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National

  • 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.

  • Football: Appeals court rules in favor of owners

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The NFL’s lockout remains in place, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. That means the league likely won’t get back to business until at least next month — and maybe much longer than that.
    The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the lockout can stay until a full appeal is heard on whether it is legal. That hearing is scheduled for June 3 in St. Louis, before the same panel that issued this 2-1 decision.

  • Golf: Rain shortens TPC play

    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Players spent more time in the clubhouse than the golf course Saturday at The Players Championship, a rain-shortened day that left enough time for some high entertainment.
    Martin Kaymer made four straight birdie putts that traveled a combined 71 inches.
    The tournament staff had to move the cup on the 16th hole a few feet after the 4½-hour storm delay because of damage around the hole that it couldn’t repair.
    Ian Poulter was so desperate to finish his third round that he sprinted to the island-green 17th to finish the hole, then ran to the 18th tee and hit his drive to keep himself from having to wake up Sunday before dawn.

     

  • Football: Legality of free Fiesta Bowl tickets questioned

    PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona Senate Ethics Committee review found some lawmakers may have violated state law by improperly accepting free football game tickets from the Fiesta Bowl, Chairman Ron Gould said Thursday.
    However, Gould told The Associated Press that he is temporarily refraining from taking further action because he doesn’t want to taint a criminal investigation being conducted by Maricopa County prosecutors.
    In a related development, Senate President Russell Pearce released copies of canceled checks and other documents that he said show a “clear pattern of compliance” with state laws restricting acceptance of gifts and of making reimbursements to the Fiesta Bowl for game tickets.

  • Golf: Mourners gather to remember Ballesteros

    PEDRENA, Spain (AP) — To the mournful wail of a lone bagpipe, some of Europe's greatest golfers joined family, friends and local residents Wednesday at the funeral of Seve Ballesteros, paying an emotional final tribute to the dynamic Spaniard who revived the European game.

    Ryder Cup captains Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Ian Woosnam, Sam Torrance and Jose Maria Olazabal and players including Miguel Angel Jimenez marched together in silence as part of the procession from Ballesteros' family home to the church of San Pedro de Pedrena.

    Young boys and girls wore replicas of the navy blue outfit that Ballesteros wore for his first British Open win in 1979. They each held a 3-iron, the only club Ballesteros owned when he learned to play golf.

  • Football: NFL players' helmets rated low

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 40 percent of NFL players last season wore a helmet model that got the second-lowest rating for reducing the risk of concussions in a study by Virginia Tech researchers.
    Riddell’s VSR-4 helmet received just one star in a study of football helmets led by Virginia Tech professor of biomedical engineering Stefan Duma and released Tuesday.
    Another Riddell model — the Revolution Speed — was the only helmet that earned five stars, the top rating.
    Five models — two made by Riddell, two by Schutt and one by Xenith — received four stars.

  • Animal Kingdom wins Kentucky Derby!

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — John Velazquez won the Kentucky Derby by a broken nose.

    An injury to Animal Kingdom's regular rider, Robby Albarado, cleared the way for Velazquez to pick up the mount and once he took the reins on Saturday, he rode his good luck all the way to the winner's circle.

    Animal Kingdom, who'd never raced on dirt before, reacted to his new rider the way a champion should, charging down the middle of the stretch to win by 2¾ lengths.

    Nehro was second and Mucho Macho Man was another neck back in third.

    Dialed In went off as the 5-1 favorite, but finished eighth.

  • Basketball: Source says Rose wins MVP

    CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose is the NBA's MVP, becoming the youngest player in league history to win the award, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

    The person spoke Monday night on the condition of anonymity because a formal announcement has not been made. That could come Tuesday, with a formal presentation before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

    The news is hardly a surprise.

  • Rain, rain go away at Churchill Downs

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The weather forecast wouldn't change, no matter how long Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert sat in front of the television.

    "The only time I got away from the Weather Channel was when Obama came on last night," Baffert said, referring to President Barack Obama's announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan.

    Slop and all, Baffert had no choice but to sent out Midnight Interlude on Monday for the final workout before Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

  • Football: Lockout ends NFL’s wild week

    NEW YORK (AP) — From lockout to injunction to limbo and back to lockout — with a draft thrown in. Not even Super Bowl week gets that wild.
    Backed by an appeals court ruling, owners shut their doors once more, with players across the league trying to figure out where they stand — again.
    That includes veterans with contracts and free agents. It includes rookies drafted in the first round who took advantage of a small window Friday to meet with coaching staffs and get playbooks.
    And it includes players being drafted Saturday in the fourth through seventh rounds, plus any collegians not selected at all. They can have no such communication with their teams.