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Riley's role players give Heat Game 1 win (AP)
Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning, center, celebrates with teammates Dwyane Wade (3) and Antoine Walker (8) after the Heat defeated the Detroit Pistons 91-86 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference basketball finals at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich., Tuesday, May 23, 2006.  (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)AP - The Miami Heat have other players they can go to besides Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade. Good thing, too.


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Oilers a win away from Stanley Cup finals (AP)
Edmonton Oilers Fernando Pisani (34) celebrates his game-winning goal against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim with teammate Michael Peca, Sergei Samsonov and Jason Smith, left to right, during third period of Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference Finals  hockey action Tuesday, May 23, 2006 in Edmonton. The Oilers beat the Mighty Ducks 5-4 to take a 3-0 lead in the series. (AP PHOTO/CP, Paul Chiasson)AP - Fernando Pisani and the Edmonton Oilers started the postseason as eighth-seeded upstarts. Now they're a win away from reaching the Stanley Cup finals in dominating fashion.


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Beltran's blast in 16th lifts Mets 9-8 (AP)
New York Mets Endy Chavez, (10) left, celebrates with Carlos Beltran, center, after he hit a 16th inning walk-off home run to give the Mets a 9-8 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, Tuesday, May 23, 2006, in their baseball game at Shea Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)AP - Carlos Beltran led off the bottom of the 16th inning with a home run Tuesday night, lifting the New York Mets to a 9-8 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in the longest game in the major leagues this season.


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Bonds stuck on 714; Pujols lifts Cards (AP)
Home run sluggers San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds and St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols stand together at first base during the first inning of their baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, May 23, 2006. Bonds reached base after hitting an RBI single. Pujols hit a three-run home run at the top of the inning.  (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)AP - Barry Bonds spent a third day stuck at 714 and watched Albert Pujols hit his 23rd homer of the season.


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Raptors win NBA draft lottery (AP)
Toronto Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo holds a jersey after winning the NBA draft lottery, giving them the number one pick in the upcoming draft, Tuesday night, May 23, 2006, in Secaucus, N.J.  (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)AP - The Toronto Raptors beat the odds to win the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft lottery. Figuring out what to do with it will be the first major decision for new general manager Bryan Colangelo.


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Plummer cited for alleged road rage (AP)
AP - Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer was issued a summons for an alleged road-rage incident in April, Englewood police said Tuesday.

Miami draw first blood as Pistons wilt (Reuters)
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade dunks the ball past Detroit Pistons' Chauncey Billups (R) and Tayshaun Prince (back L) during the first half in Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals in Auburn Hills, Michigan, May 23, 2006. (Hans Deryk/Reuters)Reuters - Dwyane Wade's 25 points in just 26 minutes inspired the Miami Heat to a 91-86 victory over the Detroit Pistons in Game One of the National Basketball Association's Eastern Conference Finals Tuesday in Auburn Hills.


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Phillies' Hamels scratched from start (AP)
AP - Rookie pitcher Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies experienced soreness in the back of his left shoulder while throwing in the outfield Tuesday and was scratched from his scheduled start Wednesday night against the New York Mets.

Morocco beats U.S. 1-0 in World Cup warmup (AP)
USA midfielder Landon Donovan (21) fights Zakaria Aboub (17) for the ball in the first half of their friendly soccer match on Tuesday, May 23, 2006 in Nashville, Tenn. The United States will play against Italy, Ghana, and the Czech Republic in Group E during the 2006 World Cup in Germany. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)AP - Less than three weeks before the World Cup, the U.S. soccer team opened its final warmup series with a key injury and a loss.


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Hurricanes Rattle Sabres by Tying Series (AP)
Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, right, talks with Sabres' Daniel Briere, middle, and J. P. Dumont, during NHL hockey practice at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y., Tuesday, May 23, 2006. The Sabres play the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday. (AP Photo/David Duprey)AP - Credit the Carolina Hurricanes for being the first team in the postseason to get the Buffalo Sabres off their game.


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They really love L.A.
DENVER – By dedicating $10 million to stadium reviews, the NFL made its strongest commitment in years to an L.A. return.

Reggie Bush won't get to wear No. 5 (AP)
Reggie Bush won't get to wear the No. 5 he made famous at USC for the New Orleans Saints. Not this season and perhaps not ever. Atlanta general manager Rich McKay, co-chairman of the competition committee, said Tuesday that the committee had recommended against Bush's request for his college number. The decision was made by the committee after two conference calls.

Jake Plummer cited in road rage incident (AP)
Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer was issued a summons for an alleged road-rage incident in April, Englewood police said Tuesday. Investigator John Hoehler said Plummer was issued the misdemeanor summons Friday, after being contacted at his home in Cherry Hills Village. The summons stems from a minor crash on April 20 in this suburb south of Denver.

Steelers' Porter needs more knee surgery (AP)
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter is expected to have arthroscopic knee surgery as early as Wednesday, less than a year after having loose cartilage removed from his left knee. The Steelers did not say which knee requires surgery. Porter took part in the Steelers' minicamp May 13-15, but has missed the voluntary coaching sessions held since then.

