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National

  • Basketball: Ailing Nowitzki lifts Mavs to win

    DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks have pulled off another stunning comeback, tying the NBA finals at two games each.
    And this time, Nowitzki did it while battling the flu.
    Nowitzki shook off three poor quarters to score 10 of his 21 points in the final period as the Mavericks outscored the Miami Heat 21-9 over the final 10:12 for an 86-83 victory in a memorable Game 4 on Tuesday night.
    The Mavs avoided going down 3-1, a deficit no team has ever overcome in the finals, and guaranteed the series will return to Miami for a Game 6 on Sunday night.
    Game 5 is Thursday in Dallas.
    “We just played with incredible heart and passion,” Dallas center Tyson Chandler said.

  • Basketball: Heat are up, Mavs are down but not out

    DALLAS (AP) — A chance for another championship ahead of him, Dwyane Wade refused to look back.
    No, he said, he doesn’t consider that the Miami Heat should have a 3-0 lead in the NBA finals.
    The margin is 2-1, close on the scoreboard even though it doesn’t feel that way on the floor. The Heat have repeatedly built double-digit cushions against the Dallas Mavericks, and a late collapse in Game 2 is all that’s keeping them from the lead that’s never been blown in an NBA series.
    The Heat insist the game isn’t as easy as Wade and LeBron James are making it look, and the Mavericks refuse to admit they might just be facing a superior foe.

  • Basketball: O’Neal tweets of his upcoming retirement

    BOSTON (AP) — He was a prolific producer of rebounds and record albums. And nicknames, too, as if at 7-foot-1 and 350 pounds he was too big for the simple “Shaq” that made him an instantly recognizable, one-name star in all of his endeavors.
    Shaquille O’Neal had more than 28,000 points and almost 4 million Twitter followers. He appeared in six NBA finals, three times as the MVP.
    A 15-time All-Star, four-time champion and the 2000 NBA Most Valuable Player, the 39-year-old O’Neal announced his retirement on Twitter on Wednesday after spending most of his 19th season on the Boston Celtics bench, in street clothes because of leg injuries.

  • Basketball: James paces Heat as they take Game 1

    MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane Wade’s night began with a hug for his mom. It ended with an embrace from LeBron James.
    Nearby, Chris Bosh held up three fingers.
    No explanation necessary. The Miami Heat are three wins from the reason why the Big Three came together in the first place.
    James scored 24 points for his first win in five NBA finals games, Wade scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half and the Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks 92-84 in Game 1 of the title series on Tuesday night — holding the Western Conference champions to their lowest point total of the playoffs after a dominant defensive showing down the stretch.

  • Tennis: Nadal is into quarters

    PARIS (AP) — Decoding Rafael Nadal’s self-evaluations can be a tricky proposition.
    Listen, for example, to the way the top-seeded Nadal spoke about his game and his mindset after handling 37th-ranked Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 Monday to reach the quarterfinals at the French Open, improve his record there to 42-1 and get closer to tying Bjorn Borg’s record of six championships in Paris.
    Nadal chastised himself for being “too anxious.” He said he needs to “hit the ball with a little bit more conviction.” Looking at the big picture, Nadal insisted: “The thing is, you have to be (a) realist, and today, I’m not playing well enough to win this tournament.”

  • Football: NFL owners pass player safety amendments

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — NFL owners got their major on-field business out of the way quickly Tuesday, leaving them plenty of time to discuss labor strategy.

    The 32 owners voted unanimously to approve rules amendments for player safety that include eliminating a player launching himself into a defenseless opponent. A 15-yard penalty will result for anyone who leaves both feet before contact to spring forward and upward into an opponent and delivers a blow to the helmet with any part of his helmet.

  • Cycling: Racer says Armstrong was dirty

    Tyler Hamilton joined Floyd Landis on the list of cyclists who once worked for Lance Armstrong but now say the seven-time Tour de France winner used performance-enhancing drugs.
    In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Hamilton admitted that he doped and said Armstrong did, as well — using the blood booster EPO in the 1999 Tour and before the race in 2000 and 2001. Armstrong’s string of seven straight wins lasted from 1999-2005.
    “I saw (EPO) in his refrigerator. ... I saw him inject it more than one time, like we all did. Like I did, many, many times,” Hamilton said in the “60 Minutes” interview that was aired Thursday on the “CBS Evening News.”

  • Basketball: Late push by James leads Heat in Game 2

    CHICAGO (AP) — Right from the start, LeBron James made it clear he was going to attack and no one was going to stop him.
    Point taken.
    James came up big down the stretch with nine of his 29 points in the final 4:27, Dwyane Wade added 24 and the Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls 85-75 Wednesday night to tie the Eastern Conference finals at one game apiece.
    “It was a big game,” James said. “We felt like it was a must win for us going back home.”
    The Heat can breathe a little easier after escaping with a win and stealing home-court advantage. Coming off a lopsided loss in Game 1, they recovered in crunch time — thanks in large part to James — after blowing an 11-point lead.

  • Baseball: Hall of Famer Killebrew dies of cancer

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Harmon Killebrew, the affable, big-swinging Hall of Famer whose tape-measure home runs made him the cornerstone of the Minnesota Twins, died Tuesday at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., after battling esophageal cancer. He was 74.

    The Twins said Killebrew passed away peacefully with his wife, Nita, and their family at his side. He announced his diagnosis just six months ago and last week Killebrew said doctors had deemed the "awful disease" incurable.

  • Basketball: Well-rested Mavericks are awaiting Thunder

    DALLAS (AP) — Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan have been through so many playoff series, they would be good sources to discuss the prevailing themes in the Western Conference finals, like how valuable experience is at this stage and whether there's such thing as too much rest between rounds.

    Only, Bryant and Duncan aren't around. For just the second time since 1998, neither the Lakers nor the Spurs will represent the West in the NBA finals.

    Instead, it'll either be Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and the aging-but-rested Dallas Mavericks, or Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the rapidly maturing Oklahoma City Thunder.