National Sports Headlines from NBC Sports

Cavs taking close look at Kansas prospect Embiid

CLEVELAND (AP) As they search for a new coach, the Cavaliers are taking a close look at an intriguing player.

Kansas center Joel Embiid worked out Wednesday for the Cavs, who are trying to decide what to do with the No. 1 overall pick in this month's NBA draft. The 7-foot Embiid, who has only been playing basketball for a few years, arrived in Cleveland on Tuesday night for his visit, the team confirmed. The Cavs are eager to put Embiid thorough medical physical as there have been concerns about the 18-year-old's back.

Embiid missed the tail end of his freshman season with the Jayhawks because of what was described as a stress fracture in his lower back. Embiid did not attend the league's pre-draft combine last month in Chicago, and his medical records were not released by the school. The Cavs don't want to take any chances with a selection after last year's top pick, forward Anthony Bennett, struggled during his first year after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Embiid is the first of the top prospects to visit the Cavs, who are expected to meet with Kansas swingman Andrew Wiggins and Duke forward Jabari Parker.

"Having fun in Cleveland," Embiid wrote on his Twitter account, with a photo of a Cavaliers' T-shirt.

In the meantime, the Cavs are in the fourth week of their coaching search. The team has had interviews with at least six known candidates, the most recent being former Cleveland All-Star guard and current Charlotte assistant Mark Price. The Cavs are expected to have a second meeting with Clippers assistant Alvin Gentry, who previously worked with Cleveland general manager David Griffin in Arizona.

Ideally, the Cavs would like to have a new coach in place by the June 26 draft, but have not put a timetable on hiring their third coach in three years.

Griffin has said he would be open to listening to trade offers for the top pick.

Wainwright wins 9th, sends Rays to 3rd straight shutout

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Adam Wainwright became the NL's first nine-game winner, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat Tampa Bay 1-0 on Tuesday night, the Rays' third straight shutout loss.

The Cardinals have three consecutive shutouts for the first time since April 2013. St. Louis, with 13 shutouts this season, was coming off 5-0 victories over Toronto on Saturday and Sunday.

Tampa Bay has been shut out an AL-leading 10 times this season. The Rays, who have lost 14 of 15, have not scored a run in 28 innings.

Wainwright (9-3) scattered seven hits over seven innings. Trevor Rosenthal got the final four outs, including a base-loaded pop fly by Matt Joyce in the eighth, for his 17th save.

Matt Holliday put the Cardinals up 1-0 with his fourth homer this season, a long drive to left center with two outs in the sixth off tough-luck loser Jake Odorizzi (2-7).

Odorizzi, a Cardinals' fan who grew up about 30 miles from Busch Stadium, had a strong performance in his first game against St. Louis. The right-hander gave up one run and three hits in 7 1-3 innings.

Holliday and Kolten Wong both returned to the Cardinals lineup. Holliday was scratched Sunday due to a sore lower back, while Wong sat out three games with left shoulder soreness.

Odorizzi had allowed one baserunner, a fourth-inning walk to Holliday, before giving up consecutive two-out singles in the fifth to Jhonny Peralta and John Jay. The inning ended on a fly ball by Peter Bourjos.

The Rays threatened in both the first and fourth innings. Ben Zobrist hit a fly ball with two on to end the first. Logan Forsythe lined out to second with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth.

NOTES: Former Cardinals manager and Tampa native Tony La Russa will throw the ceremonial first pitch before the finale of the two-game interleague series Wednesday night. La Russa will be inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame on July 27. ... Tampa Bay C Ryan Hanigan (right hamstring tightness) says he is ready to be activated Wednesday from the 15-day DL. ... The Rays signed 2014 first-round draft pick Casey Gillaspie, a first baseman out of Wichita State. ... St. Louis 1B Matt Adams (strained left calf) has started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis. ... This was the third time that Tampa Bay C Jose Molina and his brother, Cardinals C Yadier Molina, have played against each other in the majors. ... Rays LHP Erik Bedard (3-4) and St Louis RHP Michael Wacha (4-4) are Wednesday's scheduled starters.

Shelly Sterling heads to court for right to sell Clips

LOS ANGELES (AP) Shelly Sterling's attorney will be in probate court on Wednesday to seek an emergency order for a hearing so a judge can confirm her authority to sell the Los Angeles Clippers, according to an individual familiar with the matter.

The individual was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Shelly Sterling brokered what would be a record-breaking $2 billion deal with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to sell the team after her husband and co-owner Donald Sterling made racist comments to a girlfriend that were recorded and publicized. The NBA moved swiftly to oust him as an owner.

But Donald Sterling has vowed not to sell and is suing the NBA for $1 billion.

Donald Sterling said in a statement released by his attorney on Tuesday that he's fighting for the fundamental rights of Americans against the NBA which he calls "a band of hypocrites and bullies" and "despicable monsters."

His statement is titled in caps and underlined: "WHY I AM FIGHTING THE NBA? THE NBA WANTS TO TAKE AWAY OUR PRIVACY RIGHTS AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH."

Shelly Sterling contends she is the sole trustee of The Sterling Family Trust, which owns the team. Donald Sterling was stripped as co-trustee after two neurologists last month determined he was suffering from dementia and "mentally incapacitated" under the trust's conditions, according to a person who is familiar with the trust and the medical evaluations but could not speak publicly.

The aim of Sterling's court bid is to have a judge confirm provisions of the family trust to ensure the Ballmer sale moves forward without a hitch. Donald Sterling has the right to present his side at any hearing and appeal any decision.

His attorney Maxwell Blecher said a representative for Donald Sterling will be at the hearing, and that the main issue to be decided is whether Donald Sterling is mentally competent.

"There isn't the slightest evidence he's incapable of managing his affairs," Blecher said. He said the next step is to have other doctors evaluate Sterling.

"I have no doubt at the end of the day the court is not going to say he's incompetent. That's a very high burden in the probate court - otherwise people would get their sisters and wife and brother-in-laws and everybody declared incompetent."

Though both Sterlings will have their own attorneys at the hearing Wednesday and they live apart, the couple remains "chummy," Blecher said.

"It's what I describe to people as a strange estrangement, they don't seem at all hostile to each other, and he's very solicitous of her," Blecher said. "They've been married 58 years. Each threatens the other one they're going to get a divorce but they never did and never have."

On Monday, Donald Sterling pulled his support from the Ballmer deal. He instructed his attorneys to prosecute the lawsuit against the NBA that alleges the league violated his constitutional rights by relying on information from an "illegal" recording that publicized racist remarks he made to a girlfriend.

It also said the league committed a breach of contract by fining Sterling $2.5 million and that it violated antitrust laws by trying to force a sale.

Donald Sterling agreed to ink the deal and drop the suit last week assuming "all their differences had been resolved," his attorneys said. But individuals close to the negotiations who weren't authorized to speak publicly said he decided to not sign the papers after learning the NBA won't revoke its lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine.