NFL to spend $10M on California plans (AP)
NFL owners are facing a busy offseason with two major priorities: finding a new commissioner and firming up a commitment to put a team in Los Angeles. They took steps toward that Tuesday although much more work is to come. One step was commissioner Paul Tagliabue's decision to give $5 million each to the cities of Los Angeles and Anaheim to explore the amount of support, especially financial, that...

NFL owners look for new commissioner (AP)
Two months after commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced his retirement, NFL owners are finally buckling down to the task of finding a replacement. During two days of meetings that wound up Tuesday, the owners finished up interviews with a search firm hired to determine what they want in the next commissioner.

Colts' Harrison to undergo elbow surgery (AP)
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison will have elbow surgery Monday. The surgery, which will be performed in his hometown of Philadelphia, is for an injury sustained during the 2005 season. Harrison, who caught 82 passes for 1,146 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2005, left Sunday's final minicamp workout early to catch a flight.

Packers let Texans interview McKenzie (AP)
The Green Bay Packers have given the Houston Texans permission to interview Reggie McKenzie for their vacant general manager job, but McKenzie said Sunday that the Texans have not yet called to schedule an interview. "It's an honor to be considered," said McKenzie, the Packers director of pro personnel.

Spinning their wheels
Flip Saunders' high-scoring Pistons have regressed into the plodding Pistons of Rick Carlisle and Larry Brown.

Role players lead Heat to Game 1 victory (AP)
The Miami Heat have other players they can go to besides Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade. Good thing, too. The veteran trio of Antoine Walker, Gary Payton and Jason Williams -- brought on to help O'Neal and Wade get past the Pistons -- were so effective in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals that they didn't need superstar efforts from their superstar duo to steal home-court advantage from...

Raptors win right to No. 1 pick in draft (AP)
Bryan Colangelo's rebuilding job as president and general manager of the Toronto Raptors got a little easier. Colangelo and the Raptors had their first major breakthrough Tuesday night, winning the NBA lottery and the right to pick first in the June 28 draft in New York. "There's some jockeying that can be done," Colangelo said.

Bickerstaff to return as Bobcats coach (AP)
Bernie Bickerstaff will return next season as coach of the Charlotte Bobcats. Bickerstaff had said several times late in the season that he was considering stepping down to focus on his role as general manager. But Bickerstaff said Tuesday he'll return in both roles for at least one more year. "Consistency is very important and by continuing as head coach, I feel we are in great position to keep on...

Nash, Nowitzki meet in West finals (AP)
As of Tuesday afternoon, Dirk Nowitzki still hadn't spoken with Steve Nash to congratulate his pal for reaching the conference finals. No biggie. They'll be seeing each other plenty over the next week or so. Nash's Phoenix Suns and Nowitzki's Dallas Mavericks are squaring off in the playoffs for the second straight year and this time it's the Western Conference finals, making the higher stakes more...

Quick start helps Heat in Game 1 victory (AP)
So much for the theory that a week away from the rigors of playoff basketball would make the Miami Heat a rusty bunch. Turns out, there were two stretches where they couldn't have been sharper. And now, they've struck first in the Eastern Conference finals. Miami opened Game 1 by scoring the first 11 points, then used a 14-1 run in the third quarter to seize control for good.

Future appears bright for Clippers (AP)
Seldom do NBA teams emerge from nowhere to seriously contend for a championship. Instead, they've got to work their way up the ladder, learning from experience what it's like to win big games and big series -- the way the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns have in recent years. The Los Angeles Clippers hope they've begun such a trek.

Mavericks C Diop has broken nose (AP)
Mavericks center DeSagana Diop broke his nose in Game 7 against the San Antonio Spurs and will wear a face shield Wednesday night for the opener of the Western Conference finals against Phoenix. Diop was injured when he caught an elbow from Spurs star Tim Duncan late in the fourth quarter. Diop stayed in and played stellar defense against Duncan, forcing him to go 1-for-7 in the overtime of Dallas'...

New Orleans gets 2008 NBA All-Star Game (AP)
The NBA confirmed Monday that its 2008 All-Star game will be played in this beleaguered but rebuilding city, an announcement local officials seized upon as a sign the Hornets also will be playing here full-time in the 2007-08 season. "The NBA would not want to award an All-Star game to a city (that was losing its team), so it certainly bodes well for us in that respect," said Doug Thornton,...

Larry Brown runs Knicks' draft workouts (AP)
Larry Brown showed up at the New York Knicks' training center Monday to work out four prospective draft picks, an otherwise routine coaching duty made remarkable by one thing: that he was there at all. In his first day on the job since reports surfaced last weekend that owner James Dolan may buy out his contract, Brown worked closely with team president Isiah Thomas to put the possible draftees...

Gaining strength
Thanks in no small part to a miracle save by defenseman Glen Wesley, Carolina evened its series with Buffalo Monday.

Oilers move within a win of Cup finals (AP)
Fernando Pisani and the Edmonton Oilers started the postseason as eighth-seeded upstarts. Now they're a win away from reaching the Stanley Cup finals in dominating fashion. Pisani's ninth goal of the postseason helped the Oilers withstand a late rally by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and Edmonton won Game 3 of the Western Conference final 5-4 on Tuesday night.

