National Sports Headlines from NBC Sports

Crawford leads Blackhawks past Kings 3-1 in Game 1

CHICAGO (AP) Corey Crawford made 25 saves, Jonathan Toews had a big goal in the third period and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 in Game 1 of the Western Conference final Sunday.

Brandon Saad added a goal and an assist for Chicago, which remained perfect in seven home playoff games this year. Duncan Keith had a tiebreaking score in the third period.

Playing just two days after a Game 7 victory over Anaheim, the Kings got a second-period goal from Tyler Toffoli and outshot the Blackhawks 26-20. But Crawford made a couple of solid stops in another terrific performance.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday night.

Ovechkin sustains leg injury at hockey worlds

MINSK, Belarus (AP) Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin was taken to a hospital with a right leg injury Sunday after colliding with an opponent during Russia's game against Germany at the ice hockey world championships.

Ovechkin took a hit to his right knee from forward Marcus Kink midway through the third period and stayed on the ice for several minutes before he needed assistance to leave the ice.

Ovechkin struggled to put weight on his right leg and did not return to the game, which Russia won 3-0.

Kink was not penalized for the incident.

Russia coach Oleg Znarok said he couldn't "share any information now" about the injury, and that more details would be disclosed after Ovechkin was examined.

The Capitals said in a statement their medical staff was "working with Ovechkin and Team Russia to gather additional information."

Ovechkin has scored three goals and added six assists for Russia in the tournament.

"It's an unfortunate incident and we hope he's OK," Germany coach Pat Cortina said. "He's a great player and a great ambassador for the game of ice hockey. We need players like that and hopefully he will be fine and we'll see him back on the ice soon."

Russia is waiting for the arrival of another star forward, Evgeni Malkin, who agreed to join the team at the worlds after his Pittsburgh Penguins were eliminated from the NHL playoffs by the New York Rangers. Malkin could be available for Tuesday's final group-stage game against Belarus.

Russia is the only unbeaten team in the tournament.

Carpenter wins Indy 500 pole for 2nd straight year

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Local driver Ed Carpenter has made himself at home on the Indianapolis 500 pole.

The last of nine qualifiers to take the track, Carpenter bumped James Hinchcliffe from the top spot, posting a four-lap average of 231.067 mph to win the 500 pole for the second straight year.

"I felt that it was harder," Carpenter said. "It was just a different position because when I made my run last year, we didn't really have anything to lose. This year, being the last guy to go out, I think there was a little bit of pressure to not mess it up."

He didn't mess it up, not at all.

Carpenter's No. 20 Chevrolet was the car to beat all weekend, and the hometown favorite showed no signs of rust in his first IndyCar Series race of the season. He owns Ed Carpenter Racing and decided in November to run only on ovals, where he excels. He turned his car over to Mike Conway on road and street courses, and skipped the first four races of the season.

He knew he had the pole secured when he nailed the final two corners on the last lap.

"I could really just kind of enjoy it knowing that we were going to be on the pole for the second year," he said.

Hinchcliffe will start second after sustaining a concussion last weekend in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Will Power will join them on the front row.

Three-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves was fourth followed by Simon Pagenaud and Marco Andretti. Carlos Munoz, Josef Newgarden and J.R. Hildebrand will be on the third row.

Carpenter, the stepson of former speedway executive Tony George, was 10th in last year's Indy 500. He is 11th driver to earn consecutive 500 poles and the first since Castroneves in 2009-10.

"It's all about the race," the 33-year-old Carpenter said. "Hopefully, we can close the deal this year."

As a single-car team last year, Carpenter was unable to get help on data and much-needed setup information. He didn't want a repeat this May, so he hired Hildebrand to drive a second car at Indy for Ed Carpenter Racing. Hildebrand nearly won the Indy 500 as a rookie in 2011, but he crashed exiting the final turn and was passed for the win by the late Dan Wheldon.

"I wish we could have got him up on the front row with us, but the shootout's tough," Carpenter said. "The conditions were hard today, but having him go first today also helped me because we were able to make an adjustment."

Carpenter thrived in the first year of a new Indy 500 qualifying format. He posted the top qualifying speed Saturday when the fastest nine drivers advanced to Sunday's shootout for the pole.

Juan Pablo Montoya had the fastest four-lap average (231.007 mph) among drivers ineligible to win the Indianapolis 500 pole and will start 10th.

"We have a pretty quick car," Montoya, the 2000 winner, said. "Hopefully, my guys can learn something for the Fast Nine. I think that will put us in a good spot to start the race."

Montoya was followed by reigning series champion Scott Dixon and former NASCAR champion Kurt Busch.

Busch is set to race 1,100 miles in the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 25. Busch raced in NASCAR's All-Star race the night before and flew back from Concord, North Carolina, on Sunday morning.

Busch was humbled when he said he'd never be able to duplicate a weekend like this one - "except for maybe next week."

Defending 500 champion Tony Kanaan will start 16th.

Hinchcliffe appeared to have no problems in the car days after he was cleared to return for his concussion. He paced as he watched Carpenter make his final run, then his chance at the pole end when Carpenter found more speed on his final lap.

He was injured last weekend in Saturday's Grand Prix when debris from Justin Wilson's car flew into the cockpit, striking Hinchcliffe in the head. He was taken away from the track on a stretcher, transported to a hospital and diagnosed with a concussion.

The 27-year old Canadian was cleared to drive Thursday, and took the wheel back from pinch-driver E.J. Viso.

"I had to kind of pretend that I had been here all month and take the feedback my teammates had given me at face value," Hinchcliffe said. "I knew what to expect from the car and that was a huge part of it."

For the first time, IndyCar awarded points based on qualifying runs. The top qualifier on Saturday earned 33 points, second place got 32 and so on, all the way to one point for the 33rd-place entrant.

The pole winner earned another nine points Sunday, decreasing to one point for the ninth-place starter.

Carpenter, a Butler University alum, is an avid Indiana Pacers fan and couldn't wait to watch them play the Miami Heat in the playoffs.

"Racers and Pacers right now," he said. "So go Pacers, beat the Heat."

McMurray pulls off surprise win in All-Star race

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) Jamie McMurray, a 40-1 long shot, had a $1 million payday Saturday night with an upset victory in the Sprint All-Star Race.

McMurray was second on the restart for the 10-lap sprint to the checkered flag. Lined up outside of pole-sitter Carl Edwards, McMurray waged a door-to-door battle with the leader for a lap around Charlotte Motor Speedway, with McMurray surging slightly ahead several times.

The two cars appeared to touch more than once, and McMurray finally cleared Edwards for the lead two laps into the fifth segment.

