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Rockets Beat Mavs 101-83, Tie Series 3-3 (AP)
AP - Tracy McGrady was not going to endure another first-round meltdown without a fight. He refused to be denied in Game 6, and now he'll have one more chance to advance in the playoffs for the first time in his career.

Celtics Nudge Pacers 92-89 in Overtime (AP)
AP - In the wildest game yet of a series headed to a Game 7, the Celtics overcame the late ejection of Paul Pierce and sent their first-round matchup with the Indiana Pacers back to Boston. Antoine Walker scored 24 points Thursday night, including a go-ahead 3-pointer early in overtime and the clinching basket with a minute to go, in Boston's 92-89 victory.

Yankees Tumble Into Tie for Last Place (AP)
AP - A pregame meeting didn't help the struggling New York Yankees. The team with baseball's largest payroll dropped its third straight to the low-budget Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-2 Thursday night, falling into a tie for last place in the AL East.

Giles Has 5 RBIs As Padres Beat Cards 8-3 (AP)
AP - Brian Giles had four hits and five RBIs Thursday night in the San Diego Padres' 8-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, who turned the first triple play in the major leagues this season.

Castillo Helps Pirates Beat D'backs 6-2 (AP)
AP - Jose Castillo, playing for the first time since April 6, had three hits — including a solo homer and an RBI triple — and scored twice to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night.

Cancer Recurrence Benches Panthers' Fields (AP)
AP - Mark Fields was a pallbearer at Sam Mills' funeral, a difficult job for a man all too aware of his own mortality. Even though his Hodgkin's disease was in remission and the linebacker had emerged from his treatments to post a Pro Bowl season for the Carolina Panthers last year, Fields knew his cancer could come back at any time.

McGrady leads Rockets in win over Mavericks (Reuters)
Reuters - Tracy McGrady scored 37 points as the Houston Rockets fought back from three losses to beat the Dallas Mavericks 101-83 in the NBA playoffs on Thursday.

Yankees Sink to Bottom of AL East (AP)
AP - Major lineup changes, a team meeting and a visit to the ballpark by The Boss. Nothing stopped the New York Yankees from sinking to the bottom of the AL East during a miserable road trip to Tampa Bay, which won three of four to dump the seven-time defending division champions into a tie for last place.

Soccer: Teams With Violent Fans Penalized (AP)
AP - Two Australian soccer teams whose ethnically aligned fans rioted during an April game have been ordered to play each other in nearly empty stadiums for the next two years.

Hockey Worlds: Americans Lose to Canada (AP)
AP - A 3-1 loss to Canada that knocked the United States from the unbeaten ranks didn't destroy the Americans' confidence at the hockey world championship.

Offseason notebook: Winslow's rookie move
A motorcycle accident has brought Kellen Winslow Jr.'s maturity into question again.

Panthers' Fields has cancer recurrence (AP)
When his Pro Bowl season ended, linebacker Mark Fields joked that he was re-signing with the Carolina Panthers for $2 as gratitude for their support during his battle with Hodgkin's disease. But when the weeks turned into months and there was no deal, and then his agent said Fields was holding off signing a new contract until after a round of medical tests, many began to wonder if something was...

Chargers 1st-round pick to skip workouts (AP)
First-round draft pick Shawne Merriman was advised by his new agent to skip all offseason workouts with the San Diego Chargers, starting with this weekend's minicamp. Merriman and agent Kevin Poston want the Chargers to change the language that protects unsigned players in the minicamp agreement, general manager A.J.

Browns concerned with Winslow's knee (AP)
Kellen Winslow Jr.'s internal injuries from a motorcycle accident are improving, but the Cleveland Browns are concerned with damage to his right knee, the team said Wednesday. Winslow was injured in an accident that sent him flying over the handlebars of his newly purchased motorcycle Sunday night. The Browns issued a statement saying his knee will continue to be re-evaluated but declined to...

Titans agree to terms with Jason White (AP)
Jason White is getting another shot at the NFL with the Tennessee Titans. The 2003 Heisman Trophy winner agreed to terms Thursday on a contract with the Titans. The former Oklahoma quarterback wasn't offered a contract after going through a three-day rookie camp with Kansas City last week. White went undrafted despite leading the Sooners to the national title game in 2003 and '04.

