National Sports | WRHL http://www.wrhl.net/pages/index.cfm?id=495 National Sports 2014-04-18T11:22:09Z National Sports Datsyuk's late goal lifts Detroit over Boston 1-0 BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins worked all season to get home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Canadiens top Lightning again for 2-0 series lead TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Montreal Canadiens are gaining confidence with every playoff victory. NBA playoffs looking more wide-open than expected MIAMI (AP) — Before the season started, a poll suggested that the Miami Heat were the overwhelming favorite to win the NBA title, collecting a whopping 76 percent of ballots cast. Mets trade 1B Ike Davis to Pirates NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets traded slumping first baseman Ike Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night, parting ways with a power hitter who proved to be too inconsistent at the plate. Harang pulled with no-hitter, Braves beat Mets 6-0 NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Harang knew the score, he'd done this before: No hits, too many tosses. Pujols hits 497th homer, Angels beat Tigers 11-6 DETROIT (AP) — Albert Pujols is quietly closing in on 500 home runs. Loney has 4 RBIs, Rays beat Yankees 11-5 ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — James Loney drove in four runs and the Tampa Bay Rays overcame a four-run deficit to beat the New York Yankees 11-5 on Friday night. Choi leads rain-delayed RBC Heritage HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — K.J. Choi's early tee time and quick start moved him to the top of the rain-delayed RBC Heritage on Friday. Nadal loses in quarterfinals in Monte Carlo PARIS (AP) — Rafael Nadal's mastery of the Monte Carlo clay courts seems to be over. 76ers owner Harris calls 19-win season 'success' PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Billions of dollars couldn't console Philadelphia 76ers owner Joshua Harris this season. Ok, maybe just a little. Korean K.J. Choi beats bad weather to take Heritage lead (Reuters) - South Korean K.J. Choi wielded a hot putter to vault into the lead before torrential rain and strong winds halted the second round at the $5.8 million RBC Heritage in South Carolina on Friday. Choi made use of his advantageous early tee time, holing out three times from outside 20 feet on his way to a four-under-par 67 to post a five-under 137 halfway total at Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island. Australian Robert Allenby was best of those whose rounds were interrupted, one stroke behind Choi after completing just five holes. His halfway score was two shots better than Englishman Luke Donald (69) and Americans Billy Hurley (69) and Scott Langley (73). Golf-U.S. PGA Tour Heritage Classic scores April 18 (Infostrada Sports) - Scores from the U.S. PGA Tour Heritage Classic at the par-71 course on Friday in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina holesplayed rounds -5 K.J. Choi (South Korea) 18 70 67 -4 Robert Allenby (Australia) 5 69 -3 Bo Van Pelt (U.S.) 5 69 Ben Martin (U.S.) 4 69 Scott Langley (U.S.) 18 66 73 Luke Donald (Britain) 18 70 69 Billy Hurley III (U.S.) 18 70 69 -2 Charl Schwartzel (South Africa) 18 70 70 Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 18 72 68 Nicholas Thompson (U.S.) 18 70 70 Brian Harman (U.S.) 5 69 Graeme McDowell (Britain) 6 71 Jim Furyk (U.S.) 7 71 Ted Potter Jr. (U.S. ... 'Renaissance man' Gasol happy to control his own destiny By Mark Lamport-Stokes LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Considered by many to be the 'Renaissance man' in the National Basketball Association (NBA), Spanish forward Pau Gasol is delighted finally to be the sole architect of his 'revival' as he eyes his playing future. The 33-year-old from Barcelona has faced more than his fair share of trade rumors since joining the Los Angeles Lakers in February 2008 but now he can plot his own way forward with free agency looming in July. Gasol has long been regarded as one of the most skilled and versatile players in the league but he endured a frustrating 2013-14 campaign during which he and Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni repeatedly disagreed on team strategy. "I'm in charge of my future and destiny and I will listen to the possibilities on the table," double NBA champion Gasol, who had his Lakers exit interview at the team's El Segundo practice facility on Thursday, told reporters. Lakers, Knicks, Celtics miss playoffs, seek help For the first time in NBA history, the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and New York Knicks are all absent from the playoffs in the same season. While that will not break any hearts for the 16 clubs who begin their championship quests this weekend, it does leave three of the most iconic franchise in NBA history struggling in search