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Spurs Trounce Injury-Thinned Sonics 103-81 (AP)
AP - Shortly after losing two of their best players, the Seattle SuperSonics had all but lost the game. And it wasn't even halftime yet. The San Antonio Spurs didn't have the same type of Game 1 letdown they had in the opening round, taking a big first-half lead and holding it the rest of the way in a 103-81 victory over Seattle on Sunday night in the opener of their second-round series.

Miami Pastes Washington 105-86 in Game 1 (AP)
AP - Dwyane Wade overcame a tough start to score 20 points and Shaquille O'Neal added 19 to lead five Miami players in double figures, and the Heat defeated Washington 105-86 Sunday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal.

MVP Nash Leads Suns Against Former Team (AP)
AP - Steve Nash won the NBA's most valuable player award as pilot of the rocket offense of the Phoenix Suns. His journey enters an intriguing new phase Monday night when he goes against his former team, the Dallas Mavericks, in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Federer Wins First Match in Hamburg (AP)
AP - Top-ranked Roger Federer returned after a three-week layoff because of injury and beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-3 Monday in the opening round of the Hamburg Masters.

Serena Williams Ready to Work in Rome (AP)
AP - Serena Williams wants to get her clay-court game going in Rome, and have a couple of good meals as well. After a series of injury-related withdrawals since winning the Australian Open in January, Williams says she is fit for the Italian Open, a $1.3 million tuneup for the French Open, which starts in two weeks. She does not plan to play again before Paris.

Dolphins cornerback Poole to miss season (Reuters)
Reuters - Miami Dolphins cornerback Will Poole is expected to miss the 2005 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, Florida newspapers reported.

Spurs off to quick start as Heat scorch Wizards in NBA playoffs (AFP)
AFP - The San Antonio Spurs made sure they got off to a quick start in the second round of the NBA playoffs, cruising to a 103-81 victory over Seattle as Dwayne Wade scored 20 points and Shaquille O'Neal added 19 to spark Miami past Washington 105-86.

Cardinals Win Big; Braves Sweep Astros (AP)
AP - The Astros must wish they were back in Houston. St. Louis' Larry Walker couldn't help but think about his days in Colorado. Walker and the Cardinals had an easy time Sunday in a 15-5 win over San Diego, while the Astros lost their 11th straight road game, falling 16-0 to Atlanta.

Donovan Scores Twice As Galaxy Tops Rapids (AP)
AP - Landon Donovan scored two goals on penalty kicks in the final 4 minutes of regulation, leading the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rapids on Sunday night.

Germany Routs Slovenia 9-1 at Worlds (AP)
AP - Marcel Goc and Jochen Hecht each had two goals Monday, leading Germany past Slovenia 9-1 in relegation-round play at the ice hockey World Championship.

Pats give Brady $60 million extension (AP)
The New England Patriots have signed quarterback Tom Brady to a six-year extension worth $60 million, a deal that for the first time brings the two-time Super Bowl MVP's salary in line with his accomplishments. The extension was reported by ESPN and confirmed to The Associated Press on Saturday night by a football source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Saints WR Horn signs six-year, $42M deal (AP)
Receiver Joe Horn signed a six-year contract extension with the New Orleans Saints on Friday. The deal, worth about $42 million, includes a $7 million signing bonus. ``I'm looking for a bigger house,'' said Horn, who had one year left on a three-year, $13 million deal. Added Saints general manager Mickey Loomis: ``Hopefully that will take him through his career and beyond.

Eagles cut fast-talking Freddie Mitchell (AP)
Freddie Mitchell has talked his way out of Philadelphia. In a move that was no surprise, the Eagles released Mitchell on Friday, cutting ties with the wide receiver after four seasons where he never lived up to his promise as a first-round pick. ``We appreciate everything Freddie has contributed to the Eagles organization over the last four years,'' coach Andy Reid said.

Big Ben not getting off motorcycle (AP)
Despite Kellen Winslow Jr.'s accident and his own coach's admonition, Big Ben isn't hopping off his big bike just yet. Ben Roethlisberger was lectured Friday by Steelers coach Bill Cowher on the dangers of riding a motorcycle without a helmet -- as Roethlisberger has been spotted doing recently -- but the quarterback isn't ready to get off his $20,000 cycle.

Ex-Giants WR Hilliard signs with Bucs (AP)
Former New York Giants receiver Ike Hilliard signed a contract Friday with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hilliard, a former University of Florida star, started 92 of 98 games he played for the Giants after getting drafted No. 7 overall in 1997. He has 368 career receptions for 4,630 yards and 27 touchdowns.

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...

Ex-Bills QB Ferguson treated for cancer (AP)
Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Joe Ferguson is being treated for cancer at a Houston hospital. Stephanie Dedeaux, spokeswoman for MD Anderson Cancer Center, said Friday that Ferguson was receiving treatment but declined further comment at Ferguson's request. A message left at the Ferguson home in Louisiana by The Associated Press wasn't immediately returned.

Adding injury to insult
The conference semis could be painful for the Wizards and Sonics if their injured stars can't play.

Wade, Shaq don't dominate, but Heat roll (AP)
Watching Washington's series-clinching win over Chicago on television with his Miami teammates, Shaquille O'Neal heard Wizards fans chanting, ``We want Shaq! We want Shaq!'' Bad move. ``Be careful what you ask for,'' O'Neal said Saturday. ``We'll be ready.'' So, while Phoenix guard Steve Nash formally is named the NBA's Most Valuable Player on Sunday, O'Neal insists all his attention will be on the...

