Sports Watch

Lakers move within half-game of Cavs...Bulls improve playoff picture

(AP) - The Los Angeles Lakers ended Denver's 8-game win streak 116-102 and moved within a half-game of Cleveland in the race for best overall record in the NBA. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 33. Pau Gasol had a huge game as well, scoring 27 and pulling down a career-best 19 rebounds.

The Lakers also regained the services of Andrew Bynum, their 7-foot center who missed 33 games with a knee injury. He returned and had 16 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson will miss tonight's game at Portland because of pain and swelling in his lower right leg.

In other NBA action:

Ben Gordon and Tyrus Thomas each scored 24 and the Chicago Bulls closed in on their fourth playoff appearance in five years with a 113-99 victory over Philadelphia. The seventh-place Bulls reduced their magic number to one over Charlotte, which visits Chicago Saturday.

Houston moved past San Antonio and into the Southwest Division lead by beating Sacramento 115-98. Ron Artest had 26.

Angels in mourning over rookie pitcher's death in car crash

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - The Los Angeles Angels are coping with the untimely death of rookie Nick Adenhart early yesterday.

The 22-year-old pitcher was a passenger in a car that police say was struck by a suspected drunk driver who ran a red light in Fullerton, Calif. Two other people in the car also died and another was injured. Adenhart started for the Angels just a few hours earlier and threw six shutout innings in his 2009 debut.

The right-hander from Silver Spring, Md., earned a spot in the starting rotation on an injury-plagued Angels staff by impressing manager Mike Scioscia (SOH'-shuh) late in spring training.

Scioscia calls Adenhart's death "a tragedy that will never be forgotten."

As a measure of respect, the Angels postponed last night's game against Oakland.

Adenhart's father, Jim, a retired Secret Service agent, walked onto the field in the empty stadium yesterday and spent several moments alone on the pitcher's mound. Jim Adenhart also spoke during a closed-door meeting of players and team officials.

Angels outfielder Torii Hunter said the elder Adenhart "just wanted to say thank you for the opportunity, thank you for raising his kid in minor league ball on up through the system in the Angels' organization."

Police arrested a suspect identified as Andrew Thomas Gallo, 22, of Riverside, Calif. Police said he was driving on a suspended license because of a previous drunken driving conviction. Police say Gallo's blood-alcohol level was "substantially above" California's legal limit of .08%. He's being held without bond.

Carpenter builds a gem...Scary moment in San Francisco

(AP) - The baseball season's first one-hitter occurred in St. Louis. Chris Carpenter took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and combined with two relievers on a one-hitter, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1. Carpenter didn't allow a hit until Ramon Vazquez singled just under the glove of second baseman Skip Schumaker with two outs in the seventh.

Schumaker made a poor throw to second on a potential inning-ending double play the previous at-bat, nearly pulling shortstop Khalil Greene off the bag on Brandon Moss' grounder and getting only a forceout.

In the rest of the NL:

There was a scary moment at the end of San Francisco's 7-1 win over Milwaukee when Giants reliever Joe Martinez was hit in the head by Mike Cameron's line drive in the ninth inning, but was able to walk off the field. Martinez was conscious and taken to a hospital for a CT scan and evaluation. Bengie Molina drove in four runs.

Joey Votto (VAHT'-oh) continues to swing a hot bat. The Reds outfielder had a three-run homer and four RBIs in Cincinnati's 8-6 victory over the Mets that avoided a 3-game series sweep. Votto went 7 for 13 against New York, with a pair of 3-run homers and seven RBIs.

Adrian Gonzalez's solo homer started a three-run rally in the eighth inning that carried the San Diego Padres to a 4-3 win over the L.A. Dodgers to gain a split in the opening series.

In A.L. play:

Ricky Romero outpitched Rick Porcello in the first matchup of former first-round draft picks making their major-league debuts against each other, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Detroit Tigers 6-2 to take the season-opening 4-game series 3-1. Marco Scutaro (SKOO'-tah-roh) hit a two-run homer, and Aaron Hill and Adam Lind added solo shots off Porcello.

Seattle's Jarrod Washburn picked up his first win since July 27, limiting Minnesota to five hits over eight innings of a 2-0 shutout of the Twins.

Matt Garza pitched seven innings of 4-hit ball, Tampa Bay hit three homers off Daisuke Matsuzaka (DYS'-kay MAHT'-soo-zah-kah) and the Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 4-3. Evan Longoria had three hits, including a two-run homer, and Matt Joyce and Shawn Riggans also homered for the defending AL champions.