of a new direction. "As a whole, the season was very disappointing for everybody," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. The Lakers went 27-55, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2005 and only the sixth season in team history. Sharp-shooting Westwood stretches lead in Malaysia Lee Westwood stretched his lead at the Malaysian Open on Friday, putting on a clinic with his irons as the Englishman moved closer to ending a nearly two-year title drought. Westwood notched a six-under 66 on day two to move to 13-under at the tournament's half-way point, four strokes clear of Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts and Antonio Lascuna of the Philippines. Precise wedge play put Westwood in position to sink five birdie putts from within four feet (one metre) on the front nine at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. "I'm playing a lot better since I started working with Mike Walker about six or seven weeks ago. Golf-European Tour Malaysian Open scores April 18 (Infostrada Sports) - Scores from the European Tour Malaysian Open at the par-72 course on Friday in Kuala Lumpur. The cut was set at 145. ... Westwood surges clear in Malaysia as Larrazabal dives for cover (Reuters) - Lee Westwood surged four shots clear at the halfway stage of the European Tour's Malaysian Open on Friday after an eventful second round where Spain's Pablo Larrazabal was forced to dive into a lake to avoid a swarm of hornets. Filipino Antonio Lascuna and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts were his nearest challengers at nine-under. Westwood matched his eight-birdie opening round again on Friday but was pulled back by a double-bogey on the 11th hole at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club with his tee-shot ending in the water. The water proved a haven for Spain's Larrazabal, though, as he encountered the "scariest" moment of his career when he had to dive into a lake after being attacked by hornets on the fifth hole. Golf-Westwood surges clear in Malaysia as Larrazabal dives for cover Lee Westwood surged four shots clear at the halfway stage of the European Tour's Malaysian Open on Friday after an eventful second round where Spain's Pablo Larrazabal was forced to dive into a lake to avoid a swarm of hornets. Filipino Antonio Lascuna and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts were his nearest challengers at nine-under. Westwood has been without a win since claiming the 2012 Nordea Masters in Sweden and the trophy-less spell has seen his world ranking slip to 36. Westwood matched his eight-birdie opening round again on Friday but was pulled back by a double-bogey on the 11th hole at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club with his tee-shot ending in the water. Stanford seizes LPGA lead with eight-under 64 Kapolei (United States) (AFP) - Angela Stanford nabbed eight birdies in an eight-under par 64 to grab the second-round lead at the LPGA Lotte Championship. Stanford, a five-time LPGA Tour winner, improved her score from the first round by eight shots, her eight-under par total of 136 giving her a one-stroke lead over fellow American Michelle Wie. World number one Park In-Bee of South Korea, seeking her first title of 2014, carded a 68 to head a group on 138 that also included seventh-ranked South Korean Ryu So-Yeon, 16-time LPGA winner Cristie Kerr and South Korea's Kim Hyo-Joo, who is playing on a sponsor's exemption. Stanford strung together five straight birdies on the third through seventh holes, then bagged another three straight birdies at 11, 12 and 13 en route to the halfway lead in the $1.7 million tournament. South Korean MLB prospect Choi banned for doping (Reuters) - Seattle Mariners prospect Choi Ji-man has been suspended for 50 games after the first baseman tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, Major League Baseball said on Thursday. South Korean Choi was on the Mariners' 40-man roster and was hitting .394 with one home run and five RBIs in 10 games for the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate Tacoma this season. The 22-year-old, who signed with the Mariners in 2009, tested positive for methandienone and his suspension was effective immediately, MLB said. "I do not know what I could have taken that caused me to test positive," Choi said in a statement. Masters contender Kuchar shares PGA Heritage lead Hilton Head Island (United States) (AFP) - Matt Kuchar carried on his good form from the Masters to fire a five-under par 66 for a share of the first-round lead at the $5.8 million US PGA Heritage. Fellow Americans Scott Langley and William McGirt, each seeking a first tour triumph, were level with Kuchar after 18 holes at Harbour Town, two shots ahead of Harris English. Jordan Spieth, the 20-year-old talent who shared second-place honors at Augusta National last week, was in a pack of 15 players