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National

  • 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.

  • 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.