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Pistons Easily Overwhelm Spurs 102-71 (AP)
AP - Lindsey Hunter hit the jumper, drew the foul and backpedaled in slow motion, soaking up every decibel of the crowd's adulation. Yes, Lindsey Hunter, the Pistons' defensive specialist, the affable veteran guard whose shots usually inspire audible cringing at the Palace, not standing ovations. But by that point in the third quarter Thursday night, nobody could be surprised by anything Detroit did in its 102-71 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

Duncan Can't Dominate Pistons in Finals (AP)
AP - Throughout his stellar career, Tim Duncan has been his own toughest critic after struggling in a playoff game. And usually, he puts it behind him with a dominant performance the next time out.

Batters Beware: Johnson, Smoltz Are Back (AP)
AP - Randy Johnson glared at hitters and flailed his arms in disgust Thursday night, using his notorious intensity on the mound to reach double-digit strikeouts for the first time this season, leading the New York Yankees to a 6-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed a three-game sweep.

Goosen Starts Well in Defense of Title (AP)
AP - While others stress about tough conditions, Retief Goosen just keeps playing. That's why he's the defending U.S. Open champion. And that's why he finds himself near the lead once again. Over a dry and breezy first round at Pinehurst No. 2, Goosen shot a 2-under-par 68 to finish one stroke off the lead Thursday — keeping himself well in position to capture his third U.S. Open title.

Becky Morgan Leads Rochester by 3 Shots (AP)
AP - Becky Morgan doesn't like the rain. That's not to say it doesn't suit her golf game, especially on a traditional, tree-lined course with compact greens.

Wilfs Aim to Be Next Rooneys in NFL (AP)
AP - After finally joining the exclusive NFL owners club, new Minnesota Vikings majority owner Zygi Wilf said he plans to stick around for a while.

NBA Today (AP)
AP - Friday, June 17

Phillies Defeat Mariners 3-2 in 13 Innings (AP)
AP - Jimmy Rollins tripled with one out in the 13th inning for his fifth hit then scored on Tomas Perez's bases-loaded sacrifice fly, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Seattle Mariners 3-2 Thursday night to avoid a three-game sweep.

Brazil Turns on the Style, Defeats Greece (AP)
AP - South American flair triumphed over European pragmatism in the Confederations Cup. Brazil outclassed Greece in a 3-0 win Thursday in their opening Group B game, even though the Brazilians supposedly are undermanned.

NHL Approves Sale of Mighty Ducks (AP)
AP - The sale of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to Henry and Susan Samueli was approved by the NHL's Board of Governors on Thursday. The board granted unanimous approval pending completion of the sale, which is expected shortly.

Read and React: Bad catch
The Dolphins' hiring of Nick Saban didn't make many readers' lists for the NFL's best offseason moves.

Madden joining NBC as game analyst (AP)
John Madden was the first announcer Dick Ebersol thought of when NBC acquired the rights to the NFL's Sunday night package. In mid-May, Ebersol went to California to talk with the popular analyst and try to convince him to join NBC when the network begins broadcasting the NFL again in 2006. The work paid off.

Titans release S Lance Schulters (AP)
The Tennessee Titans released safety Lance Schulters on Thursday after failing to reach agreement on a new salary cap-friendly deal. The Titans, who cut six high-priced veterans in February, had been expected to release the seven-year veteran in their attempt to rebuild and free up enough salary cap space to build up other weak areas this season.

Jets QB Pennington starts throwing again (AP)
Jets quarterback Chad Pennington has started throwing again, four months after surgery to repair a torn right rotator cuff. Last week, Pennington began tossing the football off to the side during the final few offseason training activity sessions. Though he didn't participate in the practices, he was able to work on handoffs to the running backs.

QBs Frerotte, Feeley to battle in camp (AP)
The Miami Dolphins will go into next month's training camp without a clear front-runner in the team's latest quarterback battle. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said Thursday that neither newcomer Gus Frerotte nor incumbent starter A.J. Feeley has been chosen as the team's starter for this year's season-opener against Denver, and that the decision hinges on how they play in training camp.

Chargers LB Polk tears Achilles' tendon (AP)
San Diego linebacker Carlos Polk tore his left Achilles tendon during the team's final offseason coaching session and is expected to miss the 2005 season. Polk was injured Wednesday but the team didn't announce it until Thursday. Polk is expected to be out for six to nine months. He was coming off a shoulder injury that limited him to just one game last year.

