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MIAMI (AP) — Finally, the NBA playoffs are set.

FILE - In this March 16, 2014 file photo, Duke's Jabari Parker (1) tries to shoot over Virginia's Darion Atkins during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C. Parker says he plans to meet with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski when he returns to Durham, N.C., on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, and he will decide Wednesday whether to declare for the NBA draft or return to college for his sophomore year. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)Jabari Parker is hoping to become Duke's latest one-and-done star to become the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.


Boston Marathon's finish line on TuesdayBOSTON (AP) — Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city's resilience in the face of a terror attack.


In this photo taken March 29, 2014, amputee marathon runners Jeff Glasbrenner, left, Chris Madison, center, and Andre Slay go through an exercise where they remove their running legs and adjust fittings in Little Rock, Ark. the runners must stop periodically in a race and try to loose as little time as possible. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Just one tiny misstep at mile 15 of the Boston Marathon last spring ruined any chance of amputee runner Jeff Glasbrenner breaking four hours.


Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig runs to first base as he grounds out during the eighth inning of a baseball game on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in San Francisco. San Francisco won 2-1. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)MIAMI (AP) — The smugglers who helped Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig leave Cuba on a speedboat have made death threats against him and against a Cuban boxer who says he defected with Puig, according to court documents.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky guard James Young will enter the NBA draft, becoming the first of the Wildcats' heralded freshmen to turn pro.

In this photo taken April 5, 2014, WBA and IBA light heavyweight boxing champion Beibut Shumenov, of Kazakhstan, poses in Las Vegas. Shumenov and IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins will fight at the DC Armory on Saturday, April 19. (AP Photo/Joe Coomber)LAS VEGAS (AP) — The garage of Beibut Shumenov's waterfront mansion is filled with brand-new boxing gloves he likes to collect. There's a hyperbaric chamber in the master closet, and weights and machines are jammed into a large room.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Northwestern University and a group trying to unionize college athletes are trading accusations as the National Labor Relations Board considers the school's appeal of a federal ruling that scholarship athletes essentially are employees of the university and therefore have the right to unionize, bargain collectively and even strike.

FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2013, file photo, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) runs ahead of San Francisco 49ers defenders Demarcus Dobbs (83) and NaVorro Bowman (53) on a touchdown reception in an NFL football game in Nashville, Tenn. The New York Jets signed the former Titans running back Wednesday, April 16, a little over a week after he was officially released by Tennessee on April 7. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Always fast on the field, Chris Johnson is looking to quickly prove his critics wrong.


MONTREAL (AP) — Former NFL star Chad Johnson will make his return to the gridiron in the Canadian Football League.

Jabari Parker of the Duke Blue Devils during the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, on March 21, 2014US 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.


Aaron Hernandez, former player for the NFL's New England Patriots football team, attends a pre-trial hearing at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall RiverA 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.


(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. ...
(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. ...
(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. ...

NBA: Orlando Magic at Miami HeatThe 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.


Matt Kuchar of the U.S. hits from the sand on the 16th hole during the third round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin(Reuters) - Matt Kuchar shrugged off his Masters near-miss last week to surge into the clubhouse lead during 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 at his final hole.


England's Lee Westwood tees off on the seventh hole during the opening day of the Maybank Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur on April 17, 2014Lee 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.


Se Ri Pak of Korea hits her first shot on the sixth hole during the first round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship on April 16, 2014 in Kapolei, HawaiiKapolei (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.


April 17 (Infostrada Sports) - Scores from the European Tour Malaysian Open at the par-72 course on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur holesplayed rounds -7 Lee Westwood (Britain) 18 65 -6 Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium) 18 66 -5 Michael Hoey (Britain) 18 67 Ricardo Santos (Portugal) 18 67 -4 Julien Quesne (France) 18 68 Masahiro Kawamura (Japan) 17 Scott Jamieson (Britain) 16 Jbe Kruger (South Africa) 18 68 -3 Soren Hansen (Denmark) 18 69 Bernd Wiesberger (Austria) 18 69 Prayad Marksaeng (Thailand) 18 69 Richard Lee (Canada) 18 69 Edoardo Molinari (Italy) 18 69 Marc Warren (Britain) 13 Thaworn Wiratchant ...
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.

Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on April 6, 2014 in Phoenix, ArizonaKevin 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.


