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Phoenix Heads to Western Conference Finals (AP)
AP - Down by 16 points late in the third quarter, the Phoenix Suns weren't worried. They knew they still hadn't hit their stride. Then Steve Nash got them going — all the way to the Western Conference finals.

AL Teams Sweep Crosstown Rivals (AP)
AP - American League teams swept all four crosstown series on the first day of interleague play, with the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels all winning in NL ballparks.

Angels Shut Out the Dodgers 9-0 (AP)
AP - Jarrod Washburn pitched seven sharp innings and the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-0 Friday night despite losing Vladimir Guerrero after he jammed his left shoulder on a play at the plate.

Pistons Have to Go Through Shaq to Advance (AP)
AP - The Pistons knew Shaq would probably be in their way again. When Shaquille O'Neal was traded to Miami, the Pistons figured they would likely face the All-Star center in the Eastern Conference playoffs after beating him and the Los Angeles Lakers in last year's NBA Finals.

Spurs Bruised but Set for Western Finals (AP)
AP - The San Antonio Spurs are battered and bruised after their six-game playoff series with the Seattle SuperSonics. They're determined to be ready, however, by the time the Western Conference finals start.

Winslow Cited in Motorcycle Crash (AP)
AP - Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was charged Friday with disregarding safety in the motorcycle crash that put his 2005 season in jeopardy.

Suns rise to occasion, oust Mavericks from NBA playoffs (AFP)
AFP - Steve Nash turned in another dazzling display as he and his Phoenix Suns teammates ousted Nash's former team, the Dallas Mavericks, from the National Basketball Association playoffs.

Baseball Today (AP)
AP - Atlanta at Boston (7:05 p.m. EDT). Atlanta's Tim Hudson (4-2) starts against Tim Wakefield (4-2) in the second game of the interleague series.

Colombia's Roster Announced for Exhibition (AP)
AP - Juan Pablo Angel and Ivan Cordoba were picked Friday for Colombia's 22-man roster for its exhibition game against England on May 31 at Giants Stadium.

NHL, Union Agree to Continue Negotiations (AP)
AP - The NHL and players' union made some progress Friday and promised further negotiations after 22 hours of talks over two days.

Chicago's Rex factor
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Rex Grossman's ability to shoulder pressure, not the health of his reconstructed knee, could make or break the Bears.

Edge a no-show at start of Colts camp (AP)
Edgerrin James was a no-show Friday as the Indianapolis Colts began a mandatory minicamp session amid his effort to get a new long-term contract from the team or be traded. The former two-time NFL rushing champion signed a one-year franchise offer from the Colts in March that will pay him a little more than $8 million this year.

Kellen Winslow Jr. cited for crash (AP)
Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was charged Friday with disregarding safety in the motorcycle crash that put his 2005 season in jeopardy. The misdemeanor, filed by the prosecutor in suburban Westlake, carries a maximum fine of $150 with no jail time. Winslow will be sent a summons to appear in Rocky River Municipal Court, police said.

Rapport with Saban may bring Ricky back (AP)
Ricky Williams' strong rapport with new Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban is part of the reason why the retired running back is contemplating a return, his agent said Friday. Williams and Saban have had ``some steady dialogue in the last 10 days,'' said agent Leigh Steinberg, who would not discuss specifics or detail what would have to transpire in the coming weeks for the NFL's leading rusher in...

Broncos talking with Rice (AP)
Jerry Rice could be headed to Denver and a reunion with coach Mike Shanahan. Rice spoke with Shanahan on Thursday and the coach said there's a possibility a deal to bring the NFL's all-time leader in catches, yards and touchdowns to Denver could be done as early as next week. ``I think Jerry would like to play here, but there's always parameters that you have to work out in a contract, there's...

Niners C Newberry needs more surgery (AP)
Jeremy Newberry, the San Francisco 49ers' two-time Pro Bowl center, needs more arthroscopic surgery on his troublesome right knee, coach Mike Nolan said Friday. Newberry played just one game last season because of problems with his kneecap and the cartilage around it. He had surgery in September, but missed several return dates with persistent pain and a nagging back injury as well.

Reports: 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...

