National Sports Headlines from NBC Sports

Heat locking in on Finals, not what summer brings

MIAMI (AP) For the Miami Heat, it's all about June.

July can wait.

Four years ago, when LeBron James uttered that now-infamous phrase - "not two, not three, not four, not five ..." - about how many championships he hoped to win with the Heat, it was almost immediately turned into a punch line. It rings prophetic in some ways now, with the Heat back in the NBA Finals for a fourth consecutive season.

How the Heat fare against in their NBA Finals rematch with the San Antonio Spurs might dictate what happens in July, when James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade can become free agents if they choose. A looming offseason of decisions has been a taboo subject for the Heat "Big 3" this season, and Wade insisted Monday that Miami's stars have not said a word to each other about what may or may not happen.

"I'm not lying," Wade said.

Still, as long as Miami keeps winning, it seems logical the "Big 3" will stay together.

"I want to come back. That's OK to say, I think," Bosh said Monday after the Heat finished their first workout in preparation for the NBA Finals, which begin Thursday in San Antonio. "I can't speak for anything else and I don't want to take away from the subject at hand, but I like it here. It's Miami. Enough said. People are dying to get here."

Regardless of the outcome of this Heat-Spurs series, there will be changes to the Heat, which is an annual rite for just about every team. James, Wade and Bosh can all opt out of their current deals. Shane Battier is retiring, Ray Allen may think about doing the same, while Mario Chalmers, James Jones and Rashard Lewis are notable free-agents-in-waiting.

It's not just the "Big 3" who aren't thinking too far ahead, yet.

Allen said no one in the room is looking past anything but this series - especially with the Spurs' Tim Duncan saying San Antonio will get it done this year after falling short against the Heat last season. But as James noted, both teams have their own motivation.

"That's the great thing about having veterans," Allen said. "Nobody worries about what's not here yet."

Winning a third straight title could make some of those stay-or-go decisions pretty simple. And Wade believes Miami's legacy has been secured.

"Whenever it's all said and done, the legacy of this team, it's going to be a great team," Wade said. "It's going to go down in history as an unbelievable team not only in South Florida but in NBA history."

Given that, it's easy to see why so much attention gets paid to how long this team can stay together.

Bosh, Wade and James all made it very clear in September that they were not going to let the summer of 2014 turn into the circus that the summer of 2010 was, when all three became free agents and decided to bring their talents together.

Entering the season, James said that his teammates "understand where I stand" regarding the future. And on Monday, James said he wasn't going to let himself be distracted by thinking about what impact the result of these NBA Finals will have on the legacy the Heat have created over the last four seasons.

"No, because I live in the moment," James said. "It's almost the same with my individual accomplishments. I never really understand them. The only time I'll be able to appreciate it is when I'm done playing the game. I'm in the moment. I don't even think about it."

Bosh was the last player off the practice floor Monday. And when the conversation turned to what happens after these finals, he was reluctant, he said, to think about anything beyond Game 1 on Thursday night.

"It's difficult enough concentrating on trying to get back to this point, let alone trying to win it," Bosh said. "We've done that before. All of us made a lot of mistakes in 2010, which is going to happen because that was our first time being in it. But now, not only are we vets in the league, with playoff experience, we know what to expect."

What decisions to expect this summer, that's another story.

"We still don't know," Battier said. "It's hard to explain with our group. We have a bunch of guys that sort of go with the flow. I think when the Big 3 signed here there was talk of legacy and there was talk of history. That's all academic at that point. Once you put the uniform on it's about competing your tail off and putting yourself in position to win, which we have."

Francona on Manny: "Sometimes we bumped heads"

CLEVELAND (AP) Indians manager Terry Francona isn't waiting for an apology from Manny Ramirez.

Francona guided Boston to two World Series titles during eight seasons, and the Red Sox played in Cleveland on Monday night. He was asked about comments Ramirez made last week during an event honoring the 2004 Red Sox, who won the franchise's first title since 1918.

Ramirez apologized for his sometimes bizarre behavior in Boston, but came short of saying he was sorry for pulling himself from the lineup before a game in 2008.

Francona didn't want to get drawn into a controversy and said he was happy Ramirez "is in a good place."

Francona said Ramirez "for the most part, was a really lovable guy." Francona added that "sometimes we bumped heads."

Ramirez attended last week's event in Boston. Francona he was invited, but was busy managing.

Ramirez is now a player-coach in the minors for the Chicago Cubs.

Hansen says Seattle NBA hopes will continue

SEATTLE (AP) Steve Ballmer's departure from the group looking to bring the NBA back to Seattle isn't derailing lead investor Chris Hansen's hopes of getting a team back in the region.

Hansen told The Associated Press on Monday that he is confident he'll be able to find investors to take Ballmer's place in his group that is trying to build a new arena and last year nearly bought and moved the Sacramento Kings to Seattle. Hansen is the majority investor in the project, but said it would likely take more than one person to replace Ballmer's investment.

Other than Hansen, the only other known partners in the investment group are members of the Nordstrom department store family.

Hansen said he won't put a limit on the number of investors at this time.