An aerial shot shows the Olympic Stadium, which is closed for repair works on its roof, in Rio de JaneiroBy 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.


Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch in the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs during game one of a doubleheader on April 16, 2014 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York CityJapanese 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.


Laboral Kutxa's US forward Lamar Odom (L) fends off Unicaja's US guard Earl Calloway during the Euroleague top 16 round 8 basketball match at the Fernando Buesa Arena sportshall in Vitoria on February 27, 2014Lamar 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.


View of The Players Championship on May 12, 2013 in Ponte Vedra Beach, FloridaPonte 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 Falcons owner Arthur Blank in the NFL NFC Championship football game in AtlantaBy 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.


O.J. Mayo of the Milwaukee Bucks attempts a layup against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on December 3, 2013 in BostonMilwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl said Wednesday he's selling the NBA team to an ownership group eager to keep the club in Milwaukee. Kohl, a former US Senator, said he had agreed to sell the club to hedge-fund billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry. The Bucks have struggled on the court this season, and will finish the 2013-14 campaign on Wednesday with the worst record in the league. But at least their new owners won't be taking them to a more lucrative market, since Kohl was insistent that he wanted them to stay in Milwaukee.


NBA: New York Knicks at Milwaukee BucksBy Svea Herbst-Bayliss (Reuters) - Hedge fund managers Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens are buying the National Basketball Association's Milwaukee Bucks for $550 million from businessman and former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, becoming the latest Wall Street financiers to own a sports club. "I believe they are the right people and the right fit at the right time," Kohl said at a news conference in Milwaukee announcing the purchase as Lasry and Edens grinned nearby. The Bucks, valued by Forbes at $405 million and ranked as the last team in the 30-member league, have been on the block since late last year, Kohl said.


Park In-Bee of South Korea hits a shot during the final round of the World Ladies Championship golf tournament at Mission Hills Hainan in Haikou, on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, on March 9, 2014"Obviously the time has gone really fast," Park said. But she finished 36th in her title defense at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major of the year, two weeks ago. Defending champion Suzann Pettersen of Norway, ranked second in the world, will miss her third successive event with a back injury. Hawaii native Michelle Wie, coming off a runner-up finish to fellow American Lexi Thompson at the Kraft Nabisco, will be looking for a strong performance in her return home.


Jamal Crawford of the Los Angeles Clippers shoots during their NBA games against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on April 15, 2014The Los Angeles Clippers rolled past Denver 117-105 for a club-record 57th win that kept their hopes of claiming the NBA Western Conference second seed alive. Blake Griffin had 24 points -- and was assessed his 16th technical foul of the season -- in the victory on Tuesday. Chris Paul added 21 points and 10 assists for Los Angeles, who must beat Portland on Wednesday, the last night of the regular season, and have the lowly Detroit Pistons beat the Thunder in Oklahoma City to earn the second seed behind San Antonio in the Western Conference playoffs.


Paul Pierce of the Brooklyn Nets stops a shot by New York Knicks' Amare Stoudemire at the Barclays Center on April 15, 2014The New York Knicks, missing injured Carmelo Anthony, beat the Brooklyn Nets 109-98 to keep their cross-town rivals from securing the fifth seed in the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs. Tim Hardaway scored 16 points Tuesday to lead the Knicks, who are finishing strong despite already being eliminated from post-season contention. The Knicks announced prior to the contest that Anthony would miss the remaining two games of their season after an MRI exam revealed he had a small tear in his right shoulder. The injury won't require surgery and Anthony will be re-evaluated in a month, the Knicks said.


Members of the Seattle Mariners stand during the national anthem on Jackie Robinson Day, at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on April 15, 2014Baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson, the 67th anniversary of his 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers debut that saw Robinson break the game's color barrier. At major league ballparks across the country on Tuesday, hundreds of players donned Robinson's jersey number 42 -- which was officially retired for all teams in 1997. Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who came up with the idea of retiring Robinson's number and celebrating the anniversary of his debut, received something of a thank-you gift on Tuesday. He was presented with a number 42 plaque by Jackie Robinson's daughter, Sharon Robinson, at the Major League Baseball Diversity Business Summit in New York.


