NBA: Not only have the Miami Heat caught the Boston Celtics – they have officially gone past them, and into the Eastern Conference finals.
Vanquishing the team they couldn’t beat for so long with a 16-0 run to end the game, Dwyane Wade scored 34 points, LeBron James put the Heat up for good with a 3-pointer with 2:10 left on the way to 33 points, and host Miami topped Boston 97-87 to win its semifinal series Wednesday night in five games.
James added a game-sealing – more aptly, a series-sealing – 3-pointer with 40.4 seconds left, then turned and posed for some fans who screamed in delight.
A steal and two-handed slam 6 seconds later for good measure, followed by a Celtics turnover, got the party started.
• Thunder take 3-2 edge: Kevin Durant scored 19 points, reserve Daequan Cook added 18 and the Oklahoma City Thunder followed their triple-overtime triumph with a 99-72 blowout of the visiting Memphis Grizzlies to take their first series lead in the Western Conference semifinals.
The Thunder lead 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Friday night in Memphis, Tenn.
Kootenay takes 3-1 lead
Hockey: Matt Fraser scored a power-play goal at 13:08 of overtime as the Kootenay Ice took a commanding 3-1 series lead against the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League finals with a 5-4 win at Cranbrook, B.C.
• Jagr leads Czechs past U.S. team: Jaromir Jagr gave hockey fans back in the United States a reminder of his offensive skills.
The 39-year-old former NHL star scored a hat trick to lead the defending champion Czech Republic to a 4-0 win over the Americans in the quarterfinals of the ice hockey world championship at Bratislava, Slovakia.
The Czechs will meet Sweden in the semifinals Friday. The Swedes beat Germany 5-2.
• Glendale council approves payment: After hours of testimony and discussion, the Glendale (Ariz.) City Council voted 5-2 late Tuesday night to give the NHL $25 million for arena operating costs for the Phoenix Coyotes’ next season. It’s the second $25 million Glendale will have forked over.
Weening wins fifth stage
Cycling: Pieter Weening raced solo the final six miles to win the fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia at Orvieto, Italy, and take race’s overall lead. The Rabobank rider covered the 118-mile stage from Piombino to Orvieto in 4 hours, 54 minutes, 49 seconds. He finished 8 seconds ahead of Fabio Duarte, who outsprinted Jose Perez in third.
Coroner awaits tests on Baze
Horse racing: The coroner’s office says it is awaiting toxicology results on jockey Michael Baze, who was found dead in his vehicle at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., and had been scheduled to go to court today on a cocaine charge.
Jim Wesley, a Jefferson County deputy coroner, said preliminary autopsy results found no anatomical cause of death. He says the toxicology reports will take three weeks.
The 24-year-old jockey from Glendora, Calif., was discovered dead in his vehicle in the stable area at the racetrack Tuesday.
Barnes lands big raise
Colleges: Texas coach Rick Barnes received a $200,000 raise that boosts his pay to $2.4 million each season. The University of Texas System Board of Regents approved the pay hike. Barnes will be entering his 14th season at Texas. Barnes has assembled one of the top-ranked recruiting classes for next season.
• Smith claims improved health: Minnesota head men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith said he’s free of prostate cancer after dealing with the disease for the past year. Smith, 59, who had not previously revealed his condition.
• Fiesta Bowl stays in BCS: The Fiesta Bowl will be allowed to remain part of the Bowl Championship Series, though it must pay a $1 million fine for apparent illegal campaign contributions and inappropriate spending.
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