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No. 17 Oklahoma upends Texas Tech 41-20

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No. 17 Oklahoma upends Texas Tech 41-20

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops wasn't surprised quarterback Landry Jones bounced back for the No. 17 Sooners after a loss two weeks ago.

``Landry's an excellent quarterback, and I thought just overall we had a good rhythm,'' Stoops said after Jones threw two touchdowns in a 41-20 win over Texas Tech on Saturday. ``Our receivers did a great job coming open, catching the ball.''

Blake Bell ran for two scores to help the Sooners avenge a home loss to the Red Raiders last season.

Jones said the loss to Kansas State two weeks ago motivated him some.

``But you've just got to realize what kind of player you are and realize what you're capable of and kind of silence the outside and not really listen to what's going on around you,'' he said. ``Just realize who you are and go out there and play the way you think you're capable of playing.''

The win was crucial for Oklahoma to remain in the conversation for the Big 12 title.

Both of Jones' touchdown passes went for 13 yards - one each to Justin Brown and Kenny Stills. The one to Stills, in the second quarter, was the 100th career touchdown for Jones.

Bell, in at quarterback, scored his touchdowns from a yard out.

Javon Harris put the game out of reach midway through the third quarter when he returned an interception 46 yards for a TD to put the Sooners (3-1, 1-1) up 38-13.

Stoops said running the ball helped set up some play-action passes for Jones.

``The line protected him,'' he said. ``He slipped out of some things that helped, which some people questioned two weeks ago if that was a hindrance. And obviously, all through the year it's going to help him.''

The Red Raiders had their worst defensive performance this year, giving up 380 total yards after coming in ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Seth Doege was 22 of 36 for 203 yards and had three interceptions for Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1).

The win was sweet for the Sooners, who lost 41-38 to the Red Raiders last season - a defeat that broke Oklahoma's 39-game win streak in Norman.

``Defensively we played a better football team,'' Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said.

It was the first time the Sooners won in Lubbock since 2003 and also upped their record to 19-0 in games following a loss going back to 2004. They lost two weeks ago at home 24-19 to Kansas State. OU also avoided having back-to-back Big 12 losses under Stoops.

``We just dug ourselves a hole we couldn't get out of,'' Tuberville said. ``Their back was against the wall. They already had a loss, and we got their best shot and weren't able to respond.''

Harris got his second interception of the season and a touchdown in the third quarter when Doege threw his third pick of the day. The ball was tipped in the secondary and Harris ran 46 yards for the score to put the Sooners up 38-13.

OU went up 31-13 early in the third quarter on a 1-yard run by Bell. The Sooners got the ball after Texas Tech failed to get a first down on a fourth-and-5 play from the OU 36. Doege got sacked for a 10-yard loss by Frank Shannon and the Sooners took over from their own 46.

In the first half, Oklahoma's offensive line gave Jones ample time to pass. He completed 10 of 14 passes for 121 yards in the second quarter after completing just six passes for 54 yards in the first.

Oklahoma extended its lead to 24-13 off Doege's second interception. Safety Aaron Colvin grabbed the ball out of the air near the line of scrimmage and returned it to Texas Tech's 41. The Sooners drive stalled at the 16 and the Sooners had to settle for a field goal.

Jones got his 100th career touchdown pass on OU's previous possession when he found Kenny Stills in far corner of the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown that put the Sooners up 21-13

OU missed out on a scoring opportunity in the first quarter when a pass from Doege was tipped and intercepted by Jamarkus McFarland at the Red Raiders' 17. McFarland, a tackle, ran 13 yards to the 4 before Doege hit him and he fumbled. Texas Tech receiver Tyson Williams recovered the ball and the Red Raiders resumed their drive.

Texas Tech got only a 35-yard field goal out of that possession to take a 10-7 early in the second quarter.

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How one half of assertive basketball may turn around the Wizards' season

How one half of assertive basketball may turn around the Wizards' season

The fat lady wasn’t warming up to sing an operatic number, not with 66 games left in the regular season. Then the flailing Washington Wizards, coming off consecutive double-digit losses, came out flat yet again. They trailed the Los Angeles Clippers by 19 points at halftime some 36 hours after the general public heard about their private quarrels and following weeks of basketball nightmares. 

As the Clippers scored 40 points in the first quarter and led 73-54 at halftime. she might have at least begun some mental prep for an upcoming performance. Then came the comeback within the comeback. The Wizards rallied for a 125-118 win when all the world was ready to say sayonara. 

Did Washington indeed save its season by outscoring Los Angeles 71-45 in the second half? Answering 'yes' presumes all is right with the gang that has struggled to defend throughout the season and possibly has chemistry issues even a family therapist couldn’t fix with thrice-weekly sessions. 