"He never voluntarily said `Oh let's sell the team for $2 billion,' he didn't care about the money and he's walking away from it now. It's not about the money," Blecher said. "To him it's about the ownership of the team, the maintenance of his integrity, reputation and dignity. That's what he wanted from the league. He wanted to have them help him restore it and they wouldn't do it."

Donald Sterling's comments to V. Stiviano included telling her to not bring black people to Clippers games, specifically mentioning Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. They resulted in outrage from the public and players and even President Barack Obama.

Mickelson trying to keep his focus on Pinehurst

PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) Phil Mickelson spent five hours in the stifling heat Tuesday at Pinehurst No. 2 with a lot on his mind.

He was trying to sharpen his game, figure out what it will take to finally win a U.S. Open and make enough putts with his claw grip to avoid losing to a pair of players whose combined age is younger than him.

This major has a reputation as the toughest test in golf.

It's every bit of that for Mickelson.

"I really believe that this week is testing a player's entire game," Mickelson said. "Because it forces you to make good decisions, to choose the right club off the tee, hit solid iron shots into the green and utilize your short game to save strokes. It's just a wonderful test ... the best test I've seen to identify the best player."

His definition of Pinehurst and its rugged, natural look would seem to require every ounce of concentration.

And that could be his biggest challenge.

On the golf course, Mickelson is trying to ignore the enormous expectations on him this week. He holds the worst kind of U.S. Open record with six runner-up finishes. He needs this major to complete the career Grand Slam.

And he's a sentimental favorite at Pinehurst No. 2, where in 1999 he played the entire week knowing his wife was on the verge of delivering their first child.

Payne Stewart made a 15-foot par putt on the final hole to beat him by one shot. Amanda Mickelson was born the next day. Stewart died in a plane crash four months later.

"Payne and I had this moment where we talked about fatherhood, but he also talked about winning future U.S. Opens," Mickelson said. "Although I haven't won one yet, I'm still fighting hard, and this would be a great place to break through and do it. The flip side is that I tend to do well when it's least expected.

"I don't want to put the pressure on that this is the only week that I'll have a chance," he said. "I think I'll have a number of great opportunities in the future years. But this is certainly as good a chance as I'll have."

Off the course, Mickelson has made headlines that threaten his clean image. He was linked two weeks ago to an insider trading investigation involving activist investor Carl Icahn and Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters over some timely trades of Clorox stock three years ago.

FBI agents even came to the golf course to try to interview Mickelson. He referred them to his attorney, said he had done "absolutely nothing wrong" and that "I'm not going to walk around any other way."

It would seem to be a major distraction for Mickelson.

Even though he hasn't won in nearly a year, and he has dropped to No. 11 in the world ranking, he is the center of attention in the sand hills of North Carolina - especially with Tiger Woods still out of the game while recovering from back surgery.

Then again, it could be to Mickelson's advantage to be at a place such as Pinehurst. The course doesn't allow anyone to think about anything but the next shot.

"We have so many players when they have a lot of stuff swirling around them that use that four or five hours on the golf course as a sanctuary," two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North said.

"You can focus sometimes even better, which sound crazy, but it's your place where no one can get to you. The phone can't ring. No one can ask you questions about whatever it is. And you get out there and find your little space. And sometimes that creates a situation where a guy can play exceptionally well."

The investigation has not been a big topic since Mickelson said repeatedly at the Memorial that he had done nothing wrong, was cooperating and would not talk about it until it was resolved.

There were no direct questions at his news conference Tuesday, only veiled references to coping with off-course distractions.

Barclays, one of his biggest sponsors, declined to comment on Mickelson. KPMG, another major sponsor, said in a statement, "We have had a very strong relationship with Phil for a number of years, and we fully expect it to continue. We have great respect for him."

While Mickelson's U.S. Open record is loaded with disappointment, he sees only opportunity. To have been the runner-up six times - not to mention other U.S. Opens where he had a chance to win in the final hour - means he must be doing something right.

And he hasn't lost his sense of humor.

"I feel as good about my game as I have all year," Mickelson said, pausing before he added, "That's not staying a lot because I haven't played well all year."

He also said an analysis of his close calls in the U.S. Open revealed that it rained during the week in five of those second-place finishes.

"So I'm pulling for rain," he said.

As for that other match? Mickelson carried the load as he and Rickie Fowler rallied from 3 down to tie the match, only for 20-year-old Jordan Spieth to make a 20-foot birdie on the 17th, and 21-year-old Justin Thomas to drill a tee shot on the 18th hole to set up a par for the win.

Another close call.

It's a U.S. Open.

Mickelson should be used to that by now.

Former Cy Young winner Bob Welch dies at 57

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Bob Welch, the 1990 AL Cy Young Award winner with the Oakland Athletics and the last major leaguer to win at least 25 games in a season, has died. He was 57.

Welch died late Monday night at his Southern California home in Seal Beach, the team said Tuesday. Police said officers responded to a call for medical aid and found Welch dead in the bathroom area.

Authorities have not released the cause of death. The coroner was awaiting toxicology test results, which can take eight to 12 weeks, said Lt. Jeffrey Hallock, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Welch was known best for his famous battles with Reggie Jackson in the World Series and alcohol addiction.

The two-time All-Star was an admitted alcoholic early in his career and spent time in rehabilitation. He later co-authored a book with George Vecsey about his addiction titled "Five O'Clock Comes Early: A Ballplayer's Battle With Alcoholism."

"The fact is, I'm crazy when I'm drunk," Welch said in the book. "There's every chance I would have been dead by now if I was drinking."

The right-hander played on five teams that reached the World Series - 1978, 1981, 1988, 1989 and 1990 - and won two titles, one in 1981 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and another in 1989 with the A's.

Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten called Welch "one of the greatest competitors to wear the Dodger uniform."

"Welchie was a special guy. We lost a really good friend," said Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia, a longtime teammate with the Dodgers.

In Oakland, Welch figured prominently on teams that won three straight AL championships from 1988-90, including the club that swept the San Francisco Giants in the earthquake-interrupted World Series.

"This is a sad day for the entire A's organization," general manager Billy Beane said. "Those of us who knew Bob as a teammate and a friend will miss him greatly."

Welch finished 211-146 with a 3.47 ERA in 17 seasons with the Dodgers (1978-87) and Athletics (1988-94). He also was the pitching coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks when they won the 2001 World Series and had served as a special instructor for the A's in recent years.

"He had a great arm, but what made him so special at a young age was the way he could command the corners with his velocity," Scioscia said. "He was a great talent, but that wasn't really what he was about. Bobby was a guy who, every time there was a roadblock in the way, he got over it. He didn't take the easiest path, but he was a solid guy."

New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, the former Oakland GM who acquired Welch for the A's after the 1987 season, said Welch would be missed.

"He was an interesting character, really sort of hyperkinetic," Alderson said. "He was a super guy and a very likable, if not loveable, guy."

Welch was drafted in the first round by the Dodgers in 1977 out of Eastern Michigan. His most memorable moment for Los Angeles was against the Yankees in the 1978 World Series, when the rookie struck out Jackson with two runners on base to end Game 2.