Jets release safety Reggie Tongue (AP)
Safety Reggie Tongue was released Wednesday by the New York Jets after starting all 16 games last season. Tongue played just one season with the Jets and had the second longest interception return in the team's postseason history with an 85-yard touchdown run against Pittsburgh. The longest was 98 yards by Darrol Ray in 1982.

Colts' Doss gets two-game suspension (AP)
Indianapolis Colts safety Mike Doss was suspended Wednesday by the NFL for the first two regular-season games after pleading no contest to misdemeanor gun charges. Doss was sentenced to community service last week after pleading no contest to misdemeanor gun charges in Akron, Ohio, where he was arrested after firing a gun into the air outside a restaurant on May 29.

Pistons have something in reserve
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Lindsey Hunter and Antonio McDyess are doing more than just playing D.

Pistons seize momentum with Game 4 rout (AP)
Lindsey Hunter hit the jumper, drew the foul and backpedaled in slow motion, soaking up every decibel of the crowd's adulation. Yes, Lindsey Hunter, the Pistons' defensive specialist, the affable veteran guard whose shots usually inspire audible cringing at the Palace, not standing ovations. But by that point in the third quarter Thursday night, nobody could be surprised by anything Detroit did in...

NBA labor talks to resume Friday (AP)
Billy Hunter had promised to make one more call to NBA commissioner David Stern, and he wasted little time picking up the phone. As a result, collective bargaining talks between owners and players will resume Friday. No meetings have been held since June 1 when the sides met for 2 1/2 hours at the union's offices in New York.

Back-to-back poor outings for Duncan (AP)
Throughout his stellar career, Tim Duncan has been his own toughest critic after struggling in a playoff game. And usually, he puts it behind him with a dominant performance the next time out. Not this time. Not against Detroit's defense. Duncan had 16 points and 16 rebounds in the San Antonio Spurs' 102-71 loss in Game 4 on Thursday night, but the box score couldn't capture the frustration on his...

Hunter gives Pistons lift off the bench (AP)
Detroit's smallest player came up big. Lindsey Hunter scored a playoff-high 17 points, had five assists and sparked spurts in the first and second halves with feisty play in the Pistons' 102-71 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night. With the best-of-seven series suddenly tied 2-2, the defending champion Pistons are hoping to be the third team to win the title after trailing 2-0 in...

Supportive fans have Milicic embarrassed (AP)
``We want Dar-ko!'' Detroit's fans chant those three words tirelessly whenever the Pistons have a big lead in the fourth quarter, hoping coach Larry Brown will give them a rare glimpse of Darko Milicic. The player drafted No. 2 overall two years ago -- after LeBron James and ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade -- is more embarrassed than proud when he hears the crowd plead for him...

Jackson faces big challenge with Lakers (AP)
One of Phil Jackson's first observations upon returning to the Los Angeles Lakers was he'd be ``most amazed'' if they were in position to contend for a championship during the life of his three-year contract. ``He said the same thing when we hired him the first time,'' general manager Mitch Kupchak recalled.

McDyess on a roll for Pistons (AP)
Questions about the Detroit Pistons' depth arose before the NBA Finals began. Antonio McDyess, however, has been a towering presence. The reserve forward scored 13 points in 19 minutes in Detroit's 102-71 victory Thursday night that evened the best-of-seven series 2-2. It was his third straight game in double digits after a run of seven straight with less than 10 points.

Pacers' brawl cases reassigned (AP)
Cases against five Indiana Pacers players charged in one of the worst brawls in U.S. sports history will be reassigned among several judges, according to a court ruling Wednesday. Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Fred Mester agreed with arguments from defense lawyers that the players' cases had been improperly assigned en masse to one judge instead of randomly distributed among several judges.

Skiles signs extension with Bulls (AP)
Chicago Bulls coach Scott Skiles signed his four-year contract extension Thursday, a week after agreeing to the deal. Financial terms weren't disclosed, but the deal is reportedly worth $16.5 million. The Bulls went 47-35 last season under Skiles and reached the playoffs for the first time since winning the championship in 1998.

