In brief: James helps Heat get even with Pacers
NBA: LeBron James scored 40 points, superstar sidekick Dwyane Wade added 30 – 22 in the second half – and Miami’s dynamic duo took over after halftime to get the Heat even in the series with a 101-93 win over the Indiana Pacers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Sunday in Indianapolis.
With Chris Bosh injured and back in Florida, the James-Wade tandem saved the Heat, who will host Game 5 on Tuesday night.
James was at his MVP best, adding 18 rebounds and nine assists and refusing to let Miami’s season slip away. Wade rebounded from the worst playoff game of his career, shaking off a 1 of 8 shooting start and adding nine rebounds and six assists.
Danny Granger scored 20 to lead the Pacers.
The Heat took a 76-70 lead into the fourth, and every time Indiana got close, either Wade or James responded.
• Spurs complete sweep of Clippers: Tim Duncan scored 21 points, Tony Parker added 17 and the visiting San Antonio Spurs rallied in the final minutes to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 102-99, closing out the series 4-0 and advancing to the Western Conference finals.
The Spurs extended their winning streak to 18 games and their playoff record to 8-0, tying the third-best postseason streak in franchise history.
Danny Green and Gary Neal added 14 points each, and Manu Ginobili and Thiago Splitter had 11 each for the Spurs.
San Antonio could find out as soon as tonight who it will play next. Oklahoma City leads the Lakers 3-1 in their series, with Game 5 tonight.
Chris Paul had 23 points and 11 assists, Blake Griffin added 21 points, and Eric Bledsoe had 17 for the Clippers, who blew a six-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Coyotes shut out Kings, avoid sweep
NHL: Shane Doan scored two goals, Mike Smith made 36 saves in his third playoff shutout, and the visiting Phoenix Coyotes emphatically avoided playoff elimination with a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.
Former Spokane Chief Ray Whitney and Antoine Vermette had assists for the Coyotes, who escaped a series sweep by snapping the eighth-seeded Kings’ eight-game winning streak in front of long-suffering fans denied the chance to celebrate Los Angeles’ first berth in the Stanley Cup final since 1993.
Phoenix was better from the opening faceoff, dominating an opponent that had been on an 11-1 run through the postseason.
Game 5 is Tuesday night in Phoenix.
Sharapova beats Li to retain Italian title
Tennis: Maria Sharapova retained the Italian Open title with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) victory over Li Na in a match interrupted twice by rain in Rome.
Li appeared to be on course for the victory as she stormed to a 6-4, 4-0 lead, but 24 unforced errors from the French Open champion allowed Sharapova to take the next six games and the set.
Sharapova then seemed headed for the victory when it began to drizzle. The Russian took a 4-1 lead in the third, but Li fought back to win four successive games to take a 5-4 lead.
Both held their serves the rest of the way and the match went into a tiebreak.
• Rain delays Djokovic-Nadal final: Novak Djokovic had to wait until today to defend his Italian Open title against Rafael Nadal after the men’s final was postponed for a day because of heavy rain.
Fans jeered the decision after sitting in stands under umbrellas for several hours.
• US loses twice to Argentina at Team World Cup: Andy Roddick and Ryan Harrison lost singles matches, giving Argentina an unassailable 2-0 lead over the United States on the opening day of the Team World Cup in Duesseldorf, Germany.
Charles leads Sun over Liberty again
WNBA: Tina Charles scored 18 of her 25 points in the second half and the Connecticut Sun overcame an early double-digit deficit to beat New York 92-77 in Uncasville, Conn., opening the season with back-to-back wins against the Liberty.
Charles, who shot 11 for 15 from the floor, also had 11 rebounds.
• Augustus injured, scores 19 as Lynx top Mercury: Seimone Augustus scored 19 points to lead the Minnesota Lynx before leaving with an injury to her ribs, and the defending WNBA champions didn’t let up in a 105-83 season-opening victory over the Diana Taurasi-less Phoenix Mercury in Minneapolis.
Lindsay Whalen had 10 of her 13 points in the final 11 minutes of the game, and backup Monica Wright added 15 points for the Lynx.
Duke routs Colgate to advance to semis
Lacrosse: Robert Rotanz scored a career-best five goals, leading Duke to 17-6 victory against Colgate in the NCAA men’s lacrosse quarterfinals in Chester, Pa.
Duke (15-4), seeded No. 3, advances to the semifinals to play Atlantic Coast Conference rival Maryland on Saturday in Baltimore in a rematch of last year’s semis.
Christian Walsh scored three for Duke, which got two goals each from Jake Tripucka and David Lawson.
• Notre Dame tops Virginia : Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA lacrosse semifinals, defeating Virginia 12-10 after striking for six fourth-quarter goals in Chester, Pa.
The Irish play Loyola (Md.) on Saturday in Foxboro, Mass. This is the first time Notre Dame beat Virginia in four tries in the NCAA tournament.
I’ll Have Another has work cut out for him
Miscellany: I’ll Have Another will face several familiar foes in his attempt to win the Belmont Stakes and become the first Triple Crown champion in 34 years,
Among the 3-year-olds trying to play spoiler in the June 9 Belmont are Dullahan and Union Rags, the third- and seventh-place finishers in the Derby who both skipped the Preakness.
Bodemeister, who finished second in the Derby and Preakness, isn’t running in the Belmont.
• Dutchman Gesink wins Tour of California: Dutchman Robert Gesink, eight months after breaking his leg in a training accident, has won the Tour of California.
Gesink finished among the pack in the eighth and final stage to seal the victory. The 25-year-old Rabobank rider beat Dave Zabriskie by 46 seconds for the title after claiming the mountainous and decisive seventh stage.
The final stage was won by Peter Sagan of Slovakia.
• Rabottini wins Giro stage; Rodriguez regains lead: Matteo Rabottini of Italy won the 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia, holding off Joaquin Rodriguez as the Spaniard took back the overall lead from Ryder Hesjedal of Canada in Lecco, Italy.
On the second hilltop finish of the race, Rabottini finished in in 5 hours, 15 minutes, 30 seconds. He edged Rodriguez on the final curve of the 105-mile leg from Busto Arsizio to Lecco and Pian dei Resinelli.
• Zmeskal inducted into gymnastics Hall of Fame: For as big of a landmark as it was for her to become the first American to win the all-around world championship, Kim Zmeskal doesn’t want to claim too much credit for producing the boom in U.S. women’s gymnastics in the two decades since.
Zmeskal was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame this weekend, saying she never felt like there was a barrier to be broken down because of the atmosphere created by coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi and the high level of competition within the team.