National Sports Headlines from NBC Sports

Browns sign cornerback Joe Haden to 5-year deal

CLEVELAND (AP) The Browns aren't letting lockdown cornerback Joe Haden get away.

Haden signed a five-year, $68 million extension with Cleveland on Monday, the total value of the contract surpassing cornerback Richard Sherman's four-year, $57 million agreement last week with the Seattle Seahawks.

Haden's contract runs through the 2019 season and includes $45 million guaranteed, agent Drew Rosenhaus told The Associated Press. The package also contains a $14 million signing bonus.

One of the AFC's top defensive backs and one of Cleveland's most popular athletes, Haden made his first Pro Bowl last season, his fourth with the team. The Browns selected him with the No. 7 overall pick in 2010.

"Joe's a good, young player who's made a commitment to our organization, and he's somebody with whom we want to move forward in order to advance our football team," general manager Ray Farmer said in a statement. "He's a great person. He's the right guy to both build with and build around as we attempt to become an elite football team.

"When we talk about identifying talent, building through the draft, developing solid players and retaining them, Joe Haden's at the top of the list."

Haden posted a photo on Twitter of him signing his new contract.

Signing Haden to a long-term deal was a priority for Cleveland this offseason. During the draft, the team selected Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert early in the first round to play opposite Haden.

Last season, Haden had four interceptions, recorded 60 tackles and was credited with 21 passes defensed. He had his first career multiple-interception game and scored his first touchdown, returning an interception 29 yards at Cincinnati on Nov. 17.

According to STATS, Haden's 21 passes defensed in 2013 tied for third in the NFL and his 67 since joining the Browns four years ago are second in the league during that span. Haden averages 1.19 passes defensed per game, the second-highest average among players with 50-plus PBUs since at least 1994.

For the most part, Haden has been an exemplary player and citizen since joining the Browns. His only major misstep was the four-game suspension he received in 2012 for violating the league's substance abuse policy after he tested positive for the stimulant Adderall.

First-year Browns coach Mike Pettine is thrilled to have Haden for several years.

"It's important for us to extend our core players and continue to grow with guys that represent everything we want this team to be: tough, hard-working and passionate," Pettine said. "Joe obviously loves his teammates, and he loves this city. I know he wants to keep growing and improving as a player. That's what we need, and that's what we want."

With Haden's contract situation resolved, the Browns are expected to focus on getting Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron signed to a long-term deal. Cameron had a breakout season in 2013, making 80 catches for 917 yards and seven TDs.

Cameron is in the final season of his contract and has reportedly turned down two offers from the Browns.

At Cleveland's recent voluntary minicamp, Cameron said he's blocking out any discussion about negotiations to improve.

"I've got a lot of stuff to work on," he said. "I'm not anywhere near where I can be. I still have a lot to prove to myself, and I'm willing to work."

Lillard scores 25 and Blazers beat Spurs 103-92

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Damian Lillard scored 25 points and the Portland Trail Blazers staved off elimination in the Western Conference semifinals with a 103-92 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.

Nicolas Batum had 14 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists to cut San Antonio's advantage in the series to 3-1.

Portland held Tony Parker to 14 points after he had scored 29 points or more in three of his last four playoff games. Coach Gregg Popovich sat Parker and Tim Duncan after Portland built a 20-point lead in the final quarter.

The Spurs are looking to head to the conference finals for the third straight season.

Game 5 is Wednesday night in San Antonio.

No team has ever lost a seven-game NBA playoff series after going up 3-0.

The Blazers were the last team to take a series to seven games after dropping the first three. Portland rebounded in the first round against Dallas in 2003 but ultimately lost the first-round series' deciding game.

The Blazers had been hurt by the loss of backup point guard Mo Williams to a groin injury for the past two games. Williams had provided both energy and points off the bench all season in relief of Damian Lillard.

Portland got just six points off the bench in Game 3, but Will Barton provided a spark with 17 points on Monday night.

Coach Terry Stotts promised that the Blazers would play with pride in Game 4 and they did from the start.

Lillard's pull up jumper gave Portland a 14-8 lead. He extended it to 20-14 with a layup. But the Spurs answered with a 9-2 run and took a 24-23 lead on Patty Mills' 3-pointer.

Portland, which had only led twice in the previous three games, quickly reclaimed the lead and held on until Tiago Splitter tied it at 46 with a free throw. The Blazers had a 50-48 lead at the half.

Lillard opened the second half with a 3-pointer. Batum hit a 3 and added a free throw to push the lead to 69-61.

Batum added another 3 before Thomas Robinson's dunk and Lillard's 3 made it 77-63 to cap a 12-2 Portland run.

Lillard's layup put Portland ahead 90-72 in the fourth quarter. He added another to make it 94-74.

Parker scored 29 points in San Antonio's 118-103 Game 3 victory on Saturday night. The Spurs had routed the Blazers 116-92 in the series opener after their grueling seven-game series against the Mavericks, then built a 20-point lead and won Game 2, 114-97.