"A million bucks, that's what I kept telling myself," McMurray said.

McMurray then easily pulled away for his first victory in the event.

"For me, in the car, that was as much fun as you can have, a 10-lap shootout, me and Carl going side by side," said McMurray, who scored the first victory of his career in 2002 at Charlotte. "Carl and I were just going for it. That's awesome."

Kevin Harvick finished second, Matt Kenseth was third and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who complained earlier he was driving a dump truck, was fourth.

Edwards faded all the way to fifth.

Kurt Busch was 11th after qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day.

"Really happy to see Jamie win, it's always nice to see good guys win," said Kenseth, a former teammate of McMurray's at Roush Fenway Racing.

It seemed to be a popular victory as several drivers made a point to congratulate McMurray in their post-race interviews as the driver took his Chevrolet to Victory Lane. He was met there by team owners Felix Sabates and Chip Ganassi, who flew into North Carolina before the race after Indianapolis 500 qualifying.

It was a tough day for Ganassi in Indianapolis, where none of his five cars made it into the Fast 9 qualifying round and Scott Dixon was his fastest driver at 15th.

Kyle Busch won the first segment, but his night ended early in the second 20-lap segment when he used an aggressive move in a fast attempt to avoid running into the back of older brother, Kurt.

"His brother forced his hand," Clint Bowyer said of the accident that nearly collected his car. "Hell, I don't know how I didn't wreck."

The Busch brothers were running together when Kurt was too close to the outside wall and Kyle tried to dart into the middle lane to avoid hitting him. Instead, Kyle hit the back of Bowyer as he tried to swing around Bowyer into a third lane. Bowyer clipped him as Busch surged ahead, and it began a spin that sent Busch into the path of Joey Logano.

Busch failed to finish the All-Star race for the fifth time in nine years.

"I saw Kurt get really bottled up ad about get in the wall, so he had to check-up real hard and my shot was in the middle, to go across three lanes and underneath Bowyer," Busch said. "But Bowyer blocked it and when he did, I got into him. Those are the opportunities you have to take in the All-Star."

Kasey Kahne went on to win that segment, and the third segment.

"I say just leave the car for now, felt pretty good right there," Kahne radioed after the third segment as his crew debated pit strategy.

But his night fell apart in the fourth segment when he hit the wall to damage his Chevrolet.

"I hit it hard. I blew it bad," he radioed. "Sorry, guys. I can't believe that happened. We had the best car here by far. Great, great car."

Kahne wound up 14th.

Arizona hires La Russa to run baseball operations

PHOENIX (AP) Tony La Russa has never missed the managing part of baseball since retiring in 2011. He did miss the competition and, most particularly, the winning.

That's what drew him back to the big leagues.

Bolstering their front office, the Arizona Diamondbacks hired La Russa as their chief baseball officer on Saturday, hoping the Hall of Fame manager can help turn around the team after one of the worst starts in franchise history.

"It's the first day I woke up and I felt a difference," La Russa said. "Because for the first time since then you're back with an organization and at the end of the day you're going to be judged by how well your contribution is to the organization's competition. That's how I grew up."

La Russa last worked as a manager in 2011, walking away after leading the St. Louis Cardinals to their second World Series title with him at the helm.

He spent time working for Major League Baseball as a special assistant to Commissioner Bud Selig and was itching to get back into baseball on a day-to-day basis, appearing at Diamondbacks games a few times the past few weeks.

La Russa will report to Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall and oversee the entire baseball operations department. He will work with general manager Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson in shaping the future of the Diamondbacks, who were 16-28 heading into Saturday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"It is going to take time, but I think having him here and helping us lead this department, it looks good for us," Hall said. "Any decisions that are going to be made personnel wise, he's going to have final say."

La Russa won three World Series titles and six league championships and was a four-time manager of the year in 33 seasons before retiring in 2011. He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in July and is third with 2,728 wins as a manager and second with 70 postseason wins.

La Russa played parts of six seasons in the majors before starting a managerial career that began in 1979 with the Chicago White Sox and took him to Oakland and St. Louis, where he won World Series rings in 2006 and 2011. He also won a title with the A's in 1989, joining Sparky Anderson as the only two managers to win World Series in both leagues.

"I understand the levels of decision making," La Russa said. "And all I'm saying here is that you include everybody in the process. But I think the advantage that we hope to have is that everybody on the competitive side is working from the same thought philosophy."

California Chrome wins Preakness; Triple try next

BALTIMORE (AP) California Chrome repelled one challenger and then put away another in the stretch to win the Preakness on Saturday, setting up a Triple Crown try in three weeks.

The chestnut colt with four white feet will attempt to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, something that hasn't been done since Affirmed in 1978. Since then, 12 horses have won the first two legs and failed to complete the sweep; the last was I'll Have Another, who was scratched on the eve of the Belmont two years ago.

Maybe the horse with the modest pedigree and average Joe owners is the one.

California Chrome defeated Ride On Curlin by 1 1/2 lengths at Pimlico, covering 1 3/16 miles in 1:54.84. He's now won six straight races by a combined 27 1/2 lengths for 77-year-old trainer Art Sherman.

"You have to have a very good horse to win these three races," Sherman said. "I'm hoping I've got one right now."

California Chrome's co-owner Steve Coburn shed tears after his colt crossed the finish line, dabbing them away with a blue-and-white bandanna.

"I don't mean to be bold or cocky or arrogant," Coburn said. "I saw this baby when he was a day old, I told my wife, "Carolyn, this horse is going to do something big. I don't know what it is, but we're going to stay in the game to make sure this colt gets to be the best that he can be."'

Quite a statement from a guy with a one-horse stable.

Coburn and partner Perry Martin bred an $8,000 mare to a $2,500 stallion to produce California Chrome. Based on the colt's humble breeding, he probably shouldn't be on the verge of making history.

His mother, named Love the Chase, won just one race.

The owners were long shots to get this far, too.

Coburn and Martin named their operation DAP Racing, which stands for Dumb Ass Partners. Their silks include an image of a donkey. Coburn and Perry who live on each side of the California-Nevada border get up early for their jobs - Coburn working as a press operator and Martin running a lab that tests high-reliability equipment.

"We just hope that this horse is letting America know that the little guy can win," Coburn said.

Sent off as the overwhelming favorite by a record crowd of 123,469 on a sunny and cool day, California Chrome bounced out of the gate running, with jockey Victor Espinoza moving the colt into the clear. Pablo Del Monte, a 34-1 shot, charged to the lead and was soon joined by filly Ria Antonia.

