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NEWS FROM 2007-06-09
Cavaliers counting on James to rebound
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070609/ap_on_sp_bk_ne/bkn_nba_finals"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070608/capt.ecb08f7dba964ee18b369011a713fbae.nba_finals_cavaliers_basketball__txmy113.jpg?x=103&y=130&sig=Gf7o.23fFljqvZo.2AEBgw--" align="left" height="130" width="103" alt="Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) gestures during an NBA Finals basketball practice in San Antonio, Friday, June 8, 2007. TThe San Antonio Spurs have a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven games series over the Cavaliers. Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday, June 10. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)" border="0" /></a>AP - Extraordinary in almost every way imaginable, LeBron James appears to have one major flaw in his splendid game: he's a slow starter. During the regular season, and now in the playoffs, James has developed a pattern of bad beginnings. In Cleveland's past three series, James has followed up a subpar Game 1 with a solid Game 2.</p><br clear="all"/>
Henin eyes third straight French crown
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070609/ap_on_sp_te_ga_su/ten_french_open_women"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070607/capt.rog14206071531.france_french_open_tennis_rog142.jpg?x=130&y=97&sig=HSu1kwwoN5kNw0uIc0856g--" align="left" height="97" width="130" alt="Defending champion Belgium's Justine Henin reacts as she defeats Serbia's Jelena Jankovic during their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Thursday, June 7, 2007. Henin won 6-2, 6-2. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)" border="0" /></a>AP - Success comes with perils for Justine Henin. Her strategy is to simply ignore all her achievements. The top-ranked Belgian player heads into Saturday's French Open final against seventh-seeded Ana Ivanovic with more landmarks within her reach.</p><br clear="all"/>
Battle of Sexes: Filly in the Belmont
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070609/ap_on_sp_ot/rac_belmont_stakes"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070608/capt.9429335fbc3b4710b99b8e5b4a44b050.belmont_stakes_horse_racing_nyjj106.jpg?x=77&y=130&sig=gtyzD2k.Uji9M4ZzVCUXJA--" align="left" height="130" width="77" alt="Rags to Riches, with Lauren Robson up works out on the track Friday, June 8, 2007 at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. Rags to Riches is one of seven in a field set to compete in the 139th running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)" border="0" /></a>AP - There's no Triple Crown on the line and the Kentucky Derby winner isn't running, yet there's still a compelling story line for Saturday's Belmont Stakes — a filly is in the field.</p><br clear="all"/>
Pettersen faces heat in form of Webb
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070609/ap_on_sp_go_su/glf_lpga_championship"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070608/capt.a7ea926452634ad9bac5246d75859e56.lpga_championship_golf_mdth111.jpg?x=71&y=130&sig=o.cgXA0q0uwiKZ9gSCiOiA--" align="left" height="130" width="71" alt="Suzann Pettersen of Norway, smiles while waiting to putt on the 18th green Friday, June 8, 2007, during the second round of the LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock Golf Course in Havre de Grace, Md. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)" border="0" /></a>AP - Suzann Pettersen felt fortunate to escape the heat at a major, and it wasn't the first time.</p><br clear="all"/>
Stakes high when Federer faces Nadal
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070609/ap_on_sp_te_ne/ten_french_open"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070608/capt.rog14206081602.france_french_open_tennis_rog142.jpg?x=93&y=130&sig=IbFdmcPdFvMK1dKmhJ4trQ--" align="left" height="130" width="93" alt="Defending champion Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts as he plays Serbia's Novak Djokovic during their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Friday, June 8, 2007. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)" border="0" /></a>AP - The French Open men's final is such a tossup that the participants disagree about who's the favorite. Roger Federer? "Unbelievable player," Rafael Nadal said. "For that reason, he is the favorite." Or maybe it's Nadal. "He has already won the title twice," Federer said. "So I'd say he is a favorite." They'll have to settle the matter on the court. And given the stakes, the final will be the match of the year.</p><br clear="all"/>