"I was stone sober, too," Welch said in his book. "I hadn't gotten around to drinking before a game, particularly a World Series game - although, given time, I would have."

Dodgers first base coach Davey Lopes, a former teammate, recalled the battle with Jackson fondly before the team played in Cincinnati on Tuesday night.

"I don't know if it gets any greater than that," Lopes said.

Welch won the AL Cy Young Award after going 27-6 with a 2.95 ERA in 1990 for Oakland. His 27 wins tied him with Steve Carlton in 1972 for the most in a season since Denny McClain's 31 victories in 1968.

"He will always be a significant part of our franchise's history," A's President Michael Crowley said.

Several current A's players also offered condolences on Twitter.

"Devastated to learn of Bob Welch's passing," left-hander Sean Doolittle wrote. "The A's organization lost not only one of its best pitchers, but one of its best people."

No one answered the door at Welch's home Tuesday, which had been sealed with a sticker from the Orange County coroner.

Neighbor Alma Purcha said she woke up to find police cars outside the home several blocks from the Pacific Ocean. She said Welch divided his time between Arizona and Seal Beach. She last saw him with his son and daughter Friday, when they exchanged pleasantries.

Welch was born in Detroit and was lauded by the school he led to two trips to the College World Series. Eastern Michigan athletic director Heather Lyke called the pitcher one of the university's "greatest ambassadors."

"The one thing Bobby definitely loved is this game of baseball," Scioscia said. "He understood pitching, and I know he did a great job for the Diamondbacks, and working for the Oakland organization was a natural for him because he had so many tremendous seasons there. I know he really connected with the kids and had a lot to give."

The A's said Welch is survived by sons Dylan, 25, and Riley, 23; daughter Kelly, 18; and former wife Mary Ellen.

Falcons' Weatherspoon to miss 2014 season

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon ruptured his Achilles tendon on Tuesday and will miss the 2014 season.

Weatherspoon suffered the injury while running under the supervision of the team's medical staff.

Weatherspoon had been held out of the organized team activities as he was continuing his recovery from a foot injury that limited him to only seven games in 2013.

The loss of Weatherspoon, the team's first-round pick from Missouri in 2010, is a blow to the Falcons, whose disappointing 4-12 finish in 2013 was marked by a string of injuries. Weatherspoon has eight sacks and two interceptions in his first four seasons.

Weatherspoon has managed to play a full 16 games in only one season, 2011, when he had 80 tackles and a career-high four sacks.

Coach Mike Smith said in a statement released by the team on Tuesday night Weatherspoon is expected to make a full recovery following surgery.

"During Sean's run today with our medical staff, he suffered an injury," Smith said. "We sent Sean to the doctor for some additional testing and evaluation and unfortunately the results showed that he ruptured his Achilles tendon.

"Sean had been working extremely hard to get back on the field, but regrettably he will miss the entire 2014 season. He will have a procedure done in the near future and we expect him to make a full recovery."

Weatherspoon's 2013 injury forced the Falcons to rely on two undrafted rookies, Joplo Bartu and Paul Worrilow. Worrilow led the team in tackles and Bartu was third.

Before Weatherspoon's latest injury was disclosed, Smith said Tuesday that Bartu and Worrilow have matured in the offseason.

"Two guys who ended up playing a bunch of snaps for us last year have improved and matured," Smith said, referring to Worrilow and Bartu.

"If you would have told me at this time last year that one was going to be our leading tackler and the other was going to play 70 percent of the snaps I would have said `I don't think so.'

"They are a much more mature group. We went through some growing pains with them last year that are going to pay dividends moving forward."

The Falcons added four linebackers late in this year's NFL draft.

Notre Dame's Prince Shembo was selected late in the fourth round. Syracuse's Marquis Spruill was the team's fifth-round pick. Connecticut's Yawin Smallwood and South Dakota's Tyler Starr were seventh-round picks.

Rockies OF Gonzalez has tumor removed from finger

DENVER (AP) Colorado Rockies star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez had a small tumor removed from his left index finger Tuesday during a procedure at the Cleveland Clinic.

Gonzalez underwent exploratory surgery with Dr. Thomas Graham and a growth was found beneath the sheath around the muscle.

Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said these type of tumors are common and the expectation is a biopsy will determine the tumor is benign.

"These little benign tumors, which we hope it is, is probably the second most common finding in the finger besides cysts," Dugger said. "Usually repetitive trauma causes it.

"They call them cell tumors. Pretty common within the sheath of these fingers. Usually benign. Occasionally you can come up with something."

Gonzalez had his left arm in a sling after the surgery. He is expected to return to Denver Wednesday.

"It helps explain some of the things that CarGo's been dealing with and why that finger kept blowing up on him," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It helps answer some of the questions we had about him.

Gonzalez has been experiencing soreness and swelling in the finger for a while. He was examined by Graham on May 29 in Cleveland. He continued to play but was placed on the 15-day DL on June 4 and is expected to miss a few weeks.

"Typically, it's a couple weeks for the tissue to heal," Dugger said. "Then he'll get back his strength and start swinging. It was a little bit more invasive, meaning they took out a larger piece than they thought - what the MRI revealed."

Gonzalez has dealt with finger issues in the past. Last season he played in just 19 games after the All-Star break due to a sprained middle finger on his right hand.

That injury did not require surgery.

Colorado has been hit hard with injuries in the last month. Third baseman Nolan Arenado (broken left finger) is expected to miss another month and outfielder Michael Cuddyer is out for at least six weeks with a fractured left shoulder suffered Thursday.

The rotation has been decimated as well. Jordan Lyles (broken hand), Tyler Chatwood (right elbow strain), Brett Anderson (fractured left index finger) and rookie Eddie Butler (right rotator cuff inflammation) are on the disabled list.

Left-hander Tyler Matzek, the team's first-round pick in 2009, will be the third Rockies pitcher in a week to make his major league debut when he starts Wednesday's game.

"It's something as a professional team we've got to push through, push forward," Cuddyer said.

Mets ace Matt Harvey's rehab is slowed

NEW YORK (AP) The next phase in New York Mets ace Matt Harvey's rehabilitation from elbow reconstruction surgery is being pushed back, and the All-Star right-hander is becoming more realistic about his chances of pitching in the major leagues this year.

Harvey was supposed to throw off a slope for the first time Tuesday but he was told last week while working out at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida, that the plan was being scrapped.

"A little surprised," Harvey said before the Mets played the Milwaukee Brewers. "We kind of had that plan written up for quite some time and to hear four or five days before I'm making a milestone is a little disappointing."

New York general manager Sandy Alderson said there is nothing wrong with Harvey. In fact the 25-year-old's recovery might have been going too well.

"I think the realization that as we transition from long tossing to throwing off a slope that we were moving sort of inexorably to a conclusion that we wanted to avoid, which is pitching too soon," Alderson said. "After talking with our doctors it made sense to slow him down a little bit."

