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Fargo Davies and Bismarck Century remain atop in this week's Class A Basketball Polls....

    MINOT, ND - Fargo Davies and Bismarck Century remain atop in this week's Class A Basketball Polls. The polls are voted on each week by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.


       Team (1st Place Votes)    Record    Points    LW
1.    Fargo Davies (13)         9-0        77        1        
2.    West Fargo (3)         9-0        64        2
3.    Bismarck High             9-2        49        5
4.    Mandan                 9-1        27             3
5.    Minot High             7-2        13        4

Others receiving votes: Bismarck Century (8-2)



       Team (1st Place Votes)          Record    Points    LW

1.    Bismarck Century (16)        10-0        80        1        
2.    Bismarck St. Mary's         8-1        63        2
3. Fargo Shanley             8-1        49             3
4. Fargo Davies                     7-2        30        4
5. Grand Forks Red River        8-1        10          NR

Others receiving votes: Mandan (7-3)


     MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Jimmy Butler scored 26 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had eight assists for the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 104-88 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.
     Andrew Wiggins added 19 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns had 18 points and 12 rebounds as Minnesota pulled away in the second half to win its third game in a row at home and 10th in its last 13 overall.
     Russell Westbrook had 38 points and 10 rebounds, but Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and the rest of the Thunder had a tough time shooting. Westbrook was 15 of 23 from the field, while his teammates were 17 of 56 (30.3 percent).
     Anthony scored 15 points on 5-of-19 shooting, while George finished 5 of 14 for 13 points for Oklahoma City, which has lost five of seven.
     The first three games between the teams were decided by a combined nine-point margin. Minnesota won the first two games by a total of five points. The Thunder came back with a four-point win at home on Dec. 1 as George scored 36 points.
     George had just two points in the first half on Wednesday.
     Oklahoma City missed seven of its first eight shots as the Wolves built a 10-point advantage. The Thunder recovered to tie it at 15 and it appeared to be another nail-biter between the teams. The score was tied at the end of the first quarter and first half.
     Minnesota's improving defense showed in the third and Oklahoma City missed more shots. The Thunder shot just 28.6 percent in the quarter (6 of 21). Meanwhile, the Wolves hit 62.5 percent (10 of 16) to take an 11-point lead.
     After a pair of blowout wins at home against Cleveland and New Orleans, Minnesota started to pull away in the fourth, leading by as many as 16.

     CHICAGO (AP) - Ryan Suter gave Minnesota the lead on a 4-on-4 early in the third period, Devan Dubnyk made 34 saves and the Wild held off the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Wednesday night to end a two-game slide.
     Jonas Brodin scored in the second period for Minnesota (23-17-4). The Wild pulled two points ahead of Chicago (21-16-6) in the tight Central Division and tussle for playoff spots in the Western Conference.
     Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook, a healthy scratch in Chicago's 8-2 win in Ottawa on Tuesday night, was back in the lineup and celebrated with his first goal since opening night.
     Chicago's Anton Forsberg made 25 saves in his third straight start.  Corey Crawford, the Blackhawks No. 1 goalie, missed his seventh game with an upper-body injury and hasn't resumed skating. There's no timetable for his return.
     Blackhawks defenseman Jan Rutta left early in the third, then returned late in the period, after taking an illegal hit to the head from Minnesota's Marcus Foligno.
     Both teams played their second games in two nights. Minnesota lost 3-2 in overtime at home to Calgary on Tuesday night.
     The Blackhawks acquired winger Anthony Duclair and defenseman Adam Clendening from Arizona before the game in a trade for right wing Richard Panik and minor league forward Laurent Dauphin.
     Getting the speedy 22-year-old Duclair is another step for Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman as he tries to shake up and add quickness to a perennial contender that's looked sluggish at times this season while fighting to maintain a playoff position.
     The talented but inconsistent Duclair has nine goals and six assists in 33 games this season, scoring in each of his last two games after reports surfaced that he had asked for a trade.
     Elsewhere on NHL ice:
     - The Senators pulled out a 4-3 win at Toronto on Tom Pyatt's goal with 3:05 to play. Craig Anderson handled 44 shots after being pulled during Tuesday's 8-2 loss to the Blackhawks.

