National Sports Headlines from NBC Sports

AP source: Dumars out as Detroit's team president

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) Joe Dumars tried to push the Detroit Pistons back toward the playoffs with a couple of big moves last offseason.

That didn't work, and now the Pistons will be hiring someone else to replace him.

Detroit has decided not to renew Dumars' contract as president of basketball operations, a person familiar with the situation said Sunday. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not made any announcement on Dumars' future, says Dumars will remain with the Pistons as an adviser.

Dumars was named the 2003 executive of the year, and the Pistons won the title the following season, adding the 2004 crown to the two they won when Dumars was a player.

But Detroit hasn't made the playoffs since 2009, and the retooled Pistons flopped badly this season.

Detroit has one of the game's top young big men in Andre Drummond, but he's one of the franchise's few bright spots at the moment.

Owner Tom Gores must now hire a new general manager, and in the meantime, ownership executives Phil Norment and Bob Wentworth are expected to supervise preparations for the draft and free agency.

Detroit signed Josh Smith and traded for Brandon Jennings last offseason in what seemed like a return to relevance, but the new-look roster lacked cohesion at times. Coach Maurice Cheeks was fired in February, and the Pistons are 29-52 with one game remaining.

"I think overall we have a quality team as is," forward Kyle Singler said. "I don't know necessarily the formula to win, but we just weren't able to get into a groove earlier on in the year to gain confidence and know that we're a playoff team."

Dumars began running the Pistons in 2000, and he made one shrewd move after another at first, acquiring Ben Wallace for Grant Hill in a sign-and-trade and sending Jerry Stackhouse to Washington for Richard Hamilton.

He brought Rasheed Wallace to Detroit in another trade and signed Chauncey Billups as a free agent. Even a draft day blunder in 2003 - picking Darko Milicic over Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade with the No. 2 pick - seemed like an aberration when the Pistons beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the finals the following year.

That title, however, is well in the past. The Pistons have played in front of sparse crowds in recent years, struggling to stay relevant in Detroit while the Tigers have drawn fans in droves to their downtown ballpark.

In 2008, Dumars traded Billups in a deal that brought Allen Iverson to the Pistons. That move didn't work out, and neither did the decision to sign Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to big contracts during the 2009 offseason.

Dumars and the Pistons also struggled to find the right coach. When Cheeks was hired before this season, he became Detroit's ninth coach since 1999-2000. Immediately before Cheeks, Lawrence Frank and John Kuester lasted two seasons each, with little success.

When Gores took over as owner after the 2010-11 season, the Pistons were undeniably in a rebuilding mode. Last offseason, Dumars had another chance to show he could guide the franchise back to contention. Instead, the Pistons have been one of the league's most disappointing teams in 2013-14.

Although Dumars is staying with the organization in some capacity, his departure as team president and general manager marks the end of an era. Drafted by the Pistons in 1985, Dumars spent his entire 14-year playing career with the franchise, winning NBA titles in 1989 and 1990.

He was Detroit's vice president of player personnel during the 1999-2000 season before being promoted to president of basketball operations.

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AP Sports Writer Larry Lage contributed.

Pacquiao beats Bradley by decision in rematch

LAS VEGAS (AP) Nearly two years later, Manny Pacquiao finally got the decision most people thought he deserved the first time against Timothy Bradley.

Pacquiao won a unanimous decision in his rematch with Bradley on Saturday night, avenging his 2012 loss and claiming the WBO welterweight title.

Pacquiao (56-5-2) pursued and peppered the previously unbeaten Bradley around the MGM Grand Garden ring with an aggressive effort occasionally recalling the Pacman in his prime. Bradley fought back with counterpunching and elusiveness, but Pacquiao kept up his attack while Bradley (31-1) struggled down the stretch.

In the same arena where the fighters met for their first bout, Pacquiao left little doubt about the result - although that's what he thought last time, too. Bradley's split-decision victory astonished most ringside observers, who felt Pacquiao had earned a clear decision.