Injuries doom Sonics in Game 1 disaster (AP)
Not having to deal much with Ray Allen or Vladimir Radmanovic made things much easier for the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night. Not having those two key players could make future playoff games a lot tougher for the Seattle SuperSonics. San Antonio already had a double-digit lead when the Sonics lost both Allen and Radmanovic to right ankle sprains in the second quarter.

MVP Nash leads Suns against former team (AP)
Steve Nash won the NBA's most valuable player award as pilot of the rocket offense of the Phoenix Suns. His journey enters an intriguing new phase Monday night when he goes against his former team, the Dallas Mavericks, in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. The mop-haired playmaker provides the best story line but might not be the player that Dallas has the hardest time containing.

Pacers back to face Pistons after brawl (AP)
Detroit and Indiana just want to play and talk basketball. When most people think about the Pistons facing the Pacers, however, they remember the brawl and bomb scares marring their games earlier this season at The Palace of Auburn Hills. ``If it was just Indiana and Detroit, where you played four games during the regular season, like everybody else, it would've been fine,'' Detroit coach Larry...

Mavs put Rockets away in record fashion (AP)
The Dallas Mavericks keep waiting for Dirk Nowitzki to have a big game. They're also waiting for Tracy McGrady to have a quiet one. They can't wait much longer, though. Game 7 of the first-round series between the Mavs and Houston Rockets is Saturday night. It's quite possible that whichever of the two superstars plays better will be the one boarding a plane for Phoenix on Sunday, headed to a...

Miller, Pacers rout Celtics in Game 7 (AP)
The Boston Celtics wanted to win Game 6 for Paul Pierce after his ``bonehead'' technical foul with 12.9 seconds left nearly cost them the series. Now the Indiana Pacers want to win Game 7 for retiring Reggie Miller -- and for themselves. ``No one wants the season to be over and no one wants it to be over for Reggie,'' Indiana's Stephen Jackson said Friday.

Knicks still hope to lure Phil Jackson (AP)
Knicks president Isiah Thomas still hopes to lure Phil Jackson back to New York, but he is interviewing other coaching candidates. Thomas has talked to former Golden State coach and current Spurs' assistant P.J. Carlesimo, as well as Flip Saunders -- fired by Minnesota in February. He also plans to contact other coaches still involved in the playoffs, all as fallbacks to Jackson.

Wolves expect to hire coach within month (AP)
Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor isn't in a rush to fill the team's first coaching vacancy in almost 10 years. Taylor said Friday that he expects to name a new coach within the next month, and all three Timberwolves assistants have applied for the job. But he's willing to wait if an NBA assistant he covets is on a team that is still in the playoffs.

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.

Germany routs Slovenia 9-1 in relegation-round play (AP)
Marcel Goc and Jochen Hecht each had two goals Monday, leading Germany past Slovenia 9-1 in relegation-round play at the ice hockey World Championship. Daniel Kreutzer, Jan Benda, Sebastian Furchner, Tino Boos and Tomas Martinec also scored for the Germans, who lead the standings with three points. Slovenia and Denmark have two each, while host Austria has one point.

NHL, Players Association conclude two-day session (SportsTicker)
TORONTO (Ticker) - The NHL and the Players Association concluded a two-day session at the bargaining table, meeting for approximately 4 1/2 hours Friday.

NHL makes new offer to players; no progress reported (AP)
The NHL made a new offer to the players' association during two days of negotiations in Toronto, but no headway was made toward ending the lockout. The sides met for 4 1/2 hours Friday on the heels of a 3 1/2 -hour meeting Thursday -- the first round of talks since April 19. ``No real progress I can report on,'' said NHL chief legal officer Bill Daly, who declined to provide details of the...

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.

Biffle figures to factor
DARLINGTON, S.C. – Greg Biffle likely will be in the mix when the Cup championship is up for grabs.

Tire decision costs Newman victory, gives Biffle third win of season (AP)
Victory was most certainly in sight for Ryan Newman until strategy snatched it away at Darlington Raceway.

Biffle nabs third checkered flag in NASCAR Dodge Charger 500 (SportsTicker)


Bad day for Busch costs him two spots in standings (AP)
Kurt Busch hit the wall on the first lap at Darlington Raceway. Then he hit an official with a water bottle, bad-mouthed NASCAR over his radio and ended up in a closed-door meeting with series officials.

Biffle wins at Darlington (AP)
Greg Biffle needed overtime to grab another victory. The Roush Racing driver, who fell behind on a late pit stop, got one last chance when Mark Martin spun, bringing out the 12th caution flag of the NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Darlington Raceway just five laps from the scheduled finish. Ryan Newman, who had taken charge late in the race, chose to stay on the track while Biffle and several other...

Kenseth wins NASCAR Busch Series Diamond Hill Plywood 200 (SportsTicker)


Kenseth wins Darlington Busch race (AP)
Matt Kenseth took control in the second half of the race and pulled away to a convincing victory Friday night in the first NASCAR Busch Series event under the lights at Darlington Raceway.

Kahne edges Newman for Darlington pole (AP)
Kasey Kahne drove to his second NASCAR Nextel Cup pole in three tries at Darlington Raceway, easily beating qualifying ace Ryan Newman in time tests Friday for the Dodge Charger 500.

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.

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