     UNDATED (AP) - Villanova put together an easy victory over a top-10 foe in the Wildcats' first game since reclaiming the No. 1 ranking in The Associated Press men's basketball poll.
     Phil Booth hit five 3-pointers and finished with 21 points as Villanova hammered No. 10 Xavier 89-65 to improve to 15-1. Booth and Jalen Brunson opened the game with 3s before the Wildcats took a 22-9 lead. Brunson had 17 points, while Mikal Bridges chipped in 15 and a game-high nine rebounds in helping the Wildcats drop the Musketeers to 15-3.
     Kerem Kanter had a team-high 16 points for Xavier, but Trevor Blueitt and J.P. Macura combined for just 16 points on 6 of 21 shooting.
     Checking out Wednesday's top-25 finals:
     - Miles Bridges scored all 11 of his points in the final 12:43 as fourth-ranked Michigan State escaped with a 76-72 overtime victory against Rutgers. Nick Ward had a team-high 17 points in helping the Spartans rebound from their 16-point loss to Ohio State last weekend.
     - Duke bounced back from Saturday's loss to N.C. State as Marvin Bagley III provided 16 points and 15 rebounds to lead the seventh-ranked Blue Devils to an 87-52 rout of Pittsburgh. Trevon Duval and Gary Trent Jr. scored 14 apiece for the Blue Devils, who led by 30 late in the first half.
     - Jericho Sims made a free throw with 5 seconds left, then Texas watched as TCU's Jaylen Fisher missed a layup off the rim at the final buzzer to send the Longhorns to a 99-98 win over the 16th-ranked Horned Frogs in double overtime. Texas got its biggest win of the season hours after the school announced that sophomore guard Andrew Jones has been diagnosed with leukemia and has started treatment.
     - No. 23 Florida State had won 28 straight at home until Deng Adel scored 16 points and Ray Spalding added 15 in Louisville's 73-69 win at Tallahassee. Ryan McMahon hit three 3-pointers in the second half to help the Cardinals erase a 45-32 halftime deficit.
     In other college basketball news:
     - Indiana center De'Ron Davis will miss the rest of the season after having surgery for a torn Achilles tendon. The 6-foot-10 sophomore was averaging 9.6 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 61.5 percent from the field, second in the Big Ten.
     - The lawyer for Minnesota basketball standout Reggie Lynch says Lynch "categorically denies" allegations of sexual misconduct lodged against him by two women. Attorney Ryan Pacyga says the 23-year-old senior center never had sexual contact with either woman. The university's equal opportunity office recommended Lynch's expulsion Jan. 3 after finding him responsible for sexual misconduct in an alleged assault off campus April 7, 2016.

     OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Lou Williams sent the same roaring, adoring crowd that cheered Kevin Durant's milestone to the exits several minutes before the final buzzer. Durant was brilliant, and Williams even better.
     Williams scored 27 of his career-high 50 points in the third quarter and the undermanned Los Angeles Clippers beat the Golden State Warriors for the first time in more than three years with a 125-106 win that spoiled a milestone night for Durant.
     Durant became the 44th player in NBA history to score 20,000 career points, finishing with 40 as the Warriors had their five-game winning streak snapped along with a 12-game unbeaten stretch in the Clippers rivalry.
     In Wednesday's other NBA action:
     - The Houston Rockets are now 3-2 in five games since All-Star and MVP candidate James Harden went down with a hamstring injury. Chris Paul poured in a season-high 37 points and Eric Gordon added 30 to carry the Rockets past the Trail Blazers 121-112. Paul also had 11 assists, seven rebounds and three steals, but Houston didn't lock up the victory until he added a 3-pointer and a driving layup in the final two minutes.
     - Giannis Antetokounmpo warmed up for Friday's matchup with the Warriors by scoring 26 points in Milwaukee's 110-103 win against the Magic. Khris Middleton finished with 22 points and John Henson added 14 and 10 rebounds as Milwaukee handed Orlando its sixth consecutive loss and 15th in its last 16 games.
     - The Timberwolves rolled to a 104-88 win over the Thunder behind Jimmy Butler's 26 points, seven boards and eight assists. Andrew Wiggins added 19 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 18 with 12 rebounds in Minnesota's 10th victory in 13 games.
     - The Jazz had dropped 16 of 19 before Ricky Rubio contributed 21 points and Donovan Mitchell added 16 in a 107-104 triumph over the Wizards in Washington. Ekpe Udoh scored 16 points and Joe Johnson had 16 off the bench as Utah completed a sweep of the two-game season series.
     - Andre Drummond scored 22 points and grabbed 20 rebounds as the Pistons earned their most lopsided win of the season, a 114-80 blowout over the Nets in Brooklyn. Tobias Harris had 22 points for the Pistons, who carried a 90-61 lead into the final period and led by 40 with 8:20 left before improving to 22-18.
     - The Hawks ended a 10-game road losing streak as Dennis Schroder's 19 points and 10 assists led Atlanta past the Nuggets 100-97. Taurean Prince scored 16 points for Atlanta, which handed Denver just its third loss in 14 road games since early November.
     - Tyreke Evans' 28-point performance included a pair of free throws with 5.9 seconds left in the Grizzlies' 105-102 verdict over the Pelicans. Marc Gasol furnished 21 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis, while JaMychal Green contributed 20 points and 14 rebounds.
     - Goran Dragic scored 20 points and the Heat ran their season-high winning streak to six games by holding off the Pacers 114-106. Wayne Ellington had 15 points, including a big 3-pointer with 23.2 seconds left.
     - Rookie Lauri Markkanen drained eight 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 33 points while the Bulls needed two overtimes to knock off the Knicks 122-119. Robin Lopez and Denzel Valentine each scored 20 points as Chicago pulled out its third narrow victory over New York this season.
     - Harrison Barnes delivered 25 points and 11 rebounds as the Mavericks topped the Hornets 115-111 in Charlotte. Yogi Ferrell nailed seven 3-poiters and finished with 22 points to help Dallas overcome Kemba Walker's 41 points on 16 of 28 shooting.

