Dynasty in South Beach
MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Heat made it back-to-back NBA championships -- and third since 2006 -- with a gritty 95-88 victory over San Antonio in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. As usual, LeBron James made it happen.
The Heat superstar poured in 37 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to earn MVP honors for the second straight year. With the Heat nursing a two-point lead, James secured the victory with a 19-foot jumper with 27.9 seconds left. He and added two free throws four seconds later. James made 5 of 10 3s, all while hounding Spurs star Tony Parker on defense to make the Heat the first back-to-back champs since the L.A. Lakers in 2009-10.
Dwyane (dwayn) Wade added 23 points and 10 rebounds and Shane Battier (BAT'-ee-ay) scored 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting from 3-point range for Miami. The Heat rallied from a 3-2 deficit to win the final two games at home.
Tim Duncan had 24 points and 12 rebound for the Spurs, who were trying to become the first road team to win a finals Game 7 since Washington in 1978.
San Antonio lost for the first time in five finals appearances.
Hitting the streets in Miami
MIAMI (AP) — Miami Heat fans swarmed from downtown bars and rushed cheering and screaming into the streets late last night after their team won its second straight NBA championship.
Heat fans by the thousands streamed into the area surrounding the American Airlines Arena to exchange high-fives and hugs, blow whistles and simply scream. Some climbed atop street signs and a railroad crossing.
"It's euphoria in the city of Miami," said Alex Vailon, a 20-year-old Miami resident. "How many teams have took two in a row?"
Several, actually, but for last night at least, Miami fans were not interested in history lessons.
Zimmermann and Lynn hit double figures...Peralta delivers a walkoff
UNDATED (AP) — Jordan Zimmermann became a 10-game winner and hit a sacrifice fly as the Washington Nationals reached the .500 mark with a 5-1 win over Colorado. Zimmerman held the Rockies to one run on six hits, striking out nine over eight innings. He's 10-3.
Nats shortstop Ian Desmond homered for the second straight night. Adam LaRoche had three hits and drove in two.
Roy Oswalt (OHZ'-wahlt) lost in his Colorado debut. He went five innings, allowed four runs and struck out 11.
In other NL finals:
__ Lance Lynn of the St. Louis Cardinals also is a 10-game winner. Lynn improved to 10-1 with six innings of one-run ball in the Cardinals' 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs. Matt Holliday homered and drove in two. Lynn has won 28 of his first 35 decisions as a starter.
— The New York Mets shaded Atlanta 4-3 to take three of five in their series in Dixie. David Wright hit two solo homers and New York's bullpen pitched five-plus scoreless innings in relief of Jonathan Niese (nees), who left with shoulder stiffness.
— Pedro Alvarez took care of all of Pittsburgh's offense in a 5-3 win over Cincinnati. The third baseman homered and drove in all five runs. He now has 48 RBI's on the season.
__ Miami nipped San Francisco 2-1. Pinch-hitter Marcell Ozuna's two-run single in the eighth gave Tom Koehler his first victory in nine career starts.
__ San Diego beat the L.A. Dodgers 6-3 despite rookie phenom Yasiel Puig's (pweegz) sixth home run in the loss. Padres starter Jason Marquis (mar-KEE') went six innings, but was not involved in the decision. He was aiming for his 10th victory. Pedro Ciriaco tripled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and hit a two-run homer in the eighth for the Padres.
In the AL:
— Jhonny (JAH'-nee) Peralta hit a two-run homer off Andrew Bailey in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Detroit Tigers a 4-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
— Tampa Bay raked the New York Yankees 8-3. Matt Moore improved to 9-3 by holding the Yanks to three runs on four hits in six and a-third innings. Three Rays relievers pitched scoreless relief. Evan Longoria homered twice.
— Ian Kinsler's two-run single in the seventh led Texas to a 4-3 win over Oakland to tighten up the race for the AL West leads. The Rangers pulled within a game of the Athletics by winning three times in the four-game series.
— Carlos Pena hit a walk-off, three-run homer in the 10th inning to give Houston a 7-4 win over Milwaukee. The victory enabled the Astros to two out of three games in the series. The game featured four errors and six unearned runs.
— Brian Dozier's two-run homer was one of four home runs hit off of White Sox starter John Danks in the Twins 8-4 win. Dozier, Justin Morneau (mor-NOH') and Oswaldo Arcia (AR'-see-uh), each had two runs batted in.