In a season in which Tommy John surgery has become a near epidemic - 22 pitchers had the operation so far, according to data provided from STATS via writer Jon Roegele - the Mets are basing their timetable for Harvey's return on a growing amount of data that shows pitchers have more success if they don't return before 11 months from the date of surgery. Harvey had his operation on Oct. 22.

"That's about the last week in September," Alderson said of the target date. "That's a very narrow window to try to hit from our standpoint."

Manager Terry Collins, who was given a vote of confidence from Alderson with the Mets on a six-game skid, said he wouldn't expect Harvey to pitch for New York in the final week of the season unless the team was in contention.

Harvey had been set on returning this season but understands the decision is out of his hands.

"I think I'm coming to realize that I can't write myself in the lineup is becoming more realistic," Harvey said. "I'm the one throwing the baseball. I haven't had one pinch of pain. I can only express how good I feel and how ready I personally feel."

Harvey will continue to long toss from 120 feet - sometimes 150 - and throw off flat ground for the time being. Alderson said a new plan has not yet been finalized.

Alderson, meanwhile, met with Collins after the team returned from an 11-game road trip a season-high seven games under .500 at 28-35 because he felt there was too much talk about Collins' status in the media.

"Every time we lose a few games in a row, there's speculation about somebody taking a fall and that's simply not the way to approach a long season," Alderson said.

Indians' Chisenhall giving bat to Hall of Fame

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Lonnie Chisenhall's bat is headed to the Hall of Fame.

He just hopes he doesn't break his other one.

The Indians third baseman went 5 for 5 and hit three homers while driving in nine runs in a 17-7 rout of Texas on Monday night. By the time he arrived in Kansas City for Tuesday night's game, he was told that the folks in Cooperstown wanted to retire his bat for posterity.

The only problem with the gesture? "I only have two of the model I use," Chisenhall said with a grin. "I'm going to have to make it through these next six games with one bat."

No worries - teammate Michael Brantley has offered to loan out some of his stock.

According to Major League Baseball, Chisenhall became the first player to go 5 for 5 with three homers and nine RBIs since the RBI became a statistic in 1920. The only other major league players to have at least five hits, nine RBIs and three homers in a game were the Dodgers' Gil Hodges, the Reds' Walker Cooper and the Red Sox's Fred Lynn.

It was also the first three-homer game by an Indians player since Shin-Soo Choo in 2010, and the second nine-RBI game in franchise history. Chris James accomplished the feat on May 4, 1991.

"I think it's kind of neat. I'm sure Lonnie got a huge kick out of that," said Indians manager Terry Francona, who has donated several items to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum from when he managed the Red Sox to two World Series triumphs.

"He's got two kids, so one day he'll be able to take them and show them, `Hey, this is what your dad did,"' said the Indians' Mike Aviles. "That's pretty cool."

Chisenhall's big day started with a seemingly innocent RBI single in the first inning. He hit the first of his homers, a two-run run shot, in the second. He added another homer in the fourth, hit an RBI double in the sixth and capped it all off with a three-run shot in the eighth.

It was the first nine-RBI game since Carlos Delgado in 2008, and the first time a player hit three homers with that many RBIs since Alex Rodriguez did it in 2005.

The performance, the second five-hit game of Chisenhall's season, also boosted the 25-year-old infielder's batting average to .385. He'd also hit seven homers and driven in 32 runs heading into the opener of a two-game series against the Royals.

Chisenhall said what he had accomplished hadn't sunk in until he arrived in Kansas City.

"It was such a fast day," he said, pointing out that the team left Texas for Kansas City right after the game, and didn't arrive in town until the wee hours of the morning.

"Maybe I'll get a chance to sit back and watch the game myself someday and enjoy it."

Jury convicts suspect in Sean Taylor slaying trial

MIAMI (AP) A Florida jury has convicted a man prosecutors called the ringleader of a botched 2007 Miami-area burglary that ended with the fatal shooting of Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor.

The 12-person jury deliberated nearly four hours Tuesday before finding 25-year-old Jason Mitchell guilty of first-degree felony murder and armed burglary. Trial testimony indicated that Mitchell hatched the plot for five Fort Myers-area men to burglarize Taylor's home near Miami after previously seeing large amounts of cash there.

The judge immediately imposed the mandatory life sentence for murder, plus 40 more years for the burglary conviction.

The man who authorities say fired the fatal shot, Eric Rivera Jr., was convicted last fall of second-degree murder and sentenced to 57 years behind bars.

Two other men await trial. A third has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and burglary.

Stanley sweep? Rangers regroup after 0-3 start

NEW YORK (AP) The gravity of the situation was etched on the face of New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault. One more loss Wednesday night to the Los Angeles Kings and his squad gets the distinction of being swept in the Stanley Cup finals.

No team has been swept in the finals since Detroit did it to Washington in 1998, completing a run of four straight Stanley Cup sweeps. So while the Kings are trying to close out the series, New York's focus is strictly on moving past disappointment and getting back to LA for Game 5.

"We're down 3-0. We're all lacking sleep. This is tough," Vigneault said on a day of optional practices. "I didn't expect my players today to be cheery and upbeat. We're in the Stanley Cup finals and we're down 3-0. You don't get a lot of these opportunities.

"Excuse us if today we're not real cheery, but tomorrow I can tell you we're going to show up."

The only levity expressed after the Rangers were beaten 3-0 at home by goalie Jonathan Quick and the Kings was when Vigneault was asked what his team could do differently at Madison Square Garden.

"Score," he said.

The packed room of reporters laughed. Vigneault didn't.

The present predicament makes it seem long ago that the Rangers led by two goals in the series opener, and then held a trio of two-goal leads in Game 2. Both of those ended with overtime wins by Los Angeles that sparked the Kings and demoralized New York.

Getting blanked in the first Stanley Cup finals game at the Garden since the Rangers last won the Cup in 1994 only made them feel worse.

"I do believe we can turn this around. I do," Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said, "because we've been that close in every game."

Even in the shutout loss, the Rangers outshot the Kings 32-15. They haven't been dominated, but they also haven't found a way to win.

The Kings know both sides of a 3-0 series. They trailed by that margin in the opening round of this postseason to San Jose and then became the fourth NHL team to rally and win.

"We've been down a lot this postseason, we've been up, been in some exciting games, some long games," Kings forward Jarret Stoll said. "We just keep playing, trying to find a way to win. We've had some fortunate bounces."

Two years ago, the Kings went up 3-0 in the finals against New Jersey - the fourth straight series they built such a lead - but allowed the Devils to stay alive until Game 6. Premature celebrations, ticket requests from people close to the players and other distractions took players' focus away from the game and penetrated the Kings' insulated wall, the one no-nonsense coach Darryl Sutter worked hard to create.

"Game 4 was at home. There was a lot of distraction," Sutter said of 2012. "That was a lesson learned, not just for our players but for our whole organization. We were trying to keep our players as a little inner circle, but the circle got a little bit of infringement."

The Rangers are hoping that kind of history repeats.

New York has never come back to win a series it trailed 3-0, but the Rangers rallied to knock out Pittsburgh in the second round this year after trailing 3-1.

