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Daly, who coached U.S., Pistons, is dead


Chuck Daly, who coached the Dream Team to the Olympic gold medal in 1992 after winning back-to-back NBA championships with the Detroit Pistons, died Saturday morning in Jupiter, Fla., with his family by his side. He was 78. The Pistons announced in March that the Hall of Fame coach was being treated for pancreatic cancer. Daly was renowned for creating harmony out of diverse personalities at all levels of the game, whether they were Ivy Leaguers at Pennsylvania, Dream Teamers Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, or Pistons as dissimilar as Dennis Rodman and Joe Dumars.

SUNS: : Phoenix removed the interim tag attached to coach Alvin Gentry's job title since he took over the club in February.

Anthony sinks Mavs; Yao done for playoffs

nba playoffs

Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) broke free of a defender trying to foul him and nailed a three-pointer that gave the Denver Nuggets a 106-105 victory over the host Dallas Mavericks, giving them a 3-0 series lead that has been insurmountable in NBA history. Denver trailed 105-101 with 31 seconds left, but got a quick dunk from Anthony and forced Dirk Nowitzki to miss a 13-footer with about eight seconds left. After a timeout, Anthony took an inbounds pass and Dallas' Antoine Wright tried to foul him - twice - since the Mavericks had a foul to give. Anthony, who scored 31 points, lost his dribble the first time, then bounced off the second bump and made the three from right in front of the Dallas bench.

CAVALIERS 97, HAWKS 82: : LeBron James, the league's Most Valuable Player, scored 47 points in his best game of the 2008-09 playoffs, leading visiting Cleveland to the brink of its second straight postseason sweep.

ROCKETS: : All-Star center Yao Ming is out for the rest of the playoffs with a hairline fracture in his left foot. He limped off the court late in the Los Angeles Lakers' 108-94 victory over the Rockets on Friday night. Yao is expected to need eight to 12 weeks to recover.

Woods tied 5 shots behind Cejka at TPC


Alex Cejka made a 5-foot birdie putt on the final hole to end a wild and steamy Saturday at The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., that left yet another surprising development: Tiger Woods in the final group. Cejka kept out of the water over the closing holes and wound up with an even-par 72 to build a five-shot lead, the largest after three rounds in the 36 years of this prestigious event. Woods, who struggled most of the day, is tied for second after two-putting for birdie on the 16th and making an 8-foot birdie on the island-green 17th.

LPGA MICHELOB ULTRA OPEN: : Lindsey Wright shot a 7-under 64 and Cristie Kerr had a 66 to share the third-round lead in Williamsburg, Va.

Mayfield suspended; Martin wins race

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Jeremy Mayfield was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for failing a random drug test, becoming the first driver to violate a toughened new policy that went into effect this season. Mayfield tested positive for a banned substance last weekend at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. "In my case, I believe that the combination of a prescribed medicine and an over the counter medicine reacted together and resulted in a positive drug test," he said in a statement. "My doctor and I are working with both Dr. [David] Black and NASCAR to resolve this matter." Black is the CEO of Aegis Sciences Corp. in Nashville, Tenn., which runs NASCAR's testing program. NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter would not reveal what banned substance Mayfield used, but Hunter said it was not an alcohol-related offense. "There is no place for substance abuse in our sport," Hunter said.

MORE NASCAR: : Mark Martin, 50, won for the second time in four races, outlasting Jimmie Johnson in the wreck-filled Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Martin's only other victory at Darlington came at the 1993 Southern 500.

MORE AUTOS: : Helio Castroneves, back in racing less than a month after being acquitted of charges of tax evasion, took a big gamble, voiding a fast qualifying effort from earlier in the day and knocked Penske Racing teammate Ryan Briscoe off the Indianapolis 500 pole. Castroneves' four-lap average of 224.864 mph on the historic 2.5-mile oval came with less than two hours remaining in the six-hour opening round of time trials for the May 24 race.

BASEBALL: : The Cubs placed third baseman Aramis Ramirez, hitting .364 with four homers, on the 15-day disabled list with a dislocated left shoulder. ... The Yankees purchased the contract of right-hander Brett Tomko, 36, from Triple-A. New York optioned right-hander Dave Robertson to Triple-A. ... The Athletics added infielder Adam Kennedy to the roster one day after acquiring him from the Rays. ... Mets manager Jerry Manuel was suspended one game and fined for making contact with an umpire during an argument Thursday night. ... The Mariners placed Carlos Silva (1-3, 8.48 ERA) on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, retroactive to Thursday.

BOXING: : Chad Dawson successfully defended his International Boxing Federation and International Boxing Organization light heavyweight titles in Las Vegas, unanimously outpointing Antonio Tarver in a rematch of their October fight.

CYCLING: : The Astana squad of Lance Armstrong, who is competing in his first major race since winning his seventh consecutive Tour de France in 2005, finished third in the team time trial Saturday in Venice to start the Giro d'Italia.

TENNIS: : Top-ranked Dinara Safina won her first WTA title of the year by defeating fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-3, 6-2, in the final of the Italian Open in Rome.

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