Espinoza tucked California Chrome into third, an ideal spot behind the leaders. They stayed there until making their move approaching the final turn.

"I had so many cameras in my face that I actually couldn't see the race," Coburn said.

California Chrome made a move for the lead, catching Pablo Del Monte while Social Inclusion joined the chase. Pablo Del Monte soon dropped back along the rail, and California Chrome sprinted away from Social Inclusion at the top of the stretch.

But there was one more challenge to come.

Ride On Curlin, next-to-last in the 10-horse field, ranged up and briefly appeared ready to overtake California Chrome. Once again showing his class, California Chrome denied the threat.

"It's an awesome feeling," Espinoza said. "Today it was just a crazy race. I got more tired mentally than physically. I see another horse go to the front. I was going to sit second. .. I sit back, as soon as the other horse got clear of me, it worked out perfect."

California Chrome paid $3, $3 and $2.40. Ride On Curlin returned $5.60 and $3.80, while Social Inclusion was another 6 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $3.40 as the 5-1 second choice.

General a Rod was fourth, followed by Ring Weekend, Pablo Del Monte, Dynamic Impact, Kid Cruz, Bayern and Ria Antonia.

Espinoza will get another crack at trying to complete the Triple Crown, after missing with War Emblem in 2002. He finished eighth in the Belmont that year.

"You have to be a super horse to win," the jockey said. "Hopefully, California Chrome comes back good, and he's the one that hopefully can do it."

Bob Baffert trained War Emblem, one of his three Triple tries that ended in failure. He missed with Silver Charm in 1997 and again the following year with Real Quiet, who lost the Belmont by a nose.

"California Chrome is something. He's a cool customer," Baffert said after the race. "He does everything right. He's fast enough to stay out of trouble."

Browns QB Johnny Manziel: 'I'm just a rookie'

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Johnny stretched. Johnny ran. Johnny passed. Johnny talked.

With all eyes - well, at least the ones allowed to watch him - on quarterback Johnny Manziel, the most hyped college player to enter the NFL in years took his first steps with the Browns, who haven't promised Johnny Football anything other than a chance to win a starting job.

And that's cool with him.

"I'm a rookie," Manziel said. "I need to earn my place. I need to earn my keep. Nothing here needs to be handed to me. I don't need to be treated based off what I did in the past, because that doesn't mean a thing at this level."

The former Texas A&M quarterback, who oozes swagger every moment he's on the field, is participating in Cleveland's rookie minicamp this weekend along with its other draft picks and unsigned free agents. Browns first-year coach Mike Pettine restricted access to Saturday's workout, which was held inside because of rainy weather, to local media members. Sunday's practice is closed.

Pettine was on the Jets' coaching staff when popular quarterback Tim Tebow joined the team and wants to control "Manzielmania" as best he can.

"We're well aware of the persona. We're well aware of what it brings," Pettine said. "We're excited about it. It's something that we're very willing to have come here, knowing that he has a chance to make us a better football team and a better franchise."

Pettine added that he knows the decision to limit access will "ruffle some feathers."

"I'll apologize in advance for that, but what we're tasked as a staff to do is do what's best for the football team," he said.

Wearing a red No. 2 jersey, Manziel stretched with his teammates as Jay-Z's "Public Service Announcement" boomed through the speakers in the field house. With Browns owner Jimmy Haslam on the sideline, Manziel made a few handoffs and threw three short passes before the session was closed after 15 minutes.

Manziel later answered questions for 10 minutes before the interview was stopped by a member of the team's media relations staff.

Manziel tried to clear up one story about how he wound up with the Browns, whose long-suffering fans hope his arrival can turn around their woeful franchise. Cleveland passed on him earlier in the draft before trading up to take him at No. 22.

On Thursday, quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains revealed during a radio interview that Manziel sent him a text message during last week's draft, urging the team to pick him. Loggains claimed the text read: "Hurry up and draft me because I want to wreck this league together."

Manziel confirmed he exchanged texts with Loggains, but said the one in which he claimed he would "wreck this league" may have been exaggerated.

"I don't know if that's exactly word for word," he said. "It was something along those lines."

He explained he didn't mean he was going to dominate as a rookie, just that he wanted to help the Browns win games.

"Whenever it is I get a chance to play, I don't want to come in and be mediocre," he said.

As for his desire to join the Browns, Manziel said that was true.

"This was a place I felt comfortable with," he said. "I liked the situation here and I wanted to come here, and if they wanted to take me and were trying to get me earlier, I said, `Let's do it.' I don't know what kind of influence that had or what exactly that did."

Pettine told Manziel that if he wants to start he's going to have to beat out Brian Hoyer, who made three starts last year before a knee injury ended his season.

Manziel said he understands he's nothing special - not yet.

"I was completely OK with hearing that from everybody," he said. "I don't want to come in and have anything handed to me that I don't deserve."

Manziel was humbled long before the Browns took him.

"I got passed up 21 times, so that says something," he said.

As for meshing with his new teammates, Manziel is fitting right in.

Offensive lineman Joe Bitonio, a second-round pick, said there was a moment of awe when he walked into the locker room and realized his locker was next to Manziel's.

"At first I was like, `Man, that's Johnny Manziel,"' Bitonio said. "And then once you get to know him, he's a normal guy."

On the field, Manziel has already made an impression.

"Amazing," running back Terrance West said. "He's Manziel, right? Everybody knows Johnny Manziel. He makes plays. He makes big plays. He's a great player."

But right now, he's only Johnny Rookie.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Rangers rout Canadiens 7-2, take 1-0 lead

MONTREAL (AP) Martin St. Louis started the scoring and Henrik Lundqvist posted his first win in Montreal in more than two years and the New York Rangers routed the Canadiens 7-2 to open the NHL Eastern Conference final on Saturday afternoon.

St. Louis, who is scheduled to attend his mother's funeral with his teammates on Sunday, got the opening goal before Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider, Brad Richards, Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Rick Nash also scored for the Rangers. New York had scored only four goals in its past nine regular-season visits to the Bell Centre.

Rene Bourque and Lars Eller scored for Montreal, which saw star goalie Carey Price apparently injure his right leg when he was run over early in the second period. Price was replaced by Peter Budaj after the second period but it was not clear if it was because of an injury.

It was Montreal's worst playoff defeat since losing 8-2 to Carolina in 2002.

Selanne says farewell to Anaheim after Ducks' loss

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Teemu Selanne took one last tour of the Anaheim rink after the final horn, waving his stick at cheering fans while players from both teams banged their sticks on the ice.

