Sports briefs 5-8-14: Hibbert leads Pacers by Wizards

MICHAEL MAROT AP Sports Writer Published:

INDIANAPOLIS -- Big Roy came up with a big answer for his critics and his teammates Wednesday night.

He played like an All-Star when the Pacers really needed it.

After 48 hours of questions and criticism, Roy Hibbert scored a season-high 28 points, grabbed nine rebounds, blocked two shots and altered a handful of others to help the Pacers get even in the Eastern Conference semifinals with an 86-82 victory over Washington.

Hibbert sounded more relieved than redeemed.

"David (West) always talks to me about being the person that rescues yourself when you're in the middle of the ocean," Hibbert said after Indiana tied the best-of-seven series at 1-1. "There's nobody who can throw a lifesaver or a rope out to help you. So I had to do it myself."

The next step is proving he can play this way again Friday when Washington hosts Game 3.

Hibbert went into Wednesday with a combined total of 37 points and 24 rebounds in Indiana's first eight playoff games. Twice in the previous four he failed to score a point or grab a rebound.

• Basketball

Thunder even series: Kevin Durant stood before his adoring home crowd, proudly holding his MVP trophy above his head during a pregame ceremony.

He spent the next few hours showing how he earned it.

Durant had 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Los Angeles Clippers 112-101 on Wednesday night to tie their Western Conference semifinal series at one game apiece.

Not participating: The University of Oregon isn't allowing three basketball players to participate in team activities after a student told police they sexually assaulted her at a postgame party and later at an apartment.

Police in Eugene investigated the allegations against Damyean Dotson, 19, Dominic Artis, 19, and Brandon Austin, 18. Lane County District Attorney Alex Gardner decided there was not enough evidence to prove the sex wasn't consensual.

• Football

Mull moving game: Presidents of Pac-12 universities could vote in June to move the conference's football championship game to the San Francisco 49ers' new stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott would not say whether he favored the move but said if it's done it would make sense to do it this year, the first season of the 68,500-seat, $1.2 billion Levi's Stadium.

File grievance: The NFL Players Association confirmed Wednesday that it filed a grievance on behalf of Jimmy Graham concerning the Saints tight end's franchise tag designation.

At issue is whether the NFL was correct to apply the tight end tag to Graham or whether Graham should have received the more lucrative wide receiver tag, a difference of $5 million.

Vying for Super Bowl: The three cities vying to host the 2018 Super Bowl entered the home stretch Wednesday.

Organizers in Indianapolis and Minneapolis held news conferences to say they had formally distributed their bids to the 32 team owners, though neither group was willing to provide many specifics to the public. New Orleans organizers were even quieter.

• Elsewhere

Pens up 3-1: Brandon Sutter scored a short-handed goal to break a second-period tie, and the Pittsburgh Penguins moved within one win of the Eastern Conference finals with a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

Pittsburgh, which has won three straight following a series-opening loss, can advance with a Game 5 victory at home Friday night.

Winner disqualified: The winner of the Orange County Marathon has been disqualified for receiving improper assistance from a cyclist who paced him and provided fluids.

The Orange County Register reports that Mohamed Fadil of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was disqualified Tuesday and his race-record time of 2 hours, 21:42 minutes was thrown out.

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