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Heat eliminate Pistons in Game 6 rout (AP)
Miami Heat's Shaquille O'Neal, right, puts up a shot over Detroit Pistons' Ben Wallace during the second quarter of Game 6 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals in Miami on Friday, June 2, 2006. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)AP - There was no champagne. Not yet, anyway. After an offseason of often-criticized changes Pat Riley made to surround his superstars with more talent, the Miami Heat broke through to new heights — and have no intention to stop climbing now.


Pettersson leads after long, rainy day (AP)
Carl Pettersson acknowledges the gallery after putting on the 18th green Friday, June 2, 2006, during the second round of the Memorial golf tournament at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. (AP Photo/Terry Gilliam)AP - Carl Pettersson would have to consider this a good day. He made five birdies in the five hours he spent on the golf course, and had only one milkshake in the six hours he spent inside the locker room during a rainy Friday at the Memorial. The best part of all was that he finished his round and was atop the leaderboard.


Federer reaches 4th round at French Open (AP)
U.S. player James Blake prepares to serve the ball while playing a second round match against Spain's Nicolas Almagro during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Friday June 2, 2006. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)AP - One bad game forced Roger Federer to work overtime. Serving for the match in the third set, Federer was broken at love, then lost the ensuing tiebreaker. That meant another 46 minutes of tense tennis before he beat Nicolas Massu 6-1, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-5 Friday at the French Open.


USC QB won't face sexual assault charges (AP)
Southern California backup quarterback Mark Sanchez, shown in this March 26, 2006 file photo in Los Angeles, will not be charged with sexual assault after prosecutors decided not to file charges. Sanchez, 19, was arrested in late April after another USC student claimed Sanchez had sexually assaulted her.  (AP Photo/Long Beach Press-Telegram, Kirby Lee)AP - Prosecutors decided Friday not to file charges against Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez, who had been accused of sexually assaulting another USC student.


Santana retires 19 straight, Twins nip A's (AP)
Minnesota Twins starter Johan Santana throws to the Oakland Athletics in the first inning of a baseball game on Friday, June 2, 2006, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)AP - Johan Santana kept retiring batter after batter, hoping Minnesota's offense would eventually come up with a big hit.


Bush honors Pittsburgh Steelers (Reuters)
President George W. Bush holds a gift jersey while honoring the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers during a ceremony to honor the World Champions in the East Room of the White House in Washington June 2, 2006. (Larry Downing/Reuters)Reuters - The Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers were conquering heroes at the White House on Friday and President George W. Bush apologized for waking up team owner Dan Rooney the morning after the big game.


Kings hire Musselman to replace Adelman (AP)
Golden State Warriors' coach Eric Musselman reacts after a referee issued him a technical foul in the second half against the Celtics  at the Fleet Center, in a Friday, April 2, 2004, photo in Boston. The Sacramento Kings hired Memphis Grizzlies assistant Eric Musselman on Friday as their new head coach, two people with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Jim Rogash, file)AP - When Eric Musselman showed up for his interview bearing a 100-page scouting report on a team that hadn't even hired him yet, Joe Maloof was pretty sure the Sacramento Kings had found their next head coach. The Kings chose the Memphis Grizzlies assistant on Friday to replace Rick Adelman, ending a lengthy search to fill the NBA's only coaching vacancy with one of the league's most respected young minds.


Cubs nip Cards in 14-inning marathon (AP)
St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols, foreground, walks to the dugout after striking out in the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, June 2, 2006, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Homeplate umpire Andy Fletcher, left, looks on. (AP Photo/Kyle Ericson)AP - After a miserable May, the Chicago Cubs began the new month on a good note. Even if it took them more than five hours. Todd Walker's RBI grounder scored Juan Pierre with the go-ahead run in the 14th inning, lifting the Cubs to a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.


Arena defends family policy at World Cup (AP)
Photos showing the Soccer Cup are projected on high-risers in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, June 3, 2006. The illumination was the last test for the Skyarena festival in Frankfurt taking place on June 3 and June 4, 2006 when about 500 soccer images are being projected onto ten multistory buildings downtown in the run-up to the upcoming soccer World Cup 2006 taking place in Germany. (AP Photo/Bernd Kammerer)AP - Bruce Arena and the U.S. soccer team quickly settled into the role of World Cup outsider. A few hours after arriving in Germany on Friday, the American coach was questioned on his policy of allowing families to spend time with players during the tournament at the team hotel, rather than have the squad sequestered in an isolated location, as many World Cup coaches choose to do.


