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49ers Make Utah Quarterback No. 1 Pick (AP)
AP - After a week of trade rumors and intrigue, the only drama in this NFL draft was the long wait for Aaron Rodgers. With the top players considered relatively equal, quarterback Alex Smith went first as expected to San Francisco and the other dominoes followed more or less the way they were supposed to.

Broncos Take a Chance on Divisive Clarett (AP)
AP - The Denver Broncos drafted Maurice Clarett on Saturday, using a third-round pick to take a surprising gamble on one of the most divisive players in the history of college football.

SuperSonics Rally to Beat Kings 87-82 (AP)
AP - Ray Allen scored 28 points and Seattle center Jerome James added 17 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, leading the SuperSonics to a 87-82 win over the Sacramento Kings in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series Saturday night.

Rockets Down Mavs 98-86, Seize Home Court (AP)
AP - Tracy McGrady scored the majority of his 34 points during the first three quarters while the Houston Rockets were building a big lead, then reserves Mike James and Jon Barry helped protect the shrinking margin in the final period, preserving a 98-86 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of their first-round series Saturday.

Pistons Beat 76ers 106-85 to Open Playoffs (AP)
AP - After leading Detroit to the NBA title last year, Rasheed Wallace got the Pistons off to a fast start in postseason. Wallace scored 24 of his 29 points in the second half Saturday, helping the Pistons pull away from the Philadelphia 76ers 106-85 in the first game of the NBA playoffs.

2005 NFL Draft Selections (AP)
AP - 1. San Francisco, Alex Smith, qb, Utah.

NBA Wrap: Pistons Open Playoffs with Win Over 76ers (Reuters)
Reuters - Rasheed Wallace had 29 points and Tayshaun Prince added 23 as the defending NBA champion Detroit Pistons eased to a 106-85 home win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game One of the Eastern Conference playoffs on Saturday.

AL Wrap: Roberts Homer Sparks Orioles Win Over Jays (Reuters)
Reuters - Brian Roberts cracked a lead-off homer and Erik Bedard backed it up with seven scoreless innings as the Baltimore Orioles eased to a 4-1 win over the slumping Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Center on Saturday.

Galaxy Defeat Chivas USA 3-1 (AP)
AP - Cobi Jones, Peter Vagenas and Jovan Kirovski scored goals to help the Los Angeles Galaxy beat Chivas USA 3-1 on Saturday night.

Islanders' Parrish Leads U.S. Over Canada (AP)
AP - Mark Parrish scored with 4.5 seconds remaining to lead the United States to a 5-4 victory over Canada on Friday night in the teams' final North American tuneup before the world hockey championships.

Draft's winners and losers
Maurice Clarett was part of the winners' circle, while the Packers looked like lost causes.

49ers pick Utah QB Smith at No. 1 (AP)
After a week of trade rumors and intrigue, the only drama in this NFL draft was the long wait for Aaron Rodgers. With the top players considered relatively equal, quarterback Alex Smith went first as expected to San Francisco and the other dominoes followed more or less the way they were supposed to.

Broncos take a chance on RB Clarett (AP)
The Denver Broncos have a history of taking less-than-perfect tailbacks and turning them into stars. On Saturday, they drafted the walking definition of the less-than-perfect tailback -- Maurice Clarett. Impressed by what he did as a freshman, and not as concerned with his sordid history since, the Broncos took the bait on Clarett, using a third-round pick to take a surprising gamble on one of the...

Cal QB Rodgers drops all the way to 24th (AP)
Aaron Rodgers entered the NFL to a standing ovation, with hundreds of fans chanting his name. Sure he had to wait a lot longer than he would have liked to be drafted, but what a reception the California quarterback received when the Green Bay Packers took him with the 24th pick Saturday. ``That meant a lot to me,'' Rodgers said of the exuberant cheers poured on him by the crowd at the Jacob Javits...

Vikes pass on Williams, take Williamson (AP)
Less than 30 minutes after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings, Troy Williamson already seemed tired of comparisons to Randy Moss. He better get used to it. The Vikings traded Moss to the Oakland Raiders last month for the No. 7 overall selection, which they used on Saturday to select the speedy Williamson over Southern Cal receiver Mike Williams.