Despite the melancholy look on his face, the Finnish Flash said he has no regrets about returning to the Anaheim Ducks for one last season, even after they fell well short of another Stanley Cup title.

Selanne's 21-season NHL career likely ended Thursday night with a 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 of their second-round series.

The 43-year-old forward has maintained he'll retire this summer, keeping to his plan even after starring in his sixth Olympics and playing a significant role during the best regular season in franchise history in Anaheim, his home for parts of 15 seasons.

"I've been flirting with this decision for a long time, but the passion and the fun always brought me back," said Selanne, who didn't score in the finale. "I still love this game, and I still know I can play, but it is better this way than having different situations, and that's why I think it is the right time."

The crowd chanted "Let's Go Teemu" in the final minutes, with even Kings fans joining in. After the final horn, Selanne accepted congratulations and eventually made it to the dressing room, where his famed composure slipped.

"I tried, but when I came in here, I couldn't hold myself anymore," Selanne said. "I didn't know what to do out there."

Selanne kept returning to the Ducks for seven straight years after he first contemplated retirement following their only Stanley Cup championship in 2007, each time hoping the Ducks would make another title run. He kept moving up the NHL's career scoring chart, currently sitting 15th with 1,457 points and 11th with 684 goals.

Selanne's ice time with the Ducks dwindled this year while coach Bruce Boudreau worked younger players into key roles. He still played a dependable role in Anaheim, bottling his frustration for one more run at a Cup.

"The 2007 Stanley Cup has to be the biggest crown for my career," Selanne said. "To be honest, the most proud I am is I have been able to play so many years and at this age. You all know when you get older, it's not going to get any easier. But to be able to compete against these young guys and still enjoy this and play well, that has been the greatest thing in my career. I'm really thankful for that."

Selanne has a full life in Southern California waiting for him after retirement. He opened a successful steak house in Laguna Beach last year, and his four children are comfortable in their year-round home in Coto De Caza, an Orange County community on Selanne's beloved golf course.

Yet in classic Selanne fashion, he didn't slam the door completely shut on the possibility he could play elsewhere next season. Speculation has been rampant in Finland and Russia about the possibility of luring Selanne to Jokerit, the Helsinki-based club that's joining the Kontinental Hockey League in the fall.

"I don't know, and I don't think so," Selanne said a potential move to Jokerit. "I know there is a lot of interest for that, but I always said I was going to retire here. To be honest, I really don't have to play anywhere anymore. I could if I want, but right now I don't want to."

Selanne began his pro career with three years in Jokerit's junior development program, and he played three seasons with the big-league club before joining the Winnipeg Jets for his record-setting NHL rookie year in 1992-93.

The game also might have been a finale for Saku Koivu, Selanne's fellow Finn and longtime friend. The 39-year-old Koivu was the Montreal Canadiens' captain before moving to Anaheim five years ago.

"I really don't have an answer for you," Koivu said. "Usually after the season, the last three or four years, I've been signing one-year contracts. And I'm going to go the same road, just to get away from the game for a couple of weeks and really take a good careful look at what happened, how the season went, and if there is enough left to come back and push for another year."

LA Kings eliminate rival Ducks 6-2 in Game 7

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Justin Williams, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards scored in an overwhelming first period, and the Los Angeles Kings advanced to their third straight Western Conference finals with a 6-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 of their second-round series Friday night.

Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik and Tanner Pearson also scored, and Jonathan Quick made 25 saves to help the Kings claim the first postseason Freeway Faceoff series in thrilling style, winning back-to-back elimination games over their top-seeded Southern California rivals.

The Kings improved to 6-0 when facing elimination this spring, shredding rookie goalie John Gibson for four goals in the first 23 minutes in Game 7.

The defeat likely ended the career of 43-year-old Teemu Selanne, who intends to retire.

The Kings advanced to a conference finals rematch with the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks.

Game 1 is Sunday in Chicago.

The Kings added the victory to their 7-1 record in elimination games over the past two years, showing off the remarkable poise that has led to eight playoff series victories in three seasons. The 2012 Stanley Cup champions took charge in the first period and led 5-0 late in the second, never allowing the Ducks to get close in their own building.

Los Angeles, which chased Gibson on Kopitar's goal early in the second period, hung on to win its second straight seven-game series. The Kings rallied from an 0-3 deficit to stun San Jose in the first round.

Kings fans' chants of "This is our house!" echoed through Honda Center, where the Ducks were one of the NHL's best home teams during the best regular season in franchise history.

The Kings got stellar performances from their best big-game players. Quick improved to 3-0 in Game 7 in his career, while Williams kicked off Los Angeles' first-period onslaught with his sixth goal in six career trips to Game 7. Williams also has six assists in those deciding games.

Gaborik scored six goals in the series' four games in Anaheim, giving him an NHL-best nine goals in his first postseason with the Kings. Gaborik, Williams and Richards are unbeaten in six career trips to Game 7, while Carter improved to 4-0.

The 20-year-old Gibson was overmatched, yielding four goals on 18 shots before getting pulled 2:02 into the second period for Jonas Hiller, the dependable veteran who was twice benched by coach Bruce Boudreau in the season's final weeks. Boudreau dropped to 1-5 in his six career trips to Game 7 with Washington and Anaheim, losing all five times at home.

After winning his first two playoff starts in impressive fashion, Gibson took his second straight loss - but Gibson didn't deserve all the blame behind a team that made innumerable mistakes in its biggest game of the season.

Corey Perry scored early in the third period, but also missed a penalty shot and got denied on a second-period breakaway on his 29th birthday. Kyle Palmieri scored late in the second period after Anaheim already trailed by five goals.

The game was an unsightly farewell to Selanne, whose 21-season NHL career began in Winnipeg in 1992 and included parts of 15 seasons in Anaheim. The Finnish Flash scored 684 regular-season goals, but had just two goals in 12 playoff games this spring. The crowd chanted "Let's Go Teemu" in the final minutes, and Selanne accepted congratulations from his teammates and the Kings after the final horn.

Game 7 also might have been a finale for Saku Koivu, although the 39-year-old Finnish center hasn't decided whether he'll retire after 18 NHL seasons.

The anti-climactic finale capped the most memorable season in these clubs' 20 seasons spent just 30 miles apart on the I-5 freeway. The Ducks won four of their five regular-season meetings, including a 3-0 victory in January in the clubs' historic outdoor game at Dodger Stadium.

The road team won the first four games of the series, with the Ducks rallying from two opening losses with three straight victories. Los Angeles staved off elimination for the fifth time this spring with a 2-1 victory in Game 6 on Wednesday, helped along when Gibson allowed a soft goal to Trevor Lewis.

