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Today's Sports

  • Duncan, Spurs roll to Game 1 win

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs were not going to believe Serge Ibaka was really injured until the Oklahoma City Thunder took the court in the opener of the Western Conference finals without their athletic big man.
    Their skepticism was unwarranted.
    Ibaka is indeed injured and Oklahoma City needs to find a way to replace his defensive presence against San Antonio.
    Tim Duncan had 27 points and the Spurs took advantage of Ibaka’s absence to score more than half their points in the paint, beating the Thunder 122-105 Monday night in the opener of the best-of-seven series.
    Tony Parker did not appear limited by a hamstring injury, adding 14 points and 12 assists in 36 minutes in San Antonio’s first victory over Oklahoma City this season.
    Parker and coach Gregg Popovich both said earlier they weren’t sure if the Thunder would actually be without Ibaka, who injured his left calf in Oklahoma City’s series clincher against the Los Angeles Clippers.
    “Contrary to what San Antonio was thinking, he’s not coming back,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.
    That’s bad news for Oklahoma City entering Game 2 on Wednesday.
    San Antonio had 66 points in the paint and shot 58 percent from the field in the win.

  • California Chrome is cleared to...

    NEW YORK (AP) — California Chrome beat out an idiosyncratic racing rule — by a nose.
    The colt is back on track for his Triple Crown try after an only-in-New York equipment ban appeared ready to put a kink in his Triple Crown try at the Belmont Stakes.
    The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner was cleared to wear the nasal strip he has worn all through a six-race winning streak that has set him up for a chance at horse racing’s 12th Triple Crown.
    New York racetracks have a rule prohibiting any equipment not specifically approved by stewards, and nasal strips were not on their list. A statement from the New York Racing Association and the state’s Gaming Commission on Monday said the track’s three stewards unanimously agreed to lift the ban.
    The strip worn by California Chrome during his six-race winning streak is thought to assist airflow through the nostrils — something that should come in handy June 7 for Belmont’s grueling run.
    “I think it opens up his air passage and gives him that little extra oomph that he needs, especially going a mile and a half,” trainer Art Sherman said. “Any time you can have a good air passage that means a lot for these thoroughbreds.”

  • Isotopes score 15 runs Monday

    The Albuquerque Isotopes picked up their second straight road victory Monday night in an attempt to salvage what has been a rough road trip.
    The Isotopes, who won the series finale over the Fresno Grizzlies Sunday to earn a split in that series, pounded out 20 hits in their opener at Salt Lake.
    Albuquerque (21-23) put up crooked numbers in all but three innings to down the Bees 15-9. Along the way, Albuquerque hit 6 home runs, including a pair by right fielder Jamie Romack.
    Along with the 6 home runs, Albuquerque also finished with 6 other extra-base hits to club Salt Lake.
    Prior to its wins Sunday and Monday, Albuquerque had dropped five of its seven road games. The Isotopes are currently on their longest road trip of the season, 12 games, but will only have four games at home when they return Friday night before hitting the road again.
    Salt Lake (14-31) came back on Albuquerque in the ninth inning, scoring six runs off reliever Josh Judy before Judy finally put the game away.

  • Piedra Vista takes baseball,...

    The Piedra Vista Panthers went 2-for-2 in state championship contests this weekend.
    Piedra Vista’s baseball and softball teams, two of the dominant forces in New Mexico, proved their dominance once again by sweeping this year’s baseball and softball Class 4A championships Saturday.
    The Panther baseball team capped off a big run in the state tournament Saturday afternoon by downing the Goddard Rockets 7-6 in the championship game at Isotopes Park.
    Earlier in the day, the Panther softball team earned its ninth consecutive state title by thumping Aztec 12-3 at Lobo Field.
    In baseball, the Panthers were the No. 1 seed in the 4A draw but they were considered somewhat vulnerable this season — they dropped nine games in the regular season and had several close calls against other Class 4A opponents. Then, in the quarterfinal round, had a tough contest against ninth-seeded Deming before prevailing 5-2.
    The Panthers then rolled to a 9-1 victory over fifth-seeded Albuquerque Academy before the championship game against Goddard.
    Goddard was the No. 2 seed overall and had a fairly good argument for the No. 1 seed, but Piedra Vista won that contest to take its fourth state baseball title in five years. Piedra Vista was upset in the 2013 championship game by St. Pius X.

  • Demons turn tables on Hilltoppers
  • LA boys fare well at state

     

    ALBUQUERQUE – No one can accuse the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys track and field team of leaving anything on the table this weekend.

    Los Alamos was right in the mix of the fight for the Class 4A team championship at this weekend’s state meet and held the lead for more than half of the two-day meet.

    While the Farmington Scorpions would eventually prevail in a tight three-team race, the Hilltoppers put a scare in them and the rest of the Class 4A competition.

    The state 4A meet was held Friday and Saturday at the University of New Mexico Track and Field Complex.

    Los Alamos grabbed a pair of individual state titles, both of them turned in by its star distance runner Colin Hemez.

  • 85-year-old trainer ready for...

     

    BALTIMORE (AP) — Manny Azpurua could be retired, enjoying the South Florida sunshine. He could walk away from training, secure in his success back in Venezuela, where he won more than 3,500 races before coming to the United States 35 years ago.

    Few would begrudge him wanting an escape from the rigors of the racetrack — the pre-dawn wakeup calls, the physical labor, the constant worry about his horses.

    Except that Azpurua is training the best horse of his life, at age 85. Heck, there’s no way he wants to call it quits now. Not when he has Social Inclusion, a precocious colt with just three career races under his belt but a wealth of talent.

  • Hughes is best predictor of the...

     

    Tad Hughes was the top predictor in this week’s Pace Race.

    The Pace Race was Tuesday and started at Rocket Park in White Rock. That race was the Atomic City Roadrunners’ annual staggered-start run.

    Runners start the race based on their projected finish times for the 1- and 3-mile courses. The goal is to have the runners all finish the race at the same time.

    Hughes, competing on the 1-mile course and one of the last runners to start, finished with a prediction error of just 7 seconds. The next two best predictors were both on the 3-mile course, Mary Snow (22 seconds off) and David Kratzer (49 seconds off).

  • Hughes is best predictor of the...

     

    Tad Hughes was the top predictor in this week’s Pace Race.

    The Pace Race was Tuesday and started at Rocket Park in White Rock. That race was the Atomic City Roadrunners’ annual staggered-start run.

    Runners start the race based on their projected finish times for the 1- and 3-mile courses. The goal is to have the runners all finish the race at the same time.

    Hughes, competing on the 1-mile course and one of the last runners to start, finished with a prediction error of just 7 seconds. The next two best predictors were both on the 3-mile course, Mary Snow (22 seconds off) and David Kratzer (49 seconds off).

  • 'Toppers fall to Rockets 4-1

     

    RIO RANCHO – There were some big plays made in the quarterfinal round of the Class 4A state baseball playoffs.

    But, unfortunately for the Los Alamos Hilltoppers, it was the Goddard Rockets that made most of them.

    Goddard hit two solo home runs Thursday afternoon, one over the fence and one inside the park, while pitcher John Wagner threw a gem to earn the win.

    Goddard scored twice in the bottom of the first and had the two home runs in the third and the fifth. While it wasn’t a lot, it was enough for the Rockets to earn a 4-1 victory over the Hilltoppers at Cleveland High School.

    That ends the Hilltoppers’ 2014 season. They finish with a record of 22-7.