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Lynx move on to 2nd round of playoffs

Minnesota’s Maya Moore, left, celebrates with forward Charde Houston after clinching first-round series. (Associated Press)
Minnesota’s Maya Moore, left, celebrates with forward Charde Houston after clinching first-round series. (Associated Press)

WNBA: The Minnesota Lynx bulldozed the rest of the WNBA in the regular season, rarely tested while posting a 27-7 record that was six games better than the next closest team.

The San Antonio Silver Stars gave the No. 1 seed in the playoffs all they could handle in the first round, and that’s just what the Lynx say they needed.

Seimone Augustus had 22 points and the Lynx beat the Silver Stars 85-67 in Minneapolis on Tuesday night for the first playoff series victory in franchise history.

“I’m extremely happy that we were tested in the first round, because you want to have an attitude of urgency throughout the playoffs,” said Taj McWilliams-Franklin, who scored 16 points. “I think this put us back on our heels, the first two games, and now we can be prepared for the level that each team is going to play with against us.”

Rebekkah Brunson added 15 points and nine rebounds and Maya Moore had 14 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Lynx, who advance to play the Phoenix Mercury in the Western Conference finals. Game 1 is Thursday in Minnesota.

Sugar Bowl made improper donations

College football: The Sugar Bowl acknowledged it made several campaign donations to then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana in the mid-2000s – in violation of federal tax law – and a group has filed a complaint about the matter with the IRS.

Sugar Bowl spokesman John Sudsbury said that bowl representatives mistakenly bought tickets for fundraising dinners for the Democratic governor in 2004 and 2006, totaling $3,000. He said the bowl found records of the donations, which were first documented by HBO’s “Real Sports,” part of a segment on the “bowl game money trail” set to air Tuesday night.

Playoff PAC, which wants college football to switch to a playoff system to determine the national championship, said it had filed a complaint with the IRS late Monday. In another complaint filed last year, Playoff PAC alleged that the Fiesta, Orange and Sugar bowls violated their tax-exempt status by inappropriate spending and other activities.

Earlier this year, the Fiesta Bowl fired its president after an investigation detailed lavish spending and reimbursements to employees for campaign donations in Arizona.

League, union reps to meet

NBA: Representatives for NBA owners and players will meet twice this week, perhaps only days before training camps would have to be postponed without a new labor deal.

Staffs from both sides will meet today without leadership from either side, a person with knowledge of the plans said. Commissioner David Stern, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, union executive director Billy Hunter, president Derek Fisher of the Lakers and other top negotiators would rejoin the talks for another meeting Thursday.

Without a breakthrough then, the NBA would likely be out of time before being forced to make changes to the calendar.

Camps have been expected to open Oct. 3. During the 1998 lockout that reduced the season to 50 games, camps that were scheduled to begin Oct. 5 were postponed on Sept. 24.

The Nov. 1 start of the regular season could even be in jeopardy with the sides still fighting over the salary cap structure.

Players were planning to make what Hunter called a “significant” financial concession during a full bargaining session last Tuesday, but that fell through when owners rejected the union’s insistence that the current cap system remain intact as a condition of their money move.

Arndt wins time trial at world cycling

Miscellany: Judith Arndt of Germany won the time trial at the road cycling world championship in Copenhagen, Denmark, ahead of Linda Villumsen of New Zealand and defending champion Emma Pooley of Britain.

Arndt completed the rainy 17.2-mile circuit through central Copenhagen in 37 minutes, 7 seconds, beating Villumsen by 21 seconds.

Amber Neben of the United States was 41 seconds back in eighth. Neben bumped Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong from the U.S. time trial team last week after lodging a protest with USA Cycling.

• Columbus wins Triple-A championship: Columbus starting pitcher Joe Martinez shook off a tough start to pitch seven strong innings Tuesday to lead the Clippers of the International League to an 8-3 victory over Omaha of the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A championship baseball game in Albuquerque, N.M.