"I think we want to have a reasonable group of partners," Hansen said. "That will be the thing that is probably most missed from Steve's involvement. One, he's a great guy and very successful in his career and would have added a lot of insights and value in operating the team. That's probably the first thing that will be missed from having him as a partner and the second thing, given his net worth, (he) had the ability to be really the only other partner that we needed. In all likelihood there are not a lot of Steve Ballmers in the world with his financial well-being, so in all likelihood I think it's reasonable to assume we have a few more partners rather than just one."

Seattle's hopes seemed to take a blow last week when Ballmer agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. Among other things, it raised questions about whether Ballmer's decision should be taken as a sign that Seattle's hopes of getting a franchise are dwindling.

Hansen tried to calm those concerns, noting the environmental reviews on the proposed arena site are ongoing and that he remains committed to continuing the process both with the arena and a team. Hansen's memorandum of understanding with the city of Seattle and King County on the arena goes through November 2017.

"Everybody is very interested in what that means for right now. In six to nine months this will pass and we'll still be here trying to get our arena built and still be here trying to pursue a franchise and I think that is what is most important," Hansen said. "There is nothing we have to do. We own the land outright. There is no immediate time pressure that we have to do something and that's been very well received by the NBA as well - the fact we're willing to be patient and endure through this."

Because of a lack of buzz about the NBA prior to Ballmer agreeing to purchase the Clippers, questions about whether the NHL could be first to land in Seattle have increased. It peaked recently when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman flew to Seattle during the NHL playoffs to meet with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County executive Dow Constantine.

Hansen reiterated he does not have an interest in being the majority owner of an NHL franchise. But he's willing to partner with another investor who has that passion for the NHL. That would require a restructuring of the memorandum of understanding and Hansen said any re-writing of the deal would have to be initiated by the city and county.

"We would like to be accommodative to get the NHL here. There should be no question about that. We're building this arena as a two-sport building. It has the larger footprint for hockey. We've worked hard to do that. We would like to do everything in our power to allow hockey to come here in a way that makes sense for the NHL and for a prospective partner," Hansen said.

California Chrome's story may never repeat

AURORA, Colo. (AP) A message to horse lovers and dreamers out there: This will not happen to you.

Well, almost certainly not.

For all the buzz California Chrome's feel-good run at the Triple Crown is generating for horse racing, his too-good-to-be-true story has virtually no chance of repeating itself, according to the numbers.

The horse that will line up at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday is the product of an unspectacular mare and an equally unheralded stallion, bred in a state not known for producing winners and owned by a couple of racing outsiders who were labeled "dumb asses" for even pondering such a thing.

Byron Rogers, whose business is scientifically analyzing genetic makeup of racehorses, puts the odds at 50,000-to-1 against a horse with the strength and the stamina of a California Chrome ever showing up again among the 21,000 or so thoroughbred foals born each year. It's the sort of horse that shows up maybe once every three years, but even then doesn't always find his way into the spotlight because success requires a magic mix of the right owner, trainer and opportunity.

California Chrome was born at well-respected Harris Farms in Coalinga, California, and trained by longtime horseman Art Sherman, the 77-year-old who returned to the big-time nearly six decades after going to the Kentucky Derby as an exercise rider for Swaps, who won the 1955 Derby.

"This horse had everything go his way," Rogers said. "He had just about perfect genetics. Art Sherman is a very good trainer. Harris Farms is a good farm. You couldn't predict any of this at the start with this horse."

In fact, Rogers says, if California Chrome's parents were paired again, odds are only about one out of 10 their offspring would make it to a stakes race.

It's a reality that horsemen on the lower end of the sport, which is where California Chrome's owners once lived, are in touch with every day. Most aren't in it to reach the big time, only to break even with their expenses.

"It's all about luck and timing," says Shannon Rushton, executive director of the Colorado horse racing association, speaking recently at Arapahoe Park outside of Denver, where the Kentucky Derby is a distant dream for almost every man and horse. "Every year, you kind of hope that, at some point and time, you might be the one to lead a horse into the paddock on Breeder's Cup day or Kentucky Derby day."

The odds, even when the bloodlines are much more refined than California Chrome's, are very much against it.

Rogers says between only about 3.5 percent of thoroughbreds born each year are good enough to run in a stakes race. Only 20 can make it to the starting line at the Kentucky Derby. And yet, those odds have actually improved over the last decade, since the economic turndown also brought a slowdown in breeding. In 2005, the registered foal crop in the United States totaled more than 35,000. Last year, it was estimated at 21,275, continuing a steady decline that began in 2006.

Still, when owners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin decided to buy an undistinguished filly, Love the Chase, for $8,000 a few years ago and breed her to an equally ordinary stallion named Lucky Pulpit, they knew they were buying into a fairy tale, the likes of which almost never end like this.

"There's always the dream. I think dreams are great," said Scott Powell, who owns and trains horses at Arapahoe Park. "But you have to deal with reality, too. It's not Kentucky Derby or bust."

While horsemen like Powell appreciate what California Chrome could do for their sport, they recognize the one-in-a-million nature of the whole thing.

"The goal is that they make money to maintain themselves," said Gilberto Dorantes, running his 3-year-old horse at Arapahoe Park on Memorial Day for the first time after growing up listening to his grandfather's stories about being a horseman in Mexico. "That's the goal. To enjoy the horses and have them do what they were bred for. That's the best thing I can do for those horses."

