Big 3 help Heat even NBA Finals with Spurs
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LeBron James scored 33 points while playing with the aggression and ferocity that everyone expects of the four-time MVP, leading the Miami Heat to a 109-93 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night that evened the NBA Finals at two games apiece.
James also had 11 rebounds and four assists and finally got some much-needed help from his struggling All-Star teammates. Dwyane Wade scored 32 points, Chris Bosh had 20 points and 13 rebounds and the defending champions made sure the series will head back to South Beach.
Tony Parker had 15 points and nine assists while playing through a sore right hamstring for the Spurs, who were trying to move one step closer to their fifth championship.
Game 5 in the best-of-seven series is Sunday night in San Antonio.
Blue Jays beat Rangers 3-1 on Encarnacion hit
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Edwin Encarnacion hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 on Thursday night.
The slumping Rangers wasted another solid outing by Yu Darvish, who has made five consecutive starts without a victory.
Neal Cotts (2-1) replaced Darvish to start the eighth, when Emilio Bonifacio reached on a throwing error by Gold Glove third baseman Adrian Beltre. Munenori Kawasaki had a sacrifice bunt before Tanner Scheppers, the second reliever, walked Jose Bautista before the double by Encarnacion.
Esmil Rogers (2-2) allowed one run over seven innings, the same as Darvish, who struck out nine.
Darvish has a 2.08 ERA over 34 2-3 innings his last five starts.
Nelson Cruz homered for the Rangers, who have lost three in a row.
Reliever Soria set to throw live BP for Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Joakim Soria is scheduled to throw live batting practice Friday for the Texas Rangers, the team that signed the injured reliever during the winter.
Soria was recovering from elbow ligament-replacement surgery when the Rangers signed the two-time All-Star from Kansas City to a two-year contract last winter.
The right-hander is still a few weeks away from making his Texas debut, but has been progressing as expected. He was at the team's spring training complex in Arizona before getting to Texas on Thursday.
Manager Ron Washington says Soria looks good. And Soria says he feels good.
Soria threw a simulated game Tuesday in Arizona. He threw 20 pitches, took a five-minute break and then had eight warmup pitches before another 20-pitch segment.
Stars prospect dies in home country of Norway
DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Stars prospect Scott Winkler has died in his home country of Norway after recently completing his senior season at Colorado College. He was 23.
School officials said in a news release that Winkler died unexpectedly Wednesday at his parents' home. The native of Asker, Norway, was a third-round pick by the Stars in 2008.
The school said Winkler graduated from Colorado College on May 20 with a bachelor's degree in economics.
Winkler came to the U.S. in 2007 and played for Cedar Rapids in the United States Hockey League the year he was drafted by Dallas. He later enrolled at Colorado College and compiled 63 points in 120 career games. He had career highs of 13 goals and 28 points last season.
Stars sign defenseman Connauton to 3-year deal
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Stars have signed minor league defenseman Kevin Connauton to a three-year contract that could be worth as much as $2 million.
Dallas acquired the 23-year-old Connauton from Vancouver in an April trade that sent Derek Roy to the Canucks.
The first year of the contract announced Thursday is a two-way deal, meaning Connauton will make $100,000 if he plays in the minors and $600,000 if he is in the NHL. The final two years are guaranteed, $650,000 for the 2014-15 season and $800,000 for 2015-16.
Connauton played in 69 games for Chicago and Texas of the AHL last season, and had nine goals, 22 assists and 73 penalty minutes. He played in the AHL All-Star game and registered the hardest shot in a skills competition.
Cowboys wrap up offseason with revamped defense
IRVING, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys have wrapped up offseason workouts and are ready to take their revamped defense to training camp.
The Cowboys are going back to the 4-3 after nearly a decade with three defensive linemen and four linebackers.
The roles are simpler for DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, a pair of linebackers converting to defensive end: get to the quarterback.
New defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, the 73-year-old who is replacing the fired Rob Ryan, says the plan is coming along but the Cowboys are "not ready right now."
Dallas wrapped up a three-day minicamp Thursday. The first training camp workout is July 21 in Oxnard, Calif.