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National

  • James hits uncontested layup in OT to lift Heat

    MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James caught the inbounds pass, changed direction and immediately attacked the rim.

    There was no one in his way.

    There was no stopping him, either.

    James made a layup as time expired in overtime, capping a 30-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist effort as the Miami Heat found a way to outlast the Indiana Pacers 103-102 in a wildly back-and-forth Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night. There were 18 ties and 17 lead changes, the last two of those coming in the final 2.2 seconds.

    "Two teams fought hard," James said. "We were able to make one more play."

    If this is how this series is going to go, then get ready for a classic between teams that absolutely wanted to face the other with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line.

    Paul George saved the Pacers at the end of regulation with a 32-footer with 0.7 seconds left, and then made three free throws with 2.2 ticks left in overtime to give Indiana a one-point lead. George pumped his fist gently after the third free throw, then extended his index finger skyward as the teams retreated to their benches to get ready for the final play.

  • Urlacher announces his retirement from NFL

    CHICAGO (AP) — Star linebacker Brian Urlacher says he's retiring after spending 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears.

    The eight-time Pro Bowler announced his retirement through social media accounts Wednesday. In a statement, he says "after spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire."

    Urlacher was the face of the Bears' franchise and leaves as one of the game's great linebackers. In March, he and the Bears were unable to reach a contract agreement and he became a free agent.

    He started 180 games from 2000 through 2012, and recorded a team-record 1,779 tackles. He has 41½ sacks, 22 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries and 11 forced fumbles. He was the AP's defensive player of the year in 2005 and helped lead the 2006 team to the Super Bowl.

    Last year, he was slowed by injuries.

  • Tebow Time in New York Over After Jets Cut QB
  • Raw: Alligator on Fairway at Zurich Classic

    Spectators and at least one marshal at the Zurich Classic were startled when an alligator, estimated to be about 12 feet, spent some of the afternoon sunning itself on the left side of the 12th fairway.

  • Teams go big in 1st round of NFL draft

    NEW YORK (AP) — Short on glam, slim on glitter and no sign of Manti Te’o, the NFL draft was still a solid B-plus.
    As in Big, as in Brawn, as in Bulk, as in Beefy.
    We’re talking a scale-busting 600 pounds at the outset Thursday night with offensive tackles Eric Fisher of Central Michigan and Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M.
    The first seven picks were all linemen: four on offense, three on defense.
    “That’s a lot of love for the big boys up front, which we usually don’t get,” Fisher said.
    None of the teams making the first 32 selections went for Te’o, not even Minnesota, which had three first-round picks. The All-America linebacker’s poor performance in Notre Dame’s loss to Alabama in the national championship game surely was a factor. Still to be determined is how much the fake girlfriend hoax cost him.
    Unlike the last few years when bumper crops of quarterbacks reigned, this was pure muscle, and lots of it.
    Actually, not a single QB was selected until Florida State’s EJ Manuel went to Buffalo at No. 16 — the lowest since 2000, when Chad Pennington went 18th to the Jets.
    No running backs were chosen, either, for the first time since 1963.

  • Draft lacks flair but has plenty of heft

     KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — This year's NFL draft is heavy on size and light on glamour.

    There's no high-profile quarterback destined to go No. 1 and instantly become the face of a downtrodden franchise. There's not even a running back or wide receiver worthy of the top overall pick, someone with the kind of swagger that wins over fans weary of losing.

    Nope, there's just beef. And lots of it.

    There's 6-foot-6, 306-pound Luke Joeckel, the offensive tackle from Texas A&M whom the Kansas City Chiefs are expected to select first overall. There's also Eric Fisher of Central Michigan and Lane Johnson of Oklahoma, two more 300-pounders who could be snapped up in the first 10 picks.

    Even the defensive side of the ball is big on bigness: Florida's Sharrif Floyd, Utah's Star Lotulelei and Sylvester Williams of North Carolina are considered premium space eaters.

    Utilitarian? Sure. Flashy? Not so much.

    "There are a lot of good football players there," Broncos President John Elway insisted. "It's kind of a matter of what kind of flavor you like, but there are plenty of defensive linemen — not only defensive ends but defensive linemen — in this draft, and it's deeper than most."

  • Cowboys Stadium gets 1st college playoff championship game

    PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The first championship game in the College Football Playoff will be held at Cowboys Stadium.

    The BCS conference commissioners announced Wednesday that Arlington, Texas, edged Tampa, Fla., in the bidding to be the site of the first title game in the new playoff system.

    "The stadium itself was the biggest determiner," BCS executive director Bill Hancock said about the $1.2 billion dollar, state-of-the-art home of the NFL's Cowboys and the Cotton Bowl. "It's still the stadium with a capital 'T.'"

    The game will be held Jan. 12, 2015.

    The final three sites for the semifinal rotation also were announced and Cowboys Stadium came up a winner again. The Cotton Bowl will be part of the six-bowl rotation, along with the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta and the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. The Holiday Bowl in San Diego also bid for a spot in the semifinal rotation, but couldn't pull the upset.

    The Rose, Orange and Sugar bowls are already part of the semifinal rotation. The Rose and Sugar will host the first semifinals Jan. 1, 2015,

    The next season, the Cotton and Orange bowls will host the semifinals on New Year's Eve. The semis will be played in the Fiesta and Chick-fil-A bowls after the 2016 season.

  • Bruins and Celtics alter schedules following Boston Marathon blast

    A few hours after the Boston Marathon bombings, and more than 1,000 miles away, a police officer with a German shepherd patrolled near an entrance to the baseball stadium where Miami hosted Washington on Monday evening — an unusual sight at Marlins Park.
    Inside, on the field, two Marlins officials gave a security supervisor a briefing about the ballpark's layout.
    "We are taking additional precautions and have intensified our security efforts in and around the ballpark to ensure everyone's safety," Marlins spokesman P.J. Loyello said.
    The postponement of Monday night's NHL game between the Bruins and Ottawa Senators, and the cancellation of Tuesday's NBA game between the Celtics and Indiana Pacers — both events to be held in Boston — were the most tangible reactions by sports officials to the explosions at the marathon finish line that killed at least three people and injured more than 140 others.
    A makeup date for Bruins-Senators was not announced; no other events from top professional leagues around the country were immediately called off.

  • Tiger Woods Gets a Reprieve in the Masters
  • UConn Women Rout Louisville for 8th Title