Pistons clamp down on Kings in 99-89 win
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Josh Smith scored 24 points and Rodney Stuckey added 23 to lift the Detroit Pistons to a 99-89 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.
Andre Drummond added 15 points and eight rebounds for Detroit, outscoring DeMarcus Cousins in a matchup of two of the NBA's top young big men. Cousins had 13 points and 14 rebounds but shot 5 of 15 from the field.
Detroit trailed 54-52 at halftime but outscored the Kings 20-11 in the third quarter.
Rudy Gay scored 20 points and Isaiah Thomas added 19 points and eight assists for Sacramento.
The Pistons snapped a three-game losing streak and pulled to within three games of Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
RED WINGS-BLUE JACKETS
Jenner, Dubinsky lift Jackets past Red Wings, 4-1
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Rookie Boone Jenner and veteran Brandon Dubinsky scored 40 seconds apart in the third period and Sergei Bobrovsky had 39 saves to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets past the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Nick Foligno and Derek MacKenzie also had goals and Nathan Horton had two assists for the Blue Jackets, who have won five of six.
Columbus was playing one night after its game at Dallas was postponed in the first period when the Stars' Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench.
The Blue Jackets and Red Wings came in to this game tied with 71 points in the East and battling for playoff position.
Danny DeKeyser scored for the Red Wings, who went to third-string goalie Petr Mrazek when Jimmy Howard couldn't play because of the flu. Mrazek stopped 33 shots.
Detroit has dropped four of five.
Tigers' Verlander solid in spring debut
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) - Justin Verlander pitched one-hit ball into the fourth inning of his spring debut for the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, a 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Verlander's spring routine has been postponed by his recovery from core-muscle repair surgery on Jan. 9, and his first scheduled start was rained out last Thursday.
The former MVP and Cy Young Award winner threw 52 pitches, giving up a first-inning single to Melky Cabrera and walking two in 3 2-3 innings. He had two strikeouts.
Don Kelly's two-run home run off Toronto starter Todd Redmond put the Tigers up 2-0 in the second inning.
Dan Johnson tied it for the Blue Jays with a two-run shot off Joba Chamberlain in the seventh, Johnson's third home run in 14 at-bats.
Redmond gave up five hits and two runs in four innings while striking out three.
Bradley Glenn's led off the 10th inning with a home run off Melvin Mercedes to win it for the Blue Jays.
AP source: Lions to host Golden Tate on a visit
(AP) - A person familiar with the situation says the Detroit Lions will have a chance to make a pitch to free agent Golden Tate in person.
The person, who says the wide receiver was traveling to Detroit on Tuesday night, spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the visit had not been announced.
The Lions are looking for someone to complement wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
Tate appears to be a good fit. He led the Seattle Seahawks with 64 catches and 898 yards receiving last season, setting career highs in both categories. The former Notre Dame star also scored five touchdowns last season, giving him 15 in his four-year career.
AP source: Lions, Bell agree to 3-YR, $9.3M deal
(AP) - A person familiar with the negotiations says the Detroit Lions and running back Joique Bell have agreed to a $9.3 million, three-year contract.
The person, who says $4.3 million of the contract is guaranteed, spoke Tuesday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.
Bell had a team-high eight touchdowns rushing last season. He was second on the team with 166 carries for 650 yards rushing.
Keeping him was a top priority for the Lions this offseason.
Bell has run for 1,064 yards - 4.3 yards per carry - and 11 TDs in two seasons with the Lions. The undrafted free agent from Wayne State University played in eight games as a rookie in 2010 with the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles.
T25-MICHIGAN ST-BIG TEN
Izzo says Big Ten tourney is 'big' for Spartans
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State coach Tom Izzo says the Big Ten tournament is going to be "big" for his team.
Izzo acknowledges in most years that's not true.
The 22nd-ranked Spartans will face the winner of the Iowa-Northwestern game Friday night in the conference tournament.
They have struggled to find a groove even with all of their previously banged-up players back in the lineup.
A string of setbacks slowed six players or put them on the sideline this season. Branden Dawson returned March 1, giving Izzo all of his players in a game for the first time in nearly two months.
Michigan State started the season ranked No. 2 and was the nation's top-ranked team for a three-week stretch in late November and early December before injuries and illnesses took a toll.
SAGINAW PLAYER MISSING
State police find body of missing hockey player
SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) - The Saginaw Spirit minor league hockey team confirms that police found the body of 20-year-old player Terry Trafford, who disappeared eight days earlier after receiving discipline from the club.
The team says on its website that Michigan State Police informed officials of the discovery Tuesday afternoon.
The team says it has "reached out to Terry's parents and will look to provide them with support over the coming days."
State police Lt. Brian Cole told The Saginaw News and WJRT-TV on Tuesday that a trooper found a man's body in an SUV that matched the description of Trafford's vehicle.
Cole says a trooper spotted the vehicle in a Wal-Mart store parking lot in Saginaw County's Saginaw Township.
General Manager Craig Goslin says the team disciplined Trafford for breaking team rules.
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