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Sunday, February 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Courtney Vandersloot leads Sky to WNBA playoff win

Atlanta Dream guard Celine Dumerc, front, attempts to receive a pass as Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley defends. (Associated Press)
Atlanta Dream guard Celine Dumerc, front, attempts to receive a pass as Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley defends. (Associated Press)

Women’s basketball: Courtney Vandersloot hit the game-winning jumper from the top of the key with 20 seconds left to lead the Chicago Sky to an 80-77 win over the host Atlanta Dream in the first game of their WNBA playoff series.

Chicago is the No. 4 seed in the East, and Atlanta is No. 1, but the Sky didn’t look like underdogs while limiting the Dream’s fast break to two points.

Elena Delle Donne scored 21 points, Sylvia Fowles added 12 points and 14 rebounds, Epiphanny Prince scored 14 points and Vandersloot went for 13 points and seven assists.

Vandersloot, a former All-American at Gonzaga, missed 17 games this season with an MCL knee sprain.

The game winner came when Vandersloot worked her way from the right wing into the lane while losing defender Shoni Schimmel before stopping and popping from 18 feet.

Mercury beat Sparks: Diana Taurasi hit four straight free throws in the final 40 seconds, and the Phoenix Mercury beat the visiting Los Angeles Sparks 75-72 in the first round of the WNBA playoffs.

It was the sixth win of the season for Phoenix over Los Angeles, which will face elimination Sunday.

Scott, Tringale tied for lead at Barclays

Golf: Now that the majors are over, Adam Scott is going after the one big prize remaining – a shot at the $10 million FedEx Cup prize.

Scott ran off four straight birdies in the middle of his round and finished with a tap-in birdie for a 6-under 65 to share the 36-hole lead with Cameron Tringale at The Barclays in Paramus, New Jersey.

British Open and PGA champion Rory McIlroy was nine shots better than his opening round, playing bogey-free for a 65. Not only did he make the cut, McIlroy suddenly is only five shots behind going into the weekend.

Goodes out front at Boeing: Mike Goodes shot an 8-under 64 for a one-stroke lead in the Boeing Classic.

Goodes, 57, started with an eagle on the first hole, knocking it in from a bunker. He then had six birdies in the first round of the Champions Tour stop on the TPC Snoqualmie (Washington) Ridge course.

Mark Brooks was all alone in second after a 65.

Ryu, bogey-free, extends advantage: So Yeon Ryu of South Korea shot a 6-under 66 in another bogey-free round to take an early five-stroke lead at the Canadian Women’s Open.

Christie Kerr had a 68 and Anna Nordqvist of Sweden shot a 69 at London (Ontario) Hunt and Country Club. Kerr won the tournament the last time it was held there in 2006.

Rosol, Janowicz in Winston-Salem final

Tennis: Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic and Jerzy Janowicz of Poland advanced to the Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Open final with three-set victories.

The seventh-seeded Rosol edged Taiwan’s Yen-Hsun Lu 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, and Janowicz defeated Sam Querrey 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the final tuneup for next week’s U.S. Open.

Rosol took a key service break from Lu to go up 5-4 in the third set, and then saved three break points while serving out the match to advance to his third ATP Tour final this year.

Kvitova, Rybarikova win: Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova moved into the finals of the Connecticut Open for the third straight year, beating Australian Samantha Stosur 6-3, 6-1 in New Haven.

The Czech star served 11 aces, nine in the first set. She broke Stosur’s serve to take an early 3-1 lead, and did not face much of a challenge on her own serve, facing just four break points.

She will face a close friend, Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, who beat Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-2, 6-4.

Phelps gets relay gold at Pan Pacifics

Miscellany: Michael Phelps is back on top of the podium.

The 29-year-old American, swimming in his first international meet since coming out of retirement, helped the United States win the 4x200-meter relay at the Pan Pacific championships in Gold Coast, Australia.

Phelps finished fourth in his first final, the 100 free, but later swam the second leg of the relay and watched as Matt McLean overhauled Takeshi Matsuda of Japan on the last lap.

In the 100, 20-year-old Cameron McEvoy of Australia won in 47.82 seconds in pouring rain at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre’s outdoor pool.

Peaty breaks 50 breaststroke world record: Adam Peaty of Britain set a world record in the 50-meter breaststroke, finishing in 26.62 seconds in a semifinal heat at the European Swimming Championship in Berlin.

The old record of 26.67 seconds belonged to Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa, set on July 29, 2009, in Rome.

Orozco takes lead at U.S. gymnastics championships: John Orozco grabbed the early lead in the U.S. men’s gymnastics championships in Pittsburgh, posting an all-around score of 90.750.

Orozco, the 2012 national champion, continued his steady recovery from a knee injury nearly two years ago by putting together six solid rotations. He posted the highest scores of the night on parallel bars and high bar.

In women’s competition, Simone Biles looks to capture her second straight national title today after she sprinted to the lead on Thursday with an impressive display. She posted a combined score of 61.60 through four events, well ahead of second-place Maggie Nichols.

The men finish on Sunday.

Didier wins Stage 5, van Garderen keeps lead: Aspen’s Tejay van Garderen held his 20-second lead in cycling’s USA Pro Challenge over Rafal Majka following a 104-mile ride from Woodland Park into Breckenridge, Colorado.

Laurent Didier of Luxembourg won Stage 5 with a burst into Breckenridge. His winning time was 3 hours, 50 minutes, 38 seconds.

UNM soccer coach suspended for a week: New Mexico women’s soccer coach Kit Vela has been suspended for a week without pay and most of the team is suspended for one game over a hazing incident.

School officials say last Sunday’s hazing involved seven true freshmen. Two were taken to the hospital for excessive alcohol consumption.

On Tuesday, Krebs announced the team’s season opener Friday at Texas Tech was canceled.

Close Hatches wins at Saratoga: Close Hatches ran her win streak to four races with an authoritative 5-length victory in the Grade 1 $500,000 Personal Ensign at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York.

The 4-year-old filly and jockey Joel Rosario never were challenged in leading from start to finish in 1:50.62 for 1 1/8 miles.

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