"Today is a tough day," forward Brad Richards said. "Your mind is racing on a thousand different things you could've done. But you have to make the best of it. The series is not over. We all can't wait to get back on the ice. It's just the waiting and the thinking.

"We've just got to get back into the battle and see where it goes."

Where they hope it goes is back to LA for Game 5. One win can turn the mindset and the perspective on both sides: belief in one room, a sliver of doubt in the other.

Orioles' Machado suspended for 5 games, appeals

BALTIMORE (AP) Manny Machado figured he might be suspended for intentionally throwing his bat on the field while at the plate.

What the Baltimore Orioles third baseman didn't expect is that the punishment would be so harsh.

Machado received a five-game suspension and an undisclosed fine Tuesday for tossing his bat in Sunday's game against Oakland.

He has appealed the suspension, which was slated to start immediately. Machado was in the starting lineup Tuesday against Boston.

"I don't want to be down for five days," Machado said. "We're just going to go ahead and get that down, and that's it. Need to try to help out this team in any way."

Machado let his bat fly toward third base after swinging at a pitch from Fernando Abad in the eighth inning. The bat-toss came during a plate appearance in which Abad threw successive high-and-tight pitches.

After the bat went soaring, both benches emptied. Machado and Abad were ejected.

Abad was fined but not suspended Tuesday.

"I don't really care," Machado said. "He's part of the Oakland A's organization and I'm a Baltimore Oriole. I know what I did and he knows what he did. We both got to pay the consequences."

Machado, however, isn't prepared to sit out five games - yet. His hearing could take place next week in New York, or he could drop the appeal as soon as Wednesday.

"We'll see what tomorrow brings," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Tuesday. "I think right now he's going to appeal and take 24 hours to think about the next step.

"Plus, probably the most important thing for him right now is make sure he puts the club in a position in case we make an adjustment in our roster. It's a little short notice to get somebody here if he started (the suspension) tonight."

Machado apologized to his teammates Monday for twice losing his temper during the three-game series against Oakland.

On Friday night, he yelled in the face of Oakland's Josh Donaldson after the third baseman tagged him on the chest, knocking Machado off his feet.

The dugouts also emptied after that confrontation.

"It's been a frustrating last couple days," Machado said. "We're just going to try to put this behind us."

Showalter agreed.

"He's a 21-year-old young man that made a mistake, and he's done the right thing since then to move forward with it the way it's supposed to be done," the manager said. "Now there are some more steps involved before we can put it behind us."

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis thought it might be prudent for Machado to accept the sentence and turn the page.

"Personally, I would kind of let it go away. I'm not in his shoes. It's easy to say that on the outside looking in," Davis said. "You screw up, you have to deal with the consequences. He'll deal with it and move on. We've already moved on."

Browns not worried about Manziel's partying

BEREA, Ohio (AP) The Browns aren't worried about Johnny Manziel running out of bounds off the field.

Or floating on pool rafts.

After a weekend of partying in Texas, where he was photographed floating on an inflatable swan while drinking champagne in a nightclub pool, Manziel was on the field Tuesday as the Browns opened a mandatory three-day minicamp.

The team is not making their popular Heisman Trophy-winning rookie quarterback - or starter Brian Hoyer - available to the media this week.

Manziel has left Cleveland each of the past three weekends, first taking a trip to Las Vegas, then to Los Angeles for a seminar with other rookies and then to his home state, where in addition to having some fun, he got drafted by the San Diego Padres and attended Game 2 of the NBA finals in San Antonio, sitting near Miami's bench while wearing a retro Cavaliers' cap.

Following practice, Browns first-year coach Mike Pettine said he's not worried about how his young QB spends his free time.

"I'm not concerned," Pettine said. "I would become concerned if it was something criminal and I would be concerned if it affected his job. There's a lot of our guys, if when they leave here if they were followed around, you'd get some very similar pictures. I don't know about an inflatable swan, but you'd still get some pictures."

Manziel has said he intends to keep living his life to the fullest, and Pettine doesn't feel the need to monitor the 21-year-old's every move.

"The philosophy here is that we're not going to micro-manage the guys," Pettine said. "I was involved in an event this weekend, and if there were some cameras at certain times it probably wouldn't have been the most flattering. It was a group of coaches out and we had a good time, but we were responsible. When it becomes irresponsible or it becomes part of breaking the law or it's something we feel is a potential problem, we'll step in."

Manziel is currently listed as Cleveland's backup behind Hoyer. The two will compete during training camp next month, when each pass will be dissected.

The dueling QBS are already under scrutiny. During Tuesday's workout, Manziel took snaps with Cleveland's first-team offense as Hoyer continues to be limited as a precaution while recovering from offseason knee surgery.

When he was on the field, Hoyer showed his ability to read the defense and release the ball more quickly than Manziel, who is still learning the nuances of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's system and adjusting to the speedier pro game.

That's not to say Manziel didn't show progress.

"He's getting more comfortable in the huddle, calling the plays," Pettine said. "I think he's got a very nice touch with the deep ball. We've added some of the zone-read stuff that Kyle's run with RG3 in Washington and he's done a nice job handling that. He makes improvement every day."

As for Manziel's extra-curricular activities, his teammates seem to have his back.

Safety Donte Whitner was asked if there's a need to tell Johnny Football to tone down his act.

"Yeah, but I don't think he's out of hand with it," Whitner said. "If he's not out every weekend, he's just a young guy. So going to Vegas, I probably would've been there with Johnny too."

Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins hasn't seen any reason to think Manziel isn't taking his job seriously.

"I don't know what Johnny does on the weekends. But it's none of my business," he said. "He's out here working his butt off. I'm not keeping tabs on where he goes Friday through Sunday. Johnny works hard, and that's all anybody cares about."

Pettine understands there's a bright spotlight on Manziel, who seems to relish the hype. In being so public with his actions, Manziel could be placing himself in precarious situations, but Pettine is confident the former Texas A&M star can handle it.

"I think it's something he's used to," Pettine said. "I think that he understands that that (publicity) comes with the territory, but I also think he's a young man that he doesn't want his lifestyle or how he lives it to be affected by social media. That he's not going to (say) `Hey, I'm not leaving my house.'

"I don't think he wants to be that way and it just goes back to we're not going to micromanage him until we feel that it is an issue, and if it's not affecting him on the field, then I don't think that it's anything we need to address at this point."

NOTES: Pro Bowl WR Josh Gordon continues to practice as the team awaits word on a possible league suspension. ... LT Joe Thomas was full-go after being limited in recent OTAs. ... Pettine confirmed rookie LG Joel Bitonio injured his ankle but said he is expected to be ready for training camp.

Rafa takes tennis to another level -- with some help

A few years ago, during a Serena Williams match at the U.S. Open, Chris Evert was in the announcers' booth when the director decided to show an old match between her and Tracy Austin. The two all-time greats were locked in some sort of baseline rally, and as a tennis fan, I have to say there was an obvious and inescapable response to seeing this classic bit of tennis history.

After a few shots, Chris Evert put that response into words.