on 69. Four days after briefly sharing the lead in the final round of the Masters with Spieth and eventual winner Bubba Watson, world number six Kuchar was back in contention just a few hours down the road. Quo Vadis? An apt query for frustrated Lakers fans By Mark Lamport-Stokes LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The title of the historical novel "Quo Vadis" is an apt question for frustrated Los Angeles Lakers fans to ask of players and coaches after the team's nightmare 2013-14 NBA campaign came to an end. Written by Pole Henryk Sienkiewicz in 1895, the novel borrows its title from the biblical query "Quo vadis Domine?", Latin for "Where are you going, Lord?", and the future destination of the Lakers franchise is certainly up for debate. Granted the team were severely hampered by multiple injuries throughout the season but, as 16-time NBA champions, they are held to a lofty standard by their supporters who could not believe their eyes as one low after another was posted. The Lakers plunged embarrassing new depths as they finished the regular season well under .500 with a 27-55 record, having never before lost so many games in a single campaign, and they were eliminated from playoff contention a month ago. Kuchar shrugs off Masters fade, ties Heritage lead (Reuters) - Matt Kuchar shrugged off his Masters near-miss last week to share the lead after the opening round of the RBC Heritage in South Carolina on Thursday. Kuchar, who contended in Sunday's final round at Augusta National before slipping back into a tie for fifth, put that disappointment behind him and shot a five-under-par 66 on a cool, breezy morning at Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island. "Once I got out there this morning, I was ready to go," the six-times PGA Tour winner told Golf Channel after finishing in style with a 15-foot birdie on his final hole, the par-four ninth. Kucher ended the round level with fellow Americans William McGirt and Scott Langley, both of whom played in the warmer and less difficult conditions of the afternoon. Golf-Kuchar shrugs off Masters fade, ties Heritage lead * Kuchar fires a 66 for three-way tie at the top * Is only morning starter to break 69 (Updates at end of round) April 17 (Reuters) - Matt Kuchar shrugged off his Masters near-miss last week to share the lead after the opening round of the RBC Heritage in South Carolina on Thursday. Kuchar, who contended in Sunday's final round at Augusta National before slipping back into a tie for fifth, put that disappointment behind him and shot a five-under-par 66 on a cool, breezy morning at Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island. "Once I got out there this morning, I was ready to go," the six-times PGA Tour winner told Golf Channel after finishing in style with a 15-foot birdie on his final hole, the par-four ninth. Mariners' Choi hit with 50-game doping ban Seattle Mariners first baseman Choi Ji-Man was suspended for 50 games without pay by Major League Baseball on Thursday after testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance. Choi was added to the Mariners' 40-man roster in November but has started this season with Seattle's top developmental club, the Tacoma Rainiers, based near the Mariners in Washington state. In 10 games this season, Incheon-born Choi batted .394 with one home run and five runs batted in while walking seven times and striking out six in 33 plate appearances. The Mariners fell to 7-8 this season with an 8-6 loss Thursday at Texas, their third loss in a row to the Rangers. US college stars Parker, Young declare for draft US college freshman stars Jabari Parker and James Young said Thursday they will skip their final three seasons of collegiate play and declared themselves eligible for June's NBA Draft. Parker, a forward, led Duke University to a 26-9 season, averaging 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds 1.2 assists and 1.2 blocked shots a game. He became the first freshman to lead the Blue Devils in scoring and rebounds for a season. He is the epitome of what you would want a basketball player to be," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. Man arrested in connection with ex-NFL star's murder trial A man in Florida has been charged with witness tampering and obstruction of justice in a gun-trafficking case linked to the murder trial of ex-National Football League star Aaron Hernandez, authorities said on Thursday. Oscar Hernandez, who is not related to former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, was arrested on Wednesday and will be brought to Massachusetts to face the charges, the U.S. attorney's office in Boston said in a statement. Aaron Hernandez has been in jail since June on charges he and two associates fatally shot semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd near his home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Authorities