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Heat Top Wizards 102-96 With Shaq on Bench (AP)
AP - Dwyane Wade was in dire need of a pep talk. Down on himself after two quarters in which he had six turnovers, missed seven of 12 shots and allowed his Miami Heat to fall behind the Washington Wizards, Wade was willing to listen to words of support from anyone during halftime. And they came from all corners, including Shaquille O'Neal, who was reduced to the role of Big Spectator in the playoffs for the first time in his career.

Royals Beat Rays 7-5 in Rain-Shortened Game (AP)
AP - Ruben Gotay can just imagine Tony Pena checking the boxscores at his home in the Dominican Republic and flashing his familiar smile.

Dunn Homers Twice as Reds Beat Phillies (AP)
AP - Adam Dunn swung his hardest, put his head down and let his teammates admire his latest drive as he circled the bases.

Kellen Winslow Sparks Players' Concern (AP)
AP - Drew Brees was in the water with great white sharks off the South African coast a couple years ago, and dove near Australia's Great Barrier Reef earlier this offseason.

Davies Running Up Front at Chick-Fil-A (AP)
AP - After a one-week blip, Annika Sorenstam returned to a more familiar place near the top of the leaderboard. As for Laura Davies, well, it's been a while since she was running up front.

Sportsview: T.O. Has Other 'Skills,' Too (AP)
AP - Catching the ball is supposed to be Terrell Owens' specialty. Turns out he's pretty good at throwing down, too, at least when it involves tossing somebody under a bus. In what is threatening to become an annual event, T.O. decided to amuse himself recently by seeing how another teammate — in this case, Donovan McNabb — would look with tire tracks imbedded in his reputation.

NBA Today (AP)
AP - Phoenix at Dallas (9:30 p.m. EDT). The Suns and Mavericks are tied at one victory apiece in their second-round series.

Astros Send Duckworth to the Minors (AP)
AP - The Houston Astros sent right-hander Brandon Duckworth outright to Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday. Right-handed reliever Mike Burns' contract was purchased from Round Rock to replace Duckworth on the roster.

Glazer Gains Control of Manchester United (AP)
AP - Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer gained control of the world's richest soccer team Thursday, drawing resentment from Manchester United fans who fear the "heart and soul" of the storied club has been sold to foreign interests.

Czechs Edge U.S. 3-2 at Hockey Worlds (AP)
AP - Andy Roach nearly struck again in the shootout.

Six Points: Call timeout, T.O.
Terrell Owens is right that his contract does not reflect his value to the Eagles, but wrong about his tactics.

McNabb: Eagles can win without Owens (AP)
Donovan McNabb is confident the Philadelphia Eagles can win the Super Bowl without Terrell Owens. ``I feel that if he plays or not, we definitely have a chance of making it to the Super Bowl and winning it,'' McNabb said Wednesday, one day after owner Jeffery Lurie said the team won't redo Owens' contract.

Joe Gibbs has procedure to unclog artery (AP)
Redskins coach Joe Gibbs underwent an operation several weeks ago to unclog an artery to his heart. Gibbs, a 64-year-old diabetic, said the procedure ``has no effect on my work, or my tenure with the Redskins.'' He said Wednesday he had the precautionary procedure in mid-April at a Washington hospital on the advice of doctors.

NFL players mindful after Winslow crash (AP)
Drew Brees was in the water with great white sharks off the South African coast a couple years ago, and dove near Australia's Great Barrier Reef earlier this offseason. Yet the fear of injury precludes San Diego's Pro Bowl quarterback from doing everything on his wish list, including downhill skiing and skydiving.

Patriots sign veteran LB Chad Brown (AP)
Veteran linebacker Chad Brown, a three-time Pro Bowl player, signed with the New England Patriots on Wednesday. Brown, drafted by Pittsburgh in the second round of the 1993 draft, spent four seasons with the Steelers before signing as a free agent with Seattle, where he spent the past eight seasons. The Seahawks released him after last season.

