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Headlines from around the world in sports

  • New York Knicks' J.R. Smith reacts after a foul was called on him during the second half of Game 2 of their NBA basketball playoff series against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals  Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Knicks won 105-79. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

    New York Knicks' J.R. Smith reacts after a foul was called on him during the second half of Game 2 of their NBA basketball playoff series against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Knicks won 105-79. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

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  • New York Knicks' J.R. Smith reacts after a foul was called on him during the second half of Game 2 of their NBA basketball playoff series against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals  Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Knicks won 105-79. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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Golf

Garcia goes 1 up on Tiger
at Players Championship

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The Players Championship already provides plenty of theater because of its thrill-a-minute golf course. Making it even more compelling is the star attraction of Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods, playing in the final group on the weekend for the first time in nearly seven years.

Garcia made seven straight putts – six of them for birdie – on his way to a 7-under 65 to match his best score on the TPC Sawgrass.

That gave him a one-shot lead over Woods, who again made short work of the par 5s and posted his second straight 67. Woods broke his own 36-hole record at Sawgrass by six shots.

Woods has a 77-8 margin in PGA Tour victories over Garcia (and 14-0 in the majors), and in the previous five times they were in the final group on the weekend, Woods has gone on to win all five times.

NHL

Crosby, Ovechkin, Tavares
finalists for Hart Trophy

NEW YORK – Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and John Tavares of the New York Islanders are finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy.

Crosby finished fourth in the NHL with 56 points despite missing 12 games because of injuries. Ovechkin had 32 goals in 48 games, and Tavares ranked third in the league with 28 goals.

The Hart Trophy is awarded annually to the player most valuable to his team. Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association voted at the end of the regular season.

NHL

League confident players
will go to Sochi Olympics

STOCKHOLM – NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league is “proceeding under the assumption” its players will take part in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

NHL representatives and international hockey and Olympic officials met in Stockholm yesterday in a new round of talks aimed at securing an agreement for the league’s participation in the Sochi Games.

While no final deal was reached, the International Ice Hockey Federation said “all signs pointed” to NHL players going to the Olympics for a fifth straight time.

BASEBALL

Nats OF Harper sits with toe injury; Werth likely to DL

WASHINGTON – Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper was out of the lineup against the Chicago Cubs after having an ingrown right toenail removed, while right fielder Jayson Werth is probably headed to the 15-day disabled list.

Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo and Manager Davey Johnson said they expect Harper to miss only last night’s game and to be back today against the Cubs.

Rizzo said Werth has a “very slight strain” of his right hamstring. Werth hasn’t played since May 2, so he would be eligible to be activated May 18 – and Rizzo thinks the outfielder will be ready by then.

BASEBALL

Angels put starting pitcher Hanson on restricted list

CHICAGO – The Los Angeles Angels placed pitcher Tommy Hanson on the restricted list and recalled LHP Michael Roth from Double-A Arkansas before their game last night against the Chicago White Sox.

Hanson was the Angels’ scheduled starter last night and was replaced by Barry Enright. The Angels said Hanson is tending to a personal matter.

He was also placed on bereavement leave April 22 following a death in his family. In his first season with the Angels, Hanson is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA.

NBA

Knicks’ Smith fined $5,000 for flopping in Game 1

NEW YORK – New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith was fined $5,000 by the NBA for a flop during Game 1 of their playoff series against Indiana.

Smith was defending Pacers guard Lance Stephenson when he ran into a pick set by David West. Smith fell to the court and threw his arms up, exaggerating the contact and fooling the referee into believing it was much more severe than it really was.

The NBA instituted a system of penalties for flopping this season. The Sixth Man of the Year yesterday became the third player to be fined during the postseason, following Indiana’s Jeff Pendergraph and Oklahoma City’s Derek Fisher.

NBA

Timberwolves waive Roy

MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Timberwolves waived guard Brandon Roy, likely bringing an end to an All-Star career that was shortened by knee problems.

The Timberwolves announced the move yesterday. Roy retired before last season due to knee issues, then attempted a comeback with the Timberwolves this season after going through a procedure that gave him hope that the chronic pain in his knees would be reduced.

But after a promising training camp, Roy’s knee issues returned early in the regular season. He played just five games.

Sprint Cup

Newman sill waiting
to hear from NASCAR

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Ryan Newman said he has tried to contact NASCAR about his concerns following a late-race accident at Talladega Superspeedway and has not heard from them.

Newman’s race ended last week when Kurt Busch went airborne and landed atop Newman’s No. 39 as part of a 12-car crash. Newman said afterward on TV that NASCAR has made significant safety advances but still can’t figure out how to keep cars on the track. He used a vulgarity in his interview.

Newman said yesterday after qualifying for the Southern 500 he tried to contact someone at NASCAR “who could make a difference.” He said he has not yet gotten a response. Newman said he felt he fairly voiced his frustration over the Talladega crash.

NFL

Giants take a chance
on enigmatic LB Curry

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The New York Giants are giving linebacker Aaron Curry a second chance at making it in the NFL.

The Giants yesterday signed Curry, hoping the fourth overall pick in the 2009 draft can reinvent himself after showing little while playing with Seattle and Oakland in what has been a disappointing career.

Curry, signed to a six-year, $60 million contract with the Seahawks, lasted little more than two seasons with Seattle before being traded to Oakland on Oct. 12, 2011, for a seventh-round draft pick and a conditional choice last April. The former Wake Forest product played in 13 games for the Raiders before being waived on Nov. 16.

TENNIS

Nadal rallies past Ferrer; Serena wins in Madrid

MADRID – Rafael Nadal rallied past David Ferrer, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-0, yesterday in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open, maintaining his bid to reach a seventh straight final since returning from a knee injury.

Top-ranked Serena Williams struggled before defeating Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-3, 0-6, 7-5, and second-ranked Maria Sharapova joined her in the semifinals after easing by Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, 6-2, 6-4.

Nadal will play either Pablo Andujar or Kei Nishikori, who upset Roger Federer on Thursday.

Sharapova will play Ana Ivanovic after the Serb dispatched Angelique Kerber, 6-3, 6-1.

Defending champion Williams will face Sara Errani.

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