The day began with coach Scott Brooks and the team’s stars addressing leaks of intense arguments among players and a scolding by All-Star John Wall directed to the head coach. There was no spark initially even with a different starting lineup. 

The first half served as a season-long microcosm. It’s why rumors of breaking up the team seem plausible. 

Over the remaining 24 minutes, the Wizards finally woke up. They flew around the court defensively and passed to the open man. The stars led. The team played like a group wanting to play for each other, willing to do whatever necessary for a win.

John Wall finished with 30 points. Bradley Beal scored 27. Otto Porter grabbed 14 rebounds to go with 11 points. Six players scored in double figures. Everybody ate. 

“That’s how we need to play,” Beal told NBC Sports Washington. “Not going to say everything is fixed because we were still down [24 points], still have a lot of work to do. Got a lot of to change and get better. Our effort was there in the second half. That’s the type of intensity we have to have for the full 48.”

Numerous moments and performances stood out in the second half beyond the main players. Tomas Satoransky’s hustle helped begin the turnaround. Thomas Bryant, who started with Dwight Howard sidelined, provided interior energy. Jeff Green dropped 20 points. Markieff Morris, coming off the bench for the first time since Feb. 29, 2016, showed more than in recent games.

One play deep in the fourth quarter showed the difference between 16 games of defensive slumber and Tuesday’s resolve. 

The clock ticked under five minutes with Los Angeles leading 109-107. Clippers forward Tobias Harris crushed the Wizards early and finished with 29 points. He had the ball near the left corner when Wall and Beal sprung an aggressive trap as the shot clock wound down. Morris over hustled for support. The late arrival helped. Shot clock violation, Wizards ball. Washington then took the lead with a Morris 3-pointer. They soon pulled away with an 11-2 run. Their main players showed the way.

“We have to,” Beal said to NBC Sports Washington. “When it’s coming from the main guys. John and I have to give more, more and more. That’s something we realize and tell each other that. That’s that only way we’re going to get out of it. We just have to give more.”

The Thanksgiving holiday provides a natural break. Washington resumes game action Friday at Toronto. At 6-11, the Wizards have work to do, but at least they can catch their breath after a surreal span. 

“It’s a whirlwind. It’s a whirlwind,” said Beal, who remained in the game after suffering a cut over his eye following a head-butt collision with Clippers guard Tyrone Wallace. “We embrace it. Everything is a challenge. It’s adversity. We’ve been in this situation before. We’ve been in this situation where everybody thinks we have an issue. I think we did a great job of ignoring it as best we could. Doing what we could to get a win. A  much-needed win at that.”

Clippers coach Doc Rivers monitors the Wizards because his son, Austin, serves Beal’s primary backup. More film work came leading into the second meeting between the teams. Los Angeles hammered Washington 136-104 on Oct. 28. Things were only getting worse for the Wizards. Then came the second half.

“They just forgot about the stuff they’re going through and got back to playing basketball,” Doc Rivers said of the Wizards.

“I’ve always thought that’s what you have to do. Every guy out there on both teams, they played basketball all their lives. Then you get all the, what I call ‘stuff.’ The clutter starts affecting your game. Tonight you could see the clutter was killing them early. Then when they saw they had a chance to win, they started playing basketball again.”

Assume nothing but sunshine and swishes going forward if you must. Ideally, the Wizards do not. They have work remaining. In the second half against the Clippers, Wall, Beal, and crew rose up. In doing so, the fat lady took a seat.

We’ll see for how long.

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Markieff Morris unhappy with leaks coming out of Wizards' locker room

Markieff Morris unhappy with leaks coming out of Wizards' locker room

The Wizards had just completed a 24-point comeback against the L.A. Clippers, but something wasn't sitting right with power forward Markieff Morris.

When asked by a reporter if it was nice to get the win given their recent losing and the media controversy surrounding the team, Morris couldn't help but wonder who it was who leaked comments made by players behind closed doors at a practice last week.

There were very specific quotes cited by several media outlets and Morris wants to know where they came from. 

"It's f***ed up what's going on," he said.

"The comments that's coming from the locker room, that's f***ed up."

Morris went on to say that anonymous sources leaking information shouldn't "happen in sports." Many professional athletes see the locker room and team-only events like practice as sacred. Anyone who breaks that code is, in their eyes, a traitor.

If Morris knew who the information came from, it sounds like he would do something about it.

"I don't know who it is, so it's hard to address. But it's messed up," he said.

Which player or member of the organization spilled the beans could be a question for this team all season. It doesn't sound like Morris will forget that it happened.

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