Notes: Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll watched the game sitting next to Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder who owns both the Super Bowl-winning Seahawks and the Blazers. ... It was Batum's first double-double in the playoffs

Clippers' Sterling slams Magic Johnson, HIV status

LOS ANGELES (AP) Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling repeatedly disparaged Magic Johnson's HIV-positive status in an interview that aired Monday, saying he was not a fit role model for children and dismissing his work in business and charity.

The interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper was meant to be a mea culpa in Sterling's first public comments since racist recordings emerged last month and earned him a lifetime NBA ban, but when the subject turned to Johnson, who was mentioned in the recordings, Sterling is anything but apologetic.

"He's got AIDS!" Sterling said loudly at one point, cutting off Cooper as the interviewer attempted to cite Johnson's accomplishments after Sterling asked, "What has he done, big Magic Johnson, what has he done?"

Sterling changed course briefly during the interview to call Johnson "a good person," but resumed his criticism.

"He acts so holy," Sterling said. "He made love to every girl in every city in America, and he had AIDS, and when he had those AIDS, I went to my synagogue and I prayed for him, I hope he could live and be well. I didn't criticize him. I could have. Is he an example for children?"

Cooper corrected Sterling, explaining that Johnson was HIV-positive but did not have "full-blown AIDS."

Sterling briefly adjusted his language but not his tone.

"What kind of a guy goes to every city, has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV. Is that someone we want to respect, and tell our kids about?" Sterling said. "I think he should be ashamed of himself."

Johnson, who is scheduled to appear on Cooper's show to reply on Tuesday, wrote on his Twitter account that "I'd rather be talking about these great NBA Playoffs than Donald Sterling's interview."

Johnson later Tweeted, "After this week, no more Sterling talk."

The comments earned Sterling a quick rebuke from NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who handed down a lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine against Sterling last month.

"I just read a transcript of Donald Sterling's interview with Anderson Cooper and while Magic Johnson doesn't need me to, I feel compelled on behalf of the NBA family to apologize to him that he continues to be dragged into this situation and be degraded by such a malicious and personal attack," Silver said. "The NBA Board of Governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible."

Just a day earlier, Johnson and the commissioner sat together at the Clippers playoff game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, though Johnson had Tweeted that he would never again attend a Clippers game while Sterling was owner.

Ducks beat LA 4-3 in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Devante Smith-Pelly scored two goals 1:23 apart in the second period, and the Anaheim Ducks moved to the brink of the Western Conference finals with a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5 on Monday night.

John Gibson made 39 saves in his second career playoff start as the Ducks took a 3-2 lead in the second-round series with their third straight victory.

Nick Bonino and Jakob Silfverberg also scored for the Ducks, who jumped to a three-goal lead in the second period and hung on behind their 20-year-old rookie goalie, earning the first home victory by either team in the series.

Marian Gaborik scored two goals for the Kings, who will face their fifth elimination game of the postseason.

Game 6 is Wednesday at Staples Center.

LeBron scores 49, Heat take 3-1 lead over Nets

NEW YORK (AP) LeBron James tied his playoff career high with 49 points, Chris Bosh made the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 57 seconds left, and the Miami Heat beat the Brooklyn Nets 102-96 on Monday night for a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

James carried the Heat nearly the entire way until Bosh hit the shot that put Miami ahead for good. Ray Allen followed with four free throws and James finished it off with one more, putting the Heat in position to wrap it up at home Wednesday in Game 5.

James was 16 of 24 from the field and 14 of 19 from the free throw line in matching the 49 points he scored for Cleveland against Orlando in the 2009 Eastern Conference finals. He missed his second free throw with 1.1 seconds left, muttering to himself after it fell out.

Joe Johnson scored 18 points for the Nets.

Clippers interim CEO confident team will be sold

LOS ANGELES (AP) The interim CEO hand-picked by the NBA to run the Los Angeles Clippers said Monday he's confident the league will succeed in forcing a sale of the team owned by Donald Sterling since 1981.

Dick Parsons arrived in Los Angeles and met with management and staff of the Clippers. Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA and fined $2.5 million after recordings of him making racist comments surfaced.

"My personal belief is the league will prevail, which means there will be an ownership change," Parsons said during a news conference at Staples Center. "A prolonged legal battle is in no one's interest, certainly not the league's. I would hope we could avoid that."

Parsons said he won't be involved in the ownership fight. He said he's being paid by the NBA but he doesn't report to Commissioner Adam Silver or the league's owners.

Donald Sterling apologized for the racist comments captured during a recorded conversation, saying in a televised interview Monday night that they were a "terrible mistake."

"I embarrassed the league. I humiliated them. I don't know how, why I did it," he told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "I mean, it's so terrible."

Sterling said he apologized to the NBA, and he doesn't believe the other owners would vote to have him removed as owner of the Clippers.

"Of course they support me. They can't understand why I would say that. I can't understand why I would say that," he said. "People want me to hire a wall of lawyers and them to have to hire a wall of lawyers and go to war. I don't think that's the answer."

Sterling said he believes the players on the team "love" him.

"They know I'm not a racist, and I'm not a racist," he said. "I think I create opportunities for them, so they can make $100 million. I don't give them anything, believe me, and those players could get that same amount of money anywhere else. Of course they earn it, and they work harder than any other sport."

Parsons doesn't know Sterling and won't be talking to him because the 80-year-old owner is banned.

