NBA: Monta Ellis scored 21 points and the visiting Dallas Mavericks rolled to a 113-92 victory over San Antonio on Wednesday night, snapping a 10-game skid against the Spurs and evening their first-round series at a game apiece.
Shawn Marion scored 20 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 16, Devin Harris had 18 and Jose Calderon 12 for Dallas, which never trailed after the opening minutes of the second quarter.
Manu Ginobili had 27 points, Tony Parker added 12 and Tim Duncan 11 for the Spurs.
The Spurs averaged 14.4 turnovers during the regular season, but had 15 with 3 minutes left in the first half. They finished with 22 turnovers, which resulted in 33 points for the Mavericks.
• Aldridge lifts Blazers over Rockets: LaMarcus Aldridge scored 43 points and Damian Lillard made six free throws down the stretch to give the Portland Trail Blazers a 112-105 win over the host Houston Rockets and a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series.
James Harden knocked down a 3-pointer with about 30 seconds left to get the Rockets within three. Lillard made two free throws before Harden fouled out about 10 seconds later. Mo Williams and Lillard both made a pair of free throws after that to secure the win.
Aldridge became the first player with consecutive 40-point games in the playoffs since LeBron James did it in May of 2009 after scoring a career-high and franchise playoff-record 46 in an overtime win in Game 1.
• Heat hold off Bobcats: LeBron James scored 32 points and added eight assists, Chris Bosh scored 20 points and the Miami Heat held on to beat the visiting Charlotte Bobcats 101-97 to take a 2-0 lead in the teams’ Eastern Conference first-round series.
Dwyane Wade scored 15 points, plus had a steal in the final seconds to help seal the win for Miami. Mario Chalmers added 11 for the Heat.
• Dragic named most improved: Goran Dragic has been honored as the NBA’s Most Improved Player after his career year helped lead the Suns to 23 more wins this season.
The 6-foot-3 guard from Slovenia came into the season with a career scoring average of 9.5 points in five years. He had 20.3 points and 5.9 assists per game as Phoenix went 48-34 and just missed the playoffs in the tough Western Conference.
Columbus earns first home playoff victory
NHL: Brandon Dubinsky scored with 22.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and Nick Foligno’s wrist shot just inside the blue line 2:49 into the extra session gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus, Ohio.
The Blue Jackets overcame a 3-0 deficit for their first home playoff victory in the franchise’s 13 seasons.
Craig Adams, Chris Kunitz, James Neal scored in a span of 5:01 of the first period to stake the Penguins to a 3-0 lead. But Ryan Johansen and Dubinsky each had a goal and an assist and Boone Jenner also scored for Columbus, making only its second postseason trip.
• Kane leads Blackhawks past Blues: Patrick Kane scored his second goal of the game at 11:17 of overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the visiting St. Louis Blues 4-3 to even their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.
Kane carried the puck down the left side as teammates Ben Smith and Brandon Saad rushed toward the net, and beat Ryan Miller with a well-placed wrist shot for his 32nd career postseason goal.
Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell also scored for defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago, which blew a 2-0 second-period lead. Jonathan Toews had two assists and Corey Crawford made 30 saves.
• Stars beat short-handed Ducks: Cody Eakin and Alex Goligoski scored on Dallas’ first two shots in the third period and the host Stars beat the top-seeded Anaheim Ducks 4-2 in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series that is even at 2.
Even without captain Ryan Getzlaf, a surprise late scratch with an upper-body injury, and healthy scratch Teemu Selane, the Ducks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period.
Dallas captain Jaime Benn scored off a faceoff only 27 seconds into the second period, his third goal in the series.
• Wild’s Cooke suspended: Minnesota Wild left wing Matt Cooke has been suspended for seven games by the NHL for a knee-to-knee hit that injured Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie.
The Avalanche lead 2-1 with Game 4 set for tonight, so Cooke will be out for the series and more. Cooke was given a minor penalty for clipping Barrie, who will need four to six weeks to recover from a medial collateral ligament injury to his left knee.
Benzema lifts Real Madrid over Bayern
SOCCER: Karim Benzema scored in the 19th minute to give Real Madrid a 1-0 win over defending champion Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal at Madrid.
Madrid got its goal on a counterattack when Cristiano Ronaldo found Fabio Coentrao speeding down a flank. Coentrao crossed for Benzema, who tapped the ball past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from 4 yards.
Ronaldo returned from a left leg injury that had sidelined him from April 2 and missed a number of scoring opportunities. Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas denied substitute Mario Goetze in the 84th.
• Ex-teammates will assist Giggs: Ryan Giggs will be assisted by former teammates Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville during his spell as interim manager of Manchester United following the dismissal of David Moyes.
Giggs, Butt, Neville and Scholes have made 2,453 appearances for United in total.
• Barcelona transfer ban suspended: FIFA has cleared Barcelona to sign new players this summer by freezing the Spanish soccer club’s one-year transfer embargo pending an appeal.
Soccer’s world governing body says its appeal panel “considered that the appeal lodged by the club is to be granted suspensive effect.”
FIFA says panel chairman Larry Mussenden took the decision because the case was unlikely to be resolved before the July 1 opening of the next transfer window.
Yamanaka defends WBC title with TKO
BOXING: Shinsuke Yamanaka of Japan successfully defended his WBC bantamweight crown for the sixth time with a technical knockout of Stephane Jamoye of Belgium in Osaka, Japan.
Yamanaka sent Jamoye to the canvas with a powerful blow to the abdomen and the referee stopped the bout 11 seconds into the ninth round at Osaka-Jo Hall.
With his fifth straight win by knockout, Yamanaka improved to 21-0 with two draws and 16 wins by knockout.
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