Dorantes spent around $500 on Dobes Bee - a far cry from the millions a select handful of very rich owners spend as they look from stable to stable, often turning to science, to find their magic horse.

Rogers said his business of merging data and genetics has burgeoned over the past few years, as big-money investors uncover as much information as possible in the quest to find the right horse to take big.

He doesn't expect thousands of copycat attempts in the next year, though Ian Tapp, a longtime horseman who keeps tabs on the breeding market, says California Chrome's success could produce an uptick in breeders in the colt's home state, much the way the success of Pennsylvania-bred Smarty Jones 10 years ago fueled the horse business in his home state.

"It gives some people at the bottom end of the commercial market some hope that there is an ability for them to have a good racehorse," Rogers said. "It tells them it doesn't have to go to (trainer) Todd Pletcher and be raised in Kentucky and have all these other things that trend in favor of other horses."

Rogers estimates about 40 percent of a thoroughbred's potential can be predicted by genetics. After that, it's up environment and then a roll of the dice.

"I know people who are obsessed with (winning the Kentucky Derby)," Powell said. "What a miserable life if that's all your goal is - to live to try to obtain something that is really not attainable for the average person. They better be doing it for other reasons or it will eat their lunch."

Records: Elway's son dragged woman from car

DENVER (AP) Jack Elway, the son of Denver Broncos general manager John Elway, was arrested on assault charges after his girlfriend told police he pulled her out of a car by her hair.

Court documents obtained Monday show the woman told Denver police that 24-year-old John Albert Elway also pushed her to the ground when she tried to get back in the car, causing scrapes.

The documents say the incident happened early Saturday near a college campus in downtown Denver. Elway initially fled the scene.

Elway was released from jail on $550 bond and was scheduled to appear in court Thursday. He faces charges of assault and disturbing the peace.

Court records do not list an attorney. A Broncos spokesman says the case is a personal family matter.

Pacers eager to keep Stephenson, starters intact

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Larry Bird wants Lance Stephenson back with the Indiana Pacers at the right price.

After spending the last week hearing Stephenson roundly criticized for his over-the-top antics with LeBron James in the Eastern Conference finals, Bird said Monday he hopes Stephenson stays with the team, headaches and all.

"I think his ceiling is what he wants it to be," said Bird, the Pacers' president of basketball operations. "I always want him back. You just don't let talent like that walk away if you can help it."

Stephenson will soon be a free agent. He has had no bigger supporter or more important fan than Bird, who took him in the second round of the 2010 draft, but even Bird was unhappy with Stephenson's attempt to play mind games with James.

Before Game 4, Stephenson told reporters that James' trash-talking was a "sign of weakness." Stephenson later walked back those comments, acknowledging he never should have made those thoughts public. In Game 5, Stephenson attempted to listen into Miami's huddle near midcourt, then blew in the ear of James, drawing an annoyed shake of the head from the four-time MVP.

In the series-deciding Game 6, Stephenson tapped James on the chin right after James hit him in the face on a 3-pointer. No foul was called. Later, Stephenson whacked Norris Cole in the head as the two chased a loose ball, resulting in a flagrant foul.

Bird didn't like any of it.

"I was very disappointed that in Game 5, Paul George put on a spectacular display, hit every big shot and after the game, everyone was talking about all the nonsense," Bird said. "That's not what we're about, and it's not professional."

There were times even Stephenson's teammates got annoyed.

All-Star center Roy Hibbert complained in late March that there were some "selfish dudes" in the locker room, a jab believed to be directed primarily at Stephenson. Hibbert later apologized for airing his grievance publicly. During Indiana's first-round playoff series, Stephenson and teammate Evan Turner tangled during a practice. Stephenson, Turner and coach Frank Vogel all downplayed the significance of the scrap, saying that it sometimes happens in the heat of the moment.

And after Stephenson was ejected from a regular-season game against Miami, Pacers players made it clear he had to show more self-discipline.

Despite all those problems, the 23-year-old Stephenson could be one of the hottest commodities in free agency after posting a league-high six triple-doubles during the regular season and emerging as the Pacers' top penetrator and energizer. That's why the Pacers want him back.

"Clearly, he's a free agent, and I'm certainly hoping that he's back," Vogel said, later acknowledging he played the role of team psychologist more this year than any previous year.

Indiana is expected to start the offseason $8 million to $12 million under next season's projected luxury tax threshold and already has its four other starters under contract. Bird has made it clear the Pacers will not pay the luxury tax.

All of which leads to one question: What are the Pacers willing to pay to keep Stephenson?

"We've talked about it briefly, but I haven't sat down with the owner (Herb Simon) yet," Bird said. "There's going to be a price and we're not going to go over that."

Bird isn't planning a major overhaul, though. He believes that the Pacers can get more consistent production from the bench and more from the starters, resulting in and a team that routinely plays at a championship level.

Still, Bird acknowledged he would listen to trade offers and may contemplate making a deal to get back into the first round of this year's draft.

But the first indication that the offseason plan wouldn't include major changes came when Bird decided to keep Vogel for another season.

"His job was never in jeopardy," Bird said, fidgeting in his chair as he addressed the rumors about Vogel's job security. "The day it (the report) happened, I went down to Frank and all of his assistants and said, `I want you back next year,' and that was the end of it for us."