Redskins, Santana Moss agree on new deal (AP)
Two months after trading for Santana Moss, the Washington Redskins finally got him to show up for a workout. It took a six-year, $31 million contract, which the receiver signed Thursday to end his boycott of the team's offseason program. ``It was real awkward,'' said Moss, whose deal includes $11 million in guaranteed bonuses, including a signing bonus.

Veteran Seau glad Dolphins want him back (AP)
A 36-year-old linebacker coming off a major injury still has a place in the NFL -- with the Miami Dolphins, at least. Junior Seau is back on the practice field, learning new Miami coach Nick Saban's defensive scheme after weighing whether to return for a 16th pro season. ``There were thoughts of retirement,'' Seau said Wednesday.

Report: Army withheld Tillman death info (AP)
Army officials knew within days of Pat Tillman's death that the former NFL player had been killed by fellow Rangers during a patrol in Afghanistan but did not inform his family and the public for weeks, The Washington Post reported. A new Army report shows that Gen. John P. Abizaid, the theater commander in Afghanistan, and other top Army officials were aware an investigation had determined the...

Seventh signs
Houston and Dallas will play to win their Game 7, but Indiana and Boston will play not to lose theirs.

Celtics get Pierce off the hook in OT (AP)
The Boston Celtics earned themselves one more chance at home, though that's hardly been an advantage so far. In the wildest game yet of a series headed to a Game 7, the Celtics overcame the late ejection of Paul Pierce and sent their first-round matchup with the Indiana Pacers back to Boston for the deciding game with a 92-89 victory Thursday night.

T-Mac sends Rockets to Dallas for Game 7 (AP)
Tracy McGrady shouldered the burden of doing it all in Orlando, and had no playoff success to show for it. With a little more help in Houston, McGrady is on the brink of a postseason breakthrough. Playing with the desperation of a man on the brink of elimination, McGrady had 37 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to help the Rockets avoid a first-round exit with a 101-83 victory over Dallas on...

Shaq mad over Buss' weight-loss remark (AP)
Nearly a year after the trade, the verbal jousting between Shaquille O'Neal and the Los Angeles Lakers is still going strong. One day after Lakers owner Jerry Buss said O'Neal found motivation for losing weight only after being traded by Los Angeles to Miami, the Heat's All-Star center took issue with the remark.

Arenas' shot has Wizards on verge (AP)
In the Washington Wizards locker room, Gilbert Arenas is known as ``T.O.'' Terrell Owens? Yep. Teammate Jared Jeffries, the team's unofficial nicknamer, figured it was appropriate because Arenas, like the football star, is a big-time player when the game is on the line. ``Jared will be like, 'C'mon, T.O., we need to go now.' And then I just do what I do,'' Arenas said.

Spurs knock off Nuggets 99-89 to advance (AP)
The swagger that carried the Denver Nuggets off the floor after their victory in Game 1 seems like a distant memory. Same with the frustration the San Antonio Spurs felt after their late meltdown in that opening matchup. Now, after three straight wins in the series, the Spurs can finish off the Nuggets in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs with a victory Wednesday night.

Jackson a top candidate for Lakers job (AP)
Phil Jackson is a leading candidate -- but not a lock -- to coach the Los Angeles Lakers, Jerry Buss said Wednesday. The Lakers' owner said the formal search for a new coach is about to begin. ``We have a short list of names, which I won't reveal,'' Buss told reporters at the Lakers' practice facility.

Heat waiting for opponent, healthy Shaq (AP)
Shaquille O'Neal's thighs still ache, Damon Jones says his heel isn't getting any better, and Christian Laettner's problematic left foot is flaring again. It's no wonder that the Miami Heat are embracing an extended break between playoff rounds. Miami returned to practice Wednesday, after two full days off following a four-game opening-round sweep of New Jersey.

Okafor wins Rookie of the Year (AP)
As Emeka Okafor walked the course at the Wachovia Championship, golf fans stopped the Charlotte Bobcats forward to congratulate him on winning the NBA's Rookie of the Year award. Even Tiger Woods made a point to offer well wishes. Only then did Okafor realize just what the award meant. ``I think I underestimated the value of how people would react to it,'' Okafor said Wednesday after the official...

Ratner: I wasn't ready to run Nets (AP)
Bruce Ratner acknowledged that he wasn't prepared to take over as the New Jersey Nets owner last summer because he was more focused on making a profit than doing what was best for the team and re-signing power forward Kenyon Martin. ``Last year, we started looking at the money instead of what the team needed,'' Ratner said Wednesday.