NOTES: The Kings again played without two injured veteran defensemen. Willie Mitchell missed his eighth straight game and Robyn Regehr missed his sixth straight. ... Los Angeles is the 17th team in NHL history to win a Game 7 twice in the same postseason run. The New York Rangers also have done it this spring. ... The visiting team has won five of the six Game 7s in the current playoffs.

Colts star LB Robert Mathis suspended for 4 games

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) NFL sacks champion Robert Mathis admits he made a mistake late last season.

Now it's going to cost him - four games and four paychecks.

The Colts' career sacks leader was suspended Friday by the NFL after violating the league's ban on performance-enhancing substances. What exactly Mathis tested positive for remains a mystery but the linebacker said in a statement he was seeking fertility assistance. He acknowledged that he and his wife are expecting a baby.

"I am deeply saddened that this situation will prevent me from contributing to my team for four games, and I regret that I didn't cross check what my doctor told me before I took the medication, " Mathis said. "I hope that my fans will understand the unique circumstances involved here and continue to know that I am a man of integrity who would never intentionally circumvent the performance enhancing substance policy agreed to by the NFL and my union."

Mathis said Commissioner Roger Goodell denied Mathis' request to not issue a suspension based on the circumstances.

The league issued a statement Friday night about the case:

"As Mr. Mathis's agent acknowledged today, his client failed to follow the protocols in the policy that the NFL and NFLPA agreed upon to address precisely these kinds of claims," the NFL said. "That policy also prescribes the disciplinary consequences of a positive test. The policy does not provide - nor should it provide - for the commissioner to override the policy's procedures and assess discipline on an after-the-fact, ad hoc basis. Here Mr. Mathis actually withdrew his appeal and accepted discipline at the union's suggestion. His hearing took place only after the Players Association requested that the appeal be reinstated.

"The drug for which Mr. Mathis tested positive is not approved by the FDA for fertility in males and is a performance-enhancing drug that has been prohibited for years. Importantly, Mr. Mathis did not consult with the policy's independent administrator, a physician jointly approved by the NFL and NFL Players Association. Nor did he consult with his team doctor, the team's training staff, the NFLPA, the league office or the hotline established under the policy to give confidential information to players. Each of these sources would have warned against using this substance.

"A cornerstone of the program is that a player is responsible for what is in his body. Consistent application of the policy's procedures is critical to the integrity of the program."

If the NFL's decision stands, and they almost always do, Mathis would not be eligible to rejoin the Colts until Sept. 29. He is allowed to participate in the team's offseason workouts, training camp and preseason games.

The Colts quickly issued a statement saying they would support Mathis, one of the team's elder statesmen and most respected leaders. Mathis set a single-season record with 19 1/2 sacks last season and also broke Dwight Freeney's franchise career record for sacks. In 11 NFL seasons, Mathis has 111 career sacks.

"We nevertheless wish to assure Robert and our fans that he remains an honored and cherished member of the Colts family and that we support him as he deals with this difficult challenge," Mathis said.

It's another black eye for a franchise whose owner, Jim Irsay, was arrested near his suburban Indy home in March and preliminarily charged with four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge. Irsay sought medical help two days later and did not return to the team until last weekend's draft. Irsay has not spoken publicly about what happened.

Mathis was considered an undersized defensive end when the Colts took him in the fifth round of the 2003 draft.

It didn't take long, though, for Mathis and Freeney to form one of the NFL's most feared pass-rushing combinations.

With Mathis developing his own spin moves to match Freeney, and Freeney developing his own tomahawks chop, imitating Mathis, the two close friends not only put quarterbacks on the ground, they forced fumbles at the league's highest rate, too.

Both emerged as perennial Pro Bowlers, but when they were asked to move to linebacker in new coach Chuck Pagano's 3-4 defense, Mathis thrived and Freeney struggled.

When the Colts announced last year that they would not re-sign Freeney, many thought Mathis would struggle.

Instead, he had the best season of his career and became the first winner of the Deacon Jones Award. Defending that title might be next to impossible in 2014 - unless he wins an appeal.

"We are thrilled that we will be welcoming a new (family) member in several months, but I apologize to my teammates, coaches and Colts fans that I will not be able to contribute to my team for the first four weeks of the 2014 season," Mathis said. "I will work extremely hard during that time to stay in top football shape and will be prepared to contribute immediately upon my return."

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Oprah's network postpones Sam documentary

The planned documentary by the Oprah Winfrey Network on Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player, has been postponed.

Erik Logan, president of the network, said Friday that the postponement was made after meetings with the St. Louis Rams.

"After careful consideration and discussion with the St. Louis Rams, `The Untitled Michael Sam Project' has been postponed, allowing Michael the best opportunity to achieve his dream of making the team," Logan said in a statement.

"It's clear that we, along with the world, recognize the important opportunity that Michael now has in this moment. We will continue to support him in his journey to earn a spot playing for the Rams."

As a seventh-round draft pick, Sam will face hefty challenges just to make the Rams. Being the subject of a TV documentary could have been a major distraction for the defensive end from Missouri.

"This (postponement) will allow for Michael to have a total focus on football, and will ensure no distractions to his teammates," added Sam's agent, Cameron Weiss. "Everybody involved remains committed to this project and understands its historical importance as well as its positive message."

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Marlins ace Jose Fernandez has Tommy John surgery

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) An attorney for Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez said a sharp grounder that struck the right-hander in the thigh before his final start caused him to change his throwing motion and may have contributed to him needing season-ending elbow surgery.

Tampa-based attorney Ralph Fernandez explained the timeline for the pitcher's injury in a lengthy statement to Miami media on Friday. He said the reigning NL Rookie of the Year had to alter his delivery after getting hit on the back of the left leg by a sharp grounder off the bat of Dee Gordon in the Marlins' 5-4 win over Los Angeles on May 4 in Miami.

Fernandez pitched five innings at San Diego on May 9 in his last start before the Marlins announced he would need Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, which he had Friday in Los Angeles.

"Jose did not have a pre-existing condition," Ralph Fernandez wrote in a statement. "While pitching during the recent Dodgers game in Miami he was struck by a ball on his rear thigh. This prompted a completely unanticipated change in delivery which neither the staff nor his coaches could discern.

"After the game we spoke as we always do. Jose was concerned about his arm. Despite many exchanges on the subject in the days that followed he felt that with the Marlins regaining first place in the division he could not let his team down. Apparently the injury was worse than he believed. In San Diego in the third ending he suffered a traumatic event, tossed a couple of more innings and the rest is history."

