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National

  • 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.

  • Miami romps, heads to NBA Finals

    MIAMI (AP) — Their season, their legacy, their reign atop the NBA was all at stake, and the Miami Heat responded in a manner befitting defending champions — with a blowout.

    LeBron James scored 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds, ailing Dwyane Wade matched his postseason high with 21 points, and the Heat ran away from the Indiana Pacers 99-76 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference series on Monday night.

    In the NBA Finals for the third straight year, the Heat will play the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 on Thursday in Miami.

    "They're just an amazing group of guys," Heat managing general partner Micky Arison said after handing the East trophy to Chris Andersen. "They've given us an incredible season so far, but it's a long way from over."

    It could have ended on Monday, of course. The Heat had alternated wins and losses with the Pacers in the first six games of the series, and were coming off their worst offensive outing of the year in Game 6.

    They responded with a rout, despite shooting just under 40 percent, well below their norm.

    "By any means necessary ... we took care of business," James said.

  • Williams, Federer advance at French Open

    PARIS (AP) — Roger Federer walked onto Court Suzanne Lenglen, smiled when greeted with applause and looked up into the stands, where three youngsters waved a banner that read, “Roger 4 Ever.”
    Forever? Probably not, but Federer easily outlasted qualifier Somdev Devvarman in the second round of the French Open, winning 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 Wednesday.
    Top-ranked Serena Williams also showed staying power, extending her career-best winning streak to 26 matches by beating wild card Caroline Garcia of France, 6-1, 6-2.
    While Williams looks unbeatable of late, Federer has yet to win a tournament this year, the first time he has arrived at Roland Garros without a title since 2000. But he’s rested and healthy, and his vast repertoire of shots was on full display against the overmatched Devvarman, who is ranked 188th and now 0-9 against top-10 players.
    “I tried to finish the match quite quickly, because I was afraid it would rain,” Federer said. “So I was very focused, and I’m very happy for that.”
    The No. 2-seeded Federer glided across the clay, hitting winners from all over the court — even beyond the alleys — and looking at ease on a surface that once vexed him.

  • Pacers win 99-92 to tie series with Heat

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The open looks Udonis Haslem and Chris Bosh took advantage of to help the Heat win Game 3 disappeared in Game 4, and so has Miami's lead over Indiana in the Eastern Conference Finals.
    Miami's Erik Spoelstra won the coaching battle with the Pacers' Frank Vogel in Game 3, using mobile post players Haslem and Bosh primarily as jump shooters to keep them away from the bigger, brawnier Roy Hibbert and David West.
    Vogel countered Tuesday night with a simple adjustment: putting Hibbert and West in better position to step out and contest shots without sacrificing rebounding. And it worked, eliminating Miami's normally excellent floor spacing and making the Heat's offense appear unsettled.
    Hibbert finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead Indiana to a 99-92 victory that tied the series at two games apiece and helped the Pacers regain a little swagger heading into a pivotal Game 5 on Thursday night in Miami.
    In Game 3, Haslem and Bosh combined to make 14 of 19 shots and score 32 points, mostly on jumpers. This time, they were 4 for 11 and combined for 13 points.

  • Rangers stay alive in series with Bruins

    NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Kreider proudly wore the Broadway Hat in the victorious New York Rangers dressing room as he tried to describe the feeling of saving his team's season.

    Kreider deftly steered in a pass from Rick Nash 7:03 into overtime, and the Rangers stayed alive in the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

    "It is so surreal," the 22-year-old Kreider said. "It's not something that can really be explained. It is something that just has to be felt, but it was awesome. I'm just excited to give these guys an opportunity to play another game.

    "There is no quit in this room."

    New York, which erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits, still trails the Eastern Conference semifinal series 3-1.

    The Rangers will need to win again on Saturday in Boston to force a Game 6 back in Madison Square Garden.

    The Rangers, who were outshot 40-32, won a faceoff deep in their zone, and Nash rushed the puck up ice. He stopped above the right circle and fed a hard pass in front that Kreider skated into and tipped past goalie Tuukka Rask for his first of the playoffs.

    New York, 0-3 in overtime in these playoffs, was eliminated from the conference finals last year by New Jersey in extra time in Game 6.

  • Sharks on the brink with Kings' victory

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jonathan Quick saved his best save for the final minute, sliding deftly across his crease and snagging Joe Pavelski's shot from point-blank range to the grateful gasps of the Los Angeles Kings' sellout crowd.

    Quick's imposing postseason presence only appears to be growing, and the San Jose Sharks are running out of time to figure him out.

    Quick made 24 saves in his seventh career playoff shutout, and the Kings moved to the brink of their second straight trip to the Western Conference finals with a 3-0 victory in Game 5 on Thursday night.

    Anze Kopitar and Slava Voynov scored, and Jeff Carter added an empty-net goal as the defending Stanley Cup champions won their 13th consecutive home game in dominant fashion, claiming a 3-2 series lead.

    Quick won his 27th postseason game, taking sole possession of the franchise record from Kelly Hrudey. The Conn Smythe Trophy winner shut out the Sharks for the second time in the series, yet Quick scoffed at any suggestion he's responsible for the Kings' abrupt reversal of this series' momentum after the Sharks appeared to take control in San Jose.

  • 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.