"I knew I had to do more in this fight than I did in the last fight," Pacquiao said.

Judges Craig Metcalfe and Michael Pernick scored the rematch 116-112 for Pacquiao, while Glenn Trowbridge favored the Filipino congressman 118-110. The Associated Press scored it 116-112 for Pacquiao.

After the fight, Bradley said he injured his right calf early on. But he also applauded the decision when it was announced, and he congratulated Pacquiao in the ring.

"I tried, I really tried," Bradley said. "I wanted that knockout. Manny is a great fighter, one of the best in the world. I lost to one of the greatest fighters in boxing. I kept trying to throw something over the top. That's what we worked on in camp. That was the plan, but Pacquiao has great footwork."

Pacquiao landed 35 percent of his 563 punches, while Bradley connected with just 22 percent of his 627 blow. Pacquiao's jab was much more effective, landing 23 percent to Bradley's measly 11 percent, and the Pacman had a slight edge in landing 148 power punches to Bradley's 109.

Pacquiao's performance righted one of the biggest perceived wrongs in recent boxing history. Pacquiao was an eight-division world champion on 15-fight winning streak when Bradley was awarded a split decision in their last bout.

Pacquiao was more aggressive and accurate from the opening minutes of the rematch, sticking to trainer Freddie Roach's pleas to take the action to Bradley. They exchanged big shots in the opening rounds, but Pacquiao appeared to wear out Bradley with the heavy early pace - and the Pacman never slowed down.

"I didn't want to get careless," Pacquiao said. "I picked up more steam in the second half when I made adjustments that Freddie gave me in the corner. Bradley was much better than in the first fight we had. He hurt me on the chin."

Although Pacquiao couldn't knock down Bradley, he answered the questions raised by Bradley about his killer instinct with a consistent attack all night. Bradley couldn't match that consistent aggression with counterpunching, apparently trying and failing to catch Pacquiao out of position.

"It looked to me like Bradley was just going for a one-punch home run," Roach said.

The arena was crackling with energy when both fighters made their ring walks, with Pacquiao in the unusual position of going first as the challenger.

Pacquiao landed a series of big left hands in the early rounds, knocking back Bradley with gusto. Bradley responded impressively in the fourth round, wobbling Pacquiao twice with a right hand.

The pace slowed in the fifth, with Bradley showing off his defense and movement while Pacquiao attempted to trap him against the ropes.

Pacquiao appeared to stagger Bradley late in the seventh round with a vicious combination, but Bradley stood with his back against the ropes and defiantly encouraged it, blocking most of the shots. Bradley appeared to pretend to have wobbly legs at one point after a Pacquiao miss, but his open mouth betrayed his weariness while Pacquiao steadily racked up rounds midway through the fight.

Bradley came on strong in the 12th, and the fighters' heads collided late in the round. Pacquiao avoided any trouble until the final bell, when he did a short dance step to his corner.

While Bradley remains publicly confident he beat Pacquiao in their first bout despite fighting on two injured feet, that much-derided decision sent both fighters' careers on wild spirals.

The two judges who scored the bout 115-113 for Bradley are no longer in the boxing business, but their decision ended Pacquiao's 15-fight win streak and forced Bradley to defend himself against widespread criticism of the result.

Bradley endured death threats and depression before returning to the ring in unusually reckless style. He brawled with Ruslan Provodnikov in March 2013 in a sensational unanimous-decision victory that silenced critics of his style and heart. Bradley then outpointed veteran Mexican champion Juan Manuel Marquez last fall, polishing his skills and making himself attractive to Pacquiao for a rematch.

Pacquiao was knocked unconscious by Marquez in the sixth round of their fourth fight in late 2012, and he took nearly a year off before returning for a workmanlike victory over Brandon Rios last fall. Pacquiao's last two performances prompted Bradley to declare Pacquiao had lost his killer instinct, noting he was unable or unwilling to stop any of his opponents since late 2009.