Marlins manager Mike Redmond said before the Marlins played the San Francisco Giants on Friday night that nobody on the team knew of Fernandez's injury until his start in San Diego.

"I just think if it was bothering him, then he should have said something and we would've obviously shut him down and taken those precautions," Redmond said. "As soon as we found out that he had a sore arm, we shut him down and got an MRI and got everything looked at and got the information that we needed."

Redmond also refuted that Fernandez changed his delivery after getting hit in the thigh against the Dodgers.

"He looked the same to me in that game after that," Redmond said.

Marlins president Michael Hill said in a statement that Fernandez's surgery went well. He said Fernandez would return to Miami and immediately begin his rehabilitation program.

Attorney Ralph Fernandez said in his statement that he, the Marlins, the pitcher and his agent, Scott Boras, all agree that surgery was the proper course of action. Typical recovery time is 12 to 18 months.

The 21-year-old Fernandez was put on the disabled list earlier this week, becoming the latest in a string of major league pitchers this year who have needed Tommy John surgery. Fernandez finished 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA in eight starts this season.

Fernandez made 28 starts last year, going 12-6 with a major league-best .182 opponents' batting average. His 2.19 ERA was second in the majors behind three-time defending ERA champ Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers. Fernandez struck out 187 in 172 2-3 innings.

Bowyer wins Showdown, Josh Wise wins fan vote

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) Clint Bowyer has won the Sprint Showdown to advance into the $1 million All-Star Race.

AJ Allmendinger finished second to also advance into Saturday night's main event.

The Sprint Showdown is traditionally held immediately before the All-Star race, with the top two finishers and the winner of a fan vote transferring into the dash-for-cash. But the qualifier was moved to Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the warm-up wasn't a thriller.

Until the winner of the fan vote was announced.

Josh Wise was the upset winner, powered by the online community at Reddit and fans who support him through the digital currency Dogecoin. He beat out favorite Danica Patrick to earn a spot in the All-Star race.

Thunder F Serge Ibaka expected out for postseason

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma City defensive specialist Serge Ibaka is expected to miss the rest of the NBA playoffs because of a left calf injury.

The 6-foot-10 forward had an MRI on Friday, a day after the Thunder eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers and advanced to the Western Conference finals against the Spurs. Game 1 is Monday night in San Antonio. Thunder general manager Sam Presti called it a Grade 2 strain of the plantaris, which takes time to heal and strengthen because of a high re-injury rate.

Ibaka was injured during the third quarter Thursday night.

"I just want to express our disappointment for Serge, who, as we all know, is an elite competitor and someone that has proven to be a tremendous teammate," Presti said. "He was playing great basketball throughout the season. He's had a huge impact on our season to date."

Last year, All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook was knocked out of the playoffs with a torn ACL in the first round against Houston. The Thunder rallied to win that series before losing to Memphis in the next round. Presti believes the Thunder can rally and be ready for the Spurs.

"We have had this group together for a while, and they've been through some ups and downs, and this is just another one that hopefully is only going to make us better," Presti said.

Ibaka's athletic ability and mid-range jumper have been keys for the Thunder. He averaged 12.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 13 postseason games. During the 2013-14 regular season, he had career highs with averages of 15.1 points and 8.8 rebounds while leading the league in total blocks for the fourth consecutive season with 219.

During his emotional MVP acceptance speech, Kevin Durant singled out Ibaka for stepping up and erasing many of the team's mistakes while Westbrook recovered from his most recent knee surgery. While Westbrook was out, the Thunder went 20-7, and Ibaka's numbers jumped to 15.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks with 57 percent shooting from the field.

"For us, we as an organization have been in some situations in the past, and how we respond to those has always been the measure of the teams that we've had in Oklahoma City," Presti said. "Our expectation going forward is that we'll respond admirably."

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.

AP Source: Sterling says he won't pay fine

Donald Sterling's lawyer has written the NBA stating the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers does not intend to pay the $2.5 million fine imposed by the league for racist comments, a person with knowledge of the letter's contents said.

Sports Illustrated first reported the letter from Maxwell Blecher. The contents were confirmed by the person who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

Blecher, a prominent antitrust attorney, acknowledged sending a letter but would not discuss its contents Friday.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life and imposed the fine following the release late last month of a recording in which Sterling makes racist remarks. Silver also called on owners to oust Sterling from the league, which would require a three-fourths vote among the league's 29 other controlling owners.

"We regard the dispute between Sterling and the NBA to be a private matter," Blecher said. "We do not intend to have a trial in the press."

Blecher said he has known Sterling since the early `80s, when he helped resolve a dispute that allowed the Clippers to move from San Diego to Los Angeles. Sterling has owned the Clippers since 1981.

Sports Illustrated reported that the letter to NBA executive vice president and general counsel Rick Buchanan said Sterling would not pay the fine because it violated his right to due process. It also says the controversy "will be adjudicated," according to the report.

The person who spoke to the AP said that if Sterling doesn't pay the fine, the league could withhold $2.5 million from the Clippers when disbursing money to teams.

The league's Advisory/Finance Committee met via conference call as recently as Tuesday, according to league spokesman Mike Bass.

"The committee discussed the recent media appearances by Donald Sterling and Shelly Sterling, received updates on the hiring of Dick Parsons as the Los Angeles Clippers interim CEO and on his meeting yesterday with Clippers employees, and reviewed the status of the charge for termination of the Clippers' ownership," he said in a brief statement.

Bass added that the committee will reconvene next week.

The NBA's constitution, which Donald Sterling signed as controlling owner of the Clippers, gives its board of governors broad latitude in league decisions, including who owns the teams. Article 13 (d) of the constitution says that an owner cannot "fail or refuse to fulfill" contractual obligations to the NBA "in such a way to affect the Association or its members adversely."

Sterling has said he does not want to sell the Clippers. His estranged wife, Shelly, has said she'd like to keep her stake in the team even if her husband is ousted.

In a recent interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Sterling cast doubt on going to court if the NBA governors ultimately do vote to force him out.

"People want me to hire a wall of lawyers and them to have to hire a wall of lawyers and go to war," Sterling said on CNN. "I don't think that's the answer."

Sterling also said he was not a racist and apologized for the comments, which he made to a female companion. The recording of their conversation was posted to TMZ.com on April 25 and drew immediate condemnation.

Players threatened to boycott league games and several sponsors suspended their relationship with the Clippers. After Silver's quick rebuke in the days following the recording's release, many of the sponsors returned.

But the issue remains contentious. Star forward LeBron James said Monday that he understands it may take time, but he wants Sterling out of the NBA.