     UNDATED (AP) - Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Shazier attended practice on Wednesday for the first time since injuring his spine against Cincinnati last month.
     The 25-year-old Shazier posted a photo on Instagram from the team's indoor training facility as Pittsburgh prepares to host Jacksonville in the divisional round of the playoffs. Shazier, who underwent spine stabilization surgery on Dec. 6, is pictured in a wheelchair wearing sweatpants and a Steelers jacket.
     The extent of Shazier's injury has not been released. He called his visit to the facility "a first down" in his recovery.
     In other NFL news:
     - Titans running back DeMarco Murray will not play against the New England Patriots in the AFC divisional round this weekend. Head coach Mike Mularkey said today that Murray is not close enough to be activated for Saturday's game due to a knee injury suffered in Week 16. Derrick Henry will make his third straight start after rushing for 156 yards in Tennessee's wild-card playoff win at Kansas City last Saturday.
     - Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is back with the team after missing Tuesday's practice to attend to an undisclosed personal matter, not injury-related. He will play in the NFC divisional playoff game at Philadelphia on Saturday.
     - Jaguars backup linebacker Blair Brown sprained his left ankle during practice Wednesday, a potentially big loss considering starters Telvin Smith and Paul Posluszny already were dealing with injuries.
     - Broncos coach Vance Joseph has replaced Brock Olivo with Tom McMahon as his special teams coordinator. Joseph also promoted Chris Strausser to coach the offensive tackles and hired Greg Williams as DBs coach.
     - The Seattle Seahawks have fired offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and offensive line coach Tom Cable after the team missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record. Bevell was in charge of calling plays, while Cable was responsible for a run game and offensive line that failed to meet expectations.

     UNDATED (AP) - The NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning will have four players playing for the Atlantic Division in the upcoming All-Star game on their home ice.
     Top scorer Nikita Kucherov, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and defenseman Victor Hedman will join captain Steven Stamkos for the skills competition and 3-on-3 tournament on the final weekend of January.
     Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and winger James Neal will represent the Vegas Golden Knights on the Pacific Division squad after the duo helped the expansion team climb to the top of the Western Conference standings at the midway point of the season.
     The two-time defending-champion Penguins are sending Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang to the midwinter classic.
     Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane and Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin are both making their seventh All-Star appearance, more than any other player on the four rosters.
     Canucks rookie star Brock Boeser is among 12 players selected to the game for the first time.

     CHICAGO (AP) - The Blackhawks and Coyotes have worked out a four-player trade that sends winger Anthony Duclair to Chicago. The Hawks also received defenseman Adam Clendening and sent winger Richard Panik and minor leaguer Laurent Dauphin to Arizona. Duclair has nine goals and 15 points in 33 games this season, while Panik had six goals and 16 points in 37 games.

     UNDATED (AP) - Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley is entering the NFL draft a year early after helping the Crimson Tide win its fifth national championship in nine years. Ridley is projected as a first-round pick after catching 63 passes for 967 yards for the Tide this past season. He is second in school history with 220 career catches and third with 2,749 yards.
     Others announcing decisions on entering the draft:
     - Clemson receiver Deon Cain is giving up his senior season to enter the NFL draft. Cain was Clemson's second leading receiver in 2017 with 58 catches for 734 yards and six touchdowns.
     - Stanford cornerback Quenton Meeks says he will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft. Meeks had 65 tackles, two interceptions and eight pass breakups this past season.

     UNDATED (AP) - Cleveland Indians closer Cody Allen has avoided salary arbitration by accepting a one-year deal worth almost $10.6 million. Allen was 3-7 with 30 saves and a 2.94 ERA for the AL Central champions. He has posted at least 30 saves in each of the past three years.
     In other baseball news:
     - Khris Davis has accepted a one-year, $10.5 million contract with Oakland after batting .247 with career highs of 43 home runs and 110 RBIs for the Athletics last season. The contract doubles the salary he received last year after beating the team in arbitration. Davis and Jimmie Foxx are the only players in A's history with consecutive 40-homer seasons.
     - Reliever Boone Logan and the Brewers have finalized a $2.5 million package for this season. The 33-year-old left-hander was 1-0 with a 4.71 ERA in 38 games for Cleveland last year, striking out 28 in 21 innings.  
     - Free-agent catcher Rene Rivera and the Angels have agreed to a one-year, $2.8 million contract. He split last season between the Mets and Cubs, batting .252 with 10 homers and 35 RBIs in 74 games.
     - Japanese right-hander Kazuhisa Makita is guaranteed $3.8 million in his two-year contract with the Padres.. The 33-year-old was 10-4 with a 1.91 ERA the last two seasons with the Pacific League's Seibu Lions.
     - The Yankees are expanding netting to protect seats behind each dugout and for five sections past down both foul lines, a decision announced after several fans were injured last year.
     - The Marlins will host the Cubs in this year's major league opener on March 29, the earliest start in the sport's history excluding international openers. Every team is scheduled to open on the same day for the first time since 1968.


   (Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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