Hurricanes rattle Sabres in Game 2 (AP)
Credit the Carolina Hurricanes for being the first team in the postseason to get the Buffalo Sabres off their game. "There was a little bit of frustration," co-captain Daniel Briere said regarding the team's mood before practice Tuesday. "Nobody was happy with our play." "Everyone should be pretty angry," added defenseman Jay McKee.

Tampa signs Richards for 5 years, $39M (AP)
The Tampa Bay Lightning began what figures to be an offseason of change by ensuring their future includes Brad Richards. The 2004 Stanley Cup playoffs MVP signed a new five-year, $39 million contract instead of opting to become a restricted free agent on July 1. The $7.8 million average annual salary is more than twice the $3.4 million he made while leading the Lightning in scoring this season.

Kings hire Marc Crawford as coach (AP)
Marc Crawford brings a demanding style and a winning resume to his new job as coach of the Los Angeles Kings. Crawford was introduced Monday as the replacement for John Torchetti, who coached the season's final 12 games after Andy Murray was fired. Crawford signed a multiyear deal. Terms weren't disclosed.

Stirling to coach Springfield in AHL (AP)
Former New York Islanders coach Steve Stirling returned to coaching Monday, taking over the Tampa Bay Lightning's Springfield affiliate in the American Hockey League. Stirling was fired by the Islanders in January, when the team was 18-22-2. In his first season in 2003-04, he led the Islanders to a 38-29-11-4 record and a third straight playoff appearance.

Sweden blanks Czechs in world final (AP)
Sweden shut out defending champion Czech Republic 4-0 Sunday to win hockey's world championship, becoming the first country to win that title and Olympic gold in the same year. It was the eighth world title for Sweden, which had eight Olympic champions on its roster. In the Winter Olympics, Sweden beat Finland in the final.

Sharks waste opportunity in playoffs (AP)
Although the San Jose Sharks seem destined to be postseason players for years to come, they wasted an opportunity this spring that might never come again. Team Teal's roller-coaster season flew off the tracks Wednesday night, with a 2-0 loss in Edmonton that capped a stunning playoff collapse for many experts' favorites to reach the club's first Stanley Cup finals.

Predators sign Fiddler, Koistinen (AP)
The Nashville Predators re-signed center Vernon Fiddler to a one-year contact Thursday. The 26-year-old Fiddler is coming off a season in which he set career-highs with 40 games played, eight goals and four assists. Nashville also signed free-agent defenseman Ville Koistinen, who led defensemen in the Finnish Elite League in scoring with 34 points and assists (26) in 56 games.

Flyers lining up to get operated on (AP)
The Flyers are more likely these days to have their hips checked than get hip checked. No wonder a preseason Stanley Cup favorite was wiped out in the first round of the playoffs. Philadelphia finished the season so beaten and banged up it might not have had enough healthy bodies to last another series.

Petty prestige
CONCORD, N.C. – He didn't find victory lane, but Kyle Petty came out of NASCAR's All-Star weekend a winner.

Yates fires general manager in shakeup of slumping teams (AP)
Eddie D'Hondt was fired Tuesday as general manager of Robert Yates Racing in a shakeup of the struggling team.

Robert Yates Racing announces management change (SportsTicker)
MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (Ticker) - After four consecutive disappointing seasons at Robert Yates Racing, team owner Robert Yates finally decided that enough was enough.

NASCAR's Kyle Busch admits to improper driving, fined (AP)
NASCAR driver Kyle Busch pleaded guilty Tuesday to improper driving and was fined $150.

Motorsports programs at a glance (AP)
INTERNATIONAL APPEAL: The first motorsports programs began in the heart of NASCAR country, springing up in the Carolinas in the 1990s. Now programs exist in states such as Tennessee, Indiana and Colorado, and others are starting in China, Malaysia and Singapore. SCHOOL DAYS: Many programs lack textbooks and instead rely on guest lectures and hands-on experience.

Motorsports degree programs racing into popularity (AP)
Inside Panther Racing's mobile command center at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Mike Sheridan reads reams of data from 75 sensors mounted to the team's race cars. The 27-year-old junior at IUPUI, who is studying mechanical engineering technology with an emphasis on motorsports, hopes his specialized degree and 50-hour-a-week internship will help him become an engineer for a racing team.

Former Red Sox star switching gears to racing (AP)
It took Mike Greenwell 10 years to go from the Green Monster of Fenway Park to the green flag of NASCAR racing.

Up-and-coming NASCAR driver killed on N.M. highway (AP)
Spencer Clark, who made his Busch Series debut this year, and a crew member were killed in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 40 in New Mexico, authorities said. Clark, 19, and Andrew Phillips, 28, were killed when their truck and trailer were hit by a gust of wind as they passed through the mountains just east of Albuquerque on Sunday night.

Stewart-Kenseth rivalry fun, while it lasts (AP)
Tony Stewart vs. Matt Kenseth.

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