Spurs escape to go up 2-0
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was criticized and even fined by the NBA for sitting Tim Duncan and Tony Parker during the regular season. Last night's game was one of the reasons why Popovich wanted to keep his aging stars fresh.
Duncan had a team-high 17 points and Parker finished with 18 assists as the Spurs downed Memphis 93-89 in overtime to take a two-games-to-none lead in the Western Conference finals. Duncan scored the Spurs' first six points of the extra period after missing a potential game-winning jumper with two seconds left in regulation. He also finished with nine rebounds and completed the game despite picking up his fifth foul with 7 ½ minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Parker added 15 points for San Antonio, which blew a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter and was outscored 7-0 over the final minute of regulation.
Mike Conley and Jerryd Bayless each had a team-high 18 points for the Grizzlies, who outrebounded the Spurs 60-46 but shot just 34 percent. Bayless missed a potential game-tying three-pointer in the closing seconds.
Game 3 isn't until Saturday in Memphis.
Cavs have the winning ticket
NEW YORK (AP) — The Cleveland Cavaliers have won the NBA draft lottery for the second time in three years.
The Cavs entered with a 15.6 percent chance of winning before climbing over Orlando and Charlotte to capture the top pick in next month's draft. Cleveland posted the third-worst record during the regular season at 24-58.
The Magic will pick second in the draft, followed by Washington, Charlotte and Phoenix. The Wizards moved up from eighth to third, while the Bobcats dropped to fourth after posting the league's second-worst record.
Winning the lottery hasn't led to many championships. The San Antonio Spurs are the only franchise ever to win the lottery and later claim an NBA title.
Clips fire coach
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Clippers have enjoyed their greatest successes with Vinny Del Negro (NAY'-groh) as head coach. It wasn't enough.
The Clippers have fired Del Negro, whose .557 winning percentage is the best since the franchise moved from Buffalo to San Diego in 1978. The team went 128-102 in three years under Del Negro and reached the playoffs the last two seasons.
This season, the Clippers won a franchise-record 56 games, had a 17-game winning streak and won the club's first Pacific Division title before losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference quarterfinals.
The only other coach to lead the franchise to consecutive winning seasons was Jack Ramsey with the Buffalo Braves from 1973-74 through 1975-76. Del Negro is the only coach in club history to post a .600 winning percentage in a season, doing it in his last two years.
Thunder matches Durant's $1 million relief pledge
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma City Thunder are giving $1 million for tornado relief, matching a $1 million pledge by star player Kevin Durant. The Thunder say they're giving $1 million to the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and other disaster relief organizations helping after Monday's deadly tornado in suburban Oklahoma City.
The NBA and its players' union are combining to donate another $1 million to the recovery cause.
Jordan wants Hornets back
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Bobcats owner Michael Jordan has announced he's changing his team's name to the Charlotte Hornets, saying he's optimistic the NBA board of governors will approve the name change when they convene in July.
Charlotte will remain the Bobcats next season, but if all goes as planned Jordan anticipates his team will become the Hornets for the start of the 2014-15 season.
The Hornets resided in Charlotte from 1988-2002 before then-owner George Shinn relocated the team to New Orleans.
B's beat Rangers again
NEW YORK (AP) — The Boston Bruins now have a three-games-to-none lead in the NHL's Eastern Conference finals after rallying to beat the Rangers in New York.
Daniel Paille (PY'-ay) scored on a bouncing rebound with 3:31 remaining to give the Bruins a 2-1 win over the Rangers. Boston took a shot that deflected off the mask of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, popped up in the air and landed on the goal line before Paille swooped in from behind the net and poked in the puck.
The B's trailed 1-0 until Johnny Boychuk tied it early in the third period, two days after providing the game-winner in Boston.
Tuukka (TOO'-kah) Rask handled 23 shots and blanked the Blueshirts after Taylor Pyatt's goal four minutes into the second period.
Trout season in Anaheim...Tigers cool off Indians
UNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels have been waiting all season for Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton to get hot. It happened last night as Trout hit for the cycle and Hamilton hit a two-run homer in the Angels 12-0 pounding of Seattle.
