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NBA FINALS-GAME 3

Parker hopeful for Game 4

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — San Antonio's Tony Parker has a mild strained hamstring and hopes to play in Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Miami on Thursday night.

Parker had an MRI that revealed the Grade 1 strain. He is listed as day-to-day. Parker was concerned that the hamstring could have been torn, which would have made it very difficult for him to play.

Parker was injured early in the second half of the Spurs 36-point, Game 3 win Tuesday night. He was limited to six points and eight assists in 27 minutes and left the game early in the fourth quarter with the outcome already decided.

Parker's injury somewhat muted the celebration in San Antonio following the Spurs' decisive bounce-back victory that put them two wins shy of the franchise's fifth championship.

NFL-REDSKINS NAME

Good enough for Goodell

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL') is defending the Washington Redskins nickname, calling it a "unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect."

Goodell was responding to a letter from 10 members of Congress who want the name changed because it is offensive to many Native Americans.

Goodell cited the nickname's origins and polls that support its popularity.

The name is the subject of a legal challenge from a group seeking to have the team lose its trademark protection.

Team owner Dan Snyder has vowed to never change the name.

MLB-DIAMONDBACKS-DODGERS BRAWL

Sanctions coming?

LOS ANGELES (AP) — There's likely to be repercussions from the Diamondbacks and Dodgers episode of men behaving badly last night.

Suspension and fines could be handed out after a bench clearing brawls sparked by a series of hit batters. Six were ejected including Arizona's Ian Kennedy who completed the beanings by plunking opposing pitcher Zach Greinke (GREHN'-kee) who had hit Arizona's Miguel Montero after the Dodgers Yasiel Puig was hit with the deflected balls striking him in the nose.

Also tossed were Arizona manager Kirk Gibson and Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire who had a hold of each other's tops and were nose-to-nose.

MLB-SCHEDULE

Angels' big inning sinks Orioles

UNDATED (AP) — Albert Pujols (POO'-holz) hit a two-run homer to cap a six-run, seventh inning that led the Angels to a 9-5 win over Baltimore. Erick Aybar got the scoring spree going with a bases clearing triple.

The Angels erupted off of three Orioles pitchers to end a four-game losing streak.

Arizona's rise to the top of the National League West standings has been sparked by Patrick Corbin.

The 23-year old left-hander takes the mound tonight against the Dodgers trying to become just the third pitcher in the last 25 years to start a season 10-0. Corbin has been mostly masterful in fashioning a 1.98 ERA and he's been money in the bank for Arizona. The Diamondbacks are 12-0 in games he's started.

The Dodgers counter with 6-2 Hyun-Jin Ryu who is sporting a 1.13 ERA in his last three starts.

Colorado is putting the pressure on Arizona for the division lead. The Rockies are just a game back heading into tonight's home game against Washington. Colorado has won seven of ten.

Texas and Oakland will try to snap their virtual tie for the top in the AL West on two different fronts. The Rangers host Cleveland holding a three percentage points lead over the A's. The Indians snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Rangers last night.

Oakland is at home to the Yankees. The Athletics have won eight of their last eleven.

The threat of bad weather has forced the postponement of the White Sox home game against Toronto tonight.

MLB-UNIQUE FIRST PITCH

Teen to make first pitch from a big distance

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — In what is believed to be a first as far as baseball ceremonial first pitches, 13-year-old Nick LeGrande will take the toss before tonight's Yankees-Athletics game in Oakland from his home in Kansas City, Mo., by using a robotic pitching machine.

It will be a first pitch from 1,800 miles away.

LeGrande is an A's fan with a rare blood disorder that no longer allows the former Little Leaguer to attend games.

LeGrande and his family will be taken to a mini baseball stadium, while a telerobotic pitching machine will be on the pitcher's mound at the Oakland Coliseum to follow the teen's movements.

NHL-BYLSMA

Penguins extend Blysma

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Dan Bylsma has been given a two-year contract extension by the Pittsburgh Penguins. The move comes just a week after the Eastern Conference's top seed was swept out of the NHL Eastern Conference final by Boston.

Bylsma is the second winnigest coach in franchise history with a 201-92-25 since taking over as coach in February 2009.

Assistants Tony Granato and Todd Reirden will also be retained after the Penguins decided it wasn't time to change course following a regular season in which the Penguins posted the second-best record in the league.

NHL-STANLEY CUP FINALS

Blackhawks-Bruins in Original Six final

CHICAGO (AP) — For purists, it'll be hockey the way it used to be played.

The Blackhawks and Boston open up the Stanley Cup finals in Chicago tonight in a meeting of the Original Six NHL franchises. It will make the first time since 1979 that two of the originals meet for the Cup.

Chicago's run to the final began at the start of the abbreviated season when the Blackhawks put on a record run of 24 straight games in which they earned at least a point to open a season. They're back in the final since winning it all in 2010. l

Boston will be looking to hoist the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years. The 2011 champs have built their post-season run this year on defense. The Bruins have allowed just 30 goals in 16 games for a 1.88 goals against average.

NHL-FLYERS-ISLANDERS TRADE

Flyers get Streit

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia has acquired defenseman Mark Streit from the New York Islanders for minor-league forward Shane Harper and a fourth-round pick in 2014.

The 35-year old Streit was the Islanders captain. He had six goals and 21 assists in 48 games this season, and added three goals and two assists in six playoff games.

Streit joined the Islanders as a free agent in 2008, led the team in scoring his first season with 56 points and was an All-Star.

He bolsters Philadelphia's blue line, which was decimated by injuries last season.

SOCCER-MESSI-TAX FRAUD

Messi has tax mess

MADRID (AP) — A fraud lawsuit against Lionel (lee-awn-EHL') Messi for $5.3 million in unpaid income tax was lodged Wednesday by a Spanish state prosecutor.

The prosecutor also brought a lawsuit against the Barcelona star's father, Jorge Horacio Messi.

Both are accused of three offenses against the public purse for allegedly defrauding millions on income tax returns for 2007, 2008 and 2009.

GOLF-U.S. OPEN

More rain in open forecast

ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) — While the golfers are putting their finishing touches on rain-delayed preparations for the U.S. Open, organizers are fretting over the weather forecast.

The Merion Golf Club course was soaked by five inches of rain from Friday to Monday, making for wet fairways that are yielding mud balls for drives that are hit in them.

While the weather cleared yesterday and today, the forecast for round one on Thursday calls for showers in the morning with thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening.

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