Vikes' Smith had kit to beat drug tests (AP)
Vikings running back Onterrio Smith, who has a history of violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, was briefly detained by airport police last month after they found an elaborate kit used to beat drug tests. Police at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport questioned Smith on April 21 after a search of his bag discovered vials of white powder, according to a police report.

Ravens release LB Peter Boulware (AP)
The Baltimore Ravens released often-injured linebacker Peter Boulware on Wednesday to give the team some salary cap relief. The former Pro Bowl player missed the entire 2004 season with knee and toe injuries. He hasn't played in a game since late in the 2003 season against the Cleveland Browns, when he injured his knee.

Ahman Green pleads not guilty (AP)
Green Bay Packers running back Ahman Green pleaded not guilty Wednesday to disorderly conduct after his wife called 911 for help because she felt threatened during an argument. Green, who wasn't at court, sent two attorneys to enter the plea for him. Green wasn't required to appear at the proceeding. Brown County Court Commissioner Lawrence Gazeley set Green's next court date for Aug.

Mourning's glory
For a guy who underwent a kidney transplant 17 months ago, Alonzo Mourning looked plenty healthy against the Wizards on Thursday night.

Sonics escape on Duncan's miss at buzzer (AP)
It was a great sign for Seattle. All-Stars Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis went scoreless in the fourth quarter, yet the SuperSonics were able to grind out a critical playoff victory. Allen had an impact despite shooting 0-for-6 in the final period and Vitaly Potapenko forced Tim Duncan into a missed 4-footer at the horn, lifting the Sonics to a 92-91 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.

Heat go up 3-0 on Wizards without Shaq (AP)
Knowing his bad leg would keep him out of the game, Shaquille O'Neal pulled Alonzo Mourning to the side during the Miami Heat's morning shootaround. ``I need you tonight,'' O'Neal told Mourning. ``Say no more,'' Mourning replied. The 35-year-old with the transplanted kidney stepped in for the Diesel and played 35 minutes, scored 14 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked four shots.

Suns guard Joe Johnson sidelined a week (AP)
Phoenix Suns guard Joe Johnson underwent surgery Thursday to repair a displaced fracture in the bone around his left eye. The starting guard, who has played in all 287 games since coming to the Suns in his rookie season, will miss at least the next two games of the team's Western Conference semifinal series against Dallas and probably Game 5 in Phoenix as well, Suns president Bryan Colangelo said.

Sloan still not ready for retirement (AP)
Jerry Sloan took a few weeks to reflect in the quiet setting of his Illinois farm, then realized he isn't ready to retire from basketball quite yet. Sloan announced Thursday that he will return for an 18th season as Utah Jazz coach and agreed to a contract extension through the 2007-08 season, prolonging what is already the longest tenure of any head coach in the four major league team sports.

Wallace heads NBA's All-Defensive team (AP)
Center Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons, previously selected Defensive Player of the Year for the third time, heads the NBA's All-Defensive team. Wallace, making his fourth consecutive appearance on the first-team, was joined Thursday by forward Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves, forwards Tim Duncan and Bruce Bowen of the San Antonio Spurs, and guard Larry Hughes of the Washington...

Wizards' frontcourt missing key pieces (AP)
The Washington Wizards won't lift Kwame Brown's suspension for the rest of the playoffs, leaving the frontcourt perilously thin following an injury to Etan Thomas. Coach Eddie Jordan said Wednesday there was no chance for a reinstatement for Brown, who was suspended a week ago for what the team described as ``philosophical differences.'' ``Everything remains the same,'' Jordan said.

Pacers look to homecourt for advantage (AP)
Playing at home has hardly been an advantage for the Indiana Pacers in the playoffs. To change that, the Pacers need to be every bit as physical, energetic and aggressive Friday night in Game 3 against the Pistons as they were Wednesday night in Detroit, when Indiana evened the series with a 92-83 win.