Trout reached on an infield single in the third inning, hit an RBI triple in the fourth and added a three-run double in the sixth before homering in the eighth. He finished with five RBIs while becoming the sixth player in Angels history to complete the cycle.
Howie Kendrick also hit a two-run homer, and Jerome Williams scattered six hits in eight innings as the Angels picked up their third straight win.
Also in the majors, the Yankees and Orioles went 10 innings for the second straight night before Nate McLouth hit a solo homer to give Baltimore a 3-2 win over New York. Chris Dickerson homered twice to help the Birds end a six-game losing streak.
Jose Quintana took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Jeff Keppinger smacked a two-run homer as the Chicago White Sox won for the sixth time in eight games, topping Boston 3-1. Alex Rios extended his career-high hitting streak to 16 with a single and RBI double.
Luke Scott drove in two runs and Alex Cobb allowed a run and three hits over 6 1/3 innings to lead Tampa Bay to a 4-3 win at Toronto. Kelly Johnson and Desmond Jennings hit solo homers for the Devil Rays.
Oakland has a five-game winning streak after rookie Dan Straily allowed just two hits over seven innings of a 1-0 triumph at Texas. Yoenis Cespedes (yoh-EH'-nehs SEHS'-peh-dehs) provided the scoring with a third-inning homer off Yu Darvish, who gave up five hits in six innings.
Max Scherzer (SHUR'-zur) is 6-0 after allowing just two hits while striking out seven over eight innings of the Tigers' 5-1 victory over the Indians, ending Cleveland's five-game winning streak. Miguel Cabrera homered for the fourth time in two games, a tiebreaking, two-run blast in the sixth.
Kansas City trailed 3-0 before scoring seven times over their final two at-bats to beat the Astros 7-3 in Houston and halt a four-game skid. Mike Moustakas tied it with an RBI single in a four-run eighth before George Kottaras worked out a bases-loaded walk.
Pablo Sandoval crushed a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th to give San Francisco a 4-2 win over Washington. The Nationals were one out from a 2-1 victory until Gregor Blanco laced an RBI triple in the ninth.
Daniel Descalso hit his first grand slam and drove in a career-high five RBIs as St. Louis ripped San Diego 10-2. Descalso was hitting just .197 before going 3-for-3 with a walk and scored three runs.
Pinch-hitter Travis Snider launched a grand slam during a five-run sixth that carried Pittsburgh past the Chicago Cubs 5-4. The Pirates broke through against the Cubs' bullpen after Matt Garza held them to one hit over five shutout innings, his first outing in 10 months.
Atlanta beat Minnesota 5-4 on Freddie Freeman's RBI single in the bottom of the 10th, one inning after pinch-hitter Evan Gattis tied it witih a two-out homer. Freeman and Brian McCann each had two RBIs as the Braves dealt the Twins their seventh straight loss.
Zach Greinke (GREHN'-kee) suffered his first loss in 16 career decisions at Miller Park as Carlos Gomez hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the fifth inning of Milwaukee's 5-2 triumph against the Dodgers. Five Brewers combined for five shutout innings to secure the team's fourth victory in its last 19 games.
Colorado beat Arizona 5-4 on Wilin Rosario's RBI single in the bottom of the 10th. Tulowitzki hit a solo homer and had a double to raise his average to .406 at Coors Field this season.
David Wright's two-out error led to three unearned runs in the first inning of Cincinnati's 4-0 shutout of the New York Mets. Devin Mesoraco hit a solo homer and worked out a bases-loaded walk to support Mike Leake, who held the Mets to three hits in seven innings.
Ryan Howard returned to Philadelphia's lineup after a two-game absence and went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored in a 7-3 win at Miami. Delmon Young hit a solo homer and had two RBIs, while Tyler Cloyd limited the Marlins to two runs in seven innings after being recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley earlier in the day.
