Roundup: Harden, Westbrook lead teams to playoff victories

Associated Press

Arizona State

Pac-12 hoops is having a big say in the NBA playoffs. Michael Lee of The Vertical (a Yahoo! Sports joint) describes for us how James Harden resuscitated the Houston Rockets with his Game 3-winning jumper that drew Houston to within 2-1 in the series. The Beard finished with 35 points to pace the Fighting Daryl Moreys.

UCLA

Sticking with the NBA playoffs, Rob Mahoney of Sports Illustrated opines that the calming influence of Russell Westbrook guided Oklahoma City to a convincing win over Dallas in Game 3. Westbrook finished with 26 points and 15 assists (but somehow zero rebounds).

California

Former Cal linebacker Hardy Nickerson is joining Illinois as a grad transfer. Nickerson’s father, Hardy Nickerson Sr., was hired as Illinois’ defensive coordinator by new head man Lovie Smith.

Oregon State

Oregon State basketball guard Derrick Bruce is no longer enrolled and plans to transfer, reports Danny Moran. Bruce was huge for the Beavers after Tres Tinkle was lost for the season, averaging 14.8 points per game over the final four contests.

Arizona

Arizona basketball guard Justin Simon is transferring to St. John’s, the Red Storm announced Thursday. The five-star prospect played in 24 games his freshman season last year and will be eligible to play in 2017-18.

Utah

Here are three things to watch in Utah’s spring game (Saturday at Rice-Eccles + Pac-12 Network), courtesy of David Lombardi.

Stanford

It’s a long read, but anything by Wright Thompson is worth your time, so check out his latest piece on the secret history of Tiger Woods. The story discusses how the death of his father changed the course of Tiger’s life.

Oregon

Colin Becht of Sports Illustrated thinks Oregon football will rebound from a “disappointing” 2015 season (not too many places where 9-4 is considered a down year)..

Washington

Sam Vecenie of CBS Sports is of the opinion that Washington’s Marquese Chriss is the biggest boom-or-bust prospect in the 2016 NBA Draft. Click the link to read his explanation.

Washington State

Ted Miller gives us his opinion on the top 10 players on Washington State’s depth chart. It all starts with quarterback Luke Falk.

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