The bigger concern is trying to figure out how to deal with Stephenson - on and off the court.

"When it comes down to it, it's up to him," Bird said about Stephenson's decision. "(Once he matures) his game is unlimited."

Last American singles player at French Open loses

PARIS (AP) Hardly a good day to be an American in Paris.

The last of the 22 U.S. men and women who were in the French Open singles draws, 15th-seeded Sloane Stephens, lost 6-4, 6-3 Monday to No. 4 Simona Halep of Romania in the fourth round. That came a day after the last American man in singles, No. 10 John Isner, exited before the quarterfinals, too.

There was more Monday, though.

The No. 1-seeded men's doubles team, defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan, lost in the quarterfinals, beaten 6-4, 6-2 by the 12th-seeded duo of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez of Spain. That left no Americans in men's or women's doubles, either.

And the No. 1-seeded boy in the junior tournament, 16-year-old Francis Tiafoe of College Park, Maryland, lost in the second round to Jan Choinski of Germany 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Stephens has been to the second week at six consecutive Grand Slam tournaments, the longest active streak by a woman. But she has lost in the fourth round of the French Open each of the past three years.

Her match Monday was tied at 4-all in the first set when Halep took control by winning the next four games.

"It's always tough playing someone who is really consistent and has a lot of confidence and just plays a solid game," said Stephens, who is based in Florida.

"I didn't execute my game as well as I thought I could," Stephens said. "That's a little bit disappointing, but obviously that happens."

Stephens was broken in six of the nine games she served and made 35 unforced errors, 10 more than first-time French Open quarterfinalist Halep.

"I dominated the match, I think," Halep said. "I didn't serve very well, but I tried to return better - and I did."

The Bryan twins have now failed to reach the final at any of the last three Grand Slam tournaments - after winning four major titles in a row before that, starting at the 2012 U.S. Open.

Their bid for the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men's doubles since 1951 ended with a semifinal loss at last year's U.S. Open. The Bryans then lost in the third round at the Australian Open in January.

The brothers own a record 15 major doubles championships, including at Roland Garros in 2003 and 2013.

"Obviously, we're disappointed," Mike said. "We thought we could have played a little better."

Hernandez's cousin pleads not guilty to contempt

BOSTON (AP) A cousin of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty Monday to a criminal contempt of court charge.

Tanya Singleton, 38, appeared at the Suffolk Superior Court in Massachusetts after refusing to testify before a grand jury, despite being granted immunity, in the investigation of Hernandez's alleged role in a 2012 double slaying in Boston's South End.

Singleton had "relative and material information" about the investigation, including the SUV that was allegedly used in the drive-by shooting of Daniel de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28, prosecutor Pat Haggan said. Investigators found the SUV at her home in Bristol, Connecticut, covered in dust and cobwebs, authorities said.

The victims' families have filed wrongful-death lawsuits against the former tight end seeking $6 million each. The two men, who did not know Hernandez before that night, were gunned down in their car after leaving a nightclub. A third man was wounded in that attack.

Hernandez, 24, was charged last week in the double homicide, which happened shortly before he signed a five-year, $40 million contract and went on to catch 51 passes and score five touchdowns during the 2012 NFL season.

He also faces murder charges in the death of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player who was killed in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, in June 2013. Two of his associates, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, also have been indicted on murder charges in that case. All three have pleaded not guilty.

Singleton's lawyer, E. Peter Parker, would not comment Monday outside court. He previously called her prosecution "aggressive and unnecessary."

A judge ordered her confined to her home with GPS tracking and required her to make weekly phone calls to her probation officer. Singleton, who is being treated for breast cancer, is allowed to go to medical appointments.

She is due back in court on July 15 for a pretrial hearing.

Nadal wins again to reach French Open quarters

PARIS -- For the first time in his career, Rafael Nadal will make a fifth straight appearance in the French Open quarterfinals.

Nadal won a record 32nd straight match at Roland Garros on Monday, beating Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 to improve on his own record by one.

Nadal is an eight-time French Open champion with a 63-1 record on the red clay in Paris. His only loss came in the fourth round in 2009, when he was a four-time defending champion for the first time.

Another upset never seemed possible this time, despite complaints of pain in his back that slowed his serves in the previous round.

"I don't want to talk too much about this thing today," Nadal said of his injury. "I have important match to come. Today I won a match in good shape. We'll see what's going on in the future."

Playing on Court Philippe Chatrier, Nadal's favorite court in the world, the top-seeded Spaniard controlled the match from the start. He then won 17 straight points to open the second set, taking a 4-0 lead before finally sending a backhand wide to make it 15-15 in the fifth game.

Later in that set, Lajovic held three break points at 0-40, but Nadal saved them all and held. It wasn't until late in the third, with the match far out of reach, that Lajovic did manage a break — the only game he won in the final set.

"I played with no mistakes and having the control with the backhand, with the forehand from the baseline," Nadal said. "Sure, you never know what's better, but in theory, the theory says that it's better win like this than win longer matches."

Nadal has won 13 major titles, and is the only man to win eight at one of the four Grand Slam tournaments. With another championship at Roland Garros this year, he would become the first man to win five straight French Open titles.

