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Sports Minute: Here is the latest North and South Carolina sports news from The Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Chris Silva tied his career high with 27 points and South Carolina rallied from 14 points down in the second half to defeat No. 18 Kentucky 76-68. Silva had 18 points after halftime and 12 in a crucial stretch as the Gamecocks outscored the Wildcats 36-14 over the final 12 minutes. Wesley Myers had two driving baskets with 4 minutes to go, the first that tied things at 65 and the next that put South Carolina up for good.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Graduate transfer Cameron Johnson scored a season-high 21 points to help No. 15 North Carolina hold off No. 20 Clemson 87-79, preserving its perfect all-time home record against the Tigers. Joel Berry II scored 14 of his 17 after halftime for the Tar Heels, who saw most of an 18-point lead erased by Clemson's torrid second-half shooting. Marcquise Reed scored 21 points for the Tigers, who fell to 0-59 all-time in Chapel Hill.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Hornets coach Steve Clifford has returned to practice following a 21-game absence due to headaches caused by sleep deprivation. Clifford said Tuesday when he began experiencing intense headaches in early December it scared him, and he decided to take a medical leave of absence. Medical tests revealed nothing wrong internally, but Clifford said doctors told him he needed to dramatically change his lifestyle and work habits to get more sleep.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhard Jr. says he is interested in becoming a minority owner with the NFL's Carolina Panthers. Earnhardt told The Associated Press he was not asked by local businessmen Felix Sabates to join a potential ownership group. Earnhardt says he did contact Marcus Smith, the CEO of Speedway Motorsports, to say he would be interested. Current Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced in December he's selling the team.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - NBC Sports will use Dale Earnhardt Jr. in its pregame show before the Super Bowl and send him to South Korea for the network's coverage of next month's Winter Olympics. Earnhardt retired from driving in November and signed on to be an analyst for NBC Sports. Although that gig begins in July, the network is eager to put NASCAR's most popular driver to work.

(AP) - The Washington Spirit has sent the rights to forward Crystal Dunn to the North Carolina Courage in exchange for Taylor Smith and Ashley Hatch. Dunn, who was league's Most Valuable Player in 2015, spent last season overseas with Chelsea, but the Spirit retained her rights.

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