Americans lose to Canada, but Knuble feels his team can still win title (AP)
A 3-1 loss to Canada that knocked the United States from the unbeaten ranks didn't destroy the Americans' confidence at the hockey world championship. ``There are six legitimate teams that can win this whole thing,'' said Mike Knuble, who didn't play on last year's bronze-medal winning team. ``It doesn't get easier.

NHL, Players Association begin two-day session (SportsTicker)
TORONTO (Ticker) - The NHL and the Players Association finally may realize it is time to get serious.

First of two days of hockey negotiations ends after 3-hour meeting (AP)
The NHL and the players' association met for just over three hours Thursday in the first round of labor negotiations in two weeks. The sides will get together again in Toronto on Friday, as previously planned, and already have two bargaining sessions scheduled for each of the next two weeks. There were no details released about Thursday's talks -- the sixth bargaining session since NHL commissioner...

Sweden beats archrival Finland for third straight win (AP)
Jonathan Hedstrom scored two goals, helping Sweden beat Nordic archrival Finland 5-1 Wednesday for its third straight victory at the World Hockey Championship. Sweden, the runner-up in 2003 and 2004 behind two-time defending champion Canada, will play the winner between Canada and the United States on Saturday in the qualification-round opener.

Jagr returns to Vienna despite broken little finger (AP)
Jaromir Jagr returned to the world hockey championships Wednesday after the broken little finger on his left hand was fixed with a splint. Jagr, a five-time NHL scoring champion and member of the New York Rangers, left the Czech Republic's 2-0 win over Germany on Tuesday after getting hurt on a slash from defenseman Stefan Schauer.

Shedden's contract won't be renewed by Maple Leafs' AHL farm club (AP)
Doug Shedden was told Tuesday night that his contract as coach of the club's AHL team won't be renewed when it expires July 1. Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson Jr. gave Shedden the news. Also released will be assistant coach Russ Adam. The team moves next season to Toronto from Newfoundland.

USA Hockey executive director leaves (AP)
Doug Palazzari resigned as executive director of USA Hockey nine months before the Turin Olympics. Palazzari said Monday he ``lost the confidence of some of the members of our executive committee.'' He came to the organization in 1991 and has spent the last six years as executive director. ``For our own well-being, I felt it was the right decision to make,'' he said.

Report: NHL, NHLPA set to resume talks Thursday (SportsTicker)
TORONTO (Ticker) - The NHL and the Players Association apparently will engage in another round of talks.

Canada to get bronze medals -- 41 years later (AP)
Canada's hockey team from the 1964 world championships will finally get its bronze medals. In 1964, the worlds were held in conjunction with the Winter Olympics. The Soviet Union won both gold medals and Sweden won both silvers. The bronze went to Czechoslovakia for the Olympics and Canada for the worlds.

Testing time
CONCORD, N.C. – It's not always glamorous, but testing is invaluable for Cup teams.

Points leader Johnson under attack from rival drivers (AP)
Stuck in their motorhomes after rain washed out practice at Darlington Raceway, NASCAR's top drivers had nothing to do but read about the controversy surrounding points leader Jimmie Johnson.

NASCAR hands out long list of penalties (AP)
NASCAR has issued a long list of penalties for rules violations found by its inspectors during last week's race events at Talladega Superspeedway and Gateway International Raceway.

Jarrett, NASCAR prepare for different Darlington (AP)
DARLINGTON, S.C. – Dale Jarrett shrugs his shoulders when he looks at what has become of the old country...

Few boos this time as Gordon wins again (AP)
Not a single beer can or seat cushion flew through the air last Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway as Jeff Gordon...

Crew members ready for $500,000 tournament (AP)
MOORESVILLE, N.C. – His hands moving as fast as humanly possible, Chris Crumley twisted his air gun over...

Andretti, Earnhardt, Penske finalists for racing Newsmaker award (AP)
INDIANAPOLIS – Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt and Roger Penske are among the finalists for Newsmaker of...

Notes: Illegal and unlicensed products seized at Talladega (AP)
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement task force cracked down on unlicensed and illegal merchandise, seizing...

Busch driver Lepage placed on probation (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - Kevin Lepage was placed on probation for two months for failing to follow a directive from a NASCAR official while stopped on pit road during a Busch Series race last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

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