Spurs avoid elimination with late 3-pointer
NBA: Gary Neal caught an inbounds pass with 1.7 seconds left and forced overtime with a 3-point heave as time expired, and the San Antonio Spurs staved off elimination by stunning the visiting Memphis Grizzlies 110-103 on Wednesday night.
Neal’s straightaway 3-pointer was the second of two remarkable San Antonio baskets in the final 2.2 seconds of regulation. Manu Ginobili, who scored 33 points, hit the other with a long corner jumper while falling out of bounds to keep top-seeded San Antonio alive.
The eighth-seeded Grizzlies lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 and they will host the Spurs on Friday night.
• Thunder eliminate Denver: Kevin Durant matched his best playoff performance with 41 points, including the final nine for Oklahoma City, and the Thunder closed out their first-round series against the visiting Denver Nuggets with a 100-97 win.
The Thunder overcame a nine-point deficit in the final 4 minutes, and Durant provided all the offense down the stretch to send the Oklahoma City franchise to its first playoff series win since it was still in Seattle in 2005.
• Heat advance to face Boston: Dwyane Wade scored 26 points, Chris Bosh added 22 points and 11 rebounds, and the Miami Heat advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals by topping Philadelphia 97-91 at Miami and ousting the 76ers in five games.
The Heat will face Boston starting Sunday in Miami.
Lightning cap big rally past Penguins
Hockey: Dwayne Roloson made 36 saves for his second NHL playoff shutout, Sean Bergenheim scored, and the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning completed a series comeback after trailing 3-1 and eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 1-0 win in Game 7.
The Lightning will face the top-seeded Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
• Boston advances with OT win: Nathan Horton scored 5:43 into overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 4-3 home victory over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series.
The Bruins will play the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second consecutive year.
Chan takes huge lead in skating worlds
Figure skating: Canadian Patrick Chan scored 93.02 points at the figure skating world championships in Moscow, giving the two-time silver medalist a wide lead as he seeks his first world title.
In pairs, defending champions Pang Qing and Tong Jian of China were in the lead after the short program.
Federal judge denies NFL’s hold request
NFL: The federal judge who lifted the NFL lockout dealt another blow to the league late Wednesday, denying its request to put her ruling on hold and guaranteeing more limbo for the $9 billion business.
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson of Minneapolis wrote that the NFL “has not met its burden for a stay pending appeal, expedited or otherwise.” She dismissed the NFL’s argument that it is facing irreparable harm because of her decision Monday to end the 45-day lockout.
The judge acknowledged that her decision will be appealed, to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis and the NFL has promised that step.
Mutai’s Boston time ineligible for record
Marathon: Geoffrey Mutai’s time of 2 hours, 3 minutes, 2 seconds in last week’s Boston Marathon does not qualify for the world record, race officials conceded as they decided not to pursue the matter with the sport’s governing bodies.
Mutai won the 115th edition of the Boston race on April 18 with a substantial tailwind. But IAAF and USA Track and Field rules say the Boston course is ineligible for world or American records because it is too straight and too downhill.