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Afternoon Headlines for April 6th

In NBA action the Houston Rockets will hit the hard wood tonight from the road against the New Orleans Hornets. Currently the Rockets sit three games behind the 8th place Memphis Grizzlies with four left to play, Houston would be eliminated with any combination of two losses or Memphis wins. Meanwhile the Hornets need only a win tonight over the Rockets to ensure their return to the post-season following a one-year absence. Tip-off between Houston and New Orleans is scheduled for 7 o’clock.

The Dallas Mavericks are also in action tonight but from home as the Denver Nuggets are in town. The Mavericks had a chance to catch the Spurs and Lakers for one of the top two spots in the West, but those hopes took a big hit last week as Dallas dropped three straight to close-out a six game road trip. The Mav’s are currently the third seed in the West, two games ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tip-off for tonight’s contest between Denver and Dallas is scheduled for 7:30 from the American Airlines Center.

And the Top Seeded San Antonio Spurs are also in action from home as they’ll look to win 12 in a row against the Sacramento Kings when tip-off gets under way at 7:30.

The 24th ranked Texas Tech softball team will hold their first Big 12 mid-week doubleheader of the season today as the 17th-ranked Baylor Bears will be in town. Game one is scheduled for a 5 o’clock start time from Rocky Johnson Field.

In other Tech news the 3rd ranked Red Raiders and 13th ranked Lady Raiders track and field teams will head to Austin this weekend for the 84th annual Clyde Little Field Texas Relays that are being held at the Mike A. Myers Stadium beginning on Thursday, April 6th. Tech is coming off their best meet of the out-door season as the men’s 400M hurdles school record was broken and discuss thrower Julian Wruck moved into the top spot in the NCAA. The Red Raiders will kick-off the competition on Thursday with the men’s ‘B’ pole vault section followed by the men’s 400M hurdles.

Staying with Tech athletics news the 19th ranked men’s tennis team will hit the road for two Big 12 matches, first against Texas A&M on Friday with a 6 o’clock start time, and then they’ll face the 8th ranked Longhorns on Sunday at 1 o’clock.  The Red Raiders own a 14-6 overall record and are 1-1 in the Big 12 after picking up their first conference win last Sunday against Oklahoma State in Lubbock. The Aggies are 18-4 on the year and 2-0 in league play, while the Longhorns sit at 14-5 this spring and 1-1 in Big 12 action.  Next week, the Red Raiders will return to Lubbock for their last home match of the season on Sun., April 17, against Oklahoma with a 1 p.m. start time at the McLeod Tennis Center.

The Houston Astros will return to action tonight looking for there first win on the season, while their counter-part in the Cincinnati Reds are looking to open up their season 5 and 0 at home for the first time in 31 years. The Astros Nelson Figueroa will take the mound opposite the Reds Edison Volquez when first pitch gets underway at 6:10.

Other games out of the National League saw the Pittsburg Pirates take down the St. Louis Cardinals by a final of 3 to 1, The Diamondbacks beat the Cubs 6 to 4, and games still underway have the Rockies up on the Dodgers 7 to 4 in the 5th inning.

Games out of the American League already played have the Angels keeping the Tampa Bay Rays winless on the year as they won 5 to 1, and the Texas Rangers defeated the Seattle Mariners 7 to 3 to complete their second series sweep of the season moving them to 6 and 0.  The Rangers C.J Wilson earned his first win of the season as he went 7 innings allowing 7 hits while striking out 2 and giving up 3 earned runs.

In other Texas baseball news according to a major league source, the Rangers are nearing a deal with center fielder Leonys Martin, who defected from Cuba last September. The reportedly 23 year-old Martin, would be signed to a major league contract, but would begin play in the minor leagues. Martin left Cuba after playing for the country’s national team in Taiwan during the FISU World University Championships.

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