“My gosh,” she said, “Look how SLOWLY we’re hitting the ball.”

Tennis is not the same game it was 30 years ago. It’s not the same game it was 20 years ago. Realistically, it’s not even the same game it was 10 years ago. No sport on the American landscape -- unless you consider video games sport -- changes as rapidly and as radically as tennis. Yes, football players get bigger. Golf balls fly longer. Basketball players get stronger.

But in tennis, because of the equipment, the court conditions, the tennis balls and the players training regimens, the very game sheds its skin and reforms into something new every few years.  This makes comparison through the years -- one of the wonderful things about being a fan of an individual sport -- almost pointless. It's hard to watch film or John McEnroe hitting those gorgeous touch volleys or seeing Steffi Graf dominate her opponents with her powerful forehand without thinking: "Holy cow, they would not stand a chance against players with today's equipment."

Rafael Nadal is probably the best example of this phenomenon. You watch him whip forehands with that extreme semi-Western grip and crush two-handed backhands from the most defensive positions and it's almost painful to go back and watch Rod Laver or Jimmy Connors or Arthur Ashe. They were not playing the same sport. Heck, even Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi were not playing the same sport. It's hard enough comparing LeBron James and Michael Jordan, who were at least playing basketball under similar conditions. You go back and watch highlights from the French Open in the 1970s, you will watch two players bloop topspin pop-ups at each other until one wilts from exhaustion or boredom.

You watch Nadal crack shots past the amazing Novak Djokovic from 10 feet behind the baseline ... not the same game.

Does this make Nadal the best tennis player ever? It's an utterly fascinating question, and one I probably spend way too much time thinking about. You can look at the statistics: Nadal has now won 14 grand slam championships -- three clear of Rod Laver (for years considered the "greatest player ever"), tying him with Pete Sampras (who had his own time as the "greatest player ever”) and putting him just three behind the leader Roger Federer (who seems in the minds of many to be the reigning “greatest player ever”).

Federer's lead probably won't last long. He won 16 of his 17 slams before he turned 30. Nadal doesn’t turn 30 until the French Open in 2016 -- eight grand slams away. I think Nadal is going to tie Federer’s record before he turns 30. In time, he might smash Federer’s record.

Nadal has won one Australian Open, nine French Opens, two Wimbledons and two U.S. Opens. The nine French Opens is a grand slam record. He has beaten the great Federer in the final of the Australian, French and Wimbledon. He is 66-1 at Roland Garros, has reached the final of his last nine non-Wimbledon slams (this, even while dealing with a devastating injury that some thought might end his career) and he is an absurd 137-48 (74 percent) against the next ten ranked players combined.

But how do you compare Nadal to previous generations? Nadal is only capable of playing the style he plays because of the advances in the tennis racket. This is not a knock -- you play with the equipment you're given. But it's fair to say he could not have used Connors' trampoline Wilson T2000 or Martina Navratilova's graphite Yonex R-7 and hit anything resembling the shots he hits now. The frame heads were way smaller, they did not have the lightness or whip of rackets today, they had a sweet spot about the size of a Canadian penny, the strings were not nearly as responsive, on and on.

Nadal also plays a Wimbledon where the grass courts are much slower and truer. In 2001, Goran Ivanisevic hit a preposterous 212 aces to become the one and only player to win Wimbledon as a wildcard entry. That's more than 30 aces per match -- and that doesn't even count all the serves he hit that were returned long or into the net. That's how grass tennis was in those days, ace after ace after ace -- I will never forget the post-match press conference of a bewildered Frenchman named Arnaud Boetsch after Ivanisevic blew him off the court in 84 minutes. "Boom! Boom! Boom!" Boetsch said when asked to describe the match.

I don't know that Nadal could have won that version of Wimbledon. It is true that Andre Agassi won it playing a power-baseline game not unlike Nadal's -- Agassi beat Ivanisevic in five sets in the 1992 final -- but again those were different rackets. You give servers like John Isner and Milos Raonic and Ernests Gulbis and others the old Wimbledon surface, it's hard to see how Nadal competes against the blur (as it stands, Nadal is 16-0 against Isner, Raonic and Gulbis).

The point here is that there is no particularly satisfying answer for "greatest tennis player ever" because the game changes so radically. That doesn't stop us from playing the game, though. If I had to choose the best ever, I'd choose Nadal. I'd like to say Roger Federer, and I could make a case. Roger Federer's peak is unmatched -- to reach at least the semifinal in 23 consecutive grand slams is a feat that might never be matched. He is older than Nadal, so they haven't been often matched peak-to-peak. Most of Nadal's head-to-head dominance comes on clay, which is Federer's least effective surface.

But the numbers are simply too striking; Federer's game simply could not handle Nadal -- Rafa's high topspin forehands dominated Federer's backhand and he lost 23 of the 33 times they two have played. He beat Federer at Wimbledon too. He has dominated Federer on the Australian hardcourts. It's hard for Federer to be the best ever when Nadal beat him so regularly.

Sometimes it seems like Novak Djokovic plays tennis better than it has ever been played before; but again he could not beat Nadal in the French Open. And then you go back: Pete Sampras' game was blunted on clay, Andre Agassi's game was like Nadal's game minus about 5 percent, John McEnroe's game is an anachronism; it belonged to a specific time and it's hard to translate it to 2014. Rod Laver's game or Bill Tilden's game are even harder to imagine in our time.

Maybe McEnroe would invent a whole new way to play tennis with these new rackets. He had a particular tennis genius. Maybe Bjorn Borg would find a whole other level of speed and power. Maybe Jimmy Connors or Ivan Lendl or Jim Courier would create a kind of power tennis that would overpower the seemingly invincible Rafa Nadal. We will never know.

What does seems clear, though, is that Rafa Nadal plays tennis better than it has ever been played. He was given many advantages over previous generations. Much better rackets. More comfortable surfaces. Advanced medical treatments. But advantages are a part of tennis. Nadal has taken the game to a new level. That's what the greatest do.

Blatter urged not to run for FIFA presidency

SAO PAULO — In a stinging rebuke for Sepp Blatter, European football leaders told the veteran FIFA president on Tuesday that he should leave the scandal-hit governing body next year.

Blatter has sought support in Sao Paulo for a re-election bid in 2015 and faced a hostile UEFA membership, which bucked the trend of overwhelming backing from FIFA's other five continents.

They had urged the 78-year-old Swiss this week to run for a fifth presidential term next year despite a slew of scandals and negative headlines under his leadership.

UEFA executive committee member Michael van Praag and English Football Association President Greg Dyke directly challenged Blatter not to stand again during a closed-door meeting of Europe's 54 football nations — described by one delegate as "a grilling."

"People link FIFA to corruption and bribery and all kinds of old boys' networks," Van Praag told reporters later.

"FIFA has an executive president and that means you are responsible," the Netherlands federation president said he told Blatter. "People tend not to take you very seriously anymore."

