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Thomas leads No. 15 Buckeyes past Purdue 74-64

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Thomas leads No. 15 Buckeyes past Purdue 74-64

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) Deshaun Thomas scored 22 points to lead No. 15 Ohio State to a 74-64 victory over Purdue on Tuesday night.

The angry Buckeyes (12-3, 2-1) rebounded from their first Big Ten loss by shooting 56.4 percent from the field. They took a 10-point halftime lead despite losing point guard Aaron Craft for all but 4:19 of the first half because of early foul trouble, and Buckeyes coach Thad Matta got his 100th Big Ten victory.

Ohio State has won four of the last five in this series and eight of their last 10 overall.

Purdue (7-8, 1-2) has lost two straight to Top 20 teams since upsetting No. 11 Illinois last week. The Boilermakers were led by the Johnson brothers, Terone, who had 18 points, and Ronnie, who had 11 points, six rebounds and seven assists. A.J. Hammons finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.

But the Boilermakers never seriously challenged Ohio State after the Buckeyes took control with 13-2 and 9-0 runs in the first half.

Instead, Ohio State relied on its usually good shooting.

Thomas had a big hand in it and not just on the offensive end. He had seven rebounds.

Yet it almost wasn't good enough.

The Boilermakers trailed 64-52 with 8:49 left in the game, and were still down 68-54 with about 6 minutes to go.

Purdue rallied with six straight points and got as close as 70-64 with when Terone Johnson made two free throws with 2:59 left. But the Buckeyes got a long jumper from Sam Thompson with 1:41 to go and the Buckeyes didn't give up another point.

Ohio State just had too many scorers for the Boilermakers to keep up with.

The difference, as usual, was Thomas. He helped Ohio State open the lead by going 10 of 15 from the field. After Craft went to the bench with 15:41 left in the first half and D.J. Byrd hit a 3-pointer to give Purdue a 9-7 lead, Thomas took over.

He spurred a 13-2 run that put Ohio State in control 20-11.

A few minutes later, it happened again. This time, Thomas started a 9-0 spurt by hitting a 12-foot jumper and a 3, and when it ended, the Buckeyes led 31-17. Purdue got as close as 35-27, but still trailed a 39-29 at halftime.

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NBA Rumors: Lakers reportedly waive DeMarcus Cousins

NBA Rumors: Lakers reportedly waive DeMarcus Cousins

After signing Markieff Morris to a contract following the former Wizard's buy out from the Pistons, the Lakers reportedly waived center DeMarcus Cousins to open a roster spot. 

Health has been a major issue over the last two years for Cousins. He hasn't played a game this year thanks to a torn ACL he suffered before the season, and he missed all but 30 games last year due to an Achilles injury he suffered with the Pelicans midway through the 2017-18 season. 

Before injuries robbed Cousins of the majority of his prime, he was arguably the best big man in the game. Prior to his Achilles injury in New Orleans, he was averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists while shooting 47% percent from the floor and 35.4% from three on 6.1 attempts per game. 

For the Wizards, Cousins could represent another low risk, high reward big man acquisition that the Lakers couldn't find any use for. Washington acquired both Thomas Bryant and Moe Wagner from LA for practically nothing and both have played well after their relocation to D.C. 

Also, John Wall played with Cousins at the University of Kentucky and both have mentioned a desire to play together again at some point. Neither player is expected to return from injury this season, so they could both go on an NBA revenge tour together alongside Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans and Rui Hachimura. 

In the meantime, we'll have to wait and see what Cousins decides to do. According to ESPN's Bobby Marks, Cousins won't officially be waived until Sunday. The team who claims him will be able to offer him up to $4.2 million in salary this summer. 

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Three things to look for during the Orioles first spring training game Saturday

Three things to look for during the Orioles first spring training game Saturday

Baseball isn’t quite in full swing yet. But it’s close enough. 

The Orioles will open up their spring slate of games on Saturday against the Braves in North Port, Fla. It’s both the first game of spring training for both teams. 

The game can be listened to on Orioles.com or on the MLB At-Bat app. 

So here are three things to pay attention to during the first game of the spring: 

1. The starting pitching

The pitching was, to be frank, atrocious last season for the Orioles. 2020 doesn’t figure to showcase a large jump, either. 

Baltimore will start Chandler Shepherd against the Braves, a pitcher who started three games last season in Baltimore. He allowed 23 hits and 14 earned runs in 19 innings pitched and posted a 6.63 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

Ty Blach will pitch in relief of Shepherd. Blach pitched in five games last season for the Orioles and threw 20 ⅓ innings with an ERA 11.32. 

While neither will likely make the Opening Day roster, it’ll give an interesting look at what could be in store for the rest of spring training in Sarasota. 

2. How much the prospects play

For most major league clubs, there’s not much to get excited about for the first few games of spring training. The Orioles, though, are in a bit of a unique circumstance. 

In the second year of a rebuild, the Orioles are placing their future in the hands of younger prospects, meaning there’s always a chance for a few players to stand out in the first weeks of camp. 

While the lineups aren’t known yet, both for Saturday’s game and for the immediate future, getting a glimpse at some of the younger prospects like Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez, Gunnar Henderson, and DL Hall is what fans have been clamoring for. 

3. The return of baseball

It’s not the return of baseball in the truest sense of the phrase.  

The Orioles aren’t going to play their top of the line prospects, or their major league club. But the first game of the spring means that baseball, officially, is back for Baltimore. 

Even though the 2020 season almost assuredly won’t be one that resembles any kind of contention, the Orioles hitting the field once again is always an exciting time.

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