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Miller Time Ends As Pistons Oust Pacers (AP)
AP - The Detroit Pistons are headed back to the Eastern Conference finals, while Reggie Miller is headed into retirement without ever having won a championship ring. Richard Hamilton scored 28 points and Chauncey Billups added 23 as Detroit beat the Indiana Pacers 88-79 Thursday night, winning their best-of-seven series 4-2. The Pistons will open the conference finals on Monday at Miami.

Mavs Relying on Resilience to Extend Suns (AP)
AP - A loss away from being knocked out of the playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks spouted all the expected cliches Thursday. There were lines about being hungry, playing with desperation and needing a greater sense of urgency.

Halsey Pitches D-Backs Past Astros 6-1 (AP)
AP - Arizona rookie Brad Halsey outpitched Roger Clemens in a successful homecoming, and Luis Gonzalez hit a three-run homer to lead the Diamondbacks to a 6-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday night.

Yankees-Mets Series Looks Like Fair Fight (AP)
AP - For the first time in a long time, the Subway Series looks like a fair fight. When Derek Jeter, Joe Torre and the $200 million New York Yankees come rolling into Shea Stadium this weekend, they'll see more than just a familiar face in the other dugout. They'll see a team with a better record, too.

Carrillo's 24-Game Winning Streak Ends (AP)
AP - Miami right-hander Cesar Carrillo's 24-game winning streak was snapped Thursday night in the Hurricanes' 15-5 loss to Clemson, ending his bid for the NCAA Division I record for consecutive victories.

Saban Says Williams Interested in Return (AP)
AP - Ricky Williams is discussing a comeback with the Miami Dolphins, coach Nick Saban said Thursday.

NBA champions Detroit advance as Indiana's Miller bids farewell (AFP)
AFP - The Detroit Pistons have taken another step in the defence of their National Basketball Association championship, while Indiana Pacers icon Reggie Miller's NBA journey came to an end.

Rockies Top Slumping Giants 3-1 (AP)
AP - Rockies rookie Jeff Francis stayed undefeated at Coors Field, throwing six innings and allowing one run Thursday in Colorado's 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

Arsenal Seeks Title in FA Cup Final (AP)
AP - Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira is sure of this: His team is better than the one that captured the Premier League title last year without losing a game.

Charge Dropped Against Hockey Owner (AP)
AP - State prosecutors dropped an assault charge against the owner of a minor league hockey team who was accused of punching a referee after a game last December.

Offseason notebook: School's in
Tony Dungy has star pupils on offense, and remedial work to do on D.

Saban: Williams interested in returning (AP)
Ricky Williams is discussing a comeback with the Miami Dolphins, coach Nick Saban said Thursday. Saban acknowledged holding recent discussions with Williams, whose sudden retirement stunned the Dolphins shortly before training camp began last season. He would not divulge specifics of the talks, but has long said that he was open to the prospect of Williams returning.

Report: Vikes' Smith out for season (AP)
Minnesota Vikings running back Onterrio Smith will be suspended for the season by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy a third time, according to two reports. Pending an appeal, Smith will be forced to sit out the 2005 season, ESPN.com and The Star Tribune reported Thursday. Smith skipped a drug test, which qualifies as a violation under league policy, ESPN.com reported, citing...

Sources: Browns' Winslow has torn ACL (AP)
Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee when he crashed his motorcycle, two sources within the league told The Associated Press on Thursday, placing his 2005 season in doubt. An injury such as Winslow's typically requires 10 to 12 months of rehabilitation.

Jerry Rice to be a Bronco? (AP)
Jerry Rice has talked with Broncos coach Mike Shanahan about the possibility of playing in Denver next season, his agent said. ``They had an excellent conversation,'' agent Jim Steiner told the Associated Press on Thursday. ``But they haven't taken it to the next level.'' Shanahan coached Rice when he was offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers from 1992-94.

Congress rips NBA's steroids policy (AP)
The NBA's steroids policy was branded ``pathetic'' and ``a joke'' by lawmakers Thursday, and the head of a congressional panel said he will propose a law creating drug-testing standards for the four major professional sports leagues. House Government Reform Committee chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., opened a hearing focusing on the NBA by saying he'll produce a uniform testing bill next week.

Eagles extend coordinator Johnson (AP)
The Eagles signed defensive coordinator Jim Johnson to a four-year contract extension on Thursday. Johnson joined the Eagles in January 1999 and has since led one of the top defense's in the league. ``As I've said many times, Jim Johnson is the best in the business at what he does,'' head coach Andy Reid said.

Pistons send Reggie home in Game 6 (AP)
The Detroit Pistons are headed back to the Eastern Conference finals, while Reggie Miller is headed into retirement without ever having won a championship ring. Richard Hamilton scored 28 points and Chauncey Billups added 23 as Detroit beat the Indiana Pacers 88-79 Thursday night, winning their best-of-seven series 4-2.

Sonics F Lewis won't play in Game 6 (AP)
An injured left foot was expected to keep Rashard Lewis out of the SuperSonics' Game 6 matchup against San Antonio. The All-Star forward was in too much pain during his team's midday shootaround. Later, he worked out on a treadmill about an hour before tipoff, but coach Nate McMillan said it was merely part of continued treatment for Lewis' bruised big toe in case there's a seventh game Sunday.