Local dog-fight investigation moves on
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070609/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_vick_investigation"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070608/capt.79dcd67b606f48e2a3a8dde605a471d9.vick_investigation_vagk101.jpg?x=130&y=100&sig=wNr65.aJ7x.yvWsqjHOIUA--" align="left" height="100" width="130" alt="An investigator carries a shovel as authorities worked at a home owned by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick near Surry, Va., on June 7, 2007. Federal law enforcement officials descended on the home armed with a search warrant that suggests they're taking over an investigation into Vick's possible involvement in dogfighting. (AP Photo/Gary C. Knapp)" border="0" /></a>AP - The prosecutor who questioned why federal authorities would take an interest in a suspected dog-fighting case possibly involving Michael Vick sounded a conciliatory tone Friday and said there would be "parallel investigations."</p><br clear="all"/>
Finally Finley - NBA Finals worth the wait for Spurs star
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070609/sp_afp/basketnbaspursfinley"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/afp/20070609/capt.sge.lmo68.090607022429.photo00.photo.default-512x341.jpg?x=130&y=86&sig=_QTK2bKLqeLdEUZP7T7ENQ--" align="left" height="86" width="130" alt="Michael Finley (C) played in 85 games over seven trips to the playoffs in his 12-year NBA career before his first NBA Finals game in the Spurs' 85-76 game one victory over Cleveland here Thursday(AFP/Getty Images/File/Ronald Martinez)" border="0" /></a>AFP - Michael Finley found the National Basketball Association Finals were worth the wait.</p><br clear="all"/>
J.D. Drew bests brother as Red Sox roll
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070609/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbo_red_sox_diamondbacks"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070609/capt.781de0f690b6436ba25768d81c831152.red_sox_diamondbacks_baseball_pnc104.jpg?x=105&y=130&sig=oIFMLICuFUt.BZYGgmi14g--" align="left" height="130" width="105" alt="Boston Red Sox' J.D. Drew, top, is congratulated by teammates Julio Lugo, front left, and Manny Ramirez, front right, after Drew drove the others in on a three-run home run off Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Doug Davis in the third inning of a baseball game Friday, June 8, 2007, in Phoenix.(AP Photo/Paul Connors)" border="0" /></a>AP - It's no coincidence that J.D. Drew hammers the Arizona Diamondbacks. He wants to maintain bragging rights over his younger brother, Stephen, who plays shortstop for Arizona.</p><br clear="all"/>
Panama opens with victory over Honduras
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070609/ap_on_sp_so_ga_su/soc_panama_honduras"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070609/capt.bc6e56b21d3c424fbb40bdc9925009f0.panama_honduras_soccer_eru107.jpg?x=130&y=106&sig=u4yYVsQpTThnQUL9iT0VWA--" align="left" height="106" width="130" alt="Panama players celebrate with Carlos Rivera (2) after he scored as Honduras' Edgar Alvarez, left, walks away during first half soccer in a CONCACAF Gold Cup match Friday night, June 8, 2007 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)" border="0" /></a>AP - Panama converted its only two shots on goal in the first half, capitalizing on a man advantage after the 24th minute, and beat Honduras 3-2 on Friday in the opening Gold Cup match for both teams.</p><br clear="all"/>
Board OKs bond issue for Penguins' arena
AP - A city-county board approved a $325 million bond issue for a new arena and authorized a 30-year lease with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Culpepper to block Dolphins' trade plans (AP)
Trent Green's first practice with the Miami Dolphins was apparently Daunte Culpepper's finale in South Florida. Frustrated by the team's decision to let him only participate in individual drills, Culpepper walked off the practice field -- accompanied by a member of Miami's security staff -- about an hour into Friday's start of a three-day minicamp and vowed that he'd block the Dolphins' plans to...
Vick prosecutor conciliatory to feds (AP)
The prosecutor who questioned why federal authorities would take an interest in a suspected dog-fighting case possibly involving Michael Vick sounded a conciliatory tone Friday and said there would be "parallel investigations." Surry County Commonwealth's Attorney Gerald G. Poindexter said he, Sheriff Harold Brown and the rest of the team that has been investigating the case since 66 dogs were...
