Spurs complete sweep of Jazz...Clippers win in OT for 3-1 lead
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs have swept their way into the NBA's Western Conference semifinals.
Manu Ginobili (jih-NOH'-blee) broke out of a shooting slump by scoring 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting to lead the Spurs past the Jazz 87-81 at Utah. The Jazz pulled within 61-58 until Ginobili drained three three-pointers during a 15-0 run that appeared to put the Spurs comfortably ahead. Utah later got within three points before Ginobili's fastbreak layup made it 86-79 with 49 seconds to play.
The Spurs won despite 11 points apiece from Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, who combined to shoot 8-for-24. San Antonio's bench outscored Utah's reserves 47-10.
The Spurs will carry a 14-game winning streak into the next round against either Memphis or the Los Angeles Clippers.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Clippers are within one victory of only their second playoff series victory since the franchise moved from Buffalo in 1978.
The Clippers have a three-games-to-one lead in the Western Conference quarterfinals following a 101-97 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. L.A. blew a 10-point lead in the final 4 1-2 minutes of regulation and almost wasted a seven-point lead in OT before holding off the Grizzlies.
Chris Paul finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and seven assists to help the Clippers complete a sweep of the two games in Los Angeles. Paul contributed nine of the Clippers' 14 points in the extra session.
Blake Griffin had a game-high 30 points before fouling out midway through overtime.
Mike Conley scored a career playoff-high 25 points and Rudy Gay had 23 on 8-of-25 shooting for the Grizzlies
Game 5 is Wednesday in Memphis.
Injury threatens Davis' career
NEW YORK (AP) — New York Knicks guard Baron Davis suffered more than a dislocated right kneecap during the third quarter of Sunday's 89-87 win over Miami.
An MRI performed Monday also revealed Davis tore both the ACL land MCL in the knee while also suffering a partial tear of the patella tendon. The 33-year-old Davis is expected to be out a year, putting his career in jeopardy.
Rangers beat Caps in OT again...Coyotes advance
UNDATED (AP) — It was a great day for the Phoenix Coyotes, who advanced to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history after finding new owners.
Mike Smith capped an outstanding series by turning back 32 shots to lead the Coyotes to a 2-1 triumph over Nashville in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals. He blanked the Predators until Colin Wilson pulled the Predators within 2-1 with 5:59 remaining. Smith almost scored into an empty net in the closing seconds before Phoenix celebrated.
Derek Morris put the Coyotes ahead to stay in the second period before Martin Hanzal provided the eventual game-winner later in the period.
The outcome sets up a Western Conference final between Phoenix and the Los Angeles Kings.
The win came after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the league has reached a preliminary agreement to sell the team to a group headed by former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison. Bettman said the league and the group will work toward reaching a formal sales agreement while Jamison negotiates with the city of the Glendale on a new lease for Jobing.com Arena.
Joel Ward was the Washington Capitals' hero in the NHL's Eastern Conference quarterfinals, providing the series-winning goal in overtime of Game 7. He was the goat Monday night as his double-minor for high sticking led to the tying and winning goals in the New York Rangers' 3-2 overtime win against the Caps.
Ward was whistled with 21.3 seconds left in regulation and the Capitals ahead 2-1. Brad Richards tied the game with 7.6 seconds remaining in the third period before Marc Staal's goal at 1:35 of OT gave the Rangers a three-games-to-two lead in the conference semifinals.
Anton Stralman also scored for the Rangers, who can wrap up the series Wednesday in Washington. New York hasn't been to the conference finals since 1997.
Brooks Laich (lyk) and John Carlson tallied for the Capitals.
Flyers lose Giroux
VOORHEES, N.J. (AP) — Philadelphia All-Star forward Claude Giroux (jur-OO') will miss game 5 of the Flyers playoff series with New Jersey Tuesday night. The Flyers' leading scorer was suspended by the NHL after his hit on Devils' center Dainius Zubrus (DYN'-uhs ZOO'-bruhs) in Game 4.
The Flyers trail the series 3-1.
Gillis stays despite team's first-round farewell
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis has received a contract extension following the team's first-round exit in the Stanley Cup finals. Gillis has led the Canucks to back-to-back Presidents' Trophies as the NHL's top team during the regular season. But the team was knocked out of the conference quarterfinals by the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings last month, a year after the Canucks lost to Boston in the Stanley Cup finals.