"He's a little late, to be sure," Parsons said about Sterling's apology. "I'm here to turn one of the burners off under the pot, not to turn it up higher."

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he was aware of Sterling's apology, although he had not seen the interview.

"I'm glad that he did it," Rivers said by phone from Oklahoma City, where the team plays Tuesday. "That's what you have to do and you should do it. Probably should have done it right away."

Sterling's estranged wife, Shelly, has said she will fight to keep her 50 percent ownership of the team. Parsons said he anticipates talking with her at some point, although he said Donald Sterling is the only controlling owner of the team.

Parsons described himself as a conservator of the team, someone who will try to keep it from losing value and ensure there is a viable franchise to work with once the ownership issue is resolved.

"I want to leave this place in good shape and in good hands," he said.

With Sterling barred from anything to do with the team or league, and team President Andy Roeser on an indefinite leave of absence, Parsons will be a key contact for the team's support staff.

"A lot of these folks have felt beleaguered, beyond disappointed with the way the franchise has been characterized," said Parsons, who wore a Clippers lapel pin on his suit. "Part of my job will be to tell the folks here to stay focused on the business. Ultimately, there will be a change of ownership and management."

He said he let them know they are appreciated and the interaction gave him ideas on how to move forward, although he has offered no specifics since taking the job Thursday.

"I'm only beginning to get my arms around what I'm going to do," he said.

Rivers endorsed Parsons' hiring, believing he can calm the situation and allow employees to focus on their jobs.

"He's just gotten in the door, but he's going to make a big difference, especially for the folks downtown," Rivers said. "They want to know if they're safe and where do we go from here."

Parsons has spoken to Rivers, but not yet to the players. The team is tied 2-2 with Oklahoma City in the Western Conference semifinals.

"I really think it's going to become America's team if we get this right," he said. "Americans love a story where someone gets knocked down and they get back up into the ring. This team has talent."

Parsons, the 66-year-old former Citigroup chairman and former Time Warner chairman and CEO, was set to return to New York in the evening because his wife is having major surgery on Tuesday. He called himself semi-retired, although he is currently a senior adviser at Providence Equity Partners.

The folksy Parsons described the team's crisis as "a very exciting challenge and an interesting time for everybody." He likened his job to that of a ship's captain in charge of keeping it afloat, headed in the right direction and possibly picking up speed.

"There's huge danger and pitfalls in front of us," he said, "but there's tremendous opportunity for this franchise."

Canadiens force Game 7 with 4-0 win over Bruins

MONTREAL (AP) Carey Price made 26 saves for the shutout and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins 4-0 on Monday night to force Game 7.

Thomas Vanek scored twice and Lars Eller and Max Pacioretty also scored for Montreal, which overwhelmed the Bruins to tie the series at 3-3.

Game 7 is Wednesday night in Boston.

Eller opened the scoring just 2:11 into the game after the Bruins misplayed the puck and Eller was alone in front of the net to beat a sprawled out Tuukka Rask.

Pacioretty made it 2-0 after scoring on a long stretch pass through Rask's legs in the second period.

Before the period was over Vanek scored on the power play. Vanek added his second of the game into an empty net late in the third.

Rask finished with 24 saves for the Bruins.

Cavaliers fire coach Mike Brown - again

CLEVELAND (AP) Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert felt he made a big mistake when he fired Mike Brown as his coach in 2010.

That didn't stop him from doing it again.

Brown's second shot with the Cavs ended Monday after one just one season as Gilbert dismissed the only Cleveland coach who has ever made it to the NBA finals.

Brown had been re-hired last April by Gilbert, who regretted dismissing him four years earlier. While the Cavs' record improved and they made strides defensively under Brown this season, the club missed the playoffs again and Gilbert decided it was time to make another change.

"This is a very tough business," Gilbert said in a statement. "It pains all of us here that we needed to make the difficult decision of releasing Mike Brown. Mike worked hard over this last season to move our team in the right direction. Although, there was some progress from our finish over the few prior seasons, we believe we need to head in a different direction. We wish Mike and his family nothing but the best."

In addition to firing Brown, Gilbert announced he's retaining David Griffin as the club's full-time general manager. Griffin had been the interim GM since Feb. 6, when Gilbert fired Chris Grant one day after the Cavs lost to a Los Angeles Lakers team which finished the game with just five eligible players.

Gilbert said Griffin would lead the search for Brown's successor. It's not known what input Griffin had in Brown's firing.

Griffin has ties to former Phoenix executive Steve Kerr, who is one of New York president Phil Jackson's top choices to take over the Knicks. Griffin also has worked with Mike D'Antoni and Alvin Gentry. Other coaches who could get consideration for the Cavs' opening include Mark Jackson and George Karl.

Brown had four years remaining on his $20 million contract. Brown, who was fired last year by the Lakers five games into his second season, could not be reached for comment.

Brown went 272-138 in his first stint with Cleveland. Led by superstar LeBron James, the Cavs made the finals for the first time in 2007 and were title contenders throughout Brown's tenure. However, they didn't advance past the Eastern Conference semifinals four years ago and Brown was let go.

