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’Wolves mired in skid

HOUSTON—The Houston Rockets finally are on a roll, playing the way they expected to—but didn’t—to start the season.

James Harden had 27 points and 11 assists as the Rockets got their season-high fifth-straight win—a 107-104 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves last night.

“We’re playing for each other. That’s the most important thing,” said Harden.

Gutsy play helps ’Bama to title

GLENDALE, Ariz.—The last step toward making Alabama’s run of championships under Nick Saban the greatest in college football history was the toughest.

The Crimson Tide needed all its power and speed. It needed all its talent and steely resolve.

And when that alone couldn’t do it, it was up to one gutsy trick to help win the fourth national title of the Saban dynasty.

Mavs dump T’wolves

MINNEAPOLIS—Before his team took the floor against the Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota coach Sam Mitchell was asked about Dirk Nowitzki’s ability to still carry his team after 17 NBA seasons.

Mitchell praised Nowitzki’s experience and ability to “get it done,” then the 37-year-old forward proved it against the inexperienced Timberwolves.

Spieth romps to tourney title

KAPALUA, Hawaii—The view from the top looks as spectacular as ever for Jordan Spieth.

He was standing in the 18th fairway yesterday at Kapalua, his victory in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions easily secured, when his thoughts were interrupted by a comment from caddie Michael Greller: “Way to make a statement.”

The statement was nearly as big as his eight-shot victory.