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Woods nearly blows lead at Bay Hill

SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 2012

Golf: One swing cost Tiger Woods a comfortable lead at Bay Hill in Orlando, Fla. All that mattered to him was his name atop the leaderboard at the end of the day, leaving him one round away from winning on the PGA Tour for the first time in 30 months.

If anything, Saturday showed that it won’t be easy in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

In two holes, Woods went from a four-shot lead to briefly tied with Graeme McDowell.

But he followed the double bogey with a birdie from a fairway bunker on the par-5 16th to restore his lead, and then hung on for a 1-under 71 that gave him a one-shot lead over McDowell going into the final round.

• Couples, Sluman tied for lead at Fallen Oak: Jeff Sluman shot an 8-under 64 to climb into a tie for the second-round lead with Fred Couples in the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in Saucier, Miss.

Sluman birdied five of his final seven holes in his bogey-free round to reach 11 under at Fallen Oak. Couples followed his course-record 63 in the opening round with a 70 in the second.

• Tseng has lead in Kia Classic: Top-ranked Yani Tseng remained in position for her second straight LPGA Tour title and third in five events this year, shooting a bogey-free 3-under 69 to take a three-stroke lead into the final round of the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif.

Nowitzki lifts Dallas past Rockets

NBA: Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points, Jason Terry added 24 and Brandan Wright had a career-high seven blocks to help the visiting Dallas Mavericks beat the Houston Rockets 101-99 in overtime.

Shawn Marion had 12 points and a season-high 15 rebounds for the Mavericks, who beat Houston for the fifth straight time.

Goran Dragic scored 24 points, and Luis Scola added 19 for the Rockets, who had all five starters in double figures.

• Deng saves Bulls at buzzer: Luol Deng hit a follow-up shot at the buzzer in overtime and the Chicago Bulls beat the visiting Toronto Raptors 102-101 for their NBA-leading 40th victory.

Chicago’s C.J. Watson drove for the basket and Toronto’s James Johnson blocked the attempt, but Deng got the ball and put it in the basket – a play officials reviewed to make sure it was in before the buzzer.

Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, Deng added 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Watson had 23 points.

• Griffin, Paul help Clippers end skid: Blake Griffin had 20 points and 10 rebounds, fellow All-Star Chris Paul had 19 points and 13 assists, and the Los Angeles Clippers ended their first three-game losing streak of the season with a dominating 101-85 victory over the visiting Memphis Grizzlies.

Zach Randolph had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Grizzlies, who have lost six of eight after an 11-2 stretch.

• Knicks rout Pistons: Tyson Chandler had 15 points and tied a season high with 17 rebounds, and the New York Knicks rebounded from their first loss under Mike Woodson by routing the visiting Detroit Pistons for the third time this season, 101-79.

Amare Stoudemire scored 17 points for the Knicks.

Ben Gordon scored 20 points for Detroit, which lost its fifth straight.

Flyers clinch playoff berth behind Briere

NHL: Danny Briere scored a pair of goals, Ilya Bryzgalov made 23 saves and the Philadelphia Flyers clinched a playoff berth with a 4-1 win over the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

Three of Philadelphia’s four goals came on the power play, upping the Flyers’ league-leading total to 61.

Briere’s second goal put the Flyers up 3-1 with 2:20 left in the second period. Jaromir Jagr took a long outlet pass from Bryzgalov at the Flyers’ blue line and flicked it on to Briere, who got one-on-one with Canadiens goalie Peter Budaj and roofed a forehand shot from in close.

• Rangers edge Leafs: Ryan Callahan’s shootout goal gave visiting New York a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs and lifted the Rangers into a tie atop the NHL standings.

The Rangers captain moved in on goalie Jonas Gustavsson and wired a shot top corner in the third round to clinch it. Brad Richards also scored for New York in the shootout.

• Stamkos scores two in win: Steven Stamkos scored twice to tie the Lightning record with 52 goals this season, and Tampa Bay beat the New York Islanders 4-3 at Tampa, Fla.

Stamkos gave the Lightning a 2-0 lead with his second of the night and tied Vincent Lecavalier’s club record 1:46 into the second. Stamkos also assisted on Tim Wallace’s goal that gave Tampa Bay a 4-3 edge at 12:10 of the third.

Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo also scored for N.Y.

• Beliveau released from hospital: Montreal Canadiens great Jean Beliveau has been released from the hospital after suffering a stroke late last month.

Spokesman Donald Beauchamp said Beliveau was released from Montreal General Hospital on Friday. The 80-year-old Hall of Famer was transferred to a rehabilitation center.

“His condition is improving, it’s good news,” Beauchamp said Saturday.

Broncos name Hanie as Manning’s backup

Miscellany: A person familiar with the negotiations said the Denver Broncos have signed former Chicago Bears backup quarterback Caleb Hanie to a two-year deal to back up Peyton Manning.

• Bengals beef up defense: The Bengals signed former Colts defensive end Jamaal Anderson and agreed to another contract with defensive tackle Pat Sims, who had been an unrestricted free agent.

• Cal wins NCAA swim championship: California won its second straight NCAA men’s swimming and diving championship by outlasting Texas and clinching the victory with a 1-2 finish in the 200-yard butterfly in Federal Way, Wash.

• Semenya wins first 800 of Olympic year: Former world champion Caster Semenya won her first 800-meter race of 2012 but was well outside the Olympic qualifying time in a sluggish season-opening run.

Semenya recorded 2 minutes, 3.60 seconds at a meet in Potchefstroom, South Africa, nearly 4 seconds off the Olympic standard of 1:59.90. It was the 2009 world champion and 2011 world silver medallist’s first competitive two-lap race under new coach and former Olympic champion Maria Mutola.

• Wach KO’s Fields in WBC international title fight: Mariusz Wach stopped Tye Fields in the sixth round with a ferocious knockout and retained his WBC international heavyweight title in Atlantic City, N.J.


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