At the time, it appeared Gilbert was making the move - and hiring Byron Scott as coach - to appease James and hopefully keep him in Cleveland. James, though, decided to leave as a free agent for Miami, where he is chasing his straight third NBA title with the Heat.

"It's just a tough business. I mean, that's all it is. It's a tough business and, you know, Mike Brown got the short end of a tough business," James said.

Gilbert brought back Brown to fix Cleveland's defense, and the Cavs improved, moving from last in the league in field-goal percentage to 12th. But the offense never flowed like it should and the Cavs didn't make a late playoff push despite a favorable schedule down the stretch.

Cleveland's players didn't care for Brown's defense-first philosophy and there seemed to be a disconnect between the Cavs and the coaching staff.

Brown seemed resigned to his fate following the season finale, when he said he would support whatever decision Gilbert made.

"It's his team," Brown said.

Cleveland went 17-16 under Griffin, who worked as Grant's assistant before being promoted. Gilbert said he interviewed several other candidates before deciding to remove the "interim" from Griffin's title.

"We chose David as our GM because we believe he is the best person to lead our franchise at this critical time and into the future," Gilbert said. "David brings over two decades of experience. He knows the ins and outs of this league as well as anyone and is also an outstanding talent evaluator."

The Cavaliers will hold a news conference on Tuesday at the team's facility in Independence.

Gilbert had high praise for Griffin, who previously worked in Phoenix's front office before coming to Cleveland.

"He is a general manager who is aligned with our culture and philosophy which is the foundation of how we do business," Gilbert said. "David is not only passionate about his own job but also cares deeply about the success of everyone around him. His presence alone creates an infectious positive environment with players, coaches, front office people and even our fan base. We already saw some progress in the short time David led our basketball side in the latter part of this past season. Clearly, we have substantial work ahead of us and I am confident that Griff will play an essential part of the growth and success of our organization."

While the Cavs showed signs of progress with Brown, he was unable to get one of the league's youngest teams to play consistently. His replacement will have a similar challenge, assuming Griffin doesn't do a complete overhaul to Cleveland's roster.

The Cavs are entering a critical summer. They'll once again be in the draft lottery and the club is expected to be active in free agency. The team must also decide whether to offer Irving a maximum contract extension in July.

Kaymer wins big event by looking at big picture

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) Martin Kaymer reached the top of golf and wondered how he got there.

He won his first major at the 2010 PGA Championship. He reached No. 1 in the world six months later. And then he realized his game would not be good enough to stay there.

Kaymer wasn't much different from Tiger Woods, who overhauled his swing not long after a record-setting performance in the 1997 Masters. Kaymer was concerned about being a one-dimensional player - his primary shot was a fade - especially if he wanted to contend at Augusta National and other majors.

He just didn't realize it would take this long.

Halfway through his victory at The Players Championship, he thought back to the time he put in on his game.

"All that work, all the hours," Kaymer said. "When you are standing on the range for six, seven hours, hitting the same shot, the same drill, you feel like it should be enough. You just don't want to be there at one stage because it's so much. And it's a little boring as well. But you know long term, it will become something good."

It paid off in a big way last week at The Players, the next best thing to a major.

The 29-year-old German tied the course record with a 63 on Thursday and was never behind after any round the rest of the way. His biggest challenge Sunday was when he had to return from a 90-minute storm delay and finish four holes in which he had everything to lose.

Even with a double bogey that cut his lead to one shot, he didn't feel as if the tournament were slipping away.

About the only thing that annoyed him was that "soft egg" moment to the left the green on the par-5 16th. Kaymer had spoken all week about being confident enough in his swing to stop thinking about the mechanics and to start playing by feel. He talked about hitting the right shot - the brave shot - not the easy one.

He kept using the word, "wimp," until he jokingly was asked the German word for it.

"Weiches ei," he replied in his native language. And then he offered that polite smile and added the English translation. "It's `soft egg."'

Instead of chipping on the 16th, Kaymer decided to use a putter. He didn't hit it nearly hard enough, so instead of having a good chance at birdie, he had to two-putt from over 30 feet just to make par and keep his one-shot lead.

He wound up with one of the craziest pars ever on the island green at the par-3 17th, which ended with a 30-foot putt that broke some 8 feet to the right. And he collected the crystal trophy, along with the $1.8 million check from the richest purse on the PGA Tour.

But that wimpy decision on the 16th gnawed at him even in victory. He wants perfection.

"It's not the right thing to putt it. It's a soft egg," he said. "The swing is all good. I'm happy the way that it works out and the way I go. Everything is fine, and I'm really happy about this. But those things ... on 16, I was not true to myself, and that's painful. It really is. Because it's just not right.

"You can think, `I won the golf tournament. I should be happy,"' he said. "And I'm very, very happy about this. But those are things I would like to improve for the future."

His future again looks bright.

Kaymer now has won 14 times around the world. Even as he was retooling his swing with longtime coach Gunter Kessler, he managed to win a World Golf Championship in Shanghai by closing with a 63. Having barely made a Ryder Cup team in 2012 when Europe would have been better off without him because of his form, Kaymer still had enough left to beat Steve Stricker in the match that assured Europe would keep the cup.

And he won at the end of last year in South Africa.