And he's looking rather unbeatable.

The Spaniard, who turns 28 on Tuesday, has lost only 23 games through four rounds, only four more than he lost in reaching the quarterfinals in 2012.

Nadal will next face fifth-seeded David Ferrer, the man he beat in last year's French Open final. Ferrer defeated 19th-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1.

In April, Ferrer beat Nadal on clay in the quarterfinals in Monte Carlo.

"Always when you have a loss in the last confrontation, that can (have an) effect. Or not. I don't know," Nadal said. "I will tell you after tomorrow. But at the end, important thing for me is I am in quarterfinals here."

Also Monday, Andy Murray was on court a day after he completed a five-set win over Philipp Kohlschreiber. He was playing Fernando Verdasco of Spain.

In the women's tournament, fourth-seeded Simona Halep of Romania beat Sloane Stephens of the United States 6-4, 6-3, and 10th-seeded Sara Errani of Italy defeated sixth-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 7-6 (5), 6-2.

Earlier, Andrea Petkovic overcame an inconsistent serve and unseeded Kiki Bertens to reach the quarterfinals with a 1-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory.

The 28th-seeded German was broken three times in the first set, once in the second and three more times in the third. But she was able to earn seven breaks of her own — all in the final two sets — to advance to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros for the second time in her career.

Bertens, a Dutchwoman ranked No. 148, had been bidding to become the lowest ranked woman to reach the French Open quarterfinals since the field at the clay-court major was expanded to 128 players in 1983.

After splitting the first two sets, the players exchanged breaks quickly and often in the third. Each of the first five games went to the returning player, with Petkovic finally holding to lead 4-2.

Both players were broken once more, but Petkovic was able to hold in the last game with a forehand winner on match point.

"It was super tough, because I didn't know her at all," Petkovic said. "I just stalked her on YouTube yesterday the whole day, and I was already impressed yesterday."

Kings beat Blackhawks 5-4 in Game 7

CHICAGO (AP) Alec Martinez scored at 5:47 of overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals Sunday night.

Martinez's shot went off Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy and over goalie Corey Crawford, stunning the sellout crowd at the United Center and leading to wild on-ice celebration for Los Angeles. Leddy was disconsolate as the Kings gathered in a big huddle along the boards.

Los Angeles improved to seven for seven in elimination games this postseason and will host the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday night.

Flip says he expects Love in Minnesota next year

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) During a weekend trip to Boston, All-Star forward Kevin Love has been taking pictures with fans and seeing the sights, leading Celtics fans to speculate that he's going to follow in the footsteps of Kevin Garnett as the next Minnesota star to come to town and turn around a struggling franchise.

Not so fast, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said.

"The last I knew Kevin was under contract with us, and I expect him to be playing for us next year," Saunders said Sunday after a workout of draft prospects. "I don't really dictate where guys go on vacation or what they do. They can go wherever they want to go."

Love can opt out of his contract after next season, and the three-time All-Star has yet to make the playoffs in six years with the Timberwolves. He was also angered when former executive David Kahn refused to give him a full, five-year extension and instead gave him a four-year deal with a player option after three. That's led many to believe that he will leave next summer to play for a contender in a bigger market.

"Yo (at)kevinlove if you need advice on moving from Minnesota to Boston just let me know (hash)CityOfChamps," tweeted Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who spent six years with the Minnesota Twins before signing with the Red Sox as a free agent and winning three World Series titles.

The situation has prompted the Timberwolves to consider a trade to avoid losing Love without compensation. But Saunders has made it clear that he doesn't feel as though he has to make a move this summer. He views Love as one of the top offensive players in the league, a 25-year-old who has improved his game every offseason.

So if other teams do want to get their hands on one of the NBA's top power forwards, it won't be easy.

"I know there's a feeding frenzy out there from a lot of teams," Saunders said. "Unfortunately, they have no say. I plan on Kevin being here."

If Saunders was posturing, he has good reason. The draft isn't until June 26, and the best offers from teams desperate to land Love don't figure to start rolling in until the week of the draft, or perhaps not even until draft night, and Saunders has plenty of options.

He could move him right around draft time for what is expected to be a package that includes high picks and a veteran player or two. He could wait for July 1 and look to build a package around more established, veteran talent.

Or he could hold on to Love, try to add a few pieces to a team that finished 10th in the West, and hire the right coach to replace the retired Rick Adelman and show Love that the team is headed in the right direction. It worked for the Portland Trail Blazers with LaMarcus Aldridge, and it worked years ago for the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant. The Wolves can also pay Love about $26.5 million more than any other team.

And if Love still does depart after next summer, the Wolves won't be left empty-handed. They'll have about $17 million in extra salary cap room to attack the free agent market, though luring stars to a wintry climate to play for a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2004 has always proved to be a challenge.

The next big step will be hiring a coach.

The Wolves had discussions with Memphis' Dave Joerger over Memorial Day weekend, but Joerger stayed with the Grizzlies, who sweetened his contract to remain with the 50-win team.

Saunders said he will meet with Wolves owner Glen Taylor this week to evaluate the search, which has been influenced some by the uncertainty surrounding Love.

