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National

  • Bruins post shutout, go up 2-1

    BOSTON (AP) — The puck bounced off the post and rolled across the crease, away from the goal line. The red light flashed briefly, but replays would confirm that Tuukka Rask’s shutout streak was intact.
    For the last 122 minutes, 26 seconds of the Stanley Cup finals, the Bruins goalie has prevented Chicago from scoring.
    Rask made 28 more saves in Game 3 on Monday night to earn his third shutout of the postseason, leading Boston to a 2-0 victory over the Blackhawks and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
    “We ran up against some of the best goalies in the league here,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “Tonight, I thought we made it rather easy on him as far as traffic and finding and seeing pucks. I think we’ve got to be better at going to the net.”
    After playing four extra periods in the first two games, the Bruins made an early night of it in Game 3 with second-period goals by Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron.
    Corey Crawford had 33 saves for a Blackhawks team playing without Marian Hossa, who was scratched just before gametime.

  • Miami needs a win to stay alive

    MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Heat weren’t supposed to be in this situation. Not now, anyway.
    Coming home from Texas with their season on the line in 2011 was one thing. They were at the end of their first year together — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh still trying to figure it all out and clearly a long way from it.
    But this season they were the NBA’s best team, one that lost three games in three months and made losing three times in one series look unlikely, if not downright unimaginable.
    The San Antonio Spurs can finish Miami off Tuesday night in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, reaffirming themselves as one of the league’s greatest franchises.
    If so, the Heat’s Big Three once again go from celebrated to devastated.
    “We’re going to see if we’re a better team than we were our first year together,” James said.
    The Spurs took a 3-2 lead with their 114-104 victory Sunday night. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were all brilliant again, and Danny Green added to what could become one of the most out-of-nowhere finals MVP campaigns ever.
    One more victory makes the Spurs 5-0 in the NBA Finals, keeping pace with Michael Jordan’s 6-0 Chicago Bulls as the only teams to make it here multiple times and never lose.

  • 'Big Three' lift Heat over Spurs in Game 4

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Miami Heat owner Micky Arison had a message as he walked to the winning locker room.
    "The death of the Big Three was overrated," he said.
    Sure was. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, his three prized players, are just fine.
    So are the Heat's championship hopes.
    Riding big performances from their three All-Stars, the Heat tied the NBA Finals with a 109-93 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night in Game 4.
    "It was on our shoulders," James said. "We had to figure out how to win the game for us and play at the highest level. When all three of us are clicking we're very tough to beat."
    James had 33 points and 11 rebounds after failing to break 20 points in any of the first three games of the series, and Wade scored 32 points, 11 more than his previous high this postseason.
    Bosh matched his playoff high with 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, he and Wade supplying the baskets that finally put the Spurs away for good midway through the fourth quarter.
    Three players, 85 points. Just the way the Heat envisioned it when they signed James and Bosh to play with Wade in 2010.

  • Blackhawks win Game 1 thriller

    CHICAGO (AP) — Of course, it was Andrew Shaw. The pesky little forward always gets up when he's knocked down.
    The three-overtime opener of the Stanley Cup finals came to a thrilling end at the stroke of midnight Wednesday because the tenacious Shaw is a whole lot more than his reputation for irritating opposing players.
    Shaw skated in front of the goal at the right time, deflecting Dave Bolland's tip into the net for the winning score in the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins in the fifth-longest game in the history of the Stanley Cup.
    "We knew it wasn't going to be pretty at that point," Shaw said. "You could tell both teams were physically exhausted. We've preached it: Go to the net, you'll find a way to get a greasy goal. We did a heck of a job of it there in the third overtime."
    Shaw was knocked down near the boards but got up as the puck came out to Michal Rozsival, who started the winning sequence with a shot from the right point into traffic. Bolland's tip then went off Shaw's right leg and past Tuukka Rask at 12:08 for his fifth goal of the playoffs.
    And just like that, the longest finals game in five years was over. Shaw skated off to the side and pumped his arms furiously, then joined his teammates for a weary celebration.

  • James: ‘Something has to give’

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Game 4 of the NBA Finals will tell more about the Miami Heat than a 66-win regular season ever could.
    Any questions about LeBron James and the Heat were supposed to have been answered by now. He was too good to be taken out of games, his teammates too talented to go through long stretches where they weren’t contributing.
    But they didn’t resemble the league’s reigning powerhouse in Game 3, when the San Antonio Spurs handed them the third-worst beating in finals history in a 113-77 romp. They looked like the confused club from two years ago, when the finals last came to Texas.
    Another loss Thursday night and they’re on the verge of something much bigger than another finals failure.
    Lose this series, and the whole Big Three era might be a failure.
    “Something has to give tomorrow night,” James said Wednesday. “They have a championship pedigree. They have four (titles). We have two. So something has to give. We’ll see what happens. We’ve been able to bounce back throughout adverse times throughout the season throughout the years that we’ve been together, these three years. We’ll see.”