Loul Deng of the Chicago Bulls celebrates hitting a shot at the United Center on November 18, 2013 in Chicago, IllinoisBritish Cleveland Cavaliers' basketball player Luol Deng was honored Tuesday with the NBA's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. The award, presented by the Professional Basketball Writers Association, recognizes an NBA player or coach for outstanding service and dedication to the community. The two-time All-Star created the Luol Deng Foundation, a global non-profit organization that uses basketball as a platform to give hope to the disadvantaged in Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. The work in Africa focuses on building outdoor basketball courts and delivering initiatives to bring together local communities.


(Reuters) - The Memphis Grizzlies powered their way into the NBA playoffs and eliminated Phoenix from contention with a 97-91 road victory over the Suns on Monday. With both teams vying for the final spot in the Western Conference, Mike Conley delivered the go-ahead three-pointer with about a minute left to put Memphis ahead 93-91. Zach Randolph had 32 points and nine rebounds for the Grizzlies (49-32), who won their fourth straight to reach the postseason for a fourth consecutive season. Phoenix (47-34) were fighting to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

Golden State Warriors' Andrew Bogut reacts during their loss to the San Antonio Spurs in their NBA Western Conference semi-final playoff basketball game in Oakland(Reuters) - The Golden State Warriors received some bad news ahead of the NBA playoffs on Monday with the team announcing that starting center Andrew Bogut has suffered a fractured rib and is out indefinitely. The 7ft (2.13m) Australian sustained the injury during Sunday's 119-117 overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers and X-rays taken of the injury a day later confirmed the fracture. Golden State has not given a timeline on Bogut's healing process but the setback comes at an inopportune time, with the post-season set to begin this weekend. The Warriors are currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference but face competition from Dallas and Memphis for that spot with two games of the regular season remaining.


Nene Hilario of the Washington Wizards, seen in action during an NBA game at Verizon Center in Washington, DC, on November 26, 2013Trevor Ariza scored a game-high 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting as the Washington Wizards cruised past the defending champion Miami Heat 114-93 at Verizon Center. Miami on Monday suffered its fourth loss in the last five contests which means they surrendered the Eastern Conference's top seed to the Indiana Pacers. The Heat, who rested both reigning NBA MVP LeBron James and centre Chris Bosh in their second to last game of the regular season, will be the number two seed when the postseason starts this weekend. The Heat allowed the Wizards to shoot an impressive 59 percent from the field and go 14-of-29 from three-point range.


(Reuters) - State of play in the National Basketball Association playoff race before the regular season ends on Wednesday. The top eight teams from each conference qualify for the postseason (x-clinched playoff berth, e-eliminated from playoffs contention). EASTERN CONFERENCE 1. x-Indiana Pacers 2. x-Miami Heat 3. x-Toronto Raptors 4. x-Chicago Bulls 5. x-Brooklyn Nets 6. x-Washington Wizards 7. x-Charlotte Bobcats 8. x-Atlanta Hawks - - 9. e-New York Knicks 10. e-Cleveland Cavaliers 11. e-Detroit Pistons 12. e-Boston Celtics 13. e-Orlando Magic 14. e-Philadelphia 76ers 15. ...

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks(Reuters) - The Indiana Pacers can secure the Eastern Conference's top seed without taking the court on Monday while the last entrant to the NBA's playoff field could be set with the Phoenix Suns facing a do-or-die game. The idle Pacers would secure the conference's top seed, and with it home-court advantage for each series they play before the NBA Finals, if the two-time defending champion Miami Heat lose their road game to the Washington Wizards. All eight of the East's playoff spots have been secured but the Western Conference has one available postseason ticket with three days left in the regular season. The Suns, one game back of the eighth seed in the West, look to keep the visiting Memphis Grizzlies from securing a trip to the postseason while keeping their own playoff hopes alive.


By Mark Lamport-Stokes AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - The 78th Masters began as one of the most wide open in decades, but it will not go down as a classic after a surprisingly Lackluster finish on Sunday when Bubba Watson clinched his second green jacket. Instead the only real fireworks during the final round occurred before the turn as 20-year-old American Jordan Spieth made his scintillating early run, four birdies and a bogey briefly putting him two ahead before he faded. With the notorious Augusta National layout running just about as fast and firm as it can after five days of unrelenting sunshine, danger lurked at every corner and damage limitation was a priority on Sunday rather than birdie hunting. Of the top 13 players by the time the tournament was over, 50-year-old Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez was the only one who covered the back nine under par, testimony to the tricky scoring conditions.

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