Lions take WR Mike Williams at No. 10 (AP)
The Detroit Lions played out plenty of draft possibilities, and never really considered Southern California receiver Mike Williams among them. Yet when it was the Lions' turn to make their selection in the first round of the NFL draft on Saturday, they followed a familiar pattern by picking Williams 10th overall, the third straight year Detroit chose a receiver.

Chiefs acquire CB Surtain from Dolphins (AP)
For three straight years, one of the NFL's greatest offenses has been chained to one of the worst defenses, a snorting, high-strung race horse hooked to a milk wagon. Now, with the acquisition of two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Surtain in a deal with the Miami Dolphins, the defensively inept Kansas City Chiefs have completed a three-pronged plan to revamp and retool even before the NFL draft...

LB Sharper signs with the Seahawks (AP)
Linebacker Jamie Sharper officially became a member of the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday, signing a five-year, $17.5 million deal that includes a $1.5 million signing bonus. Sharper was released by the Houston Texans on April 1. The deal was agreed upon last week, but Sharper said he'd been moving some items out of Houston, delaying the signing.

Playoff blog: First round
Yahoo! Sports' Steve Kerr makes points throughout the opening round of the NBA playoffs.

Rasheed leads Pistons' rout of 76ers (AP)
For the first time since the season opener, Rasheed Wallace strutted into The Palace with the boxing-style championship belts he had made for the Detroit Pistons. Then the demonstrative forward showed how he plans to help the Pistons defend their title. Wallace scored 24 of his 29 points in the second half Saturday, helping Detroit pull away from the Philadelphia 76ers 106-85 in the first game of...

T-Mac, Rockets take home-court from Mavs (AP)
There was the 3-pointer several feet behind the arc, with the shot clock starting to buzz and a hand in his face. Then there was the baseline dunk that followed and, soon after, a swished 15-footer that helped protect a shrinking lead. Yet as much as Tracy McGrady dazzled, it was the clutch baskets by his supporting cast that showed why the Houston Rockets feel so good about their playoff chances.

Celtics overwhelm Pacers in Game 1 (AP)
Boston's young backups made Indiana look old and ordinary. They sparked the Celtics to a 102-82 victory Saturday night by turning a two-point deficit after one quarter into a 15-point lead six minutes later and beginning 39-year-old Reggie Miller's final playoff season with a blowout. ``We came out full of energy,'' 20-year-old rookie Al Jefferson said after his first postseason game.

Allen, Sonics edge Kings in opener (AP)
Looking way back, Jerome James was glad he was cut by Sacramento. And now that he plays for Seattle, he was glad to help the SuperSonics beat the Kings in their playoff opener. Ray Allen scored 28 points, James added 17 points and a career-high 15 rebounds and Reggie Evans had another 15 boards, leading Seattle to a 87-82 victory over the Kings in Game 1 of the first-round series Saturday night.

Shaq back at practice, status uncertain (AP)
Saying his bruised right thigh still hampers his mobility, Miami center Shaquille O'Neal returned to practice Saturday -- yet was coyly noncommittal about whether he'll be playing when the Heat open their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the New Jersey Nets. O'Neal was injured a week ago and hadn't been on the court since.

Jefferson returns, practices with Nets (AP)
All-Star forward Richard Jefferson practiced with New Jersey for the first time in nearly four months on Friday, two days before the Nets take on the Miami Heat in the opening round of the playoffs. ``It feels good,'' Jefferson said. ``It was kind of funny going on the court. Everybody was laughing and making fun of me.

Pacers get Aug. 1 trial date (AP)
The trials for the five Indiana players involved in the November brawl at the Pacers-Pistons game will begin Aug. 1, starting with Ron Artest. Teammates Anthony Johnson, David Harrison, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson are to follow in that order. The players earlier were granted requests for separate trials on misdemeanor assault and battery charges.

Turnaround teams Wizards, Bulls to meet (AP)
The walls shook as the Chicago Bulls pumped in high-decibel crowd noise during practice, simulating the din of a playoff game. ``We tried to make it a little chaotic for the guys,'' Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. The frenzy of the postseason will be for real Sunday when the Bulls and Washington Wizards, two young teams that made startling turnarounds this season, meet in their playoff opener.