Hurricanes back in finals, now as favorite (AP)
Carolina Hurricanes' Rod Brind'Amour, center, is congratulated by Bret Hedican and Eric Staal, right, after Brind'Amour's third-period goal against the Buffalo Sabres during Game 7 of the NHL Eastern Conference hockey finals on Thursday, June 1, 2006 in Raleigh, N.C. The Hurricanes won 4-2 to advance to the Stanley Cup finals. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)AP - RALEIGH, N.C. — Four years ago, the Carolina Hurricanes surprised just about everyone by reaching the Stanley Cup finals.


Pass the Mike
ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Being the Lions' offensive coordinator isn't stopping Mike Martz from talking like a head coach.

Smiles usher in Owens era in Dallas (AP)
Terrell Owens returned Friday to his two favorite places: the football field and the spotlight. Entering the locker room before his first formal workout with the Dallas Cowboys, Owens smiled wide when he saw the throng of cameras and reporters waiting for him. He excused himself to get some lip balm, smeared it on, then kept grinning throughout a 15-minute chat that might still be going on if a...

Seven yards for Williams in CFL debut (AP)
Ricky Williams looked less like an NFL rushing champion and every bit like a running back less than a week into training camp with a new team. The former Miami Dolphins star was held to just 7 yards on four carries in his first CFL game Friday night as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeated the Toronto Argonauts 31-3 in the exhibition opener for both clubs.

Jets' Chrebet officially retires (AP)
When Wayne Chrebet showed up for his first day of training camp, a security guard stopped him, incredulous that he would have any business on a football field. It was 1995, and Chrebet was an undrafted free agent out of Hofstra, hoping to make it with the team that practiced across the street from where he spent his college days.

Redskins S Taylor avoids jail (AP)
Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor reached an agreement with prosecutors to drop felony charges against him and pleaded no contest Thursday to two misdemeanors in an assault case, avoiding any jail time that might have derailed his NFL career. The deal calls for Taylor to be placed on 18 months' probation, talk about the importance of education at 10 Miami-Dade County schools and contribute...

Plummer pleads not guilty to road rage (AP)
Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer pleaded not guilty Thursday to municipal charges in a road rage dispute. The plea, entered by his attorney Harvey Steinberg, allows Plummer to skip a hearing scheduled for Friday. A trial date has not been set, Steinberg said. Plummer was issued a summons to face a misdemeanor violation of "injure or destroy property," similar to criminal mischief under state...

Brunell breaks finger, out 2-3 weeks (AP)
Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell has a small fracture in his left index finger and is expected to miss two to three weeks of offseason workouts. Brunell was hurt during a workout earlier this week, but the team did not announce the injury until Friday. Because Brunell is left-handed, he will have to sit out most of the remaining spring practices, although he might return in time for the...

Garcia accepts new role with Eagles (AP)
Jeff Garcia is settling into an unfamiliar role with another new team. A three-time Pro Bowl quarterback during five seasons in San Francisco, Garcia now is with the Philadelphia Eagles after unsuccessful one-year stints in Cleveland and Detroit. Unless five-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb gets hurt, Garcia will spend most of his time carrying a clipboard on the sidelines.

The Big Prophet
Shaquille O'Neal is four wins away from making good on his promise to bring a championship to Miami.

Shaq carries Heat into first NBA finals (AP)
There was no champagne. Not yet, anyway. After an offseason of often-criticized changes Pat Riley made to surround his superstars with more talent, the Miami Heat broke through to new heights -- and have no intention to stop climbing now. "The job," Shaquille O'Neal said, "is not done." Ah, but there's only one more step -- the NBA Finals, where the Heat are headed for the first time.

Kings hire Musselman as new coach (AP)
When Eric Musselman showed up for his interview bearing a 100-page scouting report on a team that hadn't even hired him yet, Joe Maloof was pretty sure the Sacramento Kings had found their next head coach. The Kings chose the Memphis Grizzlies assistant on Friday to replace Rick Adelman, ending a lengthy search to fill the NBA's only coaching vacancy with one of the league's most respected young...

Wade starts for Heat despite flu (AP)
Heat guard Dwyane Wade was briefly hospitalized Friday with what the team called flu-like symptoms, yet started Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals later that night against Detroit. Wade was dehydrated, missed the team's morning shootaround practice, and was treated with intravenous fluids at a South Florida hospital.

Saunders may feel the heat for loss (AP)
Detroit Pistons coach Flip Saunders was bothered by starting the season in Larry Brown's shadow. Comparisons to the Hall of Famer won't get any easier this summer for Saunders. Fair or not, Detroit's first-year coach will be blamed by some because the Pistons fell short of the NBA Finals -- where Brown led them each of the previous two seasons.