Mattheus, Vogelsong DL'd...Howard returns...Danks hopes to pitch this week
UNDATED (AP) — Nationals reliever Ryan Mattheus (MATH'-yooz) has landed on the disabled list following his bout with a locker. Matheus broke his right pitching hand punching the locker after allowing five runs in one inning of Washington's 13-4 loss to the Padres in San Diego on Sunday.
The Nationals also sent outfielder Eury Perez to Triple-A Syracuse and recalled lefty Fernando Abad and right-hander Yunesky Maya.
Also in the majors, the Giants expect to be without starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong for the next two months. Vogelsong broke his pitching hand while at the plate during Monday's 8-0 win over Washington.
White Sox starting pitcher John Danks hopes to make his first start in over a year later this week. Danks has been recovering from shoulder surgery since last August and was optimistic following a bullpen session on Tuesday.
The Indians have placed first baseman Nick Swisher on the paternity list. He'll miss one to three days after his wife, JoAnna, gave birth to their first child, a girl.
And The Chicago White Sox have confirmed a Sports Business Journal report that chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has recommended a family succession plan that includes selling its interest in the franchise. Reinsdorf told the publication the plan he has recommended to his sons calls for the family relinquishing its stake in the White Sox while maintaining control of the NBA's Chicago Bulls.
New Niners stadium to host Super Bowl 50
BOSTON (AP) —The San Francisco 49ers are big winners of Super Bowl 50 -- two and a-half years before it will be played.
NFL owners chose the Niners' new stadium being built in Santa Clara as site of Super Bowl 50 to be held in February 2016. The Santa Clara stadium is due to open in 2014.
San Francisco beat out South Florida, which was stymied in its bid to stage an 11th Super Bowl when the Florida Legislature did not support financing to renovate Sun Life Stadium.
The 2017 Super Bowl will be held in Houston, which also beat out Miami for that game.
In other NFL news:
— Charles Woodson is back with his original team, signing a one-year deal with Oakland after seven seasons with Green Bay. The Raiders made Woodson the fourth overall pick in the 1998 draft and will pay him as much as $4.3 million this year.
— Left tackle Max Starks has accepted a one-year pact with San Diego. Starks should provide extra protection for quarterback Philip Rivers, who was sacked 49 times last year and has committed 47 turnovers in the last two seasons.
— Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will miss at least three weeks of offseason workouts after a procedure to remove a cyst from his back. The Cowboys say Romo will be ready for training camp in July.
Garcia apologizes for "fried chicken" remark
UNDATED (AP) — Sergio Garcia apologized for saying he would "serve fried chicken" while making a joke about having Tiger Woods over for dinner.
The British newspaper The Guardian reports Garcia was asked in jest while on stage at the European Tour's awards dinner Tuesday night if he would invite Woods to dinner during the U.S. Open. The Guardian reports Garcia said: "We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken."
Garcia has acknowledged not getting along with Woods and their testy relationship flared up again during The Players Championship at Sawgrass two weeks ago.
Golf bigs ban anchored putting stroke
UNDATED (AP) — Golf's governing bodies have outlawed the putting stroke used by four of the last six major champions, effective in 2016.
The Royal & Ancient Golf Club and U.S. Golf Association have ruled that golfers no longer will be able to anchor the club against their bodies to create the effect of a hinge. Masters champion Adam Scott used a long putter he pressed against his chest. British Open champion Ernie Els and U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson used a belly putter, as did Keegan Bradley in the 2011 PGA Championship.
The two bodies have urged the PGA Tour to follow along so the 600-year-old sport is still played under one set of rules. The Tour and PGA of America oppose the rule.
Yanks, Man City teaming up
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Yankees are going into the soccer business.
The Yankees are partnering with Manchester City to own Major League Soccer's 20th team, which will be called New York City Football Club and plans to start play in the 2015 season.
Manchester City will be the majority owner.
Murray withdraws from French Open
LONDON (AP) — U.S. Open champ Andy Murray has withdrawn from the French Open after seeking medical advice on his back injury.
The second-ranked Briton was forced to pull out of the Italian Open during his second-round match last Wednesday because of a lower back problem.
The French Open starts Sunday.