But it means more to have beaten one of the strongest fields in golf, and to have conquered a course on the TPC Sawgrass that punishes the slightest mistake.

Kaymer never really flinched all week. He put his name out front and stayed there. Darren Clarke noticed it in the second round. Kaymer didn't hit it his best that day, but he scored. That's the golf Clarke remembered.

"He's a proper golfer this one," Clarke said. "He's a finely tuned engineer."

Perhaps he is ready to take his place among the best in the game. The major season is just getting started.

"Now it's important that you don't stop," he said. "It's very easy to just be happy now, relax and let things happen. But now it's a time we have to work even harder."

Former Ole Miss guard critical of Sam TV coverage

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) Former Mississippi basketball player Marshall Henderson says ESPN's coverage of Michael Sam becoming the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL was inappropriate and that he is boycotting SportsCenter.

Henderson took to Twitter Monday morning using expletives to say that he would not watch the show until the network stopped running the Sam footage, adding ".... My brothers are 7 and 11 and saw that!!!."

After a flurry of backlash, Henderson sent another tweet less than an hour later saying "Im sorry, but I DO NOT AGREE WHATSOEVER that should be shown to where innocent eyes can see!!!"

The comments drew a quick and sharp rebuke from Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork, who responded on Twitter saying that he's "extremely disappointed & we do not condone the statements made by our former bball player. We believe in respect & dignity for all."

Later Bjork added: "We use significant resources to educate our student-athletes about respect & dignity for all people & unfortunately not everyone gets it."

Henderson later sent out a string of tweets that attempted to explain his comments. He said a friend who is a psychology major asked him to send the comments to see "how people react when others say things or act a certain way against another group of people."

Henderson, known for his long-range shooting at Ole Miss, also is no stranger to controversy.

He arrived at Ole Miss after serving a short stint in jail following a probation violation and had a run-in with Oxford, Mississippi, police last summer that was part of the reason for a three-game suspension. He was also reprimanded by the NCAA in 2013 after an outburst following the team's loss to LaSalle in the NCAA tournament.

Henderson wasn't the only prominent athlete to face criticism because of a disparaging tweet regarding Sam, who kissed his boyfriend after learning he'd been drafted by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday.

Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones was fined an undisclosed amount and will undergo educational training after he tweeted "OMG" and "Horrible" shortly after Sam's name was announced. The tweets were taken down a short time later.

Jones apologized for his comments Sunday and described them as inappropriate. The Dolphins said Jones has been excused from all team activities until he completes training related to his comments.

Toews helps Blackhawks beat Wild 2-1 in Game 5

CHICAGO (AP) Jonathan Toews had a rebound goal early in the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Sunday night to take a 3-2 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

Bryan Bickell also scored and Corey Crawford made 27 saves as Chicago bounced back from consecutive losses in Minnesota that handed the momentum to the Wild heading into Game 5.

But the Blackhawks were back at the United Center, where they improved to 6-0 in this postseason and 17-2 over the past two playoffs.

Erik Haula scored in the first period for the Wild, and Ilya Bryzgalov had 26 stops.

Game 6 is Tuesday night in Minnesota, where the Wild are undefeated in this postseason.

George's 39 lead Pacers past Wiz 95-92; 3-1 lead

WASHINGTON (AP) Paul George poured in a career playoff-high 39 points and added 12 rebounds to lead the Indiana Pacers back from a 19-point deficit and past the Washington Wizards 95-92 on Sunday night to move one victory away from returning to the Eastern Conference finals.

The Pacers lead the second-round series 3-1 and can close it out Tuesday night, hosting Game 5.

George played 46 minutes and scored 28 points after halftime Sunday, including making six of his franchise playoff-record-tying seven 3-pointers.

Roy Hibbert had 17 points and nine rebounds, continuing his recent surge after a poor-as-can-be start to the series. He helped Indiana overcome Washington's 32-2 advantage in bench scoring.

Kaymer holds on to win Players

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) Martin Kaymer never lost sight of opportunity even amid so much evidence of trouble in the closing stretch Sunday at The Players Championship.

A bad chip led to double bogey. A bad decision cost him a chance at birdie. With his lead suddenly down to one shot, he watched his ball soar against the gray sky toward the scariest island in golf and figured it would be fine.

What followed was a bounce sideways instead of forward, mystifying spin that nearly sent his ball over the edge and into the drink, a chip with his feet pressed near the wooden frame of the island and a 30-foot par putt that Kaymer chalked up to instinct and luck.

"It was a very strange way to make 3," he said.

But it was enough to carry the 29-year-old German to a one-shot victory over Jim Furyk in a final round filled with stress, emotion and a large dose of satisfaction.

Kaymer got up-and-down with his putter from short of the 18th green for one last par, giving him a 1-under 71 and his first victory in nearly 18 months. The only time he nearly lost his composure was when talking about his mother, Rina, who died of cancer six years. He has a sunflower, her favorite flower, on his golf bag. His brother, Phillip, sent him a text that he described only as a "very emotional."

"To win on Mother's Day ... we show our parents way too little," he said. "We always need some occasions to show them, which is what you realize when they're not there anymore. So to win on those days ... it adds a little bit of a nice thing to the whole week.

