Two of the three teams that had a chance to close out their conference quarterfinal series on Tuesday did so, as Cleveland and Boston moved on the face one another in the second round with Game 5 victories. LeBron James fought through a right elbow injury and narrowly missed his second straight triple-double, helping the Cavaliers edge the Chicago Bulls, 96-94, to win their set. Despite the injury, James still managed to score 19 points, pull down 10 rebounds and dish out nine assists. Antawn Jamison had 25 points for the top-seeded Cavaliers, who will battle Boston, a 96-86 winner over Miami in its Game 5 test. Ray Allen hit 5-of-6 from behind the arc and scored a team- high 24 points, and Boston led by as many as 21 points in the third quarter before thwarting a Miami comeback by hitting 52.9 percent from the field in the final stanza.
The Western Conference got slightly more intriguing Tuesday, as the Dallas Mavericks staved off elimination with a convincing 103-81 Game 5 win over the San Antonio Spurs. Caron Butler poured in a playoff career-best 35 points to go with 11 rebounds for the Mavs, who will have to duplicate their season- ending three-game win streak against the Spurs to move into the conference semis. Dallas is facing long odds, however, as only eight out of 189 teams have responded from a 3-1 series deficit to advance. Also in the West, Pau Gasol poured in 25 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers crushed the Thunder, 111-87, to move ahead after five games of their quarterfinal series. Kobe Bryant had 13 points and seven assists, but was able to rest his sore right knee by not playing the fourth quarter.
There are two playoff games on the schedule for Wednesday. Milwaukee heads to Atlanta to battle the Hawks with that Eastern Conference quarterfinal series even after four games. Utah attempts to knock out the Nuggets as the Jazz hold a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference series going into Game 5 in Denver.
The family of late Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin has agreed to economic terms to sell its share of the team to Ted Leonsis, the owner of the NHL's Washington Capitals and WNBA's Washington Mystics. Pollin passed away last November at the age of 85. He appointed Leonsis as his heir when the two became partners in 1999. Leonsis already owns 44 percent of the team and the Verizon Center and had the first right to purchase the remaining 56 percent from the Pollin's family. Pollin sold the Capitals to Leonsis in 1999 and then sold him the Mystics in 2005. Pollin had been the longest-tenured owner in the NBA, having purchased the Baltimore Bullets in 1964 and renamed the team in 1997. He also had the Verizon Center constructed, where the Wizards, Capitals and Mystics all play.
The second round of the NHL playoffs are set in the Western Conference after Tuesday saw the Detroit Red Wings dominate the Phoenix Coyotes, 6-1, in Game 7 of their quarterfinal series. Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom both scored twice, while Brad Stuart and Todd Bertuzzi for the Red Wings, who advanced to face the San Jose Sharks in the conference semifinals. Jimmy Howard made 32 saves, and Henrik Zetterberg and Brian Rafalski both posted three assists for Detroit, which competed in a Game 7 on the road for the first time since 1991. Phoenix goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov was strong at times and kept the Coyotes in the game well into the second period, but the final tally sheet showed six goals allowed on 50 shots. The other West semifinal will be between Chicago and Vancouver.
The final spot in the Eastern Conference semifinals will be decided Wednesday when the top-seeded Washington Capitals host Montreal in Game 7. The Canadiens, coming off a 4-1 win Monday, are attempting to come back from a three games to one deficit to win a series for just the second time in team history. Montreal pulled off the feat against Boston in the first round of the 2004 playoffs. Washington superstar Alex Ovechkin has nine points in the series, but was held without one Monday. The Caps will play Game 7 without defenseman Tom Poti. He suffered an eye injury in Monday's game. If the Capitals win they'll play Philadelphia in round two. If the Canadiens are victorious, they'll get Pittsburgh in round two.
Boston moved into the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday with a 4-3 win over Buffalo and will add a key player for the next series, as center Marc Savard was medically cleared to return after recovering from a concussion. Savard hasn't played since March 7 when he was hit with an elbow by Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke. The Penguins, ironically, could be Boston's second- round opponent. Savard, who practiced with the team on Sunday, recorded 10 goals and 23 assists in 41 games, as his season was interrupted by a broken foot in addition to the concussion.
The Colorado Rockies have placed starting pitchers Jorge De La Rosa and Jason Hammel on the 15-day disabled list. De La Rosa is expected to miss his next couple of starts due to a torn tendon band in the middle finger of his throwing hand. Rockies manager Jim Tracy is unsure when De La Rosa will return. His stint is retroactive to April 26. Colorado also lost Hammel on Monday with a right groin strain that he suffered in a 5-3 loss to Arizona. Hammel gave up five runs on six hits in three frames before exiting the contest. He is 0-2 with a 9.16 ERA, in four starts this season.
Legendary broadcaster Bob Uecker announced at a press conference Tuesday he will undergo heart surgery later this week and be away from the Brewers broadcast booth for the next 10-12 weeks. Dr. Jim Klezca of Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee was on hand and indicated Uecker would have an aortic valve replaced as well as part of an aortic root. He went on to say further evaluation would determine whether a second heart bypass surgery would be necessary. The 75-year-old Uecker was inducted into the broadcasters' wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003 and is in his 40th year as the play-by- play radio voice of the Brewers.
The Arizona Cardinals signed free agent offensive lineman Alan Faneca to a one-year deal. Faneca is guaranteed $2.5 million, according to his agent, Rick Smith. The nine-time Pro Bowl selection spent the past two seasons with the New York Jets and was released after the team drafted offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse out of Massachusetts in the second round of last week's NFL draft. The 33-year old has played 12 NFL seasons, and has appeared in 190 games -- 185 starts -- with Pittsburgh and the Jets. He has started 128 straight games, spanning the last eight years.
The NCAA has appointed University of Washington president Mark A. Emmert as the organization's next president. Emmert becomes the NCAA's fifth chief executive. He is expected to assume his duties no later than November 1. Emmert takes over for interim president James L. Isch, who has held the office since the passing of Myles Brand in September 2009.
Iowa State has named Fred Hoiberg its head men's basketball coach. Hoiberg, who starred for the Cyclones in the 1990s, will be introduced at a news conference Wednesday morning. He just finished his first season as the vice president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Iowa State needed a replacement for Greg McDermott, who left Monday to take the head coaching job at Creighton.
Roger Federer's return after a nearly month-long absence was a short-lived one, as the top player in the world was beaten in three sets by Latvia's Ernests Gulbis in the second round of the Rome Masters. Federer, who had a first-round bye, had not played since the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami at the start of April and was making his 2010 clay-court debut in preparation to defend his French Open title. Gulbis pulled out a 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 victory.