The New York Yankees finally got their first win, using standout performances by newcomers A.J. Burnett, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira (tuh-SHER'-uh) to beat the Baltimore Orioles 11-2. Burnett allowed two runs in 5 1-3 innings in his New York debut, Swisher went 3 for 5 with a homer and five RBIs, which tied his career high. Teixeira had two hits with a home run.

Coco Crisp's two-run homer in the ninth inning broke a scoreless tie and Kansas City held off the Chicago White Sox 2-1.

The Texas Rangers are 3-0 for the first time since 1996. Marlon Byrd and Ian Kinsler hit long home runs and the Rangers completed their season-opening series sweep with a 12-8 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Campbell has first-round lead with a 65

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - Chad Campbell led an assault on the scoreboard, shooting a 7-under-par 65 to take the lead after the opening round of the Masters. Campbell began his round with a Masters-record five straight birdies. He strung together four more birdies on the back nine and was flirting with a Masters-record 63 before bogeying his final two holes for a 65.

Campbell was among 19 players shooting in the 60s. A first-round Masters record 38 players broke par in the 96-man field.

Campbell holds a one-stroke lead over Jim Furyk (FYOOR'-ik) and Hunter Mahan (MAY'-han). Tiger Woods struggled with his putter but still managed 70 in his first major since last year's U.S. Open. Woods hasn't won the Masters since 2005, but has two straight runner-up finishes. He's five off the lead.

Padraig Harrington, who's trying to win his third straight major, opened with a 3-under 69. Defending champion Trevor Immelman, Vijay Singh (sing) and Geoff Ogilvy are all six shots off the lead.

Phil Mickelson is nine shots back after his 1-over 73.

Rangers and Canadiens are in...Panthers and Sabres are out

(AP) - The New York Rangers are in the NHL playoffs following their 2-1 win over Philadelphia. Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves. Ryan Callahan had a goal and an assist for the Rangers, who are 8-1 in their last nine home games. The Rangers are tied with Montreal for seventh in the East with one game left. The Canadiens are home against Pittsburgh Saturday while the Rangers finish on the road at Philadelphia Sunday.

The Rangers' win over the Flyers also helped New Jersey, giving the Devils the Atlantic Division title.

In the rest of the NHL:

Zach Parise and Brendan Shanahan scored in the shootout to give the New Jersey Devils a 3-2 win over Ottawa.

Montreal clinched a playoff berth by gaining a point in a 5-4 overtime loss to Boston. Mark Recchi's second goal was the Boston game-winner in OT.

Brooks Laich (layk) had two goals and the Washington Capitals secured the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay.

Evgeni Malkin picked up two assists to lengthen his lead in the NHL scoring race and the Pittsburgh Penguins stayed in contention for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs by beating the New York Islanders 6-1. That assures New York of finishing with the NHL's worst record.

Ville Koistinen and Jason Arnott scored in the shootout to complete the Nashville Predators' comeback from a two-goal deficit and beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3. Nashville tied the St. Louis Blues for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoff race with a game left for the Predators. St. Louis has two left.

Jason Pominville scored twice and the Buffalo Sabres snapped Carolina's 9-game winning streak in decisive fashion, routing the Hurricanes 5-1.

Mike Ribeiro resorted to some trickery in the final shootout attempt, skating in backward and then flipping a shot into the net off Peter Budaj (boo-DIGH') to lift the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 victory over Colorado.

Florida was eliminated from the playoffs despite edging Atlanta 3-2. David Booth scored with 4:25 left.

Vancouver blanked the L.A. Kings 1-0. Roberto Luongo made 20 saves for his career-high eighth shutout.

The last-place Phoenix Coyotes prevented the league-leading San Jose Sharks from clinching the Presidents' Trophy with an improbable 4-1 victory. Al Montoya made 40 saves in the rookie goalie's third NHL victory.

Boston U. vs. Miami of Ohio in final

WASHINGTON (AP) - Boston University is one victory from its fifth national championship in hockey.

Hobey Baker Award finalist Colin Wilson scored twice and the top-seeded Terriers beat Vermont 5-4 in a Frozen Four semifinal.

In Saturday's championship game, Boston will play fourth-seed Miami of Ohio, which ended the surprising run of outsider Bemidji (beh-MIHD'-jee) State, 4-1.

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