April 7, 2014 in Sports

Hawks rout Pacers, boost playoff hopes

From Staff And Wire Reports
Associated Press photo

Hawks’ Shelvin Mack had 13 points and seven assists off the bench, helping Atlanta keep its hold on the final NBA East playoff spot.
(Full-size photo)

NBA: Jeff Teague scored 25 points in the Atlanta Hawks’ 107-88 rout of the reeling Indiana Pacers, who were held to a franchise-low 23 points in the first half of an embarrassing performance on their home floor.

The Hawks have won three of four and extended their lead over the Knicks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference to two games.

The Pacers have lost four of five and fell a game behind Miami in their quest for the No. 1 seed in the East. Paul George scored 18 points and David West had 17 on a night All-Star center Roy Hibbert did not play the final 30 minutes.

Blazers beat Pelicans, clinch playoff berth: LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 18 rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers clinched their first playoff appearance in three seasons with a 100-94 win over visiting New Orleans.

Wesley Matthews added 21 points, Damian Lillard 20 and Nicolas Batum had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Portland. The Blazers are in fifth place in the Western Conference with four games remaining.

LeBron, Heat top Knicks: LeBron James scored 38 points, Mario Chalmers added 15 and the Miami Heat survived a 3-point barrage from New York’s J.R. Smith on the way to dealing the visiting Knicks’ playoff hopes a big blow with a 102-91 victory.

Smith made a Knicks-record 10 3-pointers, on an NBA-record 22 attempts, and finished with 32 points. Raymond Felton scored 14 for New York and Carmelo Anthony managed only 13, on 4-of-17 shooting.

Spurs beat Grizzlies after Parker leaves: Kawhi Leonard matched his career high with 26 points, Manu Ginobili had a season-high 26 and the San Antonio Spurs eased to a 112-92 victory over the visiting Memphis Grizzlies after losing Tony Parker to injury.

The All-Star point guard took a hard fall as he drove the lane, landing squarely on his back near the free-throw line after being fouled by Memphis’ Mike Conley with 7:38 left. Parker remained on the court for about a minute, but rose and continued playing before exiting with 2:41 remaining in the first.

Ellis, Mavs edge Kings: Monta Ellis scored eight of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and the visiting Dallas Mavericks kept their playoff position with their third straight win, a 93-91 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

The Mavericks won for the fourth time in five games to maintain seventh place in the Western Conference. It was Dallas’ fifth straight road win.

Jackets beat Isles, keep playoff hopes

NHL: Boone Jenner and Mark Letestu each had a goal and an assist, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 31 shots for his second shutout of the week to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets past the visiting New York Islanders 4-0.

The Blue Jackets, desperate to hang on to a playoff spot in the East, matched a season high with three power-play goals.

Penguins slip past Avs in shootout: Jussi Jokinen skated across the front of the crease and roofed a shot over sprawling goalie Semyon Varlamov to give the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche in a shootout.

After Jokinen’s goal, Marc-Andre Fleury made a pad save on Gabriel Landeskog’s shot, snapping Colorado’s six-game winning streak and denying Varlamov franchise records for most home and overall wins in a season.

Blackhawks topple Blues: Rookie Jeremy Morin scored and set up Patrick Sharp’s go-ahead goal in the second period, and the injury-depleted Chicago Blackhawks held on to defeat the visiting St. Louis Blues 4-2.

The Blackhawks ground out the victory despite skating without injured star forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane for the third game. Forward Brandon Saad was a last-minute scratch.

USA coach Sermanni fired after win

SOCCER: U.S. Soccer says Tom Sermanni has been fired as coach of the U.S. women’s national team.

The Americans beat China 2-0 in an exhibition game in Commerce City, Colo., on Sunday. Hours later, the U.S. soccer announced the move. Sermanni took over as coach of the U.S. women’s national team in January 2013. With the United States, he went 13-0-3 last season.

Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe each scored goals in the win for the U.S. The Americans held China to one shot on goal while running their unbeaten streak on home turf to 81 games (71-0-10).

Galaxy blank Chivas USA: Robbie Keane and Stefan Ishizaki scored goals late in the first half, Baggio Husidic added another shortly after halftime, and the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy won the first meeting with rival Chivas USA with a 3-0 victory.

Landon Donovan assisted on Ishizaki’s and Husidic’s goals, giving him 119 in his career, just 16 off Steve Ralston’s MLS record.

Federer, Switzerland advance in Davis Cup

MISCELLANY: Roger Federer moved closer to adding one of the few trophies still missing from his cabinet by putting Switzerland into the Davis Cup tennis semifinals in London, while Italy and France also swept their reverse singles matches to complete come-from-behind victories.

Federer won the decisive singles match to give Switzerland a 3-2 win over Kazakhstan and a spot in the semifinals for the first time in 11 years.

Federer cruised to a 7-6 (0), 6-2, 6-3 victory over 64th-ranked Andrey Golubev, after teammate Stanislas Wawrinka had beaten Mikhail Kukushkin 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to level the series.

Italy ousted Britain to reach its first semifinal in 16 years after Fabio Fognini pulled off a surprise 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory over two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray before Andreas Seppi defeated James Ward 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in the decisive match.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga cruised past Tobias Kamke 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to help France tie before Gael Monfils secured the winning point by defeating Peter Gojowczyk 6-1, 7-6 (0), 6-2.

Petkovic wins Family Circle Cup: Andrea Petkovic ended a surprising week at tennis’ Family Circle Cup by winning her first WTA event in three years, outlasting Jana Cepelova for a 7-5, 6-2 victory in Charleston, S.C.

Petkovic came in seeded 14th and ranked 40th in the world. But she ousted three straight top-10 seeds on the way to the finals and took control of the championship by winning eight straight games.

Cancellara repeats as Tour of Flanders winner: Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland won a four-way power sprint to the finish line to defend his Tour of Flanders title and clinch one of the year’s toughest cycling classics for the third time.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email