The volatile meeting recalled open conflict between Blatter and European football that flared around his original election in 1998, and again for his re-election in 2002 during a financial scandal after FIFA's then-World Cup marketing agency collapsed into bankruptcy and sparked a kickbacks investigation.

UEFA, with 53 of the 209 FIFA members, has a second chance Wednesday to oppose Blatter. That will come in the public arena of the FIFA Congress floor, when he says he will seek acclaim for his expected re-election run.

Van Praag insisted his was not a personal attack on Blatter and deflected questions on whether he could be proposed by UEFA as a rival candidate.

UEFA members reminded Blatter he promised them in March 2011 that his current four-year term would be his last.

"He said that he changed his mind and every human being is allowed to change his mind," van Praag said.

Blatter arrived at the UEFA session after telling other confederations he had a burning desire to remain in office.

UEFA board members lined up later to list grievances with Blatter, including his handling of the 2022 World Cup bidding contest and subsequent issues with Qatar as host, plus criticism of European media for reporting allegations of corruption implicating FIFA officials.

In meetings with Asian and African delegates on Monday, Blatter suggested racism was a factor in the British media's reporting of the Qatar controversy.

"I said to him, 'I regard the comments you made about the allegations in the British media in which you described them as racist as totally unacceptable,'" Dyke told reporters.

England's delegate on the UEFA board, David Gill, said he thought Blatter should go in 2015.

"Personally, yes, I think we need to move on," said the former Manchester United chief executive, comparing FIFA to the International Olympic Committee, which changed its president after the Salt Lake City bidding scandal.

UEFA President Michel Platini, long seen as Blatter's likely successor, is expected to decide in September if he will challenge his former mentor.

Platini did not meet with reporters Tuesday, though his secretary general, Gianni Infantino, denounced Blatter's description in Sao Paulo this week of a "storm" around world football.

"There is not a storm in football. There is a storm in FIFA and this storm is not new," Infantino said. "It's something which is coming for years and years and years, and every time it's something else."

UEFA honorary president Lennart Johansson, who lost the 1998 FIFA election in a ballot long dogged by allegations of vote-buying by Blatter supporters, said his old rival should go.

"He has done some good things for FIFA," Johansson said, "but he should stick by what he said (in 2011)."

Still, FIFA members outside Europe show little desire to change a system and leadership that have delivered booming revenues.

Blatter told the 11 Oceania countries earlier Tuesday in a different Sao Paulo hotel they could expect bonuses from 2014 World Cup revenues higher than four years ago, when each got $550,000.

Oceania leader and FIFA vice president David Chung promised Blatter full support in the presidential ballot scheduled next May 29.

"Rest assured, the 11 members in this room are the first in line," Chung said.

Knicks hire Derek Fisher as head coach

Derek Fisher was never the best player, certainly not the tallest or quickest.

But whether on the court with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, or across the bargaining table from David Stern and Adam Silver, he never feared taking the shot, speaking his mind, or doing whatever else was expected of a leader.

So he has every attribute the New York Knicks need - except experience as a coach, the job they hired him to do.

"But I am experienced," Fisher said Tuesday. "Basketball is a game that I am experienced in playing, understanding, leading in, guiding in, helping another group of people achieve the greatest gift in the world as a professional athlete, and that's being a champion. That I have experience in, and that's the experience that I plan on sharing with these players, sharing with this organization."

That's what made Phil Jackson turn to one of his most trustworthy former players for his first coaching hire. Just days after finishing his 18th season, the 39-year-old Fisher was tabbed to replace Mike Woodson, whom Jackson fired in his first major move as team president.

Fisher won five championships playing for Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers and was known for his knack for hitting clutch postseason shots while playing an NBA-record 259 playoff games. But some of his most important work came in the locker room, just as it will now.

"He made some incredible shots in the playoffs, always stepped into the vacuum of leadership, but more than anything else it was the ability of Derek to speak the truth from what the sense of the group was," Jackson said during a press conference at the Knicks' training center in Greenburgh, New York.

The Knicks went 37-45 and missed the playoffs, just a year after winning the Atlantic Division and advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Jackson, who declined an original offer to coach the team, was instead hired to run the front office in March and fired Woodson the week after the season ended.

He was seeking someone familiar with the triangle offense and someone with little or no coaching experience that he could teach. The Knicks had nearly closed a deal to hire Steve Kerr, who instead left the TNT broadcast table to take the Golden State Warriors' coaching job.

Jackson then turned his attention to Fisher, even getting fined $25,000 last week when he was too open about his interest in the point guard who was still under contract with the Thunder.

Terms of Fisher's deal were not released, but a person with knowledge of the details said it was worth $25 million over five years - the same length of Jackson's contract and about the same deal Kerr signed with the Warriors.

Fisher won three straight titles from 2000-02 on the Lakers teams led by O'Neal and Bryant, and helped them win again in 2009 and '10. He is respected among players around the league and was the president of the Players Association during the 2011 lockout.

The 6-foot-1 Fisher was still a key contributor for the Thunder this season, helping them reach the Western Conference finals. Fisher, who is tied for third on the career list for 3-pointers in the NBA Finals, said thinking like a coach helped him play so long despite never being the most athletic or talented player.

And now, like Jason Kidd in Brooklyn, he is prepared to make the leap right from the court to the bench without any coaching experience on any level.

They Knicks won titles in 1970 and 1973, when Jackson was a player in the organization, but have had little postseason success in this century. Fisher, dressed sharply in a brown suit and purple shirt, believes he and Jackson can bring winning back to New York.

"We know without a doubt that we can re-establish what that means, what that is," Fisher said.

Fisher said he likes the triangle but would run what was best for the team. Jackson said he would always be available to help.

The Knicks hope the duo can reach a group that admittedly tuned Woodson out at times. And perhaps can help persuade Carmelo Anthony, who can become a free agent in July, to remain in New York.

Fisher, a former first-round pick from Arkansas Little-Rock, will certainly give New York a credibility that only champions can bring.

"That's why I'm here," Fisher said. "That's why I took advantage of this opportunity, to be a part of that process."

Chisenhall's 3 HRs, 9 RBIs lead Tribe past Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Lonnie Chisenhall had nine RBIs and three home runs in a five-hit game, Michael Brantley scored five times and the Cleveland Indians beat the Texas Rangers 17-7 Monday night.

The only other nine-RBI game in Cleveland history was by Chris James in a 20-6 victory for the Indians on May 4, 1991, against Oakland.

Chisenhall had two-run homers in the second and fourth innings before hitting a three-run shot down the right field line in the eighth to give the Indians a 17-6 lead.

The offensive outburst puts Chisenhall in rare company. He is only the fourth major league player since RBIs became a statistic in 1920 to have at least five hits, nine RBIs and three homers in a game, and he is the first since Boston's Fred Lynn did it in 1975, according to the Indians.

The Indians won three straight in the four-game set after coming to the Lone Star State with the worst road record in the majors.

Quick pushes Kings to brink of Stanley Cup

NEW YORK (AP) Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings are finishing off the New York Rangers in a big hurry.