Disney dumps NHL Ducks during labor shutdown (AFP)
When the National Hockey League returns from a labour dispute that wiped out the entire 2004-2005 season, The Walt Disney Company will not be coming back as owners of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

NHL approves Mighty Ducks sale (AP)
The sale of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to Henry and Susan Samueli was approved by the NHL's Board of Governors on Thursday. The board granted unanimous approval pending completion of the sale, which is expected shortly. Mighty Ducks spokesman Alex Gilchrist said the new owners wouldn't comment until the sale becomes final.

Board of Governors approve sale of Mighty Ducks (SportsTicker)
NEW YORK (Ticker) - After a lengthy ordeal, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim are finally being sold.

NHL and players plug away in labor talks (AP)
The NHL and its players' union held another small group session of contract discussions Monday, making slow progress in hopes of ending the ninth-month lockout. The basic structure of a salary cap linked league-wide to revenues, with an upper and lower limit on team payrolls, is being discussed. The two sides have made some headway in the areas of free agency, qualifying offers, salary arbitration,...

Star wants to play for Avalanche again if money permits (AP)
Peter Forsberg wants to return to the Colorado Avalanche if a proposed salary cap doesn't make him too expensive for the club, his agent says. Forsberg, who has played for only one NHL franchise, the Quebec Nordiques-turned-Avalanche, has spent much of the past month in the Denver area. ``If something could be worked out in Colorado, he'd be happy,'' Forsberg's agent, Don Baizley, said from...

Owning up: Lemieux never planned to be Penguins' longtime owner (AP)
Mario Lemieux never planned to be a long-term team owner when he and his backers bought the Pittsburgh Penguins in federal bankruptcy court in 1999. Lemieux's intent wasn't entirely philanthropic, either, when he became American pro sports' first owner-player by purchasing the team he led to two Stanley Cup championships in the 1990s.

Phantoms 5, Wolves 2 (AP)
Philadelphia sports fans finally have something to celebrate. The Philadelphia Phantoms swept the American Hockey League's Calder Cup finals Friday night, beating the Chicago Wolves 5-2 in front of sellout crowd of 20,103 fans at the Wachovia Center. Jon Sim and Patrick Sharp each scored two goals, and Antero Niittymaki made 28 saves for the Phantoms, the Philadelphia Flyers' top farm club.

Report: Group of West Coast investors to buy Penguins (SportsTicker)
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) - With encouraging news about the National Hockey League and Players Association reportedly working toward a salary cap, new investors appear ready to move into the league.

NHL, Players' Association to continue talks Monday (SportsTicker)
NEW YORK (Ticker) - Nothing has been resolved yet, but at least the NHL and the Players' Association are continuing a dialogue.

Dull dominance
BROOKLYN, Mich. – The early-season success of Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Racing might not be good for NASCAR.

Crocker qualifies seventh behind Krisiloff for ARCA race (AP)
Erin Crocker overcame an accident in practice and finished seventh behind pole-winner Kyle Krisiloff in Thursday's qualifying for an ARCA series race at Michigan International Speedway.

Ernie Irvan's new challenge is to promote safety (AP)
Ernie Irvan's life, for better and worse, has taken several twists at Michigan International Speedway.

Notes: NASCAR to promote Soap Box Derby (AP)
NASCAR and the All-American Soap Box Derby have teamed up to launch the first national advertising campaign...

Kahne popular with female race fans (AP)
Kasey Kahne is especially popular among female race fans. He's handsome, intelligent, articulate and soft-spoken...

Earnhardt jury hears from insurance agent who sold policy (AP)
A day after a judge ruled in favor of the late Dale Earnhardt's car owner in a trial pitting the racing team against an insurance company, the jury heard Tuesday from the insurance agent who sold the $3.7 million policy.

Terry Labonte to replace Leffler at Infineon Raceway (SportsTicker)
HUNTERSVILLE, North Carolina (Ticker) - Joe Gibbs Racing has sought a one-time appearance from a two-time NASCAR Nextel Cup series champion.

Gibbs hires Terry Labonte to replace Leffler on road course (AP)
Terry Labonte was hired Tuesday to replace Jason Leffler in the road course race at Infineon Raceway later this month.

Edwards wins at Pocono (AP)
Carl Edwards is no one-hit wonder, and that comes as a relief to crew chief Bob Osborne.

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