When asked if he would have a coach in place by the June 26 draft, Saunders said "there's probably a better chance that we would than we wouldn't. We're not going to put a time frame on it."

As for those excited Celtics fans, Saunders said they should calm down. But he knows they won't.

"They're the same fans who thought they had Tim Duncan," he joked. "They still think they got Tim Duncan in the draft. I'm not really sure, but the last I looked he was playing for San Antonio, Old Man Riverwalk."

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Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

Castroneves wins 2nd Detroit Grand Prix of weekend

DETROIT (AP) Helio Castroneves celebrated in his signature style, climbing a fence, in the same place where he did it for the first time many years ago.

Castroneves' crew joined him above the track in front of roaring fans and it was fitting because his behind-the-scenes teammates helped him have his way with the competition.

"I did not expect that," he said after easily winning the second Detroit Grand Prix race of the weekend Sunday, finishing 1.6836 seconds ahead of Penske Racing teammate Will Power. "They deserved it.

"That was great to see them there."

It was here in Detroit where Castroneves raced to the first of his 29 victories in 2000 and scaled the safety fence.

And, the 39-year-old Brazilian is still winning and climbing with more composure.

"I was able to hold my emotions better," he said. "I guess I'm getting older."

Team owner and unofficial race promoter Roger Penske was not a part of the fence-climbing celebration, but he had to be one of the happiest guys on Belle Isle because Castroneves and Power finished first and second.

"You dream about these weekends," Penske said. "To be as strong as we were and see both guys in the winner's circle."

Castroneves' lead was so large that when he made his final pit stop on Lap 49 he still was ahead when he got back on the track.

The competition got closer after cautions led to restarts with seven and three laps left, but Castroneves could not be caught in part because Power did not want to risk ruining his teammate's path to victory by possibly hitting him.

"Because of Roger, I definitely wasn't going to race him hard," Power said.

Castroneves has 29 IndyCar victories, tying Rick Mears for 11th on the career.

"Oh, really?" Castroneves asked. "Wow. What an honor."

Castroneves finished 0.060 seconds behind Ryan Hunter-Reay last week in the Indianapolis 500 in his bid to join Mears as a four-time winner in open-wheel racing's signature event.

Power won Saturday and played a big part in a sloppy start Sunday.

He was penalized for avoidable contact on the opening lap, failing to turn right and causing Josef Newgarden to hit him from behind to trigger a three-car crash. That led to the first of two cautions within the first ten laps after a false start briefly delayed the race beginning.

Despite a drive-through penalty, Power was able to pull into contention later in the race with aggressive moves.

No one, though, was faster than Castroneves.

Hunter-Reay, meanwhile, had a poor ending to a rough weekend after the biggest win of his career.

He started 21st in the 22-car field on Saturday and Sunday because of crashes. Hunter-Reay ended the first race by crashing on the final lap and the second one did not last as long due to an electrical problem knocking him out after 61 laps.

"You name it, we had the problem this weekend," he said. "I'm just glad to be getting out of here."

Hunter-Reay left Detroit - heading to New York for an appearance Monday night with David Letterman - without the IndyCar points lead.

He entered the weekend with a 40-point lead on Power and exits it in third, 27 points behind Power and eight more behind Castroneves.

"Major hit," Hunter-Reay acknowledged.

Honda had dominated the Detroit Grand Prix the previous two years - in the shadow of Chevy's world headquarters - and had the fastest car last week at the Indy 500.

The engine manufacture did not fare better than fifth on Sunday with James Hinchcliffe following Charlie Kimball and Scott Dixon. Pole-sitter Takuma Sato was spun twice, dropping him to 18th.

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Follow Larry Lage on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/larrylage

Matsuyama wins Memorial in a playoff

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama made birdie on the final hole Sunday at the Memorial, and then won with a par in the playoff for his first American victory.

Matsuyama didn't look like a winner when hit a poor tee shot on the 18th hole. Lightly slamming his driver on the ground in disgust, the head broke off. He hit an approach to 5 feet for birdie for a 3-under 69. That put him in a playoff with Kevin Na, who finished off his 64 about two hours earlier.

In the playoff, Na drove into the creek. Matsuyama holed a 10-foot par putt for his sixth career win.

Masters champion Bubba Watson was in the lead until a drive out-of-bounds led to double bogey. He missed the playoff by one shot.

Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner Katz dies at 72

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Lewis Katz, a self-made man who built his fortune in New York parking lots, billboards and cable TV, and went on to buy the NBA's New Jersey Nets, NHL's New Jersey Devils and The Philadelphia Inquirer, died in a weekend plane crash. He was 72.

Katz died Saturday night in a Massachusetts crash that claimed six other lives. His death was confirmed Sunday by his son, Drew, and his business partner Harold H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest.

Katz grew up in working-class Camden, New Jersey, and worked as a lawyer before earning hundreds of millions of dollars investing in the Kinney Parking empire and the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network in New York. He went on to become a major philanthropist in the Philadelphia region.

"You've got to make money in the world that we live in, in order to accomplish what your ultimate goal is. But along with making money, equally important is preserving, for the community, a community trust," Katz testified at an April hearing on the Inquirer's sale. "That's what this paper represents."