The Clippers were eliminated from the NBA playoffs Thursday night after a 104-98 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference semifinals.

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AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney, AP Legal Affairs Writer Curt Anderson and Associated Press Writer Justin Pritchard in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Bruins' Lucic not sorry for handshake line comment

BOSTON (AP) The traditional post-series handshake between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens wasn't the symbol of sportsmanship the NHL might be looking for.

Bruins forward Milan Lucic said something to anger Montreal's Dale Weise and Alexei Emelin after the Canadiens beat the Bruins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Although no one involved in the exchange would reveal exactly Lucic said, according to reports he threatened to retaliate against them next season.

And he isn't sorry for saying it.

"What's said on the ice stays on the ice, and unfortunately that code is broken," Lucic told reporters at the TD Garden on Friday. "It's unfortunate that it blows up to what it is now. I'm not the first guy to do it; I'm not the last guy to do it. I'm not sorry that I did it. I'm a guy that plays on emotion, and this is a game of emotions. Sometimes you make decisions out of emotion that might not be the best ones. That's what it is."

The Bruins finished the regular season with the NHL's best record, but their quest for a third trip to the Stanley Cup finals in four seasons ended on Wednesday night with a 3-1 loss to Montreal. After the game, the teams went through what appeared to be the standard postgame handshake line.

But Lucic's comments still rankled in Montreal's locker room afterward, when Weise said, "(The Bruins) had couple guys - sorry, just one - that couldn't put it behind them and be a good loser. Milan Lucic had a few things to say to a couple guys."

The Canadiens have since moved on to the conference finals against the New York Rangers. The Bruins spent Friday emptying their lockers, and Lucic wasn't backing down a bit.

"I didn't make the NHL because I accepted losing, or I accepted failure, and I think that's what's gotten me to this point and made me the player that I am," he said. "Like I said, I'm not the first guy to do it, and I'm sure I won't be the last."

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli also had trouble accepting the loss, saying he still believes he has a roster that can add a championship to its 2011 Stanley Cup title. There won't be a major roster overhaul this summer, he said.

"This is a very good team," he said. "There's some tweaks here and there but it's a very good team; strong down the middle, strong in the nets, good character, good core."

Reciting the team's accomplishments - Presidents' Trophy, five-game victory over the Detroit Red Wings, and a close series against Montreal - Chiarelli said he would try not to overreact to the disappointing end to the season.

"It's emotional, and it's my job to be unemotional about it," he said. "We're not going to make too many changes to this team. But there will be some changes."

Lucic, who is signed through the 2015-16 season, will remain, along with centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci and defensemen Zdeno Chara, Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug. Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton are the team's top unrestricted free agents.

"If you look at the guys, most of the guys are still going to be with us next year," Bergeron said. "And I think we have a great group of guys, a great core and we have the experience that you need in playoffs. And I think this year hopefully makes us eager to do it next year."

Penguins fire general manager Ray Shero

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Penguins hired Ray Shero as general manager eight years ago with the mandate to build a roster around two of the game's brightest stars and turn ticker-tape parades through downtown into an annual rite of spring.

Nearly a decade - but just one Stanley Cup later - Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin find themselves on a perennially underachieving team. And Shero finds himself out of a job.

The Penguins fired Shero on Friday, three days after another early playoff exit, this one a seven-game loss to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Coach Dan Bylsma remains in charge until Shero's replacement gets a chance to evaluate the entire organization top to bottom.

"We share the disappointment of our fans that we have not had success in the playoffs over the past five seasons," co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle said in a joint statement. "We believe that new leadership in the general manager's office will bring a new approach and new energy, and help us return to championship form."

Assistant general manager Jason Botterill will serve as general manager on an interim basis. Penguins President and CEO David Morehouse called Botterill a candidate to take over and believes whomever the team brings in won't need to make major changes on a club that won 51 games in 2013-14.

"It's not a complete rebuild," Morehouse said. "This is a team that has had a level of success. What we're trying to do now is get from good to great."

It's a destination the Penguins reached only briefly during Shero's tenure, spending most of the time in a murky middle ground that made them one of the league's model franchises during the regular season but a symbol of disappointment once the calendar crept into May and beyond.

Pittsburgh won the franchise's third Cup in 2009 but has failed to produce a bookend. Pittsburgh is just 4-5 in playoff series over the last five years after blowing a 3-1 series lead against New York.

Morehouse didn't blame the 51-year-old Shero's ouster on one specific misstep.

"This is a decision that's been in the works for a long time since we've won the Cup," Morehouse said. "We wanted to get back to the Stanley Cup finals and we haven't and we're going to make some changes."

The Penguins brought Shero in before the 2006-07 season and tasked him with finding the right kind of players to complement Crosby and Malkin's otherworldly offensive talent. It culminated on a giddy night in Detroit in 2009, when the Penguins edged the Red Wings 2-1 in Game 7 to earn the franchise's third Cup, a run that included the crucial trade deadline acquisitions of forwards Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin.

It was supposed to mark the beginning of a dynasty. Yet five seasons have come and gone with the Penguins in a familiar position: watching the final stages of the playoffs go on without them.

It hasn't been for lack of trying. Shero remained aggressive in investing in a "win now" mode as the ensuing disappointments piled up. He enthusiastically said the Penguins were "all in" last year after trading for Jarome Iginla, Jussi Jokinen, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray.

The moves often created headlines but little else, and boatloads of regular-season victories and a sellout streak seven years and counting proved no longer good enough.

Whether Bylsma will be along for the ride remains unclear.

The affable, open-minded Michigan native was a revelation when the Penguins promoted him from their American Hockey League affiliate in the spring of 2009, hoping his optimism would help a loaded team break out of a midseason funk.

It worked brilliantly. Four months after taking the job, the former NHL nomad who spent nine seasons as a gritty fourth-line forward was raising the Cup in ecstasy. Considering Crosby and Malkin were both in their early 20s at the time, champagne toasts were expected.

A half-decade later, Bylsma is the winningest coach in franchise history with 252 wins but the wait for another Cup run continues. While Pittsburgh enjoyed nearly unparalleled success from October to April - including easily capturing the Metropolitan Division this year despite losing more than 500-man games to injury - the Penguins again struggled to adapt in the postseason.

Morehouse said the new general manager will determine whether Bylsma and the rest of the staff gets another shot. The 43-year-old Bylsma has two years remaining on his contract, the product of an extension he received last June as a vote of confidence from Shero following a four-game sweep at the hands of Boston in the Eastern Conference finals.