The Connecticut native, who grew up a fan of the Rangers and 1994 Stanley Cup-winning goalie Mike Richter, had his best game of the finals by far. He made 32 saves and put the Kings on the cusp of another coronation with a 3-0 victory over New York in Game 3 on Monday night.

Los Angeles escaped with two overtime wins at home and then took complete command inside Madison Square Garden to take a 3-0 series edge.

The Kings took their first lead of the series on Jeff Carter's goal in the final second of the first period and then stretched the edge to three goals in the second - something the Rangers failed to do in California.

New York is facing elimination Wednesday night in Game 4.

While there has been only one comeback from a 3-0 hole in the finals, the Kings erased such a deficit in the first round against San Jose.

Defenseman Jake Muzzin scored a power-play goal in the second period, and Mike Richards pushed the lead to three with a goal off a 2-on-1 in the middle frame.

Henrik Lundqvist was hardly at fault on the goals, and finished with 12 saves.

But Quick was perfect.

He made a brilliant save with his stick blade to deny Derick Brassard with 8:40 left in the second shortly after a Rangers power play. That stop came on the heels of Brassard having two chances during the advantage off a rebound of Brad Richards' shot. Brassard's first attempt was blocked, and the second was stopped by Quick.

The Kings goalie was also on his toes just 8 seconds into the third period when Chris Kreider came in alone but was stopped in tight.

That eliminated the little hope the sold-out, towel-waving crowd had of a big comeback.

Los Angeles took its first in-game lead in the series when Carter scored with 10th of the playoffs on Los Angeles' fifth shot. Carter came in and snapped a hard drive that clipped the skate of diving defenseman Dan Girardi in front of Lundqvist and caromed inside the right post with 0.7 seconds on the clock.

The red and green lights behind Lundqvist both flashed at the same time while the Kings celebrated. At no point did Los Angeles hold the lead at home in the first two games until they ended each contest with an overtime goal.

Donald Sterling says no deal; suit is on

LOS ANGELES (AP) Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has pulled his support from a deal to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and will pursue his $1 billion federal lawsuit against the NBA, his attorney said Monday.

"We have been instructed to prosecute the lawsuit," said attorney Maxwell Blecher. He said co-owner Donald Sterling would not be signing off on the deal to sell.

Donald Sterling issued a one-page statement dated Monday titled "The Team is not for Sale" and said that "from the onset, I did not want to sell the Los Angeles Clippers."

The $2 billion sale was negotiated by his wife Shelly Sterling after Donald Sterling's racist remarks to a girlfriend were publicized and the NBA moved to oust him as owner.

The lawsuit alleges the league violated his constitutional rights by relying on information from an "illegal" recording that publicized racist remarks he made to a girlfriend. It also said the league committed a breach of contract by fining Sterling $2.5 million and that it violated antitrust laws by trying to force a sale.

"I have decided that I must fight to protect my rights," Donald Sterling said. "While my position may not be popular, I believe that my rights to privacy and the preservation of my rights to due process should not be trampled. I love the team and have dedicated 33 years of my life to the organization. I intend to fight to keep the team."

Donald Sterling had agreed to ink the deal and drop the suit last week assuming "all their differences had been resolved," his attorneys said. But individuals close to the negotiations who weren't authorized to speak publicly said he decided to not sign the papers after learning the NBA won't revoke its lifetime ban and fine.

"There was never a discussion involving the NBA in which we would modify Mr. Sterling's penalty in any way whatsoever. Any suggestion otherwise is complete fabrication," NBA spokesman Mike Bass said.

Shelly Sterling and her attorney Pierce O'Donnell declined to comment through representatives.

Shelly Sterling utilized her authority as sole trustee of The Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers, to take bids for the team and ultimately negotiate a deal with Ballmer. The deal would be record-breaking if approved by the NBA's owners.

An individual familiar with the negotiations who wasn't authorized to speak publicly said Monday that there were two options for Donald Sterling - to either sign or go to court. But even if he wins in court, he's ultimately winning a judgment against himself because his wife Shelly Sterling has agreed to indemnify the NBA against all lawsuits, including by her husband, the individual said.

Donald Sterling's comments to V. Stiviano included telling her to not bring black people to Clippers games, specifically mentioning Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. They resulted in a storm of outrage from the public and players and even prompted President Barack Obama to comment on what he called Sterling's "incredibly offensive racist statements."

Donald Sterling said in his statement that he was "extremely sorry for the hurtful statements" he made privately but said them out of anger and jealousy and didn't intend for them to be public.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver ultimately decided to ban Donald Sterling for life, fine him millions, and began efforts to force Sterling to sell the team. Those efforts ended with Shelly Sterling's deal with Ballmer.

If this deal ultimately goes through, its terms allow Shelly Sterling to remain close to the organization by allowing for up to 10 percent of the team - or $200 million - to be spun off into a charitable foundation that she would essentially run.

Shelly Sterling and Ballmer would be co-chairs of the foundation, which would target underprivileged families, battered women, minorities and inner city youths.

Under the deal Shelly Sterling would also get the title of "owner emeritus" and be entitled to continuing perks such as floor seats, additional seats at games and parking.

One of the individuals said the deal also includes conditions that allow Ballmer to buy back the 10 percent portion of the team for a pre-designated price upon Shelly Sterling's death.

Report: Derek Fisher agrees to coach the Knicks

Derek Fisher has agreed to become the next coach of the New York Knicks and will be introduced at a news conference Tuesday morning, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

The Knicks did not confirm the hiring, other than saying they were planning a "major announcement."

The person who confirmed the deal to AP spoke on condition of anonymity because neither side authorized the public disclosure of any information related to the deal.

The 39-year-old Fisher just completed his 18th season, finishing his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He played under Knicks President Phil Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers, and helped that franchise win five NBA titles.

Fisher would have been an unrestricted free agent this summer, though it was widely known that this season would be his last as a player. And once the Knicks failed to close a deal with Steve Kerr - who wound up accepting an offer from Golden State - Fisher was believed to be the next target on Jackson's list.

Jackson was fined $25,000 for the league last week for a tampering violation involving Fisher. He was still under contract with the Thunder when Jackson told New York reporters that Fisher was "on my list of guys that could be very good candidates" to replace Mike Woodson on the Knicks' sideline.

Fisher surely could still play. He has just suspected for a while that his time has come to do something else.

"Coaching allows for you to positively impact other people's lives," Fisher told reporters during his exit interview after Oklahoma City's season ended. "To help a group of people find success, whether they have or haven't before, you're all working together for a common goal."

Fisher's hiring means that next season, both teams in New York will have former point guards barely removed from playing days at the helms.

It worked for the Brooklyn Nets, who made the Eastern Conference semifinals this season with first-year coach Jason Kidd, and now the Knicks will hope that Fisher can have the same success.

His hiring is the first significant step in what's expected to be a broad makeover of the team by Jackson, who was hired late in the regular season to turn around the fortunes of a franchise that has won just one playoff series in the past 14 years.

Over that 14-year span, the Knicks have won a mere 10 playoff games. Fisher played in 134 playoff wins during that stretch.

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