Tributes poured in from prominent figures in sports, media, politics, business and education, reflecting the wide range of his interests and charitable endeavors. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called him "a visionary"; the Yankees held a moment of silence before Sunday's game. Temple University recalled his recent advice to graduates to "have as much fun as you can conjure up."

"He was a visionary businessman who touched the lives of so many with his tireless pursuit of innovation and enterprise, as well as his deep commitment to his family, friends and community," Silver said in a statement.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement called Katz a man of "tremendous influence" and sent condolences to Katz's family and "the many organizations that benefited from his philanthropy."

Katz, in his April testimony, said he had lost money on both the Nets and Devils, but made it big through the 2012 sale of the sports cable network.

"We lost our shirt in the Devils and the Nets," he testified. "But for the YES network, I'd be back in my law office in Cherry Hill, waiting for the clients to come in again."

He hoped to be a hands-off owner of the Inquirer, where his longtime companion, Nancy Phillips, was the city editor.

"I'm spending, hopefully, a lot more time with my grandchildren and I've opened a school in Camden for approximately 300 children," he testified. "I'm not active in business, anymore."

Katz had agreed to invest $16 million for a 26 percent stake in the Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News in 2012 at the behest of former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who wanted to return the newspapers to local ownership after a bankruptcy that left them in the hands of New York hedge funds.

But a feud with rival investor George Norcross, an equally powerful business leader, over the direction of the news business forced him to be more a more active owner.

Katz filed suit last year to stop Norcross from firing Pulitzer Prize-winning editor Bill Marimow. He succeeded, then joined Lenfest in bidding $88 million to buy out Norcross and his allies at an auction Tuesday.

"He was very creative, as a person and as a business partner," Lenfest said. "He thought beyond the edge. He had wonderful, creative ideas."

The sale had been set to close June 12, but will now be delayed for 30 days to give Katz's family time to get the estate in order, Lenfest said.

"We'll lose his expertise, but the paper will continue because we both intended to put a new CEO in charge of the day-to-day operations," Lenfest said.

Drew Katz will take his father's seat on the board of directors, Lenfest said.

"My father was my best friend. He taught me everything," Drew Katz, who was often seen at his father's side at business events, said in a statement on behalf of him and his sister. "He never forgot where and how he grew up, and he worked tirelessly to support his community in countless ways that were seen and unseen."

Katz had recently given $25 million to Temple University for its medical school, and had previously given $15 million to another alma mater, Dickinson Law School, where he had graduated first in his class.

He also supported the Boys & Girls Clubs in Camden, along with many Jewish charities. Katz recently helped fund a charter school in impoverished Camden.

"There are so many organizations that he endowed, many anonymously," Marimow said Sunday.

Marimow described Katz as a brilliant man and generous philanthropist who developed a love for journalism from a college stint working for the syndicated columnist Drew Pearson.

"That really inspired an appreciation and a love for journalism that lasted his whole life," Marimow said.

His wife, Marjorie, died in December. His survivors include his son, daughter Melissa, and several grandchildren.

Katz, a classmate of Bill Cosby in Temple's 1963 graduating class, had spoken at the school's commencement last month, and received an honorary doctorate.

"Life in my view is meant to be enjoyed," he told the graduates. "It's meant to have as much fun as you can conjure up"

Johnson builds track on record with 9th Dover win

DOVER, Del. (AP) Jimmie Johnson dominated again at Dover International Speedway, extending his track record for wins with nine.

He followed last week's victory in the Coca-Cola 600 with another sensational run in a race red-flagged for 22 minutes because of a pothole in the concrete track.

Johnson led 272 of 400 laps, and won consecutive races for the 13th time. The six-time Cup champion swept Dover in 2002 and 2009 and won races in 2005, 2010, 2012 and 2013.

Brad Keselowski was second, followed by Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin.

Johnson also became Dover's career leader in laps led when he hit the 2,802 mark.

Spurs beat Thunder in OT, advance to NBA Finals

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The San Antonio Spurs are back in the NBA Finals, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-107 in overtime on Saturday night in Game 6 to set up a rematch with the Miami Heat.

Tim Duncan had 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Spurs, who will host Game 1 on Thursday night as they try to avenge last year's heartbreaking seven-game defeat.

Boris Diaw scored 26 points for the Spurs, who won despite point guard Tony Parker missing the entire second half and overtime with left ankle soreness.

Russell Westbrook had 34 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and six steals, and Kevin Durant added 31 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder. Oklahoma City overcame a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

Will Power wins 1st of 2 Detroit Grand Prix races

DETROIT (AP) Will Power gave Roger Penske and Chevrolet what they desperately wanted by winning the first of two races at the Detroit Grand Prix.

"On his home track and in Chevy's backyard, it's a perfect day," Power said Saturday. "If we can do it again tomorrow, it'll be even better."

Power finished 0.3308 seconds ahead of Graham Rahal on the bumpy, 13-turn, 2.36-mile street circuit on Belle Isle.

He started a season-worst 16th and took the lead for good with just more than 10 laps to go when he passed Ryan Briscoe.

"There's no way we thought we would come from 16th to win," he said. "But this is IndyCar and anything can happen."

The Australian held off Rahal to join Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay as the series' drivers with two victories through six races. Power pulled within three points of Hunter-Reay, IndyCar's points leader.