Pistons run out of gas in Game 6 (AP)
For the first time in 16 years, the Detroit Pistons couldn't manufacture some Game 6 magic. And it cost them their season. The Pistons entered Friday night with a streak of nine straight wins in Game 6 situations, a run that began in the 1991 East semifinals against Boston. But it ended in Miami, with the Heat beating Detroit 95-78 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals Friday -- and ending the...

Nowitzki gets day off after burning Suns (AP)
The Phoenix Suns have played their best when they were on the brink of playoff elimination. Well, here they are again. The Dallas Mavericks, riding a 50-point performance by Dirk Nowitzki Thursday night, lead the Western Conference finals 3-2 and can finish off the Suns by winning Game 6 Saturday night in Phoenix.

Mavs' Mbenga suspended six games (AP)
Mavericks backup center D.J. Mbenga was suspended without pay for six games Thursday for going into the stands to aid the wife of coach Avery Johnson during Game 4 of the Western Conference finals in Phoenix. The punishment is one game longer than New York Knicks forward Antonio Davis received in January for going from the court into the stands to defend his wife.

The thin blueline
Buffalo never had a chance in Thursday's Game 7 – if you believe the injury report.

'Canes back in Cup finals as favorite (AP)
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Four years ago, the Carolina Hurricanes surprised just about everyone by reaching the Stanley Cup finals. To listen to Rod Brind'Amour, that included themselves. "Looking back, we didn't really believe we could be there," he said. Now the Hurricanes are back as the favored team with home-ice advantage against Edmonton.

Oilers settle into Rangers' facility (AP)
The Edmonton Oilers are making themselves quite comfortable in their home away from home as they prepare for the opening game of the Stanley Cup final Monday night at Carolina. The NHL's Western Conference champions are living large at the New York Rangers' training center in this sleepy suburb 25 miles north of Manhattan, where they will stay through Sunday.

Sabres emerge with bright future (AP)
B. Thomas Golisano cracked a wide smile making his way through the gloom of the Buffalo Sabres' locker room shortly after the team's remarkable playoff run had ended. Amid the players' tears, banged-up bodies and the subdued packing of bags, the Sabres owner saw something that few in the room had yet realized: A bright future.

MacTavish won't give pep talk to Oiers (AP)
Craig MacTavish has no pep talk planned to motivate his overachieving Edmonton Oilers for the Stanley Cup final. "You don't want to overdo it," the Oilers coach said Thursday before the team boarded a plane bound for New York, where it planned to practice for two days and get out of the intense spotlight it has been under in Alberta.

Chelios signs, Wings waiting on Yzerman (AP)
The NHL's oldest player has at least another season in him. Chris Chelios signed a one-year contract Wednesday with the Detroit Red Wings. He will be a 45-year-old defenseman next year in the middle of his eighth season with the team and 23rd in the league. The three-time Norris Trophy winner as the NHL's best defenseman played in 81 games last season and had a plus-22 rating.

Bryan Trottier back with Islanders (AP)
Hockey Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier is coming back to the New York Islanders to serve as executive director of player development. Trottier, who starred on New York's four straight Stanley Cup championship teams in the 1980s and holds several club records, was hired Thursday by the team he separated from once his playing career ended.

Revenues to surpass projections by $300M (AP)
NHL revenues will surpass initial projections by some $300 million, the players' association told agents during a meeting on Wednesday. NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin met with 115 agents during a nine-hour gathering and provided good news to the player representatives. The final numbers won't be tallied until the end of June, but league-wide revenues will likely exceed $2.1 billion, easily...

Tony Stewart proved that moonlighting as a Busch driver can have bad consequences.

Rudd looks to shoulder the road for injured Stewart (AP)
Ricky Rudd was NASCAR's ``Iron Man,'' leaving a legacy as the most durable driver in the sport. Now he's helping Tony Stewart keep his own modest starting streak alive.

Martin wins truck race at Dover (AP)
No wonder Mark Martin wants to run the full Craftsman Truck Series schedule so badly. He's having a blast racking up the wins.

Martin wins Truck Series AAA Insurance 200 (SportsTicker)

Newman ends pole drought at Dover (AP)
Ryan Newman thought a little rain might extend his pole drought.

Stewart to start 10th after Rudd qualifies at Dover (SportsTicker)

Busch sorry for latest dustup (AP)
The next time Kyle Busch tosses a part at another car, dishes a retaliatory bump, or mouths off to a rival driver in the garage, it could be the last time he's racing for a while.

Yates team stumbling, no end in sight (AP)
CONCORD, N.C. – Dale Jarrett could have been home cooking steaks before the halfway mark of the Coca-Cola...

Stock car tracks court families with new diversions (AP)
JENNERSTOWN, Pa. – As stock car engines howl in the background, Dave Wheeler raises a small air cannon to...

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