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Latest Texas sports

SPURS-GRIZZLIES

Grizzlies pull within 2-1 of Spurs with 105-94 win

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Mike Conley scored 24 points and handed out eight assists as the Memphis Grizzlies snapped a 10-game postseason skid against San Antonio by routing the Spurs 105-94 on Thursday night.

The Grizzlies pulled within 2-1 in this first-round Western Conference series, giving first-year coach David Fizdale his first postseason victory. This also marked the Grizzlies' first win over the Spurs in the playoffs since April 2011, when Memphis beat San Antonio in six games.

Game 4 is Saturday night.

Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph each scored 21 points for Memphis, which outscored San Antonio 31-17 in the third quarter and led by as much as 22 in the second half.

Kawhi Leonard, who scored 32 and 37 in the first two games, was held to 18. LaMarcus Aldridge added 16, and Kyle Anderson had 15 as Spurs coach Gregg Popovich benched his starters for most of the fourth quarter.

ANGELS-ASTROS

Beltran's first Houston homer helps Astros top Angels 2-1

HOUSTON (AP) - Carlos Beltran hit his first home run this season and Jake Marisnick also homered to help the Houston Astros to a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday.

Beltran's shot came with one out and the first inning off Matt Shoemaker (0-1), and Marisnick's second homer this season made it 2-0 in the fifth.

Lance McCullers (2-0) scattered three hits and struck out eight over 6 2/3 scoreless innings as Houston won for the seventh time in eight games. Chris Devenski allowed home run to Mike Trout starting the ninth inning and back-to-back singles with one out before fanning Cameron Maybin and Danny Espinosa for his first save.

Devenski, who pitched 2 1/3 innings on Thursday, has struck out 25 in 13 1/3 innings this season.

At 11-5 the Astros are off to their best start since 2006. They lead the AL-West a year after a 7-17 start put them in a hole too big to climb out of last season.

ROYALS-RANGERS

DeShields RBI single in 13th gives Texas 1-0 win over Royals

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Delino DeShields had an RBI single with one out in the 13th inning to score Joey Gallo from second base and the Texas Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals 1-0 on Thursday night.

Gallo had pulled a one-out double into the right-field corner off Travis Wood (0-1), the third Royals reliever after starter Danny Duffy went 7 1-3 innings. Gallo scored when DeShields hit a sharp single to left on the 10th pitch of the at-bat.

It was only the third game in the 24 seasons of the Rangers' ballpark to go to extra innings scoreless. This was the longest of those games.

Gallo's double was the first hit for the Rangers since Jonathan Lucroy's leadoff double in the fifth. It was the first hit in the game since Royals leadoff hitter Alex Gordon's one-out single in the eighth.

RANGERS-HAUSCHILD

Rangers designate pitcher Mike Hauschild for assignment

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Rookie right-hander Mike Hauschild has been designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers, who got the pitcher in the winter meeting draft.

Texas made the move Thursday, a day after Hauschild gave up three home runs in 3 1/3 innings of relief at Oakland. He has allowed five homers and 10 earned runs over eight innings in his four appearances.

Texas selected the contract of right-hander Anthony Bass from Triple-A Round Rock.

If Hauschild clears waivers, the Rangers would have to offer him back to the Houston Astros for $50,000 or work out a deal to keep him after getting him from the Astros organization ar the winter meetings. Any team claiming the 27-year-old right-hander would have to add him to its 25-man roster.

COWBOYS MOVES

Cowboys sign veteran Robert Blanton for depth at safety

FRISCO, Texas (AP) - The Dallas Cowboys have signed veteran safety Robert Blanton for depth after losing five-year starter Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox in free agency.

Blanton's addition Thursday puts him in a group that includes likely starters Byron Jones and Jeff Heath, although next week's draft could alter that outlook. Blanton is going into his sixth season as a fifth-round choice by Minnesota in 2012.

The 27-year-old Blanton spent his first four seasons with the Vikings before going to Buffalo last year. He has 19 starts in 70 career games, including a career-high 13 starts in 2014 when the former Notre Dame player had his only interception. Blanton also plays special teams.

FLORIDA-KOULECHOV

Florida confirms transfer of Rice standout Egor Koulechov

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Rice standout Egor Koulechov is officially headed to Florida as a graduate transfer.

The Gators confirmed Koulechov's upcoming enrollment Thursday, two days after the 6-foot-5 swingman announced he was headed to Florida.

Koulechov, who will be eligible to play right away, averaged 18.2 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists for the Owls last season.

The Russian began his career at Arizona State (2013-14) before transferring to Rice, sitting out one year under NCAA rules and then playing two seasons for the Owls. Koulechov has made 172 3-pointers in three collegiate seasons and shot 47.4 percent from behind the arc last year.

Florida coach Mike White says "along with his obvious offensive firepower, Egor will also bring a level of toughness and experience to our team."

NC STATE-FREEMAN

Baylor grad transfer Al Freeman picks NC State

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina State has added Baylor graduate transfer Al Freeman to its roster.

Coach Kevin Keatts said Thursday that Freeman has signed his paperwork, and will join the team over the summer after he graduates from Baylor next month.

Keatts says Freeman is "a big guard that can make plays" and can guard all three positions on the perimeter.

Freeman averaged 8.1 points in three seasons at Baylor, starting 57 of his 99 games while making 114 3-pointers. He ranked second on the team this past season with 44 3s.

The Charlotte native will have one season of eligibility with the Wolfpack.

TEXAS OPEN

Branden Grace leads Texas Open by 1

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - South African Branden Grace had a 6-under 66 and leads by a stroke after the opening round of the Valero Texas Open on Thursday.

Grace had a season-best 11th-place finish last week in defense of his RBC Heritage title. He leads the 5-under 67s of Steven Alker, Stewart Cink, John Huh and Will MacKenzie at TPC San Antonio. Alker, a journeyman New Zealander who played in the final group of the day, birdied the final three holes.

There are 13 players packed two shots back at 4 under. That includes 2010 U.S. Open champion Graham McDowell and 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup member Brooks Koepka.

WOODS-BACK SURGERY

Tiger Woods has a 4th back surgery

PLANO, Texas (AP) - Two days after Tiger Woods said his back was progressing, he announces on his website he has had a fourth back surgery to alleviate pain.

The surgery was performed at the Texas Back Institute.

Typical recovery is six months, meaning Woods is likely to go another full year without playing a major.

Woods first had surgery a week before the 2014 Masters. He had two more back operations after the 2015 PGA Tour season and did not play again for 15 months. His last competition was Feb. 3 in the Dubai Desert Classic, where he shot 77 and withdrew because of back spasms.

Woods says he looks forward to getting back to a normal life that includes playing with his two kids and competing in golf tournaments.

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