"I think about her every day. I don't need a Mother's Day."

Furyk closed with a 66, having to wait out a 90-minute rain delay to make a 3-foot par putt. It looked as though it might be enough to force a playoff, or even win outright when Kaymer started to struggle. Just as he did last week at Quail Hollow, Furyk could only watch on TV from the locker room and settle for second place.

"I did what I could," Furyk said. "I left it all on the golf course, and I hung it all out there today and every cliche you can think of. I played hard today."

Sergio Garcia (70) finished alone in third, though he never got within two shots of the lead at any point.

That wasn't the case with 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, who was tied with Kaymer going into the final round. He made his first bogey of the tournament on the fifth hole, and four more bogeys followed in his round of 74. He tied for fourth.

"I'm stinging right now," Spieth said, a runner-up at the Masters. "It's not fun being that close and having opportunities and being in the lead on Sunday and not pulling it off."

The typical stress that Sawgrass brings on Sunday was contained to the final hour, and it was almost more than Kaymer could take. He was sailing along until the lightning flashes and rain forced the rain delay. He had a three-shot lead with five holes left and was a different player when the round resumed.

He made double bogey from an aggressive play behind a pine tree on the 15th. He nervously chose putter from a collection area on the par-5 16th that turned a simple chance at birdie into a par.

Nothing could top the 17th hole, the most exciting on the Stadium Course. When his chip shot stopped just inside 30 feet from the hole, and bogey looked certain, Kaymer figured he still had one more hole. He couldn't see the line in the approaching darkness, though he remembered it from practice rounds.

When it dropped, he walked to the side and slammed his clenched fist in celebration, rare emotion for the German.

"Making a putt like this is more than big," he said. "I think I will realize it the next few days."

Kaymer finished at 13-under 275 and joined an elite group by winning the biggest event on golf's strongest tour. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott are the only other players to win a major, a World Golf Championship and The Players Championship.

For Spieth, it was his second big tournament in the final group. Tied for the lead through seven holes, he dropped shots to Kaymer on each of the next four holes - two bogeys by Spieth, two birdies by Kaymer.

Kaymer had just over 3 feet left for par on the 18th, and it made him think of his winning putt to beat Steve Stricker and ensure that Europe kept the Ryder Cup at Medinah two years ago. The celebration was different. This was for him, and a long journey back from when he won the 2010 PGA Championship, reached No. 1 in the world six months later, and then set out to improve his swing to avoid being a one-dimensional player.

"When I was standing over the putt, I just thought, `It would be really nice to make that putt now, would be a very nice way to finish,"' he said.

Rangers win again, force Game 7 vs. Pens

NEW YORK (AP) Martin St. Louis and Carl Hagelin scored 2:51 apart in the first period, and Henrik Lundqvist made 36 saves and the New York Rangers avoided elimination again with a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night.

The matchup between the Metropolitan Division rivals will be decided in Game 7 at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. The Penguins, who led the series 3-1, failed in their first attempt to advance to the Eastern Conference finals with a 5-1 home loss on Friday.

Derick Brassard pushed the Rangers' lead to 3-1 in the second period. Brandon Sutter scored the lone goal for the Penguins, who got 26 saves from Marc-Andre Fleury.

This was a far cry from New York's disheartening 4-2 home loss in Game 4.

The Rangers are 9-2 in their past 11 games when facing elimination, dating to Game 6 of the first round in 2012 at Ottawa. New York has never won a series it trailed 3-1.

New York scored the all-important first goal, St. Louis' third of the playoffs that had Madison Square Garden rocking just 3:34 in. New York had just withstood an extended period of time in its own end when Pittsburgh's crisp passing and forechecking kept the Rangers under pressure.

They got the puck up ice, and defenseman Anton Stralman ripped a hard drive from the high slot that caromed off Fleury. Derek Stepan swiped at the puck in traffic and knocked it off St. Louis' right leg and into the net.

The team that scored first has won all six games.

St. Louis capped off an emotional Mother's Day with his father and sister in attendance, just three days after his mother died suddenly. His return to the team Friday night, without missing a game, provided a lift to his teammates as they kept their season alive.

St. Louis heard cheers of "Mar-ty, Mar-ty" during his first shift that grew louder after his goal.

St. Louis was the first star of the game. He patted his heart when he came out to an ovation from the crowd.

Buoyed by another early lead, the Rangers pressed for more, and got it on Hagelin's unassisted goal at 6:25. Hagelin's initial shot attempt from the left-wing boards was blocked by Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi. But Hagelin got to the loose puck in the center of the left circle and sent a hard backhand sailing past Fleury for his fourth of the postseason.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma then burned his lone timeout to try to calm his team that was being outshot 7-2.

Pittsburgh reversed that trend, cut its deficit in half, and trailed by only one goal at the end of the first period.

The Penguins started to gain momentum after they killed a roughing penalty against Jussi Jokinen and then received their first power play after Chris Kreider knocked down Jokinen at the edge of the crease with 8:40 left in the period.

