Johnson gets 5th win at Texas
Jimmie Johnson was still chasing Jamie McMurray and Kevin Harvick, trying to get back in front as the laps wound down at Texas Motor Speedway.
Then Johnson got the break that led to his fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup victory at the track.
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"They slid up high through (Turns) 3 and 4 and left the bottom wide open for me," Johnson said. "I thought I'd at least get (Harvick). When I came off of Turn 4, I was alongside (McMurray)."
Johnson passed both of them, regaining the lead for good with 14 laps left. He held off Harvick and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. for his second victory this season — and 72nd of his career.
Harvick, the series points leader who has also won twice this season, had been trying to get around McMurray, who had taken only two tires for the final restart on lap 314 of 334.
Then Harvick went high and scraped the wall with about three laps to go.
"I looked up in the mirror and I saw smoke and sparks," Johnson said.
"Just lost a little bit of time and tried to make too much of it up in too many chunks, and about spun out and got in the fence trying to make up ground," Harvick said. "All in all, it was a lot of fun. Fun to race that way."
Johnson led nine times for 128 laps. He also won in November at Texas, where all four of his previous wins had been in fall races.
Earnhardt, with his third third-place finish this season, gave Chevrolet a sweep of the top three spots in the first Sprint Cup night race this season. But he was disappointed with one move that he didn't make that could have made the night even better.
Jeff Gordon, who in his last full season, is the only driver who has started all 29 Sprint Cup races at Texas since the track opened in 1997. He finished seventh after starting 12th.
The only other driver with more than two Cup wins at Texas is Carl Edwards, a three-time winner. He finished 10th, ending his career-long streak of eight consecutive finishes outside the top 10. It was his first top 10 for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Razorbacks strike early to take rubber match
Arkansas plated four runs in the first three innings to jump out to an early lead and Keaton McKinney tossed a complete-game to post a 7-3 win over Kentucky in the series rubber match on Sunday afternoon.
The Razorbacks (20-16, 7-8 SEC) jumped on preseason All-America starter Kyle Cody (2-4) in the early innings to build a lead they would not surrender. Arkansas plated a run in the first and chased Cody in the third inning with a three-run frame, holding on to secure the series. Arkansas then broke through in the eighth inning with three runs, before UK ruined the shutout bid with three in the ninth.
Kentucky (19-15, 5-9) was held to five hits, highlighted by a homer from JaVon Shelby, his second in as many games.
■ Kentucky's men's tennis team locked up the 11th seed and a first-round bye in this week's SEC Tournament with its 4-1 win over Auburn at the Hilary J. Boone Complex on Sunday.
The Wildcats will meet sixth-seeded Florida at 1 p.m. Thursday in College Station, Texas. The Gators are ranked No. 17 in the nation.
■ Softball's Christian Stokes and Griffin Joiner each blasted their team-best seventh home runs of the season, No. 3 Florida (39-4, 10-4 SEC) rallied for six runs with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the Gators (39-4, 10-4 SEC) a series-clinching 6-3 win over Kentucky (27-13, 4-10).
■ Evans Daniels of Scout.com reported Sunday that Kentucky men's basketball assistant coach Barry "Slice" Rohrssen was finalizing a deal to take the same position under newly-hired St. John's coach Chris Mullin.
NBAWestbrook explodes for 54 but OKC loses
Russell Westbrook scored a career-high 54 points Sunday night, but Indiana fended off his late charge for a critical 116-104 victory over Oklahoma City.
C.J. Miles matched his season high with 30 points to lead Indiana (37-43) to its fifth straight win and into a tie with Brooklyn for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. The Nets own the tiebreaker.
The Thunder (43-37) lost for the fifth time in six games despite a near triple-double from Westbrook, who had nine rebounds and eight assists.
■ James Harden scored 30 to lead Houston in a 121-114 win over New Orleans. Anthony Davis had 27 and seven rebounds to pace the Pelicans, who are tied for the No. 8 seed in the West with Oklahoma City and control their playoff fate with two games left by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker.
■ Former Wildcat Jodie Meeks came off the bench to score a game-high 24 points and had three steals in Detroits' 116-77 rout of Charlotte in the Pistons' home finale.
Georgia names Crenshaw 2nd women's coach
Joni Crenshaw, Andy Landers' top assistant the last three years, was named Sunday to succeed him as the Georgia women's basketball coach.
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said Crenshaw was selected as only the second full-time coach in school history.
"After a national search, it became evident that Joni was the perfect person to lead our program," McGarity said. "Joni brings the intangibles that parallel success — character, experience and a tireless energy to lead our program. We are confident she will do a tremendous job leading Georgia basketball into the future."
Landers retired on March 16 after 36 seasons. He was 862-299 at Georgia, including five Final Four appearances. He was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
"I have been fortunate to have learned under a great coaching tree and have great mentors along the way," Crenshaw said. "I want to thank Coach Landers for all that he has done for me since I have been under his tutelage. The trust and responsibility he gave me definitely prepared me for the next step in my career but more importantly his friendship means the world to me."
■ ESPN and college football analyst Lou Holtz have parted ways, SportsIllustrated.com reported Sunday night.
"Lou brought a champion's perspective and a legacy of accomplishment to our coverage along with his distinctive style and humor. We appreciate his contributions and wish him all the best in the future," an ESPN spokesperson said in an email to SI.com.
Holtz coached football in college and the NFL before joining ESPN in 2004. He won a national championship with Notre Dame in 1988 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
■ Chattanooga has hired Florida assistant Matt McCall as its men's basketball coach. Athletic director David Blackburn announced McCall's hiring Sunday night in a release. A news conference was scheduled for Monday.
McCall replaces Will Wade, who went 40-25 in two seasons. Chattanooga went 22-10 in 2014-15. Wade left Chattanooga to take over at VCU, where he had previously worked as an assistant.
The last word
Celtics Coach Brad Stevens didn't get carried away by Boston's rout of a Cleveland team that bore little resemblance to the real Cavaliers. LeBron James and J.R. Smith watched from the bench. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving didn't even get that far. None of those four starters played because Cleveland already had clinched the No. 2 playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Said Stevens:
"Our guys just played very maturely the whole game. I thought we played well, but, obviously, they didn't play their best players."