Kobe's focus: preparing for next season (AP)
Kobe Bryant says it doesn't matter who coaches the Los Angeles Lakers next season. His main concern is being prepared to help the team return to prominence. ``I don't care. I trust their track record,'' Bryant said Friday, referring to Lakers owner Jerry Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak. ``Whoever they bring in here, I'm going to be ready.

Americans beat Canada in world championship tuneup (AP)
Mark Parrish scored with 4.5 seconds remaining to lead the United States to a 5-4 victory over Canada on Friday night in the teams' final North American tuneup before the world hockey championships. Matt Cullen had two goals for the Americans, and Mike Knuble and Yan Stastny also scored in front of 7,166 fans at the Quebec Coliseum.

United States advances to under-18 title game (AP)
Phil Kessel and Nathan Gerbe each had a goal and two assists, and the United States beat Sweden 6-2 Friday to advance to the final of the world under-18 ice hockey championship. The Americans advanced to Sunday's championship game against Canada, a 3-2 overtime winner over the Czech Republic in Friday's other semifinal.

Report: Former NHL D Ramage to stand trial (SportsTicker)
TORONTO (Ticker) - Two-time Stanley Cup-winning defenseman Rob Ramage is in for the fight of his life.

NHL linesman Provost dies in motorcycle accident (SportsTicker)
NEW YORK (Ticker) - National Hockey League linesman Stephane Provost died Friday in a motorcycle accident in Florida. He was 37.

NHL linesman Provost killed in motorcycle wreck (AP)
NHL linesman Stephane Provost was killed early Friday when his motorcycle slammed into the back of a tractor trailer. A 10-year officiating veteran with the NHL, the 37-year-old Provost died near his home in Weston, about 17 miles west of Fort Lauderdale on the edge of the Florida Everglades. Around 3:30 a.m., Provost was traveling west on State Road 84 when he hit the rear of a semi, a Broward...

ECHL suspends Langdone for eight games for injuring Scott Gomez (AP)
The ECHL suspended Bakersfield Condors right wing Ashlee Langdone for eight games for a blindside hit that injured NHL star Scott Gomez, who was playing for the Alaska Aces. The hit occurred during the second period of an April 16 playoff game. Langdone sat out a game Monday and will not eligible to play in the ECHL until Bakersfield has played seven regular-season games in 2005-06, the league said...

Bettman: 'Time working against' 2006 Olympic participation (AP)
Prospects for NHL players taking part in the 2006 Olympics are dwindling because of the ongoing lockout, commissioner Gary Bettman said Friday. ``If we don't have a deal by the time we have to schedule, I assume it would be difficult to have Olympic participation,'' he said during the Associated Press Sports Editors annual meeting with league commissioners.

NHL won't start next season with replacement players (AP)
The NHL is searching for a deal, not replacements for its locked-out players. With speculation mounting that hockey would return next season no matter what, even if that meant using replacement players, commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday that the league won't return to the ice in October if a new collective bargaining agreement hasn't been reached with the players' association.

USA Hockey adds C Yan Stastny to World Championship roster (SportsTicker)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Ticker) - The United States is ready for the 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship.

Busch's redemption
AVONDALE, Ariz. – After a three-race slump, Kurt Busch is back in championship form.

Kurt Busch wins NASCAR Subway Fresh 500 (SportsTicker)


Biffle's hot streak ends with pit accident (AP)
Greg Biffle's hot streak ended on pit road Saturday night in the NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Busch races to Phoenix win (AP)
Kurt Busch knew he had the best car Saturday night, but he had to keep coming from behind to prove it.

Biffle survives Busch Series crashfest at Phoenix (SportsTicker)


Biffle wins Busch race (AP)
Greg Biffle survived an early spinout and grabbed another dominating victory Friday night, this time overpowering the field in the NASCAR Busch Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Driver Ramirez released from hospital (SportsTicker)
SONOMA, California (Ticker) - One day after being involved in an accident during a NASCAR Nextel Cup test session at Infineon Raceway, Jose Luis Ramirez was released from John Muir Medical Center.

Biffle overpowering in Texas victory (AP)
Greg Biffle's body was sore heading into the NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Biffle wins NASCAR Nextel Cup Samsung/RadioShack 500 (SportsTicker)


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