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Wednesday, June 3, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

In brief: Cavs counter comeback, keep series alive

Cleveland’s  Anderson Verajao goes up to block Orlando’s Hedo Turkoglu.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Cleveland’s Anderson Verajao goes up to block Orlando’s Hedo Turkoglu. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
By From Staff And Wire Reports

With Cleveland’s wondrous season on the line, LeBron James had 37 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists, and Mo Williams, who boldly predicted his team would come back and win this tight-as-can-be series, added 24 points in the Cavaliers’ 112-102 victory over the Orlando Magic in Game 5 on Thursday night in Cleveland.

It’s back to Florida for Game 6 on Saturday night at amped-up Amway Arena.

You expected anything else?

“I mean, this was a big game for us,” James said. “You never want to disappoint the home crowd by not coming out and play as hard as you can. It was win or go home.”

The Magic overcame a 22-point deficit but missed their first opportunity to close out the Cavaliers, who are trying to become just the ninth team since 1947 to rally and win a series after being down 3-1. Orlando will have two more tries to reach the NBA Finals for the first time since 1995.

•USC forward gets another year: Southern California forward Marcus Johnson has been granted another year of eligibility.

Coach Tim Floyd said that the NCAA granted a “season of competition” waiver for Johnson on the condition that he be withheld from the first two games of the 2009-10 season, when he will be considered a senior.

Johnson applied for the waiver because he competed in just one exhibition game during the 2007-08 season at Connecticut before transferring to USC.

•Hawaii finds new women’s coach: Hawaii has hired former point guard Dana Takahara-Dias to be its women’s coach.

She succeeds Jim Bolla, who was fired in April and has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Softball

Huskies win Game 1

Freshman Niki Williams hit her first home run in three months, and national player of the year Danielle Lawrie threw a six-hitter to lead third-seeded Washington over sixth-seeded Georgia 3-1 on the opening day of the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

Williams broke a scoreless tie off a screwball that Christie Hamilton (24-9) left too high. It was only the third homer of the season for Williams, the No. 9 hitter in the Huskies’ lineup. She hadn’t hit one since Feb. 27, finishing the entire Pac-10 season without a homer.

“Any hit’s great, and a home run’s even better,” said Williams, who was 3 for 16 in postseason play entering the World Series.

UW plays defending Women’s College World Series champion Arizona State (47-17) today. ASU defeated Missouri 7-3.

Tennis

Federer overcomes

Close doesn’t count. Roger Federer knows that as well as anyone.

Still, even Federer had to acknowledge he found himself in a much tighter and tougher match than he would have expected – or is used to – in the French Open’s second round before producing a 7-6 (8), 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-2 victory over Jose Acasuso of Argentina.

But this has not been a French Open for underdogs or upsets, and no seeded men lost.

Four seeded women went home, though none higher than No. 13 Marion Bartoli.

Those moving into the third round included both Williams sisters – Venus needed three sets, Serena two.

Golf

Singh back at Colonial

Vijay Singh stopped playing at the Colonial Country Club when Annika Sorenstam showed up to compete against the men in 2003. He’s finally back – and among the leaders.

Singh shot a 6-under-par 64, leaving him a stroke behind Woody Austin, Tim Clark and Steve Stricker after the first round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas.

•NC State’s Hill earns title: North Carolina State’s Matt Hill made three birdies on the homeward nine holes and held off his closest pursuers to win the individual title in the NCAA Division I championship at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.

Hill, a sophomore from Bright’s Grove, Ontario, shot his third consecutive 2-under 69 to finish at 6-under 207.

Oklahoma State led the eight teams qualifying for the new match-play format that begins with the quarterfinals this morning. The team championship match is set for Saturday morning.

Miscellany

Scarponi wins 18th stage

Michele Scarponi of Italy won the 18th stage of the Giro d’Italia in Benevento, Italy, while overall leader Denis Menchov of Russia drew a day closer to capturing a victory.

Menchov retained a 26-second lead over Danilo Di Luca in the overall standings.

•ESPN makes cuts: ESPN has notified about 100 employees that they will be losing their jobs.

The layoffs are part of a plan announced by ESPN Chief Executive George Bodenheimer in January, when he told employees the sports television giant would be reviewing its entire operation and also would cut about 200 jobs.

•Chargers sack proposal: The San Diego Chargers rejected a developer’s proposal to build a $1 billion stadium as part of a redevelopment of the land surrounding Qualcomm Stadium, saying the project would be too big for the Mission Valley site.

•Germany done horsing around: The German equestrian federation disbanded its Olympic team and suspended Ludger Beerbaum, a four-time Olympic champion, following a string of allegations involving doping and illegal medication.

•Sumo trainer convicted: Junichi Yamamoto, a former trainer in Japan’s traditional sport of sumo, has been convicted and sentenced to six years in Tokyo prison following the death of a wrestler suspected of being fatally battered during his training.

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