David Stern to testify before Congress (AP)
NBA commissioner David Stern will testify before Congress next week about his league's drug-testing policy, making him the third head of a major U.S. sport called before lawmakers investigating steroids. NBA vice president Rick Buchanan also will appear before the House Government Reform Committee on May 19, league spokesman Tim Frank said Wednesday, adding others might testify, too.

Artest says penalty was ``a bit harsh'' (AP)
Indiana Pacers forward Ron Artest told ESPN that he thought his season-long suspension for the Nov. 19 brawl in Detroit was ``a bit harsh.'' Artest discussed his suspension in an interview broadcast Wednesday. The NBA suspended Artest for the rest of the season for his part in the melee, which started on the court, spilled into the stands and went back onto the court.

Czechs edge Americans 3-2 in shootout; Canada nips Slovakia 5-4 in quarters (AP)
Andy Roach nearly struck again in the shootout. Roach held the United States' hopes on his stick but Tomas Vokoun stopped his backhander, giving the Czech Republic a 3-2 quarterfinals victory Thursday at the world hockey championship. Martin Rucinsky netted the lone shootout goal, sending the Czechs into Saturday's semifinals against Sweden, the runners-up the past two years.

NHL and players' association meet for five hours; more talks next week (AP)
Before the NHL and the players' association can agree on a new economic system, there must be a clear understanding of how teams report their finances. Much of Thursday's five-hour meeting was spent on how teams determine how much money they make -- or lose. The meeting capped three days of talks that involved little true negotiating.

NHL, NHLPA conclude three-day session, schedule another (SportsTicker)
NEW YORK (Ticker) - The disclosure of finances once again was the focal point of the latest labor session between the NHL and the Players Association.

Coyotes deal with Gretzky not imminent (SportsTicker)
PHOENIX (Ticker) - "The Great One" will not be named coach of the Phoenix Coyotes - yet.

Hurricanes' Kevyn Adams added to U.S. hockey roster (AP)
Carolina Hurricanes forward Kevyn Adams has been added to the United States team in the world hockey championships in Vienna, Austria. Adams arrived in Austria on Wednesday and could play in the quarterfinal game against the Czech Republic on Thursday.

Devils LW Patrik Elias contracts hepatitis A (AP)
The New Jersey Devils are optimistic that left wing Patrik Elias will not have any lingering effects from a recent bout with hepatitis A. ``Our doctors have looked at all the information and believe that everything will be fine,'' Devils president Lou Lamoriello said Tuesday in a telephone interview.

Gretzky, Coyotes still in talks; no decision imminent (AP)
Wayne Gretzky is still in talks to become coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, but no decision is close, the team said Tuesday. ``No deal or announcement is imminent ...,'' Coyotes spokesman Rich Nairn said. A report in the East Valley Tribune said Gretzky and owner Steve Ellman were close to agreement on a three-year contract extension that would make Gretzky the team's new head coach.

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.

Guthrie's path
RICHMOND, Va. – Long before Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick and Shawna Robinson, Janet Guthrie was blazing a trail in auto racing.

NASCAR seeks proposals for hall of fame from Michigan, others (AP)
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Other cities might have more stock car racing history, bigger international profiles,...

Waltrip has found whole new audience to entertain (AP)
When Cale Yarborough dubbed Darrell Waltrip "Jaws," it certainly was not meant as a compliment.

Ex-football stars run rising Busch team (AP)
The FitzBradshaw Racing team draws from the quarterback's calm-under-fire presence and the linebacker's fiery...

Bruton Smith's career was changed by his mom's prayers (AP)
Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., developed a passion for building things while growing up...

Viewers tune in to Darlington (AP)
Darlington Raceway's first Nextel Cup night race was a TV ratings winner.

Busch's team wins Pit Crew Championship (AP)
Kurt Busch's team won the National Pit Crew Championship, defeating Jeremy Mayfield's crew in the final round with a mistake-free stop Monday night.

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)


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