Sports Watch

Artest joining Lakers...Rockets agree with Ariza

HOUSTON (AP) - Talented free-agent forward Ron Artest (AR'-tehst) is leaving Houston to join the NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers. says the deal is for three years and $18 million. Artest's agent, David Bauman, won't confirm those numbers, saying the deal is still being negotiated.

The 6-foot-7 forward earned $7.4 million in his only season with Houston, averaging 17.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Artest is a rugged defender and was the 2004 NBA defensive player of the year.

In a related matter, Lakers free-agent forward Trevor Ariza (uh-REEZ'-uh) and the Rockets have reached a multi-year deal. The 6-foot-8 Ariza averaged 8.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists for the Lakers last season.

Shaq hits Cleveland with `win a ring for the King' mission

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) - Shaquille O'Neal was introduced to the media and fans in Cleveland. The 4-time NBA champion told the crowd he has one objective, "Win a ring for the King," referring to league MVP and Cleveland forward LeBron James.

The Cavaliers acquired O'Neal in a trade last week with the Phoenix Suns. They believe he can be their missing piece. The city of Cleveland has been waiting since 1964 for 1 of its three pro sports franchises to win a championship.

New coach at Holy Cross

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - Sean Kearney is the new basketball coach at Holy Cross.

The former Notre Dame assistant succeeds Ralph Willard, who resigned last month after 10 seasons to become Rick Pitino's associate head coach at Louisville.

Some serious bees-ness in San Diego...Phillies drop into tie for first

(AP) - There definitely was a late-inning buzz at the finish of the Houston Astros' 7-2 win over San Diego at Petco Park.

A swarm of bees took over part of left field, causing a 52-minute delay in the top of the ninth inning.

A beekeeper was called to the downtown ballpark and sprayed a chair and a ballgirl's jacket that had attracted the bees. Padres president Tom Garfinkel says a few thousand bees attached themselves to a queen bee.

Before things got buzzing, Geoff Blum hit a three-run homer and finished with four RBIs. The Astros won 3 of 4 against the Padres.

In the rest of the National League:

Matt Diaz (DY'-ahz) drove in the go-ahead run with an eighth-inning double and the Atlanta Braves beat Philadelphia 5-2 to complete their first home sweep of the Phillies in four years. The loss drops the Phillies into a tie with Florida for first in the NL East where the top four teams are separated by only two games.

Chicago worked over the Milwaukee Brewers 9-5. Derrek Lee hit a grand slam and a three-run homer for a career-high seven RBIs.

Joey Votto singled with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning and the Cincinnati Reds nipped the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2. Francisco Cordero got the win.

In Pittsburgh, the New York Mets came back from an early five-run deficit to beat the Pirates 9-8. Ryan Church singled in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning to put the New Yorkers back on top. New York heads into a big weekend series at Philadelphia back at .500 with consecutive wins following a 5-game losing streak.

Todd Wellemeyer rebounded from his shortest start of the season and outpitched Barry Zito as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2.

Over in the American League:

Mark Buehrle (BUR'-lee) dominated into the ninth inning, allowing six hits and a run, and the surging Chicago White Sox beat Kansas City 4-1 for their sixth straight victory. Buehrle is 20-8 lifetime against KC.

Seattle doubled up the New York Yankees 8-4. That ends the Yanks' 7-game win streak. Franklin Gutierrez and Russell Branyan homered to drop CC Sabathia to 7-5.

The L.A. Angels increased their AL West lead to one game over idle Texas by beating Baltimore 5-2. Bobby Abreu (uh-BRAY'-yoo) homered twice and drove in four. John Lackey and Brian Fuentes combined on a five-hitter.

Ex-Yankee Leyritz accused of battery

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say former major leaguer Jim Leyritz (LAY'-ritz) has been arrested and accused of battery in South Florida.

The arrest comes about two months before he faces trial on a DUI manslaughter charge.

Police say Leyritz was drunk when he caused a fatal car crash in December 2007. He is scheduled to go on trial for that in September.

It'll be another all-Williams final

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) - The women's final at Wimbledon will again be an all-Williams affair. Both Serena and Venus have advanced from the semifinals.

Third-seed Serena Williams defeated No. 4 Elena Dementieva (dee-mehn-tee-AY-vuh) 6-7, 7-5, 8-6, while sister Venus dominated top-seed Dinara Safina (dee-NAH'-rah sah-FEE'-nuh) 6-1, 6-love.

Saturday's meeting will be their fourth in the title match at Wimbledon and marks their eighth meeting in a Grand Slam title match. Serena holds the edge, 5-2.

The men's semifinals will be contested Friday.

Second-seeded Swiss sensation Roger Federer is slated to meet Tommy Haas two days after the German upset fourth-seed Serb Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) in a four-set quarterfinal. Federer moved a step closer to a sixth Wimbledon championship Wednesday by beating hard-serving Ivo Karlovic (EE'-voh KAHR'-loh-vihch) of Croatia in straight sets.

2-time runner-up Andy Roddick of the U.S. is in the final four. The sixth seed will go up against crowd favorite Andy Murray. The third-seeded Scotsman is trying to become the first player from Great Britain to capture the men's singles title since Fred Perry in 1936.

Linebacker suspended

NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL has suspended Jets linebacker Calvin Pace for four games without pay for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. Pace will miss New York's first four games of the season and will be eligible to return for the Jets' Monday night game at Miami Oct. 12.

Torrid start for Kim

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) - Anthony Kim has set the course record at Congressional with an 8-under 62, giving the defending champion a two-shot lead after the opening round of the AT&T National. Kim has not won since he shot 65 in the final round last year at this tournament.

He had six birdies in an eight-hole stretch and a 10-foot birdie on his final hole, the par-5 ninth, that lipped out.

Tournament host Tiger Woods, D.A. Points and Bryce Molder are all 2 shots back after shooting 66s.

Three-way tie at the top

SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) - Laura Diaz, Morgan Pressel and Song-Hee-Kim share the first-round lead at the LPGA's Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, each opening with a 7-under-64. Michelle Wie (wee) and Suzann Pettersen are one shot back. Pettersen's round included a hole-in-one at the 154-yard third hole.

Defending champ Paula Creamer pulled out with an injured left thumb.

Mayfield still not back on track

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Jeremy Mayfield missed the deadline to enter this weekend's race after successfully fighting NASCAR to get back behind the wheel following a failed random drug test.

His only hope for participating in Saturday night's race at Daytona International Speedway is as a relief driver, a change NASCAR must approve.

Car owners Larry Gunselman and Tommy Baldwin say they will not put Mayfield in their cars this weekend.

Mayfield's indefinite suspension for a failed drug test was lifted by a federal judge Wednesday, allowing him to race this weekend.

Michael Jackson tribute draws fine

TORONTO (AP) - The Canadian Football League fined Toronto Argonauts receiver Arland Bruce an undisclosed amount for "excessive actions" during his tribute to Michael Jackson after scoring a touchdown.

After scoring on a 21-yard TD pass, Bruce removed his helmet, shoulder pads and uniform jersey, then laid down in the end zone. Bruce said he was honoring the memory of Jackson by pretending to be buried.

Referees gave Bruce two objectionable conduct penalties for his actions in the game, which the Argonauts won 30-17 Wednesday night.

Toronto coach Bart Andrus said "next time around he will celebrate in an appropriate manner."

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