New York had built its shots edge to 12-3, but then helped the Penguins make the score 2-1. Sutter flung the puck toward the net, and it appeared to hit Rangers defenseman John Moore and then bounce in off the foot of defenseman Kevin Klein near the left post with 3:04 left. Lundqvist was clearly agitated by the late goal by Pittsburgh, which led 15-14 in shots in the first period.

The teams both had chances in the middle period, and neither could connect on a pair of power plays.

Pittsburgh twice challenged Lundqvist with short-handed breakaways, and the Rangers had a goal waved off at 5:55 when Kreider was called for goalie interference after he was shoved from behind into Fleury by Kris Letang.

The Rangers made it 3-1, however, with 4:30 remaining in the period - just 25 seconds after Mats Zuccarello finished serving a tripping penalty.

Fleury tried to scoop a loose puck into his glove near the right post, but Brassard was able to get his skate on it and kick it into the air and behind the goalie. Brassard lunged with his stick, knocked it down and put it into the net for his third goal in two games and fourth in the series.

Benoit Pouliot earned an assist, giving the line of Pouliot, Brassard, and Zuccarello 12 goals and 15 assists in 10 games - regular season and playoffs - against Pittsburgh.

NOTES: Brassard's line combined for seven points in Game 5. ... The Penguins dropped to 9-3 at the Garden in the playoffs and 15-15 overall in Game 6s. ... Lundqvist made his 79th consecutive playoff start, tying Fleury for third place on the NHL list among goalies with one team. Fleury's run ended last year. New Jersey's Martin Brodeur is first with 194, a streak that began in 1994 and is still current. Patrick Roy is in second place with 133.

Clippers rally for 101-99 win over Thunder

LOS ANGELES (AP) Darren Collison scored 10 of his 18 points in the final 2:58, rallying the Los Angeles Clippers past the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-99 on Sunday to tie the Western Conference semifinal series 2-2.

Russell Westbrook, who scored 27 points, missed a 3-pointer and Serge Ibaka's tip attempt was too late at the buzzer, allowing the Clippers to salvage a game they trailed until the final 1:23.

Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with 25 points, making 9 of 11 free throws, and Chris Paul had 23 points and 10 assists. Jamal Crawford added 18 points. DeAndre Jordan had 14 rebounds, helping the Clippers win the boards, 45-43 - the first time in 11 playoff games the Thunder were outrebounded.

Kevin Durant scored 40 points, hitting 15 of 18 free throws, for the Thunder.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Oklahoma City.

Sterling's wife pledges to keep stake in Clippers

LOS ANGELES (AP) In her first interview since the NBA banned her estranged husband, Shelly Sterling said she would fight to keep her share of the Los Angeles Clippers and plans one day to divorce Donald Sterling.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has banned Donald Sterling for making racist comments and urged owners to force him to sell the team. Silver added that no decisions had been made about the rest of Sterling's family.

"I will fight that decision," Shelly Sterling said, according to a short story that ABC News posted Sunday with excerpts from her conversation with Barbara Walters. "To be honest with you, I'm wondering if a wife of one of the owners, and there's 30 owners, did something like that, said those racial slurs, would they oust the husband? Or would they leave the husband in?

"I don't know why I should be punished for what his actions were."

Shelly Sterling's attorney, Pierce O'Donnell, has said she will fight to retain her 50 percent ownership stake in the team.

Sterling also said that she "eventually" will divorce her husband, and that she hadn't yet done so due to financial considerations.

"For the last 20 years, I've been seeing attorneys for a divorce," she said. "In fact, I have here - I just filed - I was going to file the petition. I signed the petition for a divorce. And it came to almost being filed. And then, my financial adviser and my attorney said to me, `Not now."'

Donald Sterling has not spoken publicly about the situation.

James: Players want no Sterlings to own Clippers

NEW YORK (AP) LeBron James understands it will take time, but he wants Donald Sterling out of the NBA.

And he said Sunday that NBA players believe nobody in Sterling's family should be able to own the Los Angeles Clippers if he's gone.

Sterling has been banned for life for making racist comments and Commissioner Adam Silver has urged owners to force Sterling to sell the franchise. But Silver said no decisions had been made about the rest of Sterling's family.

Shelly Sterling, Sterling's estranged wife, said she intends to keep her 50 percent of the franchise.

"As players, we want what's right and we don't feel like no one in his family should be able to own the team," James said after the Miami Heat practiced for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Brooklyn.

But Shelly Sterling told ABC News' Barbara Walters that she doesn't believe she should be punished for what her husband said.

"I will fight that decision," she said in the interview. "To be honest with you, I'm wondering if a wife of one of the owners, and there's 30 owners, did something like that, said those racial slurs, would they oust the husband? Or would they leave the husband in?"

James was one of the first and strongest voices to speak out after a recording of Donald Sterling's remarks to V. Stiviano were posted on TMZ's website last month, saying the comments were unacceptable and that there was no place in the league for Sterling.

The league is trying to act quickly to remove him. Dick Parsons has been installed as the Clippers' interim CEO, and the owners' advisory/finance committee has held conference calls each of the last two weeks to discuss that process and timeline for a forced sale. That would require a three-fourths vote of owners.

But Sterling, who bought the team in 1981 and is the NBA's longest-tenured owner, could choose to fight those attempts by the league.

