plumlee added 18 points for Duke and Rasheed Sulaimon had 16.

Shonn Miller tallied 12 points for Cornell (4-7), which turned the ball over 25 times and made only 1-of-10 from beyond the arc.


Yanks, Ichiro Suzuki agree on 2-year deal

NEW YORK, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Ten-time all-star outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has agreed to a two-year contract with the New York Yankees, the team announced Wednesday.

Terms of the deal weren't revealed, but various reports pegged it at $13 million.

Suzuki, who has 2,606 career hits and lifetime .322 batting average over 12 major-league seasons, came to Yankees from the Seattle Mariners in a July 23 trade.

He compiled a .322 average with five homers and 27 RBI in 67 games for New York.

For the entire 2012 season, Suzuki posted a .283 mark with 28 doubles, six triples, nine home runs, 55 RBI and 29 stolen bases over 162 contests.

"The Yankees are the kind of team that I always envisioned being a part of," the Japanese star said. "Everyone in the world of competition has a strong desire to win, but the Yankees also have an atmosphere where losing is not an option."


Redskins' Griffin feels 'good' in practice

ASHBURN, Va., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III took part in a full practice Wednesday while on the mend from a sprained knee ligament.

Griffin was only partially active in previous practices this week after being held out of Sunday's 38-21 win over the Cleveland Browns -- the Redskins' fifth straight win.

Fellow rookie Kirk Cousins filled in for him and tossed for 329 yards and two touchdowns in his first NFL start, which elevated Washington into a three-way tie with Dallas and the New York Giants atop the NFC East.

Griffin told reporters his knee felt "really good" during the Wednesday workout.

"What doctors will do is they'll evaluate him tomorrow [Thursday], and hopefully there's no setback, no swelling with the knee," Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan added. "He'll be evaluated through the week, and if the doctors tell me the [ligament] is ready to go, I'll announce him as ready to go."

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