__ The L.A. Angels rallied from a 7-1 deficit to stun Seattle 10-9 in a wild one in Anaheim. Mark Trumbo hit his 17th homer for the Angels. A bases-loaded walk to Alberto Callaspo (ky-AS'-poh) in the eighth drove in the go-ahead run for the Angels.
Carpenter's rehab hits a snag...Buchholz on the mend
UNDATED (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter's rehab has been put on hold after he injured his lower back in a bullpen session. Carpenter has been sidelined since February with nerve issues on the right side of his body.
Before spring training, the 38-year-old Carpenter and the team believed the injury might be career-ending. The 2005 NL Cy Young winner had been steadily progressing before the back tightened after he finished throwing Sunday.
In other baseball news:
— Boston's Clay Buchholz (BUHK'-ohlts) was able to throw a bit Thursday, and the Red Sox hope the unbeaten right-hander will be able to come off the disabled list and start next week. Buchholz is 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA. The Red Sox put him on the 15-day DL on Tuesday because of a strained neck.
— The Texas Rangers are planning to bring top pitching prospect Martin Perez back to the majors and give ace Yu Darvish an extra day of rest. The Rangers said they would recall left-hander Perez from Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday to start that night against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Hoffman soars to lead
CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Charlie Hoffman had a pair of eagles in a bogey-free 9-under 61 to grab the lead late in the first round of the Travelers Championship. Hunter Mahan (MAY'-han) had eight birdies on his card to shoot a 62 and trails by one shot. Bubba Watson's round was a bit more adventurous. He had an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys to shot a 63 and trail by two. Webb Simpson and Zach Johnson are in a group at 5-under, four shots back of Hoffman.
Newly crowned US Open champ Justin Rose shot a 67.
Wanting a piece of the action
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Former UCLA college basketball standout Ed O'Bannon and his lawyers are seeking to dramatically expand their lawsuit challenging the NCAA's ban on compensating athletes. It's a move that could expose the NCAA and its member schools to billions of dollars in damages.
O'Bannon and his lawyers on Thursday asked a federal court judge to turn their antitrust lawsuit into a class action, representing thousands of former and current college athletes. The lawsuit demands that the NCAA find a way to cut players in on the billions of dollars college sports earns annually in live broadcasts, memorabilia, video games and other revenue streams.
U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken didn't immediately rule on the issue.
The NCAA argues many of the athletes receive scholarships in exchange for playing sports and to pay student athletes would ruin amateur athletics.
Sabres and Sharks ink players
UNDATED. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres have signed backup goalie Jhonas Enroth (YOH'-nuhs EHN'-rawth) to a two-year contract extension. He had been scheduled to become a restricted free agent before the signing. Enroth was 4-4-2 in 12 games last season, with a 2.6 goals-against average and a shutout.
In other hockey news:
— Forward Raffi Torres (RAH'-fee TOHR'-ehz) has signed a three-year contract with the Sharks. Torres was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 5.
— The Philadelphia Flyers are buying out the final two years of forward Danny Briere's (bree-EHRZ') contract. The move will shave $6.5 million off their salary cap. Briere is a 15-year NHL veteran who had six goals and 10 assists in 34 games last season.
COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
Tar Heels eliminate Wolfpack
OMAHA (AP) — North Carolina's Hobbs Johnson combined with Chris McCue on a five-hitter, and the Tar Heels stayed alive in the College World Series with a 7-0 victory over North Carolina State, eliminating the Wolfpack. Michael Russell drove in three runs for the No. 1-seeded Tar Heels.
North Carolina must beat UCLA twice — first on Friday and again Saturday — to reach the finals. North Carolina State finished 50-16.
Milestone for Wambach
HARRISON, N.J. (AP) — Abby Wambach (WAHM'-bahk) has broken Mia Hamm's record for international career goals by a soccer player.
Wambach scored four times in the first half in a 5-0 win over South Korea to break Hamm's mark of 158 international goals. The 33-year-old Wambach now has 160.
Jay-Z certified...but to do what?
NEW YORK (AP) — Jay-Z is now in the player agent business.
The rap mogul has been certified by the NBA players' association, according to spokesmen for the union and Roc Nation Sports.
However, it's unclear exactly what he can do. He would have to sell his minor share of the Brooklyn Nets before he can represent players, according to NBA rules. A Roc Nation spokesman wouldn't comment on whether that has been done.