Weaver sparkles again...Rangers rip Birds...Fish extend win streak
UNDATED (AP) — Jered Weaver followed up his no-hitter with another gem to lead the Los Angeles Angels to their sixth victory in eight games.
Weaver allowed three hits and a run in six innings as the Halos whipped Minnesota 8-3. Weaver was on the mound for the first time since no-hitting the Twins in Anaheim last Wednesday.
Alberto Callaspo (ky-AS'-poh) homered and drove in three runs to help Weaver improve to 5-0 for the third time in his career.
Also in the AL, Brandon Snyder hit a three-run homer and had a career-high six RBIs against his former team as the Rangers blasted Baltimore 14-3. Michael Young homered and drove in three runs, and Josh Hamilton hit his 10th home run as part of the Rangers' 19-hit attack.
Cleveland padded its lead in the Central Division by sweeping a day-night doubleheader, beating the Chicago White Sox 8-6 and 3-2. Michael Brantley and Casey Kotchman each had three RBIs in the opener to support Zach McAlister, who allowed two earned runs over six innings in his fifth major league start. Shelley Duncan's RBI single in the eighth inning was the difference in Game 2.
Boston's five-game skid is over after Will Middlebrooks hit a three-run homer and a two-run shot in an 11-5 rout of the Royals in Kansas City. David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia (peh-DROY'-uh) also went deep for the Red Sox.
Seattle scored three times off Octavio Dotel (ahk-TAH'-vee-oh doh-TEHL') in the bottom of the ninth to beat Detroit 3-2. Brendan Ryan scored the Mariners' first run on a wild pitch and Jesus Montero added a game-tying double before John Jaso's (JAY'-sohz) sacrifice fly capped the victory.
Over to the National League, where a seven-game winning streak has the Florida Marlins above .500 for the first time this season. Carlos Zambrano picked up his first victory of the season by tossing a three-hitter in the Marlins' 4-0 shutout of Houston. Giancarlo Stanton opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Stanton has six homers and 12 ribbies during the streak.
John Buck and Hanley Ramirez added solo shots for the Marlins, whose winning streak followed an 8-14 start.
In other NL action, Lance Lynn is the majors' first six-game winner improving to 6-0 by allowing three hits in five shutout innings of the St. Louis Cardinals' 9-6 win at Arizona. Rafael Furcal led off the game with a homer, Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday hit consecutive homers in the third and Allen Craig and David Frese (freez) did the same in the seventh.
Ted Lilly is 4-0 after yielding a run and four hits in six innings of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 9-1 laugher against San Francisco. Andre Ethier (EE'-thee-ur) and Juan Rivera drove in two runs apiece as the Dodgers won their first home game since changing ownership last week.
The Philadelphia Phillies are two games under .500 again following a 5-2 loss to the visiting New York Mets. Rookie Jordanny Valdespin (johr-DAN'-ee VAL'-deh-speen) provided the game-winning blow with his first major league hit, a two-out, three-run homer in the top of the ninth. David Wright tied the game with a two-run double in the sixth before the Mets win their third in a row.
Jess Samardzija (sah-MAHR'-juh) is 4-1 after limiting Atlanta to a run and five hits over seven innings of the Chicago Cubs' 5-1 triumph over the Braves. Bryan LaHair, Ian Stewart and Geovany Soto homered as the Cubs dealt the Braves just the eighth loss in their last 26 games.
Jay Bruce launched a three-run homer to cap a five-run fourth that highlighted Cincinnati's 6-1 win at Milwaukee. Bronson Arroyo pitched into the seventh and didn't allow a run after Ryan Braun's first-inning blast.
Yondero Alonso had two RBIs and Edinson Volquez pitched into the sixth inning to earn a victory in San Diego's 3-2 decision over Colorado. The Padres are the last NL team with 10 victories.
Phillies pitcher gets 5-game suspension
NEW YORK (AP) — Cole Hamels has had his next start pushed back a day by Major League Baseball.
The Philadelphia Phillies left-hander has begun to serve a five-game suspension from MLB for intentionally throwing at Washington rookie star Bryce Harper Sunday. Hamels admitted after the game he tried to hit Harper as a "welcome to the big leagues" gesture.
Hamels plunked Harper on the back with two out in the bottom of the first. Harper eventually stole home during the inning, but the Phillies rallied to beat the Nationals 9-3.
