Lakers celebrating 15th title...Jackson passes Auerbach on coaching parade
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - The Los Angeles Lakers have won the 15th NBA championship in their storied history with a relatively easy 99-86 victory that eliminated the Orlando Magic in five games.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 30 points, six rebounds, five assists and four blocks. Bryant keyed a 16-0 Lakers run in the second quarter that propelled L.A. into a 12-point lead. The Lakers outscored Orlando 30-18 in the decisive second quarter and the defense prevented the Magic from mounting a serious late run.
Bryant won the MVP award as part of his fourth NBA championship team, and first in seven years. This is Bryant's first title without Shaquille (shah-KEEL') O'Neal, the former Lakers center. Bryant averaged over 32 points a game in the 5-game NBA Finals.
O'Neal, now with the Phoenix Suns, was glad to see Bryant win another title.
"Congratulations kobe, u deserve it," O'Neal said on his Twitter page. "You played great. Enjoy it my man enjoy it."
Lamar Odom came off the bench and contributed 17 points and 10 rebounds. Pau Gasol was a huge force inside with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Trevor Ariza (uh-REE'-zah) added 14 points as 1 of 5 Lakers in double figures. The Lakers earned redemption after losing the Finals to Boston last year.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson became the all-time coaching leader with his 10th championship in 12 trips to the finals. The 10 titles break the record held by legendary Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach, who coached 9 of the Celtics' 17 titles.
Jackson, wearing a yellow baseball cap with the Roman numeral 10 on it, called his accomplishment "surreal" and said he would smoke a victory cigar in honor of the late Celtics coach.
Jackson tried to deflect attention away from himself and toward his players. Kobe Bryant says Jackson's biggest asset is his ability to challenge players and keep various personalities together.
Lee twirls a game...Yankees hammer Mets...11 straight for the Rockies
(AP) - Cleveland's Cliff Lee has struggled at times following his 22-victory season a year ago. But the southpaw flashed that 2008 form Sunday night in hurling a three-hitter in the Indians' 3-0 victory over St. Louis. Lee improved to 4-6.
Lee threw seven innings of no-hit ball before Yadier Molina (YAH'-dee-eer moh-LEE'nuh) opened the eighth with a double. That broke a string of 20 in a row set down by the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner. Lee was bidding for the first no-hitter at Progressive Field and first by a Cleveland pitcher since Len Barker's perfect game against Toronto in 1981.
Mark DeRosa hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Kelly Shoppach got a solo shot in the fifth for all the scoring.
In other interleague action:
The Philadelphia Phillies got off the mat after a pair of ugly losses to Boston. Jimmy Rollins hit a leadoff homer and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in a six-run seventh inning to beat Boston 11-6. Rollins had three RBIs to help the Phils salvage the series finale. That gives the Phils a 4-game lead over the Mets in the NL East and cut Boston's lead to two in the AL East over the Yankees.
The Yankees handed Johan Santana the worst loss of his career while clobbering the Mets 15-0 in the Bronx. Santana surrendered nine runs in three-plus innings, including a Hideki Matsui (hih-DEK'-ee maht-SOO'-ee) home run. Matsui and Robinson Cano (kuh-NOH') each belted two-run homers while the New York Yankees were exploding for nine runs in the fourth. A.J. Burnett pitched seven innings of 4-hit ball after entering the game 2-6 lifetime against the Mets.
A tornado warning couldn't stop Colorado from earning its 11th straight win, tying a team record. Chris Ianetta (eye-uh-NET'-uh) laced a three-run double in a five-run fifth that highlighted the Rockies' 7-1 win over Seattle. Garrett Atkins and Todd Helton had three hits apiece for the Rockies, who last won 11 in a row in September 2007.
Matt Cain is 9-1 following his seventh straight win, a four-hitter in San Francisco's 7-1 romp over Oakland. Nate Schierholtz (SHEER'-hohlts) hit an inside-the-park three-run homer, and Pablo Sandoval (SAN'-doh-vahl) added a two-run blast.
Chad Billingsley also earned his ninth win, working into the eighth inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 6-3 decision over Texas. Casey Blake had four RBIs as the Dodgers took the rubber match to improve to a major league-best 41-22.
Jered Weaver tossed his first major league shutout, allowing only five hits to pitch the Los Angeles Angels past San Diego 6-0. Juan Rivera homered twice to help the Angels complete a 3-game sweep.
Trevor Hoffman's string of 18 consecutive scoreless innings ended when A.J. Pierzynski (peer-ZIHN'-skee) hit an RBI single in the ninth to push the Chicago White Sox past Milwaukee 5-4. The Brewers lost for the sixth time in seven games despite Corey Hart's two home runs.
The Chicago Cubs beat Minnesota 3-2 on Ryan Theriot's (TEHR'-ee-ohz) RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. Derrek Lee, Geovany Soto (jee-oh-VAH'-nee SOH'-toh) and Theriot strung together three straight one-out singles to end the Cubs' 4-game skid.
Dontrelle Willis continued having control problems by walking eight before leaving in the fourth inning of Detroit's 6-3 loss at Pittsburgh. Robinson Diaz had three RBIs off Willis, who walked two with the bases loaded and has issued 18 free passes in his last 11 innings.
Brian Bannister held Cincinnati to four hits in eight innings as Kansas City completed a 3-game sweep, 7-1. Miguel Olivo (oh-LEE'-voh) hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs for the Royals.
Ronny Paulino went 4 for 5 with two homers and three RBIs in Florida's 11-3 rout of the Blue Jays, the Marlins' eighth straight victory in Toronto. Josh Johnson improved to 6-1 by tossing a seven-hitter.
Ty Wigginton homered twice and Roberto Andino stole home while Baltimore was blasting Atlanta 11-2. Andino also had three RBIs to support Brad Bergeson, who tossed a five-hitter in his first career complete game.
Tampa Bay completed a 3-game sweep by beating Washington 5-4 on pinch-hitter Willy Aybar's (EYE'-bahrz) RBI double in the bottom of the eighth. Gabe Kapler added a homer and three RBIs as the Rays handed the Nationals their 15th loss in 18 games.
The lone National League contest had Houston whipping Arizona 8-3. Hunter Pence and Lance Berkman homered in the Astros' fourth win in five games.
Arizona State and Texas win on Day 2
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Arizona State has avoided the loser's bracket in the College World Series.
The Sun Devils scored four runs in the top of the 10th to beat North Carolina 5-2 in the CWS opener for both teams. Carlos Ramirez singled home the tiebreaking run before Kole Calhoun launched a three-run homer clinched ASU's 50th win of the year.
Arizona State next plays Texas, which rallied to beat Southern Mississippi 7-6 on a bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning. The Tar Heels will play Southern Miss in a Bracket 2 elimination game.
Gay old time in Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Brian Gay has earned a berth in this week's U.S. Open by winning the St. Jude Classic in wire-to-wire fashion.
Gay closed with a 4-under-par 66 for an 18-under total and a five-shot victory over David Toms and Bryce Molder. Gay all but put the tournament out of reach by carding birdies on 3 of his first six holes.
Immelman pulls out of Open
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (AP) - Former Masters champion Trevor Immelman has withdrawn from the U.S. Open because of tendinitis in his left wrist and elbow.
Immelman is the second player from the top 50 in the world to pull out of the U.S. Open, which starts Thursday at Bethpage Black. Robert Karlsson of Sweden withdrew last week because of an eye infection.
Swedish rookie strikes it big
HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. (AP) - Swedish rookie Anna Nordqvist (NOHRD'-kwist) says she patterned her game after Swedish great Annika Sorenstam. Now, like Sorenstam, Nordqvist's first win on the LPGA Tour is in a major tournament.
Nordqvist fired a 4-under-par 72 to complete a four-shot victory over Lindsey Wright at the LPGA Championship near Baltimore in just her fifth career LPGA start.
Sorenstam broke into the win column in 1995 at the U.S. Women's Open.
Nordqvist is only the fifth rookie to win the tournament, and just the second player to claim her first career win by capturing the LPGA Championship. Yani Tseng (YAH'-nee sehng) won this event last year as a rookie.
Martin wins on fumes
BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) - Mark Martin was out of gas as he completed the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Fortunately for him, the other contenders were out of gas as well.
Martin passed Greg Biffle on the final lap and finished almost three seconds ahead of runner-up Jeff Gordon. It's the third win of the year for Martin, who began the race in the 32nd position.
Jimmie Johnson led for 145 of 200 laps before running out of gas two laps from the finish, allowing Greg Biffle to pass him. But Biffle used up his fuel before completing the final lap and coasted to a fifth-place finish.
Johnson was 22nd.
Murray, Haas earn titles in Wimbledon tuneups
(AP) - Andy Murray has won a Wimbledon tuneup event in London, beating American James Blake 7-5, 6-4 at the Aegon Championships at The Queen's Club.
And Tommy Haas pulled off an upset in winning the Gerry Weber Open, knocking off Novak Djokovic (JOH'-kuh-vihch) 6-3, 6-7, 6-1.
Phelps loses two races
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Michael Phelps has lost the 100-meter freestyle at the Santa Clara International Grand Prix.
The 14-time Olympic gold medalist finished second behind Brent Hayden of Canada in Sunday's night final. Phelps also was beaten in the 100-meter backstroke, losing to Olympic teammate Ryan Lochte.