Clarett thrilled to be playing again (AP)
Maurice Clarett walked into the media room wearing his No. 20 Broncos jersey and a huge smile that stayed on his face for several minutes. Think he isn't thrilled to be playing football again? After two years of courtrooms, scrutiny and inactivity, it's hard to blame him. ``It's cool. It's fun to be back out here running around with my teammates -- I've finally got some guys I can call my teammates,''...

Star struck
DALLAS – In the aftermath of an MVP season, Steve Nash has lifted his game to a level that has Steve in awe.

Nash shows why he's MVP as Suns advance (AP)
Maybe in a few seasons the Dallas Mavericks will feel better about letting Steve Nash leave for Phoenix. Right now, it can't hurt any worse. The league MVP capped his phenomenal postseason against his former team in glorious fashion Friday night, fueling a rally that quickly wiped out a late 16-point deficit, forcing overtime by hitting a 3-pointer with 5.7 seconds left, then making the 3 that put...

Shaq stands in Pistons' path -- again (AP)
The Pistons knew Shaq would probably be in their way again. When Shaquille O'Neal was traded to Miami, the Pistons figured they would likely face the All-Star center in the Eastern Conference playoffs after beating him and the Los Angeles Lakers in last year's NBA Finals. ``It's going to be a battle royal,'' Tayshaun Prince said after Detroit eliminated Indiana in the conference semifinals Thursday...

Suns' Johnson will play when ready (AP)
Once Joe Johnson says he's ready to play again, the Phoenix Suns will happily welcome him back. Doctors told Johnson on Friday that the surgically repaired area around his left eye has healed enough that he can return to the court, so the only obstacle left is him getting comfortable with the protective mask he'll have to wear.

Celtics give Ainge three-year extension (AP)
Celtics basketball operations director Danny Ainge received a three-year contract extension Friday following a season in which Boston won its first division title in 13 years. Ainge's contract had been scheduled to expire after next season, but the extension will keep him with the team through the 2008-09 season, Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said.

Spurs resting, waiting for next series (AP)
The San Antonio Spurs are battered and bruised after their six-game playoff series with the Seattle SuperSonics. They're determined to be ready, however, by the time the Western Conference finals start. The Spurs eliminated the SuperSonics on Thursday night when Tim Duncan banked in a short runner with less than a second remaining, and now they await the winner of the Phoenix-Dallas series.

Congress rips NBA's steroids policy (AP)
A third congressional committee opened an investigation into steroids in U.S. sports, asking Major League Baseball, the NBA, NFL, NHL and their unions to turn over documents about their drug programs. House Judiciary Committee chairman James Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican, and ranking Democrat John Conyers of Michigan sent 13 letters Friday asking for ``any and all policies, protocols,...

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.

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.

NHL, Players Association meet for fourth straight day (SportsTicker)
NEW YORK (Ticker) - The NHL and the Players Association completed a fourth straight day of extended meetings Friday but tempered the raised optimism of a possible accord.

NHL says 'some progress' made in negotiations with union (AP)
The NHL and players' union made some progress Friday and promised further negotiations after 22 hours of talks over two days. Negotiators for the players and the owners held discussions for eight hours Friday, and plan to get together again sometime next week, although that hasn't been worked out yet between NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and players' association executive director Bob Goodenow.

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.

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.

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.

Change for the better?
CONCORD, N.C. – Changing crew chiefs midseason is risky, but such a move can pay dividends.

Kyle Busch wins NCTS Quaker Steak & Lube 200 (SportsTicker)


Mr. Consistency stuck in yearlong slump (AP)
Matt Kenseth does not feel overly confident about his chances of winning NASCAR's All-Star race for a second consecutive year.

Newman wins pole for NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge (SportsTicker)


No surprises: Newman on the pole for All-Star Challenge (AP)
Ryan Newman proved yet again that no one is better at qualifying -- no matter what the procedure might be.

Driver convicted in fatal limo wreck (AP)
A man whose truck rammed a limousine, sparking a fire that killed the wife of a former NASCAR crew chief and two others, was convicted Friday of three counts of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to five to six years in prison.

Jarrett working with fifth different crew chief in three seasons (AP)
Bill Wilburn, come on down. It's your turn to work with Dale Jarrett.

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.

Grow Up: NASCAR tired of Busch's bad behavior (AP)
CONCORD, N.C. – Kurt Busch has been ordered by NASCAR to start behaving like a champion.

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