Also, Nats outfielder Jayson Werth has undergone surgery on his broken left wrist, one day after suffering the injury while trying to make a sliding catch against Philadelphia. Werth is batting .276 with three homers and 12 RBIs in the second season of his $126 million contract. The Nationals say Werth will be out at least six weeks.
Boston pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka (DYS'-kay math-soo-ZAH'-kah) tossed 4 2-3 scoreless innings Monday night for Triple-A Pawtucket in the third of his scheduled five rehab starts. Matsuzaka is working his way back to the Red Sox after undergoing Tommy John surgery last June.
Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke (REHN'-ih-kee) says shortstop Alex Gonzalez will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee. Gonzalez was injured while sliding into second base during Saturday's 5-2 loss at San Francisco.
The Los Angeles Angels have placed right-hander LaTroy Hawkins on the 15-day disabled list because of a broken pinkie finger on his right hand. He suffered the injury Sunday while catching a ball off the bat of Toronto's Omar Vizquel that resulted in a game-ending double play and his first save of the season.
And San Francisco reliever Guillermo Mota has been suspended for 100 games by the commissioner's office following a positive test for Clenbuterol. The 38-year-old right-hander is the third major league to be penalized twice for positive drug tests, joining outfielder Manny Ramirez and Catcher Eliezer (ehl-ee-AY'-zur) Alfonzo.
State House approves Vikes stadium, but with a catch
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings could be closer to getting a new stadium if they are willing to pay another $105 million for the privilege.
The Minnesota House has approved a plan to build a $975 million stadium for the Vikings, but with a big boost in what the team would pay. The amended plan that passed 73-58 Monday night would raise the Vikings' share to $532 million, or about 55 percent of construction costs. The team already has said it wouldn't pay more than $427 million.
The Senate will consider its own version of the bill.
UNDATED (AP) — Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has appealed his season-long suspension in the NFL's bounty investigation. Vilma argues that Commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL') should not hear the appeal and asks for a delay in the process until the matter of who should decide on it has been settled through NFL Players Association grievances filed last week.
Vilma's appeal states the NFL has not presented evidence linking him to a system in which players were paid to injure opponents. It asks the league to provide documentation, including witness statements.
Meanwhile, former Saints defensive lineman Anthony Hargove describes in a sworn statement how he was told by ex-Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and current Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt to deny the existence of a bounty program to NFL investigators. In a document obtained by The Associated Press, Hargrove acknowledges that he acted on Williams' and Vitt's instructions to "play dumb" if asked whether he was aware of bounties being placed on former Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre (fahrv) or any other player.
Hargrove is appealing the eight-game suspension he received from the NFL in connection with the bounty probe.
In other NFL news:
— New England offensive lineman Matt Light is retiring after an 11-year career that included three Super Bowl championships and three Pro Bowl selections.
— The Baltimore Ravens have signed defensive tackle Ryan McBean, who will sit out the first six games of the season for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy
— Oakland Raiders safety Tyvon Branch has signed his $6.2 million franchise tag tender and reported to offseason workouts with the team.
— Running back Fred Jackson has a new contract that keeps him in Buffalo. Jackson has led the Bills in rushing in three straight seasons.
— The Seahawks have signed first-round pick Bruce Irvin, a defensive end taken 15th overall in last month's draft.
— And Brian Xanders (ZAN'-durz) is out as Denver's general manager after three years in that role and with a year left on his contract.
Veteran pulls out of Players Championship
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Fred Couples has withdrawn from The Players Championship because of an illness. Couples is a two-time winner of The Players Championship, his last title coming in 1996. He was eligible this year because he won the Senior Players Championship.
GOLF-HALL OF FAME
Mickelson, Lyle inducted
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) — Phil Mickelson has been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame for 42 wins and four majors in a career that is still going.
Mickelson was inducted along with two-time major champion Sandy Lyle of Scotland, writer Dan Jenkins, British player and broadcaster Peter Alliss and LPGA player Hollis Stacy.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-ILLINOIS ST.
Illinois St. gets a hoops coach
NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State has hired longtime Vanderbilt assistant Dan Muller to be its next men's basketball coach.
The school announced that it will hold a news conference on Tuesday to introduce the former Illinois State player as the program's 19th coach.
COLLEGE ATHLETICS-BIG EAST
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Big East Commissioner John Marinatto has resigned after less than three years in the position.
Former Miami Dolphins CEO Joseph A. Bailey III will serve as interim commissioner.