Harvick survives shootout for 1st Darlington win

DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) Kevin Harvick capped his biggest weekend at Darlington Raceway with his first Southern 500 victory Saturday night, passing Dale Earnhardt Junior two laps from the end of the longest race in the track's 65-year NASCAR history.

Harvick earned his first pole here Friday night and had the most dominant car on the track. But he had to make it through a restart with 10 laps left and two tries at a green-white-checkered finish - NASCAR's version of extra innings.

Earnhardt finished second, his best career showing at a track where his late father won nine times. Jimmie Johnson was third, last year's Southern 500 winner Matt Kenseth fourth and Greg Biffle fifth.

Harvick led 239 of the 374 laps, seven more than planned.

Hawks top Heat 98-85, get East's last playoff spot

ATLANTA (AP) Jeff Teague scored 25 points, Lou Williams had 18 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and the Atlanta Hawks earned the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot with a 98-85 victory over the Miami Heat on Saturday night.

Atlanta's third straight victory eliminated the New York Knicks from playoff contention. Williams scored the Hawks' last 12 points.

LeBron James finished with 27 points and Dwyane Wade, in his first game since missing nine straight with a sore left hamstring, scored 24 for Miami.

The two-time defending champion Heat, who have lost three of four, gave up the ground they gained in the standings Friday by beating Indiana at home and taking a one-half game lead over the Pacers. Miami and Indiana are now tied atop the Eastern Conference with 54-26 records. The Heat's 85 points were their third-fewest this season.

Watson still confident after tough day at Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) Bubba Watson would've preferred to play better, of course.

He's not complaining too much, though. Not when he has a share of the lead heading to the final round of the Masters.

Watson struggled to a 2-over 74 Saturday after two straight rounds in the 60s, his card marred by four bogeys on the front side and some ugly three-putts.

On moving day, he headed in the wrong direction, renewing the hopes of his closest challengers. But Watson played just good enough to keep his spot in the final group with 20-year-old Jason Spieth, the two of them tied at 5-under 211 after a warm, sunny afternoon at Augusta National.

To Watson, that was especially important in his pursuit of a second green jacket.

"That's where you want to be," he said. "You want to know what everybody is doing. When you come down 18, you know what all the scores are. That's where everybody wants to be on Sunday."

Watson, who won the Masters two years ago, had the patrons roaring early on when his approach at the par-5 second rolled down to about 5 feet from the cup. That set up an eagle, taking his score to 8 under.

But, for the most part, there weren't a whole lot of highlights on a day when the breeze picked up for the late starters and the greens were as firm as Watson has ever seen.

"It was a difficult round," he said. "But if somebody told me Monday I'd shoot a 74 and still be tied for the lead, I'd have taken it all day long."

He's looking forward to his pairing with Spieth, who is playing in the Masters for the first time and hoping to become golf's youngest major champion since 1922. The two have become good friends on the PGA Tour, attending Bible study together and rooting for each other to do well. If Watson isn't the one donning the green jacket, he hopes it goes to the youngster.

"I love the kid," Watson said. "He's a great player. A guy like that has no fear. His game just gets better and better."

For some reason, Watson struggled to judge the distance on his shots. Some flew over the green. Some came up short. His sense of direction was fine but he couldn't seem to find any consistency with the yardage.

There were some shaky moments with the putter, as well. As the par-5 13th, he put his approach shot right in the middle of the green, giving him a look at eagle. Three putts later, he walked off with a disappointing par.

At the other par-5 on the back side, Watson flew the second shot over the green and wound up with another par, failing to take advantage of two prime chances to go lower.

But, at the final two holes, he knocked down a pair of testy par putts, keeping him right he wanted to be going to Sunday.

In the lead.

"Look where I'm at," he said. "If you get down on yourself when you're still winning, you have issues. I do have issues, but ..."

His voice trailed off, the room filling with laughter.

There's definitely a sense that Watson is comfortable with his place in life, no matter what happens in the final round.

"I've won one, so I've got that going for me," he said. "If I play bad, I still have a green jacket."

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