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Thursday, March 31, 2011
New Jersey nets another loss

NBA: Carmelo Anthony had his second straight 39-point game, as New York beat neighboring New Jersey 120-116 Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. Deron Williams had 22 points in his return after a six-game absence for an injured wrist, but he missed a tying jumper in the final seconds and appeared to be in pain after pursuing his missed shot. Wednesday's loss was the Nets' eighth in the their last nine games.

Oklahoma City captured its 50th win this season in a 116-98 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night, capping off the best month ever in Thunder franchise history, a 14-2 March. Phoenix continued to watch its playoff hopes slip away, as the Suns have lost four straight and now sit in 10th in the West, five and a half games behind the eighth-placed Memphis Grizzlies.

The Miami Heat narrowly escaped their second consecutive embarrassing loss. After losing to Cleveland Tuesday night, Miami edged out Washington 123-107 on Wednesday, but the game was a lot closer than the final score indicates. Miami led by only a point with about nine and a half minutes remaining in the contest, even though No. 1 overall draft pick John Wall of the Wizards was thrown out of the game during a second-quarter brawl.

NHL: St. Louis, which sits fourth from the bottom in the Western Conference, put up 10 goals against the Detroit Red Wings, second-place team in the conference, in a 10-3 victory Wednesday night. It was the first time Detroit has given up 10 goals in a game since 1993, and the first time since 1986 that they've sacrificed eight goals in the first two periods.

Corey Perry of Anaheim became the NHL's leading scorer Wednesday night, knocking in his 45th and 46th goals in a 4-2 victory over Calgary. Coming into the game, Perry was tied for the lead at 44 goals with Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos. The Flames really needed the win, as they now trail Chicago by three points in a battle for the last playoff spot in the West.

Men's college basketball: Matt Painter inked a new deal Wednesday night, but it wasn't with Missouri. Painter met with Missouri on Tuesday regarding its coaching vacancy but decided to stay at Purdue and agreed to an eight-year contract. The deal will keep him as the Boilermakers' head men's basketball coach through the 2018-2019 season. Missouri continues its search for a new coach after Mike Anderson departed for Arkansas one week ago.