  • AP Source: Tebow to sign with Patriots

    Tim Tebow may still have a future in the NFL after all.

    The New England Patriots seem to think so and plan to sign him on Tuesday if he passes a physical.

    He won't be a starting quarterback, of course, with Tom Brady on hand in Foxborough. But certainly he's an intriguing reclamation project — yet another chance for coach Bill Belichick to torture the New York Jets, who failed to find a role for Tebow last season.

    And that could make for quite a Boston Tea-bow Party.

    A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Monday that Tebow will join the Patriots' minicamp on Tuesday and sign with the team, pending the medical exam. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made. Even when Tebow signs, there is no guarantee he will play for the Patriots.

    ESPN first reported that Tebow would sign with New England.

    Former Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist sees the logic in the move.

  • A-Rod is under fire

    NEW YORK (AP) — Don’t count on Alex Rodriguez giving up his Yankees pinstripes any time soon.
    Vilified by fans for his poor performance in the playoffs. Pursued by Major League Baseball in yet another case involving performance-enhancing drugs. Called out by his employer for not behaving like a Yankee should.
    A Lightning Rod for all the wrong reasons, none of the off-field distractions — and there have been plenty — have seemed to have had any effect on A-Rod in the past.
    It shouldn’t be any different this time.
    As MLB ramps up its investigation into the Florida anti-aging clinic linked to the sale of performance-enhancing drugs to Rodriguez and more than a dozen major league players, the three-time AL MVP quietly rehabs his surgically repaired hip at the Yankees’ minor league facility in Tampa, Fla., with plans to return in the second half of the season with “a lot of unfinished business.”
    Even as a solitary figure on a field in Florida, Rodriguez is a bother in the Bronx.

  • Sharapova comes back to win

    PARIS (AP) — Maria Sharapova shrugged off losing the first six games and swept the last four to reach the French Open semifinals.
    The defending champion overcame a miserable start in the quarterfinals Wednesday to beat Jelena Jankovic, 0-6, 6-4, 6-3.
    It was the first victory of Sharapova’s career after losing an opening set 6-0. Her opponent Thursday will be two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, who reached her first Roland Garros semifinal by beating Maria Kirilenko 7-6 (3), 6-2.
    The No. 2-seeded Sharapova earned her first French Open title a year ago to complete a career Grand Slam. She has won 12 matches in a row at Roland Garros, where her 42-9 record is the best among active women.
    “Obviously it only gets tougher from here,” Sharapova said, “but I’m really happy I’m at this stage again.”
    She’s 5-7 against No. 3 Azarenka.
    “It’s our first meeting here,” Azarenka said, “so it’s definitely going to be exciting and interesting.”
    No. 1 Serena Williams, seeking her first French Open title in 11 years, plays 2012 runner-up Sara Errani in the other semifinal.
    The warmest weather of the tournament greeted the quarterfinalists, and Jankovic quickly had Sharapova sweating.

  • Djokovic, Nadal on course for semifinal in Paris

    PARIS (AP) — Less than 48 hours after learning of the death of his childhood coach, Novak Djokovic was on court at the French Open, determined to complete a career Grand Slam in honor of the woman he likened to a "second mother."

    Still grieving, Djokovic began shakily Monday. Six of the match's first seven unforced errors were his. After one poor exchange, he chucked his racket hard enough to break it. He dropped a set for the only time in four matches so far.

    After recovering quickly to dispatch 16th-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and reach the quarterfinals at a 16th consecutive major tournament, Djokovic spoke from the heart about the passing of Jelena Gencic, who was 76.

    "It hasn't been easy, but this is life. You know, life gives you things (but also) takes away close people," Djokovic said. "We were very close throughout my whole life, and she taught me a lot of things that are part of me, part of my character."

    Gencic connected with a 6-year-old Novak at a tennis camp, then worked with him for five years.

    "I feel even more responsible now to go all the way in this tournament," said the No. 1-ranked Djokovic, who owns six Grand Slam titles but none from Roland Garros. "I want to do it for her."

  • Hall of Famer Deacon Jones dead at 74

    David "Deacon" Jones, the original sackmaster, has died.

    The Hall of Fame defensive end, credited with coining the word "sack" for how he knocked down quarterbacks, was 74. The Washington Redskins said Jones died of natural causes at his home in Southern California on Monday night.

    "Deacon Jones was one of the greatest players in NFL history. Off the field, he was a true giant," said Redskins general manager Bruce Allen, whose father, George, coached Jones with the Los Angeles Rams. "His passion and spirit will continue to inspire those who knew him. He was a cherished member of the Allen family and I will always consider him my big brother."

    Because sacks didn't become an official statistic until 1982, Jones' total is uncertain. His impact as a premier pass rusher and team leader is not.

    Jones was the leader of the Rams' Fearsome Foursome unit from 1961-71 and then played for San Diego for two seasons before finishing his career with the Redskins in 1974. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980 and made the league's 75th anniversary all-time squad.

    "Deacon Jones has been the most inspirational person in my football career," said former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood.