Sports Watch

Lakers regain series lead

DENVER (AP) - Kobe Bryant says there is nothing like making a big shot on the road to silence a raucous crowd. The Los Angeles superstar experienced that feeling last night and the Lakers have regained home-court advantage in the NBA Western Conference final with a 103-97 win over Denver.

Bryant says the opposing crowd "really helped me. It reminds me what we're playing for."

Bryant canned a go-ahead three-pointer with 1:09 left and scored 41 points. Bryant has been on fire all series with 113 points in the first three games. Pau Gasol added 20. Trevor Ariza (uh-REE'-zuh) added 16 and made a big steal off an inbounds pass in the final minute.

Bryant scored 13 points in the fourth quarter as the Lakers erased the Nuggets' 8-point lead. The loss is the Nuggets' first home loss in the playoffs and ends their 16-game home winning streak that goes back to March 9. The road team has won 2 of 3 games in this series.

Denver star Carmelo Anthony had his worst performance in the playoffs despite scoring 21. He shot just 4 for 13, scored just three points in the second half before fouling out late.

Game 4 is Monday night in Denver.

Penguins gain stranglehold on Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Pittsburgh Penguins are one victory away from marching to the Stanley Cup finals for the second straight year.

The Penguins shocked Carolina with two goals in the final minute of the opening period and coasted to a 6-2 rout of the Hurricanes to take a 3-0 lead in the NHL Eastern Conference final.

Evgeni Malkin had two goals and one assist. Malkin has 12 playoff goals, including six in three games against the 'Canes.

Sidney Crosby added a goal and an assist for the Penguins, who are riding a 4-game playoff winning streak. Malkin and Crosby scored 30 seconds apart late in the first to turn a 1-1 tie into a two-goal Penguins lead.

Pittsburgh can sweep the best-of-7 series Tuesday night.

History isn't on the Hurricanes' side. Only twice has a team rallied from a 3-0 series deficit to win a series. It hasn't happened since the New York Islanders did it against Pittsburgh in 1975.

Giambi in the 400 Club...Rockies derail Tigers...Eight straight for the Padres

(AP) - Oakland's Jason Giambi has joined the 400 home run club with a homer in the fourth inning of the Athletics' 8-7 11-inning loss to Arizona. He's the 44th player in major league history to reach 400 homers.

The 38-year-old Giambi received a warm ovation from the crowd of 21,295 and then came back out of the dugout for a curtain call at the Coliseum.

It was Giambi's fourth homer of the year, his first season back with the A's after seven with the New York Yankees.

In other interleague action:

The Detroit Tigers' 7-game winning streak is history. Chris Iannetta and Todd Helton homered to back an efficient performance by Jason Marquis (mar-KEE') and the Colorado Rockies beat the Tigers, 4-3. Marquis improved to 6-3 after allowing three runs in seven and two-thirds innings.

The New York Yankees posted their major-league-leading 17th come-from-behind victory, 5-4 over Philadelphia. Alex Rodriguez hit a game-tying two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth for the Yanks off Phils closer Brad Lidge. Melky Cabrera then delivered a run-scoring single for the winning run. All three runs came off Phils closer Brad Lidge.

Kyle Lohse (lohsh) scattered four hits over eight innings as the St. Louis Cardinals won their fifth in a row, beating Kansas City 5-0. Lohse had six strikeouts and no walks after entering the game on a 3-game losing streak. Cardinals starters have allowed just one run in 36 2-3 innings during the winning streak.

Derek Lowe pitched into the eighth inning and drove in the go-ahead run with 1 of his two hits and the Atlanta Braves handed the slumping Toronto Blue Jays their fifth straight loss, 4-3.

Omir Santos hit a two-run homer off Jonathan Papelbon with two outs in the ninth inning, a drive that was initially ruled a double, and the New York Mets rallied to beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2. Papelbon had been 11 for 11 in save opportunities but took the loss in this one.

Joe Mauer had three hits, a homer and two RBIs to help Anthony Swarzak win his major league debut in the Minnesota Twins' 6-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. This ensures Milwaukee's first series loss in five weeks after winning 8 of their last 10 series and tying two.

The Chicago White Sox blanked Pittsburgh 4-0 for their second straight shutout. The White Sox have won 4 of 5 and haven't allowed a run since that franchise-record-tying 20-1 loss to Minnesota last Thursday.

Asdrubal Cabrera (ahs-DROO'-buhl kah-BREHR'-uh) drove in the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning of Cleveland's 7-6 win over Cincinnati. Joey Votto homered twice for the Reds.

Tampa Bay routed Florida for the second straight night, 10-3. Evan Longoria hit a tiebreaking single in eighth inning and the Rays added six more in the ninth. Tampa Bay has scored 25 runs in the first two games of the series.

Texas beat Houston 6-3. Nelson Cruz homered twice and Hank Blalock also connected for the AL West-leading Rangers.

San Francisco rallied with all 5 of its runs in the eighth inning and beat Seattle 5-1. Matt Cain won his fifth game as he hurled the Giants' first complete game of the season.

In 10 innings, the L.A. Dodgers edged the Angels 5-4. Juan Pierre walked with the bases loaded to drive in the winning run.

Baltimore edged Washington 2-1. Aubrey Huff drove in the tiebreaking run with a pinch-hit triple in the seventh to win this battle of cellar-dwellars.

In the lone National League of the night, San Diego won its eighth straight with a 3-1 win over the Chicago Cubs, who have dropped six in a row. Brian Giles drove in two runs for the second straight night.

A debut worth remembering?

BEACHWOOD, Ohio (AP) - Michael Allen, winless in 271 PGA Tour events, shot a 3-under 67 for a one-shot lead over Jeff Sluman and Tom Kite through three rounds of the Senior PGA Championship.

Allen, who turned 50 in January, is making his senior debut. He finds himself atop the leaderboard in the tour's first major championship of the year. He stands at 3-under 207 through 54 holes.

Larry Mize, Gil Morgan and Tim Simpson are another shot back. Joey Sindelar, Bruce Fleisher and Jay Don Blake are three shots off the lead.

Co-leaders in the Lone Star state

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Rory Sabbatini and John Mallinger remain co-leaders through three rounds of the PGA's Byron Nelson Championship near Dallas. They each fired 5-under-par 65s for a 13-under total, two shots ahead of D.A. Points, Dustin Johnson and Brian Davis.

Miyazato and Kang tied for lead...Eunjung Yi is an eagle eye

CORNING, N.Y. (AP) - Mika Miyazato (MEE'-kah mee-ah-ZAH'-toh) and Soo-Yun Kang are tied for the lead after three rounds of the LPGA Corning Classic. Miyazato grabbed a share of first by shooting a 10-under-par 62 to make up three shots on Kang.

Yani Tseng (YAH'-nee sehng) also fired a 62 to get within one shot of the lead.

Eunjung Yi eagled 3 of the first five holes to become only the fifth player in LPGA history to accomplish the feat.

Zvonerova pulls out of Open

PARIS (AP) - Sixth-seeded Vera Zvonareva (zvah-nah-RAY'-vuh) has withdrawn from the French Open that starts today because of an ankle injury suffered last month. Katie O'Brien of Britain takes her spot in the draw.

A state of Bliss on the race track

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - Mike Bliss raced to his first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory since 2004, catching a break to claim the rain-shortened event at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Bliss took the lead because he was in the right position when the caution flag came out with 39 laps to go.

Brendan Gaughan (gawn) was second, followed by Kyle Busch, Brian Vickers and Joey Logano.

Button takes pole position

MONACO (AP) - Formula One championship leader Jenson Button has the pole position in today's Monaco Grand Prix, posting a lap of 1 minute, 14.902 seconds. That was 25,000ths of a second faster than Kimi Raikkonen (RY'-loh-nehn), who put Ferrari on the front row for the first time this season.

Button has won 4 of the first five races to lead Rubens Barrichello (bahr-ih-KEHL'-oh) by 14 points.

Orange and Big Red reach title game

FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) - Syracuse is one victory away from its 11th NCAA men's lacrosse final following a 17-7 rout of Duke in the semifinals at Foxboro, Mass. Attackman Kenny Nims and midfielder Patrick Perritt each had four goals for the Orange, who never trailed in advancing to the title game against Cornell today.

The Big Red stunned top-seed Virginia 15-6.

This will be a rematch of the 1988 NCAA title game, which was won by Syracuse.

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