Congress rips NBA's steroids policy (AP)
The NBA's steroids policy was branded ``pathetic'' and ``a joke'' by lawmakers Thursday, and the head of a congressional panel said he will propose a law creating drug-testing standards for the four major professional sports leagues. House Government Reform Committee chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., opened a hearing focusing on the NBA by saying he'll produce a uniform testing bill next week.

Injured Shaq sits out another practice (AP)
Miami center Shaquille O'Neal did not practice Thursday because of a bruised right thigh that has plagued him for more than a month. The All-Star center hasn't played since Game 2 of the second round against Washington. The Heat will be off Friday and return to practice on Saturday. They play Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday or Wednesday, depending on the outcome of the...

Sides differ on gravity of labor picture (AP)
One day after the NBA suspended collective bargaining talks with the players' union, each side had a different take on how grave the situation has become. Union director Billy Hunter didn't see things as too bleak to salvage, while commissioner David Stern said the union should expect to see changes in the owners' next offer when the sides meet again -- whenever that may be.

Resilient Mavericks want to extend Suns (AP)
A loss away from being knocked out of the playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks spouted all the expected cliches Thursday. There were lines about being hungry, playing with desperation and needing a greater sense of urgency. Blah, blah, blah -- right? Not necessarily. The Mavs have been in the type of dire situations that prompt those phrases as many as four times this postseason, and every time they've...

NBA draft has 108 early entries (AP)
Utah center Andrew Bogut and four members of North Carolina's NCAA championship team highlight the list of 108 players who filed as early entry candidates for the NBA draft. Of the 73 U.S. players who made themselves eligible for the June 28 draft, 12 are high school seniors. Two of the three eligible members of The Associated Press' All-America team also submitted their letters by May 14, the NBA...

Grant Hill wins sportsmanship award (AP)
Orlando Magic forward Grant Hill won the NBA's sportsmanship award Thursday, edging league MVP Steve Nash. Hill received 134 first-place votes and 2,778 points in voting by NBA players. Nash of Phoenix finished with 63 first-place votes and 2,370 points. For the second straight year, Memphis forward Shane Battier finished third.

Rockets extend Van Gundy's deal one year (AP)
Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy agreed Wednesday to a one-year contract extension with the Rockets through the 2007-08 season. Van Gundy has two years remaining on his original four-year deal that he signed in June 2003 and paid him $18 million. Terms of the extension weren't immediately available. ``Once you get good people, you want to keep them,'' Rockets general manager Carroll Dawson said.

State drops assault charge against hockey team owner (AP)
State prosecutors dropped an assault charge against the owner of a minor league hockey team who was accused of punching a referee after a game last December. Senior Assistant State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III said he believed there wasn't enough evidence to convict Danbury Trashers owner James Galante of the misdemeanor assault charge.

NHL, Players Association continue to focus on revenue (SportsTicker)
NEW YORK (Ticker) - Determining the income of NHL teams apparently is a very time-consuming procedure.

United States to face Canada in first round of next year's hockey worlds (AP)
The United States was drawn into the same group as Canada on Tuesday for next year's world hockey championships in Latvia. Canada, which lost to the Czech Republic in the final on Sunday, the U.S., Norway and Denmark are in Group D. The Canadians and Americans also were in the same group for this year's worlds.

Mighty Ducks drop Cincinnati as AHL affiliate (SportsTicker)
ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) - A franchise-record win total was not enough to keep the American Hockey League affiliate of the Mighty Ducks in Cincinnati.

Czech Republic blanks Canada 3-0 at ice hockey worlds (AP)
Martin Rucinsky made sure the Czech Republic wouldn't need overtime or a shootout to win the world hockey championship. Rucinsky set up Vaclav Prospal's first-period goal, and scored one of his own in the third as the Czech Republic denied Canada its third straight title and won the world championship 3-0 Sunday.

Players' association cancels membership meeting (AP)
The NHL Players' Association will not hold a scheduled membership meeting at the end of the month because there has been little change in negotiations with the league on a new collective bargaining agreement. The decision was made Friday night after union leaders held a conference call with team representatives.

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.

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.

Trading Paint: Burning questions
Did Kasey Kahne get the call? Is Tony Stewart a softie? Yahoo! readers want to know.

Kahne's team wins Pit Crew Challenge (AP)
Kasey Kahne's team won the Nextel Pit Crew Challenge -- one of two contests aimed at showcasing the skills of NASCAR's behind-the-scenes players -- by beating Jamie McMurray's team in the final round Thursday night.

Skinner wins pole for NCTS Quaker Steak & Lube 200 (SportsTicker)


Ford out as Jarrett's crew chief (AP)
Mike Ford has resigned as crew chief for NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Dale Jarrett, Robert Yates Racing said Monday.

Penske team purchases shares of co-owners (AP)
Penske Performance Inc., majority shareholder of Penske Racing South, said Monday it has bought out Rusty Wallace, Don Miller and John Erickson.

Jarrett's crew chief Mike Ford steps down (SportsTicker)
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) - Former Nextel Cup series champion Dale Jarrett will emerge from NASCAR's All-Star break with a new crew chief.

Wheeler picks Gordon to win All-Star race (AP)
Jeff Gordon became the favorite to win NASCAR's All-Star race when the president of Lowe's Motor Speedway predicted he would win the event.

Hamilton wins NCTS UAW/GM Ohio 250 (SportsTicker)


Kahne's victory first of many? (AP)
Tony Stewart was unusually happy with his second-place finish at Richmond International. That's because he had a front-row seat for Kasey Kahne's first career Nextel Cup victory.

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