"At the end of the day, this is going to be a long litigation when it comes to that," James said. "This guy who's owned the team since the `80s is not going to just give the team up in a day. So we understand it's going to be long, but we want what's right."

Bruins' Thornton fined $2,800 for squirting water

NEW YORK (AP) Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said on Sunday that he will not contest a fine of more than $2,800 for squirting water from the bench at Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban in the final minute of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

"I obviously got caught up in the moment," Thornton said on an offday at the TD Garden. "I'm sorry that this silly incident kind of overshadowed how my teammates played and the great win and how good this series has been. There's definitely more important things that we can focus on."

The Bruins were leading the Canadiens 4-2 in the final minutes of Game 5 on Saturday night when Subban skated past the Boston bench with the puck. Thornton squirted water at the Montreal defenseman, hitting him in the face shield.

Angered, Subban approached the bench and exchanged words with Thornton. He then went to complain to the referee.

"Somebody sprayed water on my visor at the end of the game. I couldn't see out of half of it," Subban said after the game, acknowledging that the incident, while annoying, did not affect the outcome. "I don't want it to be bulletin board material."

Boston held on to win the game 4-2 and take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Bruins need a victory on Monday night in Montreal to eliminate the Canadiens and avoid a decisive seventh game in Boston on Wednesday.

The fine of $2,820.52 is the maximum allowed under the league's collective bargaining agreement with the union. The money goes to the players' emergency assistance fund.

Bruins coach Claude Julien said he did not approve of Thornton's behavior and let him know.

"As a coach, you always want to support your players. But there's certain things you can't support," Julien said on Sunday. "I don't think I can support Shawn on those actions. To me, I don't think we like seeing our players do that. Now whether he got caught up in the game or whatever, to me he's got to own up to it."

Spurs go up 3-0 with 118-103 win over Blazers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Tony Parker scored 29 points and the San Antonio Spurs pulled into a commanding 3-0 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series against Portland with a 118-103 victory over the Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

The Spurs led by as many as 23 points in the first half, building a big early lead just as they had in the first two games of the series in San Antonio. The teams meet again on Monday at the Moda Center.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Portland, which pulled within eight points in the third quarter but couldn't get any closer. The Blazers were hurt by 15 turnovers and only six points from their bench.

No NBA team has come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a seven-game series.

Gibson leads Ducks past Kings 2-0 to even series

LOS ANGELES (AP) John Gibson made 28 saves in his dynamic NHL playoff debut, captain Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist, and the Anaheim Ducks evened their second-round playoff series with a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 on Saturday night.

Devante Smith-Pelly also scored in the first period and Corey Perry had two assists for the top-seeded Ducks, who bounced back from two series-opening losses at home with consecutive victories at Staples Center.

Anaheim started its third goalie in three games with the dramatic entrance of Gibson, the 20-year-old American widely considered the best goaltending prospect in hockey.

Jonathan Quick allowed two goals in the first period before getting replaced by rookie Martin Jones, who faced just three shots.

Game 5 is Monday night in Anaheim.

The visiting team is dominating the series between teams separated by 30 miles on the I-5 freeway, and Anaheim ramped up its defense downtown to even the series - even with a revolving door in the crease.

Gibson, who made his NHL debut with three victories late in the regular season, got the nod from coach Bruce Boudreau in place of veteran Jonas Hiller, who started the first two games against Los Angeles and finished Game 3 after Frederik Andersen injured his right leg.

Three days after Gibson made 39 saves in an AHL playoff game in Newfoundland, he coolly backstopped the Ducks through the final 40 minutes, which were largely dominated by the Kings.

After a dismal first period by Los Angeles, Jones replaced the Conn Smythe Trophy-winning Quick in coach Darryl Sutter's apparent attempt to wake up the Kings, who then held the Ducks without a shot in the second period.

But after losing twice at home to open the series, the Ducks took control of both games at Staples Center with first-period goals.

Smith-Pelly, who replaced injured Matt Beleskey on Anaheim's top line, pushed past Drew Doughty into the Kings' zone and converted a pass from Perry for his third goal of his first NHL playoff run.

Getzlaf had the second assist, and he got his own goal on a power play 2:43 later on his 29th birthday. The Anaheim captain threw the puck into Quick's crease from behind the net, and it banked off the Kings and in for Getzlaf's team-leading fourth goal of the postseason.

The Kings took control of the second period after Jones replaced Quick, but had no goals to show for it. Getzlaf even saved a goal early in the second period, blocking Doughty's look at an open net.

Anaheim had never played a shot-free period in its playoff history, and Los Angeles had never held a playoff opponent without a shot for a full period. The Ducks played more than 25 1/2 minutes without a shot until a power play created by Anze Kopitar's double minor for high-sticking Andrew Cogliano early in the third.

Gibson made several big saves in the final minutes, stopping Kopitar, Jake Muzzin and Tyler Toffoli during one spectacular sequence.

NOTES: Getzlaf has five multi-point performances in nine playoff games. He was the NHL's second-leading scorer in the regular season. ... Game 6 is back at Staples Center on Wednesday. ... French chef Ludo Lefebvre was shown on the Staples Center scoreboard preparing roast duck during the first intermission.

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