investigating Lloyd's murder found three guns that they determined were bought in Florida in April 2013. Profiles of NBA Western Conference playoff teams (Reuters) - Brief profiles of the eight Western Conference teams that qualified for the 2014 National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs: SAN ANTONIO SPURS Regular season record: 62-20 How they qualified: Won Southwest Division Head coach: Gregg Popovich Top scorer: Tony Parker (16.7 points per game) Top rebounder: Tim Duncan (9. ... Schedule of games for first round of NBA playoffs (Reuters) - Following is the schedule for the first-round, best-of-seven series in the National Basketball Association playoffs (prefix number denotes seeding, *-if needed): EASTERN CONFERENCE 1-Indiana Pacers vs. 8-Atlanta Hawks Game 1 - April 19 at Indiana Game 2 - April 22 at Indiana Game 3 - April 24 at Atlanta Game 4 - April 26 at Atlanta Game 5 * April 28 at Indiana Game 6 * May 1 at Atlanta Game 7 * May 3 at Indiana - - 2-Miami vs. ... Profiles of NBA Eastern Conference playoff teams (Reuters) - Brief profiles of the eight Eastern Conference teams that qualified for the 2014 National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs: INDIANA PACERS Regular season record: 56-26 How they qualified: Won Central Division Head coach: Frank Vogel Top scorer: Paul George (21.7 points per game) Top rebounder: Lance Stephenson (7.2 rebounds per game) NBA titles: None Joined NBA: 1976 - - MIAMI HEAT Regular season record: 54-28 How they qualified: Won Southeast Division Head coach: Erik Spoelstra Top scorer: LeBron James (27.1 points per game) Top rebounder: LeBron James (6. ... Heat playoff run could decide James' future in Miami The Miami Heat may not be entering the playoffs as the top seed but they are still very much the team to beat, and anything less than a third consecutive NBA title could lead to the breakup of their Big Three. No club has won three straight titles since the Los Angeles Lakers in the early 2000s, and the 16-team field for this year's playoffs, which begin on Saturday, has no shortage of contenders for the NBA's Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. The San Antonio Spurs, who were a whisker away from winning last year's NBA Finals, and the Indiana Pacers, eager to avenge last season's loss to Miami in the Eastern conference finals, are just two of the many teams feeling good about their chances. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces in 2010 with the goal of creating a dynasty in Miami by stockpiling NBA titles but enter the postseason facing questions about team chemistry and depth. Westwood roars back to lead Malaysia Open Lee Westwood fired eight birdies to surge to the first-round lead of the Malaysian Open on Thursday with a seven-under par 65, staying sharp after a solid performance at last week's Masters. Big-hitting Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium was just a stroke back on 66 after matching the Englishman's birdie count but falling short due to a pair of bogeys on day one at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. But he kept a clean card the rest of the way by sinking some long putts and ending the day with three straight birdies. Itâ s nice to have a good start and build some momentum for the week," said Westwood, who won the Malaysian Open in 1997. Pak shares LPGA lead with Ryu, Kim Kapolei (United States) (AFP) - Hall-of-Famer Pak Se-Ri and fellow South Koreans Ryu So-Yeon and Kim Hyo-Joo shared the lead on Wednesday after a windy first round of the LPGA Lotte Championship. The Korean trio all carded four-under par 68s at Ko Olina Golf Club, where steady winds of about 15 miles per hour (24.14 Km) were punctuated by gusts of more than 30 mph (48.28 Km/h). The top trio were one stroke in front of Japan's Ayako Uehara, whose 69 put her one shot in front of a group of five players sharing fifth place that included world number one Park In-Bee. Park was joined on two-under 70 by Hawaiian home favorite Michelle Wie, LPGA tour rookie Amy Anderson and South Koreans Jang Ha-Na and Lee So-Young, who are both playing on a sponsor's exemption. Golf-Jet-setter Westwood grabs early Malaysian Open lead England's Lee Westwood shrugged off jet lag and an opening bogey to fire a superb seven-under-par 65 to lead the field after his first round at the European Tour's Malaysian Open on Thursday. Westwood fired eight birdies in his early round at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club after completing the marathon journey from Augusta, Georgia where he finished seventh at the U.S. Masters on Sunday. Former world number one Westwood, now ranked 36th, is without a win since claiming the 2012 Nordea Masters in Sweden but put himself in position to change that after grabbing a one-shot lead over Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium (66). It's obviously very hot and you have to keep hydrated." Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey was two shots back of Westwood, who won the Malaysian Open in 1997, in third after a 67, with diminutive South African Jbe Kruger (68) in fourth before play was halted because of a weather warning. Thunder clinch West's second seed Kevin Durant's dunk with 16.5 seconds to play lifted Oklahoma City to a 112-111 victory over Detroit on the final night of the NBA regular season. With the victory, the Thunder secured the second seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Durant drove past Kyle Singler on the left side for the two-handed slam -- giving the Thunder their first lead since early in the third quarter. Detroit's Brandon Jennings couldn't get an off-balance three-point attempt to fall in at the buzzer. Brazil unveils $10 billion infrastructure budget for Rio Olympics By Pedro Fonseca RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian authorities unveiled an infrastructure budget of 24.1 billion reais ($10.76 billion) for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, 25 percent more than planned, as they try to reassure the world they can deliver facilities on time. The budget covers 27 projects in urban development and public transport, including 8 billion reais for a newly added fourth metro line for Rio, Brazil's congested second largest city, where getting around town is an ordeal. Other initially envisaged projects were excluded, such as the upgrade to Rio's international airport Galeao, which has been handed to private operators. Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes said the higher budget was due to the inclusion of new projects and inflation, which has blown up costs by 30 percent since Rio won hosting rights for the event in 2009. Tanaka fans 10 in Yankees win over Cubs Japanese pitching ace Masahiro Tanaka delivered a dazzling 10 strikeouts and allowed just two bunt singles in the New York Yankees' 3-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. Tanaka, unfazed by unseasonably chilly weather at Yankee Stadium -- where snow fell overnight -- walked just one for the second time in three starts this season. He lowered his earned-run-average from 3.21 to 2.05, drawing praise from Yankees manager Joe Girardi for his smooth transition to America's major leagues. Tanaka had retired 15 straight Cubs batters before Anthony Rizzo's bunt single against the infield shift to begin the seventh inning. Knicks ink Odom as season winds down Lamar Odom's twisting path from NBA champion with the Lakers to tabloid target along with reality TV star wife Khloe Kardashian has brought him, for now, to the New York Knicks. Knicks President Phil Jackson, who coached Odom on two Los Angeles Lakers title-winning teams in 2009 and 2010, announced Wednesday that the team has signed the veteran forward for the remainder of the season. Although Wednesday was the last day of regular-season games, the move gives the Knicks a chance to see Odom work out and assess his fitness before possibly committing to him for the 2014-15 campaign. Players Championship adopts three-hole playoff Ponte Vedra Beach (United States) (AFP) - The Players Championship is abandoning its sudden-death playoff and switching to a three-hole aggregate playoff in a move that further separates the elite event from other US PGA Tour stops. The plan will go into effect for this year's tournament at TPC Sawgrass in May. Should the final round come down to a playoff, it will take place at holes 16, 17 and 18. "Holes 16, 17 and 18 of The Players Stadium Course are perhaps the most dramatic closing holes in professional golf from a risk-reward standpoint, as they test all facets of a player's physical and mental game while under the pressure of trying to win such a significant championship," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement on Wednesday. "Given the fact that winning The Players means you have defeated the strongest field in golf, we felt an aggregate playoff that incorporated these three holes was a more appropriate way to determine the champion." Atlanta awarded Major League Soccer expansion team By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - Atlanta has landed a Major League Soccer expansion team that will play beginning in 2017 in the city's new open-air stadium downtown, officials announced on Wednesday. Arthur Blank, owner of the National Football League's Atlanta Falcons team and a co-founder of Home Depot Inc. purchased the new franchise, which will be the league's 22nd team, he told reporters. "This is an exciting day for Atlanta," Blank said. It's been a dream of ours." The Georgia Dome, Atlanta's current downtown football stadium, is scheduled to be torn down and replaced in 2017 with a $1 billion open-air facility with a retractable roof. WRHL 2014-04-19T04:22:09Z http://www.wrhl.net/pages/index.cfm?id=495