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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Derrick Williams scored a career-high 28 points and Ricky Rubio had 16 with six assists as the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the New Orleans Hornets 97-95 on Sunday night. The Wolves got a lift in the final seconds from two players who hadn’t seen appeared in a game in more than two weeks when Nikola Pekovic hit two free throws to pull Minnesota ahead for good, and Andrei Kirilenko blocked Eric Gordon’s driving layup with 4.6 seconds to play. Greivis Vasquez led the Hornets with 24 points and Robin Lopez had 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Louisville is the top seed in the NCAA tournament after a topsy-turvy season in college basketball, capped by another round of upsets over the weekend. That other team from the Bluegrass State won’t even get a chance to defend its national title.
ST. PAUL — A Minnesota nurses union and the state’s hospitals neared a deal Friday to study and publish more data about medical center staffing plans rather than put minimum requirements for inpatient care into law. The yet-to-be-finalized agreement allowed a bill pursued by the Minnesota Nurses Association to advance Friday through a House committee where the initial proposal was on shaky ground. The nurses union began the legislative session by asking lawmakers to adopt staffing thresholds that would have been overseen by Minnesota’s health department.
MINNEAPOLIS — Matt Cassel is signed, sealed and delivered in Minnesota, and there is no question what his role will be with the Vikings. “The fact of the matter is,” Cassel said in a conference call on Friday, “Christian is the starting quarterback.” When Cassel agreed to terms on Thursday, there was speculation that he was coming in to compete with third-year starter Christian Ponder for the No. 1 job. But Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and GM Rick Spielman stand firmly behind Ponder, who has been up and down in his first two seasons.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kyle Rau’s goal in overtime lifted Minnesota to a 2-1 win over Bemidji State on Friday night in the first game of a best-of-three playoff series in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Rau netted the game-winner for the Golden Gophers (25-7-5) at 13:18 of the extra period. Rau also assisted on Ben Marshall’s goal that gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead at 6:56 of the second period. Bemidji State (6-21-8) tied the game on a goal by Brance Orban with 38 seconds left in the third period.
HOUSTON — James Harden scored 37 points, Jeremy Lin had 24 and the Houston Rockets rallied from 20 points down in the third quarter to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-100 on Friday night. Harden also grabbed seven rebounds and handed out eight assists for the Rockets, who stayed two games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference. Derrick Williams and Jose Barea scored 19 points apiece for the Timberwolves, who led 59-39 early in the third quarter. The Rockets held Minnesota to only 16 field goals the rest of the way.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that the Minnesota Vikings have agreed to terms on a deal to land free agent receiver Greg Jennings from their rivals in Green Bay. By JON KRAWCZYNSKI AP Sports Writer
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Crews have recovered the body of a teenager who drowned in Sioux Falls after trying to save her 6-year-old brother from an icy river. Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras says 16-year-old Madison Leigh Wallace's body was found Friday afternoon. Wallace jumped into the Big Sioux River at Falls Park on Thursday night after her 6-year-old brother either fell into the frothing water or became obscured by the gathering foam. Sideras has said Garrett Martin Wallace was not injured.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Senate on Friday approved banning abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, sending what would be the most stringent abortion restriction in the U.S. to the state's Republican governor for his signature. By JAMES MacPHERSON Associated Press BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Senate on Friday approved banning abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, sending what would be the most stringent abortion restriction in the U.S. to the state's Republican governor for his signature.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A strong increase in auto output boosted U.S. factory production last month, the latest sign that manufacturing is helping drive economic growth after lagging for much of 2012. By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER AP Economics Writer