Shockey shows up at voluntary workouts (AP)
Jeremy Shockey made a rare appearance at New York Giants' voluntary offseason workouts this week, but the four-time Pro Bowl tight end cautioned not to read too much into it. "I'm glad I'm here and I enjoy it, but I hope people get used to it because next year it's going to be an issue again, and again the next year," he said.
Case dropped against Bengals' Thurman (AP)
Two Georgia men dropped their complaint against suspended Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman after accusing the player of kicking and hitting them at a party. Papers seeking to dismiss the case were being filed by the complainants, Chrissy Pitts, deputy clerk of Magistrate Court in Jasper County, said Friday.
Broncos acquire DT Kennedy from Rams (AP)
The Denver Broncos added their second 300-pound-plus lineman this week, acquiring defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy on Friday from the St. Louis Rams in exchange for an undisclosed 2008 draft pick. Kennedy, listed at 320 pounds, spent the past four seasons with the Rams, who picked him 12th overall in the 2003 draft.
Bills step up talks with DT Walker (AP)
Darwin Walker and the Buffalo Bills have increased talks to complete a restructured contract in time for the defensive tackle to attend the team's mandatory minicamp next week. "We've had dialogue and we're still hopeful," Walker's agent, Albert Irby, told The Associated Press on Friday. "We've got to be hopeful because Darwin wants to play there and sees it as a wonderful opportunity.
Congress in on dispute over NFL retirees (AP)
Congress will hear testimony June 26 from retired NFL players who contend the pension plan of the league and union is insufficient, especially for disabled ex-players. "The NFL is a billion-dollar industry, and yet the players who built the league are too often left to fend for themselves," Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., chairwoman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and administrative...
Spurs round up James in finals opener (AP)
Extraordinary in almost every way imaginable, LeBron James appears to have one major flaw in his splendid game: he's a slow starter. During the regular season, and now in the playoffs, James has developed a pattern of bad beginnings. In Cleveland's past three series, James has followed up a subpar Game 1 with a solid Game 2.
Stern wants Sonics to stay in Seattle (AP)
If David Stern has his way inside his own league, the SuperSonics will remain in Seattle. The NBA commissioner, an associate of Sonics owner Clay Bennett for more than a decade since Bennett was the San Antonio Spurs' representative on the league's board of governors, said he thinks Bennett will find a way to get a new arena built in the Seattle area to keep the Sonics in their home for the past...
Cavs say they're better than they looked (AP)
Curious to see what LeBron James would do in his first NBA finals game, there were probably a number of people watching Game 1 who had never seen the Cleveland Cavaliers play. And somewhere along the way, they must have had just one question. "Why are we here?" center Zydrunas Ilgauskas said Friday. The easy answer is because they are the best team in the Eastern Conference.
Magic hire Stan Van Gundy as coach (AP)
Having been burned by Billy Donovan, the Orlando Magic now wonder if they have the right coach in Stan Van Gundy. In Van Gundy, they got an NBA-proven leader already familiar with the team. Donovan was a $27.5 million question mark -- even before he decided to leave after his first day on the job. The Magic insist Van Gundy was a close second.
Game 1 ratings lowest ever in prime time (AP)
Game 1 of the NBA finals drew the lowest rating ever for an opening-game in prime time, dropping 19 percent from last year. The San Antonio Spurs' 85-76 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night earned a 6.3 rating and 11 share on ABC. The previous low was a 6.4/11 in 2003. Last year's Game 1 between Miami and Dallas earned a 7.8 rating and 14 share.
Spurs' Parker glad to frustrate Cavs (AP)
Darting around the court -- and the Cleveland Cavaliers -- in Game 1 of the NBA finals, Tony Parker was nearly unstoppable. He scored 27 points to help the San Antonio Spurs beat the Cavaliers, who spent Friday scheming ways to contain him. But if the Spurs had gotten their way four years ago, Parker, perhaps, wouldn't even be here.