The deal came with a promise to adopt a more defensive-minded approach. The Penguins even brought in longtime NHL coach Jacques Martin as an assistant, an old-school yin to Bylsma's new-school yang.

Crosby took the blame for the team's underperformance as the Penguins cleared out their locker on Thursday. A day later the general manager ordered to put the league's leading scorer in a position to keep Pittsburgh at the top was cleaning out his office.

Whoever ends up redecorating will have his tough choices to make. At the same time, he gets to start with Crosby and Malkin firmly entrenched. Both players are signed through the rest of the decade. There are worse places to start.

"A lot of teams would like to be where we are," Morehouse said. "However we do have high expectations and we do want to get to them."

Manziel texts Browns he wants to 'wreck' league

CLEVELAND (AP) Once Johnny Manziel texted that he wanted to "wreck this league" with them, the Browns didn't waste another second.

They rushed to draft Johnny Football.

Browns quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains said in a radio interview Thursday that as the Texas A&M star was sliding in the first round of the NFL draft last week, Manziel sent a text message urging Cleveland to select him. The Browns had passed on taking Manziel with the first of their two picks in the first round.

Appearing on ESPN Arkansas, Loggains said Manziel sent him a text that read: "`I wish you guys would come get me. Hurry up and draft me because I want to wreck this league together."'

Loggains said he immediately forwarded the text to first-year Browns coach Mike Pettine and owner Jimmy Haslam, who said, "`Pull the trigger. We're trading up to go get this guy."'

The Browns then made their third trade of the first round and moved from No. 26 to No. 22 and nabbed Manziel, college football's most exciting player and potentially the answer to Cleveland's problem at quarterback.

Loggains said he worked out 14 quarterbacks before the draft. After the team finished its evaluations, Manziel's name was at the top of the list "and there was everyone else."

Manziel's plea to the Browns as he sat in the wings of Radio City Music Hall in New York waiting to be drafted made an impression on Loggains, Pettine and Cleveland's front office.

"It shows you what type of competitor the kid is and I got to spend so much time with him leading up to this process," said Loggains, who was hired by Pettine in February. " I feel like I know him very well. I had a good relationship with him. That's the type of kid this guy is. He wants to do well. He's got a chip on his shoulder and he decided to be a Brown."

Loggains also said the Browns tried to trade up to No. 11 with Tennessee and No. 16 with Dallas.

Manziel is taking part in Cleveland's rookie minicamp this weekend. The Browns are attempting to manage the media frenzy by limiting access to Saturday's workout to local reporters and photographers. The practice will be open for only 15 minutes and Manziel is expected to answer questions afterward. Sunday's workout is closed.

The team doesn't want Manziel to be a distraction from its other drafted players or unsigned free agents.

All eyes, however, will be on the kid in the No. 2 jersey.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Experts: NBA likely to win in Sterling legal fight

A cadre of attorneys and a flurry of lawsuits could certainly slow down the NBA's plan to force Donald Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers over his recent racist comments, but legal experts say the league would likely prevail in the end.

And that goes for Sterling's wife, Shelly, who has said she'd like to keep her stake in the team even if her husband is ousted.

The NBA's constitution, which Donald Sterling signed as controlling owner of the Clippers, gives its board of governors broad latitude in league decisions including who owns the teams. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is pushing for a swift vote against Sterling, which requires a minimum of three-fourths of the other 29 controlling owners to agree.

Silver also has imposed a lifetime ban on Sterling and a $2.5 million fine. The ban does not apply to Shelly Sterling.

SI.com and ESPN.com, citing unidentified sources, reported Thursday that Sterling's lawyer, antitrust litigator Maxwell Blecher, wrote a letter to Rick Buchanan, the NBA's executive vice president and general counsel, threatening to sue the league and saying Sterling will not pay the $2.5 million fine.

"Sterling's own signature will come back to haunt him," said Michael McCann, founding director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire. "You agree to certain basic understandings. That's what makes a sports league different from other businesses."

The key to the NBA's authority, attorneys say, is Article 13(d) of the league's constitution. That section says that, whether Sterling intended to or not, an owner cannot "fail or refuse to fulfill" contractual obligations to the NBA "in such a way to affect the Association or its members adversely."

There's plenty of evidence Sterling's comments, revealed in a recorded conversation with a female companion, affected the league adversely. They provoked threats of a player boycott, led sponsors to withdraw support and created a racially charged image problem in the midst of the NBA playoffs that even President Barack Obama remarked upon.

If Article 13(d) was violated, the legal experts say the board of governors has solid grounds to force Sterling to sell the team along with any other owners, in this case his wife.

As long as the NBA meticulously follows its own constitution and rules regarding the Clippers sale, it will be difficult for Sterling to find a legal theory that would stand up in court, said Daniel Lazaroff, director of the Sports Law Institute at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

"This is not an antitrust issue. This is not a First Amendment issue," Lazaroff said. "It's a question limited to the interpretation of the NBA constitution and bylaws, and whether those terms are met."

Another question involves California family law. It's a community property state, meaning spouses jointly own property they acquired while married. The Sterlings were already married when he bought the Clippers in 1981.

Although a potential divorce could complicate the Clippers' sale, McCann said the couple's joint ownership actually works to the NBA's favor because - legally speaking - they are a single entity. So if the NBA forced Donald Sterling to sell, even under a divorce scenario, Shelly Sterling would have to sell, too. They have been married since 1955.

"The NBA is well positioned to ultimately prevail," McCann said.

For his part, Donald Sterling has repeatedly said he does not want to sell the Clippers. In his recent interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, he cast doubt on going to court if the NBA governors ultimately do vote to force him out.

"People want me to hire a wall of lawyers and them to have to hire a wall of lawyers and go to war," Sterling said on CNN. "I don't think that's the answer."

Sterling's longtime attorney, Robert Platt, declined to comment when contacted Wednesday.

Shelly Sterling's attorney, Pierce O'Donnell, did not respond to email requests for comment from The Associated Press. But he has previously said she wants to remain a passive owner of the Clippers even if her husband is no longer involved.

For now, the NBA has installed former Time Warner and Citigroup chairman Dick Parsons to oversee the team's business operations. Parsons said this week that a prolonged legal battle "is in no one's interest."

"I would hope we could avoid that," he said.

If he is forced out, Sterling still stands to reap a huge financial windfall in a Clippers sale. He bought the team for $12.5 million in 1981, and Forbes magazine recently placed its 2014 value at $575 million, or No. 13 in the NBA. Of course, there would also be a sizable capital gains tax bill for that.

The Clippers' postseason run ended Thursday night when they lost 104-98 to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals.

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Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Miamicurt

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