Power, who won IndyCar's season-opening race, has 23 career victories to break a tie with Emerson Fittipaldi and Tony Bettenhausen and to match Tommy Milton for 18th on the all-time list.

His latest victory was especially sweet for Penske and Chevy.

Penske had not won an open-wheel race in the area he calls home since Helio Castroneves finished first in 2001.

"It's sure a great piece of satisfaction for me to see this happen," Penske acknowledged.

And for Chevy, which sponsors the race, it was a good day after being relegated to watching Honda dominate the previous three races over the last two years in the shadow of its world headquarters.

"We swept the podium in 2012," Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development, said a few hours before Saturday's race. "We won both races last year, swept the podium in one race and had two of the three spots in the other race

"There are a lot of Chevy folks here, so you do walk around with your chest puffed out a little bit more."

After the 70-lap race, Honda had to settle for Rahal's second-place finish as its only driver on the podium. Rahal, whose only career victory was in 2008, had finished no better than 13th this year.

"It's a great day for us with the year we've had and the luck we've had," Rahal said.

Tony Kanaan was a season-best third followed by Justin Wilson and Castroneves, who was the pole-sitter and led a race-high 30 laps Saturday.

"I wish I could relax," Kanaan said "My mind is already going on what I have to do tomorrow."

Hunter-Reay, meanwhile, failed to follow up the biggest win of his career with a 16th-place finish. He was on the last lap, but did not make it to the finish line because he spun into a tire wall to end the race. He started 21st in the 22-car field because he brushed a wall on his second lap during Saturday morning's qualifying session.

"We had a rough day overall," Hunter-Reay said.

Simon Pagenaud and Mike Conway each won last year on Belle Isle and both lost their shot to win early Saturday.

Pagenaud damaged his front left suspension when he ran into the back of Power, leading to a yellow.

"I didn't even know where Pagenaud was," Power insisted.

Conway did not have any one around him when he appeared to understeer into a wall on Lap 15, putting the race under caution.

Both will get another shot to repeat at the Detroit Grand Prix on Sunday as part of IndyCar's first of three doubleheaders this season.

While Penske was thrilled with the victory after Castroneves was barely beaten by Hunter-Reay's Honda-powered car last Sunday at the Indy 500, he knew there were fewer than 24 hours to celebrate before the next race on Sunday.

"We all start from ground zero," he said.

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Follow Larry Lage on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/larrylage

Wild sign Mike Yeo to extension

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Mike Yeo's three-year run in Minnesota has been anything but easy. The Wild coach has had to navigate key injuries to his roster, his own growing pains in his first NHL head coaching job and the considerable expectations brought forth when the team's owner spent nearly $200 million on two players two summers ago.

The Wild have improved under Yeo in each season, and Yeo has improved himself enough to earn the faith of the Wild leadership going forward.

Yeo signed a multi-year contract extension with the Wild on Saturday, the team announced. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the agreement was expected after Yeo guided the team out of the first round of the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history in the final year of his original deal. He has gone 104-82-26 in three seasons with the Wild.

"Mike has done a very good job the last three seasons as our head coach and we look forward to his leadership going forward," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said.

Yeo was an unproven coach with no NHL head coaching track record to go by when Fletcher picked him to take over for Todd Richards three seasons ago. The Wild faded after a strong start to Yeo's first season and never found a rhythm in his second year, an abbreviated 48-game schedule due to the lockout. The Wild did snap a five-season playoff drought in his second season, but were dominated by Chicago in a first-round defeat.

His status was tenuous at best by New Year's Eve last season, when the Wild lost their sixth straight game and Yeo felt compelled at the next practice to tell the players he wouldn't coach simply to save his job. But despite foot injuries that kept stars Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu and key defenseman Jared Spurgeon out for long stretches of the winter, Yeo helped hold the group together while the wins picked up. The Wild played all season with a carousel in the net, too, with four different goalies starting 10 games each or more.

"There were times where the wheels could've come off, and he kept it together," said defenseman Ryan Suter, one of several players to endorse Yeo after the season-ending loss to Chicago.

The Wild solidified his status in the playoffs with a seven-game victory over Colorado in the first round when the Avalanche led 2-0 and 3-2 in the series. They gave the Blackhawks a fight, too, until falling in six games.

The late-season surge, and Yeo's impressive strategic decisions both rounds of the playoffs, gave Fletcher the faith that he had the right man for the job.

"I am very excited to continue to coach the Minnesota Wild and pursue a Stanley Cup for the State of Hockey," Yeo said. "Our fan support has been amazing and it went to a new level during the playoffs this season. We are all motivated to reward them."

Watson takes a 1-shot lead at Memorial

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) Bubba Watson put himself in position for his third win of the year Saturday with a 3-under 69 to take a one-shot lead over Scott Langley at the Memorial.

Watson has never finished in the top 20 at Muirfield Village. Even with a bogey on the last hole, he had his third straight round in the 60s and was at 12-under 204.

It will be an all-lefty final pairing with Langley, who has gone 40 straight holes without a bogey and had a 67.

The most famous Lefty, Phil Mickelson, had a 72 while coping with reports he is involved in an insider trading investigation.

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan birdied his last hole for a 69 and was two shots behind. Adam Scott was three shots back after a 68.

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