Cavaliers edged Spurs in fourth quarter (AP)
Beaten up for most of the game, the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the San Antonio Spurs in the fourth quarter. Did the Spurs just let up, or did the Cavaliers show that they could solve San Antonio's league-leading defense? "I think they started to figure some stuff out, and so it's just about getting back that focus that we had in those first three quarters," Spurs forward Tim Duncan said Friday.
Bond issue approved for new Pens arena (AP)
Islanders pick Okposo to stay in school (AP)
New York Islanders first-round draft pick Kyle Okposo decided Friday to remain at Minnesota for his sophomore season. The 19-year-old forward from St. Paul, Minn., was selected seventh overall in the 2006 draft. "I feel returning to school best serves my future as an NHL player at this time," Okposo said.
Wild re-sign G Backstrom to 2-year deal (AP)
The Minnesota Wild added depth and complication to their goalie situation by re-signing Niklas Backstrom to a two-year, $6.2 million contract on Thursday. Backstrom went 23-8-6 with five shutouts in 41 games, taking over when Manny Fernandez got hurt and steering the Wild toward their first playoff appearance in four years with an unexpected performance.
Selanne, Ducks end Stanley Cup droughts (AP)
Teemu Selanne sat on the bench with tears in his eyes, remembering the days when the Anaheim Ducks were mighty in name only. After 14 seasons and various stops around the Western Conference, the Finnish Flash and the rest of his Ducks teammates are first-time Stanley Cup champions. Well, all except Scott Niedermayer now a four-time winner of hockey's most cherished prize.
Ducks fight for relevance after Cup win (AP)
The Anaheim Ducks had their moment in the Southern California spotlight. Because of Paris Hilton, that's pretty much all it was -- a moment. Hilton's release from jail early Thursday subjugated the Ducks to afterthought status just hours after they reached the pinnacle of their sport -- winning the Stanley Cup.
Sens' Phillips won't forget fluke goal (AP)
Every hockey player dreams of scoring a Stanley Cup-winning goal. Chris Phillips will have nightmares about his. The veteran Ottawa defenseman accidentally put the puck in his own net in Anaheim's 6-2 win over the Senators on Wednesday night for the Ducks' first Cup-clinching goal. However, Phillips wasn't credited for the goal.
Scott Niedermayer wins Conn Smythe (AP)
Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer skated off with a hefty silver trophy of his own after Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals. Then he and the rest of the Ducks took turns hoisting hockey's biggest prize. Now a member of four Stanley Cup champion teams, Niedermayer earned his first Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the NHL playoffs with teammate and younger brother, Rob, looking on.
Bodine beats Skinner at Texas again (AP)
Todd Bodine beat Mike Skinner to the checkered flag again at Texas, holding on to win after another green-white-checker finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series on Friday night.
Bodine wins NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Sam's Town 400 (PA SportsTicker)
Junior takes break from negotiations to attend France's funeral (AP)
Martin Truex Jr.'s first win for DEI temporarily bumped Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s contract talks out of the spotlight.
Newman dominates Pocono qualifying, wins third straight pole (PA SportsTicker)
Busch placed on probation by NASCAR; fined, loses points for reckless driving (AP)
Kurt Busch paid a hefty price for his fit in the pit.
Kurt Busch docked 100 Nextel Cup points, fined $100,000 (PA SportsTicker)
NASCAR on Friday fined Kurt Busch $100,000 and docked him 100 championship points for his actions in Monday's Nextel Cup race at Dover International Speedway.
NASCAR says goodbye to France in simple ceremony (AP)
NASCAR stars paid respects to former chairman Bill France Jr. on Thursday in a short, simple funeral service that was far more fuss than he would have wanted. About 2,000 people filled the Performing Arts Center at Bethune-Cookman University to say goodbye to France in a send-off for a man who loved hot dogs, fishing and, more than anything else, NASCAR.
Notes: Wallace among many who will miss France (AP)
Rusty Wallace is one of many current and former drivers who are going to miss their periodic chats with former...